Mentoring is at the heart of the Christian faith.
MARCH 31, 2022
Mentoring at the heart of the Christian faith. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
It’s for freedom that Christ set us free and Key Life is here to bring you Biblical teaching that encourages you to never give into slavery again. Our teacher on Key Life is Steve Brown. He’s an author, broadcaster and seminary professor who is sick of phony religion.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the 11th chapter of Acts. And we’re looking at God building the foundation of the church, this is the beginning, and this is our heritage and God doesn’t change his mind. So, he deals with us in exactly the same way. And the question and I move the previous question, is how does God build the foundation? How does God deepen us? How does God make us, hmm, winsome? How does God make us clear? How does God use us in the world? And looking at this 11th chapter of Acts, there are a number of keys and we’ve been talking about it. We’ve seen that first he does it with persecution. You know, in some places that persecution is real and it has to do with death and suffering. And other places like Canada and the U.S., we don’t get persecuted that way. We just get ignored and being ignored hurts. We’re persecuted when they laugh at us. We’re persecuted when they say things about the Christian faith that simply aren’t true. We are persecuted when we’re not allowed into their clubs and their places of business. We’re persecuted when people think we’re crazy and that’s good for us. That’s the way the foundation is built. That’s how you grow strong disciples. And we saw by proclamation, by sharing our faith with other people, God could lead whoever he wants to, to himself, by himself, without our help, but he knows that as we share the realities of our faith, any truth that we have learned from Jesus, if we’re clear about who we belong to, it has a tendency to strengthen us and to make us more effective for the kingdom. And then we saw that God deepens and builds the foundations by connecting us to one another. That’s what the church is about. I mean, there are people who say, look, I don’t go to church, but I believe in Jesus and I’m saved. Well, you are, but you’re useless because once you get with other brothers and sisters in Christ and you begin to have that kind of bonding and closeness, then God begins to deepen you and do wonderful things in your life. People are always telling me the bad news about their experience in the church. And I always say, sometimes I don’t say, but sometimes I do, you don’t know nothing. I’ve been hurt so many times, you have no idea how often I’ve been hurt, but I’m still there and you know why I’m still there because I need the people of the church and they need me. I have a tendency to go off and start teaching I Corinthians 12, Romans and Ephesians on gifts and how those, but I’m not going to do that. But trust me on this, you go to church. No, you don’t go to church. You are the church because you are connected to your brothers and sisters in Christ, and everybody who belongs to Jesus belongs to everybody who belongs to Jesus. And when a bunch of people who belong to Jesus get together, God builds a foundation that he can use in an amazing way. Now let me, tell you something else. God deepens not only with persecution and proclamation and connection, he also deepens through discipling, Acts 11:25.
So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul.
What’s going on there, well Saul’s a new Christian. I mean, God had whacked him up the side of the head. God had called Saul, later to be called Paul. God had called Saul to himself and he did it in an amazing and miraculous way. And we’ve seen that as we you’ve studied the book of Acts, but he was new. He didn’t know anything. He didn’t know about the doctrines. He hadn’t gotten what the Christian faith was all about. He hadn’t met other Christians that he was now a part of, beyond his own town and his initial experience. He just, he was new and I love new Christians. They are so enthusiastic. When you first find out that you don’t have to be guilty anymore, ever again, that’s pretty heady stuff. And I love to be around, and God answers prayers of new Christians. Listen, you ought to be sharing your faith, if for no other reason that after they come to Christ, you can ask them to pray for you because God, when somebody’s brand new, God answers almost every prayer and it’s incredible to watch and you’ll get the benefit from it. Don’t think me, I was glad to help. But I tell you, and I love being around new Christians, their enthusiasm. I have a friend who led her neighbor to Christ and she was showing her Scripture, but she never showed her John 3:16.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. And my friend decided that she knew it, her friend, that she led to Christ knew it. And that wasn’t a place where she was trying to teach her. So, one morning she was, my friend was in her kitchen and she heard her neighbor, the new Christian, yelling and running across the street. She came into my friend’s kitchen and she said, Mary, you’re not going to believe this. Let me show you what I found in the Bible. It is so cool. Let me show you. And then she showed her John 3:16. And my friend said it was hard to keep from saying, I knew that or everybody knows that or but of course. She jumped up and down and danced with her friend over what had been done. I love new Christians. I really do, but they don’t know anything. I mean, they really don’t. And somebody’s got to teach them and we call that discipling. I hate that word. I just don’t like it. I wish there was a different word then discipling. I can’t think of any tragedy bigger than having disciples following me and acting like me and talking like me and doing what I do, that would be a curse on the church. And I just don’t like, I know we make disciples for Jesus and that’s what it refers to, but it kind of feels like we’re discipling people, so they will be like us. But with all of that being said, I can’t think of a better word. New Christians need to be taught. At the church where I attend, we have an Institute and they meet every Wednesday night and you know what it is, it’s a teaching time, so that the new Christians in our church and some of the old ones who’ve never been taught can begin to learn what the Bible says about the world, to have a world view in their business, a Christian world view that makes a difference. You know, there’s so much to the Christian faith. Somebody said it’s a small little pool where children can play, but it’s also a sea where elephants can swim. And it really is. I’ve been doing this longer than most of you have been alive and I’m still learning and growing. I’m still reading the Scripture and saying wow. I am still, well being discipled by God and my brothers and sisters in Christ. And so, when we get together and we have Bible studies and we have class on Sundays and we have Bible institutes and we have seminaries, that is so important to the body of Christ, so that we’re not just superficial and silly Christians who say nothing, but Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so. That’s true, and it’s the most important, there’s got to be a whole lot more than that. II Timothy 2:2 says.
And what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
And so, along with the calling of the church, that everybody knows, we’re here for them, so evangelism is important, missions is important. Go into all the world. That’s important, but pedagogy is important too. And you say, say what? Pedagogical means teaching. It means taking complicated things and helping people to understand, it means coming together as the people of God with an open Bible and a discussion and an understanding so that when we go out, we know what we believe, why it’s important and why we believe it. And once we do that, that’s going to make a difference as it did in the early church. You think about that. Amen.
We don’t go to church, we are the church. Thank you Steve, for that important reminder from Acts 11. And don’t forget, if you missed any episodes this week, you can listen anytime you want for free at our website KeyLife.org. We will continue in Acts next week, but tomorrow we’ll step aside to do Friday Q&A. Tomorrow. Steve and Pete will tangle with this question. Am I responsible for someone else’s salvation? Be sure to join us tomorrow for that answer. Well recently, on our talk radio show, Steve Brown Etc, we spoke with Dan Allender and Cathy Loerzel. They’re both authors and counselors and their new book explains why our heartache, as bad as it can be, does not have to dictate the direction of our lives. It is such an encouraging message and we would love to send you that whole conversation on a CD for free. Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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