Keep an Uplifted Spirit through Discipleship

I can’t think of a better way to keep an uplifted spirit than through discipleship. As Christians, it’s what is expected of us. But many of us may think that being a disciple is something out of reach; something reserved for pastors, church ladies, and elders. Or, we may think of the twelve disciples who went out into the world spreading Jesus’ Word, and were responsible for much of the New Testament (heady stuff to live up to!). But before we become concerned that others may be better equipped for the job than we are, let’s look at what discipleship really means.

For us as Christians, to be a disciple is to be a follower and student of Jesus. In John 8:31-32 (NIV), Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” And in Luke 9:23, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

It’s about first drawing closer to Him; committing to a personal relationship with Him. Then when we ‘walk as He walked,’ we inspire others to do the same. It’s not about being “holier than thou” or an “expert.” Even some of the “original twelve” didn’t get it right at first (in Matthew 8:23-27, the disciples questioned Jesus’ abilities; in Luke 22:54-60, Peter, fearing persecution, denied he even knew Jesus; and in John 20:24-25, Thomas doubted that Jesus had returned until he saw the scars in His hands).

To strengthen our faith, in order to become better disciples, it seems we have to first develop the discipline to do as Jesus did. We can begin to mirror His behavior by:

  1. Consecration. If the first thing we do in the morning is to turn to the (insert media or vice here), it’s time to break the cycle! (Matthew 6:33; Phillipians 4:8)
  2. Praying daily (Philippians 4:6-7).
  3. Reading and meditating on The Word daily: to be a student, you’ve got to open The Book! (Deuteronomy 17:19).
  4. Keeping God’s Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17).
  5. Being a “doer of The Word” (James 2:26; 1Corinthians 7:17-24).
  6. Fasting (Isaiah 58:6).
  7. Controlling what we say (James 1:26): even Jesus spoke in parables.
  8. Giving our testimony.  Our successes on the journey will inspire others (Psalm 19:7). 

Finally, I think my favorite passage, Romans 12:1-2, says it best: 

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Through His Will, and with Jesus as our teacher, yes, we become disciples – and our own lives can become a reason for others to believe.

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Elder Kenneth Hammonds – What Is Holiness? Part 1

The world today calls for the church to live in holiness and righteousness. God calls us as His people to maintain our connection to Him; to be a people set apart from the ways of society, and to use our lives to bring light into the darkness of the world. In the first of a 3-part series for “The Elders’ Corner,” Dr. Kenneth Hammonds discusses the meaning of holiness through linguistics, and through understanding the nature and wonder of God Himself.  Presented at West Angeles’ Wednesday Night Bible Study.

What Is Holiness?

In order to study the meaning of holiness, we must start with God. God is the beginning of holiness. Before the beginning of creation was God, who existed in all of His splendor by Himself, of course in the persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But some theologians assert that God’s holiness – or His “otherness” – is His key attribute; the central core and foundational attribute of His nature and character.

One pastor, Pastor Jim McClarty, made a great statement which said, “God is unlike any other, and His holiness is the essence of His otherness.”

Defining Holiness through Language

Let’s look at some of the basic concepts of holiness through linguistics, in both its Hebrew and Greek foundations in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

In Hebrew, the word is Kadosh, which means “sacred or holy.” This word is used many times in the Old Testament, in the book of Leviticus. In the Greek (in the New Testament), the word is Hagios, which means, to be holy; to be sacred, to be set apart by or for God as holy or sacred.” The Greeks used the word in their temples. A third word, Ekklesia means “church, assembly, congregation, convocation.” It is made of two words: ek which means “out of,” and klesia, from the word kaleo, which means “to be called.” The church is not the building! To be the church is to be called out as the assembly for God’s purpose.

Three words summarize the linguistic foundation of holiness and what it is. Holiness is:

  1. DIFFERENT – standing out from the ordinary
  2. SET APART – for purpose, mission, and service to God
  3. BEAUTIFUL – the splendor, the beauty of our life and of our witness; holiness is attractiveness

In other words, to live holy means that we are called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.

What Does Holiness Mean To Me?

Some questions about holiness we may ask:

  • “How do we know God is holy?” We know because God reveals, proclaims, and declares Himself as Holy to mankind. Leviticus 11:44 says, “Be Holy because I am Holy.”
  • “God is holy, but can He impart holiness to humans?” God says that it is possible, and it can be done.  Indeed without Him, you cannot be Holy. His nature makes it possible. You can be different; you can be set apart, but it takes His impartation of holiness to be set apart to God.
  • “Why is holiness required or indispensable?” Holiness is indispensable in the time in which we live, and in New Testament theology. It is absolutely required and indispensable to show God’s work in the lives of human beings. In you, as a holy human being, others have seen a difference in your life! The impartation of God’s holiness speaks to others about God’s work in our lives, which is for the benefit of mankind. Because others live holy, mankind benefits, simply because someone is set apart for God’s service. Most importantly, the reason we do anything and everything is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31 –

“We do all things for the glory of God.”

So, holiness is to be lived and enjoyed!

Conclusion

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. That is the holiness that God gives, and it is also the holiness of what God is. As you look at the words we’ve discussed above, you see that the nature of holiness is good. Holiness means being set apart. If you are a set apart being, then you are beautiful.

Therefore:

Be beautiful! Called-out! Set apart!

God Bless you!

Adapted from “Let’s Talk About It: Holiness,” by Dr. Kenneth Hammonds, Dr. Wilfred Graves and Elder Oscar Owens, 11/11/2015, at the West Angeles North Campus Sanctuary.


FOR FURTHER STUDY:

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 2 Peter; Isaiah 6:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Romans 1:6, Leviticus 11:44 , 1 Corinthians 10:31.  See also: Strong’s Concordance, and the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon.

JOIN US FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY!  Delve deeper into the Word of God as dynamic pastors, theologians and speakers from across the country present riveting insights on the Bible, the basis of our faith. Please join us at West Angeles each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the North Campus Sanctuary, 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Visit Westa.org or phone:(323) 733-8300 for more information.

THE WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM –  Want to learn about the promises of God? Hear this entire sermon in its entirety on CD or DVD.  Visit us at the West Angeles Christian Emporium where you’ll find a variety of Bible translations, books on Christian life, devotionals, and more. Visit us in the lobby after each service, or visit us at  3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone: (323) 731-3012 for hours and directions.

 

 

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Ministerial Training

ministerial training

MINISTERIAL TRAINING

“Under the worst possible conditions, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Go out and catch fish'” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

ministerial training
Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. has established West Angeles Church of God In Christ as an educational ministry.  We offer training and testing for Ministers through our Counseling Center.  We also provide Evangelist Missionary training and certification through our Bible College. 

“As soon as we forget the importance of evangelism, we’re destined to die,” said Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake. “If you win souls to Jesus Christ, you’ll have all the money you need to do the work of the Lord.  People want to feel welcome. If you have people coming to your church but no one ever embraces them, they’re going to find someplace else to go.

“I know you might be tired…you’ve been working hard and not getting the results you want. Jesus knew what to do to catch fish, and if we’re gonna hang with Jesus, we need to get some strong nets! Just do something different from what you’re doing right now. ‘They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; they will mount up on wings of eagles.’ I charge you now,” continues Bishop Blake, “to step into that which fulfills your destiny in God.

“You don’t need gimmicks. Just preach the Word of God.”

Equip Your Ministry

The West Angeles Counseling Center offers ministerial testing and evaluation programs for those who are called to ministry.  We also help your church gather the resources to better serve your community.  The West Angeles Counseling Center is a Certified Academic Institution for the National Christian Counselors Association. 

For the West Angeles Christian Counseling Center – Please call: (323) 737-7463 to set up your session.

For the West Angeles Bible College – Please call: (323) 733-8300, extension 2345.

To purchase the DVD set of the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference, a 2-day conference with benchmarks for building a successful, fruitful ministry, please visit our West Angeles Christian Emporium page HERE.

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. on the 12 key decisions he employed in establishing West Angeles Church of God In Christ as a successful ministry:

  1. Serve and know God.”
  2. “Be a man of moral and spiritual integrity.”
  3. “Love God with all your heart.”
  4. “Strive for excellence.”
  5. “Treat the church as a business.”
  6. “Limit your income.”
  7. “Share ministry with others.”
  8. “Invest in growth and in staff.”
  9. “Invest in the music ministry.”
  10. “Crossed denominational borders.”
  11. “Become known in the community. Know your politicians.”
  12. “Test the limits…The church exists for the glory of God.”

MInisterial Training

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