Through This Vain World - Ecclesiastes

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Through This Vain World
A Bible Study on the Book of Ecclesiastes

by Rev. Steven E. King

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3)

The Book of Eccelsiastes has a unique place in Scripture, reflecting on the life of faith with an honest and realistic perspective. This Bible study takes a Christ-centered approach, by looking at the book of Ecclesiastes through the lens of the Cross. It asks the hard questions of purpose and meaning in a world that often seems empty and vain. From the perspective that Martin Luther called a Theology of the Cross, the questions and discussion in this study focus on our calling to take up our cross and follow Christ in faith "through this vain world."

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“Through this vain world He guides our feet,
 and leads us to His heavenly seat.
      His mercies ever shall endure,
 when this vain world shall be no more.”  (Isaac Watts) 

Table of Contents

1) This Vain World (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11)
    - living as a person of faith in a world that seems hard and empty 

2) The Futile Quest (Ecclesiastes 1:12 - 2:17)
    - searching for meaning amidst the things of this world

3) Stuff Happens (Ecclesiastes 2:18 - 3:15)
    - our common experience of good and evil in the world

4) We’re All in this Together (Ecclesiastes 4:1-16)
    - facing the same struggles, it’s best to face them together

5) You Can’t Take it with You (Ecclesiastes 5:8 - 6:9)
    - focusing on what we possess steals the joy from our lives

6) The Best Within the Worst (Ecclesiastes 7:1-18)
    - sorrow and happiness as two sides of the same coin 

7) The Shadow of Death (Ecclesiastes 3:16-22, 9:1-10)
    - death is the great equalizer; but our Lord has suffered the same fate

8) Joy in Real Life (Ecclesiastes 8:1-17)
    - thankful for the good that God gives us in the here and now

9) Remember Your Creator (Ecclesiastes 11:1 - 12:14)
    - only in God do we find the ultimate meaning for our lives