NBC Sunday School Manual For May 22, 2022 : Topic – FREED TO LOVE
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
Sunday, May 22, 2022
TOPIC: FREED TO LOVE
Background Scripture reading
Lesson Scripture reading: Galatians 5:1-15
Golden Text: For the whole law is summed up in one commandment: Love your neighbour as you love yourself.” Galatians 5:14
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
1. Discuss the consequences of obeying the law after Christ has set them free;
2. Describe the different ways people use their freedom to indulge in sin;
3. Resolve never to lose their freedom in Christ throughout their Christian journey
People often refer to some persons as “The unlovable.” They are a group of people who wilfully refuse to reciprocate love, no matter how much love has been shown to them for whatever reason. Such people neither accept nor respond by showing love to others. Ordinarily, one may be tempted to stop loving such people without any sign of positive response. Perhaps this was the attitude of some Christians in Galatia that motivated Paul to write to them. As far as he was concerned,the brethren must embrace freedom to love their neighbours without discrimination. However, it was with a warning that freedom in Christ should not be misused; rather, we are to serve one another in love.
Today’s lesson is a continuation of last week’s teaching. Having established the fact that salvation is God’s free gift through faith,
Paul reminded the Galatian Christians that they are born to be free, and that they should not be enslaved by the law (Galatians 3:24-25;
Thereafter, he encouraged them to embrace freedom to love through Christ Jesus and not through circumcision. The focus of today’s lesson is the importance of the freedom believers have in Christ and the need to preserve it.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. Freedom in Christ Explained: Galatians 5:1-6
Apostle Paul expressed his displeasure about how fast the Galatians were turning back to theirweak and miserable principles of obeying the law, observing days, months and seasons, afterhaving received the message of the gospel (Galatians 4:11). Consequently, he explained theessence of the freedom they have in Christ. In chapter 5 verse 1, he stated that the purpose for which Christ saved them was to live in freedom and not to allow themselves to be entangled by any kind of bondage, either by strict adherence to the law or by practising the rite of circumcision,according to the Law of Moses. Thereafter, he stressed the consequences of such action. Christ will be of no value.
The compulsion to keep the entire law.
Alienation from Christ.
Fallen from grace.He, however, explained that by faith they eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which they hope.
After all, in Christ Jesus, circumcision or no circumcision has no effect anymore. The only thing that matters is faith that is expressed through love to God and humans. Even though the Old Testament states that circumcision is a condition for a man to partake inAbraham’s blessing, we should remember that Christ has fulfilled the requirements of the law. We only need faith in Christ Jesus to inherit the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant, otherwise one will be alienated from God and the freedom, which Christ has brought, will be meaningless.Unfortunately, today some Christians still allow themselves to be burdened by the yoke of culture, old habit, pleasure, nature and socialisation. According to Paul’s counsel to the Galatians, we should be mindful of the fact that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free, though this freedom is not a license to continue in sin. Therefore, we should not become slaves again to anything that isnot found is Christ.
1. Discuss the benefits of Christ’s freedom for believers.
2. What are the likely consequences of being alienated from Christ, according to Paul in verse 4?
B. Shun Evil influence: Galatians 5:7-12
Paul probably suspected that some false teachers have misled the Galatians. He said in verse 7, “You were running a good race, who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” His language is like the voice of an aggrieved mother whose child had been influenced negatively by peer group, having laboured to impart godly virtues. Obviously, the journey of faith of the brethren in Galatia started well until they stopped obeying the truth. Paul acknowledged the fact that those who have perpetrated the wicked act are not true servants of God. The phrase “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough”(v. 9) means the negative effect of false teaching from Judaizer that is capable of luring the people away from the truth. Paul was, however, confident tha t the perpetrators will not go unpunished. Ultimately, his desire was that those agitators would be castrated (the practice of rendering a man impotent).The church in Galatia was not careful enough to diligently guard the faith they had received. They rather allowed the wind of false teaching to permeate their hearts and began to practice their old weak doctrines that had no value. Paul’s message was that the brethren should shun evil influence and continue to grow in their faith in Christ Jesus.
Unfortunately, some Christians misuse their freedom in Christ. Having accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord, they still engage in evil practices like smoking, fornication, bribery, corruption and stealing. Today’s lesson is a call for Christians to guard their faith jealously and not allow any evil influence in their relationship with God. This can be done by constantly renewing our minds with the Word of God so that we will knowthe perfect will of God (Roman 12:2). The counsel is necessary because of the danger that awaits such people who easily compromise their faith.
1. Give examples of some evil practices that have crept into the church and how such can be avoided.
2. Suggest ways the church and individual believers
can guard their faith from being corrupted.
C. Call to Serve in Love: Galatians 5:13-15
To the admonition to preserve the freedom in Christ, Paul added that freedom in Christ should not be an excuse to live under the control of the human nature. Rather, it should be a reason to serve one another in love. According to verse 14, the whole law is summarised in one commandment: “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”ln other words, do to others what you would have them do to you. The commandment became necessary so that they would not continue to bite and devour one another like wild animals. Again he warned them saying, “then watch out, or you will completely destroy one another.”(v. 15) Similarly, Paul encouraged the brethren in Rome to love one another as a fulfilment of the law because it is impossible to harm those they love. Jesus also teaches that the greatest of all commandments is love for God and one’s neighbour. Paul’s admonition to the church in Galatia is also applicable to contemporary Christians. The freedom Christ Jesus brought to us should compel us to serve one another humbly in love and not to hurt, harm, judge, criticise or condemn others. Whoever has been freed by Christ is free to love and serve others in love. The principle of loving one another is the supreme rule of Christian conduct, which must be sustained.
1. What benefit will it be to the church if Christians will serveone another In love and humility?
2. How are believers using their freedom to indulge in sin today?
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity
Brainstorm the types of people who may seem hard to love. Have class members prayerfully suggest ways to approach and interact positively with them, based on Jesus’ command to love their neighbours as themselves.
Write down three lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson.
1. Ask the Lord to free your mind from evil thoughts
2. Pray that the love of God will permeate your heart
3. Pray for the grace to serve God without reservations
Based on today’s lesson, make a commitment towards your relationship with others to Ie them as you love yourself.