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Next Lesson: 

During the time of Christ, it was a 40 hour journey from Jerusalem to Damascus. It took several days. It was near Damascus where Jesus has an encounter with Saul. There was no turning back. We are told that Saul was accompanied by men (it is unknown if there were more than 2). The men led Saul to the house of Judas on Straight street. Damascus was an urban area, and an ancient trading city around Abraham’s time. Damascus means “silent is the sackcloth weaver.” It is located around 136 miles, as the crow flies, northeast of Jerusalem.  You could call it the metropolis of the country of Syria in Biblical times. And in Isaiah 7:7-8, God declares that Damascus is “the head of Syria.”  Saul was headed to the center of Syria to stop the believers of this new way. Saul was a learned man, yet he was blinded by his hatred of Jesus, and all those who followed Him. Saul was on a dark, dark path, living and breathing to pursue and snuff out anything or anyone following the way of Jesus Christ. In his mind and in his heart, he must have believed all of this as his personal service to God. His desires had dominion over his thoughts, his actions, and his entire life, not the will of God. That veil of hatred and desire to persecute believers was broken when he was enveloped by the Light of God. The Lord Himself called out his name in Hebrew, twice, to the one who considered himself a Hebrew of the Hebrews. (Philippians 3:5) The Light stopped Saul cold in his tracks and made him go low, humble himself, and pay attention when his name was called. When he rose, he was blinded in his physical body, but his heart was now open for what the Lord needed him to do. What of the house of Judas? He was a certain Jew of Damascus, and we don’t know much more. Judas is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Judah. Both words mean “praised” or “let him be praised.” It was the Hellenistic Jewish believers who were forced to leave Jerusalem following Stephen’s death. If conversion represents a change of heart, a change of behavior, a change of attitude, an application of ethics amid stress and strain, then Ananias is another conversion story we should pay attention to. It’s not like Ananias is going to be able to keep Saul’s presence a secret. It seems likely that Ananias had a household. How did they respond to his revelation: “Jesus told me we need to bring that guy we were all just worried about into our house”?

Purpose Statement - Adult Bible Study

Matthew 28: 19 and 20 are Jesus’ instructions to the community of believers. “Make disciples!” It sounds simple at the surface level. Then this instruction is broken down into 2 other instructions; “baptize and teach.” Then we are given instruction to incorporate the Father’s portion, the Son’s portion, and the Spirit’s portion. This passage then takes on a whole new level, where we are asked to address all of these instructions. 

Here at Link Church we use a “system” to accomplish these instructions as a church, and more importantly, as a family. Our Discipleship Pastor asks us to examine and follow the examples of Jesus Christ in the development and use of our spiritual empowerment.

At Link Church we use the system to disciple and deploy believers using the 4-D process of Discovery-Decide-Disciple-Deploy. There are multiple opportunities for individuals to step up to their God given potentials. The recurrent 4-F weekends of Freedom, Faith, Fire, and Family along with other outreach opportunities draw people of all ages and backgrounds into the morning services. Whether it is the Christmas outreach, Fall Festival, Children’s programs, College programs, Youth activities, men or women activities, and other such opportunities, they all bring believers into the morning services. The messages, with a monthly theme, draw the audience to decisions about God in your personal life.

It is in the morning services where the “system” gives individuals the experiences of powerful praise, wonderful worship, personal prayer, and meaningful deployment. The 99 Serve team provides multiple opportunities to use people’s talents. 

The atmosphere in small groups focus on the discovery process using biblically founded processes through a series of on ramps and off ramps towards empowered and anointed discipleship. Wednesday night Adult Bible study is one of those opportunities to discover the truths in God’s word concerning your identity and purpose in the Kingdom of God. 

As we return to our daily lives, we become the light of Jesus in a world that is desperately looking to escape the darkness. It is in this daily walk as the community of believers that we need the full armor of God and an arsenal of gifts. Believers offer a lifeline to the hurting humanity that we live, work, and play around. 

We do not battle against flesh and blood, but against darkness. God’s word warns us that we can lose an entire generation to the darkness if we do nothing. 

We have a Savior, a friend, and an advocate named Jesus. He is the head of the body of believers. He gave us grace, hope, peace, and love. He went to His father, and requested that the Holy Spirit be sent to us to be our help in time of need. 

Everything comes from the Father, He gave us His only begotten son who is our source for salvation. The Father accepted back the sacrificed lamb who was slain for our sins. Jesus asked our Father to send us the Holy Spirit. And, now Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf. 

We will study this relationship of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. More specifically we will look at the gifts that come from the Father, from the Son, and from the Holy Spirit. This all ties back to Matthew 28:19 and 20.

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