Want to learn more about Atonement and the Cross of Christ? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
Have you ever thought about how long God has been
around? Just saying, “How long” implies a specific period of time.
Can you imagine a God who has always been? There is much scientific
evidence for the “Big Bang” theory of the origin of the universe. We
can observe that the universe is uniformly expanding outward at a set
rate of speed. Two logical conclusions flow from this. First, the
universe had a creation point (the “bang”). Second, since the rate
of expansion is perfectly timed, an Intelligence guided the “bang.”
If time was created when the universe was created, then the
“Intelligence” exists in a realm outside of time. Let’s dive into
the Bible and see what it says on this subject!
Many people ask “How could sin arise out of
perfection?” Since I doubt I’ll ever figure it out with my human
brain, I prefer to ask “Why did sin arise in a perfect place?” If we
figure that out, it might help us to be more alert to the sin problem
in our life. The Bible gives us some strong clues as to the main
reason why sin arose. What would you think if we learned that the
root cause of the sin problem was not considered to be a serious sin
today? Let’s jump right into our study of the Bible and learn more!
There is an old saying: “You get one shot at the king;
either you kill him or he kills you.” Imagine the thinking of Satan:
if you were given one opportunity to test the loyalty of Adam and
Eve, wouldn’t you bring your best argument, your best temptation?
Everything was riding on that “one shot.” I wonder if Adam and Eve
gave as much thinking to their upcoming test? Let’s jump into our
lesson and consider how sin entered our world!
The last two weeks we studied how sin entered the
universe and our world. This week we turn our attention to the first
chapter of our escape from sin and eternal death. Why would God
decide to redeem us? What began our way out of sin? We learned
something in the last two weeks about how to avoid sin based on how
sin entered the universe and the world. What can we learn about
righteousness based on how God gave us a way out of sin? Let’s dive
into our study of the Bible and learn more about the thoughts of God!
If you were God, what would you do when humans rejected
you? Two weeks ago we studied how it was that Adam and Eve sinned and
plunged us all into a terrible situation. Last week we looked at what
God planned to do to throw a life-line to humans. This week we
progress to God’s announcement to humans of His great plan for
disaster relief. How difficult a decision was this for God? Why
would God announce in advance what He had in mind? Why not leave His
options open? What does this show us (again) about the character of
God? Let’s dive into our study and learn more!
This past Sunday evening I was sitting on a bench
overlooking the lake by my home. The quiet, beautiful evening turned
my thoughts towards God and my place in His world. I thought about
why it was I believed God existed, that Christianity was true and
Jesus was the Messiah. Our lesson this week speaks to those issues.
My reason for believing God exists is the order I see in the
Creation. Owning cars and houses has taught me that things move from
order to disorder, not the other way around. That God foretold the
Messiah through the symbols of the Atonement shows His order. The
three major world religions believe in the account of the sanctuary
service, yet only Christianity can match it up to Jesus the Messiah.
Only Christianity relies on these fulfilled symbols for the
forgiveness of sins. Christianity is the logical, consistent,
reasonable religion. Let’s jump right into our study of the Bible to
better understand this!
Last week we learned that only Christianity, of the
three major world religions which accept the Old Testament as the
inspired word of God, fulfills and follows the Old Testament pattern
for dealing with sin. That is history. What about today and the
future? What does the Old Testament sacrificial system teach us
about Jesus’ current work, if any, on the problem of sin? What is
Jesus doing for our sin? Or, is His work complete and He is currently
enjoying retirement? Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and
We learned the last two weeks that Christianity is the
“thinking person’s religion.” What we did not discuss was how hard
we have to think! In one sense it is easy and logical to line up the
Old Testament system for removing sin with the life, death,
resurrection and heavenly ministry of Jesus. They just logically
fit. On the other hand, it is not so easy to understand how the
Creator God could demean Himself to become a human. Even the
mechanics of the “God born of a woman” to create a God/human are very
difficult to grasp. Let’s give it a try by plunging into our Bible
Have you ever gone to a physician and found you don’t
understand a lot of what is being told to you? I had one specialist
who would use all sorts of medical terms that I did not understand.
I would stop him and make him explain his terms. In my law practice I
work with employees whose religious beliefs conflict with some work
requirement. The law requires the religious objector to let the
employer (or union) know about the conflict. When these (generally
Christian) employees write about their religious beliefs, I try to be
alert to terms that are not understood by the general public. When I
see these, I suggest to the employee that they substitute a term that
the public understands. The Bible uses all sorts of terms to
describe salvation. We learned the reason for many of them when we
studied the Old Testament sanctuary service. This week we look more
deeply into this subject. Let’s dive right into our study of how the
Bible describes our salvation!
Have you considered engaging in a serious sin? If so,
you weighed the consequences: would you get caught? How serious would
the punishment be? Even if you were not caught, how would it affect
you? I recall one friend saying (about a serious sin) “If I do it God
will forgive me.” When it comes to sin, our primary concern is how it
will affect us. This week we look at how our sins affected Jesus. God
paid a terrible price for our sins. Let’s plunge into our study of
the Bible and take a close and personal look at what our sin did to
our loving Savior!
Last week we ended our study with Jesus’ final words
“It is finished” (John 19:30). What was finished? Was Jesus
completely through with humanity? Had He done all that was necessary
to reconcile us to the Father? There is some debate among Christians
about what Jesus is doing right now. Did all of the benefits of
Jesus’ sacrifice come into place at the cross? Are the benefits
still coming? We have previously studied the idea that Jesus is now
acting as our High Priest in heaven, but there are certain technical
problems with that idea. Plus, there is the belief that when Jesus
was “finished,” the Holy Spirit took over His work in an expanded
way. Let’s jump right into our study of the Bible and find out what
Jesus is doing, if anything, for us right now!
Let’s review for a moment what we have learned in the
past few weeks. Jesus came as a second Adam. Jesus succeeded where
Adam failed. Just as we were swept into sin by Adam, so we are swept
into righteousness by Jesus – if we choose. We can choose to be
incorporated into Jesus’ baptism, sinless life, death and
resurrection by being baptized. Are we together so far? Last week we
began to consider what is next: living life according to our
spiritual, not human, nature. Let’s continue to explore what it means
to be united to Jesus in day-to-day living. Ready? Let’s plunge
into our Bibles!
What does the Bible say about the last chapters of
human life on this sinful planet? Where does the earthly sanctuary
service point us for the future? What does the Bible say about the
conclusion of what Jesus has done for us as both the sacrificial Lamb
and the High Priest? What is the standard for our final judgment?
Let’s dive into our last study on this topic and find out!