LESSON 12 20/11/2016
THE GREATEST RELATIONSHIP
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 28, 32
Devotional Reading: Rom. 8:31-39
Topic For Adults: The Heart And Purpose Of God
Topic For Youths: Live in God’s Love
Topic For Intermediates: Demonstrate God’s Love
Scripture Lesson: Jn. 3:16; Gen. 1:26; 2:7; Amos 3:3
Memory Verse: Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law (Rom. 13:8) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
The Greatest Fellowship
In today’s passage, Jesus made a universal call to all human being who want to fellowship with Him. Fellowshipping with God through Christ is the greatest fellowship. If you answer this call, He will give you rest as you continue to learn from Him. He is the only one who can forgive sin and make everything new in people’s lives. The call of Jesus to this fellowship is to all the oppressed (they that are heavy laden) and weary. To those who have no hope of escape from the bondage of Satan. When you answer the call, He will give you peace and rest. You will also learn holiness from Him, you will learn meekness and consecration from Him. You will then know how to persevere to the end.
Point of Emphasis: Come unto Jesus for the greatest and rewarding fellowship.
Prayer Point: Oh Lord, help those who have not answered this call to answer quickly and help all of us that have answered to continue to learn from you and live like You.
Relationship is simply a significant connection or similarity between two or more subjects of discussion. In social term, it centres on how do I get along with others. The greatest relationship was demonstrated in ambition by God. He created us in His image and likeness so that we can have fellowship with Him. Through Adam and Eve’s transgression, the bubble burst, yet God reconciled us through His Son – Jesus Christ, what a love. This week’s lesson is based on the greatest relationship which is divinely shown and displayed by God towards mankind.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
PART 1: THE GREATEST LOVE STORY (JN. 3:16; ROM. 3:8, 23-25)
John 3:16 summarised the whole Bible in one sentence “For God so love the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” This gives us an insight to unconditional love displayed by God that is wide enough to embrace anyone in the world who believes in Him.
The greatest love was done at the expense of the Lord Jesus Christ who paid the supreme sacrifice for us on the cross of calvary. Man does not merit to be loved by God because all have sinned (Rom. 3:23) Though man loves conditionally but God demonstrated His greatest relationship toward us unconditionally.
God set forth Christ as a propitiation to show His greatest relationship to mankind through love. He needs not to be persuaded before showing us mercy. However, anyone who wishes to benefit from the greatest love in believing in Jesus Christ must take these three steps (Jn. 3:16)
- Have sure conviction that Jesus is the Son of God and the only Saviour for lost mankind.
- Surrender to have fellowship with God and live in complete obedience to Christ Jesus.
- Have absolute trust that Jesus is both able and willing to bring you to a final salvation and to fellowship with God in Heaven.
Note: The word ‘not perish’ denotes escaping a dreadful reality of eternal punishment.
PART 2: IT IS ALL ABOUT CHANGES IN NATURE (GEN. 1:26; GEN. 2:7; 5:3; 2 COR. 5:17)
The Bible gives us account about the creation of man. Gen. 1:26 and 2:4-25 give us two complementary account. Man and woman were created in the image of God. We were specially created to respond and have fellowship with God. We are not products of evolution. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). God specifically imparted and breathed into the first man. This shows a unique relationship of divine life to human life (Gen. 2:7). It was the same unique image that Adam passed to his Son (Gen. 5:3)
Human nature became corrupted through sin. Man knows what is good but lacks the ability to do it. Therefore, he became ineffective. The remedy for restoration is made possible through Jesus alone. No one comes to God except through Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6)
The fallen nature must be renewed for anyone to enjoy God’s greatest love. The restoration of sinners to fellowship with God is achieved through Christ’s work of redemption. God made those who accept Jesus Christ by faith to become new creations. Believers become new creations and are renewed after the image of God, sharing His glory (2 Cor. 5:17; Co. 3:10)
God has removed the hostility, barrier of sin through the atoning death of Jesus. All that a sinner needs to do is to forsake his sin, change his nature and become a child of God through Jesus.
PART 3: LIKE-MINDEDNESS IN RELATIONSHIP (AMOS 3:3; 2 TIM. 2:19; EPH. 1:4)
Relationship requires agreement to thrive. Amos 3:3 says “can two walk together, except they be a greed? No real fellowship can exist between two people unless they agree on fundamental truths. This shows that a person cannot have a genuine relationship with God unless he or she accepts His word and term.
Despite the increase in false teachers (Matt. 24:11) and many straying from the truth, God knows those who remain faithful. Those who belong to Him must turn away from sin (2 Tim. 2:19). Paul describes those chosen by God in Christ as those destined to be holy and blameless (2 Thess. 2:13). Election of mankind is only in union with Jesus Christ – it is “Christocentric” – He is the first of all the elect of God (Matt. 12:18) while the election to salvation and holiness is always certain for the body of Christ, the certainly for individuals depends on personal living faith in Jesus Christ and having a like mind with Him on things relating to divine injuctions.
The greatest relationship and love that one can enjoy in this world is to have harmonious relationship with God. It is certain for the body of Christ to continue to experience the deepest love ever made available through Jesus Christ, each individual must thrive to avail themselves this relationship by making holy living a culture.
- In your own word, explain John 3:16 as the greatest love story ever in history
- At whose expense was the greatest love made possible, what did he do?
- Mention the three steps that anyone who wants to benefit from the greatest love should take.
- Proof that man is not an object of evolution
- What is christocentric?