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 Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passages: Luke 5:1-11, 27-32; Luke 6:12-16
— What is your tendency when presenting the Gospel to other sinners: invitational or challenging?
— How can you take a step toward growth in the area of evangelism today?
Food for Thought:
Read Luke 5:27-32. Levi (also known as Matthew) immediately leveraged his circle of influence in order to introduce his friends and coworkers to Christ. Called to follow Jesus, Levi — a former tax collector — threw a big party and invited other tax collectors to come so they could also meet Jesus. Levi utilized the relationships he already had so the non-disciples he knew could be invited into a relationship with Jesus and challenged to change.
Jesus was clear about the purpose of His ministry — to call sinners to repentance. Never once did Jesus lose sight of this aim. Unfortunately, we can lose sight of this purpose in our lives, churches and ministries. We may turn our focus inward and lose sight of engaging the lost and calling sinners to repentance. But evangelism must not be sacrificed for the sake of discipleship, and vice versa.
Notice that Levi didn’t invite a bunch of strangers to his dinner banquet to meet Jesus. These were friends, neighbors and colleagues. He maximized his regular relationships in order to introduce people to Christ. Depending on where you live and what kind of church you are a part of, your life might have lots of natural intersections with those who don’t know Christ.
But maybe you struggle to find ways to introduce your friends to Jesus. Maybe you’re afraid of rejection, losing friendships, or just the awkwardness of the situation. Or you might live completely surrounded in a Christian bubble and have no idea where to start building relationships with those who don’t know Jesus. If that’s you, then you need to think about intersection rather than addition. Identify things you already do where you can add intentionality to your interactions in order to better build friendships with those who don’t know Jesus.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/gospelproject .