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BIBLE STUDY: Developing true spirituality

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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 MasterWork curriculum.

Bible Passages: Romans 8:13, Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 5:4-5

Discussion Questions:

— How would the world define spirituality? How do you define it?

— What would the phrase “actively passive” mean? How can both aspects be present at the same time?

— What role do you play in developing true spirituality in your life? What role does God play?

Food for thought:

A police officer on his night beat comes upon a gentleman underneath a corner streetlight, searching for something. The officer asks, “What are you looking for?” “My car keys,” comes the answer. Being a good public servant, the officer joins the search.

Several fruitless minutes later the officer inquires, “Are you sure you lost your keys here?” “Oh no,” the man replies, “I lost them in the middle of the block.” “Then why are you looking here?” “The light is better here!”

None of us fails to catch the disconnect.

Francis Schaeffer’s classic work, “True Spirituality,” explores what spirituality is and how one comes by it. Realizing the real-life disconnect many believers make regarding spirituality has compelled Schaeffer to remind us that true Christian spirituality happens “in the Spirit’s power.”

We cannot discipline ourselves into spirituality. We cannot will ourselves into spirituality. Regardless of what might seem the brightest place to search for spirituality, we must look for it where it can be found — in the Spirit’s power.

In explaining this, Schaeffer stresses “two equal lines of reality.” The seen reality makes itself known daily. The unseen is more subtle, “the world of Christians who have died, who are with Christ now.” True spirituality happens when we live now in accordance with our death and our resurrection with Christ. When we live by faith now, empowered by the Spirit, as if we have already experienced resurrection, then true spirituality will infuse our lives.

How will that happen? It happens as the glorified Christ lives His life in us. He has died and returned to life, both of which we joined Him in when we became believers. Then He, working through the Holy Spirit, increasingly manifests Himself in us. But we do not sit passively by, waiting for Christ to ooze His spirituality into us. We play a role as well. Like Mary when told she, a virgin, would birth the Christ, our role is to say, “be it unto me according to thy word.”

We actively agree and place ourselves in His hands to mold and shape as He chooses.


MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.lifeway.com/masterwork.

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

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