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 Passage: Romans 8:12-25
— What would you most look forward to if there was a reset button for this world?
— How do the difficulties and challenges of this life foster a desire for a renewed and redeemed world?
Food for thought:
The last few months have taught us that we live in a flawed world. Most of us would have never thought that the threat of an illness would lead to being locked in our homes or treasuring toilet paper. Many people demonstrated compassion and love, but a few demonstrated just how selfish we humans can be.
Throughout God’s creation of this world, He observed that what He created was good (see Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). But that all changed with a simple act. Humans, the one part of His creation that He observed as being very good (see Genesis 1:31), rebelled against God and disobeyed Him. All of creation felt the consequences of humanity’s sin and continues to do so today.
Paul characterized all of creation as groaning in anticipation of God restoring His creation. He personified nature as longing for the day of redemption just like the birth of a baby. Paul imagined everything we see in this world as the labor pains of a great day. On that day, Paul said that creation would be set free from decay (Romans 8:21) and believers would realize their redemption (Romans 8:23). He emphasized that believers live with a sure hope in anticipation of that day.
Difficulties make some groan in despair and fear, but that need not be the case for the believer. Instead, believers can groan in hope, knowing that a glorious restoration of God’s creation is just around the corner. That restoration is sure for all believers, which helps us get through the hard days and labor pains of this fallen world. From those pains comes the glorious rebirth of God’s good creation brought about by the Gospel. Christ offers the sure hope of redemption to all who trust Him.
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.