The Mysterious Masterpiece
Hebrews, The Mysterious Masterpiece, more than any other book in the Bible, ties the Old and New Testaments together. The Book of Hebrews presents Jesus Christ as the Messiah Who was prophesied in the Old Testament, as the Lord Who was revealed in the New Testament and as the coming King of kings Who is going to come again. Faith is one of its themes and there are three key words: better, believe and beware that guide our study.
You'd Better Believe It!
The Book of Hebrews is filled with exhortations and warnings about the subtlety of apostasy. The mission of the book is also to strip false assurance from those who had not yet made a commitment of faith. Exhort one another daily, while it is called Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. His exhortation throughout is directed to professing believers who have not yet been born again because they stop short of saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Focus on Faith
Hebrews says to discouraged, persecuted people, Do not throw away your faith because a great cloud of witnesses surrounds us! Hebrews chapter eleven is known as the "faith chapter", and gives reasons why we should hold on to our faith. Faith saves and gives substance to our hope. We must live by faith. The author gives many examples of what faith can mean and what faith can do. The author closes with an exhortation to obey those who are our spiritual shepherds.
The Sources and the Sequences of Salvation
The intensely practical Epistle of James has been referred to by some as The Proverbs of the New Testament. It is like a running commentary on the teachings of Jesus Christ, especially the Sermon on the Mount. James tells us about the sources and the sequences of salvation. James addresses suffering and tells you to "count it all joy" when you experience these temptations. We are to welcome our trials as friends because they can produce mature, spiritual character.
The Sources and the Sequences of Sanctification
James tells us about the sources and the sequences of sanctification. Jesus and James teach that the solution for the problem of sin, even sexual sin, is Scripture because the Word of God is alive and powerful. James emphasizes the importance of obeying and applying Gods Word to our lives. James focuses the sources of discipline and that the tongue absolutely must be disciplined. We are to bring our life under the control of the wisdom of God, not earthly wisdom.
The Sources and the Sequences of the Solution
The theme of the epistle written by James the brother of Jesus, is sanctification that drives life and ministry. What you really believe, you do. All the rest is just religious talk. Works are as vital a part of a living faith as breath is to a living body. James tells us the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be the ultimate solution to all of the problems we have here on earth. James tells us to take our masks off and be honest with each other.
The Three Peters
In the New Testament we see three different Peters, but all the same man. In the Gospels his name is Simon, who is up and down, hot and cold, and impulsive, but Jesus called him Peter, a rock; after Pentecost we see a Peter who is full of power; finally an old and wise Peter, the apostle of hope. He wants to comfort and console those people in their suffering. The theme is truly knowing God through Jesus Christ.
Reflections on Regeneration
Peter wrote to the Jewish Christians scattered throughout Asia Minor who were suffering and being persecuted. Peter knew the persecution was going to get worse. As Peter addresses their suffering, he did not teach prosperity theology. Peter gave some wonderful insights into why God permits His people to suffer. Peter addresses election and being born again. According to Peter, there is such a thing as spiritual conception, a spiritual gestation period and the crisis of the new birth.
The Marriage Model
Peter gives a practical, relational, theological model for marriage; Christ and the Church. The number one problem in Christian marriages is men who will not assume their responsibility to shepherd their wives and children as Christ shepherds the Church. Peter pictures Jesus Christ as the Great Shepherd of the Church. God delegates the responsibility for the marriage and the home to the husband. Follow the Bibles model in all your relationships and allow God to make you all that you can be.
The Storms of Life, the Word and the Witness
Peter tells us the end of all things is near and in light of that, what kind of people should we be. We should be calm, self-controlled people of prayer; we should be hospitable; love one another, remembering that love covers a multitude of sins. The one thing that distinguishes one person from another is not whether they suffer but how they cope with their suffering. The purpose of suffering is to make you perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you.
The Day Must Dawn
In Second Peter we learn that grace and peace can be multiplied to us through the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ our Lord. We can come into the heavenly dimension and into the knowledge of God, and He endows us with everything we need for life and godliness. Peter explains how, when we come to the Light of the Word, and apply His Word to our lives, the Morning Star rises in our hearts and Christ is born in us.
The Assurance Compass
The Epistle of First John writes to those who believe, that they might know that they know they believe, and then really believe. In a word, we are looking for assurance, assurance of salvation. The two Gospel facts, remember, are these: the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was not just that God would forgive His people of their sins, but He would save His people from their sins. The evident assurance of your salvation is fruitfulness.
The Anointing that Assures
In First John we see more assurances of salvation: love for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, love for God the Father, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Who makes us know what we know spiritually. John also points out that the children of God do not make it a practice to sin. Our salvation is not based upon how our hearts may feel. Our salvation is based upon the fact that we believe the Gospel.
The Confession that Confirms
John tells that we must love one another, then he gives us ten reasons why. The love chapter of the Bible tells us to love because love is of God. God is love. Love is the essence of Who God is. "This commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God, will also love his brother." We love God because He first loved us and perfect love casts out all fear. It is impossible to be a secret disciple of Jesus Christ.
When God Pulls Back the Veil
The little Epistle of Jude expressed concern over the heresies or false teachers who speak against faith in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection. Jude tells us false teachers are like clouds promising rain but producing nothing. The Revelation is the most difficult book in the Bible to understand for it is written in sign language. God pulled back the veil and gave John a revelation of Jesus Christ and of things to come which cannot be known without the revelation.
The Sign Language of the Savior
This word "revelation" is the English way of expressing the Greek word "apocalypses," which means, "the pulling back of a veil." When we study in the area of the future, spiritual things that are yet to be fulfilled, we really need the Master Key, the Holy Spirit. God the Father is turning the center of worship in heaven from Himself to His Son, the Lamb, Who looks as if He has been slain, expressing the essence of Who and what God is.
The Assignment of the Apostle
The Revelation has to do with the things that shall take place in the future. John has a revelation and is told that the seven lampstands are the churches and the One in the midst of the lampstands is Christ. Chapters four and five are absolutely beautiful, filled with profound truth about heaven. Chapters six through nineteen focus on one little seven-year period known as the Great Tribulation, which is one among all the events called the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Saints Sing and Sinners Salute
The mission objective for the Mini Bible College is to get people into the Word of God and to get the Word of God into the people. One key objective in reading the Book of Revelation should be to worship God and the Christ of the Revelation, who is King of kings and Lord of lords. If Jesus the Son of God said He did not know, we must be humble about the chronology of all the events covered in the Revelation.