Soma School Day 1-Jeff Vanderstelt

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4 questions to ask:

  1. Who God is?
  2. What He has done for us?
  3. Who He has made the church to be? (Who we are?)
  4. What He has saved and created us to do? (What we do?)

How do you define the church?

  • Not a building
  • Most people define the church by what she does
  • We are who we are because of what God has done. Our living is the outworking of who God is and what He has done.
  • The church needs to be defined much bigger than what we do.
  • Genesis 1-2- Who is God- Creator? Communal (Triune); Teacher; Holy; Provider; source of what is true and good; Ruler; Sovereign; Eternal

To know the Scriptures and not know God is to not have eternal life. If you get the Scriptures and you don’t get God you get hell. It is not defined by what we know but who we know.

  • Understanding the character and nature of God can help you discern without knowing every verse in the Bible.
  • The outflow of our lives comes from who we are.
  • Because we are children of God we should imitate God our Father and everything should look like Him. When we call people to look like God without new birth is wrong.
  • We are created. Created in the image of God. We are relational-made for community. We are both learners and teachers (disciple). We are to be holy as well (set apart).

How do we live?-

  • We create in such a way that they are image bearers after us. God has made us to create to be fruitful and multiply.
  • We live in community in unity in love. –if you are not in community and not in love you are living in a way other than how you were made. It is at the core of who we are. The enemy is ruling and making people segregated and separated. We need to say we are not of this world and we go a different flow than the culture goes.
  • If people live in isolation they believe they are sufficient alone and the primary way I define myself is I am an individual-individualism built around myself, identity. The gospel rescues us from individualism and isolation.
  • The most powerful truths are in the gospel and all truths point to Jesus- the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are God’s people, saved by His power for His purposes.

  • Romans 1:16  Our motivation for sharing the gospel is not because we have a debt to pay. But because the debt has been paid. – Propitiation
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21- Jesus removes sin from us and exchanges righteousness to us.
  • Grumbling and complaining is a sense that we deserve far better than what we got and misunderstand grace. We deserve death and spiritual separation from God.
  • 1 Cor 1:- at the heart of the resurrection is the power to conquer sin and death
  • Salvation is not merely cancelling the debt and going to heaven when we die. The gospel is that God saves us today. Justification to Sanctification. – Philippians 2:12-13 Salvation is not just what happened it is what is happening.
  • The gospel of our salvation is at work in us today to change us and give us the desire to do what God wants.

God always calls us to do things which we cannot do apart from His own power! To think otherwise is a lie. Every sin is unbelief in Jesus in some way.

When we are not doing things in the strength God provides we will be worn out by trying to do it in our own power and strength.

1 Peter 1:2-3- living hope

The biggest problem people have in not living on mission is they fail to realize their future hope which is secure in heaven.

Jesus is our refuge your home is a place of ministry. Your home is not a place of refuge- Jesus is. Use wisdom but don’t live in fear.

The purpose of the gospel-how we live:

Ephesians 2:8-9 – it is not up to us to save people- God has prepared good works for us. We are stepping into His work. The hardest work is dying to self because when it becomes all about you it is hard work. We are saved by God’s work for God’s work.

Ephesians 1- God chose us in Christ before the creation of the world so we would be set apart for His purposes.

Why were you saved? For the praise of His glorious grace. We were saved so God would be glorified in all things. When it is all about Him it works but when it is all about us it is broken.


To live out the purpose of the gospel means we show what the Kingdom of God looks like as we submit to Jesus and His rule and reign. It’s not our job to get them to submit but to show them what it looks like.

We not only live a life that shows this but proclaim the gospel and make disciples.

Discipleship= Jesus is not saying go find Christians and make them stronger Christians. Discipleship is evangelism. If you do not share the gospel so that people can be saved then you are not doing discipleship. Preach the word in season and out of season and do the work of an evangelist. The way they get saved and grow up is proclaiming the gospel. It is all evangelism. Real discipleship is evangelism.

If they do not know how to share the gospel with believers and unbelievers you are not doing discipleship.

Purposes= If you have purposes without power you will have tired worn out people because they are putting all their hope in what they do and not what God does. We want to be a church that knows that it is by God’s power that He works out His purposes in our life and it’s for God’s purposes that He exerted His power to save us.