This week’s post is inspired from on J.D. Greear’s new Bible study, Gospel Above All. Fill out the form at the end of this post by Saturday, March 9th at 11:59pm to enter for a chance to win this free resource!
Please open your Bibles…
We love the Word of God, and we get the privilege of studying it with our groups. But what does it all come down to? What would we and our group members say about what the Bible is really about and its purpose?
To know what we think, we can look at how and when we use the Bible.
Maybe one of our group members calls us. They are struggling with a specific temptation. What might we tell them? When it comes to temptation, the Bible says that we…
Maybe we want to talk about finances for your group’s next season. So, we can turn to the Bible and look for all the places money is mentioned. When it comes to money, the Bible says that we…
Maybe we want to learn more about the end times because this keeps coming up in group. We can come to the Bible and look for what it says. When it comes to the end times, the Bible says that we…
All of these actions are actually really good. We need the Bible to be the basis of our decisions, and it is the best source of guidance for how we live. But, what if this type of use of the Bible was limiting? What if we were missing something? What if we were ending our search too soon and missing the primary focus?
“Many of us have been taught that the Bible is a guide book for life. Although the Bible contains abundant direction for our lives; that’s not the primary reason it exists. The main point of the Bible isn’t how to live but how to know God. We come to know God by the gospel, the central message of the Bible.” (J.D. Greear, Gospel Above All)
What is the Bible? It may not primarily be our guidebook for life, but the source of how we know God. It’s giving us the catalyzing and empowering message of the gospel.
When we turn to the Bible exclusively as our handbook for life, we can miss Christ. We can approach the book in a self-centered way, only looking from what we can quickly get from God instead of seeing how the fullness of who God is informs the entirety of how we live our life.
We can approach the Bible and lead others in our group in such a way that we ask questions that center around ourselves instead of ones that lead us to the feet of Jesus.
“A better question to ask than “Who am I?” is “Who is Jesus?” Then we should ask, “How should we live in light of who He is?” We can’t know who we are until we understand who God is” (J.D. Greear in conversation with Jen Wilken, Gospel Above All).
When we start centering our life and identity around who God is, we find new power to, then, be catalyzed by the gospel to actually do what the Bible says. And? We can do this with strength and joy.
“What has been done for us in the gospel frees us to obey God’s commands because we’re no longer motivated by obligation but by the joy of being known, loved, and accepted by God. Gospel change empowers grace-driven effort toward obedience” (J.D. Greear, Gospel Above All).
As we obey the Lord, we will continue reading and being transformed by the Bible. We’ll keep leading others in our groups to this place as well. But, we can do it with a shifted perspective. Instead of only looking for quick answers to the way we should live, we can look for Christ and the Gospel as we make it our primary focus to know God better through His word. Then? We will still look to the Bible for guidance on how to live, but it will be centered on the knowledge of the finished work of Christ and the way this empowers us to actually obey the Lord. It will leave us not ending on our sin but focusing on the Lord, knowing Him and making Him known.
“Reading the Bible shouldn’t be a burden or a chore. Instead, it should be a means for us to see and know God better” (J.D. Greear, Gospel Above All).
Let’s lead our groups to read the Bible in order to see and know God. And? This is only the beginning of what J.D. Greear delves into in his study Gospel Above All. Fill out the form below for a chance to enter a free giveaway.
Deborah Spooner is a Minnesota-born analytical creative serving as a Marketing Strategist for Lifeway’s Groups Ministry. As a pastor’s daughter with a background in Digital Communications and Media and Biblical & Theological Studies, you can find her at her local church, in deep conversation, or with a book or pen in hand as she seeks to know Christ more and make Him known.
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