The Bible Teacher's Guide series is available for purchase on Accordance, Logos, and Bible Analyzer Bible Software, as well as Amazon and other major sites. It is also free on Bible.org. The series is being translated into various languages and being distributed freely to train believers with limited biblical resources. However, there is a need for more funds to help with translation, editing, and printing. If you would like to support this ministry, please donate. Thanks for your partnership (Phil 1:3-6).
Author, Rev. Greg Brown
The Bible Teacher's Guide: First Peter
How should Christian’s respond to suffering?
When a person wants to study about wisdom, they read Proverbs. When a person wants to study about Christ, they read the Gospels. Where should Christians go to understand how to respond to suffering? Peter writes this letter to scattered and persecuted Christians living in the Roman Empire. It was meant to both encourage and instruct them on how to live as pilgrims in a hostile society.
This message is still relevant today. With the continuing culture shift happening in nations, animosity and persecution is growing towards Christians. Over 400 Christians are martyred every day and more saints have died for the faith in the last century than all the previous combined. The words of First Peter are a message of hope, desperately needed to encourage and prepare the Church for what lies ahead. Let’s journey through Peter’s words together with the aid of the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
The Bible Teacher's Guide: Theology Proper
What is the highest good in life that anyone can pursue?
In Latin, there is a term "summum bonnum", which means “the highest good out of which all good flows.” Many pursue wisdom, social justice, wealth or strength as the highest good in life. However, none of these things compare to the benefits of knowing God. Listen to what the Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah:
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
The highest pursuit in life is a deep and intimate knowledge of God, and it is from this intimate knowledge that every good thing flows. Love, joy, peace, perseverance, patience, forgiveness and anything else that is good flows from knowing God. Let us pursue a deeper knowledge of God together with the aid of the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
The Bible Teacher's Guide: Building Foundations for a Godly Marriage
Building Foundations for a Godly Marriage can be used as an eight-week small group study on marriage, a pre-marital or marital counseling curriculum, or simply to help one have a deeper understanding of marriage.
As a church minister, "Building Foundations" is the kind of work I have been looking for for years for pre-marital counseling and I will be using it in the future as my main source for couples looking to get married. Simple and easy to read, it comes complete with a homework guide and counseling session tools. I wish I had this 12 years ago when I started performing wedding ceremonies.
Pastor Leo Rhee, Senior Pastor of CityLight Church, Seoul Korea
The Bible Teacher's Guide: Colossians
Who is Jesus Christ? Is he enough for salvation? Should our relationship with him affect our daily lives? Paul’s letter to the Colossians answers these questions. The Colossian church was being attacked by a cult with an early form of Gnostic doctrine that challenged the deity and the sufficiency of Christ. It taught Christ was not enough for salvation and that more was needed.
Paul challenged this teaching by revealing the supremacy of Christ. Christ is the image of the invisible God and the fullness of deity dwells in him. He is the Creator, the Reconciler, the Victor, the Deliverer, the Head of the body—the church! He is the Firstborn and the Hope of Glory in the saints. Colossians teaches that our relationship to him should affect every aspect of our lives including thoughts, conversations, friendships, family, and work.
This message is still relevant today as many are attacking the deity and sufficiency of Christ, both for salvation and sanctification. Let us stand in awe of the glory of Christ, as we study Paul’s letter to the Colossians with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
The Bible Teacher's Guide: God's Battle Plan for Purity
The battle for purity in society is raging, and unfortunately, many are captives or severely losing. David lost this battle as he committed adultery with Bathsheba. Solomon lost it as he had 1,000 wives and concubines to fulfill his lust. If we are going to win this battle, we must be strategic and disciplined. Winning is important to protect our lives, our families, our churches, and most importantly to honor our God.
How can we win the battle for purity? In 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, Paul commands believers to avoid sexual immorality and to learn to control their bodies in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the Gentiles, who do not know God. It is the believers’ relationship to God that encourages them to remain pure in a world that promotes and glorifies sex. In Scripture, God gives a Battle Plan for Purity with strategies for victory against sexual temptation. Let's study it together with The Bible Teacher's Guide:
Nehemiah: Becoming a Godly Leader
Nehemiah: Becoming a Godly Leader is a fourteen week expositional study of the book of Nehemiah. It considers topics like the characteristics of a godly leader, a godly leader’s priorities, cultivating a life of celebration, characteristics of revival, how a godly leader responds to discouragement, conflict, prosperity and promotion, the tactics of the enemy, and much more. Let’s study it together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
“Helpful to both the laymen and the serious student, The Bible Teacher’s Guide, by Dr. Greg Brown, is outstanding!”
—Dr. Neal Weaver, President of Louisiana Baptist University
The Perfections of God: Understanding God's Characteristics
The Perfections of God is an excerpt and an adaptation from the larger work BTG Theology Proper. It is a study of God’s characteristics including his love, goodness, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, eternality, wrath, sovereignty, and much more. It can be used as a seven to fifteen-week small-group curriculum depending on how the leader chooses to divide the introduction and the fourteen characteristics.
Philippians: Pursuing Spiritual Maturity
How should we pursue spiritual maturity—becoming more like Christ? In Paul’s epistle to the Philippians, one of the dominant themes is spiritual maturity. Throughout the epistle, he encourages them to pursue unity, to be faithful in suffering, to rejoice regardless of circumstances, to live as citizens of heaven, to have the mind of Christ, and to practice many other virtues—essentially calling them to be mature. Then, in chapter 3, he specifically exhorts them to imitate his pursuit of Christlikeness (v. 17). He describes himself as a banker counting everything loss to gain Christ (v. 8) and as a runner seeking to win the prize of knowing Christ (v. 12-14). As we study Philippians, it will inspire us to new heights of spiritual maturity. Let’s study it together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Characteristics of a Godly Marriage
Around fifty percent of marriages end in divorce and of those who stay married, a large number are unhappy. “Happily ever after” seems to be something only reserved for fairy tales. Even the disciples, when considering the difficulties of marriage, replied, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry” (Matt 19:10). Certainly, this is not what God had in mind when he created marriage (Gen 2:24). How are married couples supposed to experience the abundant life that God originally meant for them?
In 1 Peter 3:1-7, Peter speaks to husbands and wives about the characteristics of a godly marriage and God’s expectation for each in the union. Through this, we learn God’s perfect plan for married couples. Let consider it together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide:
* Characteristics of a Godly Marriage is an excerpt and adaptation of BTG First Peter.
Characteristics of Spirit-led Prayer
Do you ever struggle with how to pray? Do you struggle with what words to say or knowing if you’re praying exactly God’s will?
In Colossians 1:9-14, Paul prays God’s will for the Colossian church, who he had never met and who was being attacked by a dangerous cult. We are sure this prayer was God’s will and Spirit–led because God chose to include it in Scripture as an example for us. As we glean its riches, we can discern many characteristics of Spirit-led prayer which will strengthen our personal and corporate prayer life. Let’s study it together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide:
*Characteristics of a Spirit-led Prayer is an excerpt and an adaptation of BTG Colossians.
The Armor of God: Standing Firm in Spiritual Warfare
In Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul talks about the spiritual war every Christian is engaged in. When a person accepts Christ as Savior, he crosses over from the realm of darkness into the realm of light. He enters a spiritual war that includes Satan, demons, and angels battling over the souls of men. Sadly, many Christians live without any real awareness of this battle, and are therefore losing it. Satan is real! He is an enemy of God and the church. He tempts, traps, deceives, and kills, and nobody is exempt from his wrath.
How can we stand firm in spiritual warfare? Believers must know their enemy and his tactics (2 Cor 2:11) and be equipped with God’s armor. Let’s study this battle and our equipment for it with The Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Ephesians: Understanding God's Purpose for the Church
Many of the problems plaguing the church today, such as apathy, conflict, spiritual pride, and spiritual abuse, stem from a poor understanding of who the church is in Christ and God’s purpose for her. Whenever we don’t understand the purpose of something, we are prone to misuse it. No doubt the newly founded churches in Ephesus and Asia Minor struggled with a lack of understanding as well and, therefore, were plagued with many of the same issues.
Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians to help them grasp God’s great plan for the church. He calls many of these insights “mysteries”—truths not fully revealed to past generations, but now fully revealed to us. He describes the church as seated in the heavenly realms in Christ. She is one body—including both Jews and Gentiles. She is God’s temple and his masterpiece. She is the bride of Christ and a soldier fighting demonic forces. The more the church grows in her understanding of God’s great purpose for her, the more she will live it out and display his glory. Let’s study the letter of Ephesians together with The Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Abraham: Living the Life of Faith
How can we truly live a life of faith? Over 4,000 years ago, God called a man named Abraham to begin a wonderful journey of faith with him. Abraham was a pagan who worshiped idols; however, he left his home, family, and security to follow God. God called Abraham to be a centerpiece in his plan to redeem all people (Gen 12:1–3). All nations would be blessed through him, as he was the father of Israel—God’s priests—and an ancestor of Jesus—the one who gave his life to save the world (John 3:16).
Because of Abraham’s great faith, he is called the father of all who believe (Gal 3:7). Though each person’s faith journey is unique, we all encounter similar trials and tribulations, joys and victories, as Abraham did. And like him, we are called to be lights in a dark world that denies God. As we study Abraham, we learn how to faithfully live our life of faith. We cover topics like following God’s call, passing God’s test, conquering habitual sins, responding to conflict, experiencing God’s power, and much more. Let’s study Abraham’s life together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide:
Finding a Godly Mate: Biblical Principles for Singles
How can one find a godly mate? When God made Adam, he said it was not good for him to be alone and then provided him with Eve. The desire for companionship is normal and good. Yet, for most, there is both a season of singleness and a season for seeking a mate. How should one go about seeking a godly mate when it’s time? In churches, often training in this area is neglected; therefore, singles are unprepared and often greatly struggle. Too often they jump into the dating/courting process with no real guidance. Consequently, many compromise, pick up emotional and physical baggage, and miss God’s best.
Scripture says that this process can be difficult: Proverbs 20:6 says, “Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” Proverbs 31:10 adds, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” A godly mate is like a precious jewel—very rare! How can one be found? Scripture guides us by either telling us exactly what to do or by giving us principles. In Finding a Godly Mate, the Genesis 24 narrative of the search for Isaac’s future wife, Rebekah, is exposited and principles for singles are abundantly gathered. Let’s study it together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
First Timothy: Becoming a Good Minister of Christ Jesus
How can we become good ministers of Christ Jesus? In 1 Timothy, Paul writes his protégé Timothy, who is overseeing the church in Ephesus, to encourage him to complete the work God called him to (1 Tim 1:18-19). False teachers had infiltrated the congregation, church members were looking down on Timothy because of his youth, and Timothy was frequently sick with stomach ailments. There were many obstacles to discourage and make him want to quit. Throughout the letter, Paul encourages Timothy to be faithful (1 Tim 4:14-16, 6:11-12), instructs him on how the church of the living God should be run (1 Tim 3:15), and on how to be a good minister of Christ Jesus (1 Tim 4:6).
Although 1 Timothy is often called a pastoral epistle, it doesn’t just speak to pastors. It speaks to all of us, because we’re all called to ministry. It instructs us on issues like combatting false teaching (Ch. 1), prayer and worship (Ch. 2), church organization (Ch. 3), the minister’s life and doctrine (Ch. 4), the mercy ministry of the church (Ch. 5), and the believer’s relationship with money (Ch. 6), among other things. It also encourages us to complete our God-given tasks, amidst various obstacles (cf. 1 Tim 1:18-19, 4:12). As we read it, we are challenged, like Timothy, to become good ministers of Christ Jesus, at a time when the church desperately needs them. Let’s study it together with The Bible Teacher’s Guide:
The Beatitudes: Growing in Kingdom Character
How can we grow in kingdom character?
When Christ came into the world, he preached the kingdom of heaven (Matt 4:17). He taught that not only was the kingdom something future but a present reality, as the kingdom of heaven was in their midst (Lk 17:21). The kingdom consists of all those who profess Christ as Lord—though all who profess are not truly saved (cf. Matt 7:21-23, 13:36-43). In Matthew 5:3-10, Christ introduces the character of those who are truly part of his kingdom. They are the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. They are the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness. These character traits are affectionately called the Beatitudes, as each one begins with “Blessed” and finishes with a promise of God. If these characteristics are not in our lives, at least imperfectly, we are not truly part of Christ’s kingdom.
However, the Beatitudes not only represent the nature of kingdom citizens, they also represent the aspirations of them. Only Christ perfectly modeled these characteristics, but each kingdom citizen should constantly aim to grow in them. As we consider the Beatitudes, they will both affirm if we have truly entered God’s kingdom and also challenge us to grow in these kingdom characteristics. Let’s study them together with The Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Equipping Small Group Leaders: A Concise Church Leadership Training
God does big things through small groups: He heals, unifies, encourages, and equips. Christ trained his twelve apostles in a small group. Paul and Barnabas were called to international missions while participating in a small group (Acts 13:1-3). Essentially, all believers owe something to those initial small groups, and many of us have experienced great blessing through contemporary ones. God does big things through small groups, and that’s why we participate in them and aim to lead them.
In this study, we will look at the WHY of small group leadership. Why should we participate in and lead them? We will consider the WHAT of small group leadership, as we look at types of small groups, their elements, and their focus. We will look at the WHO of small group leadership, as we consider qualities of good small group leaders. Finally, we will look at the HOW of small group leadership, as we consider the skills of a leader, the basic order of a small group gathering, and a sample Bible study lesson. Let’s learn more about excelling at this strategic ministry together with The Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Second Timothy: Guarding the Good Deposit
The year was AD 67; persecution was rampant and false teachers saturated the church. Many believers no longer desired to hear sound doctrine and, therefore, heaped up teachers to simply itch their ears (2 Tim 4:2-4). Timothy, a pastor in the church of Ephesus, most likely, was discouraged (1:7, 2:1). With some of his last words, Paul writes from prison to encourage his disciple, Timothy, to complete his ministry (4:5). He commands him to be like a good soldier (2:3-4), a victorious athlete (2:5), and a hardworking farmer (2:6). Above all, Timothy needed to stay faithful to Scripture: he was to guard it (1:14) and teach it to others (2:2, 4:1). God’s Word was to be his chief priority.
Our times are not much different. Persecution towards Christians continues to grow, and many, from within the faith community, twist Scripture to fit the rapidly changing culture. Just like Timothy, we need to hear the apostle’s charge to guard the Good Deposit with the help of the Holy Spirit (1:14). As you consider Paul’s final letter, may our Lord sharpen, refresh, and encourage you for the task at hand and may you be found approved unto God (2:15).
Jacob: Being Transformed by
Among all the biblical heroes, Jacob’s story is peculiar. In many ways, he is more like a villain. He manipulates his brother, deceives his father and father-in-law, and raises up ruthless children who murder the men of a village and sell their own brother into slavery. However, with Jacob, we learn that God can redeem and change the worst of sinners—people like us. We are all part of God’s redemption story, in which he transforms people from Jacobs to Israels—from sinners to saints. As God layers grace upon us and our failures, he transforms us into people he can use greatly to bless the world. Let’s study God’s gracious work in Jacob, so we can better recognize and respond to God’s amazing grace and help others do the same. Thank you, Lord! Amen!
Whenever You Pray: Praying Like Jesus Taught
How should we pray? In Christ’s famous Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7), where he teaches about the citizens of his kingdom and their character, he spends considerable time on prayer. The clear implication is that Christ expects his followers to be devoted to prayer. They won’t pray like hypocrites—with vain, heartless petitions that seek to manipulate God and impress others (Matt 6:5). They will pray because they are consumed with God: his name, kingdom, will, and people (Matt 6:9-13).
Unfortunately, many followers of Christ struggle with prayer. For example, after being taught about prayer in the Sermon on the Mount, the disciples later approached Christ, asking him to teach them how to pray again (Lk 11:1-4). This means they still struggled with praying and being disciplined in it. This is often true for us. In Whenever You Pray, we revisit Christ’s instructions on prayer in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 6:5-18), so we can learn how to pray properly, overcome our struggles with it, and build God’s earthly kingdom through it. Lord, teach and empower us to pray. In your name, we pray. Amen.
The Sermon on the Mount
What is the Sermon on the Mount? In Matthew 5-7, Christ climbs a mountain with his disciples and from there gives his most famous sermon. He starts by describing those who are members of his heavenly kingdom (Matt 5:3-10). They are the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, those who hunger for righteousness, the merciful, etc. Those who are truly heavenly citizens don’t just have a profession of faith but experience a faith that changes their life and character—they are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).
Christ warns those listening to his sermon of potential deception—if their righteousness was not greater than the Pharisees and teachers of the law, they would not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:20). The Pharisees simply had a legalistic, external religion that had not changed their inner character. They were deceived, and sadly, many religious people are deceived today. Like the Pharisees, they perform their acts of righteousness to be seen and honored by others, instead of to be seen and honored by God (Matt 6:1-8, 16-18). Throughout Christ’s sermon, he describes the righteousness of his kingdom citizens. They must practice honesty instead of deception (Matt 5:33-36), forgiveness instead of vengeance (Matt 5:21-26, 6:14), purity instead of lust (Matt 5:27-30), simplicity instead of indulgence (Matt 6:19-24), prayerfulness instead of worry (Matt 6:9-13, 25-34), and much, much more.
Christ concludes his sermon by warning those listening that not everybody who calls Christ, “Lord” will enter the kingdom, but only those who do the will of the Father (Matt 7:21-23). Many will simply listen and not act on Christ’s words, and they will be exposed at the final judgment (Matt 7:26-27). Therefore, we must study Christ’s words to affirm that we have entered God’s kingdom, to live according to its precepts, and to usher in its final form through diligent prayer (Matt 6:10, Rev 21-22). Lord, let your kingdom be fully formed in us and in our world. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!
Joseph: Trusting in God's Sovereignty and Goodness
Two of the greatest truths that Scripture teaches are that God is both sovereign—in control of all events—and good—righteous and benevolent in his character and all he does. This means that even though bad things happen and evil people and forces exist, God’s good plan will prevail in the end. In fact, Scripture says God accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will (Eph 1:11), and that he works all things for the good of those who love the Lord (Rom 8:28). God oversees and overrules random events, routine circumstances, good works, and even evil to ultimately accomplish what is good, which includes blessing his people and glorifying his name.
This is clearly seen in the story of Joseph. Born into a polygamous and divided family, his older brothers hated Joseph and sold him into slavery. While a slave in Egypt, he was falsely accused of sexually assaulting his master’s wife and consequently thrown into prison. After interpreting Pharaoh’s prophetic dreams and providing wise counsel concerning them, Joseph was promoted from a prisoner to Egypt’s governor in a single day. As governor, God used him to save Egypt, the infant nation of Israel, and other nations during a seven-year worldwide famine. Though evil happened to Joseph, God used it to train Joseph, bless him and others, and glorify God’s name. God’s plan is to do the same through us (Eph 2:10, cf. Jer 29:11). However, to not short-circuit or delay God’s plan, we must trust and remain faithful to him throughout the process. Are you trusting him—regardless of your current circumstances, any evil deeds you’ve committed, or evil deeds that have been done to you? Reflecting on God’s sovereignty and goodness in Joseph’s story will help you trust and obey God more (cf. Heb 12:1). Let’s study these truths together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
The Bible's Uniqueness
An Introduction to Scripture
Though every year the Bible is the world’s most popular, purchased, and translated book, the majority of people reading the Bible have never deeply studied it, and even among those who have, many still have numerous, lingering questions, such as: “Who wrote it?” “Is it historically reliable?” “How were the books of the Bible selected?” “Is it possible that some books are missing or that others will be added?” “What is the over-arching storyline of the Bible and its primary message?” “How do we study the Bible?” “Why are there so many translations?” and “Which is the best translation?” The Bible’s Uniqueness: An Introduction to Scripture answers these questions and more. In addition, strong apologetic evidence for the supernatural nature and absolute trustworthiness of Scripture is provided throughout—both to convince skeptics and increase the faith of believers. Let’s learn about the Bible’s uniqueness together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
How to Study the Bible
Basic Principles for Studying Scripture
There is quite a bit of confusion over how to study the Bible. This confusion has led to extremes—including hesitancy in approaching the Bible at all (as though it can never be understood) or, on the other end of the spectrum, heretical doctrine. God has given us his Word to be read, studied, understood, enjoyed, applied, and shared. It is meant to be one of our greatest joys, because through Scripture, we get to know our Creator and his will for our lives. Consider what David proclaimed about God’s Word, “O how I love your law! All day long I meditate on it…Your words are sweeter in my mouth than honey!” (Psalm 119:97, 103). Likewise, Job declared, “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12b). In How to Study the Bible, we learn the great benefits of studying Scripture, hindrances to study, basic Bible study tools, and how to interpret and apply it, among other things. Let’s learn how to study God’s Word together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Understanding Our Great Salvation
What is salvation? Why do humans need it? And what is its process? The doctrine of salvation essentially teaches how humans are condemned to an eternal hell by a just and righteous God because of their sins. However, instead of condemning all of humanity without any hope of redemption, God provided a means of salvation, so that the condemned may become righteous and dwell eternally with him in a place of blessing.
In this study, we will consider salvation by exploring some of the elements within the order of its process, the gospel message, and theological issues associated with salvation such as, “Why does God elect people to salvation?” “How does a believer become more like Christ?” “Can a believer lose his salvation?” and “How does a person know if he or she is truly saved?” The intent behind studying these is that we’ll be able to know the true gospel in contrast with a false gospel, gain wisdom to grow in our sanctification, develop hope in our future glorification, and increase our sense of awe and joy in the great salvation that God planned for us. Let’s study it together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Knowing the Holy Spirit
There is great confusion and controversy over the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Who is he, and what does he do? Is he some type of force? Is he an energy or a thing? Likewise, topics such as spiritual gifts, the baptism in the Spirit, and being filled with the Spirit tend to incite differing views and discord, even amongst the sincerest and most devoted Christians.
Because of all this, some have hesitated to study or teach on the Holy Spirit. This is unfortunate, since the Holy Spirit makes possible both the redemption (John 6:8-9, Rom 8:11) and sanctification (1 Pet 1:2) of believers. In addition, the Holy Spirit, in a unique way, makes the truth, power, and presence of the Godhead experiential. Tony Evans said it this way: “Just as electricity brings living, functional reality to appliances, the Holy Spirit animates the person and power of God in history.” For these reasons, the study of the Holy Spirit and his ministries should be fervently pursued and enjoyed! Let’s study him together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Knowing Jesus Christ
Who is Jesus Christ? This question elicits a lot of mystery and confusion. Some say Jesus was only a regular human—maybe a wise man or prophet. Others say he is a created being, like an angel. Still, others say Jesus is God but not human. While others say he is both fully God and fully human. Who exactly is Jesus? Scripture teaches that our eternal destiny depends on how we answer this question (1 John 4:2-3, Rom 10:9-10); therefore, it befits us to reflect on this question and answer it correctly. In Christology, we’ll consider what the Bible says about Jesus Christ, so that we may enjoy the eternal life, which only comes through him (John 3:16, 17:3) and also know, worship, and serve him in a more excellent manner (Rev 5:11-14). Let’s study Jesus Christ together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Understanding Satan and Demons
Who is Satan and what is he? There are various views on this. Some believe Satan is the personification of evil but not an actual person or being. However, Scripture teaches Satan is not just an invisible evil power, nor a personification of it. He is an actual being (cf. Job 1:6-12, Matt 4:1-11, Rev 20:1-3, 7-10). In fact, outside of God, Satan apparently is the most powerful being in the world (cf. Jude 1:9). His name means opposer, enemy, or adversary. He is the chief of the fallen angels and constantly works to oppose God and his will (cf. Rev 12:7-12). Because he opposes God, he opposes God’s people and seeks to keep unbelievers from coming to God. Since he is our enemy, we must understand him and his tactics if we are to defeat him. In 1 Peter 5:8-9, Peter says, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..." If we are unaware of our enemy, not knowledgeable of him, or simply unconcerned, the consequences may be devastating.
In Satanology, we will consider our enemy, Satan and his demons, so that we may stand strong in the faith when attacked, defeat him, and rescue others from his grasps. James 4:7 says, "So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you." Let’s learn about Satan together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
What are angels? Who are they and what can we learn from them? In Scripture, angels are mentioned over 250 times in thirty-four books of the Bible. Angels were present, rejoicing at God’s forming of the earth (Job 38:4-7). They visited Abraham’s house and brought judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 18, 19:13). They were involved with the transmission of the Ten Commandments to Moses (Gal 3:19). An angel gave prophecies to Daniel about Israel’s future (Dan 9, 10). Likewise, an angel prophesied the messiah’s birth to both Mary and Joseph (Matt 1, Lk 1). An angel strengthened Christ after he experienced temptation in the wilderness (Lk 22:43). An angel set Peter free from prison (Acts 12:7-10), and one comforted Paul before his shipwreck in the ocean (Acts 27:23-24). Angels will be involved with administering judgment throughout the Great Tribulation (Rev 8) and will come with Christ to judge the earth (Matt 16:27). Throughout Scripture, angels are everywhere!
In Angelology, we will consider many questions about angels, including who they are, their creation, types of angels, specific angels, their ministry, their future, and much more. The study of angels is not just speculative; we can learn a great deal from them, as they are fellow servants and worshipers of God (Rev 22:9). Let’s study angelology together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Understanding Our Sin Problem
In the Bible, every chapter includes sin and its consequences, except four—the first two chapters of Genesis, before the fall, and the last two of Revelation, after the creation of the new heaven and earth. The story of the Bible essentially abounds with the themes of sin and our need for salvation. Since sin permeates every aspect of the human existence, we must understand it and how God provides grace to deliver us from it, both for ourselves and to help others.
In Hamartiology, our sin problem and its remedy are explored by answering questions like: What is sin? What is sin’s origin? Why did God allow sin in the first place? Is every sin equal? What is the unpardonable sin? What is the sin that results in death? What are temptations to sin and consequences of it? How can we conquer sin? and much more. Let’s study these together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Understanding the End Times
Everybody has a form of eschatology—beliefs about their future or the world's. For some, eschatology brings despair because everything ends in death—including the individual and the universe. Some have a vague hope of the afterlife. For Christians, they should have a certain hope because God has laid out his plan for the end times in Scripture. He reveals these things to teach his saints about his glory and control over history, to encourage them in uncertain times, and to equip them for good works, among other things. For these reasons, we should not neglect eschatology but instead study it enthusiastically. Let’s learn about eschatology together with The Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Understanding the Church
Ecclesiology is the study of the church, which is God’s people throughout the world. God has chosen the church to be his global representative (Matt 28:19) and to glorify him throughout eternity (Eph 3:21). The church is God’s temple (1 Cor 3:16) and his family (Gal 6:10). It is Christ’s body, including various members with different spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:12-28). It is the salt and light of the world (Matt 5:13-14). While on earth, Christ promised to build his church and that the gates of hades will not prevail against it (Matt 16:18). It is the most important institution in the world. Therefore, as the church goes, the world goes. If the church is healthy, it positively impacts society, and if it is unhealthy, it negatively impacts society. Therefore, what we believe about the church is very important. Let’s study it together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Developing a Faith that Works
Unlike other epistles, James is not so much concerned with doctrine but living out doctrine. Over half the words in this epistle are commands. James believed that true faith produces the corresponding works, and if it does not, it is not true faith (Jam 2:14-26). Even the demons believe in God but are not saved (2:15, 19). True faith not only hears God’s Word, but obeys it (1:22). It not only sympathizes with the poor but also cares for them (1:27, 2:1-13). It affects one’s tongue (1:26, 3:2-12) and how one responds to conflict (4:1-3, 11-12), trials (1:2-4), money (5:1-6), planning (4:13-17), the world (1:27, 4:4) and much more. James wanted the scattered and persecuted Jewish believers he wrote to develop a faith that works. Let’s study this epistle together with The Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Becoming a Person God Can Use Greatly
Elijah ministered during a terrible time in Israel’s history. Apostasy was at an all-time high because Ahab, Israel’s worst king, was on the throne (1 Kgs 16:30). His ungodly influence was augmented by his wife, Jezebel, who introduced Baal worship to Israel. In order to restore Israel to God, the Lord called one of his greatest prophets, Elijah, to confront Ahab (1 Kings 17:1).
Elijah’s ministry was unique. He prayed that it would not rain as a judgment for Israel’s sins, and it did not rain for three and a half years. He challenged Baal’s prophets to a contest to prove that Yahweh was God. After they lost, he had the false prophets killed. Then, he prayed for it to rain, and it did, ending three and a half years of drought and famine (1 Kgs 18). In fact, because of his faithfulness, God took Elijah straight to heaven without him dying (2 Kgs 2). However, as great as Elijah was, James says he was a human being like us (Jam 5:16-18), meaning that the power in his life can be in ours (Jam 5:16-18). Therefore, as we study Elijah’s life, we learn principles about becoming a person God can use greatly. Let’s study his life together with The Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Becoming Zealous for Good Works
Crete was a difficult ministry. Culturally, the people were known for being lazy, deceptive, and combative (Tit 1:12). Though difficult, many churches there needed to be discipled and built up. Consequently, Paul visited to minister to the Cretans and eventually left Titus there to continue the work.
In Paul’s letter to Titus, he encourages his son in the faith and gives him various instructions. Titus was to select elders in all the churches to help train the believers, teach them sound doctrine, and protect them from false teaching (Tit 1:9-10). In addition, Paul emphasized that the Cretans needed to be zealous to do good works. Good works are mentioned six times in the epistle and is its major theme (Tit 1:16; 2:7, 14; 3:1, 8, 14). The Cretans needed to know that God not only saved them from sin and judgment but to a relationship with him and good works. Titus 2:14 says this about Christ, “He gave himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his, who are eager to do good.” Certainly, this is true of us as believers as well. As we consider this epistle, may the Lord draw us to himself, purify us, and inspire us to do good works which benefit all people (Tit 3:8). Let’s study Titus together with The Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Jonah is often called the most missional book in the Old Testament. In it, God calls Jonah, the prophet, to go to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, and preach a message of judgment. However, he initially rebels as the Assyrians were Israel’s enemies and greatest threat. Jonah’s reluctance to share God’s message was a reflection of Israel as a nation. They were called by God to be his chosen people. They were to be stewards of God’s temple and his Word, and one day his Son, the messiah, would come from them to die for the sins of the world. The Israelites were blessed so they could be a blessing to the world by drawing others to worship the true God (cf. Gen 12:3, 22:18, Isaiah 42:6, 60:1-3). However, they became prideful instead of humble, exclusive instead of inclusive, concerned with themselves instead of others, and therefore, failed to be God’s missionaries to the nations. We, as the church, are no different. Like Jonah and the Israelites, God has called us to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19-20), but it’s easy to neglect and rebel against that call—leaving many unreached and hopeless. As we study Jonah, may it convict and change our hearts to make us more missional so we can complete the great commission our Lord Jesus gave us! Let’s study Jonah together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.