- Watch Video Here: Session 01 – Introduction
- Download Complete Study Notes (Pdf): Student Study guide
THE SCRIPTURES ARE OUR STANDARD FOR TRUTH
2 Peter 1:2-4 – The precious and magnificent promises regarding life and godliness are contained in the knowledge of God. The Bible holds the knowledge of God.
2 Peter 1:20 & 21 – The prophecy of the Scriptures was written by many men, but it has only one author, God. The Bible has the truth, and it interprets itself.
1 Peter 1:23-25 – When we understand and apply the Scriptures, we will be born again with a new and much better life. People and their opinions about life and godliness come and then they go, but the Word of the LORD endures forever. In whom do you want to put your trust? Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz or the republicans or democrats or news commentator or your friends or Almighty God?
I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above to all Your name. Psalm 138:2
The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. Psalm 119:160
For His lovingkindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD is everlasting. Praise the LORD! Psalm 117:2
(Psalm 19:7-11; 119:1-176) God’s testimony regarding His Word
John 8:31-36 – The truth will make you free, and if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
The Word of God is inherently powerful for the believer.
INSIDE OUT, NOT OUTSIDE IN
1 Peter 2:21-25 – Jesus is our Lord and our example of how to live the good life from the inside out. He endured the cross for us so that we could have a new life. He never allowed situations, circumstances, or people to influence his behavior. With God’s help, he always controlled his heart. On the cross he said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” Luke 23:34. He focused his attention on God’s Word and not the situation. We know because of what he said in Matthew 27:46 when he quoted Psalm 22.
HOW WE RESPOND TO THE WORLD AROUND US IS ALWAYS DUE TO WHAT IS INSIDE US, NOT THE SITUATION, CIRCUMSTANCES, OR PEOPLE.
Proverbs 4:23 – The heart is the control center of life, the source of all life, therefore the wellspring of life. Jesus knew that life really only changes from the inside out. True and lasting change does not happen by trying to alter our lives’ conditions. We are tempted to believe if we get a new job, move to a better location, replace unwanted associations, change churches, diet, exercise, etc., life will change for the better. These outward changes may be helpful to a small degree, but outside adjustments cannot correct inside problems. Manipulating our environment may provide temporary relief but ultimately bring failure. The heart is what must change if we are to have any lasting change. Our Lord’s teaching was and is directed at changing the heart.
Only those desiring to stop drinking originally utilized the 12 steps of Alcoholics’ Anonymous.
However, the program has now expanded to a seemingly endless variety of compulsive, obsessive behaviors such as drug addiction, gambling, overeating, codependence, inordinate sex, compulsive spending, etc. The reason for this extensive growth is people are realizing some deliverance. (Doctors spend almost 50% of their time on psychological problems and often refer patients to step meetings.) The reason the steps work is they were derived primarily from the Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 13, and the book of James – all sections of the Scriptures that deal specifically with changing from the inside out. If so many are experiencing relief from the twelve steps (that have been watered down from their beginnings), how much more would we by going directly to the source of this powerful, delivering material?
The heart is the control center of life:
- Hebrews 4:12 – Motives and intentions, contrasted with thoughts, are in the heart. Intentions – A determination to act in a certain way.
- Romans 10:9 and 10 – Believing is an issue of the heart; mental assent is not.
- Mark 12:30 – Real love commences from the heart while fond feeling comes from the mind.
- Matthew 12:34 and 35 – Good and evil spring forth from the heart.
- Matthew 5:27 and 28 – Sin is a matter of the heart and not from superficial transient thoughts.
Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Everyone is born with a defective heart; no one is born with a “good heart.” For Christians, according to Galatians 4:6, “God has sent forth the spirit of His Son into your hearts….” However, even a Christian must contend with his own heart that by nature is wicked. With the new birth, the heart of our mind is not automatically changed. We have a new capacity or potential, but to change the heart still takes a deliberate decision of will and a faithful application of the Word of God.
HOW TO CHANGE THE HEART
James 3:6-8; Matthew 15:18 – We cannot change our own heart. God has to do it for us as we apply the tools provided in the Sermon on the Mount.
“Blessed” means enjoying godly happiness, bringing pleasure or contentment.
Matthew 5- Beatitudes
- 3 poor in spirit humble kingdom of heaven
- 4 mourn repentance shall be comforted
- 5 gentle meek inherit the earth
- 6 hunger and thirst strong desire shall be satisfied
- 7 merciful compassionate shall receive compassion
- 8 pure in heart _______ they shall see God
- 9 peacemakers ________ called the sons of God
- 10 persecuted ones ________ reward in heaven is great