Explore the Bible Study Special Helps For March 22

3:02 PM

As we consider how we are going to communicate with our groups over the coming days, I wanted to share with you some ideas that might help. These are Explore the Bible Study special helps for March 22. These ideas do not involve presenting the lesson using technology; that will come in a separate post. These ideas are regarding Bible study and how you can communicate daily between now and Sunday.

The following is also available as a downloadable document. I pray that God will guide you as you continue to keep relationships and Bible study a priority during these unusual times in which we are living.

Emails & Discussion Ideas
These are suggested ways to remain connected to your group by email, text, or other communication methods. The suggestions below are emails that could be sent over the next few days, but other means of communication could be used as well – text, Facebook group, etc. They are designed to help you remain in contact with your group and to encourage people to remain focused on relationships, prayer, and Bible study during these unusual times.

Email #1: Prayer
Over the next few days I will be sending you some suggestions about how you can continue to focus on relationships with one another and on God’s Word. In this first email, I suggest you build a daily prayer list of people based on what we are experiencing right now. If you know people personally in each of these categories, consider listing them and praying for them daily:
  • Your group. Consider letting others in your group know that you are praying for them.
  • The sick and their families.
  • Healthcare workers. They are on the frontlines treating those who are sick. Pray for protection and strength.
  • Those at risk. Pray that they will be protected from the disease and will rely on others for help.
  • Leaders. Pray for the President of the United States, his medical team, local and state leaders, and especially, your church leaders and pastor. Pray that they would remain healthy and that God would guide them as they make decisions.
  • Families. Pray that parents would be given wisdom regarding how to balance work and family. Pray that this would be a time for families to reconnect with each other and with Christ. Pray for children and students that the experience will forever change their view of the importance of family and faith.
  • Spiritual Awakening. Pray that the church listens and responds to God during this crisis. Pray for the lost that they will realize that Jesus Christ is waiting for them to respond Him.
(Based upon a list from LifeWay. Download the list by clicking here )

Email #2: Scripture Reading
As we move toward Sunday, consider reading Romans 1-2 and looking back over your study guide questions or other resources. Read Romans 3:21-4:3 and use your study guide or other resources to gain insight.

Email #3: Video
Would everyone listen to the following video related to Romans 1-5 and consider the opportunities God is giving us to reflect the faith we have in Christ, to a lost and broken world?”

Email #4 or Online Discussion Group: Bible Study Guide
Before you begin the study today, consider the following:
  • How has God spoken to you through your prayer time and circumstances this week?
  • Have you had an opportunity to have any gospel conversations?
  • What questions or thoughts did your reading of Romans or the video create?
  • How do you think what we have already studied in Romans relates to what we are experiencing with the COVID-19 crisis?
Let’s review what we have already learned from the book of Romans. Paul has clearly explained the plight of man because of sin in chapters 1 – 2. God has revealed Himself through creation and through our own conscience because we are made in the image of God; therefore man is without excuse. No matter what man does, he can’t ignore God; nor can he eradicate his sinful nature. Paul brings his readers to one dramatic conclusion in Romans 3:9, that no one is better than anyone else. We are all sinners. What then? Are we any better off? Not at all! For we have already charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, (Rom 3:9)

Paul paints the picture of the broken world and the brokenness of man. We are obviously currently experiencing this brokenness as we face this worldwide crisis. So, if the world is broken and we can’t fix the brokenness, then where do we turn? The obvious answer is Jesus Christ. This is what Paul states with two very powerful words in Romans 3:21 – BUT NOW . . .

. . . apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, attested by the Law and the Prophets. The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Rom 3:21-24)

The good news of Jesus is that now, “Apart from the law, God has provided a different righteousness—one that comes as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (3:22).

"How can God give such a gift to sinners and still be righteous? Because at the cross, Jesus was offered as a sacrifice; He made atonement for our sins and therefore upheld the justice of God in justifying those who believe. This good news, once promised in the Old Testament, has now been revealed in Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.

Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.

Paul here is at pains to defend the point that justification must come from faith alone, so he uses the Old Testament example of Abraham. In Romans 4:3, Paul quotes Genesis 15:6: “Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” In other words, salvation cannot be earned by works, but is granted by God to those who believe.”

Source: IMB Topics, Romans 3-5
Thoughts to Consider:
  • Romans 3:27-31 emphasizes that we can’t boast in anything or feel superior to anyone. We can only be confident in our faith in Jesus Christ. How has our current circumstances made that a reality for you?
  • Why is it important for people to understand the spiritual significance of what we are currently facing?
  • What do you hope these circumstances would do for your faith in Christ? For those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ?
  • How can your life demonstrate to others that you believe that your faith in Jesus Christ is certain, even though we are facing uncertain times?
Through our current circumstances we realize that man in not the center of the universe. The most logical answer as to who is in control would be Almighty God. The question now is, “will man respond to and trust God or will he continue to keep himself at the center of things?”

Next week we will focus on Romans 5 and the peace and life we have in Jesus Christ. As you face the circumstances we are currently experiencing, consider how the peace that comes from knowing you have a relationship with Christ is or should be giving you strength during these uncertain times.


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