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Lessons

Lesson Abstracts and Introductory Stories

This page contains Teaching Lesson Guides which are for the class teacher to use in preparing and teaching their classes. Click on the gray tabs below to see each lesson.

Each lesson has a corresponding Student Lesson document, a .PDF, which should be downloaded, printed and used in the class.

Lesson 1 – The Depravity of Man

LessonsNewness of Life -Student-Lesson-1 – .PDF.

Newness of Life – Appendix E – .PDF

The depravity of man is a term that relates to man’s inability to operate in a strict moral fashion. We are often aware of our physical limitations, however, we are seldom aware of our spiritual limitations. Romans 5:12. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”

A baby’s cry echoes for the first time in his new world. We celebrate his life. His parents count every finger and toe. We marvel at his perfection that gives promise and hope for a new beginning. We do not despair over his life of sin which has already begun…we do not grieve for his death. But with each new life, each beautiful child–the story of man and his separation from God is told again and again.

Adam and Eve lived in Paradise—eternally with God. But because God gave them free will (the very essence of humanness), they were disobedient to God and tasted the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. And now, through the generations of man, women and men are reminded of that sin through the pain of childbirth and the certain death of their offspring. The gap that separates us from God is replayed in every birth, every miracle, every precious child born into this ungodly world. Praise God that we can again use our free will to close this gap, to be free from sin, and to, once again, have an eternal and glorious life with our eternal Father.

Lesson 2 – Sin? What is it?

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 2 – .PDF.

Some people think that sin is just something church people talk about so they can prevent people from having fun. Others think that sin is doing those big things, like killing someone or stealing from others. What is the difference between happiness and pleasure? Psalm 14:2. “The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men, To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God.”

Have you ever chosen a puppy from a litter? or rescued a dog from the pound? Inevitably, many are sniffing, eating, sleeping, roughhousing or totally focused on the surroundings. They are oblivious to you. If they knew the wonderful life that they would receive by being your loyal follower, they would immediately beg for your attention the moment you stepped into their environment. But they don’t…at least not all of them. You look and look.

Then, there’s THE ONE. He looks right at you. His tail tentatively wags. You smile. He wags harder. You move ever so slightly. He senses it and jumps wholeheartedly into your reaching arms. And whole-body wiggling begins. And you KNOW. He is yours and you are his– for life. So it is with God. For God brings unto himself those who seek Him, not those whose search is in the world.

Lesson 3 – Body, Soul, Spirit – Building on Exchange Life Principles

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 3 – .PDF

“The man who would enter the kingdom of God must be born in a radically new fashion, and this second birth is from heaven. Entry into the kingdom is not by way of human striving, but by the re-birth which only God can effect.” L. Morris. 1 Thessalonians 5:23. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Your dream car sits in the driveway–a cherry red ‘65 Mustang. Chrome glints in the sun. Pure white leather interior. Jet black convertible top. You ease into the driver’s seat, and your hand slides to the ignition. NO KEY! Panicked, you pop the hood and gasp. NO ENGINE! Just a hollow shell–beautiful and perfect outside, but empty inside and useless to its true purpose.

You are God’s dream. He knew you before you were born and knows the hairs on your head. But He is not finished with you. It does not fulfill His purpose to simply exist in your earthly body. Your inner self–your soul–your spiritual engine–the Holy Ghost–needs to be in place for you to reach your potential. Spiritual birth through Jesus Christ is the key and He holds it for you in his hand if you will just reach for it.

Lesson 4 – How do we overcome temptations of the Flesh – Making the Body God’s temple.

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 4 – .PDF

I know that I am a Christian. I have been baptized. However, I still sin…I cannot seem to help it. What is wrong with me? 1 Timothy 1:15,16. “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”

It’s her birthday. The cake is magnificent with its pink frosting and dancing ballerina. Your toddler touches the icing edge and licks her finger. “Not yet,” you say, “Stay away from the cake.” She withdraws her hand for a moment. You turn your back. The hand sneaks again. “I saw that! Keep your hands away!” You turn your back. Her face moves forward, ever so slightly, until her nose caresses the velvety sugar. You laugh at her half-hearted obedience and whisk her off her feet, laughing and dancing in the kitchen.

Just as icing evokes an uncontrollable urge in a child, worldly temptations lure the Christian heart. Praise God that we have a patient Savior who loves us anyway.

Lesson 5 – Who am I? What is my Soul? How do I renew my mind?

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 5 – .PDF

What is my place in life, my purpose for living? As our society becomes more centered on material values and a secular worldview, as we try to find ourselves in our work, careers, material things, and the ever seeking next thrill, these questions become more and more important. Ephesians 2:1,2. “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”

Pretend that your life is like a house. Pretend that you can place old sin in storage boxes in the basement. Some sins are bigger than others and take up more space, but you still have plenty of room. Now, fast forward a few years. A few more. A few more. The basement is full and you are storing sins in other places…your den and bedroom, and kitchen and closets. Your house is filled with boxes and they are spilling into the yard and street. You are desperate and constantly reminded and tripping over your sin; it plays like a tape playing over and over with no escape. Your life feels cluttered and dirty.

When you accept Christ as your personal Savior and ask for forgiveness, He brings a moving van and takes EVERY SINGLE box away. He doesn’t look inside the boxes; He just sees what’s left–a pure and perfect dwelling place.

Lesson 6 – Have I been born again?

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 6 – .PDF

Newness of Life – Appendix B – .PDF

The interaction of my spirit with the Holy Spirit. The fact remains that the gate to salvation is narrow and we must be very careful as to which road we take. Jesus taught in Matthew 7:13,14. “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”

Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico is an enormous cave system discovered in the 1800’s after settlers were drawn to the spectacle of hundreds of thousands of bats rising into the evening from the entrance. Today, thousands of visitors tour underground chambers such as The Big Room, The Temple of the Sun, and The Hall of Giants. Visitors sometimes dress in rugged hiking boots and carry water and flashlights, not knowing that there are smooth paths, handrails, and lights.

It is not likely that you will find a real spelunker in the crowd. The true caver is not taking the easy path; he is not walking in familiar territory with the rest of the crowd. He searches for and finds the narrow gap; he squeezes through with great difficulty, often leaving comforts and friends behind. But his reward is great. He finds an unmapped chamber with a formation more spectacular that any ever seen…his bruised knees forgotten, his thirst delayed, he sits in humbled awe at the beauty that surrounds him. In your search for spiritual fulfillment, are you a tourist or a true seeker?

Lesson 7 – Developing our relationship with God

Bible StudyNewness of Life – Student Lessons 7 – PDF

In order to really relate to God we must relate to Him in spirit. Our spirit must interact with His Spirit. Of course, this means that the first step is for us to have a personal spirit by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. After the spirit has been born within us we can now relate to God. John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

In war torn parts of the world, it is not uncommon for children to be the victims. Abandoned, lost and maimed, children wander aimlessly, looking for their families–forsaken and broken. Fathers and mothers wail inconsolably, searching in the rubble, praying for their children to be safe. Some children die–never found–never rescued.

Today, we are in the ultimate battle between sin and purity, darkness and light, good and evil. Without God, we may wander aimlessly, broken and scarred, afraid of death, looking for a safe haven. Without God, we may die alone and never found. But Jesus, the very Son of God, brought hope and peace to the world through his teaching and ultimately His death on the cross. He brought us the good news that we are God’s adopted children. Our Heavenly Father searches for us and removes the brokenness of our souls, our sins, our scars, and our hopelessness. Through Him, we are pure and sanctified. We are safe. Through Him, we have eternal life.

Lesson 8 – The food of the spirit. How to study the bible. Bible study tools.

Bible StudyNewness of Life – Student Lesson 8 – PDF

The Bible is God’s inspired word. It was written in three languages, (Greek, Aramaic & Hebrew), by 34-40 different authors, in 12 countries and 3 continents, over a 1400-1800 year period. Yet, most pastors teachers and biblical scholars say that there are few if any contradictions. Indeed, when you find what may seem to be a contradiction, a little further study with a good teacher will help clear them up. 2 Timothy 3:16. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;”

We have heard it dozens of times over the years from people in every walk of life about every type of written word imaginable. “I couldn’t live without it…it’s my bible.” The executive assistant may be referring to a daily planner; the auto mechanic to his technical manual; the airline pilot to a checklist; the writer to her thesaurus. Thousands of people everyday pick-up well thumbed books marked with important notes. The expression is given to a work considered authoritative in a discipline or occupation. The Daily Racing Form is considered the bible of horse racing, the Sporting News the bible of baseball, A Dictionary of Modern Language Usage, the bible of the English language.

But the Bible (always written with a capital letter) refers to the sacred book of Christianity. The Bible is meant to be well thumbed, re-read, referred to daily, and never disputed or doubted (although healthy discussion and study are integral to its use). The Holy Bible is the answer to every question, the final word on every issue, the guideline for happiness, and the whole truth in absolute final and perfect form. How could any Christian ever compare something as minor as a manual or textbook to God’s Holy Word?

Lesson 9 – Repentance – Old Testament. Repentance – New Testament.

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 9 – PDF

Repentance is a very important concept in achieving spiritual maturity. Repentance is between each of us and God. It is not simply saying I am sorry. It has a much deeper meaning. It goes beyond the expression of regret because it recognizes that we have committed a sin against God. Repentance means that not only are you sorry and that you deeply regret the sin, that you ask for forgiveness but that you will turn away for the sin and not sin again. Jeremiah 4:1,2. “If you will return, O Israel,” declares the Lord, “Then you should return to Me. And if you will put away your detested things from My presence, And will not waver, And you will swear, ‘As the Lord lives, In truth, in justice, and in righteousness; Then the nations will bless themselves in Him, and in Him they will glory.”

“Sorry” is a game manufactured by Parker Brothers that has been part of American family entertainment for more than 60 years. As each player advances on the board, he makes a distinct (and usually verbal) wish as the dice roll to absolutely demolish the other player by landing and sliding across the board and sending the poor guy back to a previous space where he has to work toward regaining his advantage. This deliberate attack is then mollified by an insincere and sappy “Ssssoooooorrrrrry” accompanied by a devilish grin. If you are the victim of this type of purposeful attack, you know that the person is not really “Sorry”; in fact, they are not the least bit sorry and at the very next opportunity they are going to get you again.

So it is with understanding the difference between a Christian being sorry or truly repenting. If you sin and are sorry; odds are that you deliberately planned the sin (or had an opportunity to stop it). In likelihood, you may deliberately do it again even if you are really, really sorry. If you repent, you understand that you have sinned against God and will not only say you are sorry but you will turn away from the sin and not do it ever again. It’s not a game. Sorry isn’t enough. Your actions must reflect a change that restores honor to your commitment to God.

Lesson 10 – Prayer – What is it? How to pray.

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 10 – .PDF

Newness of Life – Appendix C – .PDF

Some of the ways we communicate with God include; living in harmony and observing nature, praising God with music and song, feeling God’s presence without the use of words, reading God’s Word and God communicating with God through other people. However, one of the most effective ways of communicating with God is through prayer. In this course, “Newness of Life”, one of our objectives is for each person to develop and mature spiritually. Effective prayer is essential in the achievement of that objective. Jeremiah 33:3. “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

Imagine yourself in a room. Imagine being in great pain. Life threatening pain. Place that pain in your heart. Add numbness in your left arm. Add burning sensations to your entire chest area. Add shortness of breath. Add fear. Now, imagine that you know that a great physician just happens to be in the next room. Amazing grace! Now imagine yourself doubled over in agony, walking right past him, out of the building, driving home, getting a drink of water, and telling yourself that you can handle it on your own. You even curse him a little under your breath for not noticing that you were walking by his room. Surely, in his great wisdom, he sensed that something was wrong with someone nearby even though you did not call out to him. He is a great healer after all, isn’t he?

The scenario sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? It is. Sadly, though, it is the same philosophy that many Christians use in their prayer life. If God knows everything about us then he should be able to anticipate our needs, help us, and heal us…shouldn’t he? Why should we cry out for help? Why should we pray?

Just as the physician cannot assist the patient who does not communicate with him, God cannot help (i.e. answer the prayers) of those who do not ask Him for help through prayer. When we do pray and ask God our Father for help and understanding, he will do more for us than we ever asked for in the first place.

Lesson 11 – How to develop our prayer life.

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 11 – PDF

God is the most loving, merciful and powerful being in the universe. He is to be worshiped, thanked for his many blessings and protection and treated as a Holy Being. One of the ways we can tap into God’s love, compassion and power is though prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17. “pray without ceasing;”

A drop of water becomes a steady drip. A drip becomes a trickle. A trickle becomes a small flow. The small flow joins another small flow. They race together to meet other small flows. And as time inevitably passes, the drop is part of a raging river that cannot be stopped by anything– not man, nor beast, nor mountain. So in the ancient history of our earth, the Grand Canyon of Arizona was formed by the Colorado River.. From rim to rim, the canyon measures 600 feet to an awe-inspiring 18 miles wide. It is a mile deep, and the canyon itself is over 277 miles long. It started with something without much strength on its own. Something small. Something simple. A drop.

So it is with prayer. A small prayer. A simple prayer. A prayer that you pray sincerely and without ceasing. It joins your other prayers, and soon your prayers are a powerful voice that transcends all time. Because you speak directly to God, your prayers move mountains. Your prayers carve the future and ring gloriously throughout all Heaven. Your prayers are a beautiful sight and sound to the eyes and ears of our mighty God.

Lesson 12 – Faith Alone – The Doctrine of Justification.

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 12 – PDF

Justification means to Paul God’s act of remitting the sins of guilty people, and accounting them righteous, freely, by His grace, through faith in Christ, on the ground, not of their own works, but of the representative law keeping and redemptive blood shedding of the Lord Jesus on their behalf. The basic meaning is to declare righteous. Romans 5:1. “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

It is all too common in educational circles for students to cheat, and sometimes, these students get caught and are given a failing grade. Surprisingly, even though the student knows that a wrong was clearly committed, it is human nature to want to justify the action. “The professor didn’t give me enough time to write the paper.” “If he hadn’t left his paper wide open, I wouldn’t have looked.” “It’s only one homework assignment…what’s the big deal?” However, in its true definition, to “justify” something means to prove it to be just, valid, right…to declare free of blame, to absolve. To “justify” something that is clearly in violation of established rules will never make it right. To justify a wrong will never erase it. To justify cheating is failure on many levels…failure to complete the work as expected, failure in living up to the expectations of the teachers, failure in potential, failure in self esteem and mental strength. The result, which is clearly justified, is failure on the assignment.

As sinners, we know that our past is filled with justifications for our actions. As much as we may want to purify our sins and make them seem O.K., we simply cannot do it. But, through Jesus Christ, not only are we forgiven of past sin, but we can claim righteousness and receive full credit for being LIKE CHRIST. Through our Savior, we get a perfect score and then by grace He adds extra credit to this divine peace.

Lesson 13 – Who is God? Who is Jesus? Who is the Holy Spirit?

Newness of LifeNewness of Life – Student Lesson 13 – PDF

How does one describe his creator? How can you begin to understand God? God is so much more than our minds can possibly conceive. Where do you begin in seeking this understanding? The answer to where we begin is simple. God Himself has chosen to reveal Himself to us His children. John 4:24. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Symbolism is frequently used to give us connections to abstract ideas. The American flag waving in a gentle spring breeze may represent freedom to farmer, patriotism to a soldier, hope to an immigrant. We cannot touch freedom, patriotism, or hope, but we all have a concrete sense of what those things are and what they mean to us. We can grasp the difficult concept of love when we see it represented by a mother holding a child. Faith is more clearly understood when we see someone in great despair clutching the Holy Bible.

But our God, our immeasurable and Holy God, transcends even the broadest symbols. He is spirit. He is everywhere, not limited by time and space. As humans, we are so overwhelmed with the very being of God, that He instructs us to simply walk by faith. The only known symbol given to us that even begins to capture His greatness are the words that He himself uses. God is the I AM.

Lesson 14 – The essentials of Christianity – Know what you believe.

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 14 – .PDF

Newness of Life – Appendix E – .PDF

The Bible is God’s inspired word. It was written in three languages, (Greek, Aramaic & Hebrew), by 34-40 different authors, in 12 countries and 3 continents, over a 1400-1800 year period. Yet, most pastors teachers and biblical scholars say that there are few if any contradictions. Indeed, when you find what may seem to be a contradiction, a little further study with a good teacher will help clear them up. 2 Timothy 3:16. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;”

Put a mouse in a maze without any cheese at the end as an incentive. He may bop and bump his way around a lot of dead ends. As the powerful being who conducts the experiment, you may just shake your head at the way the mouse retraces paths, gets false starts, and is fooled by the smallest deception. If the maze is complicated enough, you may soon realize that the mouse may never find his way out.

Religion is a maze for many people—even some Christians. Sometimes we bump and bop our way along dead ends, accepting that others believe that there are many ways to God, temporarily deceived or distracted by the loud arguments of non-believers, or even embracing the merits of some other religions. If we allow ourselves to be controlled by what others think, rather than what has been taught to us in the Holy Bible, we may never find our way out of the confusion.

But let’s go back to our mouse in the maze. This time put a piece of tasty cheese at the end of the maze. You may be surprised to find that your seemingly dense mouse becomes Super Mouse as he concentrates on the desired food and races to a successful finish. If he could explain it to others, he would tell them that there is only one way. “Do not be fooled by what seems possible but is really a dead end,” he might advise.

The only way through the religious maze of our world is to focus on the prize…the taste of victory in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is documented. It is historic fact. Everything else is false and a dead end. There is only ONE WAY. Know it. Defend it. Tell others.

Lesson 15 – Spiritual Gifts – I know what my gift is, but how do I use and develop it?

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 15 – .PDF

Newness of Life – Appendix D  – .PDF

To each one who has been born again, the Holy Spirit gives one or more spiritual gifts. These gifts are used for the building and support of the Body of Christ. John 14:16,17. “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.”

“This is the air I breathe; this is the air I breathe…your Holy presence living in me…” The soloist raises a hand gracefully in honor and humble reverence to God. A congregation of hundreds sits spellbound by her beautiful voice. And finally, the last note lingers and then disappears soundlessly in unbroken silence. The soloist clasps her hands in humble gratitude as praises and applause resound gloriously throughout the sanctuary. She does not clasp her hands in the gratitude for the congregation’s appreciation; she bows her head and clasps her hands in self-effacing gratitude to God. Her gift, given to her by God through the Holy Spirit, has the power to move others. Her beautiful voice brings her joy because she can use it to honor God.

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, God sends the Holy Spirit to abide in us, to bring us our spiritual gifts so that we may honor God in a way that is natural to us and pleasing to God. Honoring God is not work. Honoring God through the natural spiritual gifts that He has given you is pleasing to you as well as Him.

Lesson 16 – Bringing others to Christ.

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 16 – PDF

In bringing others to Christ, we are often called to witness to them and share our testimony. Romans 1:16. “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

You would not walk by a man who had fallen and injured himself. If you saw a woman struggling with a heavy bag and pushing a stroller, you would go out of your way to open a door. If a child was lost and crying, you would help him find his way. That’s what good people do. When it comes to physical needs, most of us are right there pitching in and doing our part to help others.

Now consider this. You make eye contact with someone, and casually ask them how they are doing to fill the space. The next thing you know, you are caught by a full-blown one-sided monologue. It is amazing what some people will tell others (strangers!) in the bank line, grocery store, doctor’s office, or church lobby. People talk. Sometimes they just need a listening ear. Sometimes they are lonely or scared or overwhelmed with a problem. Even as Christians, we may find that we listen half-heartedly, waiting for an opportunity to share our own dilemmas or (more often than not) getting away from the person who is getting a little “too personal.” STOP YOURSELF.

Remember, God calls us in many ways to share the gospel. When someone is in physical need, your actions reflect your Christian walk; but are your actions and words reflecting what you believe when someone is crying out for emotional comfort? Are you recognizing the opportunities that God has put before you to save someone’s life by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ? Or are you avoiding eye contact?

Lesson 17 – Newness of Life & Sanctification.

Newness of Life – Student Lesson 17  – PDF

When we have been born again, received a new spirit, established a relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and our comforter the Holy Spirit, we have formed the basis for life on earth as it is intended by our Heavenly Father. Being a part of God’s family is very special. We are His children and He will keep us, help us, teach us, nurture us, educate us and love us. We have a perfect measure of His grace. No matter the challenge in our lives during the short time that we are on earth, we can have assurance that our Father will always love us unconditionally. He will never leave or forsake us. Romans 6:4: “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Here’s a riddle. What is a strange ritual to many other religions, and dismissed by some Christian denominations? What is one step that you must take in order to show others your commitment to Jesus Christ? Give up? Here’s a hint. It is not a sprinkle on the head. It is not a letter of dedication. It cannot be done first and then followed by salvation. You can do it more than once in a lifetime if you are not sure that you did it wholeheartedly (ex. doing it at a young age). What is it? Still not sure? It is done publicly. Need another hint? Jesus Christ himself did it.

If you believe that Jesus Christ (who walked on this earth and lived as a man) is the Son of God…if you believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and resurrected from the grave…if you have been born again and have received the Holy Spirit, then you have been called upon to follow Christ in baptism. It is an immeasurable joy to symbolically declare your faith to others, to give testimony not only in words but in physical action, to die to your sins and be resurrected as a new creature.

Baptism is not really a riddle, or an option, or the answer. But your full immersion baptism shows others that you know the answer. The answer is Jesus Christ…the Way, the Truth, and the Life.