Rebellion and Redemption

January, February, March 2016

Want to learn more about Rebellion and 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.

Lesson 1: Crisis in Heaven (Isaiah 14, Revelation 12, Ezekiel 28, Genesis 3)
How did sin begin? The Bible records that Adam and Eve were created by God. Why would God create something flawed, something that had the potential for sin in it? The Bible also records that Adam and Eve had help entering into sin. The "help" came in the form of another creature that God created. Why would any God-created creature promote sin? Since sin seems to be in existence before Adam and Eve, where did it start? Let's dig into our study of the Bible and see what clues it reveals!

Lesson 2: Crisis in Eden (Genesis 1 & 3)
Our study this week comes with two strikes against it. First, when we see a familiar story our immediate reaction is to think "I already know about this." Second, many Christians disbelieve the creation account. They might not say, "God lied to us," but they suggest it is figurative or an allegory. This makes no logical sense. The creation account has far too many specific details to be figurative. If it is an allegory, it is hardly an allegory for evolution. It recounts that God intentionally spoke the creation into existance, rather than suggesting chance and natural selection. It recites complexity and completion at the beginning, rather than suggesting the simple gradually moved to the more complex. The creation account is very familiar, but I think it contains vital spiritual points. Let's plunge into our Bible study and see if we can find something new, interesting and important in it!

Lesson 3: Global Rebellion and the Patriarchs (Genesis 4, 6, 22 & 45)
In our first lesson of this series we discovered how sin began in heaven. Next, we learned how the instigator of sin in heaven, who had been tossed out of heaven, spread the sin problem to God's perfect creation on our earth: Adam and Eve. This week we explore how sin continued its insidious march on earth. Let's dive into our Bible study and learn more!

Lesson 4: Conflict and Crisis: The Judges (Judges 4, 6, 7 & 14-16)
Do you deal with fear? Do you struggle with a lack of faith and a lack of faithfulness? I know that I do. A couple of months ago, I was scheduled to argue before a U.S. Court of Appeals - a court directly below the U.S. Supreme Court. That created fear. However, shortly before I argued I preached a sermon about trusting God and that sermon put steel in my spine. God blessed and the argument went very well. This week our study is about men and women facing great danger. Let's dig into our study of the Bible and see if we can find some steel in dealing with our problems and our fears!

Lesson 5: The Controversy Continues (1 Samuel 17, 2 Samuel 11-12, Nehemiah 1-2)
What does God require of you? Micah 6:8 answers, "To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." The examples we studied this week and the last of God's leaders of old, might make you wonder how they fit Micah's answer. What comes across strongly is that we need to stand up for the honor of God in challenging situations. Let's jump into our study of the Bible and learn more about what God has in mind for us!

Lesson 6: Victory in the Wilderness (Matthew 4)
If a really important world heavy weight boxing match is scheduled, I try to watch it. I just watched some very exciting football (American football) contests. You probably like to watch contests. What if you had a personal interest in the contest? I'm not talking about betting, I'm talking about you dying if your champion did not win. That is a contest we can watch closely this week! Let's dive into our Bibles and take a ringside seat for three rounds of the most important contest in the history of the universe!

Lesson 7: Jesus' Teaching and the Great Controversy (Matthew 7, 11 & 12)
Have you given anything more than a superficial look at the "Great Controversy" idea? On the surface it is the battle between good and evil, between Jesus and Satan. Drill deeper. Isn't the great controversy about understanding the nature of God? Isn't that what the "controversy" is about? Our study this week suggests this. Let's jump into our Bible study and learn more!

Lesson 8: Comrades in Arms (Luke 5, Matthew 8 & 20, Mark 9)
Do you separate your work from your religious practice? Some people think they are separate spheres of life. When I was in college, I briefly worked in a trailer factory during the summer. My work crew harassed me about being a "college boy" and about my religious beliefs. At the end of the summer, the leader of the crew came to me and apologized for the harassment. He said he was a "Sunday school teacher" and what he had been saying to me was inconsistent with his role in church. The Bible teaches us that we should integrate our work and our faith. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible to see how we can be "comrades in arms" even in the workplace!

Lesson 9: The Great Controversy and the Early Church (Acts 1, 2, 4, 7 & 10)
Two weeks ago we learned that the central foundation for our Christian life is understanding the nature of God. He cares for us more than loving parents care about their children. Getting that straight is fundamental. Another central truth is how to understand and follow God's will. Our study this week turns to that fundamental. Let's dig in and see what the Bible has to say to us!

Lesson 10: Paul and the Rebellion (Romans 5, 1 Corinthians 3 & 12)
How important is the church? I hear claims that being in nature is as good, if not better, than being in church. There is a real blessing in nature, but it is a different blessing than regularly attending church. We learn this week that we are all in sin together, and we need to be together in the battle against sin. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 11: Peter on the Great Controversy (1 Peter 2-4, 2 Peter 1)
This week we look at something we have studied many times, the issue of grace and works. From my point of view, we cannot study this topic too much. It is not that grace is so complicated, but rather that our lives are complicated when we deal with practical living. Works are important. They not only have a huge impact on the quality of our life, more importantly they are central to the issue of whether our lives give glory to God. Let's dive into our study and see what practical lessons we can learn!

Lesson 12: The Church Militant (Revelation 1-3)
What do you think about the book of Revelation? Do the scary beasts stand out in your mind? How about deep mysteries regarding the future? We turn our attention this week to a different part of Revelation, the part that deals with God's advice to the Christian church. Although this section of Revelation gives advice to specific churches that existed at the time the book was written, most Christian Bible scholars believe that these churches also represent a description of the Christian church during different periods of history. The church in Laodicea represents the last period of history before Jesus returns again. If you believe, as I do, that we are living in the end time, Laodicea is a description of us. Let's dig deep to see what lessons we can learn from the advice to Laodicea!

Lesson 13: Redemption (Revelation 20-22)
This is the last in our series of lessons about Rebellion and Redemption. The good news is that we wrap things up with the great news about our redemption and our eternal destination. Let's dive into our study and get a boost of encouragement!

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