Years ago I remember wanting to get into a Bible study desperately. I needed God’s Word. I wanted to know God’s revealed Will. I was in my 20’s and trying to pursue the Lord and what he wanted for my life. When I texted one of the people leading the Bible study, they said it was “exclusive.” He was young. I think this person had good intentions. I think he started a Bible study and just wanted to keep the group small. So why am I writing about this today?
Some groups of young people I’ve witnessed throughout the years keep to themselves and divorce themselves from other generations and people who are different in the church. They want homogenous groups of people that are like them in looks, personality, and maturity levels.
I’m guilty of this. You are probably guilty of this. We need to get back to loving other people well for the sake of the Gospel and the truth that we proclaim to follow. What do true disciples do?
- True disciples love others, even their enemies.
- True disciples strive to obey the principles of the Bible and produce fruit
The Reality of Sin in the Church
Sin. It’s in the church. And it always will be. According to one statistic, around 60% of men in the church look at porn. That’s just one statistic. Believers in the church desperately need God’s Word and relationships with others who are striving for the same thing. We are all at different stages of maturity. We need each other. We need models of God’s love.
Who needs God’s Word?
Everyone. Believers. Unbelievers. Sinners. Unbelievers need the only message that can save. Believers need to be edified by the truths of the Gospel. Young people need older generations to speak truth into their lives. We all need the humility to be corrected toward following the principles and truths of the Word.
Is there a such thing as an Exclusive Bible Study?
Sure. I can see members of the same sex going through a study on purity and excluding other members. That’s totally appropriate. Generally, I’d say no. At the heart of Bible Study is studying the truths and principles proclaimed in the Bible and loving others well. Again, a young adult Bible study needs older leaders to speak truth into their lives; seasoned adults who know God’s Word and how to apply it to their life. They need models, sound teaching, correction, and discipleship.
What is the impact of exclusion?
Excluding people is a direct contrast to the love believers are called to. It’s a poor representation of the Gospel and doesn’t emulate the unity of the universal church.
A call to loving well
Loving well is thinking the best about a person. A lot of sin starts in the mind. Loving well is genuinely interacting with people because you want to talk to them; not because you have to. Loving well is inviting someone to take a seat next to you. Loving well is being open to talking to different kinds of people. Loving well helps people feel encouraged in their faith when they enter and leave the conversation. Loving well invites people to Bible Study because you care about them, the truth, and their salvation. Loving well speaks well of others. When people see love, they should see a love that no one else can provide except for God. It’s a love that’s different and transformative. A love that you can’t get by yourself. Only God can provide it.
People need the truth. People need relationships. People need models of the Gospel. We are sinners and can’t do this by ourselves. Love others well In thought and conduct because that’s who you are. Because its your identity. Because there’s a lot at stake. Christianity isn’t an exclusive religion. It’s inclusive and demonstrates love to everyone only by the power of the Holy Spirt. Represent the Gospel through inclusion and unity. Let your love demonstrate your testimony and changed heart for God and for people. There is no alternative.
(Below are six reasons for Gospel-centered unity pulled form the below website)
Gospel-centered unity showcases Christ.
Gospel-centered unity elevates the cross.
Gospel-centered unity conveys humbleness.
Gospel-centered unity demonstrates spiritual maturity
Gospel-centered unity reflects submission to God
Gospel-centered unity comes from treasuring God’s promises.