Living the Gospel (2019, Quarter 3, Lesson 10)

by admin admin August 31, 2019

Living the Gospel (2019, Quarter 3, Lesson 10)

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Sabbath (August 31): Living the Gospel

This week’s lessons focus on a critically important truth—that the gospel is not just something to believe in, but it is something that must be experienced. “Living the gospel” means just that—to live out the good news of what Christ has done for us, and what He promises to do in us as well.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Romans 1:16. Why is Paul not ashamed of the gospel? (Because it is the power of God unto salvation for all people.) Do you feel the need of this power in your life? What things can often prevent us from recognizing the need for God’s power in our lives? (Answers will vary.)

  • Read Romans 1:17. How is the righteousness of God revealed in a person’s life? (By a life lived by faith. It is one thing to say that we believe in Christ and have surrendered our lives to Him. It is quite another to live this way day by day in a way that is obvious and attractive to others.)

  • Read Ephesians 2:8-10. What is an important part of God’s purpose and plan for all those who have been saved by His grace? (God has saved people in Christ Jesus to do good works, not to gain salvation, but as a result of their salvation. The life of Christ lived out in those He has saved is an essential part of the gospel.)

  • Read Romans 1:5. What will the true acceptance of God’s grace lead to in a person’s life? (Obedience to the faith. Again, the gospel includes not only what Jesus has done for us on the cross, but also His life lived out within us today.)

Sunday (September 1): “For God So Loved…”

When we look at the effects of sin beyond the moral decay and suffering of human beings, we see that nature and all living creatures are marred and suffer the terrible consequences of sin. It is so sad that by subjection, not by choice, the created subjects in this world were affected by the pollution of sin. It is no wonder that the plan of salvation goes beyond men and encompasses the whole world. In today’s lesson we’ll see deeper into the meaning of, “For God so loved the world...”

Discussion Questions:

  • Read the following passage and discuss these questions:

    • Romans 8:19. What is scripture describing as the earnest expectation of all creatures here on earth? (The manifestation of the sons of God.) What is meant by “the manifestation”? (The glory which shall be revealed in us, vs. 18.)

    • Romans 8:20. How does this verse explain the condition of decay and death in the natural world around us? (Its effects were a result of it being made under us, as our subject, and thus by our first parents' choice in sinning, they received the mark and effects of sin as a consequence.) But what does nature hope for, too? (Like us, to be freed from the mark and effects of sin).

    • Romans 8:21. What promise is stated here? (Nature will also be freed from corruption and receive the glory of liberty from sin, as a result of our receiving it.)

    • Romans 8:22. How does this describe the physical condition of nature, the created world we see here on earth? (Compares it to being in pains of labor, perhaps the worst type of pain or the most acute pain known, to describe how nature suffers continually the consequences of sin and wants to be freed). What does that concept tell us as we view nature around us? (Answers will vary.)

    • Romans 8:23. How does scripture say the converted person will feel about our life and about the natural world? What will be the condition of the heart? (To groan in our hearts for the promise of the glorification of our bodies.) How does this compare to the concept of living happily and rejoicing in the Lord? (Answers will vary.)

  • Read John 3:16, 17. How does the phrase, “for God so loved the world,” give us a more profound meaning when we consider the word “world” means the world as a created, organized entity? (Answers will vary.) How does this give us a deeper understanding of the love of God for us? (Answers will vary.)

Monday (September 2): Compassion and Repentance

Two important fruits of the gospel being lived out in a person’s life are compassion and repentance. In His life and ministry, Jesus Christ frequently displayed compassion for those around Him, and He also spoke of the need for repentance.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read the following passages and discuss what moved Jesus with compassion in each:

    • Matthew 9:36. Jesus here was moved with compassion for the physical ailments of the people, for He healed them of their sickness and disease (verse 35). But He also felt a burden that they understand, accept, and live the gospel promises offered through Him, and was burdened that there were not more “labourers” to gather the harvest of souls (verses 37-38).

      • What lessons from this passage can we apply to our lives and work as disciples of Christ? (The gospel is multi-faceted and is designed by God to improve every aspect of human life. As important as it is to meet the physical needs of those in want, it is equally important to bring them spiritual guidance and healing.)

    • Luke 19:41-44. Jesus wept because the chosen people of God recognized neither the prophetic times they were living in nor the Messiah who was living among them.

      • How might their failure serve as a warning to God’s remnant church today? (We, too, live in prophetic times and have a prophetic message. It is our privilege and responsibility to understand the times in which we live, and to wisely and lovingly communicate that to others.)

    • John 11:35. After Lazarus died, Jesus wept while visiting Mary and Martha for several reasons—because of the human sorrow surrounding Him, because “the afflicted friends could mourn over the dead while the Saviour of the world stood by” (DA 533), and “because many of those now mourning for Lazarus would soon plan the death of Him who was the resurrection and the life” (DA 533).

      • What lessons and warnings can be drawn from this story for us today? (Answers will vary. God’s people today should be sorrowful for those who do not understand or accept God’s power offered for them today.)

Tuesday (September 3): Grace and Good Works

To accept and follow Christ means not only to know of Him and His love for me, but also to experience Him and His work in me.  This is why grace and good works are required experiences for a follower of Jesus.  It is impossible to really know the Lord and love Him, and not give fruits of love to others.  In today’s lesson we will look at the equally important balance of cause and effect in the life of the believer.  

Discussion Questions

  • Read Ephesians 2:8. What principle of God’s grace is here stated? (God’s grace is salvation, not by our own merit, but as a gift of God). Why is it so important to remember that salvation is not possible by our own efforts? (Answers will vary.)

  • Read Ephesians 2:9. Why is salvation “by works” so easily attempted by people? (The principle of the carnal heart is to lift up self, to think that by our own efforts we can be good.) How can we evaluate if our personal experience is one of works or one of grace? (Answers will vary.)

  • Read Ephesians 2:10. What are the scriptures describing in this verse? (The results of Christ in us and a new creation taking place, where good works are made possible by the living connection to Christ. This is the only possible balance of grace and good works.) Also, comparing verses 9 and 10, how are good works different from works? (Good works are a result of grace, while works are the results of self).

  • Read 1 John 3:16. How are God’s grace and love examples to us? (As Christ laid down His life for us, we are to lay down our lives for others.) How can this really be possible? (By good works, which happen only when self has been crucified.)

  • Read 1 John 3:17. How are “good works” the thermometer of grace in the Christian life? (It shows whether self still reins or has been crucified.) The expression of bowels of compassion represents the most tender affections from the heart, so how can we attain true godly love in our hearts? (Answers will vary.)

Wednesday (September 4): Our Common Humanity

One of the recurring themes in the Bible, and especially in the New Testament, is the bond that unites all humanity. Today’s lesson looks at two passages that focus on our “common humanity” and what that means for us today.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Malachi 2:10-12. What is the source of our common humanity? (The fact that God created all people.) What two great injustices does Malachi point out in verses 10 and 11? (God’s people have mistreated each other [verse 11] and abandoned their covenant with God [verse 12].) In spite of the inclusiveness that God desires among His people, what warning is given in verse 12? (God will “cut off” those who remain unfaithful to Him and persist in mistreating others. His inclusiveness and grace cannot cover those who willingly remain in sin.)

  • Read Acts 17:24-26,29. Like Malachi, Paul here reminds us that God is Creator of all humanity and that we are all of “one blood.” What would you say Paul’s other primary point is? (Paul presents a strong warning against thinking that God can be confined to a building, and also against the lures of idolatry.)

  • Read Acts 17:30,31. What warning does Paul give as he concludes this passage? (A day of judgment is coming in which God will judge “by that man” Jesus Christ.) Compare this passage with John 5:26,27. What does it mean that Christ is the judge of this world? (In the context of our “common humanity,” it reveals that the same criterion will be used to judge all people—and that criterion is our personal response to Jesus Christ. Every outreach effort God’s people engage in should be done with this ultimate reality in mind.)

Thursday (September 5): The Everlasting Gospel

The everlasting gospel is indeed the most important message of love and personal experience given to mankind.  It is the wonderful answer of God to the sin problem in the universe.  Yet today many believers in Jesus have yet to accept the experience of the gospel. Many only want a license of salvation, not the transforming grace of the gospel.  In today’s lesson we’ll center our attention on why the gospel experience is truly an everlasting experience. 

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Revelation 14:6. What does the first angel possess when giving the first warning? (The first angel has the everlasting gospel.) Why is it imperative for the first angel to have the everlasting gospel? (Because it is to be preached and bring glad tidings to all the people in the world, without exception and without distinction.)

  • Read John 3:16-21. What do these verses say about the concept of the gospel? (Because God loved the world, He did not want to let it be lost. To save humanity from sin, He sent his only Son, that those who believe and commit themselves to Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. That life is not in the future, but is an experience that starts today, for the deeds of the gospel will be shown in the daily life.)

  • Read Revelation 14:7. Why is having the experience of the everlasting gospel a prerequisite for the proclamation of the first angel’s message? (You can’t give others a message about fearing God, giving glory to Him, and about the hour of judgment that has come, when you haven’t first hidden your life in Christ and received the experience in your own life of the everlasting good news of salvation. If you preach that the judgment has come, you must be in the everlasting gospel experience.) The judgment has started, but no one knows when it ends, so how can it be part of the good news? (The gospel is never-ending. In other words, even while in judgment, when you have the experience of the gospel you can live an everlasting new life and be found justified before God. The judgment will end, but the gospel experience will never end.)

Friday (September 6): Divinity and Humanity Combined

Divinity and humanity united together in Jesus Christ, Who was at the same time the “Son of God” (Mark 1:1) and the “Son of man” (Matthew 18:11). Though we will never be like Jesus, part of the good news of the gospel is that, through Jesus Christ, human and divine power can become united in our lives, too. As Ellen White notes in the book The Desire of Ages:

“Take ye away the stone.” Christ could have commanded the stone to remove, and it would have obeyed His voice. He could have bidden the angels who were close by His side to do this. At His bidding, invisible hands would have removed the stone. But it was to be taken away by human hands. Thus Christ would show that humanity is to co-operate with divinity. What human power can do divine power is not summoned to do. God does not dispense with man’s aid. He strengthens him, co-operating with him as he uses the powers and capabilities given him. {DA 535.3}

Discussion Questions:

  • Read 2 Peter 1:3,4. What keys are revealed in these verses that help explain how this mysterious union of divine and human power can combine in our lives? (Peter reveals that this union begins with a knowledge of God, and that it grows as we exercise trust and faith in God’s promises.)

  • Read 2 Peter 1:5-9. How would you summarize God’s ultimate purpose for our union with Christ? (While God wants us to experience the blessings associated with each character trait mentioned in this “ladder of sanctification,” He ultimately wants us to be “fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” and to be “purged from [our] old sins.”)

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