April 2017 Student Newsletter

Words from the Director
Russell Haffner
Russell Haffner (Director)

In February 2016, Australian photographer Warren Richardson won first prize at the World Press Photo awards for his powerful black-and-white picture titled, "Hope for a New Life." The photograph shows a refugee passing a baby through a barbed wire fence while attempting to cross into a new country. The hope displayed in the photograph reminds me of the hope we have as we yearn for a new life in Christ.

However, the hope described in the Bible is not an unsure "maybe" or a type of uncertain, dubious optimism. We may use the word "hope" that way in our daily language but that is not how "hope" is used in God's word. The hope of the Bible would be defined as a strong and confident expectation. How can hope be so confident? Because biblical hope is based on the certainty of God's promises and the assurance of His word. Our hope is strong and secure as we strive for a new life in Christ because our hope is based in Christ. Hebrews 6:19 states, "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil." In Lamentations 3:24 we find, "The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him." Our hope for a new life is certain in Christ. We have no doubt that following the teachings of Christ can provide to us the new life we desire.

Romans 6:4-23 teaches that a new life is obtainable in Christ. The text states clearly that we can "walk in newness of life." Our old life is "crucified" with Christ and in our new life we will be "dead" unto sin, but alive unto God through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Also, sin will not "reign" over us and we will not "obey it in the lusts thereof." We will not "yield" ourselves "as instruments of unrighteousness" to sin, but instead we will "yield" ourselves to God as "instruments of righteousness." In our new life, sin "shall not have dominion." We will be "made free from sin" to become "the servants of righteousness." And ultimately, our hope is for "eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Romans 6:4-23 provides a beautiful description of the Christian's new life in Christ. The text not only explains the blessings we receive, but also the changes necessary to receive such blessings. Only in Christ can such blessings be found (Eph. 1:3). We long for these blessings and the new life in Christ.

How to Start Your Lessons

Perhaps you have enrolled in the school but have yet to start your first course. Beginning your studies is easy to do. Once you login to your account simply choose the course you would like to study from the "Course Schedule" option located on the blue menu bar of the school website. The "Course Schedule" reflects the designated order that Formal Students must follow. Informal and Auditing Students are recommended, but not required, to follow this schedule.

Once you have selected the course you desire you then need to register for the course by clicking the "Register" button located on the course page. Once this is done, you will have full online access to the course. You can begin watching the videos immediately by clicking the "Lesson 1" link. From each lesson page you will be able to view a 30-40 minute video lesson presentation.

If you are a Formal or Informal Student you will not only see tabs on the course page for Description and Syllabus, but also for Tests, Course Notes (for some courses) and Course Books (for some courses). Click on the appropriate tab and the document will be displayed. These materials are provided to Formal and Informal Students completely free online. If you desire printed pages, there is a "Print" button located to the upper-right of the displayed document where you can print personal copies.

You may register and begin viewing the courses at any time. There is no official start time for any of the courses. They are always available - 24/7. Why not start your lessons today?