RCCG SUNDAY SCHOOL STUDENT’S MANUAL 27 AUGUST 2023
TOPIC: FOURTH INTERACTIVE SESSION (SUMMARY OF LESSONS 40-51)
TOPIC: THEOLOGY OF REST
MEMORY VERSE: “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made”. –Genesis 2:2
BIBLE PASSAGE: EXODUS 20:8-11
Rest is the cessation of work or movement in order to relax or recover strength. It can also be referred to as peace, ease or refreshment. To relax means to become less tense, anxious or firm; to relieve stress; to have a milder manner. God created for six days and then He rested, not because He was tired but to set the standard for mankind to follow (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:10).
1. WHY REST?
2. HOW DO WE REST?
God set the example of rest in Genesis 2:2-3 when He ceased from creating. Rest is a divine command (Exodus 20:10) as well as a gift from God to man (Mark 2:27). Though Jesus did not take a vacation from His ministry, He did take times off to refresh and also ensured His disciples did the same (Mark 6:31; John 18:1-2). In resting, we declare our dependence on God and exercise our faith in His provision (Matthew 6:25). Rest brings about recuperation from fatigue (Luke 8:23). Rest also serves as a relief from the anxiety of the mind and spirit (Psalm 55:22). God desires rest for His people (Exodus 33:14; Job 11:18).
HOW DO WE REST?
In order to rest, we must first and foremost trust that God will take care of things for us (1Peter 5:7). Obedience will bring the rest that God so desires for us (Hebrews 3:7-8). Without being complacent, we must learn to relax our grip on many things in life that stress us negatively e.g. career, bills, families, etc. and give them over to God in faith (Proverbs 3:5-6). We should take time to rest properly after a good day’s job (Ecclesiastes 5:12a). At least, a believer should have a day off to rest or relax in a week (Exodus 20:10). Going on vacation or visiting places for recreation is biblical and should be part of our schedule (John 18:1-2).
The command to rest is not an excuse to be lazy. You have to work for ‘six days’ to get to the ‘Sabbath.’
For the Christian, the ultimate rest is found in Christ. He invites all who are weary and burdened to come to him and cast their cares on Him (Matthew 11:28; 1Peter 5:7).
TOPIC: THE EARTHEN VESSELS
MEMORY VERSE: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us”. – 2Corinthians 4:7
BIBLE PASSAGE: 2TIMOTHY 2:20-21
God can make something out of nothing and will never create anything without a purpose. He chose a small potion of the dust to form man and His breath in the nostril of man made the difference, making man a living soul (Gen. 2:7). God has a purpose for all souls He created including all the resources He put into our hands more so because no one can have anything except it is given from above. God expects the resources given to us to flow through us to benefit others and this forms the differences between a container and a vessel.
1. TREASURES IN DUST
2. CONTAINERS OR VESSELS
TREASURES IN DUST
Dust had no serious relevance to man until God touched, made and breathed into it, the breath of life (Gen. 2:7). He deposited part of Himself – His Spirit – into dust and deposited a treasure in it (Job. 32:8). That small portion of dust began to move on the larger potion with authority from God (Gen. 1:28). When the master, in the parable of the talents in Matt. 25:14-30, was ‘travelling to a far country,’ he gave talents to the servants according to their pre-determined abilities. All the servants got something and none was empty. All of us, therefore, have resources deposited inside of us and no one is empty (2Cor. 4:7). Our Master, Jesus Christ, has deposited great treasures into us (Ephesians 4:7-8) and expects us to use the resources and make profits so that He will bless us when He comes back (1Cor. 12:7; Rev. 22:12). What you do with the resources is a matter of choice; you could be a container or a vessel.
CONTAINERS OR VESSELS
God expects us to be vessels and not containers. What then makes a container different from a vessel?
1. A container receives and retains whereas a vessel transports (transmit). Abraham received Issac and was willing to release him (Gen. 22:15-18).
2. A container is a reservoir but a vessel is a channel (Luke 12:16-21; Gen. 12:1-3).
3. A container is basically static like a pond but a vessel is dynamic (Acts 8:5-6; 26-40).
4. A container gives only when compelled but a vessel is always giving (Eccl. 11:2-6).
5. A container is limited in reception but a vessel is unlimited because it is constantly flowing (John 20:21-22; Prov. 11:24).
6. A container abides aline whereas a vessel touches several others (John 12:24; Acts 10:38; John 7:37-39).
A container could become a vessel if the container is willing. If a wheel is attached to a container and pulled, it becomes a vessel. A good example is in Elisha who forsook his ambition, attached himself to Elijah and keep moving (1Kings 19:19-21; 2Kings 2:1-22).
Beware; a vessel could equally become a container. Let the one who thinks he stands take heed lest he falls (1Cor. 10:12).
*LESSON: FOURTY TWO*
TOPIC: VESSELS FOR THE MASTER’S USE
MEMORY VERSE: “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none”. –Ezekiel 22:30
BIBLE PASSAGE: JEREMIAH 18:1-6
God does not necessarily need our strength or strong points to use us. Oftentimes, He delights in using our weakness, because whenever He does, we do not get to share in His glory. God wants us to be examples to others of what He can do in and with us if only we are willing and obedient to do His will. God is still looking for vessels to use.
1. BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF VESSELS GOD USED
2. GOD’S REQUIREMENTS AND REWARDS
BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF VESSELS GOD USED
God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). There are biblical examples of vessels that God used despite their weaknesses or shortcomings. These include:
1. Moses: A fearful man (Exodus 2:14), of low self-esteem (Exodus 3:11) and stammerer (Exodus 4:10). He was chosen by God to deliver the Israelites from age-long captivity (Numbers 12:6-8).
2. Gideon: A man of doubt (Judges 6:11-13; 6:36-40) and low esteem (Judges 6:14-15). He became the vessel chosen to liberate his people from the Midianites (Judges 7:19-25).
3. David: He was the least in his father’s house (1Samuel 17:14a; 16:11-12), an adulterer (2Samuel 11:2-4) and apparent murderer (2Samuel 11:14-17). He became a man after God’s heart (1Samuel 13:14).
4. Peter: An unlearned fisherman who slept instead of praying (Matthew 26:37-44) and even denied Christ three times (Mark 14:66-72). He was mightily used of God (Matthew 16:16-19, Luke 22:31-32; Acts 2:40-41; 3:6-8).
5. Paul: When he was Saul, persecuted the Church, arrested and aides the killing of many believers (Acts 8:1-3). Jesus converted and made him a chosen vessel especially to the gentile nations (Acts 9:1-15).
GOD’S REQUIREMENTS AND REWARDS
God is looking for vessels and His requirements include: faithfulness (Luke 19:17; 1Corinthians 4:2; Jeremiah 5:1); availability (Ezekiel 22:30; Isaiah 6:8); teachability (John 14:23; Matthew 10:24); obedience to God’s word (2Timothy 2:21; Proverbs 13:13) and being strong in Christ (John 14:13; 15:16).
In addition, God wants us to purge ourselves of every contamination of the body and soul (1Timothy 2:21), lay aside weights (Hebrews 12:1), die to self (John 12:24-26), not to look for Fame and it’s associated fanfare, but to be completely yielded to Him. God can discern every thought and motive behind every action (Hebrews 4:13; Psalm 33:13-15).
Let us choose to serve Him with all sincerity of heart and press on to the mark of His high calling in Christ (Philippians 3:12-14). God rewards everything done in His name, whether in secret or in the open (Isaiah 45:19; Psalm 58:11; Hebrews 11:6; Revelation 22:12).
You are the next vessel to be used by God. Stop resisting Him.
TOPIC: DEFERRED HOPE
MEMORY VERSE: “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life”. – Proverbs 13:12
BIBLE PASSAGE: ISAIAH 66:10-14
Hope Is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. However,when there is an uncomfortable or prolonged delay, weariness and heaviness of heart may set in. Sometimes, while in this valley of life, we fast, pray, work smart and even sow seeds if faith in our bid to find solutions, yet, there might still be a delay. In this lesson, we shall consider biblical examples and winning strategies while waiting.
1. SOME BIBLICAL INSTANCES
2. WHAT TO DO WHILE WAITING
SOME BIBLICAL INSTANCES
There were Bible characters who, despite their relationship with God, waiting painfully and hoped patiently for their expectation to be met and we’re not disappointed in the long run (Prov. 23:18; Rom. 5:5). For instance, Abraham/Sarah as well as Hannah waited long for the ‘fruit of the womb’ – children (Gen. 15:2; 1Sam. 1:2). David hoped painfully for deliverance from King Saul and his enemies (1Sam. 19:18; Ps. 3:1). Joseph had a dream that he would be great but was thrown into the pit, sold into slavery and imprisoned (Gen. 37:5). Job lost his children, business, and health suddenly and hoped for restoration (Job. 1:13-20; 14:7, 14). The children of Israel laboured and suffered for 430years in Egypt before God sent Moses to liberate the (Exodus 12:40). The widow of the indebted prophet was exhausted until she cried to the prophet (2Kgs. 4:1).
At the end of the day, Abraham and Sarah were visited by God and they got Issac (Gen. 21:1-5). Hannah received her testimony son (1Sam. 1:20). David later got his deliverance and became a king (2Sam. 6:21). Joseph’s dream became a reality. He became the ruler over the realm of Egypt and his brother bowed to him (Gen. 42:6-7). God blessed the end of Job more than his beginning (Job 42:10). The Israelites eventually got delivered from the Egyptians (Exodus 14:26-29). The indebted widow of the prophet received divine assistance (2Kgs. 4:1-7). Waiting patiently on God in times of distress is key (Isaiah 40:28-31).
WHAT TO DO WHILE WAITING
While waiting for your miracle:
1. Focus on the aspect of your life that is working (Isa. 50:7) and give thanks to God rather than being sad over what you are yet to receive (Ps. 103:2).
2. Be optimistic about your long-awaiting miracle (Ps. 27:13) and wait quietly for the salvation of the lord (Lamentation 3:25-26).
3. Remember that God makes all things beautiful in His own time (Eccl. 3:11).
4. Refuse to responded to discouragement (Mark 10:46-52).
5. Encourage yourself in the Lord your God (1Sam. 30:6).
6. Get your heart fixed on your purpose and aspiration (Nehemiah 4:6).
7. Study the word of God to build your faith (Rom. 10:17).
Hopelessness can lead to despair. Do not give up on God because He never comes late.
*LESSON: FOURTY FOUR*
MEMORY VERSE: “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith”. –2Timothy 3:8
BIBLE PASSAGE: ROMANS 1:18-28
Reprobacy is the state or character of being a reprobate. A reprobate is an unprincipled or depraved person. The Greek word translated “reprobate” in the New Testament is ‘adokimos’ which literally means “unapproved, i.e. rejected; by implications, worthless.” It is that which is rejected on account of its own worthlessness (Jeremiah 6:30). Many people have wondered if at this point a person may be beyond hope. It is imperative, therefore, for believers to study the nature and dangers of reprobacy.
1. THE NATURE OF REPROBATES
2. DANGERS OF REPROBACY
THE NATURE OF REPROBATES
There are some pointers to knowing someone that can be referred to as a reprobate. Such persons usually have the desire to suppress the truth with wickedness (Romans 1:18; 2Timothy 3:8). They wilfully reject God in their imaginations and actions (Romans 1:21; Titus 1:16). People with reprobate minds choose to worship the creature rather than the creator (Romans 1:23-25; Jeremiah 10:14). They commit all manner of sins and have no limits or restrictions on sinful behaviours (Romans 1:29-31; Ephesians 5:3). Reprobates do not only hold on to and continue in their wicked behaviours, they encourage and celebrate others who imitate them (Romans 1:32; Psalm 50:18). Those with reprobate minds do not have the Spirit of God and live only for themselves (Titus 1:16).
DANGERS OF REPROBACY
The Bible warns against reprobacy because it leads to the point where God withdraws His longsuffering to save but gives them over to a degenerated mind (2Peter 3:9; Romans 1:28) to:
1. Face the wrath of God (Romans 1:18).
2. Become unclean and dishonour their bodies between themselves (Romans 1:24).
3. Practice vile affections e.g. homosexuality, bestiality, etc. (Romans 1:26-27).
4. Do those things which are not convenient (Romans 1:28).
5. Be filled with all unrighteousness (Romans 1:29-31).
6. Ignore impending judgement and continue in sin (Romans 1:32).
Nevertheless, there is no heart or mind that God cannot charge if that person approaches Him in genuine repentance (Isaiah 1:18; John 6:37). People toing the path of reprobacy should repent and turn to God for mercy because there is grace and hope for them (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 55:7; Romans 10:13).
Be careful to guard your mind and avoid the gradual drifting, shifting and twisting of thought that moves people towards reprobacy (Romans 12:1-2).
MEMORY VERSE: “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”. – Hebrews 10:29
BIBLE PASSAGE: HEBREWS 6:4-6
The term apostasy comes from the Greek word ‘apostasia’ meaning ‘defection,’ ‘departure,’ ‘revolt’ or ‘rebellion.’ Apostasy is the formal disaffiliation from, abandonment of,or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined within the border context of embracing an opinion that is contrary to one’s previous religious beliefs. It is an act of refusing continue to follow, obey, or recognize a religious faith. One who undertakes apostasy is known as an apostate.
1. THE CHARACTERISTICS
2. THE DANGER AND HOPE
In the context of the Christian faith, there are two main forms of Apostasy: one is a falling away from the key and true doctrines of the Bible into heretical teachings that claim to be “the real” Christian doctrine while the other is a complete renunciation of the Christian faith, which results in full abandonment of Christ (Heb. 10:29).
Jude’s description of the character of the first Century apostates explains why he so strongly opposed them. Some believers today are toying the paths of the apostates of Jude’s day, ignoring scriptural warnings of past judgements on sin (Rom. 15:4) such as that of unbelieving Israelites, fallen Angels (Jude 6; 2Pet. 2:4). Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7; Gen. 19:24-25).
They are becoming ungodly by moral perversion, Defilement of the flesh, rebellion, bodily speaking evil against people and things they do not understand such as spiritual beings and dignitaries (Jude 8-10). They are ignorant about God, proclaiming false visions, self-destructive, grumbling, fault-finding, self-satisfying, using arrogant words and false flattery and they make a mockery of God (Jude 15-18). They ignore God and His word like Cain, practising greed and deceit like Balaam and rebelling against authorities like Korah (Jude 11). Apostates are sensual (Jude 19). They deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Titus 1:15-16).
THE DANGER AND HOPE
Ultimately, an apostate eventually falls away and departs from the truth of God’s word and His rightousness (1Jn. 2:19). We can deduce from Hebrews 6:4-6 that by human intervention, it is impossible to renew those who abandon their Christian faith. However, the Bible makes it clear that with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37; Jer. 32:27). Therefore, if a child of God abandons it faith for whatever reason (including apostasy), there is but one route of return -that of repentance, acknowledgement of wrong and the humble petition for God’s pardon (2Chr. 7:14; 2Cor. 7:10; 1Jh. 1:9).
It is critical, now more than ever, that every believer prays for discernment, combat apostasy, and contend earnestly for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints.
Apostasy is a dangerous trend that can lead to a point of no return. Be watchful.
*LESSON: FOURTY SIX*
TOPIC: BEWARE OF SCOFFERS
MEMORY VERSE: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts”. –2Peter 3:3
BIBLE PASSAGE: JUDE 1:11-18
Scoffer, in Greek, is ’empaiktes’ and it simply translates to a mocker. A scoffer mocks sin, Christ, twists God’s word for selfish gains, opposes the gospel and the things of God. The Bible uses scornful and scoffer interchangeably which all means mocker. Believers are warned to be careful and be on guard.
1. TRAITS TO OBSERVE
2. THE DISPOSITION OF BELIEVERS
TRAITS TO OBSERVE
There are some peculiar traits that characterise scoffers. They deny the truths of Scripture and entice others to go along with their error (Jude 4). They refuse to believe the word of the Lord and despise God’s ministers (2Corinthians 36:16). They question the second coming of the Lord Jesus, pointing out the lapse of time and mock those who still wait and yearn for Jesus’ appearance (2Peter 3:4). They follow ungodly desires and cause divisions (2Peter 3:3; Jude 18-19). They have a form of godliness but deny it’s power (2Timothy 3:5). They present lofty-sounding ideas to lead people astray (2Peter 2:1). They incite violent acts (Proverbs 29:8). They are proud leaders who make the judgement of God light (Isaiah 28:14-15).
THE DISPOSITION OF BELIEVERS
The proliferation of scoffers is a sign of the last days (2Peter 3:3). However, it is critically important that believers:
1. Take seriously the commands to study and meditate on God’s word (Psalm 1:1-2; Joshua 1:8).
2. Remain in Christ spotless and blameless (2Peter 3:14; Ephesians 5:27).
3. Continue to look for the appearance of the Lord (Titus 2:13).
4. Weigh every teaching with the word of God (Acts 17:11).
5. Know that God is never slack concerning His promises (2Peter 3:9)
6. Be established in their holy faith (Jude 20) and remain steadfast to the end (1Corinthians 16:13; 1Timothy 6:12).
7. Try all spirits (1John 4:1) and grow in grace (2Peter 3:18).
Beware of scoffers and refuse to be one (Psalm 1:1).
TOPIC: BEWARE OF FALSE MINISTERS
MEMORY VERSE: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction”. – 2Peter 2:1
BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 7:15-20
In the bid to make ends meet, falsehood is fast becoming the order of the day Just as there are Internet fraudsters i.e. scammers, quack practitioners. etc., there are some ‘ministers’ whose God is their belly (Phillip. 3:18-19). Their false teaching/practices result in false churches which Jesus Himself called ‘the synagogue of Satan’ (Rev. 3:9). Believers must recognise false ministers and avoid becoming victims of their antics.
1. DESCRIPTION OF FALSE MINISTERS
2. AVOID BEING A VICTIM
DESCRIPTION OF FALSE MINISTERS
On the surface, it is difficult to spot a false ministers because even Satan masquerade as an angel of light and his ministers’ cover-up as servants of rightousness (2Cor. 11:14-15). However, Jesus warned us that “false Christs and false prophets” will come and will attempt to deceive even God’s elects (Matt. 24:23-27).
Some of the ways by which the bible describes false ministers can help true believers recognise them. False ministers deny the divinity, sacrifice and humanity of Christ (1Jn. 4:1-3). Even when they minister at pray in ‘Jesus name,’ their hearts are far away from God (Matt. 15:8). Such ministers corrupt the gospel for selfish interest or to justify their immoral lifestyles (Phillip. 3:19; 2Cor. 2:17; Micah 3:11). Some of these false ministers ‘called’ themselves into the ministry or sometimes derailed from God’s call to deceive gullible people (1Jn. 2:19). They do not preach the complete gospel (Bible doctrines) – Gal. 1:6-9, 2Cor. 11:4. They do not just false in their ministrations but also false in their living (Matt. 7:15-20). They do not false in their preaching of the gospel with motivational talks and philosophies of men (Col. 2:8). There are those who cause divisions among brethren (Rom. 16:17-18) while others are out to exploit unsuspecting members (Acts 20:29-30). They trivialise the matter of eternity, preach what people want to hear and hardly preach holiness, Heaven, hell, etc. (Isa. 30:9-11; 2Tim.4:3-4). They usually perpetuate falsehood in the name of miracles (Matthew 24:24).
AVOID BEING A VICTIM
Many people walk into the web of false ministers due to:
1. Lack of knowledge (Isaiah 5:13; Hosea 4:6).
2. Impatience (Ps. 27:14, Heb. 10:36).
3. Despite in the bid to get rich quick (1Tim. 6:9-10
4. Anxiety about what the future holds.
5. Quest to find answers to certain crucial life questions (1Kgs. 22:6-8).
To avoid being a victim of false ministers, children of God should be watchful (Matt. 26:41), prayerful (James 5:16b), sober (1Pet. 5:8), patient (Luke 21:19), robbed in the word of God (Col. 3:16), filled in the spirit of God (Rom. 8:6) and be able to discern the discern the spirits in operation at every instance (1Jn. 4:1, Matt. 24:4-5). Anyone that is already a victim should retrace their steps backs to Christ and cry for help (Matthew 11:28-30; Ps.46:1).
The best way to guard yourself against falsehood and false ministers is to know the truth (Jn. 8:32). To spot a counterfeit, study the real thing.
*LESSON: FOURTY EIGHT*
MEMORY VERSE: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”. –2Corinthians 7:1
BIBLE PASSAGE: HEBREWS 10:19-23
God’s desire is that His people will be clean outwardly and inwardly (Zechariah 3:4). He loves those whose hearts and lives are perfect towards Him and has made adequate provision for their all-round cleansing (Hebrews 10:22). In Psalm 51:7, David prayed for God’s cleansing. We also have a crucial role to play in this matter. Therefore, we need to examine the issue of self cleansing carefully.
1. WHAT IS SELF-CLEANSING?
2. HOW CAN A MAN CLEANSE HIMSELF?
WHAT IS SELF-CLEANSING?
Self-cleansing is a conscious and decisive effort put in by man to purge himself of all filthiness (2Corinthians 7:1) to become whole and acceptable to God, through the help of the Holy Spirit. It involves the thorough sanitation of a life whose filth has been revealed through the mirror of God’s word (Isaiah 6:5). It is a renewal of one’s mind (Romans 12:2). It is putting away evil deeds (Isaiah 1:16), the wickedness of the heart and impure thoughts (Jeremiah 4:14). It is giving no room for sin in one’s life (Romans 6:12-13). It is putting off the old man with his deeds (Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9) and putting on the new man in all righteousness after the image of Christ (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:9) and putting on the new man with his deeds (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10).
Self-cleansing makes us honourable and useful vessels- 2Timothy 2:21. It is essential for those that have the hope of eternal life with Jesus- 1John 3:3. It provides a platform to appear before God blameless and to obtain answers to prayers- Hebrews 10:22; Hebrews 4:6.
HOW CAN A MAN CLEANSE HIMSELF?
It is absolutely true that we are purged and cleansed through the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:14,22). However, the Bible raises a fundamental question in Psalm 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” The Bible also provides the answer, “…by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Having identified the grey areas in your life, ‘take heed’ to necessary adjustments and make changes to show that you fear God. Lay aside weights and besetting sins (Hebrews 12:1). Steer clear of the the appearances of evil (1Thessialonians 5:22). Wash thoroughly in the water of God’s word (Ephesians 5:26; Ezekiel 36:25; Hebrews 10:22). Mortify (crush, degrade, kill) the deeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5, 8-9) with the help of the Holy Spirit and draw near to God (James 4:8).
If you are indeed in Christ and His Spirit is in you, self-cleansing will not be an uphill task.
TOPIC: DYNAMICS OF GRACE (PT 1)
MEMORY VERSE: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men”. – Titus 2:11
BIBLE PASSAGE: EPHESIANS 2:4-10
The word translated ‘Grace’ in Hebrew is ‘chen,’ which means to bend or stoop in kindness to another as a superior to an inferior (Gen. 6:8). The Greek word for ‘Grace’ is “Charis” and it connotes something beyond the ordinary course of what can be expected and therefore commendable (1Cor. 15:10). When used in reference to God, it is the benevolent action of Him stooping down to us in kindness to reach us in our needs and convey upon us a benefit. His grace has been termed ‘Unmerited favour’ but it is more than an attitude of favour or mercy.
1. UNDERSTANDING GRACE
2. HOW TO RECEIVE GRACE
‘Grace’ connotes many things. It is often described as God’s favour towards the unworthy or His benevolence on the undeserving (Rom. 5:8-10) translated into action that releases the enabling power into our live (1Cor. 15:10). Grace signifies the gift bestowed upon man for salvation (Eph. 2:8; Titus 2:11) and for service (Eph. 3:7-8; 4:7). It is also a virtue to be manifested (2Cor. 8:7) and a benediction to be enjoyed by believers in Christ (Eph. 6:24). Grace helps in times of need (Phillip. 4:19; Heb. 4:16) and enables us to do exploits (Daniel 11:32; Philip 4:13).
The covenant of grace differs considerably from the Old testament covenants under the law. While the law blessed ‘the good’, grace saves ‘the bad.’ The law accuses and convicts, ‘Grace’ cancels bonds and relieves the debtor (Rom. 6:14).
Paul describes ‘grace’ as the appearance of the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man (Titus 2:11 3:4). God shows both Mercy and Grace but they are not exactly the same. Mercy withholds a punishment we deserve; grace gives a blessing we do not deserve.
HOW TO RECEIVE GRACE
Basically, the grace of God can be received through the following ways but not limited to these:
1. By accepting God’s love towards all men (Jn. 3:16; Rom 5:8)
2. By believing in the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:9-10) through God’s mercy and the fellowship of the the Holy Spirit (1Tim. 1:13; Heb. 4:16; Matt. 9:13).
3. By exercising our faith, no matter how little at all time (Matt. 17:20; Rom. 1:17).
4. By being humble before God (James 4:6; 1Pet. 5:5).
5. By loving the Lord Jesus with all our hearts (Eph. 6:24).
6. Through sufferings and trails arranged for us by God. (Rom. 8:28; 1Pet. 5:10; 2Cor. 12:9).
7. Through the prophetic words of prayer contained in the bible or spoken to us by our Spiritual headstand fellow believers in Christ (Ps. 107:20; Acts 20:32; 2Tim. 4:22; 1Thess. 1:1).
Grace is the spring and source of all benefits received from God (Rom. 11:6). God’s grace should not be taken for granted (Rom. 6:1-2; Gal. 2:21).
TOPIC: DYNAMICS OF GRACE (PT 2)
MEMORY VERSE: “Wherefore, since we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:”. –Hebrews 12:28
BIBLE PASSAGE: 2CORINTHIANS 8:6-9
In addition to the description of ‘Grace’ given in the previous lesson, Grace can also be referred to as the divine influence in a human heart that reflects on the outside. It produce favour, beauty, goodwill, loveliness and ability. It increases as one grows in the knowledge of God’s word (2Peter 3:18). We shall therefore consider the various dimensions of grace mentioned in the Bible as well as some actions that can be taken with or against grace.
1. DIMENSIONS OF GRACE
2. WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH/AGAINST GRACE
DIMENSIONS OF GRACE
The Bible talks about grace in various dimensions. For instance, we have common grace (Psalm 145:9; Matthew 5:45), saving grace (Ephesians 2:4-9; Titus 2:11), abundant grace (2Corinthians 4:15), sanctifying grace (Titus 2:12; 1John 2:15-16), sustaining grace (Romans 6:14; Jude 1:24-25), supernatural/enabling grace (Philippians 4:13; Luke 1:37), service (gifting) grace (Romans 12:6; Ephesians 4:7), sufficient grace (2Corinthians 9:8; 1Peter 5:10), victorious grace (1Samuel 17:36-37), sacrificial giving grace (Genesis 22:9-10; 2Corinthians 12:15), great grace (Acts 4:33), eternal grace (1Corinthians 9:27), etc.
The key to access and operate at any of these levels or dimensions of grace lies in the degree of one’s connection with Christ from whom all grace originates and the desire to grow in Him (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; 2Peter 3:18).
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH/AGAINST GRACE
There are lots of benefits that a believer can derive from grace apart from salvation. Grace can impart great blessings (Psalm 84:11). It also imparts faith (Acts 18:27). In addition, it makes one God’s elect (Romans 11:5-6), gives boldness (1Corinthians 15:10), calls believers to the ministry (Galatians 1:15), helps render acceptable service (Hebrews 12:28), gives seasoning to speech (Colossians 4:6), give strength (2Timothy 2:1), helps in time of need (Hebrews 4:16) and bring hope (2Thessalonians 2:16), among others.
However, it is possible to do the following against grace:
1. Receive grace in vain (2Corinthians 6:1).
2. Frustrate grace in one’s life (Galatians 2:21).
3. Fall from grace (Galatians 1:6-8; 5:4).
4. Fail of the grace of God (Hebrews 12:15).
5. Turn grace into lasciviousness (Jude 4).
6. Sin in spite of grace (Romans 6:1)
7. Reject grace through pride (James 4:6).
Every believer must aspire to grow in grace (2Peter 3:18). It is a dangerous thing to abuse grace despite it’s benefits.
TOPIC: CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN
MEMORY VERSE: “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven”. – Acts 1:11
BIBLE PASSAGE: 1THESSALONIANS 4:13-18
Acts 1:10-11 describes the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ as personal, bodily and visible, and that His second coming will be in like manner. However, the second coming will be in two stage : the rapture which will be sudden (1Thess. 4:15-17) – when the Lord comes for his saints and we meet Him in the air and then, the revelation that is public (Rev. 1:7) – when the Lord comes with His saints to get up the millennium, at the end of the great tribulation period (1Thess. 3:13). The time of His coming is a secret that only God the Father knows (Matthew 24:36).
1. PROPHECIES AND PURPOSE OF HIS SECOND COMING
2. THE MANNER OF HIS COMING AND ITS SIGNS
PROPHECIES AND PURPOSE OF HIS SECOND COMING
The first coming of Lord Jesus Christ was prophesied among other prophecies that have come to pass. This gives us great confidence that the prophecies of the second coming will be also be fulfilled. Christ’s second coming was foretold: by the prophets (Dan. 7:13); by Jesus Himself (Matt. 25:31); by Paul (1Tim. 6:14); and the angels (Acts 1:10-11).
Christ is coming again:
1. To complete the salvation of saints. He has delivered us from power and penalty of sin but then He shall deliver us from the presence of sin and Satan (Heb. 9:28).
2. To be glorified and admired in His saints (2Thess. 1:10).
3. To bring to lift the hidden things of darkness (1Cor. 4:5).
4. To judge (2Tim. 4:1) and to reign (Rev. 11:15).
5. To receive us to be with Himself (Jn. 14:3) and to destroy death (1Cor. 15:25-26).
THE MANNER OF HIS COMING AND ITS SIGNS
At the rapture, saints will meet Christ in the air (1Thess. 4:17); at the revelation, we will descend with Him to the earth. Christ’s coming in the clouds (Matt. 24:30); in the glory of His father (Matt. 16:27); in His own glory (Matt. 25:31); in flaming fire (2Thess. 1:8); with power and great glory (Matt. 24:30); bodily, as He ascended (Acts 1:9-11); with a shout and voice of the archangel (1Thess. 4:6); with His saints (1Thess. 3:13); accompanied by angels (Matt. 16:27) and suddenly (Mark 13:36).
2Timothy 3:1-7 list 23 signs of his coming, most of which are very evident today. Matthew 24:5-7, 12-38 and also list 10 signs, which are appearance of false Christs; wars and rumors of war; famines pestilence; earthquakes; iniquity to abound; the love of many will wax cold; people will be eating, drinking, merry-making. Other signs include: the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 21:20, 24); the completion of the church (Rom. 11:25); the Gospel must be preached everywhere (Matt. 24:14) and the coming of the antichrist (2Thess. 2:3-8).
When we ought to plan and work as if He will not be coming for another century, we must live a holt life all the time as if He will return today (1Thess. 3:12-13). This important doctrine must affect our lives. It should keep us busy, preaching the gospel day in, day out, praying and watching with all perseverance (Ephesians 6:18).
Christ’s second coming is sure and certain (2Pet. 3:3-12).