NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR JULY 25, 2021 : TOPIC – JUSTIFICATION THROUGH FAITH
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
Sunday, July 25, 202I
TOPIC: JUSTIFICATION THROUGH FAITH
Devotional Reading: Isaiah 53:1-12
Background Scripture reading: Romans 5:l-ll
Lesson Scripture reading: Romans 5:l-ll
Golden Text: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
i. Discuss the benefits of the death of Christ as believers’ means of justification;
ii. Explain the hope we have in sharing God’s glory;
iii. Make personal commitment on how they will appropriate justification in their journey with God.
God’s original plan for humankind when He created them and put them in the garden of Eden was good and perfect. When humankind sinned, they lost the opportunity and became alienated from God and this spread to all their descendants. Since God is just, anyone who disobeys His law must be punished. Based on this principle, the whole human race was under death sentence.
However, Jesus provided a way and bridged the gap between humankind and God, at the expense of His own life. The aftermath of His death and resurrection has made us justified and no longer guilty of the sin of death. Rather, we have hope and the presence of the Holy
The concept of justification
has been described differently by many theologians but these definitions mean the same thing. Generally, it involves God’s declaration of acquittal of the ungodly on the basis of Christ’s death and the faith of the individual. It is a new legal standing, wherein the righteousness of Christ is imputed (credited) to the sinner’s account so, he has been permanently forgiven. To some people, it is a transition from the state of being condemned to the state of being put right with God (spiritual life). Lloyd-Jones describes our salvation as being absolute, complete final. Nygren says it is being free from the wrath of God. Kasemann sees it as “paradoxical standing in the peace of God.” However, the focus of today’s lesson is the result of justification through faith alone.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. Benefits of Justification Romans 5:1-5
Paul was assertive of the justification of his recipients (a state of being put right with God) because of their faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Therefore, they have peace with God. In other words, because of Christ’s sacrificial death, those who believe in Him are justified before God, or pronounced “guiltless” rather than being alienated from God because of our sinful nature. Simply put, we are no longer enemies of God. According to verse 2, Christ has brought us by faith into a new experience of the grace of God, in which we now live. As a result, we can boast of the following as the benefits of justification based on Christ’s death:
The hope of sharing in God’s glory. The glory of God is the object of our hope. Paul later compared the present suffering of believers with the glory that shall be revealed to us when Christians will be in the presence of God, which all creation awaits eagerly (Romans 8:18-19).
Hope that is certain in the midst of life’s sufferings. The nature of hope described by Paul is the type that produces endurance and does not disappoint. This is because the love of God has been poured out into the hearts of the believers through the Holy Spirit, which God has given to them.
There is reconciliation, and deliverance from future wrath. Sinful people have been declared legally righteous or justified by faith (and not by works). Thus we are no longer enemies of God but we have been reconciled with Him (510)
We can approach God because Jesus’ sacrificial death has a continuing effect. Christians have been introduced into the grace that connects us closely with God. Though Christians are faced with trials and troubles, we should rejoice because they produce endurance; and endurance will give birth to character, and character will produce hope.
The author of the book of James describes the end result of endurance in times of suffering as being perfect and complete without lacking anything (James 12-3).
The summary of the lesson is that when we endure suffering, our faith and character are built unto spiritual maturity. The hope, which Paul mentioned in the passage, does not disappoint because like Abraham’s hope, it is derived from God (through the Spirit) __ it is not from our circumstance (4:19-21).
Discussion Time 1
i. If our troubles will produce endurance which brings God’s approval, why then do Christians complain and shift blames in times of suffering?
2. Discuss the different ways
we can respond to God’s gift of justification.
B. Contrasting the Basis of Justification Romans 5:6-8
The doctrine of justification of believers is better understood when we compare our past, when we were alienated from God and the new life we enjoy through faith in Jesus. In verses 6-8, Paul made clear God’s gift of love for humankind. He described the unworthy nature of the recipients when Christ died for them and portrayed it in these descriptions:
▪︎When we were still powerless: By implication, Christ died for us when we could not help ourselves because of our moral frailty.
▪︎When we were ungodly and full of wickedness.
▪︎ When we were God’s enemies (v. 10), alienated or hostile to Him.
In verse 7, Paul described how difficult it is to die for righteous person. This is because it is not expected for one to even die for evil people. So, Paul’s expression portrays the difficulty of finding someone to do this, even when occasion warrants. In essence, God demonstrated His love for humankind when He gave His Son as propitiation for our sin (v. 8). Based on this, John Stott wrote objectively “that God has given us good grounds for believing in His love.” At the appointed time, He demonstrated His love when Christ died for sinners. He allowed Jesus to be taken by the wicked men, tortured an crucified so that humankind will be reconciled to Him (2 Corinthians 5:19).
Discussion Time 2
1. According to today’s lesson, what will be your advice for those who are suffering for the sake of their faith?
2. How would you explain the doctrine of justification to an unbeliever in the simplest form?
C. Justification through the Blood of Jesus. Romans 5:9-11
Paul’s explanation on the doctrine of justification of believers through faith is explicit. His statement in verse 9 further explains that justification is made possible by the blood of Christ and this secures our safety from God’s wrath. Therefore, we have no reason to fear God’s judgment. After all, we have been adopted into God’s family, which gives us the right to eternal life. Even though we were once God’s enemies but He has made us His friend through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ (v. 10). As a result of this new relationship, we can rejoice because of God’s work of justification through Jesus Christ who has chosen to befriend us. Noteworthy in the passage, also, is the fact that if God has justified us through the blood of His Son, He will surely spare us from His wrath (v. 9). More importantly, because He had reconciled us through the death of His Son, He will surely save us through His Son’s sacrifice (v.10).
To be justified is to be declared innocent or vindicated. But reconciliation has to do with relationship or the bringing together of those who had estranged relationship. It is apparent to consider the natural progression in the passage from being justified (v. 9) to a state of reconciliation (v. 10a) and being saved (v. 10b). Christians should know that one cannot be reconciled to a righteous God without first being justified. It involves a change in a relationship from enmity to friendship. of the word ‘Reconciliation’ means to make peace after a quarrel. Leon Morris says that reconciliation leads to salvation that never ends.
Through reconciliation, peace with God is achieved and this makes us to rejoice in Him. The phrase “we shall be saved” (v. 10) from the wrath to come is the future aspect of salvation. It means the salvation, which was procured by Christ, is not only effective now but also hereafter.
Discussion Time 3
1. How did humankind become enemies of God?
2. Discuss the relationship between justification and reconciliation.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity
i. Let two class members share their personal experiences that illustrate that although Christians are not immune to tribulation or tragedy, God gives us the grace to overcome trials Victoriously.
ii. Make a list of things that can easily strain our relationship with God.
• Through Christ’s sacrifice, we have peace, hope, love and power over sin.
• The blood of Jesus is our only means of justification.
• Christians should endeavour to endure in times of suffering.
• Our future glory is more than our present suffering.
• Faith is important in our dealings with God.
• God demonstrated His love for sinners when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins.