Bible study helps students understand the depth of God’s grace, forgiveness

A student led Bible study meets Monday nights to focus on God's grace and forgiveness. Photo by Jenny Rigney.

A student led Bible study meets Monday nights to focus on God's grace and forgiveness. Photo by Jenny Rigney.

A new Bible study aims to remind Christian students of the power of God’s grace and forgiveness.

Recently, Oklahoma Christian University junior Tess Brunkhardt began a Bible study based around the topic of God’s forgiveness.

Brunkhardt said she came up with the idea for the “Grace and Forgiveness of God” Ethos event at the start of the semester.

“I really felt like I had something to be shared for God’s glory,” Brunkhardt said. “I think I was a senior in high school when I started trying to figure out how God wanted to use me and it took until this year to realize what it was.”

Freshman Chris Zawicki said she enjoyed the enviroment and her experience at the “Grace and Forgiveness of God” Bible study.

“The Bible study means a lot to me because there is a lot of forgiveness that needs to happen in my life,” Zawicki said.

Zawicki spoke at the last Bible study about God wanting his people to forgiving oneself and others.

Junior Anna McCravey said she encouraged Brunkhardt to start the event once she heard her idea.

“Tess told me the context of what the bible study was and I said someone should start that,” McCravey said. “I know that forgiveness is a hard concept for everyone and it’s a good way people can learn, ‘yeah they are forgiven no matter what.’”

The origin of the study stemmed from Brunkhardt’s personal struggle with this issue. Brunkhardt said she struggled accepting God’s forgiveness throughout high school until she spoke with a member from her home church, who told her, “If you deny God’s forgiveness, you are denying Jesus and Him dying on the cross.”

“That was a huge eye opener for me,” Brunkhardt said. “I wanted to be able to share my realization with as many people as possible.”

Brunkhardt said her inspiration behind the Bible study is people who accepted Christ and attending church for all or most of their life, who face an obstacle in their life they struggling accepting forgiveness for.

“Many Christians get baptized and then something in their life comes along and really knocks them down,” Brunkhardt said. “They look back on things and think that God will never forgive them for this.”

Brunkhardt said just because Christians grew up believing, doesn’t mean they fully understand what Jesus dying on the cross really means.

“It’s so much bigger than we can ever dream or imagine,” Brunkhardt said. “God knew before the beginning of time the mistakes and failures we were going to make and he sent his son Jesus to die so he could still be with us forever.”

Brunkhardt said she hopes the Bible study brings peace to people. She also said she wants people to leave the study feeling God’s love and the vastness of his forgiveness.

“I don’t want people thinking they can do whatever they want and God will forgive them because that’s not true, which is why reading scripture and talking about God’s word is so important,” Brunkhardt said. “The end goal is to find a new understanding of God’s love, His grace and forgiveness.”

Brunkhardt said she finds it important to let others have a voice throughout the weekly devotionals.

“I have asked others to step up and talk for our devotionals,” Brunkhardt said. “In the future I hope more people step up and talk, I hope they find courage and share their journey and their testimony to trusting God.”

Brunkhardt said the first Bible study focused on forgiveness and the second focused on a person’s worth and what their value is to God.

“I believe each devotional will be a little different but all ending with the same result — a group of people getting together to really dig into what we think God is to the world and in all of our lives,” Brunkhardt said.

The “Grace and the Forgiveness of God” Bible study meets Monday nights at 8:30 p.m. in WBC 123.

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