Want to learn more about The Bible for Today? 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.
Would you like to talk with God? In the abstract, I
certainly would. There are a number of topics I would like to
discuss with Him. Why is it we don’t have conversations with God? Is
it “our fault?” I’ve thought that my selfish, rebellious heart might
prefer that God’s will be a little ambiguous at times. There are
humans who have communicated with God and some of that talk found its
way into the Bible. This quarter we begin a new study and our topic
is the Bible. Since most readers of these studies first found them on
the GoBible.org web site, you know promoting the study of the Bible
is our mission: so let’s dive right into our study and learn more
about conversing with God!
How accurate is the Bible? Can we, as some group of so-called Bible scholars have done, go through the Gospels and decide
what is true and what is not? When we read the fantastic stories of
the Old Testament, can write them off as metaphors and illustrations
intended for a primitive people? Are these stories not to be
believed by sophisticated people like us? What is the logical result
of deciding that we have the authority to accept or reject sections
of the Bible as we see fit? Let’s jump into our Bible study this
week and see what we can learn about these questions!
What is the purpose of prophecy in the Bible? Is it to
motivate you to do good now? Is it to get you to be more patient
about current problems? Is it to make you excited about a future
reward? Is it to give the Bible credibility? Is it to help you trust
God? Is it to test your faith? Let’s jump into our study this week
and learn more about prophecy and fulfilled prophecy in the Bible!
Each week we have been building an argument about why
humans should pay close attention to the word of God. In all of this
our assumption is that the Bible is God’s word. Do you know how we
came to have the Bible? Some people talk as if the complete text, in
the King James version, fell out of heaven and humans accepted it and
reprinted it. The truth is far different. Recently, the pagan world
has begun to make a direct attack on the composition of the Bible.
The popular book and movie, the Da Vinci Code, claims that certain
books that should have been in the New Testament were left out.
Books left out? What is that about? Let’s dive into our lesson and
find out more!
One of the important issues in any American legal case
is the burden of proof. Who carries the burden to show the facts
occurred in a certain way? The assignment of the burden of proof can
make all the difference to winning. Let’s say the plaintiff wins if
the traffic light was red. The defendant wins if the light was
green. If the plaintiff has the burden of proof, and no one is sure
of the color of the light, the defendant wins. If the defendant has
the burden of proof, the plaintiff would win. How about the truths of
the Bible, who has the burden of proof in God’s eyes? Does God
believe that He has the burden to prove His truths to us? Or, does
God believe that we have an obligation to figure out the truth?
Perhaps it is something in between? Let’s jump into our study and see
how God has responded to this issue in the past!
Not too long ago I was reading the transcript of the
“Intelligent Design” (“ID”)trial which took place in federal court in
Pennsylvania about a year and a half ago. Intelligent design is a
scientific theory that our creation came about as the result of an
intelligence, rather than Darwin’s theory of change through chance.
What struck me while reading the cross-examination (and the
statements of the judge) was that the defense of Darwinism was not
based so much on proving it was true or logical, but rather based on
whether the leading scientific minds, scientific associations and
journals accepted Darwinism as true. There is some sense to this
approach because judges are not experts in science. The scientific
community embraces Darwinism and (largely) rejects ID. Thus,
Darwinism won. The readers of these lessons know I’m a lawyer and a
logician not a scientist. Instead of scientific journals, what does
your common sense, your life experience, and your logic say about the
existence of God and the truth of His word? Let’s plunge into this
“Faith vs. Works” is an old debate. Whatever its age,
a correct understanding of the role of “works” in the life of a
Christian is very important. Many years ago a newly converted
Christian told me he had complete freedom from the Ten Commandments.
His life was not constrained by the law. A number of years later, I
saw him again. I reminded him of our conversation about the role of
the law in his life. He looked a little sheepish and admitted that
he had come to understand that those saved by faith alone have an
interest in keeping God’s law. Let’s jump into our study this week
and learn more about how a Christian’s life should be impacted by
Hope. It helps you get up in the morning, right? In our
sinful world, the Bible gives us hope. It gives us hope of a better
world and a better life. Is there more to hope than that? Is there a
“hope” element for life right now, right here? Let’s jump into our
lesson and find out more!
Everyone wants to be healthy. At the same time, it is a
lot easier (and more enjoyable) to eat and drink whatever you want.
It is a pain (sometimes literally) to exercise. If wearing your
seatbelt is not a habit, then it is intrusive. We have more time to
ourselves (and maybe Bible study) if we cut back on sleep, or so it
seems. God spent a lot of time in the Old Testament giving what are
obviously “health” messages to His people through Moses. God spent a
lot of time in the New Testament seeming to downplay the importance
of what goes in our body as opposed to what goes out. (See Mark 7:18-23) Obviously, if we have clear minds and strong bodies we can better
serve God. But, is this a moral matter? Or, is it just a matter of
common sense? Are Christians who focus on avoiding certain foods
rather than avoiding certain evil thoughts playing into the hands of
Satan? Let’s dive into our lesson and see what the Bible has to say
about health and the Christian walk!
Happiness is a complex topic. So much of the Christian
life sounds like the opposite of happiness. We talk about self-denial
and self-sacrifice. We speak about taking up “our cross.” Yet, as I
look around at my fellow Christians(and look at myself), we don’t seem
all that unselfish. I see people who have better “things” than I do
and I think “I would like to have things like that.” Is “stuff” the
key to happiness? Is renouncing “things” the path to joy? Are
Christians missing out on happiness because they have so many things?
Let’s dive into the Bible and discover God’s goals for us!
Anyone with any smarts wants to be smarter, right?
Would you also like to be wise? What do you see as the difference
between the two? Which would you rather have, intelligence or wisdom?
The problem with intelligence is that it is inherited – thus you had
little to do with whether you have it or not. This is not true about
wisdom. Wisdom you can acquire by study and effort. Our lesson this
week is about wisdom, so let’s wisely jump right into our study!
One very hard-fought religious liberty case I handled
involved a client who had steady and substantial changes in his life
after he gave his life to Jesus. The other side argued he was not
sincere in his religious beliefs (and therefore should not win)
because of the conflict between what he had been in the past and what
he said and did now. The main lawyer for the other side was a pagan
who had no understanding of the topic of our lesson this week:
Christian growth. I spent a great deal of time in my brief to the
court discussing this idea of Christian growth and how it worked in
the life of my client. Fortunately, the judge understood this idea
and ruled in our favor. Let’s dive into our study about Christian
Almost everything seems to change during our very short
lifetime. How many things do we use every day that are thousands of
years old? How many things that old have any relevance to life today?
I can only think of one: the Bible. Just the fact that the Bible
continues to be a relevant, popular guide to living teaches us
something about its Godly origins. Unfortunately, some disagree.
Right now, there are at least two books on a best-seller list which
attack belief in God. Hitchens’s book, “God is Not Great,” is # 3 and
Dawkins’s book, “The God Delusion,” is # 26 on the New York Times
list of best sellers. Let’s dive in and spend some time considering
why God’s word endures despite its detractors!