Bible Study: March 1, 2015
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 Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 12:12-30
Discussion Questions: How can you better steward the various gifts and talents you have been given for the sake of your local congregation? What are some practical ways you might live the life of a servant in your family, among your friends, and in your community?
Food for Thought:
The original 1992 Dream Team of Olympic basketball was probably the greatest basketball team of all time. Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley not only wowed the world with their art; but absolutely dominated the competition, winning by an average of nearly 44 points a game. In fact, the closest game was decided by 32 points!
The individual talent on the Dream Team was astounding. But what was even more impressive was the way they were able to come together as a solitary unit. Good teams are composed of individuals with complementary skills. What if the 1992 USA team had been composed of five traditional centers or five power forwards? Who would have taken the ball up the court? Or who would have protected the lane and contested shots with a team of point guards?
The body of Christ is similarly constituted, with various persons having varying gifts, skills and abilities. These were given not to pad individual stats in some fabled heavenly league, but to contribute to the overall success of the team -- the body of Christ. The Spirit has so composed the church that it is intended to function as a cohesive unit.
The concept of complementary gifts distributed by the Spirit for the common good of the body and the glory of Christ saturates the biblical text. Consider a few of the Scriptures where Paul expounded upon this reality (Romans 12:4-8; Ephesians 4:4-7, 15-16), or examine Peter's words in his first letter: "Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10).
Service is an essential implication of the Gospel. After all, Christ Himself spoke of His mission as summarized by the idea of service: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life -- a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
As those who are being conformed to His image, we have a responsibility to mirror and imitate Christ in our serving and preferring others. We have a responsibility to humble ourselves, seek the good of others, and lay down our lives to adorn the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is true in our parenting, marriages, workplaces, social circles and especially in our churches.
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 kids 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 gospelproject.com
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at www.LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.