In a quiet German city, the Monday night study had come to an end. Fourteen participants had been coming together once a week for fifteen weeks. Several were believers who had wanted to learn more about the Bible. Others were accompanying friends who had never read the Bible before. In this gathering were Germans, Russian-Germans and Italians. And in all the weeks that the group met, no one dropped out.
There was nothing new or radical in what was taught. The study leader simply used the German edition of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus to take the participants though a simple and coherent explanation of the gospel message. For many in the study, they heard the gospel clearly for the first time.
Tomas* attended the study with his wife. They came at the invitation of a friend who had attended a previous study. This friend had become a believer and wanted Tomas and his wife to also learn about the Bible. Immediately following the fifteenth session, Tomas piped up.
He said, “I believe in Jesus now. Thanks to the course, everything makes sense. How could I have missed the most important truth?” His wife, who had been baptized recently, was elated to hear these words from her husband. Six days later, on a Sunday, Tomas stood in church and shared his testimony. As he did so, he asked to be baptized. As others from the group listened, several also expressed the same sentiment and desire.
There were other testimonies, as well. Several believers had come away from the study with a deeper understanding of Scripture. They had placed their trust in Jesus some time before but now, for the first time, many things that had been fuzzy in their minds had become clear. This clarity brought a deep joy into their lives.
Still others in the study had initially said they were Christians. Now, at the conclusion, they admitted they had been only cultural Christians. They had talked and behaved as “Christians” but there was no reality–no relationship with God. Now, it was different. They both understood the gospel and believed it.
One of those in the group was Eileen. She had believed herself to be religious and pious, but the study had brought her new understanding as it meant to be righteous before God. She said she had been very enthusiastic throughout the course but now she needed to take some time to give thought to what she had learned. Two other ladies responded in a similar fashion. Each of these continue to stay in touch with the group and show up in church. The Bible study leader prays that they, too, will soon put their trust in Jesus.
Those who are new believers meet together as a discipleship group in the church. Their fellowship is sweet and they’ve started praying together for their spouses, children and other unbelieving family members. Already they are inviting them to come to a new study that will start soon.
Mathias, the study leader said, “It is such a privilege to teach these different groups.” He is constantly amazed how the participants of one study invite and bring new people to the next course. “To me, this really looks like a scene straight out of the book of Acts.”
It is clear that this chain of Bible studies is evidence of God working in the lives of people in this German city. It also demonstrates the faithfulness of this church in being conscientious and deliberate in welcoming people in the community and inviting them to learn about the gospel. We are thankful our tools can have a part to play in bringing understanding to these dear people.
(* All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)