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 Bible Studies For Life curriculum.
Bible Passages: Acts 2:22-24, 32-33, 36-38
Discussion Question: What often gets you sidetracked during the day? What are the personal implications of recognizing Jesus as Lord? What are the worldwide implications that God has made Jesus Lord? As we share the Gospel, how can we work toward the goal of conviction rather than condemnation?
Food for thought:
Jesus died for our sins, rose again, and reigns as Lord. This is the heart, the center, the core message of the Christian faith. This is the message that Peter proclaimed on the Day of Pentecost, as the church of Jesus Christ was launched into existence. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Peter proclaimed the Gospel for the first time in a public setting for all to hear. Peter aimed for the heart of the crowd. He stated simply: Jesus was crucified, but God raised Him back to life. Peter explained that Jesus was handed over to be crucified by the deliberate plan and foreknowledge of God the Father. Both the crucifixion and the resurrection were prophesied in the Old Testament. This was God’s plan from the beginning.
Peter’s message holds two truths that some people tend to set against each other: the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. The cross was “God’s determined plan” (v. 23), yet lawless people killed Jesus. In other words, God is in control, but the men involved are held responsible for their deeds. Peter stated these two truths together unflinchingly and without apology.
As for human responsibility, we can never grasp the meaning of the cross until we understand the depth of our sin and how it separates us from God. Along with the lawless men who crucified Him, we all are responsible for Jesus’ death. Once we see ourselves as sinners in need of salvation, we can understand why there had to be a cross and why the cross is vital to our message.
But Jesus didn’t merely die; He rose again. If Jesus had sacrificed His life for us and then remained dead, His would just be a poignant story about a martyr. But Jesus is unique in all of history; He is the only person who ever lived, died, and returned to life never to die again. His death and resurrection are the heartbeat of the Gospel message. This transformational message continues to be the truth that the church proclaims even today.
Bible Studies for Life
Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students, and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God’s Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the Internet at LifeWay.com/BibleStudiesforLife.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.