Amazing Grace: The Spirit Who Lives In Us, Part 2

grace2.jpgIn the second class on the Spirit we want to answer questions and fill in blanks. This is a time for reflection, testimony, and discussion, whereas the first class will largely have been lecture, as the material will either be old hat or brand new.

Q. How should we feel about the Spirit? Should we worship the Spirit?

A. The Spirit’s role is to point people to Jesus, not to the Spirit. We are not to let the Spirit usurp Jesus’ role in our salvation. Our faith is in Jesus. Continue reading

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Amazing Grace: The Spirit Who Lives In Us, Part 1

grace2.jpgI’m persuaded that it’s just not possible to really understand God’s grace without some understanding of how his Spirit works in us today. I don’t want to talk about Pentecostalism, tongues, or that sort of thing in this lesson. In fact, all too often we so focus on what we don’t believe that we never get around to teaching what we do believe.

A sound understanding of the Spirit requires that we go back to the story of the Exodus. God asked the Israelites to build a tabernacle, literally a portable tent for use in worship and sacrifice as they journeyed across the desert. God promised, “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them” (Exo. 25:8). Continue reading

Amazing Grace: Introduction

grace2.jpgThis begins a new series of posts that will be the building blocks for a series of classes to be taught this coming winter on grace. Much of the material may already be found here and there on this site, but the idea is to squeeze the essentials into a 13-lesson series that can be taught by several different teachers at once.

We are blessed to have a growing congregation, but growth comes with growing pains. Continue reading

Interpreting the Bible: Equipping for Good Works

jesushealing-thumb.jpgMy brother suggested that this verse may be an important hermeneutical principle. I think he’s right–

(2 Tim. 3:16-17) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Rarely do we go to the Scriptures looking for help in doing good works. Even more rarely do we go to the Old Testament, and Paul’s reference “Scriptures” has to be taken as primarily a reference to the first 39 books of the Bible. Continue reading

Interpreting the Bible: Asking the Right Questions

bible.jpgI forget who told me this, but it’s been a source of great insight for me over the years: “The Bible not only provides the answers, it also provides the questions.”

The first time I heard it, I found it a perplexing saying. Why couldn’t I ask the questions I want to ask? Who is God to tell me what to ask? Well, it answers itself, doesn’t it? GOD is who he is! Continue reading

Luke chapter 12

jesushealing.jpgI’ve now added an outline for Luke 12. This is a series of outlines I’m preparing for our adult Bible classes and are designed for Sunday school teachers to teach from. But they’d work for personal study, too. Luke chapter 12

The rest of the outlines may be found at Luke outlines.

How do I know if God has called me to a task?

jesushealing.jpgI’ve had this question posed to me several times. It’s not an easy one for a couple of reasons.

First, when the New Testament speaks of a Christian being “called,” it usually means called to obey the gospel. On the other hand, when Jesus calls James and John to follow him (Matt. 4:21 ff), they are being called to “be fishers of men,” a very specific task. Continue reading