Hinged Bible Study: Unpacking the Content of the Gospel in the Context of Community

KAREN HODGE|CONTRIBUTOR

For the last twelve years, Thursday has been one of my favorite days of the week. Why, you ask? It is Women’s Bible study day. It is a day of blessed belonging. I surround myself with gospel friends who remind me who God is and what He is calling me to be from His Word. On the best days, I leave more vitally hinged to Christ, His Word, and His people. This past year I had to say goodbye to my gospel friends. As we cried and celebrated, we reflected on gospel content that only could have been learned in the context of community. C.S. Lewis said in The Four Loves, “what draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth, and they share it.” The Word of God and our walk together over all these years profoundly shaped me.

Hinged Hearsay….

Maybe you had heard the buzz about Hinged. It is the name of our 2020 National Conferences (you heard it here first). It is also the name of the Women’s Bible Study on the book of Ephesians to be released January 2020. (Everyone who registers for the Hinged Conference receives a complimentary copy.) What’s in a name? A hinge is a utilitarian piece of hardware that connects two things for a useful purpose. It is hidden in the gap of a door or cabinet. When a door hinge is operational, we rarely notice, but other hinges in life are far more vital. Being vitally connected to Christ and His Church, well, that is life!

Hinged Together….

I often say that I do things the most inefficient, but prayerfully, the most effective way I know how. So instead of having a single author write this study, I invited eight women to collaborate in writing this study together. This group of women from our National Women’s Ministry Team is a unified yet very diverse group of women. They live in different parts of the country. They are of different ages and races. They have unique faith stories. The churches they attend range in size from under 100 to several thousand. It is a love for Christ and His Church that unites them. The book also contains 12 unique stories from women just like you who are seeking to apply the truth of God’s Word right where they live. And when you add up these 20 women you see a picture of the Bride…and she is radiant!

We are better together. I think we are more effective at seeking to learn and apply the gospel in the context of community. We want you to hear their various voices singing together as one voice. We pray these truths will transform your lives, homes, workplaces, and communities to be Word-based and relationally-driven. We hope as you look around your circle, you will see not only the beauty in community but also hear a gospel echo.

Hinged to Truth….

The book of Ephesians hinges on those two grand ideas. Chapters 1‒3 focuses on being vertically connected to Christ. It challenges us to think biblically about the indicatives, the truths about who God is. Chapters 4‒6 focuses horizontally on being vitally connected to each other. They focus on the imperatives (commands), or what God is calling us to do―to live covenantally.

The indicatives tell us who we are already in Christ, and the imperatives instruct us in how we should live out that new reality. At times we suffer from “gospel amnesia” and forget these truths. And when we get things backward and try to put the imperatives in front of the indicatives, life becomes unhinged. Almost any struggle or failure in our lives can be traced back to forgetting who God is and what He is calling us to be.

Our worship informs our walk. The hinge point is in Ephesians 4:1, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” The work of God on our behalf hinges to our walk as a believer. Our position “in Christ,” connects to our practices in the home, church, and workplace. Our blessings from Christ are the pivot point to our behavior: the way we talk, forgive, and love each other. All Christ has done for us overflows to the praise of His glory through us. Ephesians plumbs the height, depth, and width of living the content of the gospel in the context of community.

We hope you join us at a Hinged Conference in Charlotte, Chicago, Birmingham, Newark, San Diego, or San Antonio. Plan to gather a group of women together to study Hinged whether you come to a conference or not. It is a book of belonging. It will remind you of the joy of being meaningfully connected to God and to each other. We pray that by renewing your mind with the truth of God’s Word during a Hinged conference, you will leave more vitally connected to Christ and His people.

To register for the Hinged Conference, click here.

To  purchase the Hinged Bible Study, click here.

To purchase the Leader’s Discussion Guide, click here.

About the Author:

Karen Hodge

KAREN HODGE serves as the Coordinator for PCA Women’s Ministry, where she seeks to connect women and churches to one another and to sound resources. She is also having the time of her life serving alongside her husband, pastor and best friend Chris, as they plant King’s Cross Church in Fort Mill, SC. Chris and Karen have two adult children, Anna Grace Botka and Haddon Hodge. She is the host of the enCourage podcast and along with Susan Hunt, authored Transformed: Life-taker to Life-giver and Life-giving Leadership.

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