Introduction to IBF

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                      WELCOME TO INTERNET BIBLE FELLOWSHIP                                            1

    am thrilled that you have decided to be a             STEP ONE: Listen to the MP3 file you
    part of Internet Bible Fellowship. At any         downloaded and use the Listening Guide you
    time, if you have a question, please feel free    are provided in this PDF file. For Lesson One
to email me at biblestudy@rfmin.net. I want to        it is pages 2-3.
be available to assist you in your quest to know
God better and to be more like Him.                     STEP TWO: Read the notes following the
                                                      Listening Guide, pages 4-7.
   The goal of Internet Bible Fellowship is to
provide biblical teaching that will produce life-       STEP THREE: Do the short Bible study on
changing results in your life. I trust your goal is   page 8. Look up all the verses and answer all
to be like Jesus, not just to gain information.       the questions. Don’t forget the Challenge.
While knowing more about God and His Word
is important, the purpose in studying the Bible is      STEP FOUR: Look for next week’s email
to become more like God in our character and          with the link for Lesson 2 in it.
therefore more able to obey Him as our Lord.
                                                        God bless you as you study His Word.
   This first study is entitled The Transforming
Power of the Bible. There will be four steps in
each lesson. Read all the steps before starting
the study.
           LISTENING GUIDE FOR: THE TRANSFORMING POWER THE BIBLE                                  2

      Freedom from the Penalty of Sin              9. Did you pray along with Dr. Freeman?

1. According to Psalm 14:3, what has every           __ Yes                __ Not now
sinner done? ___________________________             __ I am already a Christian


2. According to Romans 6:23, what is the penal-
ty of sin? ______________________________               Freedom from the Presence of Sin
                                                   Justification is the freedom from the penalty of
3. According to Revelation 20:15, where will       sin; sanctification is the freedom from the
the sinner spend eternity? _________________       power of sin; and glorification is the freedom
                                                   from the presence of sin. Romans 8:30 states,
                                                   Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he
4. According to 2 Thessalonians 1:9, what is the   also called: and whom he called, them he also
punishment of God for the unbeliever?              justified: and whom he justified, them he also
   • __________________________________            glorified.
   • __________________________________
   • __________________________________            2. According to John 14:1-3, why did Jesus need
                                                   to go away? ____________________________
4. According to Romans 6:23, what has God             ____________________________________
freely given to the believer?
   ____________________________________
                                                   3. According to Luke 23:43, what did Jesus
5. What must a person believe in order to have     promise the thief on the cross?
his sins forgiven?                                    ____________________________________
   • __________________________________
   • __________________________________            4. According to 1 Corinthians 15:44, what kind
                                                   of body will we have? (15:44)
6. What does it mean that Jesus is Lord?              ____________________________________
   ____________________________________
   ____________________________________            5. Where does 1 Peter 3:22 say that Jesus is
   ____________________________________            now?
                                                      ____________________________________
7. According to Romans 5:8, what did Jesus do
for us?
                                                   6. According to Revelation 22:3, what will we
   ____________________________________
                                                   be doing in Heaven for all eternity?
                                                      ____________________________________
8. According to Romans 10:13, how do you call
on the Name of the Lord?
   ____________________________________
         LISTENING GUIDE FOR THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF THE BIBLE                                   3

       Freedom from the Power of Sin                  3. The Bible as the Word of God:
                                                        a. Revelation: Gal 4:4 Heb 1:1
1. After becoming a Christian each believer              ____________________________________
enters the process of sanctification. Note it is
called a ________________________. As you                b. Inspiration: 2 Tim. 3:16 2 Peter 1:21
have already noted in your own life, sin is pres-         ____________________________________
ent! The battle with sin will continue until the          ____________________________________
day you die or Christ returns.                            ____________________________________

2. According to Romans 12:2, what is the goal            c. Illumination: 1 Thess 1:5 Heb 4:12
of this process?
                                                          ____________________________________
    ____________________________________
                                                          ____________________________________
    ____________________________________
                                                          ____________________________________

              The Word of God                         4. What are four things we need to do with the
1. What is the Word of God able to do?                Word of God?
   ____________________________________                 a. __________________________________
   ____________________________________                 b. __________________________________
                                                        c. __________________________________
2. According to 2 Timothy 3:16,                         d. __________________________________




                                 The Word of God is profitable for:




 5. Read pages 4-8
 Make notes in the margins and underline important points.
      NOTES TO BE READ AFTER LISTENING TO THE TAPED MESSAGE                                               4

 A    nd be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of
      your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect,




L
 will of God. Romans 12:2


        ike any habit a bad attitude is easy to get,   transformed hearts by the power of the King-
        and very hard to get rid of! When our son      dom in them.
        was just two years old he developed the           Ye are of God, little children, and have
habit of rubbing his top lip with his finger. It          overcome them: because greater is he that
gave him a soothing sensation that relaxed him.           is in you, than he that is in the world.
Now, at the age of twenty-five, he often rubs             1 John 4:4
that lip when in deep concentration! Habits die           Since you are of God, the power of God
hard.                                                  resides in you and you can be an overcomer. It
   Romans 12:2 challenges us to a life of trans-       will require faith and discipline to experience
formation. The very idea of need for change            transformation. Just remember, it is God who
implies that something is not quite right. Behind      does the transforming. Listen to Paul’s words
every action is a controlling attitude, and it is      from Philippians 2:13,
these controlling attitudes that we will be dis-          For it is God which worketh in you both to
covering and transforming these next twelve               will and to do of his good pleasure.
weeks. I hope you enjoy the journey.                      “Both to will and to do” means that God will
   For many Christians the transformation is           give us two necessary ingredients to accomplish
slow and discouraging because they never deal          the transformation of our lives. First He will
with the underlying attitudes that produce the         give us the desire to be changed. Without the
undesirable actions in their lives. The Lord           working of God’s Spirit in our spirit we would
never expects us to only modify our behavior.          not even desire the right things. Romans 3:11,
He intends for our attitudes to be changed.               There is none that understandeth, there is
   Listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:21-          none that seeketh after God.
22,                                                    Second, along with the desire God will give us
     Ye have heard that it was said by them of         the ability to transform. Never think that this
     old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whoso-         means you have the power yourself! The Chris-
     ever shall kill shall be in danger of the         tian life is not a series of resolutions followed by
     judgment: But I say unto you, That                hard work. It is a life of cooperation and faith.
     whosoever is angry with his brother               We cooperate with Him by being obedient, and
     without a cause shall be in danger of the         trust Him to do the transforming work in us.
     judgment: and whosoever shall say to              Zechariah 4:6b states,
     his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of             Not by might, nor by power, but by my
     the council: but whosoever shall say,                spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
     Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.       It is still God who will do the work. But He will
Jesus was not saying that it was perfectly fine to     be doing it in cooperation with our faith and dis-
kill as long as you don’t get angry. He was            cipline.
telling His audience that God requires more               The Word of God and the Holy Spirit are the
than changed actions of those in His Kingdom.          agents of change in our lives. The first two les-
He expects their hearts to be changed as well. If      sons will focus our attention on the power avail-
you never get angry, you will never murder. His        able to us through each. Prepare your hearts for
focus was on a person’s attitude of heart. Those       a great ttime as we pursue a lifestyle of success-
in the Kingdom have the opportunity to have            ful living through transformation.
                                                                                                      5
                        THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF THE BIBLE


 F   or the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword,
     piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,




D
 and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12


         ave was a very angry young man. His           Our verse for this week, Hebrews 4:12 is a
         wife had just left him for her lesbian     powerful expression of the ability of God’s
         lover, his church had blamed him for       Word to transform us. What other book is able to
their separation, and his boss was cheating him     help us know our motives and intentions? When
on his pay. He was lonely, confused, and des-       we submit to the Word we are transformed into
perate for a change in his life. He wandered into   the character of Christ. In this study we are
our Wednesday night service asking if we could      going to see six different ways that the Bible is
pray for him. We were more than happy, not          able to transform us.
knowing that this would be the beginning of a          Psalm 62:11 says that all power belongs to
year-long transformation in which God would         God and that He has placed this power in His
prove himself both willing and capable.             Word. Consider Jeremiah 23:29,
   After several hours of prayer and some real         Is not my word like as a fire? saith the
forgiveness and healing that night Dave decided        Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the
to commit himself to study God’s Word and              rock in pieces?
believe God to transform him. Later he              Is it any wonder that so many Christians have
informed me that he had failed the psychologi-      difficulty studying the Word of God? The devil
cal test to become a state trooper. They told him   knows the power that resides there and is com-
that if they gave him a gun he would shoot          mitted to keeping us from it! He uses every
someone! I asked him if he would like the Lord      tactic at his disposal to thwart our efforts. He
to transform him so that he could pass that test    knows that the more we study the Word, the
the next year since it was only given once per      more it will transform us, and the stronger we
year. He took up the challenge.                     will become. Our weakness is his strength!
   Every Wednesday night we studied together,
reading the Word and other books. There was
not a question he was afraid to ask and God was                 POWER TO CONVICT
giving him all the answers he needed. On               The Word of God is ale to convict people of
Sunday you could always find him in the wor-        sin. No matter how hard we try, we are unable to
ship service letting God transform him inside       make people see their sin. In his book, Evidence
and out. When his boss directed him to lie to the   That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell
state about his pay he refused and felt the full    recounts a discussion with an unbeliever who he
fury of a sinner’s anger. But Dave had changed!     was challenging about the resurrection of Jesus.
He no longer could sin without remorse. The         Mr. McDowell ask if the young man would
Word was beginning to make its changes in           believe in the resurrection of Jesus if it could be
Him.                                                proven by the evidence. The man said, “No!”
   The time came for him to take his psycholog-     Reason does not bring conviction!
ical test. He passed! Praise God. But God was          Remember reading about the Day of Pente-
not finished—Dave passed every step towards         cost in Acts 2? A great many people were under
becoming a state trooper with excellence. I’ll      conviction and in verse thirty-seven Luke
never forget the day he called and told me he       records them crying out in Acts 2:37, Men and
finished his training and had ended up first in     brethren, what shall we do?” They had just
his class! Our God is an awesome God! Dave is       heard the Word of God preached to them. Peter
now remarried with three wonderful children         had given them a detailed summary of the work-
and is a testimony to the transforming power of     ing of God with Israel up to the resurrection of
the Word of God.                                    Jesus and they were pricked in their hearts and
                        THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF THE BIBLE                                          6

minds. The natural response to the Holy Spirit      R. A. Torrey in How To Obtain Fullness of
convicting us through the Word is to cry out for    Power states, “The Word of God has the power
help!                                               not only to take impurities out of the heart, but
                                                    to cleanse the outward life as well.”
                                                       Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his
       POWER TO PRODUCE FAITH                          way? by taking heed thereto according to
   The Church is full of people living sub-chris-      thy word. Psalm 119:9
tian lives. They were saved by faith but have          Only through the daily washings of the Word
been living by works. Colossians 2:6 says,          will we be able to clean the pollution of the
   As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus       world off our lives. Many years ago I had the
   the Lord, so walk ye in him:                     privilege of performing in the Rose Bowl in
They have forgotten to walk by faith and have       Pasadena, California, for a Forth of July cele-
reverted to the only means they know–sight.         bration. Our music group, representing John
What you see is what you get! Faith has only        Brown University, a small Christian college,
been applied to their regeneration experience,      was to perform several numbers for the packed
their beginning step, but not their ongoing         stadium. I was thrilled and ready to do my best.
walk. Romans 10:17 gives us a clear expression      Just as our leader started the count I took a deep
of where we can obtain faith.                       breath to play my trombone and began cough-
   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hear-       ing. The pollution was so thick and heavy it had
   ing by the word of God.                          invaded my lungs and I was unable to play!
   It always amazes me how we seem to do all        After several drinks of water and many small
the wrong things when our faith is weak! We do      breaths I finally joined the rest of the group!
everything to keep it weak, making it even             It is impossible to live in this world without
weaker! We retreat from worship and involve-        the pollution entering our lives. The decadence
ment with other Christians. Sermons seem con-       is everywhere–in movies, television programs,
demning rather than uplifting. And the Word is a    radio, music, school locker rooms, in the work-
distant friend.                                     place, even in our churches! I remember can-
   Some years ago a member of my church             celling a church bowling league because of the
shared that he had been told he had cancer and      ungodliness! Only the Word of God is able to
he was terrified. Who wouldn’t be at the            wash us clean. Read it every day.
prospects of an early death? Nothing seemed to
help until we began to claim the truths in the
Word of God for him. God flooded his heart                POWER TO BUILD CHARACTER
with hope because His Word was filled with             The source of our growth in Christ is the
hope. The young man left with the peace that        Word of God. Have you ever heard the phrase,
only God can give and remains that way even         “You are what you eat”? Well, if you eat the
today!                                              Word of God. Get it into your spirit through con-
                                                    tinual reading, memorizing, and obeying, you
                                                    will become just like it! Consider 1 Peter 2:2.
            POWER TO CLEANSE                           As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk
   Sustained times in the study of the Word can        of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
cleanse us without our even knowing what God        Acts 20:32 has the same idea in mind when Paul
is doing. There is power in the Word that works     says,
when we are unaware. Ephesians 5:25-26,                And now, brethren, I commend you to God,
                                                       and to the word of his grace, which is able
  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ            to build you up, and to give you an inheri-
  also loved the church, and gave himself for          tance among all them which are sanctified.
  it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it         The Word of God is able to build us up. Can you
  with the washing of water by the word.            think of any other spiritual food that is as well-
                         THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF THE BIBLE                                          7

balanced as God’s Word. There are some who            children, and go to seminary, I needed wisdom
only listen to their favorite preacher, or evangel-   from the Lord. I prayed. I talked to my pastor,
ist. While hearing sermons will help you grow,        and to other believers seeking God’s wisdom on
they can not do the work like the Word of God.        the matter. One night while I was deep in prayer,
Al Metsker, the great leader of Youth for Christ      with great heaviness of heart over this decision
in Kansas City, was dogmatic about this issue.        the Lord gave such clear wisdom to me through
More than once I heard him tell our teenagers,        the Word. It was as if the verses were written
“The Word of God does the work of God!” I can         just for me—and God made them spring out of
still hear him shouting it at the top of his lungs    the page at me. He spoke so clearly these words
so you would not forget it.                           from Proverbs 4:11-12,
   It is impossible to sustain spiritual growth          I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I
without the study of God’s Word. You will not            have led thee in right paths. When thou
be able to identify God’s voice without His              goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and
Word to give you a guide. As you read the sto-           when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
ries of God’s workings with individuals you will      He said that if I would pursue wisdom I would
be able to understand His activities in your own      be successful. I quit my job, enrolled in semi-
life. Consider David. With Saul and most of           nary, moved my family and have never looked
Israel searching for him in order to end his life,    back!
David refused to complain. He knew that God              The Word of God has the power to give
had spoken to Him; he had eaten the Word of           wisdom. Read Psalm 119:130 very carefully,
God and it had made him strong in faith! He              The entrance of thy words giveth light; it
wrote these words in Psalm 11:7                          giveth understanding unto the simple.
   The Lord also will be a refuge for the             Wisdom follows the one who digs deeply into
   oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And       the Word of God.
   they that know thy name will put their trust
   in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken
   them that seek thee.                                           POWER TO PROTECT
   Psalm 119:11                                          In such a dangerous world where the devil is
   Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I          so actively fighting the cause of Christ, even in
   might not sin against thee.                        our homes and churches, the protection of the
   Psalm 119:16                                       Word of God is a necessity. The Word of God
   I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will      will protect us from error and sin—those things
   not forget thy word.                               that will destroy us. Listen to Paul in 2 Timothy
The Word of God build him up so that he could         3:13-15,
stand even under extreme circumstances.                  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse
                                                         and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
                                                         But continue thou in the things which thou
         POWER TO GIVE WISDOM                            hast learned and hast been assured of,
   James 1:7 says, If any of you lack wisdom, let        knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally,        And that from a child thou hast known the
and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.           holy scriptures, which are able to make
But how does God give wisdom? Too often we               thee wise unto salvation…
wait for some answer to come out of the air,             As you constantly feed on the Word of God
hoping God will just speak His Word to us             you will be protected from committing errors.
directly. While God does give us direction in our     Silliness and foolishness are wrapped up in the
spirit, His clearest and most used way to impart      heart of the believer who has neglected the
wisdom is through His written Word.                   Word and remains immature in his walk.
   When I was struggling over whether or not I
should quit my job, pack up my wife and three
                 THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF THE BIBLE: REVIEW                                              8

 A    nd be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of
      your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect,
 will of God. Romans 12:2


1. According to Romans 12:2, What does God expect from us?
_________________________________________________________________________________

2. According to Philippians 2:13, what two things will He do for us?
   • ____________________________________________________________________________
   • ____________________________________________________________________________

3. According to Hebrews 4:12, What is the Word of God able to do?
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

   Psalm 62:11 says that all power belongs to God and that He has placed this power in His Word.
Consider Jeremiah 23:29, Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that
breaketh the rock in pieces? Next week we will be looking at the power of the Word of God to trans-
form our lives.

4. Read the following Scripture references and match them to the power of the Word revealed in each.
    • Acts 2:37                                                             Power to Protect
    • Romans 10:17                                                          Power to Give Wisdom
    • Psalm 119:9                                                           Power to Build Character
    • 1 Peter 2:2; Acts 20:32; Psalm 119:16                                 Power to Cleanse
    • James 1:7; Psalm 119:130                                              Power to Produce Faith
    • 2 Timothy 3:13-15                                                     Power to Convict




 CHALLENGE
5. Each week you will be challenged to apply to your own life what you have studied.


                      It is the desire of my heart to be transformed into the image of Christ. I will
                      read the Word of God each day and submit myself to its transforming power.
                                               Signed _________________________________________________


7. Homework for next lesson:
    • Memorize Romans 12:2