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BIBLE STUDY: Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (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 curriculum and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies for Life curriculum.

Bible Passage: Matthew 6:1-13, 16-18

Discussion Question: How does knowing your need for grace impact the way you act around or toward others?

Food for Thought:

If anyone in history were to act differently around others given his need for grace, one would think that the author of the hymn that sets the standard on the subject would have always been on his best behavior, right? Well, not so much. John Newton, the English hymn writer who penned “Amazing Grace” as a New Year’s Day sermon illustration in 1773, wrote the hymn from personal experience. Those now-famous words can be thought of as Newton’s spiritual autobiography.

As a younger man, Newton had little education and served on ships, first alongside his father, then as a midshipman. When he was caught attempting to escape the Royal Navy, he was so severely punished that he left and joined the slave trade.

While aboard the ship Greyhound, Newton gained fame among his shipmates for his flagrant use of colorful language. He was fond of inventing new obscene words just to push the boundaries of vulgarity even further. However, during a fierce storm one night, Newton cried out to God for safety and protection. That moment started him down the road to his spiritual conversion. He later left the high seas in favor of studying theology.

Had he not experienced the trials he did as a youth, the world may never have been gifted with Amazing Grace, a hymn of forgiveness and redemption that is performed approximately 10 million times each year.


Bible Studies for Life is a life-stage family of resources addressing key issues in the lives of adults and students. Consisting of seven curriculum lines developed for various life and generational stages plus two others designed for deeper study, all of these resources focus on the same Bible passage each week. More information about the seven curriculum lines can be accessed at www.LifeWay.com/BibleStudiesforLife.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be accessed at www.LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.
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  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources