baptism

The Exodus Map, a Parable of the Christian Life

[PDF of Lesson notes to be posted shortly]

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Hidden in plain view, in the famous story of the Exodus from Egypt, we find a detailed map of the Christian journey of faith. The connection is suggested in one of the psalms, but revealed by insights from three books in the New Testament and by early Christians. This is an unforgettable, faith-building lesson that sheds light on a number of foundational teachings: on sin, eternal security, baptism, Satan and the goal of our faith.

The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up (John 3:13-36)

This passage of Scripture contains perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible: John 3:16. We look at this verse in its context, which not only shows how badly the verse is twisted and misunderstood by so many today but also reveals a message and means of salvation that will be hated by the world. It was for this message, which includes repentance from sin and Jesus as the only means to salvation, that Jesus was murdered. Will we, as Jesus' followers, be willing to proclaim the same message, with similar results? The lesson concludes with John the Baptist's example of humility as a spiritual leader, an upward call to us all as we strive to carry out God's work during our short time here on earth.   

You Must Be Born Again (John 3:1-12)

In John 3, Nicodemus encounters Jesus at night and is told that to enter the Kingdom of God, a person must be born of water and spirit. Nicodemus, a good-hearted teacher of Israel who will later stick his neck out for Jesus, is confused about what it means to be born again. Such is the case for so many Christians. This lesson deals with water baptism, an extremely controversial topic for much of the church today. We take a close look at Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments that address water baptism, as well as at some of the stumbling blocks that make baptism such a difficult teaching for so many. 

The First Disciples of Jesus (John 1:43-51)

In this lesson we discuss the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, which is mentioned in all four gospels. Why was Jesus' baptism necessary? Jesus then encounters his first disciples, and gives Simon the new name, ‘Peter’. What was the significance of that? We explore this question, the source of great controversy related to claims made by the Roman Catholic Church. Finally, we are introduced to Nathaniel, a good-hearted skeptic whose conversion still inspires us today to lead other truth-seekers to the Stairway to Heaven! 

Elisha, Pt. 6: Naaman, Gehazi, and the Floating Ax Head (2 Kings 5:17-6:7)

PDF of Lesson Outline

We pick up where we left off with the story of Naaman's healing, which some Christians through the centuries have viewed as a foreshadowing of baptism.  We discuss one aspect of baptism, the power over death and the hope of eternal life.  We then look at the story of Gehazi, who falls into the sins of greed and deceit, and provides a warning to us to embrace a Godly view of wealth and possessions.  Finally, we look at the story of the lost ax head.