Weekend Bible Study
Theme of the Week: God Weaves Purpose into Our Pain
Saturday, September 13, 2014
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Romans 8 builds a strong and compelling case for our eternal salvation (vv. 1, 31-39), freedom from sin's bondage (vv. 2-13), and our adoption into God's family (vv. 14-17). But if we are God's children and heirs who "share his glory, we must also share in his suffering" (v. 17). It's tempting to slide right by the suffering part of our Christian experience—and even get upset when suffering comes our way. While suffering is never easy, it comes with important meaning and purpose: "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them" (Rom. 8:28).
- When did God use a painful experience to help you grow emotionally or spiritually?
- What does today's passage say about God's love for you?
- What truths, principles, or lessons about suffering do you glean from verses 17 through 39?
- What principle or promise from Romans 8 will you seek to apply the next time you face a painful struggle or major disappointment?
- For further study: What does chapter 8 teach us about each person of the Trinity? What characteristics or roles do you find for each?
Key Study Passage:
Spend Time in Prayer: Thank God for adopting you into his eternal family. Reflect on your own times of suffering, asking God to help you see his greater purpose and plan even when it's difficult to do so.
Life in the Spirit
8 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. 8 That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, you tell me in your Word that you can bring good out of the worst situations (Rom. 8:28) and that nothing can ever separate me from your love (Rom. 8:35-39). Help me to believe and cling to these truths and promises, especially when major disappointments and devastating news come my way.
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