Sanctification & Union with Christ (2 units)
According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, sanctification is “the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.” It is a continuing change worked by God in us, freeing us from sinful habits and forming in us Christ-like affections, dispositions, and virtues. Union with Christ refers to the relationship between the believer and Jesus Christ. It is a step in the ordo salutis (“order of salvation”), and the basis of the believer’s justification. “In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” (Gal. 3:26). John Murray says union with Christ is “the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation.” Charles Spurgeon once said, “There is no joy in this world like union with Christ. The more we can feel it, the happier we are. Union with Christ is the center of our salvation and our sanctification and central to all of our deepest joys in this life”. Through sanctification and union with Christ we are being transformed into His image and being freed from any obstacles that try to prevent it. Join me in digging deeper into these wonderful truths about our relationship with Jesus!
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27)
Character Development – Personal Holiness (2 units)
A recent book was titled Hidden in Plain Sight. It spoke of how the very answers that people spend their lives seeking are clearly and simply explained right in 2 Peter 1. How true! Do you want to know how to grow and develop your life into all the fullness that God planned for you—it’s right here in the eight steps that Peter gives. Once you understand and implement these, your life will be transformed!
Character Development is a series of courses on the most important quality of a Christian: Christlike character. It’s the very opposite of the hypocrisy Jesus condemned in the religious leaders of His day. God wants us to walk in victory and become like His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29). Learning all about the Lord and the Bible is great. Learning to minister in power is wonderful. But if we do not develop His character we will eventually get shot down by the world, the flesh, or the devil. God has definite steps to achieve victory in each area of our lives and the twelve Character Development courses are where you’ll learn them.
Epistles of Paul – I (2 units)
God converted Christianity’s arch enemy, Saul of Tarsus, and made him the great Apostle Paul, who wrote more books of the Bible than anyone else and shaped Christianity more than anyone except Jesus Himself. Many of the richest expressions of Christianity are found in his letters. This class will begin with Romans and go through Philemon, giving an introduction to the heart of Paul’s writings.
Daniel’s Visions and Divine Victory (2 units)
In speaking about the events of the last days, Jesus referenced the prophet Daniel and added, “Let the reader understand.” (Matt. 24:15) In order to understand God’s plans in the past, present and future, we need to understand the purpose and meaning of Daniel’s visions in Daniel 7 to 12. In a world dominated by one wicked kingdom after another, how will God’s kingdom come to earth? As a nation conquered and exiled, what is Israel’s continuing role in God’s program? What did Daniel prophesy about the Messiah’s first and second comings? When will the end come and Christ’s kingdom be consummated? How will God use the sinfulness of man, the suffering of His people, and the prayers of His saints in the fulfilling of His will? In Daniel’s visions we’ll discover answers to these and other key questions. Moreover, these visions will help transform our own thoughts and perspectives as we live out being more than conquerors in Christ.
An Exegetical Analysis of the Book of James, Chapters 3–4 (2 units)
As seen in the previous quarter, James was the biological brother of Jesus. James (who was called “James the Just”), was a leader of the first church council in Jerusalem (Acts 15:2–35). We also saw that this epistle has been canonically classified as a “catholic” (i.e., universal) epistle; that is, it was written “universally” to all the churches (as with the other six catholic epistles – 1, 2 Pet., 1–3 John, and Jude). We saw in chapters 1–2 of James, instructions on how to live and think correctly as Christians, presenting in great detail the very heart of the duty of all Christians, especially obeying the Royal Law: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (2:8). We saw what James means by true faith vs. dead faith.
Chapters 3–4 start with the mandate to Christian teachers in the church. James then moves to the importance of taming the tongue and the adverse effects of an unbridled tongue, which he contextually connects with the two kinds of wisdom—earthly and wisdom from above. In chapter 4, we will learn how to submit properly to God. James then concludes by instructing Christians to submit every plan and every goal to the will of God. As with chapters 1–2, chapters 3–4 are equally filled with high Christology and very applicable theology, which will prove to be useful in our own sanctification and theological growth. As in all of my classes, we will engage in an exegetical study, consulting the original, and paying careful attention to the context to ensure accuracy of the author’s intended meaning.
Colossians (2 units)
The church today desperately needs the message of Colossians. No other book in the New Testament presents such a comprehensive picture of the fullness and sovereign supremacy of Jesus Christ. We live in a day when religious toleration is interpreted to mean “one religion is just as good as another.” Many people today are saying, “I don’t care what you believe, just so long as you live a good life.” Some people try to take the best from various religious systems and manufacture their own private religion. To many people, Jesus Christ is only one of several great religious teachers, with no more authority than they. He may be prominent, but He is definitely not preeminent. Students who master Colossians are not likely to be led astray by some alluring and enticing “new-and-improved brand of Christianity.” If Christ is truly preeminent in our lives, then we will glorify Him by keeping pure, by enjoying fellowship with other Christians, by loving each other at home and being faithful at work, and by seeking to witness for Christ and serve Him effectively. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:17).
Evangelism (2 units)
The word “evangelism” means taking the good news about salvation through Jesus Christ to other people. Jesus came to preach the gospel to the poor, and He is still doing that today through us, because we are His body (1 Corinthians 12:27). How do we learn to evangelize? Mainly by doing it. This is a “field experience” course, which involves witnessing for at least one and a half hours a week, turning in weekly lists of the people witnessed to, reading a missionary book (supplied) and writing five pages of notes on it.
Saturday Seminar – One Saturday, 9AM-3PM – (2 units)
One Saturday, 9AM–3PM. Topic to be Announced.