Bible Study: March 19, 2017
NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week's Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.
Bible Passage: Romans 6:4-14
Discussion Questions: When was a time you asked yourself, "What am I doing here?"
Food for Thought by Mike Glenn:
I've been married for over 35 years, and that's been plenty of time for me to mess up. When I do mess up, I apologize and ask my wife to forgive me. Of course she forgives me, but there's more to it than that. She wants more than an apology. She wants my assurance that I'm not going to repeat the stupid thing I did in the first place. She wants repentance.
Repentance literally means to "turn around" or "change direction." Repentance is that U-turn in life when you realize you're headed in the wrong direction and turn around to head the way you should be going. The Christian life is a life of repentance, but that repentance is so much more than just being sorry for what we've done! Seeking forgiveness might be where it starts, but it's only the beginning.
In Romans 6, Paul explained that Christ calls us not only to die to our old lives, but also to live fully for Him in our new ones. Just as we are buried with Christ in our baptism, we are raised to our new life in Him. Our new life in Christ is modeled after His new life after His resurrection. No longer in slavery to death's reality, Christ was raised by God to never die again. If we have been buried with Christ, then likewise we've been raised with Him to our new lives. Death is a major consequence of sin, but in Christ we are free from death!
Like Jesus, we should live our lives toward God as well. But we often find that hard to do, don't we? In Christ, we are dead to sin, but sin doesn't always seem dead to us! Paul has called us to rest on the truth of our death and life in Christ. If you are a Christian, sin can't tell you what to do. Sin can't make us do anything anymore. We are no longer trapped in this endless cycle of guilt and shame, of promising to do better only to fail again.
The bottom line for us is that we are dead to sin but alive to God in Christ.
We're called to do more than go through our lives avoiding sin, which is why Christ offers us more than forgiveness. Christ offers us life on the other side of our failures. Being a Christian is more than not giving in to temptation. Following Christ means saying yes to Him and wanting to do those same things Christ would do.
Sadly, too many of us only get half the story. Christ died not only for our forgiveness, but also for our freedom -- freedom from condemnation, from our past, from our sins. We are now free to love, forgive and serve. We are free to live our lives with His joy!
Bible Studies for Life
Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students, and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God's Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the Internet at LifeWay.com/BibleStudiesforLife.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.