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Bible Study: April 17, 2016

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 Explore the Bible curriculum.

Bible Passages: Acts 5:25-35, 38-42

Discussion Questions: What role does our faithfulness play in advancing the cause of Christ? How does our faithfulness open the door for opportunities to speak up for Christ?

Food for Thought:

The meals arrive for a lunch meeting with your supervisors. They examine their plates, ready to dig in. No one appears to be taking the initiative to offer a blessing. You know that they know you are a believer and active in your church, but you are not sure about their religious beliefs. Before anyone grabs their fork, you politely ask if anyone objects to you praying and thanking God for providing something to eat today. The silence is broken with a statement about religion being the topic of the lunch, especially the separation of religion and work. You quietly bow and offer a silent prayer, thanking God for the food and asking for courage.

Most people are fine with people being religious as long as that religion is kept private. Peter and the apostles faced the same kind of sentiment as they stood before the religious leaders of their day. Peter reminded the leaders that obedience to God required them to share the Gospel. He also reminded them that the religious leaders played a role in the crucifixion of Jesus (Acts 5:30), getting to the core of the issue. The religious leaders brought up the issue to begin with by asking the apostles why they were telling everyone of the religious leaders’ role in the crucifixion. The reaction of the religious leaders revealed their own guilt.

Jesus died on the cross for OUR sin. Many would rather us be quiet about sin so they don’t have to deal with their sin. Sin always runs and hides, disguised as guilt. The goal of sharing the Gospel is not to make a person feel bad, but rather to help them find freedom from guilt. Peter and the apostles remained faithful not out of spite or rebellion; they remained faithful out of love. Failing to tell the truth about Jesus would have actually been an act of hate and negligence. Failing to warn someone of a danger they face could only be painted as such. Opposition shows us the need to share, reveals the guilt of sin, and opens the door for us to demonstrate our faithfulness to Him.

What good is a religion that is private? Shouldn’t what we believe impact every area of our lives?

Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.

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