3-15 Abiding & Bema

3-15 Abiding and the Tribunal of Christ - A Discussion

1. Discuss the moment by moment experience of ”abiding” in fellowship with the Holy Spirit as my birthright, in contrast to a fellowship that is presumably attained to through obedience. If I want to experience the continual flow of the Holy Spirit’s life, I must come to understand that God is concerned about sin because sin disrupts fellowship, and disrupted fellowship obstructs His blessings and my usefulness.

Is it my tendency to focus on obedience to a perceived list of “dos and don’ts, as if the obedience were the end-goal?  Oswald Chambers rightly states, “Freshness does not come from obedience, but from the Holy Spirit; obedience keeps us in the light as God is in the light.”

In other words, my “doing” should be the natural by-product of my “being.” The principle of abiding focuses on my relationship with the Holy Spirit, out of which His fruit is naturally produced.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.



2. Many Christians find themselves habitually living in a Romans 7 experience, and some would point at the apostle Paul to prove that he, too, had the same “struggles.”

We believe every Christian must come to recognize their human nature as hopeless. (The Law in Romans 7 serves this purpose). Paul did pass through Romans 7, as will every Christian, but he resided in Romans 8. Has God not made the same provision for me?

His nature, His Holy Spirit living in me, is more powerful than my human nature.

3. Discuss how God wants me to seek “His” eternal rewards, in contrast to the often-held belief that to seek rewards is somehow unspiritual, and at the very least a wrong motive. If I have as my goal to be satisfied with worldly desires, i.e. material things, praise, pleasures, etc., then is it wrong to have the same desire for eternal rewards?

Matthew 6:20 But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.

Matthew 19:21 “If you want to be perfect,” Jesus said to him, “go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”

But I am commanded to seek His eternal rewards, which are not of a worldly nature, i.e. they cannot be measured by my physical senses and understanding. I cannot comprehend them beforehand, anymore than a person blind from birth could comprehend “color.”

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

His nature is to be the Blesser and Rewarder who always desires to give me the very best to those who will believe Him and trust in His character. He has chosen to bless me into eternity with rewards because of His goodness and grace, not because of my goodness or merit. 

Hebrews 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.

Therefore, I need to focus my attention on eternal values (regarding myself as a stranger and alien here on earth), in contrast to the common understanding that it is perfectly fine with God if His children pursue the comforts, pleasures and material benefits during this short physical existence. The pursuit of these things is a hindrance that can cause me to not mature.

Luke 8:14 As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of life, and produce no mature fruit.

Colossians 3:1-3 So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.

4. Discuss how the quality of my life in eternity will somehow be affected by my willingness (by faith) to let the Holy Spirit make me into a useful instrument through which He can produce His fruit and accomplish His purposes here on earth.

The idea that I can “do things for God” reinforces the misconception that God is in heaven with a checklist, keeping track of things “I” do for Him.

I should quickly acknowledge that God has need of nothing I have to offer.

Then what does God expect of me?

John 6:63 The Spirit is the One who gives life.  The flesh doesn’t help at all.”

Does that mean I can do nothing? Unfortunately I can do lots of things.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 
If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.
And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

The question is, does what I do have eternal value (His life)? If what I do is motivated by the Holy Spirit it does have His life, but if it originates from me (through my human understanding) it only has temporal value for my time on earth.

5. How can I allow the Holy Spirit to use the resources He has given me?  I have varying degrees of three resources:

  1. Time
  2. Energy
  3. Possessions

God has given me control over my choices to allow the Holy Spirit to use these resources for His purposes, or I can choose to deny Him use of resources. As I allow the Holy Spirit use of those resources (building materials,  He will build for me an eternal structure of gold, silver and precious stones. 

As I deny Him use of those resources, I am building for myself a temporary structure of wood, hay and stubble.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it.
But each one must be careful how he builds on it. For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down.
That foundation is Jesus Christ. 
If anyone builds on that foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw,  each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work.  If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward
If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.

Is it not in my best interest to understand this early in my Christian walk, rather than years later?


CONSIDER:

What was the last command that Jesus gave to His disciples before He left this earth?

Matthew 18:18-20Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.
And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Was this a SUGGESTION from Jesus or a COMMAND?

Every disciple is a convert, BUT not every convert is a disciple of Jesus Christ


If you have gone through this DTI curriculum under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and your spiritual mentor, then you are equipped to come alongside a newer-in-the-faith believer and help them grow in their Christian journey.​

Prayerfully consider who the Lord would have you spiritually mentor / disciple. 

To assist you in mentoring:

THE GOALS OF SPIRITUAL MENTORING: 



  • SPIRITUAL MATURITY
    Colossians 1:28-29
     (Paul wrote) We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.
  • SPIRITUAL FRUITFULNESS
    John 15:8
     (Jesus said) My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.
  • SPIRITUAL REPRODUCTION
    2 Timothy 2:2
     (Paul wrote) You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.

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