Saturday, March 31, 2007

PPT Slides for Exercise Submission's Power

Around 50 to 75 of you regularly download PPT lesson slides when I post them. I hope they are useful to you. If you have suggestions for how I can improve future slides, please let me know.

Here is a link to this week's lesson: Exercise Submission's Power. I put notes on most of the slides as a help :-).

May God bless you as you prepare!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tall order

Based on 1 Peter 3:7, Step 3 of “Exercise Submissions Power” shifts to consider the husband’s responsibility. He should submit “in the same way” as demonstrated by Christ’s example (Mark 14:36, 1 Peter 2:21). Moreover, a husband should live understandingly with his wife, admiring and respecting her. That’s a tall order!

Is there a universal symbol for submission? Umbrella? A white flag? Throw in the towel?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Power to Convince

Are you going to include a discussion of Ephesians 5:22 when you cover Step 2 of this week’s lesson, “Exercise Submission's Power”? In 1 Peter 3:1-6, Peter suggests that submission may lead to the conversion of a non-believing husband. On the other hand, Paul is more theological and cites God’s plan—Christ is head of the church and the wife submits to the husband as the church submits to Christ. He goes into more detail in 1 Corinthians 11:2-15.

If you stick close to Peter, then the idea of a wife beautifying herself with a “Hidden Heart” beauty product is a possible illustration. It’s the brand and the jar it comes in is called Submission. My homemade picture may help clarify the idea.

Lastly, I want to call your attention to 1 Peter 3:6 where it says, “do not give way to fear.” The LifeWay Leader Guide (p. 57) gives one explanation for what Peter meant. Another possible explanation, which I’ve heard, relates to the idea of a wife’s actions motivated by fear of not being in control of her husband. That is, naturally her tendency is to control, or dominate her husband, and submission means forfeiting that control, which causes fear. Peter commands wives not to give in to that fear.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Exercise Submission's Power

This week we are studying 1 Peter 3:1-12 in a lesson titled “Exercise Submission’s Power”. The title implies that there is power in submission. The question is: Can the practice of submission further God’s kingdom?

Here is an interesting script presenting accusations made against early Christians, the type of which might have prompted Peter’s letter. It paints a picture that indicates Christians were misunderstood.

Tim King gives his opinion as to why the world hates Christians today (as he endeavors to clarify Jesus’s teaching in John 15—“the world will hate you”). Read the text or watch the video, but be warned, his assertions are terse. Also, without any rebuttal, he leaves you with the impression that hatred of Christians today is justified.

In this lesson, I don’t want to stray too far from Peter’s context of persecution and suffering. To grab member’s attention at the start, I’m thinking of beginning the lesson by reading 1 Peter 2:12 and 1 Peter 4:4, highlighting “accuse you” and “heap abuse on you.”

Next, I’d present what the world said about Christians in the past followed by what the world hates about Christians today (the two links above offer some help to support this).

With this opening plan, I can easily fold in a summary of last week’s lesson regarding submission to government authority and employers after the opening.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Some ideas

For passages like this week’s 1 Peter 2:13-25, it might be best to let the Word speak for itself. For example, work with members to do a word study on “submit” and its various forms of usage in the New Testament. Other words to focus on include the following:

Vs 13: “every authority”—Am I selective about which authority I demonstrate submission? Name the easy ones. Name the hard ones. What makes the hard ones, hard?

Vs 15: “ignorant talk”—possibly a reference back to “accuse you” in verse 12, or maybe it looks forward in 4:4b, which says “heap abuse on you”?

Vs 16: “free men”—We emphasize individual liberty in the USA. How does our focus on freedom conflict with God’s desire for us take part in a Christian fellowship? Technology advances allow us a strong measure of independence (little requirement to participate in fellowship), but is that in keeping with God’s will for us? How does our drive to be financially independent, healthy, comfortable, and entertained interfere with God’s desire to growth us up in spiritual maturity to become like Christ?

Vs 17: “fear God”—You could spend the whole lesson time investigating reverencing God. We are free from a civil perspective, but spiritually we are either slaves to God, or slaves to sin. Which is it in your case?

Vs 18-23: “suffer”—count the number of times the word or one of its forms is used. Dwell on its meaning and relate it to modern life in the USA.

Vs 24: The key verse possibly? There are wrong applications of “by his wounds you have been healed”. Case out the alternatives for members, and help them understand what Peter actually says in the original context.

Vs 25: “but now”—Choose to live by faith, not fear. Believe God’s promise and place your trust in God to do what he says he will do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Christian Submission--God's Plan

I’ve been very busy this week and haven’t had much time for posting. The lesson is “Practice Christian Submission” from 1 Peter 2:13-25. How can we convey the idea of Christian submission and the struggle that it usually entails? One idea is to mention Submission Wrestling, and show this short clip of a submission-wrestling match. We struggle to avoid submitting to God-ordained authority just like the two wrestlers struggle to not submit to one another. In what ways do you struggle against authority--in church, at work, in your home, or with government officials? In what ways is your experience like that of a submission wrestler?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

PPT Slides for Display a New Identity

I posted my PPT slides for tomorrows lesson: "Display a New Identity". Hopefully, they will be of help to someone. I also added slide notes to each slide as a help.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

People are drawn to…

1 Peter 2:1-12 contains a number of analogies including getting rid of old clothing (vs 1), for example, the hunger of “newborn infants” (vs 2), and “living stones” (vs 4). Verse 12 made me think yet another idea. People are drawn to a beautiful mountain and they praise God when they see it. Likewise, the good works of Christians draw others and they glorify God as a result.

Like a magnet draws iron filings, a bug zapper draws insects, and a honey pot draws bees, people are drawn to God. A waterfall, a funny picture, the ocean, and the unexpected are a few examples of other things that draw people. You might ask members to say what draws them?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Unfiltered ideas for illustrations

Reading 1 Peter 2:4-10 set me to thinking about a number of ideas for illustrations. For example, a person who is a clown is an ordinary individual until he/she puts on a clown’s clothing and paints on a clown’s face. At that point they display the identity of a clown by behaving as a clown.

The same goes for someone wearing a Santa Claus suit. You can probably think of many other examples, but the idea is simple. The question is this, however, what’s the difference in change of identity between an individual that becomes a clown and an individual that becomes a Christian?

There was a news article this week detailing why we do not make cheese from pig milk. Supposedly, cheese made from pig milk would have poor taste since it contains long-chain fatty acids, unlike cheese made from cow’s milk, which contains short-chain fatty acids. Taste matters obviously, and once a Christian has tasted pure spiritual milk, he has a desire for it—not some substitute!

I read about cornerstones, and it can be thought of as a stone that joins two walls together. A simple join doesn't sound too profound, but it suggests an interesting analogy. As The cornerstone, Jesus joins God with man. His Spirit makes believers alive unto God enabling Christians to grow in spiritual maturity. Any man (wall) that rejects Jesus, stumbles over Him and falls.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Purity Matters

To make the point that to grow spiritually Christians must desire to listen to sound preaching, watch the short video “Purity Matters”. The “unadulterated spirit milk” Peter spoke of in 1 Peter 2:1-3 is a reference to the quality or “purity” of the “spiritual milk” or Word Christians consume (from personal Bible study, teaching and preaching).

To grow, a Christian must have a strong desire to hear preaching, for example, that rightly divides the Word of truth. Preaching that only coddles what one wants to hear will not challenge the heart and mind to grow.

Take a couple of bottled waters to class and call a member to the front of the room. Make the offer for the member to choose a bottle to drink from, and then before the person responds open one of the bottles and drink from it. Then see which one the person chooses. Make the point that purity matters in what we listen to as Christians. Ask members if they likewise desire to listen to pure (quality) teaching/preaching of God’s Word.

Do you have other ideas for how to illustrate the importance of the concept of "purity" that's needed in order to grow spiritually?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Display a New Identify

This week’s lesson “Display a New Identity,” from 1 Peter 2:1-12, challenges Christians to develop and demonstrate their identity as Christian so that unbelievers will praise and glorify God.

For some reason the Beverly Hillbillies came to mind as I read the lesson today. The TV show was immensely popular. It features an extremely poor family, the Clampett’s who “barely kept the family fed”. They find extreme wealth (“up thru the ground came a bubbling crude”) and as very wealthy people, they move to Beverly Hills, California.

The show derived its humor from the fact that the Clampetts didn’t change their identity once they became wealthy. Many Christians are like this. They believe that Jesus is the Christ (become wealthy), but never accept responsibility for their new identity.

A real life example of achieving extreme wealth is the Sam Walton family, but I don’t know if the family altered their lifestyle in accordance with their identity as extremely wealthy people (5 of the top 10 wealthiest people in the world).

Perhaps you can think of other examples, but I was thinking of starting the lesson by showing a video clip of the Hillibillies (that would have everyone laughing). Then we could dive into the challenge of the lesson.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Last minute help

Last evening at dinner an idea occurred to me for illustrating how we should be holy like our Father in heaven. Hold up a picture of a man and his son, or show a picture of a man along with a younger man. Ask members if the younger man is the son of the older man. Why? We know he a son because the younger man looks like his father. The same is true for a Christian made in the image of God being conformed to the likeness of His Son Jesus Christ.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wilting Flower

1 Peter 1:22-25 illustrates the old life in the flesh with a wilting, dying flower. A life lived in the flesh is that short.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I’ve been searching for a replacement commentary or lesson plan for the material previously generated by Hampton Road Baptist Church (see links on the right side of this page). Brother Bob’s plans were usually very good, but he has not posted in a number of months. If anyone knows why Bob ceased posting his lesson plan, please let us know.

Do you have any comments about Quarterly lesson ideas from Deacon Bob? I have yet to find an affiliation for this Bob.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Don't quit

Based on 1 Peter 1:13-25, this week’s lesson “Accept a Challenging Standard”, reminded me of the adage, “You get what you paid for.” Discuss with members if that statement is true or not these days. Christ paid with his life to redeem us. If the adage is true, how valuable does that make you? How well we measure up, that is the salvation of our souls, will be clear by the inheritance we receive. While it is challenging, don’t give up! “I quit” is just as bad as “I won’t” when it comes to living in agreement with God’s Word.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Stranger illustration

This is a last minute post, but I thought I'd tell you that I plan to illustrate the idea of "strangers" mentioned in 1 Peter 1:1 using a man in a shopping mall with his arms folded (or you could show a woman at some sporting event with a non-participating attitude). Lot's of men don't like to shop, so the illustration underscores how Christians should not love the world since our real home is in heaven.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Thematic illustration?

A Biblical story of stolen identity is that of Jacob assuming the identity of his brother Esau in order to steal his birthright.

It seems this week as though I’ve been stuck on the issue of “identity”. Peter’s readers were persecuted because of their identity as Christians; they suffered as a result of their belief in Jesus Christ. When undergoing such suffering, assurance becomes paramount, which Peter emphasized. Furthermore, he reminded his readers of their coming reward, but emphasized their need to live holy lives.

So there is much more to the lesson, and frankly I’ve simply been trying to get my arms around the letter. Since our identity in Christ is backed by genuine faith, perhaps a thematic illustration emphasizing transformation is that of a true diamond versus synthetic cubic zirconia. Despite their similarities, one is a genuine diamond, and the other is not. It seems I’m back to that identity issue again. Oh, well.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

How many of me are there?

An interesting approach is to lookup your name using the site: as well as some of your class member’s names. Use the counts to underscore how insignificant we might be in this world, but remind members that the Lord will give each one of us a unique name in heaven. For example, there are 190 people in the U.S. that have my name—not very unique compared to my identity in heaven (Rev 2:17b)! You can tie this into the new birth Peter highlights in 1 Peter 1:3.