AS A DISCIPLE
Link to All Pinkney Commentary Titles
Every Believer Becomes a Disciple -
many that have received the gift, minister it to one another,
as good stewards of the manifold Grace of God
2012 PDF Edition of Complete "Disciple's Handbook"
(you will find additional content and updated corrections
from the chapter by chapter links below.)
of God's Power - PDF FILE:
How all believers may receive
'The Promise of the Father'
Through the Holy Spirit
GROWING AS A DISCIPLE
ISSUES OF DISCIPLESHIP
God has purposed that each believer born of the Spirit may
grow in the Spiritual life.
Receiving authentic Gifts not Counterfeit Ones
Jesus instructs us about receiving gifts from God. There are numerous gifts of the Holy Spirit to be accessed. The Lord teaches us that the God of heaven gives good gifts and not evil, hurtful or perverted ones. Jesus reveals fact that there are two sources of gifts; true gifts and false, spurious and dangerous gifts. God's are always good, pure and true. The scripture is found in Matthew 7:8-11 and in Luke 11:11-13: "For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." :8; "Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?" :9; "Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?" :10; "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" :11. KJV The two objects which are sought are bread and fish. God gives things which are life-giving and safe (bread, and meat.) Luke chapter eleven restates the same teaching about asking from God the Father but expands the emphasis, toward the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the living gift of God's power and presence: "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?"; "Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?" "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" -- Luke 11:11-13kjv. I have emphasized the word son to emphasize that relationship is the key to receiving from God. There are a whole lot of different kinds of seekers; some sincere and some less sincere. If a dabbler negotiates to receive a spiritual manifestation from God, it is uncertain what may transpire. But God wishes to emphasize that he is for blessing His family. He is the giver of Good gifts.
Demonically inspired gifts must be recognized as counterfeit gifts. As the devil has power to assume a pleasant face, his gifts do not redound to God's glory. So given the possibility of receiving a counterfeit gift, how can these recognized and avoided? Spurious gifts bear upon the setting and environment from which from whom this "ministry" occurs. The first line of defense against counterfeit gifts is the sincerity of the hearts who seek the promised gift from God through Jesus Christ.
Our common enemy, Satan, an opportunist, is always ready to move in to insinuate his influence. His gifts are not good gifts. His revelations are not valid revelations. His gifts are not life affirming. They bring no joy, health or liberty. Satan's gift is characterized as a stone instead of bread, as a serpent instead of pure food, something infused with poison instead of food. We must make an effort to block him from any part of our seeking, knocking, and asking. Jesus has portrayed Satan as the enemy seeking the opportunity to make a prey of the seekers life. Forewarned is to be forearmed; for this reason, it is wise to initiate safeguards and precautions as I suggested above in order to keep the deceiver out of your life and out of every spiritual transactions. There was a time when our lives were entirely under his (Satan's) control. Many of us may doubt this was the case, but the apostle Paul is very clear about this.
A couple of apostolic letters bring attention to the nature of the unredeemed life, which includes each and every life before the renewal In Christ. Paul's letter to Ephesus, Chapter 2, verses 2 and 3. "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; Among whom also we all had our conversation (lifestyle) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." KJV Paul's letter to Collosae, Chapter 1 verse 21. "And you, that were sometimes (before now) alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled"
The apostle Paul contrasts the previous unredeemed nature our previous lifestyle with the redeemed nature. In the letter to Corinth, Chapter 1 verses 10 and 11, he lists a number of these life styles; "-Neither - thieves, - covetous, - drunkards, - revilers, - extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.; And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
FOR ESSENTIAL DOCTRINES OF FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS
Paul an intellectual's intellectual and a theologian's theologian, set aside his worldly credentials when he began to minister the Gospel. Paul presents some of the most powerful insights into the conflict of intellectualism and theology. Paul experienced a total turn around in his life. The features of his traditional achievements were discarded as were the merits of his classical education. Paul declared that the things which he once esteemed and considered meritorious were now no better than "dung". The Holy Spirit drew a line of division in Paul's life. He clarified the difference between the fashion of this world and the world of God. He revealed the matters which pertained to mind and soul and matters of spirit; the thoughts of the mind versus the intents of the heart. Vanity no longer had a place in his life. Personal pride and striving for status was cast down he was given another job description. A "slave" of Christ.
It is Paul who addresses two points of doctrine which are at times in tension or contrast. First the purely Spiritual nature of the Gospel and the God-connected source of life; and secondly teachings on leadership, headship and government impacting the long-term course of this entity called "the church," the body of believers. Contradictions have occurred in this respect, that individuals are placed in positions of leadership and authority who do not have spiritual credentials but merely human approval. Spiritual enablements allows the kingdom of God to be manifest according to the apostolic model. Even in the first years of the church age we hear accounts of men like the apostles Paul and John struggling with individuals who have assumed leadership though there motivation were entirely wrong or their doctrine was corrupt. We hear Paul describe associates who tried to undermine or destroy his ministry, or who departed because their hearts turned again to the world; or of the associates who preach for personal gain; or the associates who wanted to be pre eminent and gloried in having control over people. (See 1Timothy 1:19,20 1Timothy 4:14)regarding Alexander the Coppersmith; 2Timothy 4:10 regarding Demas; 3John 1:9 regarding the person of Diotrephes.)
Next: Discipleship 08
Understanding Home Fellowships