Lesson Workbooks

With the hope that you will find these uselful for teaching classes or for personal study, the following workbooks are made available as free PDF downloads.

The Gospel of Matthew

In a unique study approach, this workbook provides the text of Matthew for evaluation as carefully separated sections, optimized by context and unhindered by chapter and verse notations. This ultimately encourages the reader to consider larger storylines, rather than the typical verse-by-verse analysis so often employed. “My hope is that it is a different channel, that by looking at the story of Jesus in a different way, we will encounter a different Jesus than we have known before, and so grow closer to Him.” —Matthew Bassford

The Christian and the 21st Centry

With the foundations of morality being questioned and an increasing number of Americans no longer feeling bound by God’s word, Christians today face many challenges. Technology, for example, can provide a wealth of information at our fingertips, or allow the tongue to create havoc with just a single online post. Can the Bible, written years ago, provide any guidance for us today? This workbook provides a resounding “Yes!” as it helps modern Christians navigate their ever-changing environment.

So Israel Was Exiled

A survey of the divided kingdom, this workbook guides us through 1 and 2 Kings. Although starting with the height of Israel’s glory under Solomon, the story tragically declines as Israel and Judah fall to Assyrians and Babylonians. Their example serves as a reminder for us today that, while God looks eagerly to fulfill His promises, He is equally willing to follow through on His warnings.

The Early Prophets

“A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?”

—Amos 3:8

This workbook provides a study of God’s revelations through His servants Isaiah, Micah, Hosea, Amos, Joel and Jonah.

In This Is Love

(12 Lessons + Review) A Study of 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. We often think of false doctrine as a relatively modern invention, a product of the denominational sprawl all around us. However, even a cursory study of the New Testament reveals that Christians 2000 years ago had no fewer problems with false teachers than we do today, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the three epistles written by John and the epistle of Jude.

Understanding the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, so vital to the church, and yet so often misunderstood, receives a careful study through selected, representative scriptures.

A King to Judge Them

(26 sessions) Unhappy with God’s governing system of judges, and with Samuel aging and his sons unfit for leadership, the nation of Israel requests a king. God, although recognizing the rejection, grants the request. The consequences reverberate until the time of the Babylonian captivity. From the events surrounding Saul, David and Solomon, this workbook helps illustrate that daily decisions can have consequences beyond what we ever dreamed, and that ultimately, our lives are not complete without God as our King.

And This I Pray: Learning From the Prayers of Paul

(26 sessions) Prayer is one of the most powerful tools available to the Christian and the church, yet too often, we pray only infrequently and have no idea what to pray for when we do. This workbook aims to revive our prayer lives by examining the prayers of one of the most committed Christians of all time: the apostle Paul. As we study the prayers of Paul, they teach us not just how we can pray, but how we can share the mind of Christ.

Providence and Prayer

(26 sessions) By looking at the prayers of godly characters throughout the Bible, this workbook considers God’s actions and providence for them, with applications for us today.

The Sound of Joyful Shouting: A Survey of Selected Psalms

(13 sessions) This workbook examines 21 psalms, the vast majority of which were selected either because of their prophetic importance, their use in our worship, or both. While this represents only a fraction of the entire book, our attention to these selections will provide enrichment and blessings, giving us a fuller appreciation of God’s will for our worship and our lives.

The Hymn and the Heart: Revitalizing Our Worship

(26 sessions) In the Lord’s church, we are well aware that God expects our song worship to take the form of congregational singing. However, the Bible reveals that God has expectations not just for the form of our worship, but for its content. This book takes a Biblical look at the requirements, process, and attitude of song worship, while also studying many of the great hymns that give us the greatest opportunity to teach one another and glorify God.

When You Come Together: Serving Effectively in the Assembly

This study provides ideas and suggestions for serving more effectively in the assembly.

El-Elohe-Israel: Meeting God in the Old Testament

(26 sessions) In our study of the Old Testament, we spend a great deal of time examining the lives of Moses, David, and other Bible heroes, but we often overlook the greatest hero of them all: God. This book explores the character of God as it is revealed through the saga of the Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi. Such a survey provides us with crucial insights into the nature of the God whom we still serve today.

A Still More Excellent Way: Understanding 1 Corinthians

(26 sessions) The religious landscape of today is filled with challenges to the unity of God’s people, both without and within the church. Although their form is different, these challenges are essentially the same as the challenges Paul addressed in his first letter to the strife-ridden church in Corinth. As we study Paul’s powerful call to humility and love, it helps us to understand not only how the Corinthians could solve their problems, but how we can solve our own.

Treasure in Earthen Vessels: A Study of 2 Corinthians

(26 sessions) The Christian existence is in many ways a study in contrasts. We live two lives: the visible life of the body and the invisible life of the spirit. In 2 Corinthians, Paul appeals to the church in Corinth to pay more attention to the spiritual side of this dualism, both in himself and in themselves. In a world filled with materialism and other distractions, Paul’s appeal still sounds clearly upon our ears, an appeal that we need to hear, to reject the flesh and embrace the spirit.

The View From the Mountain: Our Lives in the Sermon on the Mount

(26 sessions) The Sermon on the Mount is the greatest sermon of the greatest preacher of all time. In a short series of discourses, Jesus turned hundreds of years of Jewish tradition on its head, summoning His hearers to a religion not of form and ritual, but of the heart. We are tempted in this no less than the Pharisees, as Satan induces each one of us to don a mask of hypocrisy concealing a spirit of corruption. We still need these timeless teachings of Jesus to renew us in the heart that God wants us to possess.

As He Walked: Living Godly in the Present Age

(26 sessions) As the modern United States wanders farther and farther from God, the seductive appeals of Satan have enticed many in the church to follow the world, a step or two behind, but headed in the same direction. This book examines many of the issues where this spiritual drift has become most apparent and exhorts the Christian to remain firm in his devotion to the principles of God’s word.

Authority and the First-Century Church

(26 sessions) This workbook provides a study into applying Biblical authority to our actions today.

And the Word Became Flesh – A Study of John, Chapters 1–12

(13 sessions)

That You May Believe – A Study of John, Chapters 13–21

(13 sessions)

To the Gentiles: Acts, Part 2 (Chapters 13-28)

(26 sessions) This workbook is designed to guide a teen-level study of this exciting story. Its goal is to acquaint students with the geography of the eastern and central Mediterranean, the events of Acts 13-28, but most of all, the sermons and actions of Paul that shape our doctrine and practice today. Through this, it aims to pass on the understanding that we would not be the church we are without this priceless record of Paul’s mission to the Gentiles.

The Power of God to Salvation: Exploring Romans

(52 sessions) Romans is one of the most significant books of the New Testament. It is simultaneously Paul’s systematic defense of Christianity and his appeal to his Jewish kindred to turn to Christ. Romans speaks to us today with equal force as it describes the salvation we and Paul have in common, a salvation based not on works and merit, but on the obedience of faith.

Sonflowers: Young Women With Faces Turned Toward Jesus


(13 sessions) Mature sunflowers always face toward the sun, turning their heads from east to west to follow it as it moves across the sky. In the same way, young Christian women should be Sonflowers, so that no matter what their situation, their faces are always turned toward Jesus. This workbook explores a number of the unique challenges that face teenage girls in today’s corrupt moral environment, and it encourages them to keep oriented toward the Son.

Out of Egypt: Surveying Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy

(26 sessions) The story of God’s rescue of the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage is one of the greatest stories of the Bible. This lesson book focuses on that story as it is told through the last four books of the Pentateuch, while also examining concepts from the Law of Moses that reappear in the New Testament.

Better Covenant: Taking Encouragement from Hebrews

(26 sessions) The epistle of Hebrews was written in a very specific context: Christians from Jewish backgrounds were being tempted to relapse into Judaism, and the Hebrews writer wished to encourage them to remain faithful. Even though few of us suffer from that precise spiritual problem, Hebrews is still useful for us for two main reasons. First, the rhetorical tack the writer chose illuminates the superiority of the new covenant over the covenant of Moses, and second, the greatness of our covenant thus revealed encourages us to remain faithful too. This book explores both.

Crucified with Christ

(26 sessions) The books of Galatians and Colossians come from very different parts of the life of the apostle Paul, and they address very different churches. Nonetheless, they share an essential similarity, for both books are written to confront false teachers who wish to lure the faithful away from Jesus. The defense that Paul mounts of genuine Christianity in both epistles is still relevant and meaningful today, and from it we can learn the importance of being crucified with Christ.

Tools for Godly Living: Topics from James

(6 sessions) Of all the books in the New Testament, James is one of the most practical. This short booklet explores several important topics from James, and the ways that we need to put James’ wisdom into practice.

Where Do I Go from Here?

(6 sessions) This book is designed as a short study for new converts. Its goal is to equip them to face many of the challenges they will encounter as new Christians.

The Schoolmaster

(17 sessions) This book is meant to be used in congregations with a teaching schedule that tracks the semesters of a college year. It explores the Old Testament types of antitypes discussed in Galatians and Hebrews.

No King in Israel

(26 sessions) This book examines the history of Israel from the time of the conquest of Canaan through the judgeship of Samuel and derives practical lessons from this turbulent period in the saga of God’s people.

And They Fled From the Tomb

(26 sessions) Of all four legitimate gospels, Mark is the one that gets the least respect. In our study, it is often overshadowed by the other two Synoptic Gospels of Matthew and Luke. However, Mark’s unique perspective on the ministry of Jesus teaches us invaluable lessons about our Lord and what it was like to walk with Him. This lesson book is a topical study designed to highlight those lessons.

All of the workbooks provided by this website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works license. Because Creative Commons licenses are not terribly common yet, a brief explanation is in order.

Basically, this license differs from a normal copyright in that others no longer need to ask permission to use, reproduce, or share the material covered by the license. That means that if you want to:

Use this material in a Bible class;
Make 100 copies of it on the church’s photocopier;
E-mail it to 30 of your closest friends;

You can do any or all of those things without asking permission from the author first, which makes life easier for all concerned.

However, this is subject to three restrictions:

Attribution. If you’re going to use the material, keep the author’s name on the front cover.

Non-commercial Use. The author is giving this material away to anyone who is interested in it. If he isn’t making money from it, no one else gets to either.

No Derivative Works. Basically, leave the material as it is. Don’t go helpfully rewriting the author’s introductions or revising his questions. Any portion of the material may be published separately, however, provided that the other two rules are followed.

For more information about Creative Commons licensing, please go to creativecommons.org. Also, if you would like a waiver of any of the above restrictions, please e-mail Matt Bassford by clicking here.

Comb-bind the books. Experience has proven that this kind of binding will survive through an entire quarter, where other kinds may not. In addition to being durable, comb-binding is also inexpensive, at least if the church possesses its own comb-binder and volunteers to do the binding.

Double-side the pages. In addition to sparing the conscience of anyone who balks at the unnecessary murder of trees, double-siding also costs the church half as much paper. All of these books have been designed to be double-sided.

Print the covers at an office-supply store. The covers of most of these books look miserable and unprofessional if printed in black-and-white on the church photocopier. Printing 60 covers on an inkjet printer is expensive, time-consuming, and still doesn’t look as nice. Most office-supply stores, Staples, OfficeMax, etc., have a custom printing department with large, capable color-laser printers, and they will typically print photo-quality covers on cardstock for around a dollar a page. The covers will look their best if printed in this way, and they contribute a professional air to the Bible class, which leads to members and visitors alike taking the study more seriously. Of course, if your congregation has a good-quality color laser printer, this is unnecessary.

For Newer Books: Note that all the books from mid-2008 on are laid out in a half-page, landscape format. If you print these books off single-sided, or comb-bind them as is, they will make no sense. Instead, they are designed to be folded into a half-page booklet. In other words, the back of the last page as you print them off will be the inside page of the booklet. If you fold them and the cover in this way, you can simply staple them along the spine to produce the workbook.

Before production, please read the workbook copyright.

Matt W. Bassford preaches for the Jackson Heights church of Christ in Columbia, TN. In addition to having written the lesson material on this site that bears his name, he is the author of a number of hymns. He currently resides in the Columbia, TN area with his wife, Lauren, who has graciously allowed her workbook, Sonflowers, to be added to this site.

I would like to thank Max Dawson, David Banning, Helen Mercer, Lauren Bassford, John Meyer, and Joe Bunch for their work in reviewing, proofreading, and editing these workbooks, as well as for their constant encouragement and support. Also, I would like to thank Brian Meyer, webmaster for the Joliet church of Christ, for making these available for download.