April, May, June 2016

Want to learn more about Matthew? 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: Son of David (Matthew 1-2)
We start a new series about the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew was a disciple of Jesus who had been a tax collector for the Romans - a profession despised by the Jews. What a miraculous turn-around that Matthew should write one of the accounts of Jesus! What an interesting background for Matthew's writing. Let's dive into our study and learn more!

Lesson 2: The Ministry Begins (Matthew 3-4)
How would you like Jesus to say that there "is no one greater" than you? Not likely, you say? Our study this week is about someone for whom this is true. Jesus said about John the Baptist, "among those born of women there is no one greater than John." Let' jump into our study of Matthew and see what lessons Matthew has for us through John the Baptist!

Lesson 3: The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5)
The Sermon on the Mount is an astonishing presentation. However, there are varied views on it. Some think it is the "rule book" for when we are in heaven - and therefore it is not for us now. Others think it is intended to make us conclude that God's standard is impossible, and thus we are driven to rely on grace. Some consider it a challenge for them to bring their righteous works to a higher level. My view is that the Sermon on the Mount shows us that grace is not just a matter of salvation, but is a lifestyle. God calls on us to depend on His strength in all things, and that includes how we live. Let's plunge into this challenging study and learn more!

Lesson 4: "Get Up and Walk!" Faith and Healing (Matthew 8 & 9)
Last week we studied Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. This week we look at a series of healings and miracles that give us a greater insight into Jesus' ministry and strengthen Matthew's argument that Jesus is the Messiah. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more about our glorious Lord!

Lesson 5: The Seen and the Unseen War (Matthew 11)
Many Christians have one of two opposing opinions. They think that salvation turns on their good works, or they think that salvation is merely accepting grace and then continuing on their normal way. Our lesson this week reveals a third approach: relying on God in everything. This not only includes salvation, it includes all of the problems and victories of life. Let's dig into our study of Matthew and learn more!

Lesson 6: Resting in Christ (Matthew 12)
As a lawyer, I believe in rules. Having the right rules provides the maximum amount of freedom, including religious freedom. God believes in the rule of law, otherwise Jesus would not have come to fulfill the requirements of the law on our behalf. What keeps lawyers in business is conflicts between rules and different views about the same rule. Our lesson this week is about sorting out God's rules. Let's plunge into our study of Matthew and see what we can learn about the nature of God's rules!

Lesson 7: Lord of Jews and Gentiles (Matthew 14 & 15)
A common belief is that men cannot understand women. This might be an idea started by women! Are there people you do not understand? Of those you do understand, do you understand them all the time? One of the reasons to study the Bible is to better understand God. I think one reason Matthew wrote the material we study in this week's lesson is to teach us to trust God, even when we do not understand His decisions. Let's plunge into our study and learn more!

Lesson 8: Peter and the Rock (Matthew 16 & 17)
Have you ever been in a situation where the solution to a problem is right in front of you, but somehow you cannot see it? Someone else will come by, point out the solution, and you cannot believe that you missed the obvious! In our study of Matthew this week, he illustrates this kind of situation with those who crossed paths with Jesus. Let's dig into our study and learn more so that we will not be oblivious and miss the spiritually obvious!

Lesson 9: Idols of the Soul (Matthew 18-20)
Jeffrey Brauch, the former Dean of the Regent University School of Law, is one of the most amazing men I have ever met. His focus always seemed to be on me when we spoke. When I speak with others, I regret that my focus also generally seems to be on me. I'm sure Jeff is just like that with everyone - his focus is on them. Jeff lives what Matthew teaches this week: to live a life of concern for others. Let's dig into our lesson and learn more!

Lesson 10: Jesus in Jerusalem (Matthew 21 & 22)
Accepting a leader has consequences. Your acceptance means that you agree that person should lead and make critical decisions. Matthew makes a transition in his continuing proof that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus is Lord. Matthew now recites the consequences of refusing to actively follow Jesus. Let's dig into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 11: Last Day Events (Matthew 23 & 24)
One of the wonderful advantages of writing this lesson is that it forces me to study the Bible. Major goals in writing these studies are to improve the quality of the Sabbath School and help students better understand God's will. However, when I study the Bible I'm always thinking about the impact of God's word on my life. This week some of Matthew's statements are so connected to my life that I apologize in advance for injecting myself so much in the lesson. Let's dig in and see if you, too, feel a special connection to our Bible study!

Lesson 12: Jesus' Last Days (Matthew 26)
Our study of Matthew this week pictures two betrayers and one woman fully devoted to Jesus. What does it mean, really, to betray Jesus? What does it mean to be fully devoted to Jesus? Why is the outcome so much different for one betrayer than for the other? Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 13: Crucified and Risen (Matthew 27 & 28)
The time has come for us to study Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf. Words cannot adequately describe it. What incredible love! What incredible mercy! What incredible unselfishness He showed towards us. Let's dig into our Bibles and witness Jesus' astonishing sacrifice for you and me!

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