Gospel Essentials

Studying the Word Together

Studying the Word Together

The Gospel is the message and truth all people must know in order to be saved from their sin and have eternal life. 1 Timothy 2:3-4 says that this truth is “good and acceptable in the sight of God, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” in order for them to be saved. This truth is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only way of salvation from the wrath of God.

I have been privileged to be mentored in the Word of God by some incredible people in my life since I was saved in 1969.  Daniel Carfrey continues to be one of those men. He was my pastor from 1985 to 1990 and continued to mentor me after I became a church planter, pastor and missionary. Others have meant much to me as well and influenced my thinking through their writings.

Pastor Dan wrote and taught a series called “Gospel Essentials” when he was pastoring the Grace Bible Church. It is a great resource of teaching about who Jesus Christ is and what He has done to accomplish our salvation and why. I share this study with you in the hopes of it strengthening your faith as it has mine over the years. We will rejoice together at “the  depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”

You can access this study HERE.

I’ve included in the study material learned from Herb Hodges and share from his book “Counterparts.”  It is another great study on the Lord Jesus Christ and available from Spiritual Life Ministries, 2916 Old Elm Lane, Germantown, TN 38138. I encourage all to buy this book, reasonably priced at $10 plus shipping.

“Getting the Gospel Wrong” by Dr. J. B. Hixson, Xulon Press, 2008 is another worthy read. I have added some material from this book to the study as well. You can find it online HERE.

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Jeff Hawkins
HIMAfrica/HIMIndia
Serving with Hope Builders Ministries

The Wonderful Word of God

Study Bibles for Pastors in Zambia

Study Bibles for Pastors in Zambia

Believers must have the Word of God and be growing in the Word of God to be disciples of Jesus Christ. HIMAfrica working with Hope Builders Ministries Zambia networks with Christians in America to provide the much needed Word to Pastors and Believers who do not have ready access to a Bible. HIMIndia does the same for the brethren in India we are blessed to work with. Here we take for granted that every believer can afford and access a Bible. This is not the case in much of the World. Your can be a blessing to your brothers and sisters in Africa and India by making regular and generous contributions to our Bibles for Believers program. Check it out.

Along with this I want to share with you a word from my friend Herb Hodges. This dear man of God is a disciple maker. You will be blessed reading this word of encouragement from his November newsletter. You can also access his sermon “The Wonderful of God” at this link.

May you be ever blessed as you pursue the LORD in His Word and His mandate to make disciples “to the ends of the earth to the end of time.”
Jeff Hawkins
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Dear Fellow Members in the Forever Family of our Father in Heaven,

I am appealing to the Holy Spirit for the special fulfillment of Ephesians 1:15-19 as I write—with special emphasis on the request that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge (Greek, epignosei, full knowledge, relational knowledge, friendship knowledge—i.e. not merely academic knowledge, head knowledge, but heart knowledge) of Him, the eyes of your understanding (kardia, heart) being enlightened (“opened up and flooded with light”); that you may know (know by seeing, perceive) what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.”  Over the years, God has by His grace given me numerous messages on these incredible verses, and each has blessed me immeasurably.

God has laid a familiar verse on my heart in recent days and hours, and has “thrown more light upon His Word”.  The verse is II Timothy 2:15, which says, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman (ergaten, a “laborer” or “field-hand”) that doesn’t need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”  The word translated “rightly dividing” is a massive world-in-a-word, the word orthotomounta.  It is a combination of two Greek words: the word “ortho”, which means “right” or “straight” (orthodoxy is right or straight doctrine; orthopraxyis right or straight practice; as an example, an orthodontist is a doctor who straightens irregular teeth); and the word tomounto, which mean to cut or to divide.  This means that I must not take liberties with God’s Word of Truth.  Charles Spurgeon said, “You don’t have to defend or correct a line of Scripture; it is like a lion—just let him out of the cage and he will take care of himself!”

However (and here comes a major proviso)—you must learn how to “cut straight” each word of the Word of God, and lay it open in its full content, and as nearly to the full intent of its original use in the Biblical sentence as possible as is possible for you to detect, depending always on the Original Author, the Holy Spirit (the context).  Let me emphasize that we must read and study not just “the Word of God” in a translation, but the words of the Word of any text (after all,there would be no full Word without its giant lineup of separate words.  Any student who does not learn to “straight-cut” to the bottom of each word is not obedient to the rule of Jesus:  “Man lives by every word (emphasize every word) that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  You simply cannot fairly deal with every word unless you deal adequately with each word.  Remember that “all Scripture is God-breathed (i.e., it “proceeded out of the mouth of God”, generated by His breath), and is profitable (valuable, advantageous) for doctrine for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17).  This is the essential exegesis (“leading out”) with which all true Biblical exposition and explanation begin.

Let me interrupt the flow of the ideas here with an aside—though it surely is not incidental to our understanding!  John 1:18 says about Jesus that “No man has seen God at any time, but the Only-One-of-a-Kind Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (NASV).  “He has led Him out”—from invisibility into visibility, out of the unknown into the fully known.  Again, the Greek word exegeoma, or exegeted, means to “spell out”, to “expose”, to “make obvious”.   Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”  So the true student of Scripture will learn to take any key word of the text and “lead it out”—from invisibility to visibility, from the darkness of obscurity, isolation, ignorance, into the full light of complete exposure and awareness; from the indifference of the carnal heart into the “red alert” of full apprehension of its meaning, appreciate of its message, and application—so that a generationally multiplying lifestyle is the unmistakable result. 

Long ago, the patriarch Job said to God, “I have esteemed the words of Thy mouth to be more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12).  May God give to each of us an insatiable appetite for His Word!   May the attached message drive you to the Book, with a craving to be satisfied.  Enjoy both the Menu and the Meal! 

Herb Hodges
Spiritual Life Ministries
2916 Old Elm Lane
Germantown
, TN38138
(901) 758-2777
herbslm@mindspring.com
www.herbhodges.com

The Wonderful Word of God