From “Discipleship and Discipline” by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

“Recall the seven (7) works the Holy Spirit does in every believer. He regenerates (“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”- Psalm 51:10); indwells (“For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE”- 2 CORINTHIANS 6:16); assures (“that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself- Colossians 2:2; “Yet we have this assurance: Those who belong to God will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For God’s light of life will fall like dew on his people in the place of the dead!”- Isaiah 26: 19; “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water”-Hebrews 10: 21 – 22 and, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”- Hebrews 11: 1); seals (“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge”- 2 Corithians 1: 22; “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”- Ephesians 4: 30 – 32; teaches: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” -John 14: 26; “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what He teaches is true—it is not a lie. So continue in what He has taught you, and continue to live in Christ.”-1John 2: 26; leads: “He leads me besides quiet waters, He guides me in the paths of righteousness- Psalms 23: 2; He leads the humble in justice and teaches the righteous His way- Psalms 25: 9; “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every pIf we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139) to be new creatures in Christ (II Corinthians 5: 17) for good works in which we should walk (Ephesians 2: 10), then the work of the Holy Spirit as noted above describes the way in which He goes about the process of producing a disciple. The result of His work is that we conform to the image of Christ. Our privilege as disciples is to show forth the Holy Spirit at work in us. II Timothy 1: 7; “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.””lace”- II Corinthians 2: 14; fills: “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”- Luke 24: 49.””

“If we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139) to be new creatures in Christ (II Corinthians 5: 17) for good works in which we should walk (Ephesians 2: 10), then the work of the Holy Spirit as noted above describes the way in which He goes about the process of producing a disciple. The result of His work is that we conform to the image of Christ. Our privilege as disciples is to show forth the Holy Spirit at work in us. II Timothy 1: 7; “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.””

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From “Discipleship and Discipline”, by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

“”Our great task will be to demonstrate our faith, to “act out of trust in God”, even in the face of persecution by terrorism, murder, deprivation, castigation, character assassination, temptation and torture. Will we respond to the challenge to be faithful when our very lives are at stake? We have the power to be faithful; the question for each of us individually is, do we have the will to go through to see what the end will be, to “stand on the promises of God”? ”Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t be afraid and don’t worry. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!””

“A desire to serve God is a prerequisite to discipleship. But our hearts must be made of special material, made by special expertise. You can only get such a heart from God. Deuteronomy 30:6 (NASB): “Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.” Jeremiah 24: 7 (God’s Word translation): “I will give them hearts that will recognize me as the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.” Jeremiah 31: 33b: “I will put My laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.” God’s Law written in our minds (knowledge) and on our hearts (desire) equals power for application in our lives (wisdom).””

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From “Discipleship and Discipline”, by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

“In Hebrews 11, we find God’s “Faith Hall of Fame”, wherein we are given a partial list of that Hall’s inhabitants. We tend to concentrate and focus on the “conquering heroes” among those listed there: Abraham, Noah, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. We oftentimes forget the unnamed ones who “trusted God and were tortured, preferring to die rather than turn from God and be free. They placed their hope in the resurrection to a better life. 36Some were mocked, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in dungeons. 37Some died by stoning, and some were sawed in half; others were killed with the sword. Some went about in skins of sheep and goats, hungry and oppressed and mistreated. 38They were too good for this world.” Hebrews 11: 35b – 38a. We disciples should know that we are more likely to be unnamed than named as “conquering heroes”, even though we, as they, are “more than conquerors””

“No one in America alive today will ever forget September 11, 2001.”

“”One of the initial phenomena coming out of the tragedy was an unretouched CNN photograph of the South World Trade Tower showing the “image” of Satan in the smoke billowing from the place on the tower where the second plane impacted the building. Everyone I spoke with reacted to the picture by saying, “this confirms that this was a supremely evil act! See! The face of Satan! This tells us that these people are wrong to attack us, to take innocent lives! Their cause cannot be just!!” While these are all credible conclusions, is there not more? Was there a message for America in that God allowed us to be subjected to such horror, terror and despair? Was this allowed to occur merely to call us to heroism, sacrifice and circumspection? I think not. We as a nation- “one nation, under God, indivisible”, must reflect on how far we have wandered from the faith of our fathers. Jerry Falwell was vilified for suggesting that we as a people might have lost our way, what with banning prayer in schools, legalization of abortion and other policies and laws that run counter to God’s word. Maybe it was the way he said it. Will a just God long tolerate institutionalized racism? Will He not call us, “who are called by My name” to repentance- individually and corporately? Will He not demand discipline from His disciples? I think so.””

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From “Discipleship and Discipline”, by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

““Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with Him? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised as He was. Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share His new life. We are sure of this because Christ rose from the dead, and He will never die again. Death no longer has any power over Him. He died once to defeat sin, and now He lives for the glory of God. So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus.

Since Jesus has all authority, He can give us the power (note Matthew 28: 18KJV: “All power…”) to make disciples of all the nations. John 1: 12 (KJV) says “…to them gave He the power to become the sons of God…” The source of our power is the Holy Spirit of God “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you. Then you will be my witnesses to testify about me in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (God’s Word Translation.) Note that the power is useful for witnessing. The power for conviction rests solely with the Holy Spirit (see Bill’s Letter to the Christians, below). Witnessing is the privilege and responsibility of disciples.

“When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May He be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.” (Ephesians 3: 14 – 20, New Living Translation)””

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From “Discipleship and Discipline” by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

“Recall the Great Commission. “When Jesus came near, He spoke to them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.” (Matthew 28: 18 – 20, God’s Word translation)

Recall our earlier discussion about acceptance. Acceptance means to reach out with an open hand to receive. Acceptance implies a willingness to take something offered from someone else voluntarily. Acceptance conveys not only the willingness to assume personally the responsibility to take the appropriate action, but also implies a confidence or assurance that one has the capability/capacity to do the job successfully. We must accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. In the same manner, we must also accept the responsibilities of discipleship. God does not force Himself on anyone!

If we are to make disciples of all nations, we must have the power to be disciples. “And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised Him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey Him, bringing glory to His name.”

The power for discipleship and discipling is in the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.””

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FORGIVENESS Sermon by Minister Hicks 59:15 Minister Hicks Album Christianity

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From “Discipleship and Discipline” by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

The power to be a “living sacrifice” must come from within, from having devoted ourselves to our Master, from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We must have decided to respond affirmatively to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, to the purpose of putting God before self, His purposes before our desires. “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3: 7 11, New American Standard Bible).””

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From “Discipleship and Discipline” by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

“Having established the fact that we can offer God nothing more desirable to Him than ourselves (“I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me.”), how can we effect the sacrifice we are urged by Paul to make? Paul makes it clear that the balance beam upon which a disciple stands is manifesting his being owned by God in a world dominated by Satan. We are charged not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove- demonstrate, manifest, make visible that invisible reality, that truth of our relationship to Him- what His will is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (complete). “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2: 10″

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From “Discipleship and Discipline” by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

“”How were we dead and yet breathing? Explain that, will you! “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)… For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” (Ephesians 2: 1 – 5, 8).

In the scale of our life’s experiences, the grace of God far outweighs any sin we have committed. Yes, we were dead, sowing dead seed, engaging in lifelessness. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5: 8).””

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From “Discipleship and Discipline” by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

“Remember that baptism we disciples experienced? “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves (disciples) to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6: 3 – 13).””

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