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: Acts 19:1–20
- In what areas of your life have you seen God transforming you?
- How will you continue to pursue transformation through the power of the Gospel?
- Who can you encourage in the process of sanctification today?
Food for Thought:
Read Acts 19:1-20. Through the power of God on display in miracles and especially through the powerful “word of the Lord,” people in Ephesus acknowledged Jesus’ authority to rule over their lives, and this included His authority to make renovations in their hearts. From the moment one believes in Jesus for salvation, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, begins a progressive process of renovating us from the inside out. We call this work sanctification.
Sanctification is a work of God in the heart, but it is also something we must pursue through our obedience to God. The power of the Gospel revealed to us in our salvation is what empowers our efforts to put away our sin and put on our new self in Christ (Ephesians 4:20-24).
The Ephesian believers who confessed their practice of magic demonstrated the change in their hearts first through their confession, but they continued through the tangible act of burning their books that informed these sinful practices. It is clear from the monetary value of the books that they could have sold the books for their personal gain, but they took a massive loss instead. Such was the miraculous work of God in their hearts and their desire to obey their Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. And naturally, the “word of the Lord” continued to spread and have its effect on people throughout the region.
When we heard and believed the Gospel we became part of Jesus’ kingdom, one of His people, a treasured possession (1 Peter 2:9). As such, Jesus has the right to make any transformations in us that He desires. The challenge we often face is that we sinfully choose to work against what Jesus has planned for us. We treat Jesus like a hotel tenant on a short-term stay rather than the owner of the house. Jesus wants to transform our lives for the better, and we must learn to submit to and cooperate with His renovations.
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 at gospelproject.com.