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 curriculum and additional resources for all age groups.
This week's Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passages: Isaiah 6:8-13; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Joel 2:12-13; 2 Chronicles 36:15-21
What relationships do you have that need to be restored? In what ways can we as Christians bear testimony to our restored relationship with God? To God's plan to restore the world?
Food for Thought: Destruction vs. Restoration
What comes to your mind when you hear the word restoration? Some people might think about a marriage that was crumbling but then was restored. Others might think of the devastation that a natural disaster causes and the restoration that is needed to rebuild a community.
Restoration is not natural for humans. From the moment Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, humans have spent the majority of their energy destroying, not restoring. Solomon was correct: "There is certainly no righteous man on the earth who does good and never sins" (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Paul agreed: "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10). War, murder, torture, hatred, greed, lust, idolatry. Humans have proven themselves to be continually capable of all these sins and more. In fact, these evils come quite naturally for us.
But God has always been interested in restoring what humans damage. He's interested in ushering light into the dark places of our lives -- the secret places -- and healing the broken pieces of our lives. After all, God entered this world as a human being to do just that. On the cross, God demonstrated His desire to restore the relationship between humanity and Himself. And He didn't stop until it was finished.
Even though God raised up Isaiah and Jeremiah to warn His people of impending judgment, He also gave them a message of hope. Hope that one day the Israelites would see freedom again. Hope that in the future they would be restored not only to their homeland but also to the covenant relationship they once experienced with Yahweh. It was a hope worth hoping in.
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 children 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 The Gospel Project.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.
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