Dramas With a Message, Vol. 1 (of 3)
By Doug Fagerstram
Having served as both a youth minister and worship leader, I have learned to value anything that helps lead people to a greater understanding of God. As Jesus taught using visual aids from all around Him, I am confident most would agree that visual aids should be used. However, it has been my experience that they are not frequently used in teaching because of the amount of time it takes to properly prepare. With the appropriate resources, preparation time can be significantly reduced.
Dramas With a Message gives you a variety of quality dramatic sketches which can help enhance any Bible lesson. The sketches are simple and to the point. They require few props and they do not require "experienced" actors. Because the dramas are topical in nature it is easy to find one appropriate for your lesson. The dramas are a great way to introduce a subject, and the young people are able to respond to the drama through open discussion.
With the beginning of a new millennium it is prudent to evaluate our methodology. Without compromising the message, we must adapt our methods of communicating the gospel in a society that is not willing to commit as much time to church as past generations. I am not suggesting that the church be in the entertainment business, however I do think we need to use relevant methods to communicate the most relevant of messages. What would happen if more churches used drama in their worship service to introduce the message or illustrate a point?
When talking to pastors and church leaders about worship, the terms traditional, contemporary, or blended are used. These terms are almost always in reference to music. I challenge you to apply them to your teaching and preaching methods. Ask yourself the following questions: Is the method of delivering the message traditional (lecture only), contemporary (dramas or multimedia), or blended? Has the method used to deliver the message changed to accommodate the learning styles of this generation? Am I willing to try new methods to communicate the message? Dramas with a Message can be an effective tool to help reach this generation in a dynamic way.
The Outline Bible Five Translation Practical Word Studies in the New Testament
This massive work offers many excellent helps on a practical level for preparation of sermons, Bible studies, and personal inquiries into the original language of the New Testament. Included in its 2,432 pages are thousands of word studies.
Each entry includes first the English equivalent (in five versions), then the Greek, including grammatical identification, concordance references, next a representative Scripture text where the word is found, and finally a Practical Application section.
Regardless of which of the five translations included (KJV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, and NLT) is used by the reader, the underlying Greek can be found by looking up the English equivalent in the alphabetical main body.
For example: suppose you wish to look up "debate," as used in Romans 1:29 in the KJV. You find "debate" in the alphabetical listing, and note that the same Greek word [éridos] is translated as "strife" in the NASB, NIV, and NKJV, and as "fighting" in the NLT. Had you been using one of the other versions, looking up the English term would have led to its own parallel entry, with identical helps. Volume 2 includes an index of Greek words studied. Entries are also referenced to the Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible from the same publisher.
The reader should be aware that the studies are not exhaustive, as only one representative verse is used for each entry. For example, 1 Corinthians 13:1 is the representative verse for agápe, as godly love, but John 3:19, an exception in which agápe describes the love of men for darkness rather than light, is omitted. The representative texts seem in the main, however, to be very well chosen.
I Really Want to Change...So, Help Me God
By James McDonald
Virtually every person at some point in his life wants to change for the better. That's why we have so many New Year's resolutions. But how many of us have decided with greatest sincerity to change, only to find that it didn't last long. Why did we fail? This book will give us the answer.
If I truly want to change I must be so dissatisfied with myself that I will look only to God for the power to change. Good intentions and self-determination have not worked. Only the power of God can truly bring genuine and lasting spiritual change. When I truly decide that I want change, I must be honest with God. No excuses. I must call sin what He calls sin. No matter how enamored I am with my sin, I must be willing to surrender it to Him who can truly make change.
Once I definitely get serious with God about change, I am ready for repentance. Repentance means, in part, that I see myself as God sees me. When He impresses on me that a certain condition or action is sin, I must agree with Him. God will change me only to the extent that I agree with Him about my spiritual condition.
Change from sinfulness to holiness is the normal Christian life. Why do we see so little change occurring in Christians? I suggest two alternatives: either one is not a born-again believer, or one has not seriously considered the implications of the holy life in Christ.
Glen H. Jones
The Holy Spirit: Who He Is, What He Does
By Robert Gromacki
We hear a great deal today about the "anointing" of the Holy Spirit, especially from those who are identified with the charismatic movement. Gromacki cuts away all the empty talk about the Holy Spirit and gives us a biblically-sound exposition of the subject. He shows us that the Holy Spirit is truly God, a member of the Trinity. He is the living and energizing Person who indwells every believer.
The Holy Spirit as a member of the Trinity was active in creation, was the instrument in the inspiration of Scripture, and the one who enlightens believers in the truth. In short, the Holy Spirit has all the attributes of God because He is God.
The author takes great care to distinguish the differences of the filling of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He points out that the verb "anoint" that is popular among some groups today is used only once in the New Testament. The noun "anoint" is used three times in the New Testament and is used to describe the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Chapter Twelve, "The Gifts of the Holy Spirit," evokes great interest. Gromacki discusses the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the New Testament. Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, and Ephe-sians 4:7-16 provide the most comprehensive lists.
To what extent do spiritual gifts exist today? Do we have prophets today? Do we have those who have the gifts of healings? Do miracle workers live today? The author gives straightforward biblical answers to all these questions.
Glen H. Jones