NBC Sunday School Manual For Novenber 6, 2022 :Topic – God Chooses Us
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON( NBC)
Sunday, November 6, 2022
TOPIC: GOD CHOOSES US
Devotional Reading: Esther 4:5-17
Background Scripture: Revelation 2:1-7; Acts 19
Lesson Scripture: Ephesians 1:1-14
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. Ephesians 1:4-5
Objectives: By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
i. Explain adoption in the light of redemption.
ii. Mention some of the inheritances believers in Christ.
iii. Appreciate God for His gift of adoption and redemption.
In the dark days of slave trade, a story was told about a certain wealthy master who, unknown to ma many people, used to buy slaves from distant lands and later set them free with their papers of manumission. According to the dictionary, manumission is from the word manumit a law term which means (in former times) to free (someone) from slavery. One day, he purchased a weighty male slave and straight away, he declared him free with the manumission papers instead of making him slave forever. He went a step further by offering him adoption into his wealthy family and promised to treat him just like a biological son. The slave, in utter amazement, asked his former master, now his adopted father, “Do you mean I am now free to go anywhere I want and take anything I desire?” The father answered, “Yes, I bought and adopted you so you can be free, and free forever.” The slave burst into tears and said, “All my life, I wished to walk unchained, but you gave me freedom. All my life, I wished to have a son but now you have given me a family. All my life I wished a moment of rest but you have and happiness. given me immeasurable peace What can I do to repay you?” The father replied “Nothing. I have given you freedom just like God has promised to give complete freedom to those who are His. So, continue to enjoy all the rights and benefits as a legitimate child in the family.”
One of the mysteries of salvation is the story of adoption into the family of God as explained in the Pauline writings. According to the Jewish culture, an adopted child has the same rights and benefits as a biological child. Having praised God for the salvation He has freely given to us by means of Christ death, Paul explains that we have become members of God’s family through adoption by His choice. Therefore, as heirs of Christ, we can share from the spiritual blessings that He has prepared for us even before the foundation of the world. The emphasis of today’s lesson is that we can claim our blessings and inheritances in Christ if we believe the Good News that brought us salvation.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. Chosen for Adoption. Ephesians 1:1-5
The book of Ephesians is one of the epistles of Apostle Paul, originally directed to the Church at Ephesus. Its purpose was to strengthen the faith of the believers. We can recall Paul’s experience during one of his missionary journeys in Asia Minor where there was a widespread of idolatry. The people worshipped the Greek goddess, Artemis – the Romans called her Diana (Acts 19:27). Paul worked amidst these people and proclaimed God’s Word powerfully. Paul wrote to the people of Ephesus after he left their midst and at the beginning of the letter, He described them as “saints” and “faithful” believers (v. 1). He went further to give thanks to God, the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who has given us spiritual blessings in the heavenly realms because of our union with Christ Jesus. He further explained that long ago according to God’s plan and pleasurable will, He decided save and adopt us into His family (v. 5).
It is clear from the passage that salvation and adoption are solely the works of God and not the handiwork of any person. Similarly, Paul emphasised that since we are sons already adopted into the family of God, we then have access to “all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places” (v. 13). Therefore, the reputation of the Ephesian Christians who were called ‘saints’ and ‘faithful’ should challenge every contemporary believer to strive to be found faithful and true in the service of the Master, Jesus Christ. As believers, we have been chosen in advance into the family of God by His gracious will not by our own doing (… not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). As a loving father would lavish precious gifts on his delightful sons or daughters, so also Christ has loved and blessed us with manifold spiritual blessings and grace of the Holy Spirit.
1. Why did Jesus Christ choose us in advance? Is it the same as partiality?
2. Are adopted children different from biological children? If yes, state the difference. If no, explain briefly.
B. Chosen for Redemption. Ephesians 1:6-10
Apostle Paul had established the fact that believers have been predestined for salvation before the foundation of the world. Therefore, God should be praised for His grace, favour and the free gift of redemption, which He has given us through His dear Son, Jesus Christ. Through the sacrificial death of Jesus (the shedding of His blood), we are set free (redeemed) and our sins are forgiven (v. 7). In other words, the ransom, which was paid for our freedom, was the death of Christ on the cross, when His blood was shed. According to the Old Testament law, without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins, because of its power to cleanse (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22).Paul further described the privilege as great grace given to us in great measure in God’s wisdom and insight (Ephesians 1:8). According to verses 9 and 10, Paul explained that, “And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfilment to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.”
In Paul’s explanation, God has shown believers the mysteries of salvation, adoption, redemption and forgiveness. Therefore, the Gentiles are especially favoured because they can now partake in all spiritual blessings along with the Jews. This indeed, is God’s abundant grace and it will be clearly revealed when all things in heaven and on earth will be brought together under the lordship of Christ. Since we have been redeemed, forgiven and adopted into God’s family, we are therefore expected as believers in Christ to continuously revere Him in faith and be ever grateful for His free bounty of grace and redemption.
1. Discuss this saying; “we are redeemed from slavery but not excused from service”.
2. What is the greatest gift you have ever received from someone and why is it the greatest?
C. Chosen for Inheritance. Ephesians 1:11-14
Again, in verse 11, Paul underscores the importance of predestination according to the plan of God who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. God has chosen us to be His own people in union with Christ. Therefore, he explained that those who first hope in Christ should give God praise and glory (v.12). He also made it clear in verse 13 that the Gentile brethren were also included in God’s plan when they heard and received the gospel message that brought salvation to them. By this, they were marked with a seal (a claim of ownership), the promised Holy Spirit. In verse 14, he explained that the Spirit is the guarantee that we shall receive what God has promised His people. Certainly, this is an assurance of God’s complete freedom to/for His people to the praise and glory of His name.
It is obvious that there is an inheritance, along with other spiritual blessings, in store for the adopted and redeemed. Believers possess these inheritance and spiritual blessings by faith and trust in Christ. Although Paul did not expressly state the inheritance, it is clear that it refers to our divine portion, future, imperishable and undefiled inheritance. Invariably all believers, who have faith and trust in Christ, whether Jews or Gentiles, have additional blessing which is the seal of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:14). More importantly, it is the evidence that a believer belongs to the family of God (Romans 8:9, 14-16; Ephesians 1:13).
In conclusion, believers who receive redemption, forgiveness and, ultimately, adoption, are blessed in numerous ways. They have an inheritance in Christ, enjoy the presence and approval of the Holy Spirit and they is guaranteed eternal life.
1.Apart from the spiritual blessings of holiness, adoption, redemption and gift of the Holy Ghost, what are other inheritances, which belong to the heirs in Christ?
2. Discuss the implication of these expressions: signed, sealed and delivered.
Commitment: Make a verbal commitment to always express your joy in appreciation of God’s gifts of adoption and redemption.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
Let the class find a parent who have adopted a child and invite the parent to share their experiences of adoption.
1. Thank God for the redemption you have received through Christ.
2. Pray for the grace to serve God faithfully as a true believer.
3. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the inheritance you have in Christ.
Take Home: Write down three lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson: