Quarter’s Theme: Discovering Spiritual Maturity
Unit 1 Theme: Spiritual Maturity Process (Lessons 1-3)
Sunday 7/12/ 2014
THE REDEMPTION STORY AGAIN
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 14, 342
Devotional Reading: JN. 3:1-16
Topic For Adults
WONDERFUL STORY OF LOVE
Topic For Youths
TELL IT TO ME AGAIN
Topic For Intermediates
THE REDEMPTION IS FOR ALL
1 JN. 1:1,14; 4:16; 1 PET. 1:15;3:18; ROM. 3:2-26; 10:6-13; JN. 1:12.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new
(2 Cor. 5:17) NKJV.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Assurance Of Eternal Security
As we live each day of our lives, each one of us is building his or her own house. There are those who heard the redemption story, believed it and are living by it – doing all the things Jesus commands. These build their lives on the rock with the goal that they want the house to stand for eternity. There are others who heard the redemption story but chose to live according to their whims and caprices. These are also building with the hope that they can get away with their disobedience to what God commands. The fruit each one bears marks him out either as a wise builder building on a rock, or a foolish builder who builds on sand. The disobedient may call Jesus Lord while still in disobedience but Jesus is not deceived. The house built by each person will go through same or similar test. For those who choose to live according to the commands of God, there is assurance of eternal security, while the others await eternal damnation.
Point of Emphasis: Not all who call Jesus ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven.
Prayer Point: I receive wisdom to be a wise builder, building on the Rock Lord Jesus.
The first and primary foundation for the Christian life is the knowledge of personal
salvation. This is the bedrock upon which every other experience with God
must be built. Since there can be no peace, no spiritual growth, no Christian life at all without salvation, it is here that we must begin with God (I Cor.3:11). Before we begin to talk about maturing in Christ, there is the need to remind ourselves of the redemption story again.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
- WHO GOD IS: 1JN. 4:16; 1PET.1:15-16; ROM. 3:2-26
You cannot successfully walk or relate with someone without knowing who the person is. In the same way, one has to know who God is and some of His attributes before one can call upon Him or walk meaningfully with Him. God is Love: “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” – I John 4:16. God is Holy: “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy” I Pet. 1:15-16. God is Just (A good judge): “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus”. Rom. 3:23-26. Apart from the fact that God is just, He is also the Justifier of anyone who has faith in Him.
- WHO WE ARE: ROM. 3:23-26; ISA. 59:1-2; 64:6
In the beginning, we, human beings were created good. God Himself put the remarks of endorsement by saying – “Then God saw everything that He had made and indeed it was very good” Gen 1:31. The psalmist even testified to it that we were fearfully and wonderfully created (Psalm 139:14). However, at the fall of Adam, we became evil: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Rom. 3:23 (See also Rom. 3:9-23). Ever since, the nature of sin took over in man and we became desperately wicked and separated from God. No matter how morally good a person may claim to be, he is a sinner by the inheritance of that sinful or Adamic nature.
We deserve death (physical and spiritual). The justice of God demands that sin should be judged anywhere it is found. And the Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Rom. 6:23. We are spiritually helpless (morally bankrupt): “But we are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” Isa. 64:6 (See also Isa. 59:1-2). In essence, human beings are in the state of total depravity. We are helpless and need a Saviour.
III. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRIST: 1 JN. 1:1, 14; 1 PET. 3:18; EPH. 2:8-9
There are three fundamental truths about the significance of Jesus Christ in the redemption story that must be believed by everyone who wants to be saved. The first truth is in who Jesus Christ is. One should believe Jesus Christ is God, who also became man. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” John1:1,14. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory” I Tim. 3:16.
The second principal truth is Christ died as our substitute – “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” I Pet.2:2-4.
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit” 1 Peter 3:18 NIV.
The third truth is Christ offers His forgiveness as a gift: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” Eph. 2:8-9. Remember God is holy and just. His just nature demands judgment on sin and sinners. Christ paid the price by carrying the penalty of sin (which is death) upon Himself. He now offers forgiveness of sin as a free gift.
- OUR RESPONSIBILITY: JN.1:12; ROM. 10:6-13
You and I must respond and ask Christ to be our Forgiver, Saviour and Leader: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” Jn. 1:12. We must call upon Him for forgiveness, salvation and regeneration. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” Rom. 10:13 (see also vs. 6-13). The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” I Jn. 1:9.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” II Cor. 5:17. This is the simple but powerful redemption story; would you believe it and be saved? “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” I Cor. 1:18.
The Gospel Story is a wonderful story of love. It was first announced by the angels and believed by the shepherds. Anyone who believes it will be saved. Have you believed it? Have you recognized your sinful and helpless nature and the need for a Saviour? That Saviour is the Lord Jesus Christ. If you call upon Him today, you shall be saved. If you have been saved, begin to tell the Gospel Story to others starting from today.
- Whom do you believe God is?
- Describe how you were before you had this saving encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
- What is the significance of Jesus Christ in the Gospel Story?
- What is our responsibility in the Gospel Story of Salvation?
- What change have you noticed inside your heart since you became born-again and as you surrendered your life to Christ?
L’ASSURANCE D’UNE SECURITE ETERNELLE
MATT. 7 :21-27
Comme nous vivons chaque jour de notre vie, chacun de nous construit sa propre maison. D’aucuns apprirent l’histoire de la rédemption, crurent en elle et vivent selon elle en faisant tout ce que Jésus ordonne. Ceux-ci bâtissent leur vie sur le roc avec pour but d’avoir une maison qui demeure pour l’éternité. Par contre, il y a d’autres qui apprennent l’histoire de la rédemption mais qui choisissent de vivre selon leurs humeurs et leurs caprices. Ceux-ci aussi bâtissent avec l’espoir qu’ils peuvent s’en tirer avec leur désobéissance à ce que Dieu ordonne. Le fruit que chacun porte l’indique comme étant un bâtisseur prudent bâtissant sur le roc ou un bâtisseur insensé qui bâtit sur le sable. Ceux qui sont désobéissants pourraient appeler Jésus Seigneur tant bien même qu’ils soient dans la désobéissance mais on ne trompe pas Jésus. La maison bâtie par chacun subira la même épreuve. Pour ceux qui choisissent de vivre selon les ordres de Dieu, il y a l’assurance d’une sécurité éternelle tandis que les autres s’exposent à une condamnation éternelle.
Point essentiel : Ce ne sont pas tous ceux qui me disent Seigneur, Seigneur qui entreront dans le royaume des cieux.
Axe de prière : Je reçois la sagesse d’être un bâtisseur prudent, bâtissant sur le roc le Seigneur Jésus.