During this season of mediating on this little One in the manger...what Joy did come to the World? Simply, Jesus=Joy. And the Joy of the Gospel is in the answer to this question: Is there anything I have to DO to have eternal life?

Jesus + Something = NOTHING
Jesus + Nothing = EVERYTHING

We are all Pharisees at heart. Accepting a message that says "you do nothing" is foreign in a world that says 'give to get'. Unlike any other religion (i.e., including Mormonism, the Prosperity Gospel, and all other pseudo-Christian religions); Christianity is NOT based on works. Actually, this concept is the fundamental truth of the gospel. Jesus paid it all on the cross...therefore, there is nothing left for any of us to do to help with salvation. Praise God! What Joy!

Galatians 2:16 clearly explains that we "know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ...because by observing the law no one will be justified." Paul is proclaiming the fundamental truth of the gospel, "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained though the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Why would Christ have died for nothing? Without a perfect sacrifice our sins would not be forgiven. We are all wicked sinners, even our righteous acts are like filthy rags before the Holy God (Isaiah 64:6) either we pay for our own sins (through eternal death and separation from God) or He takes the penalty for us (by sending Jesus to die in our place). Through Jesus' death, He exchanged our garment of sin--taking on the full wrath of God--and gave us his garment of righteousness; now enabling us to come into God's presence completely forgiven. So bottom line: We did nothing but sin! That's our work and that is all we bring to the gospel...our sin...sinners in need of a Savior!

Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7 says, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."

Yet another passage explains, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

I could go on and on with passages explaining this FREE gift of God. It's not only in the New Testament but the Old Testament too! God knew from the very beginning in Genesis that he would provide Jesus, our Savior. Do you understand you bring nothing to God? Does it hurt our pride that God needs nothing from us? Praise God, that he does what is best for us and not what we want...or we would be lost and on the road to Hell. Thank you Jesus for paying it ALL of the cross! Thank you for filing us with true joy.

K.J. Nally is a writer, teacher, and counselor. She is pursuing her master’s degree in Biblical Counseling, concentrating in women's ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. K.J. and her husband, Dustin, have a passion to fight for Godly marriages, spur on teens to seek purity, and encourage men and women to live obediently to their Creator God.

K.J. and Dustin are marriage and individual counselors at Hope Counseling Center through their church, North Wake. They also work with Converting Hearts Ministries,’ a Christ-centered addictions ministry.

K.J. is also a freelance journalist. Check out more about Christian Living at K.J.’s blog, Answers of Truth.

Spring BWI Classes: 'Tis Time to Sign Up!

'Tis the Holiday Season...why not start the New Year off right by registering for BWI Spring Classes? In January, we begin Term 3 of Biblical Women's Institute classes! There are many wonderful and challenging classes coming this Spring.

Look for this new class coming to the Spring Semester and to BWI for Term 4:

Christian Faith & the Arts: An introductory philosophical and theological analysis of the classical and contemporary arts (including modern media and popular culture) and an evaluation of the interrelationship between biblical faith and various art forms.

Term 3 is from January 24th-March 15th

Ministering to Preschoolers
This course provides an overview in how to minister to preschoolers. Special attention will be given to the physical development of preschoolers and how that relates to learning and laying a spiritual foundation. In addition, attention will be given to the areas related to preschool and general children’s ministry in a local church setting.
Tuesday Evenings, 7-9pm
Andrea Allard

Old Testament Survey
This course is designed to be an overview of the books of the Old Testament.  The course will include an introduction to the geography, history, and culture of the Old Testament; a study of principles for biblical interpretation; and a brief survey of the 39 books of the Old Testament.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm                                                                      
Shane Baker

Church Planting 1
This course is a basic orientation to the biblical, theological, sociological, and practical dimensions of starting new churches.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm

Dr. George Robinson

Planning Events
This course will teach women how to plan events from a Ladies Night Out to Weddings and Bible Studies in the church and ministry setting.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm                                                                         
Cindy Bush

Weekend Intensive
Women and Evangelism
This course will prepare women to share their faith with other women.  The apologetics part of the course is designed to assist women heading to the mission field by helping them learn how to evangelize people from other worldviews and religions. 
Friday and Saturday, January 27-28
Christina Middleton

Term 4 is from March 20th through May 10th

Women Mentoring Women
This course will give a basic introduction to a biblical model of women mentoring women. Attention is focused upon how the Gospel forms the foundation and substance for mentor-mentee relationships. A significant component of the class will address structured mentor-mentee relationships in the local church.
Tuesday Evenings, 7-9pm                                                                      
 Rachel Woodworth

Christian Faith & the Arts
An introductory philosophical and theological analysis of the classical and contemporary arts (including modern media and popular culture) and an evaluation of the interrelationship between biblical faith and various art forms.
Tuesday Evenings, 7-9 pm
Sarah Sheaffer

New Testament Survey
The course is designed to be an overview of the books of the New Testament.  The course will include a brief survey of the intertestamental period, the New Testament world, the life of Christ, and the Apostolic period.  Due to the brief nature of the course, all of the books in the New Testament may not be covered.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm

Greg Stiekes

Church Planting II
This course is a continuation of Church Planting I.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm                                                                         
Dr. George Robinson

Introduction to Biblical Languages
This course provides an overview of language, concentrating on the biblical languages of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. The student will compare and contrast the biblical languages to English with a focus on understanding basic linguistic ideas such as grammar, syntax, style, genre, and others. The course will also address issues in translation and introduce students to tools for study in the original languages.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm
Lucy Collins

Weekend Intensive
Family Life Conference
This course will help students understand Biblical standards for marriage and how to apply these standards in their own marriage and family life. This class is to be taken with your husband. This class is open to all students and the community. $25 per couple.
Dr. Akin
Friday and Saturday, April 13-14

Weekend Intensive
Christian Doctrine
This class is designed to introduce the student to the broad concepts of systematic theology.  This will be accomplished through weekly required reading in the text book, and through weekly lectures designed to provide a summary of the general areas of systematic theology.
Carrie Gilliam
Friday and Saturday, April 27-28

Weekend Intensive
Ministering to Women in the Local Church
This course is designed to help women know how to begin, develop, and maintain a biblical women's ministry program in a local church.
Chris Adams
Friday and Saturday, May 4-5

Syllabi and other course information may be found on CampusNet as soon as available. You must be registered to see information.