C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR DECEMBER 11, 2022 : TOPIC – THE JOY OF TRUE REVIVAL
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH Nigeria & Overseas
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: REVIVAL REDISCOVERING THE PATH TO SPIRITUAL MATURITY
JULY – DECEMBER, 2022
Unit Three: The Products And Prospects of Revival
DECEMBER 11, 2022
TOPIC: THE JOY OF TRUE REVIVAL
Fear not, O land: be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done marvelous things! (Joel 2:21)
True repentance brings lasting joy and peace to the repentant.
Joel 2:21 is God’s response to the disaster that struck the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The dreaded locust, described as a horse, had invaded the land of Judah because of their sins, but as soon as they humbly repented, God promised a time of refreshing (cf. Acts 3:19). The disasters that greet sinners suffice to make them fret and tremble. Usually, sinners suffer (Lk. 15:14-16; 23:40-42)! However, when God is appeased by true humility and genuine repentance, He brings upon them revival, restoration, and reinvigoration, instead of fear and terror. God turns His face to show mercy as He brings abundance of provision and security to His people. He drives away the evil that sin might have brought upon them, and restores their land to fertility and wondrous goodness.
From the fore-going, Christians are not to be frightened by persecution and sufferings in any form, because our God is loving, merciful and mighty to save. Whenever we call on Him, He hears and delivers us. The joy is that, we will survive situations that rise against us, if we are humble enough to return to the Lord, our God. While sin brings deprivation, desolation and destruction in the end, true revival brings upon us joy and gladness, both now and ultimately. Make sure you cooperate with the Holy Spirit for the revival of your soul.
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK ONE
Mon. Dec. 5: Revival Starts With Holy Gathering (Ezra 3:1-7)
Tue. Dec. 6: Revival Makes Us Worship God (Exo. 4:29-31)
Wed. Dec. 7: Remove Uncleanness From Your Midst (Rom. 6:13)
Thur. Dec. 8: Revival Needs Teachers Of God’s Word (Lev. 10:11)
Fri. Dec. 9: Revival Sanctions The Wicked (1 Tim. 1:20)
Sat. Dec. 10: Revival Brings Joy Afterwards (Psa. 30:5; 126:5)
1. The joy of revival is sourced from, and deeply rooted in Christ, the Joy to the world.
2. Christ is the source of true and lasting revival. As the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2), we need Him to be free from the dangers looming on the finally impenitent.
3. Cooperate with Him; now and ultimately.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 35:1-10
AIM AND OBJECTIVES:
AIM: To show that it is godly sorrow that leads to repentance, and consequently revival.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, it is expected that the learners should be:
i. able to show that true repentance, and not mere remorsefulness, triggers true revival;
ii. able to defend the fact that true revival cannot be achieved without the undiluted Word of God;
iii. able to explain the fact that joy and gladness only come after we are cleansed by the Word of God; and
iv. showing evidence of having forsaken all else to return to the Lord, so as to enjoy Him to the fullest.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: NEHEMIAH 8:1-18; 2 CORINTHIANS 7:1-12
We praise God for bringing us to the conclusion of lesson ten, EFFECTS OF TRUE REVIVAL (II), where we learnt how God exposed and rebuked the sin of Nadab and Abihu. Also, we saw how Ananias and Saphira conspired against the Holy Spirit, and paid dearly with their lives. The lesson further took us to how magical powers and idolatry were exposed and subdued, leading to revival of souls and expansion of the Church. May God help us to apply all these teachings for His glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
We shall continue, this week, by the grace of God, as we look at a new topic: THE JOY OF TRUE REVIVAL. This is a one-week lesson aimed at helping us to better understand what the joy of the Lord is, within the context of revival, as well as what joy comes in the wake of true repentance. The returnees from Babylon were excited when law of God was read to them; they wept to express their gladness when heard God’s undiluted Word that had eluded them for years. Then their joy followed. We shall also be looking at the Corinthians church. May the Holy Spirit revive us, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION:
This is a one-week lesson, divided into parts A and B, respectively.
DIVISION I—-THE JOY OF TRUE REVIVAL:
The captivity of the people of Judah had caused them to forget God, and so lost touch with His manual for their lives. Then came the zealous Ezra, gathering the people to read God’s Law to them. The people wept when they heard the Word and understood it; knowing how much they had missed and drifted away from their Source–God. This caused godly sorrow that produced true repentance in them. In part B, we shall see how Paul’s letter influenced the Corinthian church, as they truly repented and disciplined erring members. This resulted in joy and gladness for all.
I. THE JOY OF TRUE REVIVAL
A. THE JOY OF THE LORD
B. THE RESULT OF TRUE REPENTANCE
I. THE JOY OF TRUE REVIVAL (Nehemiah 8:1-18; 2 Corinthians 7:1-12)
Revival is the growth of something, or an increase in the activity of something after a long period of inactivity. Sorrow and evil attend those who abandon God’s Word and will, while those who truly and sincerely repent of their sins are filled with joy and gladness from the Lord. This is the only way out to experiencing the joy of true revival.
A. THE JOY OF THE LORD (Neh. 8:1-18)
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (v.10).
i. The people of the Judah had almost lost the memory of God due to their captivity in Babylon. Coming back now is an opportunity to retrace their steps back to God and experience the joy of the Lord.
ii. vv. 1-3: The people assembled with a unified purpose–to hear God’s Word that they had missed for decades. There is no other way to know joy, than in God’s Word.
iii. vv. 4-8::So they read distinctly from the book… and helped them to understand the reading. The place of revived teachers cannot be overemphasised in bringing revival to God’s people (Psa. 25:9; Acts 8:31; Rom. 10:14).
iv. v. 9: The Word, when rightly divided by the revived vessel, convicts the sinner, and elicits the right response from people. Hence,… all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law.
v. v. 10: Oh! The Word of God is a lamp and light (Psa. 119:105). It exposes, lightens our paths, and directs, giving us the joy of the Lord that attends true revival, which is the source of the strength needed for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3).
vi. v. 17: And there was very great gladness. Why? They hadn’t been so watered for so long. The joy of understanding God’s will (revival) filled their hearts. The joy of the Lord is indeed our strength.
vii. Gladness is the result of true repentance. When Samaria received the Word, they all experienced transformation, with the attendant joy and gladness (Acts 8:5-8). God’s Word is the light that overthrows the thick darkness of our hearts, and brings us to the right relationship with the Lord’s.
B. THE RESULT OF TRUE REPENTANCE (2 Cor. 7:1-12)
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death (v. 10).
i. v. 1: True revival demands that we cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. This is what repentance does as an Integral part of lasting revival.
ii. vv. 8,9: Look at Paul’s play on words here. He rejoiced because the people’s sorrow produced a complete change of mind and conduct (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17)
iii. Note that Paul’s letter didn’t just make them sorry for their sins (remorsefulness). Rather, their sorrow led to repentance (v.9). That is what true preaching/teaching should do amidst us. We must stop shedding ‘crocodile tears’, but truly repent of our sins.
iv. Remorsefulness only makes a man sorry for his misdeed, but doesn’t mean he won’t return to his vomit. Judas Iscariot was only remorseful. Had he repented, he wouldn’t have committed suicide. Only repentance, occasioned by godly sorrow, brings positive change.
v. v. 10: The joy of salvation (Psa. 51:12) comes when the sinner is truly sorry for his errors, and approaches Christ for salvation and deliverance, with the resolve not to go back into his vomit (cf. 2 Pet. 2:22).
vi. vv. 11,12: Here are evidences of how godly sorrow had brought positive changes in the lives of the brethren in Corinth; they became indignant at sin, and dealt wth erring members. That would bring them true joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).
vii. Sometimes, we act the way we do, due to our limited knowledge of the WORD Himself (cf. Jn. 8:32). As we go deeper in His Word, we become better enlightened, shunning negative influences, and exposing sin wherever and with whoever it is found. So, take heed to yourself (1 Tim. 4:16).
1. When people truly encounter God’s Word again, they experience great joy in the Lord that makes their expression of Him deeper as more convincing to the sinning world.
2. For us to experience revival, godly sorrow must lead to positive change
Just being remorseful wouldn’t do that!
1. It is impossible to find the joy of the Lord, i.e. the joy of salvation outside Christ. Discuss.
2. Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation. Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS:
ANSWER TO QUESTION 1:
* Joy is a source of cause of great happiness or excitement, not dependent on what one has or lacks. True joy is the products of the life in Christ Jesus.
* Have you the joy of salvation? The joy of the Lord belongs to those who belong to Him. Permanent joy comes when we forsake all else to follow the Master, Jesus Christ (CACHGHB 507).
* Only Jesus came to offer Himself for humanity, and only those who receive Him have the power of sonship and are family members of God’s household (Jn. 1:11, 11; 3:16).
* One can be in the church and not in Christ, hence won’t experience the joy of salvation.
* Sanctification by the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s fire makes one better by the day till one attains to the state of perfection, ultimately.
* Sinners may be happy for a while in their sinfulness. For sure, they are still most wretched (cf. Rom. 7:24; 8:13).
ANSWER TO QUESTION 2:
* There is worldly sorrow. It is artificial and padded, and makes one sorry for a while, only to go back to his vomit.
* There is godly sorrow that is deep to arouse true repentance; it is lasting and rewarding.
* Until one truly repents, God looks at one afar of (Psa. 138:6). The people of Judah called themselves people of God until they heard the undiluted Word that broke them down: causing a positive change in their lives.
* Godly sorrow will make you clean yourself of filth, soul and spirit.
* Godly sorrow makes you fear the Lord’s and obey Him.
* Godly sorrow produces a thorough change of mind unto salvation because the one who feels it cannot rest till he finds pardon through the mercy of God.
* God doesn’t pardon those who sorrow the way of the world, for sooner than later, they will fall back to their vomit—for them, old things have not pass away (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17).
* Worldly sorrow leads to death and destruction while godly sorrow leads to life and salvation (cf. Acts 2:37-41).
Jesus, in one of His sermons, says. Do not give what is holy to the dogs; our cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and tear you in pieces (Matt. 7:6). God will not give previous things to sinners who refuse to accept Him as Lord. The joy of Lord—salvation, is like the precious jewel hidden, and which when a man finds, sold all he had to acquire it. We must do away with everything else to get Christ’s salvation. The joy of true revival is great and lasting. But before gold really becomes treasurable, all impurities must be removed by fire, after which it becomes shiny to the admiration of all. The price tag also changes. Pearls that are not thoroughly refined are fake and thus cheaply priced. So, the Christian journey requires a lot of endurance as the hammer of God’s Word beats on us, causing positive changes. Do you desire the joy of the Lord? Then remove all filth, and truly repent, that the time of refreshing from the Lord may come again!
Thank God for bringing us to the close of this lesson. It is hoped that we have seen ourselves in the light of God’s Word, to produce in us godly sorrow, for true repentance that leads to enjoyment of all the best from God. When there is revival, the people are refreshed, and God’s name is glorified. There is joy in heaven for sinners who repent (Lk. 15:10). May we be revived in all aspects of our lives, in Jesus’ name. Amen.