He Will Teach You All Things (John 14:26b-31)

The night before Jesus died, He promised the apostles that the Holy Spirit would teach them “all things” and guide them “into all truth”. The idea that the faith was handed down to the apostles complete, with no improvements or changes to follow later, has revolutionary implications for the church today. In this lesson we will examine other New Testament passages that confirm this teaching. We also will consider attempts to make the modern Christian faith “more progressive” by incorporating popular teaching on radical feminism and homosexuality.

Jonah and Other Prophecies About the Resurrection of Jesus

The entire Christian faith hangs on the resurrection of Jesus on the third day. Paul told the Corinthian Christians that if it did not happen “your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins”. But how can we know for sure? Jesus and the apostles pointed to the evidence of Old Testament prophecies written hundreds of years before. In this lesson, given on an Easter Sunday, we look at several prophecies specifically about the resurrection. This includes one amazing prophecy woven into the details of the famous story of Jonah and the whale. This lesson that can strengthen your own faith, and equip you with the evidence to persuade others.

More on the Holy Spirit (John 14:25-26a)

In this lesson we continue our study of the Holy Spirit. We turn to important passages from the Old Testament that reveal the Spirit as the guide on our journey from spiritual slavery, through the Wilderness of this life, to heaven. We also look at the critical role of the Spirit in guiding the writers of Scripture: the basis of our confidence in the Bible as the inspired Word of God.

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-24)

Before Jesus leaves His followers, He tells them that the Father would send them a Helper, the Spirit of Truth and that this Spirit would be in them. In this lesson we look at the relationship of the Spirit with the Father and the Son, the personality of the Holy Spirit, whether the Spirit actually lives in us, and the danger of quenching the Spirit. We also look at several images that can help us understand the Spirit's role as guide, comforter and protector in our lives individually and collectively as the Church.  

Seek Wisdom

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When Solomon was a young man, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and asked, “What do you want?” Solomon requested wisdom in order to govern God’s people properly, and as a result, God blessed him with legendary wisdom. Solomon later teaches about the importance of wisdom: to keep us from laziness, sexual immorality and other sins. In this lesson we explore the importance of wisdom for our salvation, as well as practical steps to obtain spiritual wisdom (or to become even wiser). 

Show Us the Father (John 14:7-14)

In this lesson we take a deep look at the relationship of the Father and the Son, addressing misunderstandings and providing analogies used by the early Church to help us understand the mystery of the trinity.  We also consider what Jesus might have meant when He promises we will do greater works than Him, a statement that should challenge the fruit of our lives. Finally, we consider what Jesus means (and does not mean) when He says “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

You Know the Way (John 14:1-6)

The night before He is killed, Jesus comforts his disciples, telling them He would prepare a place for them, that they would later join Him at that place, and that they knew the way to get there. Thomas objects, saying the twelve did not know where Jesus was going, nor the way to get there. Like Thomas, many Christians are confused about their ultimate destination and the way to get there. In this lesson, we look at Jesus' simple and plain teaching regarding our destination, the way we get there, and the radical implications of this teaching on our lives of Christ's followers. 

The Most Disturbing Story in the Bible (Judges 19-21)

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**WARNING - due to the disturbing nature of the subject, this lesson may not be suitable for children**

The Old Testament contains some things that are difficult for us to reconcile: oppression of women, brutal violence, indifference toward the helpless, and even genocidal wars. Perhaps the most disturbing story of them all (containing all of these elements) is the account of the Levite and His Concubine, in Judges 19-21. In this lesson we tackle that story, to see if we can find anything redeeming in it; and uncover some surprising things in the process. 

The Betrayal of Jesus (John 13:18-30)

At the Last Supper, Jesus identifies his betrayer by dipping a piece of bread and then giving it to Judas Iscariot. This followed Jesus' statement, “He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against me”, where He quotes a line from Psalm 41. In this lesson we explore the significance of that statement by Jesus, and the detailed prophecies related to the manner in which Jesus would be betrayed. Prophecies like these strengthened the faith for early Christians like Ignatius, who gave up his life as a martyr for Christ.

He Washed Their Feet (John 12:44-13:17)

Jesus said, “I did not come to judge the world”. While many today use that statement to justify tolerating all kinds of sin in the church, is that what Jesus meant? In this lesson we also look at the famous incident where Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Afterward, He called them to follow His example. Did Jesus intend for us to take that command literally (washing each other’s dirty feet), or figuratively (performing the most humble acts of service for one another). Or should we do both?

They Loved the Praise of Men (John 12:42-43)

John tells us plainly that many failed to follow Jesus not for lack of faith, but because "they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." Loving men’s praise (over God’s) is a problem for many of us today as well. In this lesson we look at inspiring Biblical heroes whose commitment to pleasing God brought severe persecution. We also consider tragic counter-examples of those who disobeyed God because they wanted to please people. The lesson concludes with challenges in specific areas, for each of us to lead a courageous life devoted to pleasing God rather than people.

He Who Loves His Life Will Lose It (John 12:17-41)

With his death approaching, Jesus uses two puzzling figures of speech to explain both how He would die, and why He had to die. In the course of doing that, He reveals a great mystery that applies also to us: a seed must die in order to produce a great harvest. Jesus then goes on to quote from Isaiah, revealing a wonderful window into the divinity and pre-existence of the Son of God.

The Sin of Judas: Greed (John 12:1-11)

Judas was most famous for betraying Jesus. However, his underlying sin was greed. His love of money led to deceit, betrayal and other terrible sins. In this lesson we take a wide-ranging look at what the Bible has to say about the sin of greed, and examine both good and bad examples of Biblical characters. We also consider how to respond when we uncover greed in the hearts of religious leaders, and the importance of uprooting greed from our own lives.

Better for One Man to Die (John 11:45-57)

After Jesus has raised Lazarus from the dead, the Jewish leaders see Him as a growing threat. They convene the council at which Caiaphas, the high priest, speaks. In making the case to kill Jesus, Caiaphas unknowingly utters a prophecy: it is better for one man (Jesus) to die than for the whole nation to perish. In this lesson we look at related prophecies that one man would die for many; and that death would bring catastrophic consequences to the Jewish nation, which were fulfilled in AD 70. We also consider whether God can speak and act through wicked people.

Raising Lazarus from the Dead (John 11:1-44)

In chapter 11 we have reached the mid-point of John’s Gospel and are rewarded with Jesus’ most remarkable miracle to date. In this story we witness the tremendous faith of Martha and come face to face with Jesus’ humanity and divinity, as he responds to the loss of his friend Lazarus and raises him from the dead. This lesson calls us to trust in God’s timing, to get serious about prayer, and to be prepared for our own death and resurrection.

Entering a New Year

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Life is short and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Entering a new year provides an opportunity to both look back and look ahead, to examine our lives with the goal of making every day count. We might be surprised, encouraged, and challenged at how God views our past victories, as well as the sins and failures we desire to overcome. This lesson seeks to encourage each of us to take inventory and enter the new year with hope and determination to be our best for God. 

You are Gods (John 10:31-42)

When Jesus states that He and the Father are one, his Jewish hearers want to stone Him for blasphemy. Jesus defends Himself by pointing to an obscure passage in Psalm 82 where God tells people, "you are gods.” Then Jesus challenges his hearers, "…and the Scripture cannot be broken". In this lesson we explore the unity of the Father and the Son, then tackle the meaning of the puzzling “you are gods” statement, one which has significant implications on our day-to-day living. We close the lesson by looking at the confidence Jesus had on the inspiration and integrity of the Scriptures: down to the word

More from the Good Shepherd (John 10:22-30)

Given that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, what does this mean for our own lives, given we are to walk as Jesus walked and imitate His character? This lesson examines Jesus’, Paul’s, and Peter’s expectations for us as shepherds, whether of our family or our local church, and addresses the gap between the Biblical role of shepherd/elder/overseer and the reality in many churches today. Our lesson also takes a fascinating look at the history of the Feast of Dedication (in which Jesus participates in John 10). We conclude by tackling Jesus’ statement “no one can snatch you out of My hand”, which has been used by many to teach unconditional eternal security (“once saved, always saved”).