24/7/2016 LESSON 8
HAVING PEACE WITH GOD
Quarter’s Theme: BASIC CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES
Unit 2 – The Believers’ Justification And Admonition To Sinners (Lessons 5-9)
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 79, 206
Devotional Reading: MATT. 11:25-30
Topic For Adults
RECONCILED TO GOD, ADOPTED AS HIS CHILD
Topic For Youths
ADOPTED SO AS TO ENJOY GOD’S WONDERFUL LOVE
Topic For Intermediates
LIVE TO PLEASE GOD
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
God’s Wonderful Love
One of the tactics that the devil uses is to make a Christian doubt God’s love for him, especially when things go wrong, when prayers go unanswered, or when calamity strikes. It is incontestable that there can be no greater love than the one that God has shown to man – “did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” to die for our sins. Since God did that, there is nothing else that He cannot do for those who turn to Him. God has shown such a wonderful love to us. It behoves us to respond by loving and trusting Him. Whatever the experience that may come our way, we should be so committed to Him that the experience will not separate us from Him and His love. As long as we stay by His side we come out as conquerors notwithstanding what the enemy raises against us. We have God backing us up – justifying, delivering and protecting us.
Point of Emphasis: I am persuaded that nothing – death, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril – shall be able to separate us from God’s love.
Prayer Point: By the power that is in the name of Jesus Christ, I am a conqueror in every battle of life.
God’s agenda for every born-again Christian is to be transformed into the image
of His Son, Jesus Christ. God puts at the disposal of the Christian all resources
that will help him grow spiritually and make him fit to come into the eternal inheritance prepared for him. The Christian needs to know that whatever experience God makes him to go through, He is doing it in love. The Christian therefore has to keep trusting and loving Him.
NOTE ON THE TEXTS
PART 1: BENEFITS OF RECONCILIATION WITH GOD (ROM. 8:1-11)
Many go through life carrying the burden of guilt and regret of their past sins and misdeeds. A Christian who has given his life to Christ enjoys several privileges: he has been forgiven his sin and does not have the fear of being condemned again; he is adopted as a child of God; he is given the Holy Spirit as an assurance that he is now a child of God; the Holy Spirit empowers him to obey God’s commandments and to focus on spiritual things rather than carnal things; he has an eternal inheritance waiting for him; etc.
There is always the temptation to take these privileges for granted and to allow the carnal nature to reign in one’s life. When a Christian yields to this tempta-tion, he mortgages his right as a child of God, and trades the eternal life given to him for death. The Holy Spirit dwells inside the Christian as long as he conducts himself according to the dictates and directives of the Spirit. The unfortunate thing is that many Christians are trying very hard to be acceptable to their friends who are carnal. Instead of walking according to the Spirit, they are walking and behaving according to what their carnal nature demands. Many have lost their spiritual identity.
PART 2: FROM SUFFERING TO GLORY (ROM. 8:18-28)
A composer wrote “Trials dark on every side; and we cannot understand; all the way the Lord will lead us to that blessed promised land; and through faith we will overcome”. As Christians go through this pilgrimage, each goes through various trials and difficulties. These trials can sometimes appear overwhelming – unemployment, loss of job, loss of loved one, sickness, marital problems, problems with children, inability to have children, etc. Because of the magnitude of these problems, the devil tempts one to think that God has forsaken one. God gives the assurance – “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Heb. 13: 5b).
The sufferings we are passing through now, as great as they appear to be, are very light compared to the glory that God has prepared for us His children. We may even ask “of what use are these problems?” Looking from under a carpet, one sees threads of different colours all jumbled together. One may not see the use of each thread. But the weaver, who looks from above knows the pattern he is weaving and knows where each thread should be. In the same way God puts the sweet and sour patterns into our lives to bring out the glorious end He has in mind.
PART 3: MORE THAN CONQUERORS (ROM. 8:33-39)
When the going as a Christian gets tough, when the problems pile up on top of one another for a Christian, when the temptation to follow the world appears too alluring, when it appears that God may not grant you that thing you desire and that is so dear to you, then what will you do?
Demas was a missionary, but the allurement of the world was too much for him. He went back, forsaking the call of God upon his life. Judas was a disciple, but the thought of what he could gain made him betray Jesus Christ, his Lord. Many are also falling away because of the problems they face and the temptation that is so acute. Many are back-sliding, others are cooling off and their spiritual fervour has died.
God has shown how great His love for His children is – so great that He did not flinch in giving His only begotten Son to die for man. Since He did not spare His Son, there is nothing that can be too great that He won’t freely give to us. There are those things He has not given – not because He is wicked or because He is weak. Whatever He allows in a Christian’s life, it is because He knows that it is for the Christian’s good. Hence nothing should make the Christian want to go back from following God. Nothing should separate the Christian from God’s love.
A Christian becomes co-heir with Jesus Christ if he is willing to continue to follow Him in spite of whatever the Christian encounters. There is a cloud of witnesses of those who had gone through similar trials and problems and had overcome. With one voice such overcomers say “watch and pray”. There is trial that comes our way that is not common to man; God proffers a way of escape in such situations. Do not give up but continue to follow God to the end.
- What is reconciliation?
- How can one be reconciled to God?
- What are the benefits of reconciliation?
- Is suffering part of Christian life?
- How does a Christian derive strength and encouragement during suffering?