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Bible Study: Joy in suffering as Christ’s witnesses

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 Passage: Acts 5

Discussion Questions:

  • What aspects of God’s character help us trust Him in times of suffering?
  • How should we respond when people are filled with rage because of what we believe as Christians?
  • How can we put God’s glory first in our daily lives?

Food for Thought:

Despite what some experts might think, there is no special code or formula for church growth. The church faithfully preaching the Gospel is God’s ordained plan for church growth. Telling others Jesus, because of His great love and mercy, came from heaven to save us from our sin will draw people to Christ. In the book of Acts that is how we see the church grow. The disciples preached this Gospel message with conviction, even amid persecution.

In Acts 5, the Jewish religious leaders thought they could keep two apostles from preaching Jesus by throwing them in jail. However, an angel of the Lord opened the jail so the two could escape and continue preaching. The church continued to grow through the sovereign Lord pouring out His Spirit on people as they came to trust in Christ. But this happened in the midst of and in spite of persecution and opposition. Even after being freed from jail, the apostles were threatened and flogged.

Jesus commanded all of His followers, from the birth of the church until now, to be witnesses of the salvation from sin that can be found in Him alone. But Jesus never promised it would be easy. Just as Christ experienced rejection and suffering, so too will His followers. Suffering for Christ is cause not for despair but rather for joy. We know that God uses our sufferings, like Christ’s, for His glory (Hebrews 12:2) and for our good (Philippians 3:7-11).

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.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources