Bible Study: May 4, 2014

Baptist Press
Posted: May 01, 2014 5:22 PM
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 MasterWork curriculum.

Bible Passages: John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Discussion Question: What are some practical implications for your small group and your church if you truly believe that God's love is wide enough to embrace everybody?

Food for Thought:

If Jesus died for all, as the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:14, is it such a stretch to also believe that He loves all? In other words, can you or I walk up to any person anywhere on earth and say without stutter, stammer, doubt or qualification, "God loves you?" Yes, we can.

The message of John 3:16 is one of the first truths that children learn in Sunday School. Jesus said that God "so loved the world." We're not to add to or subtract from the Word of God. You don't have to do any fancy theological footwork to believe that God loves everyone and Jesus died for everyone. All you have to do is take the Bible for what it says.

Was Jesus talking only about the world of the elect in John 3:16? The context argues otherwise, particularly verses 19-20. Jesus was talking about the world of sin and darkness. This is the world God loves and out of which He is seeking souls who have been mired in the filth of sin but are of infinite value to Him.

The story is told of an elegant woman walking the streets of Paris, dressed in all her finery. She had a very beautiful diamond ring on her finger, but when she pulled off her glove, the ring came off and fell in the gutter with all of its slime and filthy water.

The woman tried to retrieve her ring using the crook of her umbrella, but she couldn't get it. So finally this elegant woman took off her other glove, pushed her skirts aside, got down on her knees and put her delicate hand down into that slimy, filthy water. Why? Because a diamond was down there!

We need to treat every soul the way that elegant woman treated her diamond. It doesn't matter who people are or where they are, they are precious to the Lord Jesus Christ. Some people may be lying in the gutter, but they are worth rescuing because God loves them with His unbounded love.


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

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at

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