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Bible Study: November 17, 2013

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: John 10:27-29; Philippians 3:10-14; Hebrews 3:12-19

Discussion Questions: Imagine you were imprisoned for your faith, beaten, ridiculed, chased, and hounded by constant threats and persecution. What would strengthen you and grant you assurance in the midst of such a life? What are some promises of God that are necessary for you to cling to as you move forward in the faith?

Food for Thought:

Quitting is not an option.

Lone Survivor is the story of Marcus Luttrell, a Navy SEAL. He was the solitary survivor of Operation Redwing, which involved an engagement between special forces and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The opening chapters of the book present Luttrell’s recollections of his SEAL training, leading up to and including what is called “Hell Week.” The near torturous conditions of this training regimen are surprising. Potential SEALs are broken down physically, emotionally, psychologically and otherwise. Like some introductory college courses, the goal is simple — to eliminate those who do not belong.

Luttrell said that the only way to endure the training is not to think of quitting as an option. The moment you give yourself the option to quit, the enemy gains a foothold. If you can quit, you will. This same attitude should be true of us as believers. Given the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit and the overwhelming reality of the Gospel, we should not even contemplate the prospect of giving in to the ultimate temptation to walk away or simply coast.

Spend time reading Philippians 3:10-14 and reflecting on Paul’s efforts to be faithful to Christ. I wonder what kinds of doubts and questions beckoned Paul in the middle of the night in the jail from which he penned these words to the Philippians. Here was a man acquainted with suffering, yet persevering in love and trust in the Gospel. He was so certain of the Father’s love that he was willing to endure everything for the reward ahead. Because Christ had taken hold of him, Paul was grasping for the goal of the Gospel.

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 www.LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.

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