Adult Bible Studies
Adult Bible studies are an extremely important part in the process of sanctification, which is the process of becoming Christ-like in all areas of life. Although Christians will never reach their full and complete sanctification in this life, they should be striving in that direction. Joining a community Bible study is a healthy way to stay in God's Word while fellowshipping with other Christians. Such studies are offered in most churches. They are typically offered on Sunday mornings either before or after the main service, but can also be offered in the evenings. If no adult Bible studies are offered at the local church, people can opt to start a neighborhood study, either using the church facilities or someone's home.
By regularly studying the Scriptures with others, Christians are committing to gaining more knowledge about the Heavenly Father in a structured way. Such a gathering usually consists of some type of reading material in addition to the Bible. Christian bookstores have plenty of resources from which to choose. Thought-provoking questions are usually part of the learning process. These questions not only test the understanding of the Scripture, but also encourage participants to reflect and apply to their everyday lives what they are learning. Making it personal is the goal. Some studies focus on a specific book or person of the Bible. Others delve into a particular subject, such as grief or compassion or finances.
As the name suggests, a community Bible study is usually open to all members in the community, not just members or attendees of a particular church. In this way, such gatherings function as outreach ministries to seekers as well as opportunities to meet neighbors within the community who, perhaps, attend a different church.
Children typically benefit from their parents attending adult Bible studies. Most churches will offer childcare or children's programs at the same time, freeing up the parents to concentrate on their studies. Raising children according to biblical standards is challenging. Parents can certainly benefit by learning God's way to raise and lead a family. Some churches offer programs specifically for parents in a particular season of life, whether raising young children, teenagers, or even grandparenting. The Bible has pearls of wisdom for families in every stage.
In this high-tech age of microchips and modems, when people like to be productive, on-the-go, and online, it is often difficult to realize that God, whose knowledge exceeds the entire world's data banks, is never in a hurry. His goal is for each believer to mature into Christ's likeness. He wants His children to put on "the full armor of God" in order to stand against the devil's schemes. The Lord knows that the battle cannot be fought alone, which is why joining a group with other Christians standing against Satan is wise.
Becoming like Christ requires a change in character for all people. His children are not to conform to worldly standards. It is nearly impossible to change a character to match Christ without being accountable to others, seeing examples, and focusing on God's word. Joining an adult Bible study is one way to meet these needs in order to grow as a Christian, and to reflect God's character to all those that are in a Christian's sphere of influence. For many people, the only Christ they know is the one they see reflected in a Christian's character and behavior. In order to reflect Christ's character to others, the Christian must not only be solely God-centered and self-centered. Service to others is also required.
A community Bible study will teach Christians to use the information learned in the meeting, apply it to their lives, and show others that fruit. The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These fruits must be demonstrated in all a Christian does and says. God is pleased when a Christian uses adult Bible studies as tools to do good and share with others.
The biblical view of success radically contradicts that of the world. Jesus said that to achieve greatness, all must first become a servant. A community Bible study is not designed for people to compete with one another to be the best at memorizing verses or dazzling one another with scriptural tidbits or trivia. Nor is this time to be spent worrying about the "correct" answers to theological questions that have been debated for centuries. Adult Bible studies are designed to instruct Christians in the ways of God, so they can go into the world, do good deeds, humble themselves, bring others to Christ--not only by words, but by actions--and reflect on their own character while admitting their faults and developing ways to change. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth," (2 Timothy 2:15).