NBC Sunday School Manual For October 29, 2023 :Topic – FREED TO BECOME AN HEIR.
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme for the Month: “FAITH TRIUMPHS, LAW FAILS.”
DATE: SUNDAY, 29TH OCTOBER, 2023.
TOPIC: FREED TO BECOME AN HEIR.
Devotional Reading: Galatians 12:1-9.
Background Scripture: Galatians 3:19-4:7.
Lesson Scripture: Galatians 3:23-4:7.
GOLDEN TEXT: “So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith,” Galatians 3:26
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Explain the word ‘heir’ and how it relates to Christians.
● Describe life before and after accepting Christ through faith.
● Show appreciation to God for their adoption as children of God.
Paul was passionate about the spiritual stability of the brethren in Galatia. He made constant efforts to explain the superiority of faith in Christ Jesus to the strict adherence to the Mosaic Law (v.21). According to him, if the law had been able to impact lives, human beings would have been able to obtain righteousness by simply observing the law. The state of the human race was terrible before the advent of faith because it was held captive by law. However, the Law was adopted to guide us to Christ who will justify us by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under the control of the law (vv. 23-25). This fact implies that we are all children of God by the virtue of our faith in Christ Jesus. By this privilege, we have become seeds of Abraham and heirs according to the promise of God. The dictionary defines the term ‘heir’ as ‘the person who has the legal right to receive the property or title of an older member of the family. The central truth of today’s lesson is that God has adopted us, and now we have every legal right to the kingdom of heaven as heirs. Paul used the understanding of the people about adoption and being an heir to explain the believer’s position in Christ. So, no more division of any kind. The shedding of the blood of Jesus has broken the barriers. Therefore, as many that have faith in Christ Jesus, regardless of race, status or sex automatically become children of God according to the promise, and they have direct access to the Father.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. FAITH AND THE LAW COMPARED:
Apostle Paul gave a contrast between the period when the law served as a guardian and when Christ (the era of faith) came. He declared in verse 23 how they were held in custody under the law until the coming of faith that would be revealed. Consequently, the law served as a guardian before the coming of Christ. As a result, we are no longer under a guardian (the law) because we now believe in the Lord Jesus. According to verses 27 and 28, as many who have been baptised into Christ have been clothed with Christ without discrimination whether a Jew, Gentile, slave, free, male or female, but all are one in Christ Jesus. Therefore, those who belong to Christ Jesus are Abraham’s seeds, and heirs according to the promise. This implies that it is not only those who are Jews by birth that are Abraham’s seeds, but everyone who belongs to Christ notwithstanding tribe, gender or race.
Paul’s explanation on the difference between the period when the law served as a guide and the time Christ came is crucial. The people were held captive under the dispensation of the law as a temporary measure to relate with God. In other words, it only lasted until the coming of Jesus Christ. Besides, no one could actually keep all the law, therefore it could not give a remedy to sin. However, when faith came, we became free from the law as our guardian. The lesson is a reminder to believers that having put their faith in Christ, we owe no allegiance to the law because of its weakness. We have entered into a new and better relationship with God and His grace is available to those who believe. We no longer need the law because our faith in Jesus Christ has set us free from the yoke and burden of the law.
1. Discuss the importance of faith as a basis for receiving God’s promises.
2. The law can diagnose sin, but it cannot give a remedy. Discuss.
B. ADOPTED AS GOD’S CHILDREN:
In Chapter 4, Paul drew a sharp contrast between a prisoner and a free person, a privileged child and an adult as well as what it means to be an heir. He explained further that a child is a potential heir to his father’s estate even though he is not better than a slave as long as he is still a child. Therefore, he is still under the control of guardians and trustees until the time set by the father (v.1-2). Pauls’ testimony in verse 3 calls for attention. He said, “So also, when we were under age, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world” (v.3). However, God sent His Son to redeem those under the law, so that they might receive adoption to sonship (vv. 4-5). The coming of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, has put an end to the reign of the law. Conséquently, we have received God’s Spirit that enables us to call out “Abba, Father.” He concluded with an affirmation and said, “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir” (v.7).
The essence of Paul’s detailed explanation is to help the Galatian brethren understand the privilege they have in Christ as adopted children of God. Therefore, they are no longer slaves but free children and so, they should not let themselves be burdened again with the yoke of slavery by holding on to the law. However, it should be noted that our freedom in Christ is not a license to continue to sin because the works of the flesh cannot save anyone (Galatians 5:13, 19-20). This should drive all Christians to a greater commitment to kingdom work as well as increase their desire to get involved in evangelism. More importantly, believers should be careful not to misuse their freedom in Christ on the excuse that they have been set free by Christ Jesus. Rather, Christians should endeavour to always act like privileged children and heirs to a great fortune.
1. Explain what Paul meant in verse 23 when he said, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
2. What does it mean to be adopted as children of God?
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Divide the class into two groups. Let each group differentiate between physical and spiritual adoption.
Take Home: Write down some lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson?
● Based on today’s lesson, make a personal commitment to remain grateful to God for the right of adoption, as His child.
REVIEW FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER
Glory to God for taking us through the month of October and the privilege we had to study how faith triumphs and how law fails. Being convinced that God has ministered to you in different ways, based on the lessons:
● What are some lessons you learnt about being adopted as children of God?
● What were your struggles in understanding justification by faith and not by observing the laws?
● What excite you the most in the whole lesson and what did you do?
● Did you discover some helpful insights that will enhance your spiritual growth?
Happy Sunday in Advance.
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!