It's the Lord's
Larry Dickens August 17, 2014
The concept of ownership has a Biblical basis (Eccl 5:13: Isa 1:3; Mk 14:14). This is the basis for the sins of theft and covetousness (Eph 4:28; Deut 5:21). However, our concepts of ownership, possession, and what is "mine" or "yours" become confused. Hence, the title of the lesson It's the Lord's--Not Yours... we will survey some things which really belong to the Lord.
Larry Dickens August 24, 2014
Who are good prospects for the Gospel? The worst people you know! The best people you know! The least religious people you know! The most religious people you know! Click below to see examples and follow the reasoning.
Evidences, Lesson I: Claim of Inspiration, Historical Accuracy of the Bible
Larry Dickens August 31, 2014
The Bible claims to be inspired (breathed out) by God (2 Peter 1:20-21; Gal 1:11-12; 2 Tim 3:16-17). The people of the first century accepted the writings of the NT authors as God’s Word (1 Thess 2:13). The Word continues as delivered (1 Peter 1:24-25; Mark 13:31). So, is the New Testament historically reliable?
Building a Strong Church
Ardie Brown September 7, 2014
In Matt 16, Jesus tells His disciples that He will build His church on the foundational fact that He is the Son of God. Within the "universal" church (all true believers), there are groups of people that work together to spread the gospel in their community, including assembling together for worship, prayer, etc. These are also called "churches" or "congregations". What does the Bible tell us is needed to build a strong church?
Evidences, Lesson II: Archaeological and Bibliographic Evidence for Accuracy of the Bible
Larry Dickens September 7, 2014
Has archaeology ever proved even one statement of the Bible to be incorrect? On the contrary, even attempts that were specifically intended to show historical inaccuracies ended up confirming just the opposite: the Bible contains truth without error. What about the Bible text? Can we trust it has been preserved without error? How do we know it is not the product of man's conspiracy/collusion, written later than advertised by liars and frauds?
It Does make a Difference
Ardie Brown, September 14, 2014
Does it matter what we believe? Can we not trust what is "inside us" to know what is right, what is true?Are there many valid paths to the same destination (heaven)? Can some or all different religions bring people to God? The scriptures are clear: no man can come to God except through Jesus. Click below to find the passages and read, then make your own decision.
Evidences, Lesson III: Faith from Fulfilled Prophecy
Larry Dickens September 14, 2014
It has been shown that the life of Jesus fulfills over 400 prophecies...stated by a diverse set of writers...hundreds to thousands of years before his birth...and confirmed by a variety of witnesses after his death. These include his personal statements and actions (aspects within a man's control), but also many circumstances and actions of others that one man could not manipulate, as well as miraculous events. Click below to read more, including a list of the 29 prophecies fulfilled in a single 24-hour period!
God's Drawing Power
Ardie Brown, September 21, 2014
How are men drawn to God? Why? Let's see what the scriptures say (and what they don't).
Evidences, Lesson IV: By Faith we Understand (Creation)
Larry Dickens September 21, 2014
In Hebrews 11:3, the ingredients of faith are explained. Firstly, faith is the assurance of things hoped for. Whatever one hopes for is supported by what he believes in (Heb 11:10, 16). The stronger one’s faith is, the greater his hope will be. Secondly, faith is the conviction (not doubt) of things unseen (Heb 11:3). That conviction makes one persuaded of things we do not see; including the day of judgment (Phil 3:8-11) and the week of creation (Job 38:1-11). My faith (conviction) regarding the creation comes from God’s record (Heb 11:3). Creation is a matter of faith as is every explanation of origins. No one was present in the beginning, so creation is an unseen thing which is understood by faith (Heb 11:3).
Evidences, Lesson V: Faith from the Miracles
Larry Dickens September 28, 2014
God attested Jesus with miracles (Acts 2:22), and the multitudes responded to the miracles (Matt 15:31). It is important to understand the proper role of miracles, and learn about Jesus through the miracles He worked. Many exclaim "Miracle!" when none has occurred; claims of modern miracles are fakes, frauds, delusions. Many do not believe in miracles today or in the Bible. Others believe in miracles today and in the miracles of the Bible. Believers believe in the miracles of the Bible; but not in modern day miracles. Efforts are often to preach "faith in the miracles;" but need to be combined with preaching to produce faith via the miracles.
The Marks of a Mature Christian
Ardie Brown, October 5, 2014
The Hebrew writer addressed the need of Christians to grow--mature--throughout their lives. Other scriptures identify a number of qualities that mark spiritual maturity: dependability, striving to do all the Lord’s will, receiving correction profitably, distinguishing truth from error, not seeking his/her own way, not easily offended, not attracted by worldliness, having affections set on things above, not carried away by false doctrine, not moved by persecution. Click below to see the outline with scriptures that teach these points.
Evidences, Lesson VI: Faith from the Open Tomb and the Apostles
Larry Dickens October 5, 2014
The open tomb, the appearances of the risen Lord, and the corresponding lifelong faith (and martyrs' death) of His followers provide some of the most compelling evidence for the truth of the Bible. Follow the link below for the outline of scriptures that teach important lessons about the witnesses and implications of the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.
Why I Ought to be a Christian
Ardie Brown, October 12, 2014
The Bible describes those who obey the will of God as "Christians," with that term first used to identify them in Acts 11:24-26 "24 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith; and much people was added unto the Lord. 25 And he went forth to Tarsus to seek for Saul; 26 and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that even for a whole your they were gathered together with the church, and taught much people; and that the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." And scripture teaches several reasons one should choose to become/be a "Christian". Click below for more.
Buried with Christ
Mike McShane, October 12, 2014
The Bible makes the pattern of baptism very clear--it is in the likeness of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. This parallel helps us understand both the mode and the result of baptism--the form it must take, and what it accomplishes. Click below for more.
A Living Sacrifice
Ardie Brown, October 19, 2014
Intro: Romans 12:1-2 References a living sacrifice. The church in Rome consisted of both Jew and gentile converts. Both groups understood the concept of sacrifice -- but the sacrifices that they were acquainted with were external possessions and...replaceable! Here, Paul gives “sacrifice” a new dimension…..a living sacrifice that involves giving the whole person (self) to God. The Lord’s interest is not what is “OURS” (our possessions, money, etc) but “US”!
Evidences, Lesson VII: Faith in the Religious World - the church
Larry Dickens October 19, 2014
The religious world offers many "flavors" of "churches". Denominationalism is a product of human history, and has resulted in several dangerous denominational fictions not taught in scripture. These include concepts such as: (1) one becomes a Christian first, then a member of a denomination; (2) Christ is in Fellowship with all (or most) denominations; and (3) the "True Church" is intermixed within all denominations. The overriding attitude is to embrace some Truth while tolerating some errors! But, the Lord's church is not “just another denomination.”
Baptism: What it does and does not do
Ardie Brown, October 26, 2014
Few subjects engender as much confusion and disagreement as that of baptism, from the form to the purpose and the result. The scriptures clearly indicate that baptism is commanded (Mk. 16:15-16) and that there is only one (Eph. 4:4-6). But what else does the Bible tell us about this subject?
Evidences, Lesson VIII: Faith in Today's Secular World - the Christian
Larry Dickens October 26, 2014
The sad reality of today's secular society is that many do not read the Bible...including many that call themselves "Christian". Further, many are “Turned Off” by “Organized Religion”. In this environment, an individual Christian may be the ONLY Letter of Christ which their neighbors are reading at this time. (2 Cor 3:2-3 You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.) Christians are called to be influences for good: salt and light (Matt 5:13-16), children of God in the midst of perversity (Phil 2:14-16; Psalm 19:1-4). How is this accomplished?
Let's Talk About...LOVE!
Larry Dickens November 2, 2014
There are four Greek words translated into the English "love": “Eros” (sensual or passionate love), “Stergein” (family affection, i.e. Rom. 12:10 "kindly affectioned"), “Philia” (Friendly affection or "brotherly love"), and “Agape” (an attitude of mind that actively seeks the best interest of the one to whom it is directed, even if self sacrifice is necessary). This lesson explores the meaning, use, and implications of "Agape".
Let's Talk About...LOVE...again!
Larry Dickens November 23, 2014
The best approach to truly understanding "love" is to let God describe what love is and does, and what love is not and does not. Let's continue our study of this topic by completing consideration of 1 Cor 13.
What Men Expect from Christians
Larry Dickens December 14, 2014
In Acts 3:1-11, Peter and John encountered a man that was lame from birth. He was begging, as was his custom. They had no "silver and gold," but told the man to get up and walk. And he did! This was a case when the man was begging for and expecting some small monetary gift (alm), but received something far more impressive and valuable. The fact that he was "… expecting to receive something from them." (Acts 3:5) brings to mind that there are expectations that men have of Christians, some of which are appropriate, but many of which are unreasonable, illogical, and even unscriptural. And Christians ought to be careful not to be deceived into thinking they should be met!