Discussion-based Lessons

Discussion-based lessons have groups talking and changing. We are changed more by what we say than what we hear. "Instead SPEAKING the truth (not just hearing the truth) we will grow." Ephesians 4.15 https://www.youtube.com/embed/lduldVUA8-4

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Charles Ryrie on Legalism

The attitude one has toward doing what has to be done determines if the action is legalistic. An illustration makes this clear: “A serious athlete has to keep training rules. Most athletes are glad to keep them, rigid as they may be, for the sheer love of the sport. A...

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Life after failure

God works through the mess anyway. David and Bathsheba, who came to be a couple through illegitimate means, ended up having two children who became part of the Messiah’s genealogy. That speaks volumes about God’s ability to redeem our worst mistakes. But there’s even...

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How are we to grow?

But how are we to grow? Staying with the picture of newborn babies, we note Peter’s reference in verse 2 to ‘pure spiritual milk’: ‘Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.’ In other words, just as the secret of...

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Greear: we gain by loosing

Our God is a sending God. He sent his best into the world to save us. Jesus is referred to as “sent” forty-four times in the New Testament. After his resurrection, Jesus passed on his identity to his disciples: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John...

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Jerry Bridges on Legalism

The apostle Paul visited Galatia on two occasions. While there he preached the atonement, publicly portraying Jesus Christ as crucified (Gal. 3:1b). Within a short time after his second visit, a false and dangerous doctrine, legalism, began to gain a foothold, which...

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How to teach the Bible

The first time I stood in front of a group of people to present a teaching from the Bible, my heart was beating furiously, my knees trembled and my voice quivered. I knew that God had given me something to say, so I struggled on through, trying not to hyperventilate...

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Legalism and antinomianism

A Christian can fall into two errors in ethics. One is legalism, the other antinomianism. Today we will consider the first of these two forms of error. Often Christians are accused of being legalists because they try to live in obedience to God’s holy law. This is an...

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Greear: the future of the church

I believe that every church, every ministry, and every follower of Jesus Christ ought to be devoted to planting — giving away — what they have for God’s kingdom. I am not against large churches — I pastor one. But as I will show you in this book, I believe that...

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Have you found spiritual rest?

I FIND NO REST IN RELIGION. PEOPLE TALK ABOUT CHURCH AND SPIRITUALITY AS IF THEY ARE AN OASIS. IN MY LIFE, CHURCH HAS BEEN A DESERT. You may be confusing Christianity with legalism. Legalism is joyless because legalism is endless. There is always another class to...

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Conviction of Condemnation?

But as you’re driving, what do you see every few miles along the way? Exit ramps. David had lots of them. First, David found out that the woman was married. He didn’t take that exit; instead, he accelerated right past it. A little while later, he found himself way off...

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Greear: we are under obligation

In Romans 1:14 Paul uses a strange word to encapsulate his life and calling, one with enormous implications for both church leaders and members alike. “I am under obligation,” Paul says, to everyone who has not yet heard the gospel (see ESV). Many translations render...

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A simple life

A fifth characteristic of radical disciples, I suggest, is simplicity, especially in relation to the whole question of money and possessions. We postponed from Chapter 1 the challenge of materialism. In March 1980 an International Consultation on Simple Lifestyle took...

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7 Common Mistakes in Church Websites

Okay, if the church website is truly the front door of the church, how do we make the front door the most accessible? Over the past few years, my team and I have looked at hundreds of church websites. We found several recurring and common mistakes, particularly from a...

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The Front Door We Often Forget

What led you to visit our church? The question began as an innocent conversation starter. I ask guests questions about themselves and their families. I do my best to get to know them, and to make the conversation about them. But, at some point, my curiosity gets the...

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Greear: How to do you measure success?

In this book I want to press you to consider — whether you are a church leader or an “ordinary” Christian trying to figure out the best way to use your life — one, primary question: If you looked at every one of your blessings as “kingdom seeds,” how many of them are...

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What is legalism?

Legalism is the opposite heresy of antinomianism. Whereas antinomianism denies the significance of law, legalism exalts law above grace. The legalists of Jesus’ day were the Pharisees, and Jesus reserved His strongest criticism for them. The fundamental distortion of...

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Greear: Multiplication beats out addition every time

The second reason that churches that care about the Great Commission will devote themselves to sending is a mathematical one. Perhaps you can remember this math conundrum from middle school: If you have a choice between receiving $10,000 a day for 30 days, or getting...

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Growth without depth

When I was travelling in the 1990s in the interests of the Langham Partnership International, I would often ask an audience how they would summarize the Christian scene in the world today. I would receive a variety of answers. But when invited to give my own answer to...

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Greear: Growth involves risk

J.D. Greear wrote: Farmers in Oklahoma during the late 1930s faced an excruciating choice. Throughout the 1920s, rain had been plentiful and the harvests abundant, and many city workers had left their factory jobs in the Northeast for a chance of a fortune in the...

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How God leads

How often we assume that God is revealing His will to us through the circumstances around us, even when those circumstances aren’t pointing us toward a healthy or godly decision. When trying to discern God’s will, we often value an open door more than we value truth....

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Why church guests return

To be fair, in our study of first-time church guests, we heard from a number of them who had really pleasant experiences, and decided to return. Let’s look at the top ten responses from the perspective of the happy guest. Some of them are just the opposite of the ten...

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Why church guests don’t return

Most church members have forgotten what it’s like to be a first-time guest. They now have established relationships in the church. They love their church. Their biases tell them their church is great. But many church members and leaders are wrong. When we asked...

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Then God gives us His perspective: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). God doesn’t look at...

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