NBC Sunday School Manual For August 6, 2023 :Topic – PREVIEW FOR AUGUST
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme for the Month: GOD’S ETERNAL REIGN.
DATE: SUNDAY, 6TH AUGUST, 2023.
PREVIEW FOR AUGUST
The theme for this month is “God’s Eternal Reign.” The Bible texts are taken from Galatians, Romans and 1 Corinthians. They centre on the outcome of a life under God’s authority. Some other points in the lessons are:
● The contrast between a life guided by the Holy Spirit and the one controlled by the devil.
● Admonition to build up one another in faith.
● God’s commendation.
● The authority of God and His power.
People often question the power that controls the universe. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul declares that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, all creation is ultimately subjected under God. As we study these lessons together throughout this week, it is our desire that God will give us grace to live a life guided by the Holy Spirit.
BELOW ARE THE SUGGESTED TEACHING METHODS to prepare and teach the lessons. They can be used during the general opening or in the class.
August 6 – Memorisation: Let the class members read the Golden Text (Galatians 5:13) repetitively until they have memorised it.
August 13 – Soliloquy: A class member should soliloquise the words in the Golden Text in front of the class members with boldness.
August 20 – Scripture Comparison and Verbalisation: Three class members should write out 1 Corinthians 4:5 from different versions of the Bible on cardboards and display them in front of the class for every class member to read and discuss the implication to believers.
August 27 – Recitation: Class members should read the Golden Text repeatedly in unison until they can memorise it.
TOPIC: INHERITING THE KINGDOM.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13.
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Discuss the basis of Christians loving one another.
● Enumerate the works of the human nature according to the lesson.
● Identify specific needs of others within the church or community and make efforts to help them as proof of loving them.
Nigeria is a unique country among other nations of the world. She has gone through different types of government with different leadership styles. Nigeria was under the rule of the colonial masters (the British Empire) for several years before she gained independence on 1st of October, 1960, after many years of struggle for freedom. People like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Herbert Macaulay, Ahmadu Bello, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Obafemi Awolowo among others fought for the independence of this nation. They believed that federalism and freedom was the best method of uniting the people of Nigeria. Unfortunately, six years after the independence, the military took over the government in a coup d’état, which began on 15th January 1966, killing the prime minister, many senior politicians and army officers. The Second Republic in 1979 was also overthrown in a coup d’état in 1983 leading to about sixteen years of military rule. The reasons for these coups are widespread oppression from our leaders instead of the intended unity of the people, freedom of speech, worship and life. Others include corruption, poverty, unemployment, increase in crime rate and institutional decay. By and by, the aim of our heroes who fought for the nation’s independence have been defeated because of the failure of government to preserve it. In Nigeria today, many are enslaved, cheated and denied their right: without justice because freedom has been misused by those in power.
Apostle Paul was concerned about the spiritual maturity of the brethren in Galatia and the value of the freedom they have through Christ Jesus. Paul’s concern, which he expressed in his letter, was that the brethren should preserve their freedom and not allow themselves to be enslaved (through circumcision) again after they have been set free by Jesus Christ. In other words, their freedom is not a licence to continue to sin.
Today’s lesson focuses on Paul’s admonition that believers have been set free in order to overcome the passions and desires of the flesh that is constantly waging war against the Spirit. He also stresses that when our human nature is in control, we cannot please or obey God because we will be dominated by the works of the flesh as enumerated in verses 19-21.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. ADMONITION TO LOVE:
The major theme of Chapter 5 of Galatians is freedom in Christ and life by the Spirit. The letter was written by Apostle Paul to the Christians in Galatia, the entire region of Asia Minor in present day Turkey, to preserve their freedom in Christ. He made it clear that it is not impossible to hold on to the law as well as Jesus Christ as means of our salvation (v.4). The reason for his appeal is stated in verse 13. He said, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love. Three things are evident in this verse:
● Their call unto freedom.
● The warning not to misuse their freedom.
● The encouragement to serve one another in love.
In other words, their liberty is not a license to continue to indulge in sinful activities but freedom to serve and love one another as citizens of God’s kingdom. After all, the whole law is summed up in one commandment: Love your neighbour as yourself (v. 14), and this is the spirit and intention of “the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12; Mark 12:31). Paul admonished that believers should treat other people as they wish to be treated. That is a golden rule. As he clearly observed, the absence of love for one another makes people to bite and devour each other until they completely destroy one another (v. 14).
The commandment to love one another is repeatedly emphasised both in the Old and New Testaments. In Leviticus Chapter 19:18, the people of Israel were admonished not to seek revenge or bear grudges against one another but to love their neighbour as themselves. In His response to the question about the greatest commandment, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39). It should be noted that our neigbours do not necessarily mean those who live near us, but anyone with whom we come in contact, according to Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. Christians should be reminded that loving one another gives credence to our confession of love for God who loves us and gave His beloved Son that we might have eternal life (John 3:16). The author of 1 John says, “And he has given us this command; anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister” (1 John 4:21).
1. What are some ways Christians misuse their freedom in Christ today?
2. Is it really possible to love our neighbours as ourselves? If yes, explain with a practical example.
B. THE SPIRIT AND HUMAN NATURE:
Apostle Paul stated in the passage that there are two ways of life: the one controlled by God’s Spirit and the other by human nature. He admonished the brethren to be led by the Spirit so that they will not fulfill the desires of human nature (flesh). For one to be led by the Spirit, that person must continually submit to the power and control of the Holy Spirit (v. 16). The reason is that both natures strive to subdue the soul but it is whichever one succumbs that takes the upper hand. The Spirit and the flesh cannot agree; they are constantly at war, because the flesh would not want to submit to the Spirit. Anyone who is led by the Spirit is not bound by the law, for such a person no longer live under law but under God’s grace (Romans 6:14). Paul enumerates certain works of the flesh, which include sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, and other vices (vv.19-21). Paul warned that those who do such things will not possess the kingdom of God. A lifestyle patterrned after the flesh is contrary to the life of the Spirit, which is purity and righteousness. Paul’s statement, “those who do such things”, means those who continually indulge in the works of the flesh, and such people could be referred to as carnal Christians.
It is possible that there were hypocrites among the believers in Galatia, who were still walking according to the flesh even though they have confessed Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. Paul made it clear to them that they ought to be led by the Spirit. Being led by the Spirit authenticates their sonship in God. He emphasised that true saints are those who believe and have been justified by faith in Christ. Therefore, they are able to resist the flesh and live a fruitful Christian life. Those who are led by the Holy Spirit will do what the Spirit dictates no matter the tug of war between the Spirit and the flesh.
1. What does it mean to live by the Spirit?
2.vHow can Christians overcome the influence of the flesh and live in obedience to God?
C. ADMONITION TO BEAR THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT:
Apostle Paul did not relent in his efforts to admonish the brethren in Galatia to embrace the freedom they have in Christ. He urged them to crucify the sinful nature of the flesh. He also encouraged them to live in such a way that the fruit of the Spirit would be evidenced in their lives. Paul referred to ‘the fruit of the Spirit’ as attributes of anyone led by the Holy Spirit. The fruit includes ‘love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’. He added that against such qualities, there is no law. He acknowledged the fact that those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Similarly, in his letter to the church in Rome, Paul talked about the destruction of the old nature when we are crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6).
The virtues that define a true Christian are listed in the passage. According to Paul’s explanation, a true Christian does not need the law to control his/her actions because such life is already guided by the Holy Spirit. Thus, he/she is able to crucify the flesh and its desires. It is a fact that we are all vulnerable to sin by nature, but the Holy Spirit inside of us would help us to live above sin. In fact, when we sin, that same Spirit will convict us and enable us to confess and repent of such sin. The Spirit gives us life eternal here on earth so that we can live to please God in our body and spirit. Paul’s admonition to the brethren in Galatia to bear the fruit of the Spirit is also applicable to us. Manifesting the fruit of the Spirit is evidence that we are no longer controlled by the flesh but by the Spirit of God. Those who will inherit the kingdom of God are those living by the Holy Spirit.
1. How can Christians crucify the flesh and its evil desires?
2. Discuss how our lifestyle as Christians can impact our community positively or negative.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Enumerate the fruit of the Spirit in verses 22 and 23 and circle which of them is present in your life. Pray that God will help you to always exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.
Take Home: Write down three key things you are taking home from today’s lesson:
● Based on today’s lesson, make a commitment to help someone this week as proof of your love for them.
Happy Sunday in Advance.
🌨 Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!