Want to learn more about His Wondrous Cross – The Story of Our
Redemption? 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 stopped to consider the “big question” of
the world of good and evil? If God exists, why does sin exist? Is
there a supernatural conflict between the forces of good and evil?
How did evil arise? Are we players in that conflict? If God is in
charge, why are we even allowed to sin? Let’s dive into our study and
see what the Bible has to say about these topics!
Last week we studied how sin first entered the universe
and then our little world. Did God have a plan in place to meet this
challenge? Did Satan have a plan to increase his gains? Let’s dive
into our study and find out!
Consider one of the main arguments against Jesus being
God. He was born to an obscure couple, raised in a disreputable
village, and at an early age died the death of a criminal. For the
uneducated, this is not a resume that would seem to put you on the
fast track to being a hero of history, much less being God. It is the
qualifier “uneducated” that is so important here. For thousands of
years, God had been trying to educate humans that the Messiah was
coming to die. Let’s jump into our lesson and learn more about God’s
early education plan!
We ended our discussion last week with the amazing
discovery that the “arm of God” (His power) is self-sacrificing love.
This week we turn to the nature of Jesus’ sacrifice. Exactly what did
Jesus’ love cause Him to give up? A popular work of fiction claims
that Jesus gave up only His life. Why? Because Jesus was a mere man.
The Bible reveals a different truth. It tells us that God became man
and lived with us. This astonishing truth about how God became man
and came to live with us is our study for this week. Let’s jump into
this timely topic!
We see disasters all the time. Some are of epic
proportions, such as the Tsunami that killed over 165,000 people a
few weeks ago in Asia. Some, like cancer, hit a specific family with
devastating force. Last week, I spoke with the wife of a man who is
battling against a very aggressive form of brain cancer. Why do
these things happen? This wife told me she could see no reason for
this happening to her family. She was interested in my thoughts
about it. When I was younger and less wise, I would venture an
explanation. Now, I believe it is wiser to explain the attitude of
God rather than the specific strategy of God. That is the subject of
our lesson this week – so let’s dive in!
How do you feel the last day or two of your vacation?
Each week, when Sunday evening rolls around, how do you feel? My bet
is that a large number of you start thinking about having to go back
to work. You wish your vacation or the weekend could be longer. So,
you treasure those precious last hours of freedom. Imagine if your
vacation or weekend were followed not by work, but by your torture
and death? How much more precious would you view your last hours
then? Our lesson this week looks at the last week of Jesus’ life on
earth as a man. Let’s plunge in and see what we can learn!
Everyone wants to be treated fairly. When we think we
have been unfairly treated we get angry. In the United States, we
also go out and find a lawyer! In my experience, most people who are
mistreated by the authorities, and who think they have the power to
correct the mistreatment, do what is in their power to make things
right. This week we study the unjust trial and abuse suffered by the
most powerful being in the universe. He had “payback power.” Did He
use it? Let’s jump into our study!
Last week we studied the arrest and the unjust trials
of Jesus. This week we continue our study on the conclusion to those
trials – the torture and death of Jesus on the cross. Part of me
wants to close my eyes. Part of me is astonished that God would allow
this to happen. At the same time I rejoice that Jesus, in His
boundless love, went through this for me. Let’s plunge into our
Last week, we ended our study with those who crucified
Jesus admitting that He was the Messiah. What a mistake! What do you
do when you wrongly kill someone? How do you fix this? Let’s dive
into our lesson and learn the good news about “fixing” Jesus’ death
and what it means to us!
Have you ever wondered about the logic, or the
calculus, of salvation? Sin entered our world because of the sin of
Eve and Adam. If sin brings death, why not just kill them and start
new with us? And, by the way, why is it that sin brings death? After
Adam and Eve, we all sinned – at least I know I have. Why is it that
killing God makes up for all of our sins? Why do the penalties for
sin seem to vary? In the range of sin, what Adam and Eve did brought
a lot more misery to humans than what Cain did to his brother. Why
was Cain punished more severely? We are not going to unravel all of
these mysteries this week, but our study explores the logic of the
cross. Let’s dive in and see what we can learn from God’s word!
At the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, Meic Pearse gave me an autographed copy of his book “Why The Rest
Hates the West.” This fascinating book, which I’m half-way through, suggests that “the rest” hates “the West” because our immoral culture
is sweeping away their culture. What really caught my eye was Pearse’s suggestion that our topic for study this week is one source of the
problem. Pearse says the acceptance in the West of Martin Luther’s argument for “righteousness by faith” resulted in a decline in right
conduct in the West. What is this doctrine? Is it contrary to the will of God? Does it produce evil-doing? This week our study is about
justification and next week our study is about sanctification. Let’s jump into our study with both feet to learn God’s will!
Last week we learned of an “alternative route” to
salvation. This route did not involve keeping the law, it involved
having faith in Jesus. As we more closely studied Romans chapter 3,
we found that our “bypass” route around the Law turned out to be the
only possible route. Instead of being an “alternative, bypass” route,
we learned it is the only path to righteousness. That leaves us with
the problem pointed out by Meic Pearse; this righteousness by faith
stuff leads to an immoral culture. Or, does it? Let’s jump into our
lesson and find out!
This is the last of our series of lessons on the
“Wondrous Cross.” What we have learned about our wonderful Savior! He
died for our sins. We have the opportunity to be declared righteous
by accepting His sacrifice. Once we become righteous, what do we do
next? In our lesson last week we learned that we should be working,
using the power of the Holy Spirit, towards holiness. Is holiness
just a personal goal? Is our struggle to obey just about us? Or,
instead of being the center of the action, are we just a small part
of a greater battle? Let’s jump into our final lesson and find out!