MIF 2015: Discussion Notes

Monday: “The Assemblies Had Peace”

  1. What are some of the primary reasons that peace and unity are so important?
    • Psalm 120:6-7
    • 1 Cor. 14:33
    • Ps. 133
    • John 17:20
    • Ps. 34:14
    • Matthew 18:19
    • John 14:27
    • Acts 4:32-33
    • Ph. 1:27-30
    • Ps. 133; dwell together in unity…there the Lord commanded a blessing. These are God’s thoughts, not man’s. HE adds the blessing.
    • Eph.4:13-14 Danger of counterfeit. Opponents are also of one accord.
      Peace is also part of the fruit of the Spirit.
  2. What characteristics could be considered as evidence that we are pursuing and enjoying peace?
    • Romans 14:19
    • Matthew 5:9
    • Ph. 2:1-5; lowliness of mind
    • Prov. 28:25; humility
    • When there’s strife, how do we deal with it? Prov. 18:13>Matthew 18
    • Romans 12
    • Eph. 6:15
    • Heb. 12:14; holiness and peace are connected.
    • Heb. 12:11; chastening
    • James 3:18; fruit of righteousness is sown in peace; the word pursue is similar to the word persecute (Saul persecuting the church)
  3. How does a peaceful atmosphere imply appreciating one another rather than just tolerating one another?
    • Romans 14:17
    • Ps. 122:8 take into consideration my brethren
    • Ps. 122:6; prayer is necessary for peace
    • Col 3:12-16
    • Phil. 2:3 consider the other as more excellent than thyself; the meekness of Christ
  4. Why is it said that conditions of peace are not times for relaxation but for preparation?
    • Ps. 23 the sheep feed when there’s peaceful conditions
    • Eph. 5:15-16
    • Eph. 6:11-13
    • Praying without ceasing; lack of that is a root for lack of peace
    • Eph. 4:3
    • In an evil day there will be attacks from without and that may lead to a root of bitterness within
  5. What can we learn from the book of Philippians about links between the Holy Spirit and unity?
    • There was a difficulty in Philippi;
    • Three mentions of the Spirit:
      • 1:19; The Spirit of Jesus Christ
      • 2:1; fellowship of the Spirit
      • 3:3; worship God in the Spirit (by the Spirit of God)

Tuesday: “The Assemblies Were Edified”

  1. Building upon Romans 14:19, how does the pursuit of peace lead to the edification of one another?
    • Acts 20:32
      • Praying for one another
      • Commending to God and the word of his grace
    • In connection with Romans 14:19 read 15:2
    • Eph. 2 and 4 the body is FITLY framed and joined
    • Opposite of peace is war, dispute, criticism
    • Eph 2:19; friendship and fellowship
    • Peace also requires sacrifice
    • Eph 2:14; Christ is our peace
  2. What do we mean when we say that teaching edifies, love edifies, and so on? What does that look like?
    • 1 Kings 6:7; the materials were made ready before they came to the place of the temple
    • 1 Thess 5:10-12; we can use all our circumstances to edify one another (in joy or sorrow)
    • Eph 4:13; fulness of Christ is our goal
    • Eph 4:29
    • Edification is used in connection with the body also (not just the building)
    • Matthew 11:29
  3. Consider Barnabas in Acts 4:36-37. How did his character there and elsewhere contribute to edifying others?
    • Barnabas is not speaking; he acted when he saw the need; he sacrificed
    • He went beyond what others do. He was the one who brought Saul. In ch. 11, he sees the grace of God and he urges the brethren.
    • James 2:14-16; one who saw a need and did nothing about it; his faith was not evident
    • Josiah brought the material for the rebuilding of the temple when he saw it run down.
    • Barnabas is connected with action. He’s not averse to risk-taking.
    • 2 Chron. 30:22; Hezekiah encouraged all the Levites who taught
    • The Lord Jesus: Saw; moved with compassion; stopped and touched the coffin.
  4. Reading Acts 11:22-30, what can we learn from Barnabas the shepherd, Paul the teacher, and Agabus the prophet working together?
    • The brethren had a confidence in Barnabas that they would send him
    • A servant of Christ knows his limitations and would call on another brother to help (as Barnabas called on Saul)
    • “With one accord”; efforts have to be made to maintain this condition. When Agabus came (the prophet) he didn’t have to ask permission; he “rose up…”; he’s free to work as the Spirit directs.
    • The spirit of oneness Is. 41:6-7
    • When we want to edify others we should thank the Lord for what He is doing through others.
    • In every occurrence of Barnabas, we see him encouraging others.
    • Their ultimate desire was to see the results of edification; they were not threatened by the other servant of the Lord.
    • Barnabas means son of consolation; found 28 times; he was in tuned with the Spirit and with the people of God
  5. What features and results of edification are found in 1 Peter 2:4-9?
    • “Built up” found 8 times in 7 verses
    • “living stone” and also living sacrifice in Rom. 12:1
    • Ability to worship; free-flowing worship
    • The natural consequence of being built up is that we become linked together with other stones and the foundation.
    • Verse 4: chosen of God

Wednesday: “The Assemblies Had Power”

  1. What does walking in the fear of the Lord look like, and how does it affect our conduct?
    • 2 Sam 5:17,22
    • Introduce the Lord into every situation and to draw from Him our resources; implies reverence and love to the Lord
    • Ps. 18:23
    • Elijah: 1 Kings 17:1; 18:1,15
    • The Lord Jesus had the spirit of the fear of Jehovah: Ps. 16:4,8; 45:7
  2. What are the connecting factors between walking in the fear of the Lord and walking in the Spirit of the Lord?
    • Negative example of Ananias and Sapphira: Acts 5
    • Job 28:28
    • 1 Peter 5:5
    • The Spirit of the Lord and fearing the Lord are related
    • Acts 16:6-10
    • Eph 5:17-21
    • Example of the fear of the Lord in Isaiah 6; reality that he’s in the presence of the holiness of God
      • Result: “who will go for us”
  3. What behaviors in a local assembly would show that we are acknowledging the Lord’s presence?
    • The spirit of dependence/prayer: Matthew 18:19-20
      • Dependence on and confidence in the Lord
    • Reject man’s wisdom: 1 Cor 2:1-5
    • 1 Cor. 14:24-26
      • Confidence, readiness, and motive to edify
    • John 13:35
  4. Edification and understanding are two themes of 1 Corinthians 14. What are some links between edification and the power that impacts our communities?
    • 14:25
      • Experience of an unbeliever who comes into the assembly and is convicted
    • No mention of the Holy Spirit in this chapter; emphasis is on edification
    • 9 times “understanding” is mentioned
    • This is a corrective chapter (primarily of believers but also of unbelievers who are under exercise)
    • One of the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit is self control (of the “prophets” (14:32))
  5. Explain the connection between great power and great grace in Acts 4:33.
    • 4:31 the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and the result is great power and great grace
    • 5:12: great fear
    • In Acts, every time one is mentioned to be filled with the Spirit of God, there’s mention of the presence of God and their speech

Thursday: “The Assemblies Were Multiplied”

  1. What is the connection between being edified and being multiplied? Does it really matter whether we’re being multiplied as long as we’re being edified?
    • 1 Cor 3:5-6
      • Don’t be preoccupied with low numbers but don’t be proud of it either.
    • 1 Cor 3:10
    • Parable of the sower:
      • Mark 4
      • Seed is the Word of God and it increased
    • Colossians 1:6
    • Colossians 2:6-7
      • If we’re rooted and built up, the natural result is being fruitful
    • Genesis 50:21
    • Exodus 1:6-7
    • 2 Kings 19:30
      • Edification causes multiplication. Root downward and bear fruit upward
  2. If there is a lack of numerical growth in a local assembly, how can the root cause be diagnosed?
    • Example of growth chart for a child
    • Rev. 2 & 3
      • His eyes are as a flame of fire
      • Laodicea needed to buy eye salve and gold refined in the fire
    • Ps 139:23-24
    • 1 Cor 8:1
    • Luke 6:12
      • Prayer especially for a major situation
    • Heb 4:12
      • The searching power of the Word of God
    • Joshua 7
      • Achan stole the garment and when the elders looked into the matter, the Lord revealed the root cause to them
    • Acts 19:14-20
      • Distraction away from the Lord’s things
    • When we go to the meetings, it is to meet the Lord and to continue as the Lord may add
    • 2 Cor 4:15
    • What is our motive to come to meetings and be gathered together?
      • To be simply gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus
    • Luke 8:5
      • The seed which has life was trampled down
      • Gospel outreach that we do may be simply for the Lord’s sake to be just in judgment
    • One of the reasons we find ourselves in troublesome situations is because we do not have prayer warriors
  3. a. Does teaching the Scriptures always mean that people are fed?
    b. As a speaker, how can I know whether feeding is taking place?
    c. As a listener, what should be done if others are not giving profitable teaching?

    • Is 55:11
    • Up to the speaker to ask the listeners
    • We need to clear out the “weeds” before we can “fertilize” a plant
      • Sin must be judged before we expect growth
    • Acts 20:32
    • Colossians 4:6
      • We must know what the sheep need before we try to feed them
      • Don’t put too much salt
    • 1 Cor 14:29
    • Question A
      • Mark 4:33
      • Matt 24:45
      • 1 cor 3:2
    • Eph 4:16
    • 1 Peter 4:11
    • Question B: Prov 11:25
    • Ps. 23
      • Test my ministry/speaking whether the sheep are:
        • Resting
        • Running to the Word of God
        • Restored
    • Hebrews 5:11-12,14
      • Does it provide growth?
    • Acts 5:42
      • Don’t leave out the visiting part of the ministry
    • 2 Tim 2:15
    • 1 Cor 14
      • Understanding with edification are connected there
    • Nehemiah 8:8
      • Observation
      • Interpretation
      • Application
    • Jude 20
      • What if the speakers is not giving “profitable” ministry?
        • Build ourselves up
        • Look for solutions not excuses as a speaker and as a listener
  4. How do all our discussion topics contribute collectively to God’s blueprint for growing assemblies?
    • 1 Cor 14
      • The whole chapter is on ministry where the emphasis of the assembly is on ministry
      • The strangers coming in would fall on their face and recognize that God is truly among us
      • Give the interpretation of the Scripture and don’t use “brethrenese” language
    • Be prepared to evaluate our own circumstances.  Is there a need for peace and unity?  “Seek peace and pursue it.”  Is edification taking place?  Is there an expectation of God’s power, or are we just putting in our time in our seats as a duty?
    • Then, are we anticipating numerical growth?  Are we prepared for it?  Then we are seeking God’s blueprint for growing assemblies.

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