Pastoral Theology

1. (Original Content Only) (600 words) (APA format) (APA in-text citations are a must)

Watch all 3 GYH videos and read all GYH academic resources for weeks 3.

GYH video Links:

Each member will bring to the group one takeaway from each of the videos and articles. Group members will take turns sharing their insights and reflections on their takeaways (20 minutes).

Next, group members will then discuss specific ways they have seen the impact of each weeks subject matter impact people in their sphere of influence. Describe the situation, the people involved, and what took place (20 minutes)

Lastly, group member must share their own challenges with the material. Prayer will then be offered as deemed appropriate by all group members (20 minutes). If limited sharing occurs in this section, please pray for the local church es represented I the group related to the various themes of the week.

2. (400 word summary of Transcript)

GMT20240325-231950 Recording

Transcribed by . to remove this message.

Yeah, but I’m getting ready to get on Zoom, so you know, for a class. I love you. I love you.

All right. Good evening, everybody. It’s great to see all smiley faces.

I’m just trying to admit people as they check into our class here, Charles, Kelly, and Jerome. We could have you on. Yeah, go ahead, sir.

Hey, can you show your video? There we go. Yes. All right.

Yes, sir. We got a Kelly on to our video screen, if we can have them do that for us. All right, well, very good.

Good to see you guys. All right, well, welcome to our second Zoom session. Tonight, we got a lot to cover.

So before I kind of go into our devotional time, just for administrative purposes, I’d like for y’all to try to keep your video on. And for, I guess, tracking purposes, Regent wants us to have you post at least a couple of items in the chat feature. You know, they want us to kind of show substantive content or whatever within the chat feature.

So sometime tonight, if there’s something that strikes you or if there’s an awesome quote that you just can’t wait to share, maybe a Bible verse or something that’s very interactive that you think is going to be profitable for somebody else, please put it in the chat feature. Because at the end of the day, if I have to go back and find out for credit who all participated, I can always download the chat feature and kind of know who was here, okay? And if you’re not here, then you have to provide a 300-word essay. And I know if you want to re-watch the video and write an essay, it’s just extra work.

But without further ado, why don’t we just take a moment and go before the Lord in prayer. We’re going to get right into our devotional time and then follow up with our discussion. Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, thank you so much for bringing this amazing group of people together who really want to learn and study and develop their pastoral theology as they reflect on their own calling. Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with a calling. We realize that not everybody has a calling into full-time ministry or even part-time ministry.

But yet, God, at the same time, we realize that if you have called us, you will equip us. And may you equip us tonight. May your wisdom and your profoundness just quicken our hearts that you will demonstrate your true grace to us, measured by the power of Scripture.

Lord, we come to you in this time, this holy week, reflective and thinking towards the cross. Lord, I can’t even imagine the pain that your son bore during that time. And we are humbly grateful that he willingly allowed his life to be taken so that we would be able to have our sins completely forgiven and we can spend eternity with you.

Lord, we know that many people take that for granted, but we do not. And we humbly thank you for that treasure you have blessed us with. And so finally tonight, we pray for your hedge of protection over our thoughts, our words, our expressions, Lord, and may they be holy and acceptable unto you.

So dear God, we pray these things in that matchless and holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen. So I had a completely different devotional designed and ready teed up to share with y’all.

But then, of course, as God would have it, he likes to change things up at the last minute. So I wanted to ask you for your patience as I kind of pull my thoughts together in real time. If someone would like to just, at least for right now, just open up to Psalm 107.

We’re going to be pulling from scripture. Look, 107 verses 17 through 22. And then someone else, if you can have Numbers 21, 4 through 9, and then one other set of passages, it’ll be John 3, 14 through 21.

Can someone for me go ahead and read Numbers 4, 12, I’m sorry, Numbers 21, 4 through 9 for me? Sure. I’ll read. I’ll be glad to do it.

Thank you. Numbers 21, 4 through 9. And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea to compass the land of Edom. And the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

And the people spake against God and against Moses. Wherefore have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water. And our soul loatheth this light bread.

And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people. And much people of Israel died. Therefore, the people came to Moses and said, we have sinned for we have spoken against the Lord and against thee.

Pray unto the Lord that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, make thee a fiery serpent and set it upon a pole.

And it shall come to pass that everyone that is bitten when he looketh upon it shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass and put it upon a pole. And it came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

There’s a lot of context here. I want to kind of pull out for all of us because it’s so important, especially as we are in this time of Holy Week. I think it’s really fascinating to see how all this kind of pulls together.

So picture this. You have the Israelites. They’re out in the middle of desert, right? They have been rescued from being in slavery for many, many years because of God’s calling upon Moses’ life.

He shepherds the people out of Egypt into this place of wandering, this place where they are called to be out in the desert for a period of time until God opens up the promised land. Now, what we find in terms of the temperament of the people is that they begin to get hostile, right? They begin to get frustrated with their circumstances. Now, I think I would probably be a little frustrated too.

You know, you’re wandering in this hot desert, not knowing where you’re going. You don’t know the circumstances around you. And yet everything is provided for them.

They have their food, right? We have manna. They have quail. They’re given water.

Their clothing is something that’s not worn out all the time, right? I mean, can you imagine that? You know, their sandals never wear out. Their clothes never wear out. And so God just provides lavishly for them.

He even provides for them a pillar, a fire by night, right? A cloud by day and a fire by night. And so they have so much going for them. And yet what do we see in this passage? What are they doing? Well, I’m not sure.

Can I answer what’s going through my head? Yeah. So it’s probably a little distraction to answer your question because I’m trying to figure it out. Okay, okay.

But it’s like we choose sin, but we don’t choose the consequences. And I heard that earlier this last week that just got my attention. And God didn’t take away their suffering.

In other words, the snake’s going to keep biting. But now there’s a solution that they’re not going to die, even though they get bit. So the consequences are still continuing of their sin, but without death.

And I don’t know this, but if I know God a little bit that I’ve learned, that’s a symbol of what Christ does for us. He takes away the spiritual death. Yeah.

It just seems like that might be a sign, but I’ll leave it at that. I’m not sure where we’re going. Yeah.

I guess my real question was, what was their sin? Grumbling against God, complaining out of all that he had done for them, which basically seems to be the mode of operation for the children of Israel. They complain all the time. No matter what God did for them, there was always an issue.

It was never good enough. It was never enough. Never enough.

There are other passages of scripture where we see them say, basically, God, why did you call us out here to rot and die? Let’s go back to where it’s comfortable. And so they have this sense about themselves where they want to go back where it’s comfortable. Who cares if we were enslaved? It’s almost like labor pains.

They forget what the labor pains were like. You know, and so they want to go back to where they were. And God is just, he’s had enough.

He has had enough. And so we see that God finally says, okay, I am going to strike you with a plague. And he strikes him with some serpents.

Now, when we take a look at scripture, what’s the first time we see a serpent in the Bible? In Genesis. Yeah, we see it in Genesis. And typically, what, Chizurim, is that how you pronounce your name? Is it Chizurim? Yes, sir.

What would you say with the snakes, you know, being snake represented in the early part of Genesis, what does that represent? It represents like doubt. Because in the Garden of Eden, the devil Satan came in the form of a serpent and deceived Adam and Eve and told them to eat the fruit that God did not tell them to eat. So he instilled that doubt in them for them to doubt God, you know, so he made them to eat the fruit, you know, in the Garden of Eden.

So, and also his lack of belief, you know, God told them something, then the serpent, you know, came and told them another thing, and sin came into the world. And also, if you look at it, also in Egypt, also, you know, when Moses came into Pharaoh, you know, to let the people go, you know, the Pharaoh now brought his own magician, and they brought out serpents also, you know, just to prove that God is wrong also. But Moses robbed 20 serpents and, you know, swallowed all the serpents for the magicians.

So the serpent represents doubt, you know, unbelief, that the word of God is not true. Yeah, that’s why I believe that’s what it represents. Which is really fascinating.

Thanks for bringing that up, because that’s really kind of what the issue is here. They doubt God. They don’t understand that God has a purpose for them.

They’re doubting why God may have called them or put them in, you know, the desert, and just to wander around. And so, God afflicts them with venom, with the, you know, with these very serpents. And that venom almost is a representation of their being struck with this sin metaphorically.

And yet they have to be healed. Another thing that kind of comes to mind, too, is when Moses is being called. Moses is being called to shepherd the Israelites out of Egypt.

There’s a snake on the ground. What does God tell him to do? Pick it up. That’s right.

Right. So, you know, I’m an outdoors guy. I love the outdoors.

But there is one thing I will not do. Pick up a snake. You know, those things are just creepy to me.

They would find some way to bite me, to strike me, and so forth. My dogs, almost all of them have been bit by snakes. These vipers are very scary creatures, you know.

They’re very fast, methodical. They’re sly, you know. And it’s a perfect illustration of who Satan is, really.

And, but I do find it fascinating that God tells Moses to pick up a serpent. Why is that? Well, in my estimation, God is really testing his true, authentic trust in the Lord. Because that’s what was required as a part of that call.

Just like all of us who were called into ministry, God requires a certain level of trust that maybe nobody else has, you know. A trust, when he tells us to go somewhere, to do something, that we will follow, we will base, salute spiritually, as we say in the military, you know. And so what does Moses do? He picks it up.

And that, I think, right there alone, helps to demonstrate that he started with faith. Which is in contrast to the people that he shepherds, right? So as a shepherd, he had all this incredible faith. Faith that allowed these instruments, his staff, to turn into a snake, and the snake to turn into his staff.

He had faith, you know, to perform certain signs and wonders. But that was because of the power of God. Now, as we fast forward to Numbers 21, and we see, you know, how God is afflicting them with snakes.

Obviously, they can’t just pick up a snake like Moses did. But Moses picks up his staff, which was at one time a snake, and he puts a bronze snake on top of it. That bronze snake is a representation, in some ways, of a healing feature that God’s going to illustrate.

Because as the people… Now, this is a beautiful word picture here. As the people turned toward the staff that Moses held high, right? That turning is like a sense of repentance that we see in the New Testament, right? That’s what repent means, to turn from our sins. And so it took faith.

It took repentance, turning from their old ways, and recognizing that they were wrong, recognizing that they were sinful. Turning from their old ways and turning to the staff. Turning to the very thing that they were afraid of, the very thing that was attacking them.

And they looked to the bronze serpent, and they were healed. Wow. Isn’t that a foreshadowing of the cross? As we look to the cross, right? As we look to the cross, yep.

As we look to the cross, we see that there is spiritual healing involved. You know, and that comes with turning away from our sins, turning to the cross. That sense of repentance is required for that sense of spiritual healing.

And, you know, some people say that the medical sign that you might see on, say, the side of an ambulance or something like that comes from Greek mythology. But I believe it actually comes from right here in this story of Numbers 21. The staff with a serpent on it, because it was a sign of healing for the people of Israel.

So that reminds me, let’s go to John 3. Who has that set of passages there? I have. Okay, sorry, sorry. Ann, go ahead.

I have a question, you know. Okay. Clarification.

Thank you, Prof, for clarifying this issue of a bronze serpent on Moses’ path, you know. Because at times, when I tell people that that bronze serpent represents the cross, like you say, some people argue that it’s just like a hyperball, you know. It’s a hyperball.

That, who said that? That you have to read the scripture as it is? No. Everything is about Jesus Christ. Like you said, once you look at the cross, look at Jesus Christ, then you will live.

You are healed. But at times, most people argue about that. It’s just like a, it’s a hyperbolic statement, you know.

Thank you so much for bringing it up. Yeah. Absolutely.

Yes, sir. All right, Ann, would you like to read that passage for us out of John? Thank you. I’m reading from the message translation.

This is John 3, 13 through 21. No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the one who came down from that presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.

This is how much God loved the world. He gave his Son, his one and only Son, and this is why. So that no one need to be destroyed by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

God did not go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted.

Anyone who refuses to trust in him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. This is the crisis we’re in.

God’s light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were really not interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure.

But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God light, so the work can be seen for the God work it is. Thank you so much. You know, one verse that really stands out for me is verse 14.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, that’s referring to Numbers 21. I love how scripture speaks to itself. And so as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.

Right there. There’s our answer, you know. I love how in the Old Testament, everything is pointing to the cross.

Yeah. And it’s showing us that God, even when he didn’t need to, he didn’t have to, but he showed mercy upon those people. That mercy was allowing that staff, that cross, if you will, being lifted up so they can look to it for healing.

But they didn’t deserve it, did they? They were whining and complaining. They wanted to go back to where it was comfortable. But yet God had a different plan for them.

A plan where they could receive immeasurable grace. I find an interesting parallel here too with the life of Cain. In my Sunday school class, I’ve been teaching out of Genesis lately.

And, you know, you take a look at when Cain struck down his brother Abel. And in doing so, when he struck down Abel, what does basically God say to Cain? Does anybody remember? Doesn’t he say, what have you done? Yeah. Where’s your brother? Yeah.

Where’s your brother, Cain? You know? And then what does Cain say? Am I my brother’s keeper? That’s right. Exactly. Am I my brother’s keeper? Very flippantly to God Almighty, his creator.

So he is already speaking out of a heart that is cold and callous and bitterness, perhaps. Right? So God then banishes him. He becomes a wanderer.

And that’s where I see a lot of the similarities here. Is that just as he did not have faith or trust in the Lord, nor did the Israelites. Just as he was banished and became a wanderer, so too did the Israelites become wandering in the desert.

And so in that time of wandering, Cain realizes, you know, somebody’s going to have my head. Somebody is going to be out to avenge me because I killed my brother. And so even though, even though he deserved death, physical death, God, he reached out to God.

And what happens? What does God do? He makes sure that nobody can kill him. Right? Exactly. I got that one right.

Yeah, I can’t do it five times. One over three ain’t bad. That’s great.

Oh, hit him while you can, John. That’s awesome. That’s great.

Yeah, you’re exactly right. So God preserves, you know, Cain in this way where he puts a mark on his head. Right? And that mark is basically anybody that tries to touch Cain will have serious consequences.

And, and I say all that to say that God didn’t have to do that. But God showed mercy. Many times in the Old Testament, people today say, oh, God is just a God of judgment and wrath and anger and hatred towards us.

But no, we see God that is merciful. We see a God who shows, and he could have laid it all out. He could have really put some inflicted pain upon the people.

But no, he chose to show mercy. And when we step back and we begin to look at our own lives and where God has given us a sense of mercy and grace, what should we, what should be the attitude of our heart? What should be the attitude of our heart? Gratefulness. Gratefulness.

You walked right into it, Phyllis. Do you have Psalm 107? I don’t, but. That leads us right into Psalm 107.

Let’s, let’s read Psalm 107. I’ve got it up here. All right, John.

I had it. Okay. Yeah, I got it back.

Okay. Psalms 107, 17 to 22, the NIV version. Okay.

Some became fools through the rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their inequities. They loathed at all. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them. He rescued them from the grave.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deed for mankind. Let them sacrifice, thank offerings and tell of his work with songs of joy. Mm, mm, mm.

Now notice here that this passage also speaks to Numbers 21. Again, I just love how the scripture just speaks to itself. It’s pointing to the time where they were wandering in the desert.

He said some fools thought they, uh, uh, through their sinful ways and because of their sin, they, they suffered affliction. And in this case, the affliction was the snakes. Right? They loathed any kind of food and they drew near to the gates of death.

Again, because of the affliction of the snakes. And then it says they cried to the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress. How did he deliver them? With the staff.

3. (600 words for DB post) (APA format) (In-text citations are a must) (minimum of 3 citations)

Describe the significance of water baptism to your church community. Theologically, what does water baptism represent, and how often does your church water baptize? Use scripture to support your post.

4. (Original Content Only) (600 words) (APA format) (APA in-text citations are a must)

Watch all 3 GYH videos and read all GYH academic resources for weeks 4.

Each member will bring to the group one takeaway from each of the videos and articles. Group members will take turns sharing their insights and reflections on their takeaways (20 minutes).

Next, group members will then discuss specific ways they have seen the impact of each weeks subject matter impact people in their sphere of influence. Describe the situation, the people involved, and what took place (20 minutes)

Lastly, group member must share their own challenges with the material. Prayer will then be offered as deemed appropriate by all group members (20 minutes). If limited sharing occurs in this section, please pray for the local church es represented I the group related to the various themes of the week.

GYH video Links: