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This beautiful term, “through a glass darkly” is found in the Old King James Bible and it is referring to looking into a poor quality mirror getting some distortion in your reflection or as the Darby translation puts it, “through a dim window obscurely”. The “glass darkly” effect of seeing the truth of the Bible only in part is caused by the lapse of time, the history of the Church, non-Spirit led people, a denominational accommodating theology to justify a particular stance and our fallibility as humans. In many cases these factors have caused us at times to be unfaithful to His Word.

Some may read this book and say I am a literalist or purist but before you judge me please consider God’s Word when it says in Ephesians 4:5, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism”, which could be a catch-cry for unity in the Body of Christ the Church, but sadly many differ in what even this statement means. 

A rhetorical question, “Who can say they are 100% correct in their perspective of understanding Scripture?” Here is the challenge; could we make a statement of faith based on Ephesians 4:5 that will bring unity? And if most of us are honest we will say, “I am right and if you adopt what I say then everything will be fine”. Of course this position is unworkable when viewing an attempt of unity.

A synergistic understanding of the Bible requires a three point perspective. One, the Bible is God’s Word. Two, the Bible is settled whether I understand it or even believe it. Three, I am blessed if I believe it and follow its direction for my life.

While reading this book please consider that God has placed in creation and in His Word a synergy when adhered to will bring a unity.

The term, “Sacrament”[1]
for the Christians has haunted the Church from the emergence of the Roman
Catholic Church in the third century when Constantine made Christianity the
official religion of the Roman Empire. They viewed a sacrament as a religious
rite of passage, as a way of receiving God's grace. It has been and is seen by
certain parts of the Church as a means by participating in or working for God’s
favour. These rites of passage established by the priests of the Roman Catholic
Church, have caused the faith of many to suffer shipwreck.



Religious Sacraments are a
set of rituals or ceremonies held by the
traditional Church seen as a means of gaining
God’s love and grace
by conferring some specific grace upon those
who receive them. The list is as follows;
b
aptism, confirmation, communion
(
Eucharist), penance (confession), holy orders
(setting people aside for ordination to ministry), matrimony, and the anointing
of the sick. Today we may even see in the Pentecostal Church another sacrament
of “the offering” in order to gain God’s grace and love
. The
Roman Catholic Church believes that the Sacraments ‘are
the second part of God's way of salvation to us.[2] In addition to the previous statement the
Roman Catholic Church believes, ‘
that the Roman
Catholic
Church is the universal sacrament of salvation…,
…Anticipating the Second Vatican Council,  the great theologian Henri de
Lubac depicted the Church as the “Sacrament of Christ
[3]. Thus we conclude that the traditional Church view
Sacraments as a way of salvation through observance of works or allegiance.



It is my view that the
sacraments listed in the previous paragraph as a way of receiving God's grace
and love are a misnomer an
inaccurate understanding of the Bible, and they are heresies, because they are
used as a way of saying we can gain more grace from God by doing them, instead
of doing them in remembrance, to signify a new stage in spiritual life and in
obedience to a command. My understanding of the word, “heresy”, unlike the traditional
Church’s view, and that is it is a teaching that conflicts with what the Bible
says.



You may say, “Where do you find the word, “sacrament” in Scripture? Since it is
not there it is surely permissible for anyone to choose to put any
interpretation on it.” My answer to that is, ‘Correct we do not find it in
the Bible. But it is how the traditional Church has used this terminology and
interpretation to control or even hold some in fear of not receiving salvation
through justification by faith, but the questionable teaching of following some
traditions to gain grace,  needs to be
addressed’.



Therefore
it is my aim in this book to show that once we see that God has chosen a person
or group in each generation in Church history to bring a certain perspective to
the overall theology. Each perspective was and is only a stepping stone for the
next generation to stand on. We must stop thinking of doctrine as a closed door
and move onto the unity of faith and not the unity of dogma.



In this
book we will use the canon of Scripture which is commonly known as the
Protestant Canon. I have chosen this one to use as it is the oldest accepted
canon. It had been accepted by the Catholic Council of Carthage, Africa in A.D.
397. The word, “Protestant” may seem to be an anachronism, since
“Protestantism” per se refers to the
time of the Reformation in the 13th century.



If
we believe a doctrine, we need to be brave enough to publish it in some form,
but it is from this point onwards that it is open to investigation and possible
rebuttal. But let us not shrink away from this type refutation but continue to
investigate what we believe.



In this book we will study
what I believe is the only act that makes God happy with us and we will reflect
upon what does please Him too.










This booklet of study lessons is not a complete study in any of the fields of study, but nevertheless we believe that this set of study notes cover most topics that are required for a new Christians. This booklet is only an introductory to more develop studies and it is hoped that from these lessons that the new Christian will develop a hunger to study the Word of God more deeply.

Once we are saved, we all need Bible studies that are in reach of our understanding. This set of notes dovetails into a course conducted by Tony Smits of the CRC Australia in addition to lead into Vision Christian College, Sydney Australia. We conduct this through Traillblazer Ministries in different locations. There is no limit to any person who wishes to study the Word of God. You can study all your life and you will find more as you delve deeper into His Word.

The young Christian may have many questions over a wide range of subjects. The purpose of this booklet is to secure the young Christian into the body of Christ with a basic understanding of how the Word of God is relevant to his or her life.

A Christian who doesn’t study the Word of God will not be able to live to the fullness of what God has promised to him or her. The enemy is trying to steal away our peace, and finally destroy us, hoping we will turn away from God.  

2Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as an approved worker who has nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of truth with precision. (ISV) 

Here we see we are to study His Word, to be approved workers, which is right, but let us look at the second part of this statement.

               handling the word of truth with precision.

The word precision has an implication of importance and we need to know how to handle it in our defence against the enemy.  We need to understand the Word of God clearly, so that we can extinguish the fiery arrows of the enemy.

Now if you agree with me, you see the importance of studying the Word of God. Let me make some suggestions on how to use this book. Each study has a set of questions and you should write them in your study book. The individual and the group leader may use this booklet for studying His word.

For the individual

a)     The individual should take some time in prayer, before asking the Holy Spirit to open to you revelations about His Word.

b)    You will need your Bible when studying these studies. Why? Because you will need to check up on me to see what is written is in accordance with the Word of God. You are responsible for your walk with God.

c)     You will need to make some notes as you are studying; therefore you will need a pencil and a notebook. I would also recommend that you write your revelations in your Bible.

For group leaders

1)    For group leaders open with a time of pray and or worship.

2)    You could do these lessons over a period of one year taking two weeks or more for each study as you see fit.

3)    It is beneficial to have group discussion about the topic, but leaders must take a few hours to study the notes to gain personal revelation before the meeting.

4)    A leader is to lead, but if you are only reading the notes at the same time as everyone else, you have not studied and found yourself approved.

5)    Again everyone should have his or her own Bible, Pencil and notebook.

Finally this booklet is only a suggestion on studying. If you have nothing of your own to share, this material can be a resource for you to use. But please consider the topics of the booklet, because these topics are essential for a young Christian in regards to a healthy development in the Word of God.

May our Lord Jesus put a fire in your bones and that one day through you many will come into His Kingdom.

Yours in this corner of the Vineyard in Jesus name Ps Ian Traill

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