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 YOU curriculum.
Bible Passage: Acts 4:12-21
Discussion Questions: How can you be bolder in the way you live? In the way you talk? In the way you pray?
Food for Thought:
People throw around Jesus’ name these days in all sorts of contexts. So, what’s in the name of Jesus? The name of Jesus is the focus of our mission. It gives boldness for the mission. And it gives courage in the mission.
Acceptance of Christian beliefs and values is rapidly becoming rarer. Our parents and their parents grew up in a society where it was acceptable, even expected, to believe in Jesus and speak His name. Not so anymore. Today, greater courage is needed for the church body and individual believers to truly embody Jesus’ mission in the world.
Like the early believers, when we’re convinced of the power of Jesus’ name for salvation, we will boldly lift up Jesus to others. We must understand the focus of our mission, demonstrate boldness for our mission, and possess courage in the mission.
After Peter and John healed a lame man outside the temple complex (Acts 3:8), Peter used the opportunity to preach the Gospel. People responded too. But it annoyed the religious leaders, even though there was no law forbidding free speech.
These authorities were opposed to the message that Jesus had risen from the dead. The leaders arrested Peter and John because of their bold testimony about Jesus, but the apostles were unable and unwilling to be silent. Because of the boldness demonstrated by these men in the face of opposition, many more would come to know Christ.
Courage is needed to continue to share the Gospel amid opposition, especially from powerful authority. Courage comes in the realization that Jesus is real, His name is powerful, and people urgently need to hear the Gospel.
Even though Christians in America may feel less comfortable today, we are still not likely to be arrested and questioned by authorities for telling people about Jesus. That means for each of us that boldness in the mission should come easier now than for early believers. People need to know Jesus and we’re commissioned to tell them, no matter what.
Intentionally focused on urban and multicultural believers, YOU is biblically based with culturally relevant and affirming lessons to help people connect, grow, serve, and ultimately be engaged in impacting the world for Christ. This flexible, non-dated all-in-one quarterly resource offers weekly Bible study for leaders and learners, devotionals, and teaching plans, as well as articles on hot topics and missions. For additional online downloadable teaching resources, visit LifeWay.com/YOU.