First Principles

Obstacles to Compassion

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 Gospel of Jesus about the Poor

1 Corinthians 7:1-16 - Divorce and Remarriage, and Instructions to Marrieds

In this passage, Paul addresses specific issues related to those who are married in the church, including married couples fasting, sexual relations, and divorce and remarriage.   This lesson covers Jesus' teaching on marriage, the foundation on which Paul builds.  Jesus' teaching shocked his disciples, as it was a radical departure from societal norms.  The challenge for us in understanding this (and any other) Biblical topic, is to ensure that all the Scriptures fit together without contradiction.  This lesson puts forth the beauty and wisdom of God's plan for marriage.     

Grace through Faith

In this lesson, we take a short break from our study in the book of Corinthians to look at the concepts of faith and grace, two of the most misunderstood and misused terms in Scripture. This lesson provides a Biblical definition of these terms, explains how they are used in the Old and New Testaments, and demonstrates why our correct understanding of faith and grace is critical to our walk with God and our very salvation.  

The Legacy of Non-Resistance in the Churches of Christ

Were Jesus' teachings on non-resistance, love for one's enemies, and peacemaking meant to be taken seriously? This lesson reviews the radical convictions of the Restoration Movement regarding these teachings, and sadly, how they were lost over time as the church began to incorporate the popular thinking of its day.