This course consists of 20 one-half hour lessons with the purpose of learning what provision God has made for the believer's daily life and how to utilize that provision for the glory of God. The Apostle Paul was not ashamed of Christianity because it worked (Romans 1:16). There is nothing more practical, more beneficial, and more enjoyable than the application of Christianity in the believer's daily life. It is an experience of becoming more and more profoundly involved with God. This involvement, characterized by faith and love, increasingly transforms every facet of the believer's character and life. God has made every provision so that we may be successful in living the Christian life. It is not his will that we fail!
Being a successful Christian is difficult when we fail to understand what Christianity teaches about being fulfilled people. Although we live in a very luxuriant age, it is strange how unhappy many people are and how little peace even Christian people have. Our search for satisfaction in a wide variety of things continually causes us to be confused about satisfaction. The reason is that we have lost our sense of fulfillment and we spend a great deal of time trying to make up for that loss. The way in which we try to overcome the loss results in our becoming idolatrous to the goals we serve in trying to find ourselves, in trying to determine what life is about and in trying to learn what fulfillment is really about. We feel this inner loss but do not know what it is and do not know what it means to be a fulfilled Christian. This seminar addresses the problem and provides ways to find fulfillment in our Christian life.
In the late 1960's Dr. Matthews began to seek ways to communicate to lay people; he began by bringing six to eight people to campus for serious Bible study. After a year, the group was opened to the general public--and so began the Thursday Evening Bible Class. Attendance increased rapidly and before long, grew to an average of 250 people and a decision was made to record the classes which provided 10 sessions in the Fall and Spring. With only a few interruptions, Dr. Matthews taught the class until his retirement in 1986. The Thursday Evening Bible Class continues today as a free gift of the Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.
In his last year and in failing health, Dr. Matthews continued his counseling and participation in Bible study groups. He often spoke of the blessing he received from the interaction at "his" men's Bible group. "Toward Understanding Ourselves" represents seven sessions presented to this group and his last recorded material.
The Bible exhorts us to "take heed" to ourselves; to "sanctify" ourselves; to "examine" ourselves; and to "keep" ourselves. We are also reminded that when we were born again and believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we were given an "understanding", This "understanding" God desires to "open", so we might be "filled" with "spiritual understanding,"
This study is designed to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in majoring on the Biblical material relevant to "understanding ourselves" as a Christian — so we may more fully love, obey, and honor the True and Living God.
If we have been created in God's image -- and we have, and
If we are fallen people -- and we are, and
If we are living in our Father's world -- and we are, and
If Jesus Christ is our Redeemer -- and He is, and
If the Bible is God's Word to us -- and it is, and
If we are not wrestling with flesh and blood -- and we are not, then
Good counseling must take spirituality into account.
Seminar presented at Seminaire Baptiste Evangelique du Quebec. There is an Introduction with a manual and an appendix for each of the 13 sessions.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12 KJV)
The Lord Jesus came into the world to destroy the devil's work and to set captives free. One important characteristic of Kingdom ministry is leading people out of bondage into freedom from the enemy. The Bible clearly teaches that the Christian has an enemy--Satan and wicked spirits. Our enemy is described as wicked, subtle, powerful and determined to hinder us in every way possible so that the testimony and reputation of the Lord Jesus will come under suspicion. To accept the authority of the Bible means that we may not minimize the seriousness or power of sin, error or the enemy. This section includes Biblical teaching on the glory of the Lord Jesus and his victory over Satan, the vulnerability of the believer to demonic attack through sin and error, the methods used by Satan to hinder and attack the believer, and the Lord Jesus' provision for the believer's protection from demonic attack.