A Discipleship Textbook and Tool
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FOUNDATIONS takes an in depth approach to the design and function of ministry and discipleship. We find in the modern Church a great need for discipleship and spiritual training. Many believers, who "know to do good," struggle in their daily spiritual life as they long for an expression of overcoming faith. FOUNDATIONS leads the reader into a meaningful recognition of their place in Christ. He is our righteousness and God's grace and goodness leads every saint into a repentant and firm faith. There are two kinds of "knowledge" spoken of in the Bible, which are information and application. Information is knowledge that "puffs up" (1 Corinthians 8:1), due to the potential it has to lure people into believing that the more information they have about the Bible, the more mature they are. Hosea speaks about the second type of knowledge when he wrote: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." He was expressing our need for the application of God's word that is necessary for the salvation of our souls and the impartation of Christ-likeness every Christ needs. The application of spiritual truth is the key to an overcoming faith and a renewed mind. Because of this, FOUNDATIONS offers a functional approach to Discipleship and spiritual training which develops the believer's ability to stand firm in the faith they profess. With this in mind; Solomon asked God for an “understanding heart (i.e., "a hearing heart" - 1 Kings 3:9),” because he understood that in order for anyone to be inclined toward wisdom they had to first hear God. FOUNDATIONS is designed to help the believer mature in their faith by expanding their ability to renew their mind while they develop an understanding heart, so they can learn to hear the Holy Spirit in a clarifying way. Every saint must mature in their ability to hear God as they read the Bible and listen to the Holy Spirit, and this is more readily accomplished through the discipleship process and through spiritual growth. FOUNDATIONS is an exegetical study that was compiled over twenty-eight years of pastoral and ministry experience. It is a study of the Scripture that dives deeply into the ways of God as it also expounds on many of the principles, practices, and doctrines found in the Scriptures. FOUNDATIONS is a practical tool for the serious disciple, and an aid for every Church leader.
Chapter 8 – Repentance from Dead Works “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14) Most of us in the Body of Christ, when studying salvation, think about repentance from sin and not repenting from dead works. Yet repentance from dead works is a major issue within the doctrine of sanctification. What does the Bible mean when it says for us to repent from dead works? It is the difference between having a heartfelt love for God and a sense of religious obligation when we pray, read the Bible, or attend Church. Our walk of faith should stem from our love toward God and not from an attitude of requirement. One of the major aspects of Christian growth can be seen in Christians who love God for Who He is, rather than for what He gives. There are believers who have a religious mindset that creates a tendency to motivate them toward pious activities, but this is how dead works gets a foothold in us at times. One thing we must address is the matter of the “conscience” (4893) as it pertains to the sanctification process or the salvation of the soul. The consciousness is defined as “the internal knowing (i.e., the internal or self-knowledge, or judgment of right and wrong; or the faculty, power or principle within us, which decides on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our own actions and affections, and instantly approves or condemns them).” Conscience is called by some writers “the moral sense,” and is considered to be an original faculty of our nature. The conscience manifests itself in the feeling of obligation we experience, which precedes, attends and follows our actions. Conscience is first occupied in ascertaining our duty, before we proceed to action; then in judging our actions when performed as they relate to that duty. It is also the apparatus by which we apprehend the will of God and understand right and wrong. The consciousness is breached when we know our duty to the will of God, and violate that knowledge with inappropriate activity or thought. Have you ever asked yourself in relation to another person, “How can they do what they do and not feel guilty, or not have a sense of conviction?” God designed the consciousness to help us govern our lives, and there are many aspects of the consciousness that we should be trained in. They are: The conviction within it (John 8:7-8) The awareness of it (Acts 5:2) Living with a good conscience (Acts 23:1) Having a conscience void of offence (Acts 24:16) Conscience that bears witness (Rom 2:15; 9:1) The necessity of not breaching ones conscience (Rom 13:5) The union of the spirit and the consciousness (1 Cor 4:4) Weak and defiled conscience (1 Cor 8:7) Defiling a weak brother’s conscience 1 Cor 8:10-13; 10:25-29 The testimony of the conscience (2 Cor 1:12) Commending our conscience (2 Cor 4:1-4) The conscience makes things manifested (2 Cor 5:11) Being made perfect in the conscience (Heb 9:9) Purging the conscience (Heb 9:14; 10:2) Forgiveness is understood in the conscience (Heb 10:22) Consciousness of suffering (1 Peter 2:19-20; 3:16) Baptism and the consciousness of man (1 Peter 3:21) One can see that the New Testament has much to say about the conscience. Chapter 16 – The Path of the Root “For everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:13-14) A friend of mine married into a family that owned an orange orchard in southern California. We were visiting one weekend when he discovered that he had an orange tree that had died. He pulled the old tree up by the roots, filled the hole that was left with a mixture of soil, and planted another orange tree in the same place as the other. I noticed that some of the roots from the first tree had remained in the hole. He called them “water roots.” Not knowing what they were I asked him to explain. He showed me that by planting the new tree in the same spot the roots would have a natural path to the water source, and that the new roots would travel the same path that the former roots had taken. The Lord has used this revelation to teach me and to reveal to me that some emotional roots follow the same spiritual path in our lives. When believers struggle in areas of their lives and do not experience victory, the struggle is generally due to a lack of something within their foundation. One of the things that causes spiritual babes to struggle is they are inexperienced (unskilled) in righteousness. They do not know how to work out their own salvation (see Philippians 2:12-13). Every believer has experienced some sort of an emotional pain and/or troublesome times in their lives. Many of these events create an emotional wound in us. When these emotional pains are not healed they produce a ‘sore spot’ in our soul. These sore spots, being emotional in nature, become a root of bitterness or hardness of heart. These roots of bitterness not only generate unresolved anger but they also cause frustration to manifest in an individual. Roots of bitterness also cause many to be defiled when they do not forgive or release others from their wrongs (see Hebrews 12:15). What does the Scripture mean when it uses the term defiled? It means, “to be tainted or contaminated” and articulates both moral and physical defilement. Deuteronomy 29 speaks of the covenant that God renewed with His people and the passage speaks of a poisonous root. The Lord dealt with the subject of bitterness in this passage and it carries a warning. “Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood; And it come to pass, when he hears the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: The Lord will not spare him...” (Deuteronomy 29:18-20a) The warning about the ‘root’ (8328) that causes gall or wormwood to be produced is direct and concise. The Hebrew word translated as ‘root’ is defined as “the bottom or depth” within something or someone. The primary meaning of the word means, “to pluck from.” It is expressing that it is the soil that produces the root and then the root produces the fruit. The type of soil that the root is in will produce the strength or the weakness of the root (see Matthew 13). In other words, it is the strength of the soil that determines the strength or depth of the root. Specifically it is the depth of the good soil that determines the depth of the good root, because the root travels to its source of nourishment. Like the orange tree, when something is planted over the old roots, it will follow a similar path to its source. If one has a root of bitterness and tries to plant something else in its place, the new situation will follow an old course. One such problem is serial monogamy. Old bitterness is replaced with new mates. The consequences of a series of relationships, when the root of the problem has not been dealt with, will be that divorce or a troubled marriage is the end result. Now we see why it is vitally important to know what path the root has taken within the life of a person. It will always take the path that the soil allows it to take. If there is good soil nurturing the root, the root will produce good fruit. If the soil is bad the root will produce bad fruit. Jesus declared that the soil is the heart within us (see Matthew 13:19). If the root has tapped into the old man the fruit will always be earthy, sensual, or devilish (see James 3:15). For example, if one’s righteousness is not rooted in faith, then another root has produ
Throughout Dr. Ross' more than twenty-eight years of ministry God has blessed him with a well rounded understanding of Christian living. Dr. Ross has been a Pastor, a Chaplain , and a Seminar instructor in both Texas and Oklahoma. His ten years as a Chaplain in the Texas prison system was an eye opener for him, as he ministered to many fallen believers, church leaders, and Pastors. Dr. Ross began his formal education in September 1982 and received his Doctorate in 2000. God called Dr. Ross to work with Pastors and Christians, developing discipleship programs that focused on spiritual growth and ministry training. Dr. Ross became a Certified Belief Therapist in 1999. Dr. Ross wrote a series of lessons titled “The Spiritual Roots of Distortions and Disorders,” which were compiled into FOUNDATIONS, and are being used in training Pastors, Church Staff, Congregations, Drug and Family Counselors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and volunteers in the Texas Prison system. Dr. Ross organized Dimensional Ministry in 1997 and has been working with Churches in discipleship and spiritual growth since that time. Dr. Ross states that there are two valuable truths every Pastor and Church leader should know: first, disciples are raised, not birthed, and second, you cannot disciple lost people. Dr. Ross believes that Pastors and Church leaders must return to the ministerial emphasis of developing the quality of congregational maturity, as they continue to expand the quantity of people in their local churches through evangelism. Evangelism is incomplete if the discipleship of those who are saved is left undone. Dr. Ross also believes that only effective discipleship and spiritual training, that has a firm biblical foundation, will return the Church to her first love and develop an overcoming faith. Dr. Ross retired from Pastoring in 2009, presently resides in Central Texas, is the president of Dimensional Ministry, and is an active member of his local church where he teaches discipleship and spiritual growth. During his thirty years of marriage, he has raised four children and presently has two grandsons.

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