A Community of Servants (2019, Quarter 3, Lesson 13)

by admin admin September 22, 2019

A Community of Servants (2019, Quarter 3, Lesson 13)

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Sabbath (September 21): A Community of Servants

Although we may see many church buildings, it does not mean that there are many congregations of community servants.  We have to come to the understanding that God had a bigger purpose in establishing a church, the organization of His community of believers.  This “body” was meant for the members to live in an assembly pattern -- together in communities -- holding all things in common, under the government of God through His anointed leaders. This body of Christians was to be under no king but Jesus, under no other jurisdiction but that of Jesus. No man was to ruled them, only Christ. And God's people today are meant to live by this true “church” pattern.  Today we will look at how we can become a part of Christ’s true community of servants/church.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read 1 Cor. 12:12. Why did Paul use the example of a body here?

  • Read 1 Cor. 12:13. What are some situations where we might lack this type of unity? Is it to be applied only in a socioeconomic way (race/nationality and economic status) as mentioned (Jew vs. Gentile, free vs. bond), or might there be other implications (e.g., working together while still having different roles and ways of doing things)? How can we overcome these boundaries? What is the drinking of the Spirit mentioned here?

  • Read 1 Cor. 12:14-15. The differences in the physical body are what makes it work. How might the differences in the spiritual body influence the working of the church in a positive way? What might be the consequences of a lack of diversity within this body?

  • Read 1 Cor. 12:16. How can being dissatisfied with our positions or responsibilities affect the work of God?

  • Read 1 Cor. 12:17. Are all roles important? How can we recognize and dedicate our very best to whatever work God has given us?

  • Read 1 Cor. 12:18. Do we seek God to know what His role for us is (“God set the members”), or do we choose it ourselves? Wouldn’t that cause confusion? Imagine a heart wanting to breathe, or the eyes trying to hear!

  • Read 1 Cor. 12:19. Although we can clearly see the absurdity of such a thing in the human body (all human body parts wanting to be the same part), do we transfer this attitude into our spiritual lives? What would happen if all members wished to do the same work and only that work?

  • Read 1 Cor. 12:20. While they have vastly different functions, the members of the body come together to compose a healthy, vibrant human body. Likewise, we should as Christ’s spiritual body work together in harmony, supporting each other, and working in unison with God’s will for our “functions.” What are some practical ways that we can do this in the church? How might personal feelings and opinions about the other’s functions get in the way of this unity/harmony? How can we overcome these obstacles?

Sunday (September 22): Agents of Change

Throughout history, God has used many people as agents of change. A prime example is Elijah, the Old Testament prophet that God used to call Israel back to Him during a time of deep idolatry. In today’s lesson we will examine Elijah’s experience and discover principles that will enable us to also be agents of change for good.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read the following statement and then discuss what was the secret of Elijah’s life of power for good:

“Unbelief was fast separating the chosen nation from the Source of their strength. Viewing this apostasy from his mountain retreat, Elijah was overwhelmed with sorrow. In anguish of soul he besought God to arrest the once-favored people in their wicked course, to visit them with judgments, if need be, that they might be led to see in its true light their departure from Heaven. He longed to see them brought to repentance before they should go to such lengths in evil-doing as to provoke the Lord to destroy them utterly.” {PK 119.2}

  • Read 1 Kings 17:1-5. What message did he share with King Ahab? (God’s Word.) In what did Elijah place his faith and confidence? (God’s Word.) How quickly did Elijah obey God’s Word when it came to him? (Immediately. Consider these statements: “And jealous for the honor of God’s cause, he did not hesitate to obey the divine summons, though to obey seemed to invite swift destruction at the hand of the wicked king. The prophet set out at once and traveled night and day until he reached Samaria. … It was only by the exercise of strong faith in the unfailing power of God’s word that Elijah delivered his message. Had he not possessed implicit confidence in the One whom he served, he would never have appeared before Ahab.” {PK 121}

  • Read 1 Kings 17:8-14. What did Elijah challenge others to do in their lives? (Trust and obey God’s Word completely.)

  • Read 1 Kings 17:17-24. What attributes of God did Elijah demonstrate to the widow when her son died? (Compassion, mercy, a willingness to heal, etc.) Would Elijah’s demonstration of mercy, and the miracle of raising the widow’s son to life, have been possible for Elijah to do if he had not already trusted in and shared God’s Word faithfully? (No.) Would the woman have been able to experience or appreciate this miracle if she had not acted in faith in response to God’s Word? (No.)

  • Read 1 Kings 18:22. What does this verse reveal about Elijah’s courage? (He was not afraid to stand for God and for truth alone.)

  • Read 1 Kings 18:30. Why do you think Elijah told the people to come near to him? (He wanted them to realize that when the fire fell on his altar, the fire was from God and not a slight-of-hand trick [see verses 31-35]. Elijah was concerned only about God’s honor and glory.)

  • Read 1 Kings 18:39,40. What additional lessons can we learn here? (Answers will vary. This part of the story is hard to think about, but we see that Elijah was committed to carrying out completely the task that God had given him. He realized that true change would not last until this part of the job was finished.)

Monday (September 23): A Servant Remnant

The true example of highest leadership in the church is not the one who controls, but one who serves. Christ himself portrayed this, and so did Moses, who after Christ, is the highest example of true leadership. We’ll look at his example of what it means to be a leader, what it really means to serve the church and how we can be part of the remnant church, the final group of believers who will see Jesus as their only head and leader.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Exodus 32:1-14. Why did the people ask for gods just because Moses didn’t return? Had they placed Moses in the place of God? Why was Aaron so seemingly ready to comply with their request?

Why did Moses plead for the Israelites? They had only caused him pain and heartache up until this point, yet still he entreats God to have mercy on these people. How does Moses’ approach to their rebellion reflect God’s relationship with His children? What can we as Christians learn from this (how Moses dealt with the people in error) in dealing with ones who have rebelled or strayed from what they know to be right? (Think of compassion, intercession in their behalf with God, and so on.)

  • Read Exodus 32:30-32. Moses starts out by telling them clearly that they have sinned. Why is that an important detail? Are we to acknowledge our wrong before being reconciled to God? What was his role as a leader in pointing out their wrongdoings? How could Moses have such a spirit of humility and such love for the people? How can we obtain this kind of love (selfless and self-sacrificing love that does not count oneself more precious than others)?

  • Read Revelation 12:17. What is the testimony of Jesus Christ? In a practical way, what does it mean to “have the testimony of Jesus Christ” and to keep the commandments of God? Does the anger of the dragon have anything to do with these characteristics of the “seed” of the woman?

Tuesday (September 24): Reaching Souls

As Christ traveled from town to town preaching, teaching, and healing, people often remarked that He “taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). In today’s lesson we will explore the connection between Christ’s authority and His perfectly balanced gospel of justice and evangelism.  

Discussion Questions

  • Read Matthew 7:28,29 and Mark 1:21,22. For what reasons did Jesus’ teaching have so much authority? (Answers will vary. One reason that Christ’s teaching carried so much authority is because His life, actions, and love for others matched what He said. Justice, mercy, and the gospel message found their perfect union in Him, and this gave His teaching great authority.)

  • Read Revelation 14:1-5. What do these verses reveal about how God’s faithful people will be living at the very end of time? (In short, they have lived their life like Jesus lived His, for they “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.” Evidently, their interactions with other people have revealed the love and mercy of God, even as they have participated in evangelism and the proclamation of the three angels’ messages.)

  • Read Revelation 20:4. What privilege is given to this group of people who have followed Jesus faithfully at the end of time? (They are given positions of authority and reign with Christ for a thousand years.)

  • Read Matthew 24:14 and the following statement from Ellen White, and discuss the connection between “Christ’s method alone” and the final spread of the gospel to all the world.

“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me…’” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 143).

Wednesday (September 25): Grace Within the Church

Christ organized church is called to be a safe place, where all members are laboring in favor of one another and doing all they can to care for the “least of these”.   Christ had to teach the disciples the complete opposite concept to the one of the enemy’s kingdom, a concept of true grace which means active love. As the disciples didn’t understand, many today still don’t understand the base principle of his kingdom, and thus the church often times fails to do what Christ wants it to be. Therefore today we’ll have a final look at how Christ taught to his disciples the principle of grace within the church.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read John 12:23-28. What principle is Christ establishing here, based on the illustration of the seed falling to the ground? (Think about how Jesus had to live and die by this very principle, as there was no way for Him to bring fruit unless he died.)
  • Read John 15:13-17. What is another reason that Christ died for us, in regards to how he wanted to establish his church on earth? (Another purpose of Christ death was to establish the closest link possible to us, and not of stranger, but of closeness that is even more than that of a brother, that of friendship).
  • Read Matthew 20:21-28. What is Christ teaching his disciples is the way we are live out the true grace within the church? (Answers vary, yet the key point is to show that to be the humblest, the lowest, is the way that a true follower of Christ will be on earth. The higher you think you are, the farther away from grace you are, as you are an example of the world and Satan's principle of his kingdom).

Thursday (September 26): Encourage Each Other to Good Works

The Bible admonishes us to “provoke [each other] unto love and to good works” (Hebrews 10:24), and in today’s lesson we will look at a few ways that Jesus demonstrated how to do this in a variety of settings.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read the following passages and discuss how each reveals a way in which Christ encouraged those around Him. Discuss also what lessons these examples provide for us today.

    • Matthew 9:2. (Assuring others that their sins can be forgiven by Christ is a great encouragement.)

    • Matthew 14:27 and Mark 6:50. (Helping others when they are in danger and in need is a great encouragement.)

    • John 14:29 and 16:33. (Fulfilled prophecy gives us many reasons to place our faith in Christ and to be encouraged.)

    • Matthew 18:22. (Forgiving other people of wrongs they have committed can be a great encouragement to them.)

    • Luke 10:1. (Those working for Christ should have others to work with them to provide help and encouragement.)

Friday (September 27): A Unique Mission

There are many people, groups, and organizations seeking to relieve need in the world. In this last lesson of this quarter, we will look at the unique mission of the Seventh-day Adventist church and how it relates to the great commission given to all Christians.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read 1 Corinthians 15:51-53. What great event will the living saints experience at Christ’s second coming? (Translation without seeing death.)
  • Read Hebrews 11:5. What is necessary in order to be translated to heaven without seeing death? (A faith that pleases God.)
  • Read Hebrews 11:6. According to this verse, what are the two aspects of faith that please God? (Believing that He exists, and trusting that He is a good God that rewards those that seek Him.) In what ways are the unique message and mission of the SDA church especially designed to help people grow into this kind of faith? (Answers will vary. Attending the physical needs and health of other people certainly can help them understand that God is a good God that cares for their overall welfare. The three angels’ messages combine prophecy, doctrine, and practical spirituality in a cohesive whole that, when lived and practiced prayerfully, will result in a life lived by faith.)
  • Read Revelation 14:1-5 (especially verses 4 and 5). Based on these verses, how would you summarize the ultimate goal of the church’s mission in this world? (Answers will vary. To lead people into an active and growing relationship with Jesus Christ that enables them to follow Him wherever He leads.)

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