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: John 20:11-18
- What are some ways believers can demonstrate perseverance in the work of the Gospel?
- What are some specific examples you have witnessed of believers persevering in the work of the Gospel?
- What opportunities might you have this week to turn conversations toward the Gospel of Jesus?
Food for Thought:
Read Acts 19:1-20. Paul’s Gospel ministry in Ephesus demonstrated perseverance on a number of levels. One, this was Paul’s second time to visit Ephesus (Acts 18:19). He made a stop in this city as his second missionary journey was winding down and promised to come back, if the Lord willed it so (18:21). Two, on his third missionary journey, Paul did return and remained in Ephesus more than two years preaching and teaching the Gospel and making disciples of Jesus (20:31). Three, even though Paul experienced opposition, he continued to share the Gospel, beginning with the Jews and then reaching out to the Gentiles.
It was Paul’s practice to go first to his fellow Jews with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16-17). As he did on his first visit to Ephesus, Paul immediately went to the Jewish synagogue to begin his ministry (Acts 18:19). He did this with a desire to see those of his own ethnicity come to know Jesus as the promised Messiah (Romans 10:1-4). This made practical sense because the Jews had knowledge of the promises of God and the Word of God that we know as the Old Testament.
Functionally however, this was difficult work as Paul had to debate, argue and persuade the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah, the fulfillment of their scriptures.
After some Jews rejected the Gospel outright and began to disparage Paul’s message, Paul began the second stage of his Gospel ministry in a new city. He withdrew from the Jews, taking the believers with him, and began to focus on preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles. He knew it was God’s design for the nations to hear about the life and work of Jesus Christ, so they too could repent of their sins and by faith embrace Jesus as Savior.
For followers of Jesus today, it is good for us to practice the same non-discrimination policy that Paul practiced. We should be ready to share the Gospel with everyone, no matter their ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs or social class. We must be dedicated to making disciples of those who respond to the Gospel and embrace Jesus. Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:18-20 is for His followers to make disciples of all ethnicities.
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 can be found here.