Let’s get really practical in our study today. Begin by reading 1 Corinthians 15:22. Then try to paraphrase the verse in your own words, replacing the word “all” with your name. Then consider the following:
- What were some of the immediate ways that your life changed and was “made alive” when you trusted in Christ for salvation?
- What areas of change are ongoing?
Where death has been present, the stench of death lingers. Though by God’s grace, when we place our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, we’ve been made alive again, but the stench of our former status remains in areas of our lives. This is why in Romans 8:29, Paul told us that we must continually be conformed to the image of Christ. There are parts of our lives that still do not resemble Christ.
For Men: What is one area of your life where, despite being redeemed, you still struggle with passivity? With aggression?
For Women: Consider how your view of men has changed since you were redeemed. Now consider areas where your view still needs to change.
As we engage with God’s Word and confront sin in our hearts, the Holy Spirit works to remove that sin from us. Read Romans 8:1-11. What did Paul tell us is in opposition to the Spirit? How should the actions of a redeemed man toward women be different than those of worldly men?
The New Testament would call the parts of us that are yet to be conformed to the image of Christ the flesh. Now read Romans 8:28-29. After a lengthy description of the war between the flesh and the spirit, Paul then sums up in these verses the end game of that process. After you’ve read these verses, try to paraphrase them in your own words.
Then consider: How much of your life would you say is conformed to the image of Christ?
For Men: How does your new life in Christ impact the way you interact with women?
For Women: What man in your life have you viewed as beyond the reach of grace? How can you pray specifically for the Lord to change his heart? How can you help the men in your life find freedom from patterns of passivity or aggression?
Where you have been dead and the stench of death has reigned, through repentance and the life-changing power of the cross, the stench of death will change to the aroma of God’s presence.
Today, rest in my prayer for you:
I pray specifically for my brothers, that we would arise, that we would get up, that we would wake up, that we would let the light of Christ shine on us, and that the glory of Christ would be seen. For the men or women who’ve yet to follow Christ, I pray that you would give them the grace to give their lives in complete submission to you, God. I pray for the many of us men today who although we have been resurrected continue to carry with us the stench of death. Might we be quick to confess. Might we be quick to repent. Might we be quick to get up and start to pursue again. Grow us. Help us. It’s for your beautiful name. Amen.
Excerpted from Matt Chandler, A Beautiful Design Bible Study. © 2016 Lifeway Press. Used by permission.