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Bible Study: Nov. 1, 2015

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: Genesis 25:19-26; 26:1-6; 28:10-22

Discussion Questions: Is it possible to experience God’s presence and not be changed? Why or why not? In what ways does sin prohibit us from experiencing the presence of God? How does God overcome our sin in order to give us a glimpse of His glory and grace?

Food for Thought:

Sometimes I fear that we approach our relationship with God as one interested only in the benefits. We love having a relationship with God because of all the perks it brings. At death, we enjoy heaven, streets of gold, perfect health, no more sadness, and much more. But let’s not forget we get something far better than all of those things combined — God Himself! What’s most important about the Gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection is not the benefits it gets us, but rather that the Gospel gives us God Himself. He will be our God, we will be His people, and we will be together enjoying Him forever.

As foretold at his birth, Jacob received the blessing, though he stole it from Esau and was forced to run from him (see Genesis 27:18-24). Jacob found a place to stay the night and chose a stone as his pillow. As he slept, Jacob dreamed about a stairway on the ground with its top in the heavens. Angels were going up and down on it. It is here that Yahweh restated the promises of Abraham and Isaac to Jacob. Yahweh reminded Jacob that He is the God of Abraham and Isaac and He would be Jacob’s God too.

God would give the land to Jacob and his offspring. He would give Jacob offspring as numerous as the dust of the earth, and they would spread out in the land. God promised that all the peoples of the world would be blessed by Jacob’s offspring. Then God promised, “I am with you.” Jacob took the stone he used for a pillow and set it up as a marker and named the place Bethel, or “House of God.” For Jacob, this was the gate of heaven. Like in Eden, God promised to live among His people. Jacob then vowed to serve Yahweh as His God.

Genesis 28:10-22 shows that God will indeed come to be with His people through Jacob and his offspring. Jacob’s stairway gives us a glimpse into the reversal of Babel. The people of Babel were trying to get back to God by lifting up a tower, and it caused them to be separated all over the planet.

But when the offspring of Jacob, God incarnate — Jesus of Nazareth — will come down from heaven, He will be lifted up to draw all people to Himself. He will bless all the peoples of the earth and reunite them in Himself. John 1:51 tells us that Jesus is the true stairway to heaven. He is the One who reconnects earth and heaven.

The Gospel Project

The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered curriculum that examines the grand narrative of Scripture and how the Gospel transforms the lives of those it touches. Through a three-year study plan, participants are immersed in the Gospel through stories, theological concepts, and calls to missions from Genesis to Revelation. Separate study plans for kids and students/adults ensure the proper focus and depth. The Gospel Project is designed to unify an entire church under a single Christ-centered curriculum. 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.

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  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources