sins (various types)

Jesus Betrayed by Judas (John 18:1-11)

Judas, accompanied by armed troops, discovers Jesus and the eleven other apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane. After Jesus identifies himself, Peter draws his sword and cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant. This short scene is packed with lessons for us including: the danger of greed, a remarkable but little-known prophecy regarding Judas, and Jesus’ teaching on nonresistance.

Let No Root of of Bitterness Spring Up, Pt. 2 of 3 (David)

Since the beginning, Satan has sought to use injustice and man’s sin to turn people against one another and against God. Yet God has a very different plan. In this second of three lessons, we examine the example of David, who faced terrible injustice and persecution, but responded with great faith and righteousness. We also look at how David responded when he was confronted with terrible sin in his own life. David is a tremendous example for us, to confront hardship and our own sin, as our loving Father intends.

Let No Root of Bitterness Spring Up, Pt. 1 of 3 (Naomi and Job)

Since the beginning, Satan has used bitterness as a weapon to turn men and women against God. Most of us have been, or will be, tempted to become bitter about different things in our lives, including sickness, injustice, and being wronged by others. In this three-part series, we examine the lives of men and women in Scripture who found victory over bitterness. The first lesson is a study of Naomi and Job, who found hope and strength in our omnipotent and loving Father through extremely challenging times.

Biblical Separation, Pt. 1: Expelling the Canaanites (Judges 1-2)

In this first of a five-part series on Biblical Separation from the World, Ray Wenger describes foundational principles of Biblical separation from the world, including God’s goodness, examples of artificial separation, and how compromise in our obedience to God’s commandants leads to spiritual destruction. May we find decisive victory over our spiritual Canaanites where Israel failed, and reap the rewards that God seeks to bestow upon us.

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.

Entering a New Year

PDF of Lesson Notes

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. 

Freedom from Slavery (John 8:31-36)

Jesus tells the Jews who believe in him that if they abide in his teaching, they will be set free. Those who hear him are puzzled; they are already free men and have never been slaves! But Jesus is speaking of spiritual slavery: being enslaved to sin. In this lesson we explore the freedom Jesus offers us, which is much different from what the world (and many Christians today) are seeking.

The Light of the World (John 8:12-30)

Jesus boldly announced, “I am the Light of the world.” Why did he say that? Was there some prophecy in the Old Testament Scriptures that spoke of a great light that would come? And in what ways is Jesus similar to light? In this lesson we explore the great theme of light versus darkness in the Scriptures, and its powerful implications for how we live our lives and how we share our faith to a world in utter spiritual darkness.

Rivers of Living Water (John 7:14-39)

What a marvel to listen to Jesus teach the crowds! In this passage, Jesus uses the Old Testament to confront hypocrisy, reveal His identity as the Christ, and promise the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. His enemies were confounded; others were convinced and began to follow Him. There are lessons here for us as well, including God's provision of "rivers of living water," which alone can quench our spiritual thirst and satisfy our souls.  

Signs and Wonders (John 4:46-5:17)

In John 4 and 5, and throughout the New Testament, we read about Jesus, the apostles and others performing miracles, healings, and signs.  These can easily be passed over and dismissed.  Yet, why did Jesus (and others) perform miracles and signs?  What are we to learn from these miracles?  If someone were to work signs and wonders today, would that be a clear sign that God was behind what they were doing?  We will seek to answer these and other questions through the stories of the healing of the nobleman's son (John 4) and the paralyzed man at the pool (John 5).   

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.   

Tamar's Story; Joseph Sent to Prison (Genesis 38-39a)

With Joseph sold into slavery by his brothers and bound for Egypt, the story of Genesis takes a strange detour as we are introduced to Tamar, who, facing a terrible situation, deceives her father-in-law Judah and bears twins. We see how God works through her story to produce a line of kings, from which the Christ would come....

Elisha, Pt. 7: The Blind See (2 Kings 6:8-23)

PDF of Lesson Notes

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)

The Fall of Man, Cain & Abel (Genesis 3:6-4:16)

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....