In the past week, we looked at the book of Acts and some of the longer letters of Paul the apostle, learning what early church life looked like.

Use today to take a break and catch up on any lessons you missed, and if you’re still looking to do more, try:

  • Compiling a list of characteristics of the early church and recording what you learn from it
  • Posting on social media about your progress in the 30K 30-Day Challenge
  • Checking out Today’s Resource

Share It

If you’re enjoying the 30K 30-Day Challenge, don’t keep it all to yourself—tell your friends and followers. Share the images below on social media, and make sure to use the hashtag #30k30daychallenge.

Today’s Resource

Visit connectwithskip.com/teachings to access and search over 3,000 teachings you can download for easy, on-the-go listening.
Explore Skip’s Teachings

   

Your Amazing Bible: Understanding the Word

Today I want to talk about the accessibility of personal Bible study: anyone can understand and enjoy the Bible. It’s a book for every Christian of every time period, not just for the scholar or seminary student.

Why? Because the ultimate author of the Bible is the Holy Spirit, and He lives inside of you. That doesn’t mean the Bible is always a breeze to understand. But the people who wrote the Bible were simple people, and for the most part, they wrote very simply about simple subjects.

So if you can understand the Word on your own and if God wants to reveal it to you by His Spirit, why do we need human teachers to teach the Bible? I think there’s a balance to be had between listening to teachers and studying on your own. You can and should learn from Bible teachers (see Ephesians 4:11-12), but the Holy Spirit can also teach you the truths of Scripture when you open the Bible on your own (see 1 John 2:27).

In short, as a child of God, you can understand the Bible. I hope the 30K 30-Day Challenge is showing you that.


Think It Through

What encouragement can you glean from David’s words in Psalm 119 verses 27 and 100? Consider reading and meditating on (thinking about) all of Psalm 119.

Read Acts 17:10-11. How did the Bereans achieve a balance between listening to teachers and studying on their own?

What are the challenges you face when it comes to understanding the Bible? How will you remove these challenges?

Land and Explore

If you’re interested in learning more about the Holy Spirit and His role in your life, we’re excited to offer you Holy Spirit, a free three-message teaching series from Pastor Skip.
Listen Now

A Word of Encouragement

Don’t be content to be spoon-fed the Bible; the rewards come when you open up the Scriptures on your own and the Holy Spirit reveals something fresh to you.

Prayer

Father, thank You for the Word of God, which is not just a bunch of confusing books of people saying different things, but a seamless instrument by which You have spoken to mankind, giving us an instruction manual. Help me graciously listen to those who teach your Word and then lean on the Holy Spirit for understanding as I study it for myself.

Share It

If you enjoyed today’s lesson, don’t keep it all to yourself—tell your friends and followers. Share the images below on social media, and make sure to use the hashtag #30k30daychallenge.

Today’s Resource

Stay connected to the Word by subscribing to the free Calvary Church with Skip Heitzig Podcast on iTunes.
Subscribe to the Podcast

   

Galatians: Glorious Freedom from the Law

The book of Galatians stands right up there with Romans as one of the most important documents Paul the apostle ever wrote.

In this Magna Carta of Christian liberty, Paul got out his boxing gloves to fight against false teachers who had come into the church and were perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ. These were the Judaizers, a group of Jewish believers who said you still had to keep the Law of Moses and certain rituals in order to be right with God.

Paul, on the other hand, declared the believer’s total liberty from the Law of Moses. In Galatians, he wrote, you’re not made right with God by doing certain things; you’re made right by believing in the one who already did it for you on the cross, Jesus Christ. That’s justification by faith.

Justification by faith through God’s grace is more powerfully written about in the six chapters of Galatians than anywhere else in the New Testament. Christianity could have been confined to a subset of Judaism were it not for this passionate little letter changing the course of church history.


Think It Through

Why do you think the Galatians (and many people today) turn away from freedom in Christ to live in bondage to religion and rituals?

Read Galatians 3:19-25. What is the purpose of the law?

Are you still trusting in your own works to save you or to earn approval from God? Memorize Galatians 5:1.

Read Galatians 5:19-23. What are the works of the flesh? The fruit of the Spirit? What’s the key to producing the fruit of the Spirit (see vv. 16, 24-25)?


Listen and Learn

Galatians is one of Paul’s most important letters. He wrote it to warn the church against legalists, false teachers who said believers had to follow the Law of Moses in order to be saved. Join Skip for a quick flight over Galatians.
Listen Now

Land and Explore

If you want to learn more about the freedom you have in Christ, Pastor Skip’s thirteen-message teaching series through the book of Galatians is available to download for free.
Listen Now

A Word of Encouragement

There are only two types of religions in the world: the religion of human achievement and the religion of divine accomplishment. Only Christianity fits into that second category. Galatians makes it clear that salvation doesn’t come by works but by our belief in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I worship You because I owed a debt I could never pay, and You paid a debt You didn’t owe. I receive that gift of freedom in Christ. I pray that I would stop trusting in my own works to earn favor before You, and that the message of the gospel would so transform me that I wouldn’t want to add anything to it, but live by it.

Share It

If you enjoyed today’s lesson, don’t keep it all to yourself—tell your friends and followers. Share the images below on social media, and make sure to use the hashtag #30k30daychallenge.

Today’s Resource

Access Pastor Skip’s Bible teachings today from the comfort of your living room through his Roku channel.
Get Skip’s Channel

   

2 Corinthians: An Apostle’s Emotional Appeal

I don’t know how you picture Paul the apostle, but if you think he was a detached, aloof leader who didn’t let the cracks show, 2 Corinthians will shatter that illusion.

Second Corinthians is the most personal and emotional of all Paul’s letters. A group of self-styled authoritarian leaders had come into the church at Corinth and were talking bad about Paul, trying to undermine his authority and divide the church. So Paul wrote this letter in part to establish and defend his own authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ.

But Paul also opened his heart and shared with deep emotion and love how he wrestled for the souls of the people there at Corinth. The keyword of 2 Corinthians is comfort, also translated encouragewalk alongside, or exhort. Paul encouraged the Corinthian church in their walk with the Lord, urging them to open their hearts to him and his apostleship.

What a blessed church Corinth was to receive such affection from such a leader.


Think It Through

What are some of the reasons the Lord allows us to suffer, according to 2 Corinthians 1:3-7?

Second Corinthians 5:21 is the clearest declaration of substitutionary atonement in Scripture. What is substitutionary atonement (see Isaiah 53:5)? How does it relate to you?

Read 2 Corinthians 11:30 and 12:1-10. Why did Paul boast in his infirmities? What weaknesses can you boast in? Why?


Listen and Learn

Second Corinthians is the most personal of Paul’s epistles. He explained his ministry and defended his authority. Skip shows us how Paul also spoke frequently about comfort and encouragement.
Listen Now

Land and Explore

If you want to learn more about Paul’s most personal letter, we’d like to offer you a free series from Pastor Skip on 2 Corinthians.
Listen Now

A Word of Encouragement

Paul suffered externally from the world who persecuted him, and he suffered internally from Christians who misjudged his motivation. Yet he could still bless the Lord and continue in the work God had for him. That’s because Paul was a mature Christian: he knew he was in God’s will on earth and would one day be with the Lord in heaven.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for such an openly honest letter from Paul the apostle. I pray that You would protect the spiritual leaders in my life—my pastors, small group leaders, and mentors—and give them the boldness to speak Your truth in love, without fear. Help me also to grow in maturity and learn to suffer well.

Share It

If you enjoyed today’s lesson, don’t keep it all to yourself—tell your friends and followers. Share the images below on social media, and make sure to use the hashtag #30k30daychallenge.

Today’s Resource

Keep in touch with Pastor Skip by following him on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

   

1 Corinthians: A Realistic Picture of God’s People

The apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians mainly as a practical book on how to solve problems within the Corinthian church. Influenced by the immoral culture around them, these believers faced division, stunted spiritual growth, sexual impurity, rampant divorce, problems with personal liberty, and the misuse of spiritual gifts, to name just a few of their issues.

Though God had done a great work in the city of Corinth, He wasn’t finished with the church there yet. It wasn’t perfect—and neither were any of the other early churches. I hope that encourages you, even if it does shatter the illusion that the New Testament church was somehow a flawless group of individuals.

It’s been said that if you ever find a perfect church, don’t join it—otherwise you’ll spoil it. The body of Christ is simply made up of saved sinners. That’s the toolbox God works from: “God has chosen the foolish things of this world to put to shame the wise” (1 Corinthians 1:27). Why? “That no flesh should glory in His presence” (v. 29).

First Corinthians reminds us that God uses common men and women armed with the uncommon message of the gospel to do His work and bring Him glory.


Think It Through

Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Who did Paul list as people who won’t go to heaven? What’s the one hope the people who’ve committed these sins have, according to verse 11?

List the characteristics of love found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Circle the one that challenges you the most, then look up several verses about that characteristic. Choose one to memorize.

Read 1 Corinthians 15, one of the greatest chapters in all of the Bible. Why is resurrection essential to Christianity?


Listen and Learn

The city of Corinth was a very permissive society, so Paul the apostle wrote 1 Corinthians to deal with problems in the church, including lack of unity and immature believers. Join Skip as he shows us how Paul addressed these issues.
Listen Now

Land and Explore

If you’re interested in digging deeper into what Paul had to say about church life in Corinth, download this free teaching series from Pastor Skip on 1 Corinthians.
Listen Now

A Word of Encouragement

First Corinthians is a reminder that God uses imperfect human beings—foolish things—to do His work. Why? Because when you see God mightily use a flawed instrument, His glory is more obvious. So be encouraged that God has chosen you.

Prayer

Father, it can be so hard not to give in to the permissive, Corinthian-like culture around me. I pray that the sins of my past would be left in the past, and that You would continue to change me and strengthen me to serve Your local church. Please use me, as weak and foolish as I am, for Your glory.

Share It

If you enjoyed today’s lesson, don’t keep it all to yourself—tell your friends and followers. Share the images below on social media, and make sure to use the hashtag #30k30daychallenge.

Today’s Resource

Need a quick boost of solid truth? Check out Pastor Skip’s booklets on a whole variety of topics, including spiritual warfare, forgiveness, and homosexuality.
View Booklets

   

Romans: The Righteousness of God in Christ

The book of Romans is essentially the Christian Manifesto. In it, the apostle Paul presented just about every major Christian doctrine, including:

  • The wrath of God
  • The grace of God
  • The plan of God for Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews)
  • The will of God for our everyday lives

Here’s the picture Romans paints: we’re all born under the wrath of God and slavery of sin. But the good news is that Jesus came to set us free from sin and death, bringing salvation by God’s grace through our faith in Him. That’s the theme of the book of Romans: the righteousness of God has come through the gospel of Christ.

Think for a moment of the criminal on the cross, a person the Roman government deemed unfit to live on the earth. But because of his faith, Jesus declared him fit to live forever in paradise (see Luke 23:32-43).

That’s the message of Romans. You don’t earn heaven by working really hard and being religious. It’s people who realize they’re sinners and place their faith in Jesus Christ who are saved.

If you can get a hold of these basic gospel truths in Romans, they will change your life.


Think It Through

When did Jesus die for you (see Romans 5:6-8)? Take a moment to soak in this truth and respond to Him in worship.

Read Romans 6:11-14. What does it mean to be dead to sin?

List all the things that cannot separate you from the love of God in Christ (see Romans 8:35-39).

Romans 12 kick-starts the practical section of the book. Read the whole chapter, then consider how you can apply one of these commands to your life today.


Listen and Learn

Every major doctrine of the Christian faith is presented in the book of Romans. Tune in as we see how this book focused on the gospel message along with God’s plan of salvation and righteousness.
Listen Now

Land and Explore

This book is pregnant with truths you as a Christian should be familiar with. Check out this free series from Pastor Skip on Romans.
Listen Now

A Word of Encouragement

Mankind is incurably addicted to working for his own salvation. But Romans explains the gospel of grace—the righteousness of God that comes not through works or religion but faith alone. It tells the whole story of God’s plan for you, from beginning to end: as a child of God, you are justified, atoned for, redeemed, and will eventually be glorified.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the truth that all have sinned, that there’s none righteous in Your sight, and that we’re all abiding under the wrath of God, because it’s in understanding the bad news that I can appreciate the good news: Jesus died on the cross to redeem me to Himself. Help me rest in that good news today.

Share It

If you enjoyed today’s lesson, don’t keep it all to yourself—tell your friends and followers. Share the images below on social media, and make sure to use the hashtag #30k30daychallenge.

Today’s Resource

Stay up-to-date on Pastor Skip’s most recent teachings by downloading the Connect with Skip Heitzig app for iPhone or Android.
Learn More

   

Acts: An Unfinished Affair

The Gospels leave us on a cliffhanger: Jesus was crucified, raised from the dead, and then taken up into heaven, leaving His disciples behind. What happened next?

That’s where Acts comes in. The Gospels reveal the origin of the Christian faith, but Acts shows the development of it through the apostles and the early church. The gospel, the Jewish hope that was centered in Jerusalem, moved out of that local setting to the heart of the Roman Empire itself, and from there to the entire world.

How was this possible? Through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is so prominent in this book that it would be better titled the Acts of the Holy Spirit. He is the main character, and though He used human instruments—men and women from different walks of life—He was still clearly doing the work.

Here’s the point: When Jesus ascended into heaven, He didn’t stop working on earth. He passed the baton to His apostles, and what He “began both to do and teach” (Acts 1:1) He now continues through men and women who are yielded to His will and filled with the Holy Spirit. That includes you.


Think It Through

Read Acts 1:8. How does this final command from Jesus tie into His parables in Matthew 25:1-30, as well as the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20?

What were the activities of the early church (see Acts 2:42, 44-47)? What was number one on their list?

Read the conversion story of Paul the apostle in Acts 9:1-22, then read it in his own words in Philippians 3:4-11. Why must you set aside religion to come to Christ?

What’s one thing you can do to take part in God’s work today, whether it’s serving His people, supporting His work, evangelizing, or something else?


Listen and Learn

The book of Acts is a sequel to the Gospels, showing how the work of Jesus continued through His apostles. Join Skip as he explains that we’re also a part of that continued work.
Listen Now

Land and Explore

Acts introduces one of the most important men in the New Testament: Paul the apostle. To learn more about his life, check out this free series from Pastor Skip titled Paul’s Long Road to Rome.
Listen Now

A Word of Encouragement

There’s a finished and an unfinished work of Jesus Christ. The finished work of Jesus is redemption—what He did on the cross. But in Acts we see the unfinished work of Jesus—spreading the gospel, proclaiming truth, and changing lives. The work Jesus began to do when He was on earth, He now continues through you.

Prayer

Lord, I praise You for the finished work of Jesus on the cross, and I thank You that I have the privilege of being part of His unfinished work here on earth. I ask that Your Holy Spirit would give me strength, helping me stand for You and share the gospel with this lost world.

Share It

If you enjoyed today’s lesson, don’t keep it all to yourself—tell your friends and followers. Share the images below on social media, and make sure to use the hashtag #30k30daychallenge.

Today’s Resource

If you lead a small group Bible study, consider going through one of Pastor Skip’s teaching series and using the provided Study Guides for deeper discussion.
View the Archive

   
In the first several days of the 30K 30-Day Challenge, we focused on the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—and their fourfold portrayal of Jesus Christ.

Take today to catch up on any days you might have missed. If you still want to dig deeper, here are some ideas:

  • Go back and download one of my teaching series from a previous Land and Explore section.
  • Spend extended time in prayer to the Lord.
  • Journal about what you’ve learned these first several days and what you hope to learn in the coming weeks.

Share It

If you’re enjoying the 30K 30-Day Challenge so far, don’t keep it all to yourself—invite your friends and followers to sign up. Share the images below on social media, and make sure to use the hashtag #30k30daychallenge.

Today’s Resource

Find more Bible resources, including thousands of free teachings, on Pastor Skip’s website, connectwithskip.com.
Visit Skip’s Website

   

Your Amazing Bible: The Power of the Word

Today is the first of four days interspersed throughout the 30K 30-Day Challenge where I’ll touch on an aspect of personal Bible study and how you can integrate it in your life.

Let’s start with the power of studying the Word. One of the biggest claims of the Bible is that it’s effective in changing lives (see 1 Thessalonians 2:13)—it’s guaranteed to have incredible results. As a pastor, one of the greatest joys I have is knowing that my product works, for lack of a better term. It has the power to change lives—to bring salvation (see 2 Timothy 3:15).

Not only that, but:

  • It prepares you to live the way God wants you to live (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
  • It gives you growth in your life (see 1 Peter 2:2).
  • It gives direction for your life (see Psalm 119:24, 105).
  • It brings joy to your life (see Psalm 1:1-2; 19:8; 119:1, 162).
  • It brings you victory against your flesh and the enemy (see Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 6:17).
  • Most importantly, it reveals God Himself to you. The more you know the Word of God, the more you’ll know the God of the Word.

No other book even comes close to the Bible. It towers above all others in terms of the effect it can have on your life.


Think It Through

Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and make a list of everything the Bible does for you as a child of God.

Read Isaiah 55:10-11. What do these verses reveal about the power of God’s Word?

What have you learned about your personal Bible study habits these first several days? What adjustments do you need to make, if any?


Land and Explore

Learn to stand on a firm foundation of biblical truth with Pastor Skip’s free series Rediscovering Our Foundations, where he explores the core beliefs of Christianity.
Listen Now

A Word of Encouragement

The Word of God does the work of God by the Spirit of God in the lives of the people of God. Let it loose and watch it work.

Prayer

Thank You, Lord, for the power of Your Book. Thank You that it’s not a book filled with irrelevant ancient stories, but the living word of God. As I continue this challenge and dig deeper into the New Testament, I pray You would open my eyes and reveal Yourself to me.

Share It

If you enjoyed today’s lesson, don’t keep it all to yourself—tell your friends and followers. Share the images below on social media, and make sure to use the hashtag #30k30daychallenge.

Today’s Resource

Experience firsthand the life-changing power of the Bible when you tune in to Pastor Skip’s radio broadcast, Connect with Skip HeitzigFind a station near you today.
Find a Station

   

John: A Studied Portrait of the Son of God

As part of Jesus’ inner circle, the apostle John was the most theological of the gospel writers, and his book contains the strongest evidence for the deity of Jesus Christ.

While the Synoptic Gospels are like three snapshots of Jesus’ life, John is more like a studied portrait. In fact, over 90 percent of John’s material is unique to his gospel.

Along with Jesus’ seven “I am” statements, his gospel has one-of-a-kind parables and miracles, the longest prayer of Jesus, and the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

John made the purpose of his book clear: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31).

The name Jesus and the title Christ are found about 170 times in John’s gospel, and the word believe is repeated about 100 times. In short, John underscored and emphasized a core tenet of the Christian faith: Jesus Christ is God.


Think It Through

Read John 1:1-18 and Colossians 1:15-17. What do these passages reveal about Jesus’ role in creation? In the Trinity?

How does the message of John 3:16 tie into the larger message of John’s gospel?

Read John 8:58-59; 10:30-33; 20:28. How can you use these verses to explain who Jesus is and share the gospel with others?


Listen and Learn

Today we continue our series The Bible from 30,000 Feet. Over 90 percent of the gospel of John is unique to that book. It contains the strongest evidence for the deity of Christ and Jesus’ longest prayer. Join Skip as he explains that John’s purpose can be expressed in one word: believe.
Listen Now

Land and Explore

If you’re interested in learning more about Jesus as the Son of God, we want to offer you a free download of Pastor Skip’s series on John titled Believe:879.
Listen Now

A Word of Encouragement

John wrote his gospel so that you would believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God—God in human flesh. Rather than just communicating to us from outside our world, God stepped into our world.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for John’s studied portrait of Jesus, the Son of God who is God the Son. When I think of my own life and testimony, how I came to believe in Jesus and how He has changed me, I thank You for the new life that’s found in Christ.

Share It

If you enjoyed today’s lesson, don’t keep it all to yourself—tell your friends and followers. Share the images below on social media, and make sure to use the hashtag #30k30daychallenge.

Today’s Resource

Did you know that many of Pastor Skip’s teachings have detailed notes? You can find them in his teaching archive at skipheitzig.com/teachings.
Check Out Detailed Notes