21/8/2016 LESSON 12
PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING (PART 2)
Quarter’s Theme: BASIC CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES
Unit 3 – Israel And Believers’ Benefits From The Book Of Romans (Lessons 10-12)
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 243, 244
Devotional Reading: jude 20-23
Topic For Adults
LIVE YOUR LIFE RESPONSIBLY
Topic For Youths
YOUR ACTIONS AFFECT OTHERS POSITIVELY OR NEGATIVELY
Topic For Adults
ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING
ROM. 14: 19 – 15:2; 15:22-33; 16:17-20, 25-27
(STEWARDSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY MONTH)
For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s (Rom. 14:8) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Pray For Ministers Of The Gospel
Satan continually raises up threats against the ministers of the gospel. Sometimes the threat comes in form of temptation to make the minister fall into sin, thereby losing the anointing to be effective in ministry. At other times the threat comes in form of confrontation and life threatening encounters. Satan’s goal in raising the threats is to silence those who preach the gospel. It is the duty of members of the church to each maintain a fervent prayer altar on behalf of the ministers. One of the ways to encourage the ministers is for them to know that the church members care enough to pray for them. Members need to pray that they will be strengthened so that they come out winners in their spiritual battles; that they be delivered from all forms of attacks and for them to have the boldness to continue to preach the word.
Point of Emphasis: As your minister waters you with the word of God, your responsibility is to pray for him.
Prayer Point: Father, uphold all ministers of the gospel; give them victory over every form of attack.
No man is an island. Our lifestyles affect those around us. We can, therefore, knowingly or otherwise be aiding and abetting the destruction of people around us if we live carelessly. God wants our lives to be light that will reveal Christ to others.
NOTE ON THE TEXTS
PART 1: A CHRISTIAN’S RESPONSIBILITY TO OTHER BELIEVERS (ROM. 14: 19 – 15:2)
There is the tendency to want to look at Christians who are weaker than we are in faith with contempt and to criticise them. But no Christian that is strong in faith today began his Christian journey with that strong faith. Every Christian began his journey as a spiritual babe. While not condoning sin, the strong Christian should deal with the weaker Christian with understanding. The strong in faith should be conscious of how his lifestyle, his choices and actions would be interpreted by the weaker Christian. God wants each of us to be our brothers’ keepers. Iron sharpens iron; the life of the Christian should be such that it edifies other believers. He should, therefore, avoid actions that may make the weaker Christian believe that sin is acceptable. All things may be lawful, but not all things edify. Each Christian should, therefore, avoid those things, which in themselves, may not be sinful, but yet will not edify others.
PART 2: A CHRISTIAN’S RESPONSIBILITY TO MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL (ROM. 15:22-33)
Ministers spend their energy and utilise their resources to cater for the congregation. Time and energy are spent to pray for the welfare of members of the congregation and to monitor their well-being through visitation. Ministers labour over the congregation because they are aware that God holds them accountable for the members under their care. The congregation also has its responsibility towards the ministers. “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in the word and doctrine” (1 Tim. 5:17). Members of the congregation should pray fervently for their ministers, so that the ministers will not be trapped by the devil but rather that they might receive fresh anointing daily. The congregation should also cater for the financial and material needs of ministers.
There may be ministers who do not carry the burden of the congregation diligently, that should not be used as excuse for neglecting the needs of ministers. Meeting their needs is a responsibility placed on the congregation, not by the ministers themselves, but by God.
PART 3: CLOSING ADMONITION (ROM. 16:17-20, 25-27)
In the final verses in the book of Romans, Paul admonished the Christians to live to glorify God rather than pursuing goals which are self-serving. There may be many within the church who pursue goals to satisfy themselves. Such cause divisions within the church and introduce doctrines which would enrich their purses. These are instruments in the hand of Satan to destabilize the church; they will soon be crushed under feet because the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church.
The Christian should focus on the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which has been preached to him. The gospel is the power of God to establish each individual in the grace. Many who look for extra-biblical revelations and deep mysteries and secrets often wander away from the faith. The mystery of the gospel mentioned here is the question the Old Testament saints were asking concerning how sinful man can qualify before a holy God. The mystery has been revealed to us through the gospel.
A Christian must look beyond pleasing himself. His life, goal and aspiration must be directed at pleasing God, his Maker. In trying to please God, he has responsibilities towards his fellow believers, towards the ministers and towards God. The responsibilities are spelt out in the word of God. In essence, the Christian must be committed to living the word of God.
- In what ways does a Christian’s lifestyle affect believers around him?
- Should a Christian be mindful of the opinions of unbelievers about his lifestyle?
- In what ways can an act, which in itself is not sinful, be not expedient to the Christian?
- In what ways can a Christian, who is strong in faith, destroy the faith of weaker Christians by his actions?
- What are a Christians’ responsi-bilities to gospel ministers and other members?