Some people are of the opinion that Sunday School is only for children. Nothing could be further from the truth! Sunday School provides an important place for many things in the lives of adult believers.
"And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near" (Heb. 10:24-25, Holman CSB).
The writer of Hebrews knew the importance of believers gathering together and staying in close touch with one another - not only for worship, but also to encourage one another in lifestyle. The first-century Christians were persecuted by the outside world, and they needed the strength, encouragement, and sense of belonging that come from being part of the group. An uncommon bond and unusual strength can be attained by joining together as a spiritual community.
The need for the strength of fellowship is no different today. Being a member of a Bible study group can encourage believers in their relationship to Christ, but it also can increase the bond a believer has with other believers.
"When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?' 'Yes, Lord,' he said to Him, 'You know that I love You.' 'Feed My lambs,' He told him" (John 21:15, Holman CSB).
Jesus admonished Peter three times to feed His sheep as an act of love. How important it is for all who wear the title "Christian" to live out what they believe. If we love the Lord, then we need to obey the Lord. To obey the Lord we need to know His Word for us. Studying the Bible - God's Word - is essential to faith.The more we understand that Word for ourselves, the more confidently we can obey His commission to "feed" others.
An active and vibrant Bible study class will challenge you to become more proficient in God's Word.
"Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality" (Rom. 12: 12-13, Holman CSB).
Paul reminds us that to follow Jesus is be joyful, patient, faithful, and to practice hospitality. He knew that believers needed fellowship with one another. When believers spend time together, they begin to know one another. Knowing people's names, their family members, and occupation will lead you to be more apt to pray and care for those families and encourage them in times of need.
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful" (James 5:16, Holman CSB).
Prayer is vital to a believer's life. Corporate prayer within the Bible study class is vital too. Use a large board to record prayer requests from class members. Record requests not just for those who are sick and dying, but place other expressions of concern.
Believers gain great strength and comfort when they see that Christ answers prayer in such a dramatic way.
"Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not [only] for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil. 2:3-4, Holman CSB).
We are told over and over in Scripture to share our faith with others so that those who do not know Christ might have the privilege of meeting Him. We should seize all opportunity to express God's love. That love can be expressed through prayer, words of encouragement, and acts of compassion. A believer can act alone to address the needs of another, but a special feeling bubbles within when a person joins with others to help someone in need, to offer hope, or to pray for others.