Visit our web sites

Visit Our Web Sites

For more free Bible study articles and materials, see our web sites at
www.gospelway.com and www.biblestudylessons.com


Friday, November 2, 2018

Voting: Making Godly Choices

People who believe in Bible standards for the family, morality, and religious freedom often face challenging decisions in elections. On the one hand, we ought to prefer those who will encourage righteousness and discourage evil. Yet on the other hand, the available candidates are often less than ideal.

Some people wonder, if they vote for a candidate who holds some immoral view, are they having fellowship with evil (Ephesians 5:11; Romans 1:32). Or some may think that a candidate with a history of personal immorality cannot rule wisely (Proverbs 29:2; Luke 16:10).

These principles should be considered. But usually there is more than this to be considered.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Godly Sorrow, Worldly Sorrow, and True Repentance

2 Corinthians 7:10 – Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

In order to be forgiven of sins, one must first repent. In order to repent, one must first have godly sorrow. Some people do not repent because they are not really sorry. But there is another kind of sorrow – the sorrow of the world –that does not lead to repentance, but leads to death.

If godly sorrow is necessary in order to repent and receive salvation, but there is another kind of sorrow that leads to death, then surely we need to know the difference.

What is the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow? How do we recognize when we or others have a proper sorrow for our sins?

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Leave and Cleave: Independence of Married Children

Genesis 2:24 instructs a man to leave his father and mother and cleave (be joined) to his wife. When a young man and young woman marry, they form a new family unit separate from their parents' family.

Consider with me some lessons people need to learn about what it means to leave father and mother and cleave to one’s wife.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Every Part Doing His Share

Introduction:

Ephesians 4:16 – The body works effectively when every part does its share. This causes growth of the body, so it can edify itself in love.

Every Christian is responsible to do his best to accomplish the work of the local church and fulfill his individual responsibilities before God.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In nearly every congregation, some members do most of the work while others do relatively little. Sometimes we become comfortable with allowing other people to do the work when we really should be helping.

From time to time events in a congregation remind us that each Christian must consider whether there are ways he/she can improve and accomplish more in the work of the congregation. We should always be willing to examine ourselves, but some events especially challenge us to consider our work.

The purpose of this study is to consider the work of this congregation and urge each of us to examine himself or herself to see if we can step up and do more.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Solving Conflict in Human Relationships

Everyone at times must deal with conflict and disagreements.
**************************************************

An elderly couple celebrated many years of marriage. The man said, "I’m pleased to say that we’ve never had a fight." The wife responded, "Well, it helps to be old and forgetful!"

There is no such thing as a married couple that never has conflicts. But the same is true in many other relationships, including in the home, the church, on the job, etc. Unfortunately, most people lack the skill to discuss disagreements and resolve them. As a result, many people become seriously alienated but never resolve the cause of the problem.

The purpose of this study is to learn what the Bible says about how to resolve conflict in our relationships with others.
*****************************************************

Monday, June 4, 2018

Be Ready: The Importance of Preparation

Introduction:

God believes in the importance of good preparation.
******************************************

Proverbs 30:24,25 – God praised ants for their wisdom, because they provide food in the summer and so are prepared for winter. Preparation is a sign of wisdom.

God Himself prepared for many of His works.

Psalms 9:7 – He prepares judgment for the wicked.

Psalms 31:19 – He prepares goodness for His people.

Isaiah 40:3; Luke 1:17 – He sent John the Baptist to prepare for the coming of Jesus.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Bitterness, Resentment, and Self-Pity

Many of us tend to brood bitterly in self-pity about real or imagined mistreatment or failures of people around us. This has often been a problem for me, and I am sure for others too.

Consider some Biblical principles about this subject.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Why Do We Have Mass Shootings?

Every society has had evil people, but today we have people who seek to murder as many of their fellow citizens as they can. This did not exist in our society 50 to 60 years ago. So why do we have it today? There may be many factors, but consider the connection to other changes in our society in the last 50 to 60 years:

Monday, March 5, 2018

A New Man: The Gospel of Change

I once read the following statement (paraphrased): "Jesus never left anyone the same. Of everyone who ever met Him, He demanded change" (Christian Counselors Manual, page 247). Think of all the people whom Jesus demanded to change: the apostles, Nicodemus, the rich young ruler, the Samaritan woman, the woman taken in adultery, the scribes and Pharisees, Saul of Tarsus. Some heeded His call for change and some did not, but He required them all to change.

Change is a fundamental concept of the gospel of Christ.
**********************************************

The gospel repeatedly emphasizes that those who are in Christ must be new and different.

2 Corinthians 5:17 - If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Romans 6:4 - We were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

The purpose of this lesson is to consider the gospel teaching that requires us to be new and different people.
*****************************************************

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Lessons from Snow

An article about "Snowflake Bentley" included the following:

"Wilson (Willie) Bentley (1865-1931) was born on a farm in Jericho, Vermont, ... [an area with] an average annual snowfall of over 120 inches."

"At age 15 he began drawing snowflakes while looking at them through his microscope – no easy task, because most of them melted before he could complete a drawing. At age 16 he learned about a camera that could be used with a microscope. His parents saved the money--and when Willie was 17 they bought him the camera. It took him over a year of failures before he finally achieved his goal – a photograph of a snowflake, the first one ever taken." (Acts and Facts, 12/2011)

Bentley eventually made thousands of such pictures for universities and science magazines.

"At age 66 Bentley published a large ... book of his photographs titled Snow Crystals ... Less than two weeks after his book was published, he walked six miles home in a snowstorm, caught pneumonia, and died two weeks later."

So, with incredible irony, this man who devoted most of his life to the study of snow, ultimately died from walking in a snowstorm!

Consider some lessons we can learn from snow.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Have the Nails Pierced Your Hands?

Galatians 2:20 - A Christian is a person who has been crucified.
***************************************************

Nearly all Bible believers know that Jesus was crucified for us. But some seem to think this means we do not have to be crucified. They want to receive the benefit of Jesus' death, but don't seem to realize that we too must die.

The purpose of this study is to learn what it means to be crucified with Christ and why it is important.
*****************************************************

Monday, December 4, 2017

Basic Principles of Counseling

At times all of us need advice, and we all give advice.
*******************************************

We may seek advice regarding a medical condition, how to follow a certain recipe, or whether or not to buy a certain product. And most of us have offered advice to others in such matters.

But all of us also at times face spiritual problems or hardships for which we need advice. Yet sometimes we are hesitant to ask or to give advice regarding spiritual needs.

The purpose of this study is to consider Bible principles regarding giving and receiving counsel regarding spiritual problems.
*****************************************************

Monday, November 6, 2017

Involvement and Participation in Bible Teaching

We remember ten percent of what we read, twenty percent of what we hear, but thirty percent of what we see.

But of what we see and hear, we remember fifty percent. We remember seventy percent of what we say, and ninety percent of what we say if we also do what we are talking about. (I have forgotten the source of the chart, but have seen this kind of thing several times.)

For example, after Bible class ends, would you be more likely to remember a comment or question you made, or would you remember as well the same question or comment if someone else made it?

The purpose of this lesson is to consider the importance of personal participation and involvement in Bible teaching.
*****************************************************

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Passover and the Language of Memorials

Understanding the Lord’s Supper properly requires us to recognize that much of the language used is not meant to be taken literally. This happens often in certain kinds of Bible teaching, especially in memorials such as the Lord’s Supper.

In order to help us understand the nature of the language, let us consider the Old Testament memorial feast which itself was a symbol of the Lord’s Supper.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Only If You Dig"

God and I raised a flower bed. He really did the most.

We used His soil, His air, His rain, His life, and His sun.

My part seemed so trivial that I said, "Lord, you take those bulbs and make them grow right there in the box out in the garage. You don't need me, Lord. You can do it by yourself."

"Oh, no," He said. "I will do my part, but you must do your part also. You'll have to dig the bed, bury the bulbs, and pull the weeds."

Monday, July 31, 2017

Lessons from Sergius Paulus

Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the Proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord. – Acts 13:6-12

Historical Accuracy of the Account
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

Notice the following evidence that demonstrates the historical accuracy of this account:

Monday, July 3, 2017

What Kind of Church Is This?

Suppose a man in the emergency room of a hospital is overheard to say: "You don’t sell tires, change oil, or wash cars? What kind of hospital is this?" Or, "What you mean you don’t have trapeze artists, or lion tamers? What kind of hospital is this?"

Most of us would immediately realize his mistake. Doctors and nurses are skilled and trained to help people with health issues, but repairing automobiles and operating a circus are not the purposes of a hospital. And any hospital that would involve itself in those activities would be neglecting the real purpose for which they exist. If you want someone to repair your car or entertain you, you must go elsewhere.

Few people would make this kind of mistake regarding a hospital, but I once read an article that illustrated that people frequently make this mistake regarding the church. For example, consider the people who think:

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Lord's Table

The Bible uses different terms to describe practices and institutions that God has ordained. These different terms are intended to help us understand and appreciate God's will regarding these activities. Specifically, we can gain a deeper understanding of the Lord's Supper by considering the terms the Bible uses to refer to it. Let us consider one such expression.

1 Corinthians 10:19-22 - What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

This passage refers to the Lord's Supper as the "Lord's table." Consider lessons we can learn.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Counting the Cost

I have a book by Paul Johnson about the history of the American people. It describes the development of the United States and discusses at length the role of religion in our history. One point he emphasizes is the tension throughout our history between the importance of religion and spirituality on the one hand and the urge for possessions and materialism on the other hand.

At one point he describes the occupations, material success, and living arrangements of Americans in the 1700’s, including a description of their homes. Page 100 includes the following about what was to be the most magnificent home built during the 1700’s:

"The greatest early 18th-century house in America was Rosewell, erected by Mann Page ... in 1726 on the York river. Page had this superb house built using designs ... published in London ... Page overspent, his grand house was unfinished when he died in 1730, and his debts exceeded the value of all his property ... Rosewell ... was burned down in 1916."

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Why We Need Forgiveness

Sometimes we fail to see our need for items that would really benefit us if we had them. If we obtain them, we may come to treasure what we earlier thought was unimportant.

On the other hand, we sometimes lose our appreciation for an item after we obtain it. Even if it performs as we had hoped, after a while "the new wears off." It becomes commonplace, and we begin to take it for granted.

In this study we will consider a gift that all of us need, though we may not realize our need. Or we may possess this gift but fail to appreciate it. Either way, our study should help us to appreciate this gift more fully. This gift is the forgiveness of sins.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Jesus Possesses the Unique Characteristics of God.

Certain characteristics are unique to God. No one but God - surely no created being - can possess them. Our purpose is to consider whether or not Jesus possesses these qualities. If He possesses the character which only Deity can possess, then this confirms that He possesses Deity. To claim He possesses these qualities when He is not Deity would be blasphemy.

Note that some passages make general claims which necessarily imply that Jesus possesses the qualities of Deity. He possesses all the fullness of Deity (Colossians 2:9). He is the very image of the Father (Hebrews 1:3), and had the form of God (Philippians 2:6). He also wears the unique names of God. It follows that He must possess the characteristics of God.

Let us consider these qualities individually to see whether or not the Bible affirms that Jesus did possess them. Remember that, if Jesus ever possessed these qualities, then He has always possessed them and always will possess them (Hebrews 13:8). Deity cannot cease to be Deity and cannot lose the characteristics of Deity.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Astronauts and Faith in God

John Glenn, who died December 8, 2016, was one of the original seven American astronauts. In 1962, he was the first American to orbit the earth. In 1998 at age 77 he was the oldest person to go into space.

Consider the following excerpts from an article in the Orlando Sentinel, 11/7/1998, entitled "Astronauts’ Faith Isn’t Lost In Space"

Monday, November 7, 2016

Moral Decline and the Faith of Abraham

Hebrews 11:17 – By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

Several Scriptures discuss the faith of Abraham and especially his faith in being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac. Hebrews 11 says his faith was so great he believed God could raise Isaac from the dead. Consider some lessons we can learn:

Monday, September 5, 2016

Does the Thief on the Cross Prove Baptism is Not Essential?


Luke 23:39-43 - Jesus was crucified between two criminals (thieves). As the three of them were suspended, one thief ridiculed Jesus, but the other defended Him. Jesus promised this one would be in Paradise that day.

This saying of Jesus has become a center of controversy. Many believe Jesus saves people on the basis of "faith alone," so baptism is not essential to receive forgiveness of sins. When the subject is discussed, people commonly bring up the thief as someone who was saved without baptism. They conclude that if Jesus would save this man without baptism, He would also save us without baptism.

Let us consider further. What does this case teach us about the terms of forgiveness under the gospel?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Significance of Jesus' Resurrection

The resurrection was one of the most commonly mentioned themes in the preaching of the apostles.

It was preached as a major proof for Jesus' claims. But it was also used to teach many other important lessons.

If the resurrection was so important in the preaching of inspired men in the first century, surely it should be just as important in our preaching today.

The purpose of this study is to consider the significance of Jesus' resurrection. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Duration of Spiritual Gifts

Note: This is the conclusion of a series of studies about miracles, tongues, Holy Spirit baptism, healings, and spiritual gifts. To see the whole series, go to our Bible Instruction website at www.gospelway.com/instruct

Introduction:

Previous articles showed that the purposes of spiritual gifts pertained to the work of revealing and confirming God's will for man. And that work was completed during the lifetime of the original apostles.

Our purpose now will be to consider whether, when this work was completed, the gifts were to continue or did God cause them to cease?

Some people believe that miracles and direct revelation still occur today. Is this correct, or have the gifts ceased?

Monday, May 30, 2016

To Whom Do the Teachings of the New Testament Apply?


Introduction:

Sometimes people wonder whether all people are universally accountable to obey the teachings of the gospel, the New Testament, or is it only for members of the church? Are people free from the laws of God simply because they have never chosen to submit to those laws, or will God still hold them accountable in the Judgment for the fact they did not obey the Bible?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Are You "In Christ"?


Introduction:
John 15:1-6 -- To bear good fruit for the Lord and to avoid being cast off, we must abide in Christ. Surely this makes it essential for all who want eternal life to be "in Christ."

Many Scriptures talk about Christians being "in Christ." The purpose of this study is to examine those passages.

What does it mean to be in Christ? Why should a person want to be in Christ? How does a person come into Christ and abide in Him?

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Authority of Scriptural Reasoning


Introduction:

   Most Bible believers admit that God teaches directly by means of direct commands and direct statements. We sometimes say: "Commands constitute binding authority"; so, people are expected to obey, and those who do not obey in error.
   
    [Examples: Acts 10:48; Matthew 22:37-39; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25; 14:37; John 14:15,21-24; 15:14; 1 John 2:3,4; 5:3; Matthew 28:18-20]
   
    But besides direct, explicit statements, the Bible also teaches by indirect methods. These methods include examples and "necessary inferences" (or "logical conclusions"). Some people say we are obligated to follow only commands. They deny that example and necessary inference are valid, binding ways to determine God's will. They may even say that using such methods constitutes a man-made creed or a human tradition. (Some even have a name for this view. They call it a "new hermeneutic.")
   
    The purpose of this study is to examine whether or not "necessary inference" constitutes a Scriptural method to learn God's will.
    *****************************************************

Monday, February 1, 2016

What Is the Meaning of Life?


Introduction:

What is the meaning of life? Without doubt, this is one of the most challenging, and yet one of the most fundamental, questions the mind can consider.

People throughout history have pondered the purpose of life. Philosophers spin theories. Poets write songs. Young people drop out of society to "find out what it's all about." Older people may remain within the "establishment," but they still wonder.

Obviously life is real. No one can deny that the world exists and people exist. You live, eat, sleep, breathe, and move. But do you understand why you exist?

Please consider with me the challenging question of life. What is it really all about? To answer this question, we will look at three specific questions.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Humanism and the Bible


Introduction:

Few people were aware of, or concerned about, the Humanist philosophy until recently. As it has become more influential, it has become better known. Yet still few people really understand it or realize the depth of its influence on society.

The purposes of this study are to acquaint people with the major doctrines of Humanism, to demonstrate the influence it is having in our society, and to compare its teachings to those of the Bible.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hatred, Hate Speech, and Hate Crimes

How many times have you heard people say things like the following?

"Hate has no place in our society."

"We need to learn to love, not hate."

When people speak out against some practice, they are accused of being full of hate or using hate speech or a hate crime.

People often act and speak as though love is always good and hate always bad.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Astrology, Horoscopes, Signs of the Zodiac, and the Bible


Introduction:

Astrology is becoming increasingly popular.

In my youth, people almost never took the Occult, witchcraft, or astrology seriously. People considered them a joke or at most an oddity. Today all aspects of the occult are increasingly taken seriously. Evidence of this increasing popularity include:

* In the 1950's only 100-200 newspapers carried horoscope columns. Today, thousands of full-time professional astrologers cast horoscopes, most newspapers carry horoscopes, and millions of people read them with varying degrees of seriousness.

* In the 1970's the rock musical "Hair" popularized the hit song announcing "the dawning of the Age of Aquarius," one of the signs of the Zodiac.

* The popular New Age Movement promotes and justifies astrology along with many other aspects of the Occult.

* TV ads promote astrology, psychics, and the Occult generally. Movies and TV programs discuss it, promote it, and present it as a serious phenomenon.

* Many recent book fads, such as the Harry Potter books, deeply involve many aspects of the Occult. A search of occult books on Amazon.com yields a list of nearly 800 titles in the children's section alone! The point is not that all of these are harmful - many actually oppose the Occult. But the sheer number shows the popularity of the subject.

The fact is that many people, especially young people, are fascinated by all aspects of the Occult. You and your friends, your children and their friends, will all have contact with Occult influences, including astrology. You need to know what the Bible says.

The purpose of this study is to examine what the Bible says about astrology.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Religious Emotionalism

Introduction:

Human emotions play important roles in our lives. This is natural and may be quite wholesome. But we all realize that sometimes emotions cloud people's thinking, so they do things they should not. Emotions can be confusing, uncertain, even dangerous.

The purpose of this study is to consider the role emotions have in religion and to consider some ways that emotions cloud people's thinking in religion.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Effects of Same-Sex Marriage


Numerous countries and states have granted the privilege of marriage to people of the same sex. Others are considering doing so.

This has followed after years of progressive moral decline: no-fault divorce, legalized abortion, trial marriages and the sexual revolution, and the gay rights movement. Granting marital status to homosexuals is one of the greatest downward leaps in this long progression.

The purpose of this study is to consider what view decent moral people ought to take, not just about homosexuality in general, but specifically about homosexual marriage. What effects will result if homosexuals are granted the right to marry?

What about people who do not practice homosexuality? How can this affect us?

Consider the following areas of concern:

Monday, June 1, 2015

What Must We Believe?

Introduction:

Many Scriptures teach that we are saved by faith.

But does it follow, just because a person claims to have "faith," that he will be saved? Is it possible to have a faith that does not save?

[Hebrews 10:39; 11:1,4-8,17,30; Romans 1:16; 4:19-21; 5:1,2; 10:9,10,13-17; Galatians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 5:7; James 2:14-26; John 1:12; 3:15-18; 8:24; 20:30,31; Mark 16:15,16]

There are different kinds of faith.
**************************

Many people think they are saved because they "believe," with little restrictions on what they believe. This is especially confusing with those who claim we are saved by "faith alone."

* Some think its enough to "believe in god": some concept of a Supreme Being or some "force" that operates the universe.

* Others claim Hindus and Buddhists will be saved because they "believe in god": many gods, worshiped by images, etc.

* Others claim Jews and Muslims will be saved because "they believe in the same God you do."

* Many liberal, modernists don't believe in Jesus' miracles or Deity or resurrection, yet claim they "believe in Jesus": He existed and was a great teacher, maybe even a prophet.

* Many denominationalists disbelieve much of what Jesus taught yet think they will be saved because they believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who died to save them from their sins.

The purpose of this study is to consider what the Bible says we must believe to be saved.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Premillennialism and Jesus' Second Coming

(Note: This study is part of a series of studies relating to the premillennial view of the kingdom. Frequently this study will refer to other of the studies in the series. To understand the whole picture, and especially to see the other articles that we refer to from time to time, please go to www.gospelway.com/instruct and see the section about Man and His Future.)

Introduction:

Premillennialism is dangerous for many reasons. My main objections are that it (perhaps unintentionally) belittles the authority of Christ, the death of Christ, and the significance of the church and the gospel, while at the same time exalting materialistic goals, Jewish nationalism (respect of persons), and Mosaic practices. These problems affect our present service to God. [For details about these points, see the link above for our other articles on premillennialism.]

Yet premillennialism also contradicts clear gospel teachings about the second coming of Jesus. The purpose of this lesson is to examine these contradictions.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Claims of Scripture

Introduction:

Years ago I heard a public discussion between a gospel preacher and a denominational preacher in which the denominational preacher claimed he could write letters like those in the New Testament. He was not claiming to be directly guided by the Holy Spirit to write divine commandments. He meant that, because of his spiritual maturity and wisdom, he could be "inspired" to write helpful spiritual lessons like poets are "inspired" to write poetry.

This illustrates the view that many people today take of Scripture.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Authority of the Teaching of the Apostles

Introduction:

Many people think the teachings presented by apostles or prophets, especially Paul, are somehow less authoritative than what Jesus Himself personally spoke.

* A "philosophy major," when I quoted Acts 2:38, said that was just Peter expressing his opinion.

* A feminist said I based all my beliefs on the teaching of "that old reprobate, the apostle Paul."

* A Muslim leader (El Dareer) in debate claimed that Paul's teaching differed from that of Jesus. Other people have claimed that Paul's teaching disagreed with that of Peter.

* A defender of homosexuality said that "Jesus said nothing about gays" - meaning that He personally said nothing, so we can disregard clear teachings in the epistles regarding homosexuality.

* Others have said that the apostles, especially Paul, did not show as good an attitude as Jesus in teaching: they expressed less love and tolerance but were more condemning of other people's views.

* For these reasons, some follow only the "Red Letters" as being necessary to salvation.

To such people, what Jesus said may be worth considering, but other teaching in the New Testament is optional. They feel free to reject the teaching of some apostle or prophet, especially Paul, if they don't like it.

The purpose of this study is to consider the teachings of the apostles and prophets, especially Paul, and compare their authority to that of Jesus' teachings.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Raising Godly Children - Motivation

Parents would prefer that their children simply obey them without chastisement. But in practice this does not always happen. Often the child's will conflicts with that of the parent. Then, if the child is to learn respect for authority and do what we believe to be best for him, we must still get them to obey us. How can we lead a child to obey when he would rather not?

The answer is that parents must motivate the child to obey. Whatever reasons they have for not obeying, we must give them stronger reasons to obey! This is done by rewards and punishments. When the child obeys, we make him glad by giving him a pleasant experience. When he disobeys, we make him sorry by giving an unpleasant experience. He eventually learns it is to his advantage to obey. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What Is the Church?

Introduction:

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus promised He would build His church. All serious Bible students agree that He did build His church in the first century. At that time, there was only one church belonging to Jesus and all saved people were in that one church. You can read about that church on nearly every page of your New Testament.

The purpose of this study is to consider what the church is.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Abortion and the Bible


Introduction:

In all the wars fought by the USA, a total of over 1.2 million soldiers have died. This study is about the people who have died in a different war: the war on the unborn. Since the United States Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that unborn babies could legally be killed, between 1 and 1.5 million unborn babies have been legally killed in this country every year. The yellow pages of any phone book list several nearby clinics where women can "terminate a pregnancy."

But no human legislature and no human court has final authority over what is morally right or wrong. Nazi law and Communist law allowed the killing of millions of adults. Was that moral? God is the final authority in determining what is morally right or wrong, regardless of what any man may say (Isa. 55:8,9; Luke 16:15; 1 Cor. 1:18-25). We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

The purpose of this study is to consider exactly what the Bible teaches about abortion. The Bible is the perfect standard of right and wrong (2 Tim. 3:16,17; 1 Cor. 14:37; John 12:48). Too much has been said about abortion without adequately considering the Bible teaching.

Monday, September 1, 2014

How Can You Be Sure Jesus Has Forgiven Your Sins?

To receive eternal life according to the gospel of Christ, a person must be forgiven of sins by Jesus' blood (Ephesians 1:7; Matthew 26:28; 1 Peter 2:24). But many people are unsure about whether or not they have been forgiven. Others may think that they have been forgiven, but would be surprised to learn that Jesus does not agree.

Matthew 7:21-23 -- Many people, who believe in the Lord, will expect Jesus to accept them at the judgment. Instead He will reject them because they have not done the will of the Father.

Acts 23:1; 26:9 -- Saul was a Jew who opposed Jesus in all good conscience, doing what he sincerely believed he should do. Yet he was the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:12-15). Clearly he had been misled.

What about you and me? Is it possible we have been misled like these people? Surely this matter deserves your careful investigation.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mormonism, Latter Day Saints, and the Bible


Introduction:

Many Scriptures instruct us that, to determine what is true, we should compare doctrines and practices to the Bible.

2 Timothy 3:16,17 - The Scriptures are inspired by God, instruct us in righteousness, and provide us to every good work. [2 Tim. 2:15; 1 John 2:3-5]

1 John 4:1,6 - However, there are many false prophets, so we must put them to the test. We do this by comparing their teachings to the teachings we know are from God. [Cf. 1 Cor. 1:13]

Galatians 1:8,9 - Any man, even an angel, must teach the same gospel taught by inspired men. Any who teach different gospels are accursed. See 2 John 9-11.

Acts 17:11,12 - The Bereans were able to determine what was or was not true by searching the Scriptures daily.

God intends for us to determine the validity of any doctrine we hear by comparing it to what we know to be His revelation. If it does not agree, then it cannot be from God, and those who teach it are not pleasing to God.

True teachers will encourage listeners to compare their teaching to Scripture. If teachers belittle Scripture and object when people compare their teachings to Scripture, you can know those teachers are not from God.

The purpose of this study is to examine some particular teachings and compare them to Scripture, as the above passages teach.
*****************************************************

The doctrines we will examine are those taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons). Mormons claim to agree that the Bible is from God (Article of Faith #8). We do not accept their claim that their Mormon "Scriptures" are from God, but we agree that the Bible is from God. Since Mormons and we agree that the Bible is from God, then we can determine the truth of Mormon teaching by comparing it to the Bible.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Does Jesus' Kingdom Now Exist?


Premillennialism claims that the kingdom of Jesus Christ does not yet exist. The premillennial view is that Jesus came to earth to establish His kingdom but could not because the Jews rejected Him. So they say, when He comes again, the Messiah must establish and rule 1000 years on the throne of David over an earthly, civil kingdom. Does the kingdom now exist or will Jesus reign for a thousand years on earth (the millennium) when He returns?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Modernism, Miracles, and the Bible

Introduction:

The purpose of this study is to examine the teaching of modernism about miracles and to consider how Christians should respond.

I. A Description of Modernism
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A. A Definition of Modernism
==================

Modernism, as a religious philosophy, is believed to some extent by many (probably most) denominational preachers who claim to be Christians. Its adherents may differ widely in viewpoint, but we define its major concepts as follows:

Modernism is the belief that the Bible is not infallible but may contain errors or inaccuracies. It generally begins by claiming the Bible contains inaccuracies in history, geography, or science; then it expresses doubt about Bible accounts of miracles and prophetic predictions; then it ends by denying or questioning fundamental doctrines such as the Deity of Jesus, the sacrificial death of Jesus, the nature of God, etc.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Responsibility, Honesty, and Self-Control in Marriage


(This is part of a ten-part series about marriage preparation and improvement. This article should be studied in context of the whole series of articles. To start at the beginning of the series, please go to our web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct and see the section about the Family.)

Major marriage problems often are caused by irresponsible conduct, especially regarding honesty, financial matters, and uncontrolled temper.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

God’s Explanation about Job’s Suffering


(The following is the conclusion of our Commentary on the Book of Job. To learn more about our commentaries and books, go to www.lighttomypath.net/sales.)

One wonders, as the story of the book of Job concludes, at the fact that God never did explain to Job the real reason for his suffering. We were told the reason in the very beginning of the book, yet the record nowhere states that God ever told Job. Over and over Job and his friends disputed the reason why Job was suffering. This one issue was the major theme of the book till God spoke. Yet the book ends without Job or his friends ever learning the answer! This used to really frustrate me. It almost appears that God missed the point of the discussion – that He never even discussed the real issue. But of course, we must never think God makes a mistake – that would be similar to the error Job committed. So why did God not answer Job’s questions?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Jesus' Transfiguration

Jesus' transfiguration is recorded in three accounts of His life (Luke 9:28-36; Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13) . Consider some lessons we can learn from this Bible event.
 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Watch Your Language!

Introduction:

The use of profane and obscene speech is an increasing problem.

I once received a newspaper column in which a woman discussed whether parents should allow little children to use swear words. She cited a woman "theologian" who said the Bible nowhere condemns swearing. She concluded there is really nothing wrong with it, unless your children use such language around people who would be offended.

Some people have long used profanity and obscenity privately when they are angry, disgusted, or excited. Some use it for emphasis. Some enjoy suggestive or off-color jokes. With others the practice is just a habit. Unfortunately, this is even true of some professing Christians.

More recently, such speech has become common, not just in private, but also in public and in the mass media. Finding a TV show, movie, or novel that does not use it is nearly impossible, even in so-called "family entertainment." Social media have gone so far as to give such expressions code abbreviations, so people can use profanity without having to type it out! Some professing Christians carelessly copy and distribute on their pages messages that include it.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Jesus Deserves the Worship and Glory That Are Uniquely God's


Just as only God deserves to wear certain unique names, possesses certain unique characteristics, and do certain unique works, so there are certain unique forms of worship and honor that belong only to God. Because God created and rules the whole creation, it follows that all created things must honor and worship Him. No man or other created being may rightly receive such worship. To give such honor to men or created beings constitutes blasphemy or idolatry.

In this study we consider the Bible evidence about the worship and honor Jesus deserves to receive.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Separation of Religion and ... Everything!

Introduction:
***********

We often hear people speak of "separation of church and state."
*****************************************************

Many people think this proves that somehow government should never support or encourage anything religious. More recently, this idea is being used to claim that people's religious views should have no influence on the government.

We can easily document that this was never what the Founding Fathers meant when they wrote the Constitution, but what does God think?

The purpose of this lesson is to consider how religious belief is being systematically excluded from daily life.
*****************************************************

The End of Darwinism Part II


The End of Darwinism Part II

by David A. Noebel

Following are the last of 14 arguments posited favoring Darwin's theory of evolution followed by the scientific evidence against each one. The beginning of this article can been found in the August issue at www.schwarzreport.org.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Raising Godly Children - Consistency

(Note: This material is a chapter from our book about marriage and child raising. To learn more, go to www.lighttomypath.net/sales.)

Consistency is defined as "steadfast adherence to the same principles."

Note some specific areas in which consistency is needed but is often lacking in raising children:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Was Noah's Flood Worldwide or Local?

Some people doubt or deny that the flood was worldwide. But consider the evidence from the Bible account:

The End of Darwinism - part 1

The End of Darwinism (Part 1)

by David A. Noebel

"The LORD’s works are great, studied by all who delight in them."--Psalm 111:2

"Last week in Nice, France, I was privileged to participate, along with 30 scholars, mostly scientists and mathematicians, in a conference on the question of whether the universe was designed, or at least fine-tuned, to make life, especially intelligent life. . . . It appears the universe is designed for biogenesis and human life" (Dennis Prager, The Washington Times, June 24, 2013, p.30).

The following 13 arguments posited favoring Darwin’s theory of evolution are then followed by the scientific evidence against each one. A finely tuned universe that includes human life is totally contrary to Darwin’s theory of chance, natural selection, and mutation. Dennis Prager is correct--"The evidence for design is so compelling that the only way around it is to suggest that our universe is only one of an infinite number of universes." Only atheists who insist on "science and reason" could accept such an unscientific and irrational view.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

In God We Trust

Quotations from the Founding Fathers about Religion
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(Hobby Lobby Ad - 7/4/2013)

[Editorial Note: These quotations document the views of many founding fathers and others showing their respect for religion and morality. We quote it mainly to show that our country was established by men who generally believed that government should respect and encourage morality, decency, religion, and Bible teaching. They would be shocked to observe modern attempts to limit religious freedom or to exclude God or Biblical morality from influencing our laws and officials. (This is the text of an ad placed by Hobby Lobby in many newspapers across the country on the weekend of July 4, 2013. It apparently appeared in various forms. We have attempted to quote it as it appeared in our local paper.) – DP]

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Homosexuality, Gay Liberation, and the Bible

Note carefully: No teaching anywhere on this web site is intended or should ever be construed to justify or to in any way incite or encourage personal vengeance or physical violence against any person.

Introduction:

Homosexuality is as modern as today's newspaper and as old as ancient history. Many ancient Greek leaders, including Socrates and Plato, were apparently homosexuals, as were many Roman emperors. It has been especially common in certain societies. What about our own society?

* Some popular studies claim ten per cent of Americans are homosexual. However, this figure was inflated. A brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by 31 pro-homosexual activist groups in the case of Lawrence v. Texas states: "2.8 percent of the male, and 1.4% of the female, population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual." (Culture Facts, April 4, 2003)

Animal Rights: Distinction between Men and Animals

Introduction:

Note: This article is part of a series of studies about animal liberation and the Bible. We encourage you to go to see the other articles at

If men and animals are fundamentally the same in nature, then we would expect animals to have the same rights as men. But if men are fundamentally different from animals, then we should expect different rules to apply.

Sexual Morality & God's Plan for the Family

(This article is a sequel to our article on God's Plan for the Family. Please read that article before proceeding.)

Having a basic understanding of the marriage covenant, let us consider various specific forms of sexual immorality. This will increase our understanding and appreciation of that law and will show us how sexual immorality relates to the marriage law.

God's Plan for the Family

Introduction

Who can possibly doubt that sexual immorality is increasingly practiced and accepted in our society?

All you need to do is turn on your TV or read your paper and you know our society faces an epidemic of sexual immorality. Consider how this affects God's plan for the family.

George Washington, the Bible, Respect for God, and Religious Freedom

George Washington served eight years as the first President of the United States. He was the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and chairman of the Constitutional Convention that composed the Constitution. He is often called the "Father of our country." Surely of all men he would have understood the views of the founding fathers about the relationship between government and the Bible and faith in God.

Founding Fathers, the Continental Congress, the Bible, Respect for God, and Religious Freedom

The Continental Congress served as the chief legislative body for the original American colonies throughout the Revolutionary War until the adoption of the Constitution. This spanned essentially from 1774 into 1789. If any group of men could be considered the "founding fathers" of our country, it would be this group. Many of them participated in writing the Constitution. If any men could ever have possessed a clear understanding of how the founding fathers viewed the Bible and respect for God, it would have been these men.

Consider the facts we here document about this Congress. When a person knows the truth about the views of the founding fathers of this country, who can seriously defend the view that they intended to write the Constitution in such a way as to remove the teachings of the Bible and the praise of God from all governmental and educational institutions?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Marxism-Leninism (Communism) Compared to the Bible

Introduction:

If we had lived before WWII, what should Christians have done about Nazism?
*****************************************************

Assume we knew or could have known basically what Nazism was like.

Should we have kept quiet and overlooked it because:

* It involved political and economic issues and we are concerned about religion?

* It controlled governments and Christians should not criticize rulers?

* Speaking out might lead to persecution?

* It was mainly a problem in foreign nations, not here (we didn't know any Nazis)?

Or, should we have spoken out to express opposition because:

* It was based on fundamental religious errors (evolution, racism, atheism)?

* It rejected Christianity and denied Jesus?

* It sought world domination by war and military conquest (subjugating millions by war)?

* It used violence and force to eliminate unwanted citizens (millions in the holocaust)?

2 Timothy 4:2-4; Ephesians 5:11; Revelation 3:19 - God's word instructs us to oppose the forces of evil. Surely we all agree that we ought to have reproved and rebuked a belief based on religious error that forcibly subjugated millions of people and murdered millions more.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Does the End Justify the Means?

Introduction
 
Romans 3:8 - Paul had been falsely accused of teaching, "let us do evil that good may come."
*****************************************************

Paul here denied believing this doctrine, but many people today do believe it, or they reason as though they do. The idea is that we evaluate the goal or end result that we hope to achieve, and if the goal seems honorable or upright, then we conclude that whatever means or methods we might use to achieve that goal would also be honorable or upright.

The idea has several names: "Situation Ethics," "Moral Relativity," "end justifies the means," "practicality," and other terms. One man called it "using the devil's tools to do God's work."

The purpose of this study is to consider what the Bible says about the idea that the end justifies the means.

Lying and Deceit

Introduction
Our son Tim's company gave him two free tickets to a Cubs game, so he and I went. A professional photographer asked if we would like to have our picture taken for free. When we agreed, he gave us a card telling us how to access our picture online. But the site required us to pay $20 to get any useable picture. He "took the picture" for free, but he knew people would think they would get a picture for free. He deceived us.

Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven things that are an abomination to God, and two of them involve lying: "a lying tongue," and "a false witness that tells lies." God hates a lying tongue!

Women's Role in Preaching and Church Leadership

Introduction:

Consider some changes that have occurred in church leadership roles in recent years.

* Some believe that women should be allowed to preach or lead prayer or singing in public worship assemblies.

* Some claim that women should be allowed to serve as elders/bishops or deacons.

* Some claim that women should be allowed to attend and speak in church business or decision-making meetings. Some claim women should have equal voice with men in such meetings.

* Some claim that churches must have "congregational meetings" in which all members, including women, discuss and make decisions. Some claim that such meetings must ratify or reject decisions made by the elders or men.

The purpose of this study is to examine the teaching of the New Testament about the role of women in such activities of church leadership and decision making.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Judgment Day

Introduction:

Romans 2:16 refers to "the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ."
Many passages teach there will be a day when Jesus comes again, and all who have ever lived will stand before Him to give account for their lives. The Judge on that day will be Jesus Himself, and He will reward each person according to how he has lived his life.

[See Matthew 25:31-46; John 12:48; Acts 1:9-11; 10:42; 17:30,31; Romans 2:4-11; 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9; 2 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 9:27; 10:26-31; Revelation 20:11-15; Ecclesiastes 12:13,14.]

The purpose of this lesson is to study the judgment day as revealed in Romans 2.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Glory of Mary

Introduction:

Perhaps no other woman in history played such an important role in God's plan as did Mary.

By the grace of God she was greatly honored to be chosen as Jesus' mother. Surly, all people should appreciate Mary and imitate her good qualities.

Nevertheless, there is disagreement regarding the role or status of Mary. This issue remains one of the main differences between the Roman Catholic Church and other churches.

The purpose of this study is to examine the view held by the Roman Catholic Church regarding Mary and compare it to the teaching of the Bible.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Days of Creation: Literal Days or Long Ages?

Should we view the "days" of Genesis 1 as long periods to harmonize with evolutionary "science," or are they literal, consecutive days? To weaken the doctrine about the days of creation is to weaken the doctrine of creation itself, which in turn undermines faith in God and the Bible as God's word. (Note that "day" must have the same meaning for each of the "days" of creation.) Here is a brief summary of the evidence in the Bible.

Transubstantiation, the Mass, and Holy Eucharist

Introduction: 

Suppose I show you a picture of Abraham Lincoln from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, then I say, "This is Abraham Lincoln, President of the USA." How would you react?

Most would understand that I meant this is a statue of Abraham Lincoln that serves as a memorial that reminds us of him. But suppose someone responds, "You said, 'This is Abraham Lincoln.' You mean Abraham Lincoln is a statue? How can you say our president is made of stone?"

That illustrates the issue in this study.

This study considers whether or not the elements of communion literally and physically become Jesus' body and blood.

The Nature Of The Holy Spirit

Introduction:

The purpose of this study is to consider the nature of the Holy Spirit and especially whether or not the Holy Spirit is a Diving Being who possesses Deity as part of the Godhead, like God the Father and God the Son.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Original Sin & Total Inherited Depravity

Introduction:

"Original sin" refers to the first sin committed by Adam and Eve, and the consequences of that sin to future generations. All Bible students agree that serious consequences came to mankind from that sin. But the term generally refers to a particular doctrinal concept about sin as taught by most Protestant and Catholic churches.

The purpose of this study is to examine the doctrine of "original sin" and the related doctrine of "total inherited depravity," and compare them to the Bible.
 

Should Christians Vote and Express Their Views to Rulers?

Surely local churches should not endorse candidates, nor sponsor or finance their campaigns. And individual Christians should not become so involved in politics that they neglect other God-given duties. But should Christians refuse all involvement in any issues that surround modern politics and elections?
 

Solving Marriage Conflict

Introduction:

Every family has disagreements. Someone once told about a couple celebrating many years of marriage. The man said, "I'm pleased to be able to say that we've never had a fight." The wife responded, "Well, it helps to get old and develop a poor memory!"

The couple that never has conflicts does not exist. Unfortunately, conflicts can lead to bad fights. A bad fight is one that seriously alienates husband and wife but never resolves the cause of the problem. As a result couples build up bitterness, quarreling, uncontrolled anger, hatred, and often divorce.

What many couples lack is the skill to discuss disagreements and resolve them. Specifically, they need the ability to discuss serious problems, reach a plan to resolve them, and then put that plan into action. I emphasize that this is a skill that many people simply never have learned, but which can be learned.

The purpose of this study is to learn what the Bible says about how to resolve conflict in marriage.