But with this global move of God's Spirit comes a problem. The Church is outgrowing its capacity to train leaders. The greatest need in many parts of the world today is for teaching.
Project 21 is part of the answer to this wonderful problem. This manual has been compiled not just to teach you, but to equip you for the task of teaching others.
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth" 2 Timothy 2:15.You are a workman with God. But every workman needs tools. The main tool you have been given is the "word of truth". The word of God is described as a sword (Ephesians 6:17), but a sword needs to be handled properly.
When correctly handled, the word of God is anointed by the Holy Spirit to do a deep work in a person's life (Hebrews 4:12). But before you can teach the living word of God, you must first allow that word to do a work in your own life. We can only truly teach what has become real for ourselves.
Four Traps to Avoid
As we study the Bible, we must be aware of four subtle traps:
The Ever-Learning Trap
"...always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth" 2 Timothy 3:7.It is not good enough just to read the Bible. Head-knowledge doesn't bring real change.
"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear" 2 Timothy 4:3.
"You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me..." John 5:39.It is not enough to be Bible-centered. The Pharisees were the most Bible-centered people in Jesus' day. We must be Christ-centered. The Bible has been designed by God to be the foundation of a Christ- centered life. The purpose of studying God's word is to be better equipped to walk with God.
"If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear" Mark 4:23.Man-made traditions can make our ears dull of hearing. We can nullify the word of God through empty religion - a cultural Christianity that gives only lip-service to the words of Jesus.
"...Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition" Matthew 15:6.
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" James 1:22 (see also v.23-25; Luke 11:28; 1 John 2:5).God's purpose is to conform you to the likeness of His Son (Rom.8:29). This is why He has given you His word. He wants you to gain "the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness" (Titus 1:1) so that you will not be "ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:8).
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" Matthew 5:6.Spiritual hunger is the beginning point of a work of God's Spirit. Ask the Lord to give you a hunger for knowing Him.
"I keep asking that [God]...may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better" Ephesians 1:17.When the Holy Spirit takes a truth in His word and makes it alive to you, this is called revelation. As you read Project 21, ask the Lord for a revelation of His truth (read 2 Cor.4:6).
"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ" Romans 10:17.Faith is our response to a revelation of God's word. Faith must be mixed with the message for it to have an effect in our lives.
"For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith" Hebrews 4:2.
"But the word of God grew and multiplied" Acts 12:24 (NKJB).This manual has been designed with a multiplication effect in mind. It is not just meant to be read, but to be taught to others.
"And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" 2 Timothy 2:2.The three Stages of Project 21 is not just for you to learn but for you to teach. And you can teach others to teach others...to teach others...to teach others. In this way, God's word multiplies through you.
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Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures quoted in these studies are from the New International Version of the Bible, & copy; New York International Bible Society, used by permission. Other versions referred to are: KJV (King James Version), NKJB (New King James Bible), TLB (The Living Bible), Amp (The Amplified Bible) and The Message. All versions used by permission.
These studies are "graceware" - distributed freely and without obligation. If you would like to help financially in the continuation of this ministry, you can send your gift to:
P.O. Box 1033
For more information on Bible studies available, visit the Churchlink site on the World Wide Web at http://www.churchlink.com.au/churchlink. Enquiries to: [email protected]