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: Luke 18:9-14
Discussion Questions: Who was the best teacher you had in school? What characteristics did you notice in the worst teacher you had?
Food for Thought:
Session five of the summer study in The Gospel Project examines the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector. In this session, we are going to explore the idea that God humbles the exalted, and He exalts the humble.
We are going to see that justification by faith alone is one of the defining Christian doctrines we must cling to. It helps us maintain “true north” in our faith because we are confronted by the Scriptures and their declaration that no one is declared righteous because of his works. We are justified when we place our faith and trust in Christ’s atoning work on the cross.
This particular Bible study is relevant for us today because there is a misunderstanding, both inside and outside the church, that a person can be justified because of his or her good works. People often view entrance into heaven the way they view a scale — they simply have to tilt it slightly so that their good works outweigh their bad deeds. No one will be justified this way, and we will see the futility of thinking that our actions are enough to place us in a right standing with God.
True humility before God is seen when a person humbly pleads for God’s mercy and grace. May we all have the attitude of the tax collector who cried, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). We must come to realize that it’s often easier to judge others more harshly than we judge ourselves. When we truly realize the gravity and severity of our sin, then we are in a position to cry out and ask God to save us.
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, free samples, and The Gospel Project blog can be found at gospelproject.com.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.