Weekend Bible Study
Theme of the Week: Adventures in Witnessing
Saturday, August 2, 2014
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We often view evangelism as a way to snatch people from the fires of hell. And this is certainly true. Salvation is definitely a rescue plan. But it's also important to remember that it's about setting right the animosity that exists between God and humanity. This week's passage calls it "reconciliation"—bringing lost and sinful people back into a friendship with God (vv. 18-19). Yes, we share Christ to help people escape hell after they die. Most importantly, though, we share Christ so that they can begin a friendship with God in the here and now.
- What is meant by "fearful responsibility" (v. 11)? Why is this a good motivation for sharing Christ?
- Why is sincerity an essential element to sharing God with others? According to Paul, how was Christ being shared insincerely or with wrong motives? (See v. 12.)
- According to verses 14 through 17, what was the purpose of Christ's death?
- According to verses 18 and 21, what should be the goal of our evangelistic efforts?
- What do you think it means practically for ordinary Christians to be "Christ's ambassadors" (v. 20)?
Key Study Passage:
2 Corinthians 5:11-21
Spend Time in Prayer: Offer a prayer of thanks for the person or people who helped you become reconciled to your heavenly Father; ask God to show you how to be a better ambassador for Christ at work and in your community.
2 Corinthians 5:11-21
The Ministry of Reconciliation
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are "out of our mind," as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
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Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, give me a greater heart for lost people, especially those in my own neighborhood and at work; show me how to share your love through both my words and my actions.
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