Bible Study: Jan. 22, 2017
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 MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: Psalm 116:3-9, 15
Discussion Questions: How would you complete this statement: "When I think about forever, I ..."? How can the certainty of eternity compel us to live more fully now? Why are death and "forever" something to be anticipated rather than feared or dreaded?
Food for Thought:
The Constitution of the United States, composed and sent to the original 13 states for ratification in 1787, took effect when enacted in 1789. Later that year Benjamin Franklin, reflecting on the process of and prospects for the document wrote, "Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Our culture has lost the context of Franklin's quote but we maintain, in a varied form, the last part of it as a popular proverb: "Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes."
By the time we reach the maturity of adulthood, we need no convincing regarding the certainty of death. We might try to ignore it, cheat it or postpone it, but we don't question it. We might look to science to extend our life expectancies or to science fiction to engross us with tales of life without death, but we know neither will reverse it. A prominent psychologist once said the idea that they are going to die dominates all people over 35. Beyond the midpoint of our years, our gaze is focused on our headstones. The world will go on beyond our death date, but we will not. We shall die. It is appointed so (Hebrews 9:27).
But for the Christian, especially the one who hungers for the holy, death is not a devastating end to dread. But death is a transition to a closer, more permanent communion with the object of our hunger for holiness, God Himself. Calvin Miller leads us through an exploration of "Foreverness," the believer's ultimate step into holiness. Included in the study are views of death, the uncertainty accompanying the crossing of the final river, our unprecedented and unending fellowship with God following death, circumspect living in anticipation of death, and the companionship of the Holy Spirit throughout the transition.
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.lifeway.com/masterwork.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.