Category Archives: Emmanuel Freeman

Emmanuel: Christian Maturity Series

 

STUDY 3  THE MINISTRY OF JESUS           

 1. Scriptures

 Look up and read the following Scripture passages. They will help you understand what Jesus has done. Think and pray about the passages and note down any thoughts and/or questions you want to share with the Group.

 Matthew 4: 12-25                   Matthew 5: 17-20                   Mark 10: 42-45

Luke 9: 18-27                          Luke 22: 24-28                        John 13: 1-11             

John 14: 1-14

2. The Ministry of Jesus

The Jews expected the Messiah to be a warrior king. Jesus rejected this role. But how did He see His ministry and what did He think that He had come to do? The readings in this section are chosen from His life and work to illustrate the various ways in which Jesus understood what He was doing.

(a) The Preacher

Jesus began where John the Baptist left off. He was a preacher. His message gradually unfolded from the time He began preaching in Galilee (Matt. 4: 23f) until the end of His earthly life on the Cross: though this world is at present in the hands of the power of evil, the rightful kingship of God is to be restored through Him.

 (b) The Lawgiver

 To those who responded to His proclamation of God’s kingship, Jesus gave a new law which is summarized by Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount. In fact, the Sermon on the Mount is not so much a new law (for almost all of its teaching is found elsewhere in the Old Testament), but the demand that the old law, based on the principles given by Moses, should be looked at in a new way. Those who saw the old law as a line not to be crossed had already crossed it. Jesus taught His disciples to see beyond this and to the guiding principles of Christian love.

 (c) The Ruler

 Jesus was not only the herald of God’s Kingdom and its lawgiver, but He is also its King. The words put on the top of His cross by Pilate, “The King of the Jews”, intended as mockery, were very true. Jesus, however, avoided for most of His life the title of “Messiah”, preferring to call Himself, the “Son of Man”. This phrase was taken from the Book of Daniel (Daniel 7: 13). In Revelation 1: 13 it describes the representative of God’s people as the great High Priest. 

 (d) The Servant

 Jesus understood His work as the Son of Man in the light of another Old Testament figure, the Suffering Servant described in Isaiah 52:13—53: 12.  Jesus and the New Testament writers saw Him as fulfilling in His ministry the role of the servant of God (see Isa.53:3 and Mk.10:33,34;  Isa.53:5 and I Pet.2:24,25;  Isa.53:9 and Mt.27:57-60; I Pet.2:22).

 (e) The Deliverer

 Jesus understood His task as God’s servant was that of releasing men from the prison of sin. At His baptism, He identified himself with those whom He had come to save, and on the cross He finally defeated the powers of evil by which they were bound. But in His ministry, seen as a conflict with sin and evil in every form, were anticipation and an illustration of this final victory.

 (f) The Revealer of God

 In His ministry, Jesus is seen as fulfilling various roles: He is at once the herald, the lawgiver, and the king of the Kingdom of God. He is God’s chosen, whose task is to rescue sinful men from the power of evil. But He is more than God’s agent. He claims to reveal God in such a way that anyone who has seen Him has seen God Himself (see Jn.1:1-3; 5:19-23; 14:6-11).

 3. Memorisation

 It often helps us to understand what Scripture is saying by memorising key verses. The following verses are taken from The Good News translation.

 1.   For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life (John 3: 16).

 2. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

 3.  We were God’s enemies, but He made us His friends through the death of His Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life! (Romans 5: 10).

 4. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away, see, everything has become new! (2 Corinthians 5: 17).

 4. Questions

 1. Washing guests’ feet was a job for a household servant to carry out whenever guests arrived. Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist and washed and dried the disciple’s feet (John 13: 1-7). If even Jesus, God in human form, was willing to serve in this way, then we as His followers must also be willing to serve in any way that glorifies God. There is a special blessing for those who not only agree that humble service is Christ’s way, but for those who also follow it through. Are you willing to follow Christ’s example of serving? Who, and in what way, can you serve today?

 2. Jesus told Peter and Andrew to follow Him and become “fishers of men” to help others to find God (Matt. 4: 18-20). We need to fish for souls. How can we practice Christ’s teachings and share the gospel with others so that we are able to draw those around us to Christ, like a fisherman who pulls the fish into his boat in the nets?

 3. In John chapter 14 Jesus is not saying that his disciples would do more amazing miracles—after all, raising the dead is about as amazing as you can get. Rather, that the disciples, working with the power of the Holy Spirit, would carry the Gospel of God’s Kingdom out of Palestine and into the whole world. In what ways can we fulfil what Jesus has asked us to do—preaching the Gospel to Freetown, Sierra Leone and then to the rest of the world?

 5. Further Reading

 If you want to undertake further study on this topic, please look up the following passages:

 Isaiah 42: 1-4                          Isaiah 52:13–53: 12                Ephesians 1: 15-23

Philippians 2:5-11

Emmanuel: June 22 Update

It’s good to see your message again [see Steve Phillips’ article, Judgment, Jesus, & Jihad] which is really timely for the community in which we find ourselves and the people we are dealing with at the moment.  I have printed it and will share it with the brethren here.

As you know our fellowship meeting place is situated in the midst of a strong Muslim community with almost 85% Muslims. But in all this, the Lord has continued to prove Himself through the teachings of His Word to the people in this community.

In as much as we are faced with numerous challenges and opposition, yet God continues to show the true Power and authority in his Word as the fellowship continues to grow from strength to strength. We are not only proud of you, but we are also proud to show you and share with you the things that the Lord has done and is doing in our midst.

Through your quality time spent with us sharing the Word of God, I am happy to let you know that I am personally discipling 7 brothers who have really captured the truth and are at present positively  affecting  their surroundings. One of them is a Muslim brother who is presently staying with us in our house. He really faces serious persecution from his family members who rejected him and threw him out of their entire family for the sake of accepting Christ and being baptized in the name of the Lord.

I am also happy to share with you and the brethren out there that 12 brethren here have gone through baptism, including 4 Muslims; the eldest among them is 47 years old.  I have attached photos of the persecuted Muslim brother on the day of his baptism together with the other brethren.

I have also attached Teaching info which I have prepared for the 7 brothers I am discipling at the moment [see Emmanuel’s Christian Maturity Series on his posts].  I meet with these guys to study the Bible together twice every week in a separate meeting from the general fellowship meeting.  As you were meeting with me privately to spend time in teaching, so I am also meeting with them.

The Lord has really been merciful to us as He protects and guards us day by day.  At present we are desperately looking for a place as our present residence is seriously congested and has become an eye sore [problem] for my family at the moment.  We can’t drive anybody out, but will pray until the Lord makes the way possible for us to secure a bigger place that will accommodate a family of twelve, with room for strangers.  

[Note: Steve and Patti have slept in the Freeman’s current rented home several times.  It is about 330 sq. ft. consisting of two rooms and a parlor, having a charcoal fire on the porch to cook on, outside shared community bathroom, and no running water in the neighborhood.  They house several young men and one mentally handicapped young woman besides their own children.  Apart from the Freeman’s love and hospitality, these ones would have no where to stay].

Thinking on some of these issues and their prevailing challenges especially with issues surrounding some of these guys like Kenneth (Alpha), James, Patrick, Joseph and Daniel that are supposed to be in the University, having gotten all their requirements but who lack the financial means.  This strikes my heart strongly and keeps me thinking a lot.

But in all these things we give thanks to God, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to whom be glory, honour, praise and adoration.  Please remember us and the work here in your prayers.

Give our love to mum and the brethren out there, we love and cherish them all.

With much love to you, 

Emmanuel and Liz.

Emmanuel: Christian Maturity Series – Jesus Christ

Christian Maturity

 

STUDY 1   JESUS, WHO HE IS

 1. The Character of Jesus 

 The Scripture passages clearly show us that:

 (a) Jesus is God: Jesus is not only with God, but He is God.  See John 1:1.  He is part of the Trinity: God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit.

 (b) Jesus has always existed.  Scripture affirms that Jesus has always existed, even before the beginning of time.  See John 1:2.

 (c) Jesus is the Creator of the World.  The World and everything in it did not just ‘appear’ or ‘evolve’ from nowhere.  Jesus was at the beginning of Creation and all things were made through Him.  See John 1:3.

(d) Jesus is Supreme in the Creation.  Jesus has the supreme place in the created order, above anyone or anything that has ever or will ever live. He is also Head of the Church, God’s people on Earth.  See Col.1:18,19.

(e) Jesus, the man, was God in human form.  Jesus was born as a human being in Bethlehem, and lived on Earth among us. See Mt.1:21-23

Jesus is the Word and the Word is another expression for God. In the Hebrew Scriptures the Word is an agent of Creation (Psalm 33:6), the source of God’s message to His people through the Prophets (Hosea 1:2), God’s law, and His standard of holiness (Psalm 119:11).  John’s description of Jesus as the Word clearly shows that he was speaking of Jesus (especially in John 1:14), a human being whom he knew and loved, but who was, at the same time, the Creator of the Universe, the ultimate revelation of God, and the One in whom all things hold together (Col. 1:17).

Though He was God, in His human life Jesus never demanded nor clung to His rights as God.  He took the humble position of a servant.  See Phil.2:5-11.

Through the way He lived His life, Jesus showed us God’s Glory. 

Jesus lived His life full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  See John 13:1. 

2. Memorisation: It often helps us to understand what the Scriptures are saying by memorising key verses. The following verses are taken from The Good News translation:

1.  “Before the world was created, the Word already existed; he was with God, and he was the same as God. From the very beginning the Word was with God.”  (John 1: 1-2)

 2. “Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him…the world was made through him.” (John 1: 3, 10)

 3. “He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a man and appeared in human likeness.” (Phil. 2: 6,7)

 3. Questions

 1. St. John said that Jesus brought light to this world and the light shines on all people.  Have you allowed the light of Christ shine into your life?  What does this mean?

 2. God created all things, including you and me. Because we are created beings, we have no basis for pride. Remember that we exist only because God made us, and we have special gifts only because God has given them to us. What does this mean to us as Christians? What special gifts has God given you? (See 1 Cor. 12: 1-11)

 3. The passage in Philippians 2; 5-11 was probably a hymn sung by the Early Christian Church. Although it doesn’t say everything about who Jesus is, what main things does it say about Jesus?

 4. Further Reading.  Please look up the following passages:

 Isaiah 52:13 –53:12                  Colossians 1: 15-20                  1 John 1: 5-10

  

STUDY 2  WHAT JESUS HAS DONE           

 1. Scriptures: Look up and read the following Scripture passages. They will help you understand what Jesus has done. Think and pray about the passages, and note down any thoughts and/or questions you want to share with the Group.

Isa. 53: 1-6                  Acts 2: 22-24               Acts 10: 34-43             Rom. 1: 1-6                                          

2. What Jesus did: The uniqueness of Jesus Christ can be seen in the way He lived a perfect life and the wonderful things He did. This is an example to us all. His death on the Cross was an offering for us and His resurrection from the dead is a proof that He is the Son of God. Jesus fulfilled what the Scriptures had forecast.

1. He lived a perfect life: He lived a perfect life, without any sin, conceit nor deceit. Unlike us, Jesus committed no sin. Unlike Adam, He chose to do the will of His Father (1 Peter 2: 22).

2. He did wonderful things.  The life of Jesus was an example to us all, for He went around doing good.  As a man, in order to do God’s work, Jesus needed to be anointed with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10: 38).

 3. He died for our sins.  When Jesus died on the Cross, an exchange took place; Jesus, who had never sinned, became an offering for our sins, and God laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. In turn, we have been given peace with God through Jesus. His punishment brought us peace and His wounds heal us (Isa. 53: 5-6; 2 Cor. 5: 21).

 4. He rose again from the dead.  It was impossible for death to keep its hold on Jesus because He had committed no sin. His resurrection from the dead is the greatest proof that He is the Son of God (Acts 2: 24; Rom 1: 4).

 3. Memorisation.  It often helps us to understand what Scripture is saying by memorising key verses. The following verses are taken from The Good News translation.

1. “He committed no sin, and no one ever heard a lie come from his lips.”    (1 Peter 2: 22)

 2. “God poured on him the Holy Spirit and power. He went everywhere, doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 10: 38) 

3. “Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5: 21)

 4. “But God raised him from death, setting him free from its power, because it was impossible that death should hold him prisoner.” (Acts 2: 24)

 4. Questions:  After reading and thinking about the passages of Scripture, try and answer the following questions.

 With regard to the life and work of Jesus:

 1. What is God saying to us about Jesus?

 2.  How should we reply to God?

 3.  What can we do in response to what Jesus has done for us?

 4. Further Reading:  If you want to undertake further study on this topic, please look up the following passages:

John 8: 21-29               John 20: 30, 31            Rom. 6: 20-23

2 Cor. 5: 16-21            Heb. 4: 14-16              Heb. 7: 26-28

Emmanuel: Thanks June 6

Dear Daddy Steve,

 

Good to receive your letter on Lacking Leaders [see Steve Phillips post of June 6] to us as brethren.

 

It come to me as an iron sharpener and support to the work we are doing here.  I was able to read it and share it with the brethren in our Thursday Bible study meeting.  They were well moved and happy to hear a word of knowledge and wisdom coming from you to us all.

 

Though all the words and expressions made are all challenging and encouraging and express the true heart of a father that cares for his children, but there stands out a peculiar statement which I believe touches our hearts and the brethren here which reads, REMEMBER THOSE WHO LED YOU, WHO SPOKE THE WORD OF GOD TO YOU, AND CONSIDERING THE RESULT OF THEIR CONDUCT, IMITATE THEIR FAITH – HEB 13.7.

 

We are captured with these words strongly and we cherish them so much; more especially when we are receiving it from somebody who has spent time with us in sharing the word of truth, slept with us in one of the most neglected communities in the eastern part of Freetown just for the sake of the gospel, and has been faced with persecution in the hands of our religious leaders of the so called high places.  

 

We are proud to imitate you as you imitate Christ, which you have demonstrated times without number during your time spent with us and your family.    We are expecting more challenging statements from you as time goes on.

 

With much love from us all to your entire family and the brethren out there.

 

Thanks

 

Emmanuel and Liz.

 

Emmanuel: May 21 update

I am pleased to share with you that the majority of the people who saw me as a rebel when I left where I was [the large Pentecostal ministry that had accused him of being an agent of Satan in their midst], are now coming to me to say sorry for what they did.  They are realizing the truth very clearly by what they are seeing the Lord do in our midst. Whenever any one of them comes around, I remember your wise words spoken to me that “one day they will all come to see you;” and we are seeing this happen now as the Lord continues to manifest His glory in the work he has called us to do.

 

I am still working on the material of my testimony which I believe will be of great help to those who have not faced such situations and for those who are faced with it and want to make decisions that glorify the Lord and Master whom we serve.

 

Give our love to everyone with much love from us and the brethren here.

 

Emmanuel and Liz

 

Emmanuel: April Update

We still have memories of your fatherly and motherly input of love and concern as you passed into our lives and family which is continuing to bear good fruit. 

 

As the Fellowship continues to grow in the eastern district of Freetown, in December 2008 14 people were baptized, 6 of them were former Muslims.  The teachings we received from you did not only save us from the dangers of this sinful and wicked generation of our time, but has empowered us as agents for change in our community.  Even Muslims are believing the words we speak; while some so-called “Christians” are opposing the very truth of the gospel that we speak to them. 

 

We are encouraged by your examples as we continue to speak His words.  Please give our love to everyone, tell them we love them all.  Yours, Emmanuel and Liz

Emmanuel Freeman – Introduction

Through a providential email, we met Emmanuel at a critical crossroads in his life.  Having refused to cover up the fraudulent practices of the founder of one of the prominent Pentecostal churches in Freetown, he was thrown out of his number three position within that ministry.  Now slandered as an enemy agent of Satan in their midst, all members of that group were warned to have nothing to do with him. 

 

As we studied the Word of God together, he greatly rejoiced at the Lord’s light and goodness to his soul.  A Bible study he began in his home shortly thereafter has grown into a fellowship of over one hundred presently in the eastern part of Freetown which is about 95% Muslim. 

 

Emmanuel teaches the Scriptures to several group meetings each week as well as discipling various young men who are actively preaching the Word as well.  Along with his wife, Elizabeth, they are a blessing to many through their loving hospitality and godly counsel. 

 


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