The evening before He went to the cross Jesus told his disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another….” In this lesson we explore what was new about that command. In the process, we demolish some popular misconceptions in the modern religious world concerning the meaning of the Greek word agape (the word rendered love in that passage).
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?
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.
In this story, the Syrian army surrounds the city to take Elisha. There with his servant, Elisha works a tremendous miracle with an unexpected twist. This lesson looks at the theme of spiritual blindness and the love God has for his enemies.
(For further study, see Those Who Are With Us from 2 Kings 6)
These passages of Scripture lay the foundation for the entire Biblical story describing the relationship of God and mankind. Here we learn of the Fall, the sin of Adam, Eve, and Satan, and the consequences of such sin. These passages include Scripture often quoted in the New Testament....
Through the first eleven chapters of his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul addresses significant challenges and problems in the church. In 1 Corinthians 12 he turns to spiritual gifts, their importance in building up the Church, and how essential the Corinthians are to one another. Now, in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul turns to "a more excellent way" - the way of love.
Part 1 of this lesson tackles chapters 8 and 10, in which Paul discusses the practice of eating food sacrificed to idols, an issue that is causing division in the church. While sacrificing food to idols is not common in the United States, Christians face this issue in many parts of the world. There are also important lessons for us to learn in resolving Church conflict.
In Part 2 of this lesson, we look at two other related passages: Acts 15 and Romans 14. In Acts 15 we are given a beautiful example of how the Church addressed a difficult issue that could have caused significant division among sincere believers. Instead, the conflict (and its resolution) brought about great unity blessed by God.
In Romans 14, we learn what Paul meant (and did not mean) by "opinion matters". This passage is often invoked by Christians in interpreting Scripture. It is important to understand how Paul defined opinion issues so we can properly apply his instruction to the Church today with the goal of Biblical unity.
This talk was given in September of 2014. The message was taken from a study series entitled A Lifestyle of Compassion.
What is the single greatest obstacle to helping those in need? This lesson examines the obstacles in our lives that keep us from being compassionate and serving those in need, with a primary focus on the love of money, selfishness, and self-indulgence. The Scriptures call and inspire us to take inventory of our lives and to repent where appropriate, in order to fulfill God's plan to love one another as He intended.
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The attached is a series of guided Bible studies designed to build compassion for those who are poor and in need. These studies were written by a group of brothers who have spent many years studying the Scriptures and seeking to walk as Jesus did in regards to his heart of compassion for the poor and those in need....