C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR AUGUST 27, 2023 : LESSON 7: TOPIC – BELIEVERS’ JUSTIFICATION THROUGH CHRIST’S FINISHED WORK
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCHNigeria & Overseas
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: UNDERSTANDING OUR APOSTOLIC FOUNDATION
JULY – DECEMBER 2023
UNIT ONE: THE TRIUNE GOD COMES TO REDEEM US
27TH AUGUST 2023
TOPIC: BELIEVERS’ JUSTIFICATION THROUGH CHRIST’S FINISHED WORK
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference (Romans 3:21-22).
Christ’s finished work declares us righteous in Him Gustification). We are free in Him alone!
Understanding Our Apostolic Foundation
1. BRIEF COMMENT:
Taith in the finished work of Christ Jesus restores the broken relationship with
God. Having received forgiveness of sin, we discover an unprecedented new world of blessings which was preordained before the foundation of the world. Under the Old Testament Law, righteousness came by man behaving, but under the Gospel, righteousness comes by believing. God presented Christ as the Sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of His blood, to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness so as to be just and to justify those who have faith in Christ. Apostle Paul thus explained that Jesus Christ is both the subject and object of the saving faith (Gal. 2:16). Law’s righteousness is a reward for works. Gospel righteousness is a gift through faith. By flesh, no man can prevail or win the battle of sin but by accepting the righteousness which is given by God. It is personal, individual faith in Jesus Christ that saves and justifies the lost sinner. It is this faith in His faithfulness that makes us justified for a new and real identity, regardless of our background or wrongs.
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS
Mon. 21: Faith Of The Elders (Heb. 11:1-2)
Tues. 22: Filthy Righteousness (Isa. 64:6)
Wed. 23: Faith Of Moses’ Parents In YAHWEH (Exod. 2:2-3)
Thur. 24: Justification Brings Peace (Rom. 5:1)
Fri. 25: Justified: Not By Works (Gal. 2:15-21)
Sat. 26: Justification: Not For The Proud Soul (Hab. 2:4)
$2. DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS:
1. God’s gracious plan for the redemption of the depraved humanity is revealed in Christ and received by faith in His finished work. 2. Justification simply implies being declared free from all charges and guilt before God. Thus, we are to live our lives in the consciousness of the justified, yielding our all to the justifier.
$3. BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Numbers 25:7-12
4. AIM AND OBJECTIVES:
AIM: To help learners understand that to live is to be justified, and that only comes through faith in the finished work of Christ.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, learners should be able to:
i. identify how Abraham got his righteousness and how one can secure God’s righteousness through Christ;
ii. mention how justification is made possible in the sacrificial death of Christ; and
iii. show that salvation is only available on the basis of a single condition-faith.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: ROMANS 3:21-23;4:1-21;5:6-9; 2 CORINTHIANS 5:21 W e thank God for the lesson of last week. We have further understood the import of Christ’s resurrection, His ascension into the heavens, His intercession for us at the Father’s right hand, and His unstoppable Second Coming. Let us be fully prepared for this Return of His so that we can be rapturable when He comes.
This lesson discusses how faith in the finished work of Christ brings justification to men. It is a discourse of the first part of our 4th tenet, Justification and Sanctification of the Believers through the Finished Work of Christ. We are looking at how Christ’s finished Work effects and perfects our justification. The whole human race is in the bondage of sin and kept on living in bondage. Meanwhile, the Saviour, Jesus Christ, who has no sin, surrendered Himself to take the sin upon Himself and pay for man’s redemption through His death and resurrection. Now, man has the blood provision for his freedom from sin and having the long-lost relationship with God restored – Justification. Justification is only possible and accessible by believing Christ’s finished work.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION:
This lesson is divided into two; I and II. Division 1: ABRAHAM’S JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH, division I reminds us that put under trial, we are automatically guilty (Rom. 3:23), and that to be justified, we have to obtain righteousness by faith in Christ’s redemptive work. Division II also buttresses the fact that Jesus Christ came to fulfil the sacrifice of reconciliation, bringing all closer to God and bridging the gap created by the first Adam.
I. ABRAHAM’S JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH II. BELIEVERS JUSTIFICATION IN CHRIST
1. ABRAHAM’S JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH (Rom. 4:1-5,9-16) For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (v.3).
a) v. 1: Abraham is an OT example of those justified by faith (cf. Gen. 15:6) and the father of Faith because of his special relationship with God. However, did he gain this based on his works or faith?
b) v. 2: God knew that Abraham couldn’t secure his own righteousness, otherwise, Abraham would have had something to boast of (cf. Isa. 64:6; Rom. 9:11;11:6; Gal. 2:16; 3:10; Eph.2:8,9; Tit. 3:4ff).
c) v. 3 (cf. Gen. 15:6): To credit one’s account can either be as a wage or gift. Abraham got his righteousness as a gift, not wage; faith in God’s promises did it.
d) vv. 9-12: Faith was before circumcision. No ritual, rite, morality, keeping of the Law can buy God’s justification. We must respond by faith to God’s free salvation (cf. Jn. 3:16ff). Abraham did not fulfil the law of Moses (which hadn’t been given by then; cf. Exod. 20:1ff) to be declared righteous (vv.13-16).
f) The founding fathers, like the apostles of Christ, had this righteousness-giving faith like Abrahams’. The fathers believed God and lived a life of faith evidenced in the indelible prints of God’s manifestation of their time.
II. BELIEVERS JUSTIFICATION IN CHRIST (Rom. 3:23-25; 4:19-21; 5:6-9;2 Cor. 5:21)
…who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification (Rom. 4:25).
a) Rom. 3:23-25: All men, in the first Adam, became unworthy sinners and spiritually powerless. Man’s righteousness profits nothing in God’s sight, hence the need for divine justification (Isa. 64:6; Rom. 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:21).
b) 2 Cor. 5:21: Jesus took our place to redeem us. What an amazing gift of love! By faith, you become discharged and acquitted (Psa. 32:1-2).
c) Rom. 4:19-21: There will always be situations and tempting invitations from the devil, but Christ, Who has gone through the same has the capacity to deliver/redeem us (Matt. 1:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 Jn.3:8b).
d) 5:6-8: Christ’s finished work for man’s justification is not by preference but divine providence (Jn. 3:16; 15:13; 19:30). No race, colour, educational background, status, etc., predisposes any man to its attainment. Believing in that finished work alone avails man divine justification.
e) v. 9: Any man who believes in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and confesses his sins will surely receive God’s pardon (CAC GHB 93:2). f) There is nothing we can add to Jesus’ finished work on our behalf. Justification is God’s gift to us for man cannot be perfect by fulfilling the law, thus man continues to sin. Therefore, let no one think his work contributed to his justification and salvation.
1. Nothing should be allowed to hinder us from enjoying the provision of the finished work of Christ.
2. Believing is receiving, with regards to man’s justification. Every man who believes, receives.
1. Do we still have faith like Abrahams’, today?
2. Is faith still the requirement for justification of the believer, today?
SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS:
ANSWER TO QUESTION 1:
* Yes, Faith like Abraham’s still exists today. Personal testimony should be our pursuit. Thus, men should rise up and grow their faith through obedience, just like Abraham, so as to have an experiential knowledge of it.
* Faith is the certainty of something we don’t yet have. Faith motivated Abraham to follow God
* Faith moves and promotes God’s project even till today.
* God who was from the beginning is yet the same and will forever be. As much as God is still trusted, faith still works
* Mountains of problems are moved, waters of challenges part for testimonies.
* New things are often experienced with individual lives in different places and times, since God has never lacked men in fulfilling His purpose on earth. People are still called today by God for different assignments, like Abraham and others.
* Just as our fathers in faith were called and worked with God, it is an expectation of God from men to walk with Him. Faith is the key!
* However, we still need to do more to measure up to the kind of faith that described the likes of Abraham in the OT. May we find that grace.
ANSWER TO QUESTION 2:
* Refer to division II above
* Yes, faith is still the requirement for the justification of believers today. Without faith, there cannot be justification. For there is no alternative to it. (Heb. 10:38).
• God’s design for men has not changed, He still wants us to Himself.
* For without faith no one can see and please God, not to talk of walking with Him (Heb. 11:6).
Justification is a legal act by God, based on the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, by means of our faith granted as a gift from God. There was an instance where somebody was charged to court of law being accused of a crime committed. In the process of court order, he was found guilty and fined. But instead of allowing the law to take its course, the Judge submitted himself to pay the fine placed on him to set him free. What a freedom! That is the picture of Christ ransomed payment that brought us justification.
The freedom from the burden of guilt and shame that would have forever sentenced us to eternal condemnation has been freely given through Jesus’ work of redemption. This is what has been established to us in a deeper manner in the lesson today. May we appropriate it and grow therein, in Jesus’ name. Amen.