Tuesday: From Comparison to Complement
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As we saw in an earlier lesson, the church at Corinth had deep problems.

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What principles does Paul outline in 1 Corinthians 3:5-11, 12:1-11, and 2 Corinthians 10:12-15 for healing and restoration, all of which are so vital to revival and reformation?

In these passages, the apostle outlines critical principles of church unity. He points out that Jesus uses different workers to accomplish different ministries in His church, even though each one is laboring together for the building up of God’s [...]

Monday: From Slave to Son
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While he was imprisoned in Rome, Paul met a runaway slave named Onesimus who had fled from Colossae to Rome. Paul personally knew Onesimus’ master.

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The Epistle of Philemon is Paul’s personal appeal to his friend regarding a restored relationship with the runaway slave.

Relationships mattered to Paul. The apostle knew that fractured relationships are detrimental to spiritual growth. Philemon was a church leader in Colossae. If he harbored bitterness toward Onesimus, it would color his [...]

Sunday: From Fracture to Friendship
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Paul and Barnabas worked together in witnessing for Jesus. But they had some strife between them (Acts 15:36-39).

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Paul could not trust one as fearful as John Mark. The potential dangers of preaching the gospel had caused John Mark at one point to desert Paul and Barnabas and return home.

“This desertion caused Paul to judge Mark unfavorably, and even severely, for a time. Barnabas, on the other hand, was inclined to excuse him because of his [...]

Sabbath: Reformation: Healing Broken Relationships
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Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Tim. 4:11, Philem. 1:1-25, 2 Cor. 10:12-15, Rom. 5:8-11,Matt. 18:15-17.

Memory Text: “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10, NKJV).

Even after Pentecost, the relationship between believers was at times strained. The New Testament records repeated examples of the way that church leaders and individual members dealt with such challenges. These principles are extremely valuable for [...]

Further Study: Reformation: Thinking New Thoughts
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“Many profess to be on the Lord’s side, but they are not; the weight of all their actions is on Satan’s side. By what means shall we determine whose side we are on? Who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Upon whom do we love to converse? Who has our warmest affections and our best energies? If we are on the Lord’s side, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. We have no [...]

Inside Story: Such a Little Thing
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Twelve-year-old Yvette walked along the dusty path, carefully balancing the plastic water jug on her head.

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She didn’t want to spill even a drop of water. She passed children walking toward a nearby school. They were dressed in dark skirts or trousers and white shirts. Yvette’s steps slowed as she thought about the children learning to read and write and do math. Sometimes she could hear them reciting their lessons aloud in the little school. [...]

11: Thinking New Thoughts – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for Reformation: Thinking New Thoughts September 11, 2013]

1. The human mind: our challenge for this week: The mind is by far the most complicated part of the human being, and we are thousands of miles short of understanding it. How can we know what to believe when we don’t even know what it means to believe? Does God want to control your mind? Is it possible to
think of ourselves as Christians without [...]

Thursday: Images of Influence
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There are numerous images that Jesus uses to describe Himself and His church.

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One is “light.” He is “the light of the world”(John 8:12). He is also the “true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:9, NKJV). He encourages us to “walk while you have the light” and “believe in the light” (John 12:35-36, NKJV).

Compare Matthew 5:13-15 with Philippians 2:14-16. What is our Lord’s goal for His people in this world? What does that [...]

Keeping Up Appearances
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Have you ever noticed that humans, as a group, tend to be extremely superficial and shallow? We expend enormous amounts of time, money, and energy making sure that we look a certain way – wear particular brands of clothes and shoes, dye our hair, even have surgery. We go to great lengths to change our outsides … but do almost nothing to change what really matters.

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Even back in Jesus’ day, folks gave more attention [...]

Wednesday: Mind/Body Relationships
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The ancient Greeks taught a form of dualism; that is, they believed that there was a great distinction between our bodies and our souls.

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In contrast, Scripture teaches that human beings are an integrated unit of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions. Whatever affects one part of the human frame affects all parts. The disciples taught that physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health were interconnected and could not be separated.

How is this idea reflected in 1 Thessalonians [...]

We are not the Home Team
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“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2, NKJV)

A few years ago I had baptismal studies with an elderly man named Oscar. He had just come to the United States from Guam but was actually already a U.S. citizen before ever stepping on American soil. Guam has its own government, [...]

11: Thinking New Thoughts – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought : Our feelings are not safe guides to our lives. Our choices to yield to the Holy Spirit in spite of our emotions lead to actions acceptable to God.

[Teaching plan for Thinking New Thoughts September 9, 2013]

1. Have a volunteer read Philippians 4:7,8.

a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. How does the peace of God keep our hearts and minds? What if a person doesn’t [...]