NBC Sunday School Manual For October 8, 2023 :Topic – FINDING LIFE AND FREEDOM.
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme for the Month:
“FAITH TRIUMPHS, LAW FAILS.”
DATE: SUNDAY, 8TH OCTOBER, 2023.
TOPIC: FINDING LIFE AND FREEDOM.
“But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” Romans 7:6
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Explain how Christians have been set free from the law of sin and death.
● Discuss the effects of the law, according to the passage.
● Make personal commitment to finding life and freedom in Christ instead of strict adherence to the law.
People often ask what purpose the law serves. The purpose is to guide human actions. The origin of the law can be traced to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The curiosity of Adam and Eve to have their eyes opened, led them to their fall from God’s original plan for them and the entire human race. By that fall, humankind automatically became sinners and completely separated from God and were subjected to the power of sin. The Hebrew word ‘Torah’ translated into ‘law’ in the Old Testament has different meanings. Laws are commandments, regulations, decrees or rulings that are made to guide people in their relationship with one another and with God. Where there are no laws, people live according to their own will and desire, which may be contrary to God’s purpose for them. The Law was given to the people of Israel to teach them how to live in fellowship with God.
According to the passage, Apostle Paul testified that he would not have been aware of sin if not for the law. The desire might have existed, but he would not have known it to be sinful. The Law must be understood for us to appreciate the freedom we have in Christ, and discover the pathway God has marked out for us. The focus of today’s lesson is that the Law, although a guide to the believers at a time, has been set aside by the virtue of our faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are no longer bound by the law. We have been released from the law so that we will be able to live by the Spirit. (v.6).
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. FREEDOM FROM THE LAW:
Apostle Paul was very explicit in his teaching about the new life in Christ Jesus in his letter to the brethren in Rome. The teaching on ‘Dead to the law’ began in Romans 6:14 where he asserted that believers are no longer under the law but under grace. He was particularly assertive in chapter 7 about their release from the law because they are already bound to Christ. He used the illustration from marriage to explain their freedom from the law. He said when the husband dies, the wife is free to marry someone else because she is no longer bound to the man by the law; otherwise, she will be regarded as an adulteress. So, just as the death of a husband qualifies his wife to be married to another man, so believers have died to the law through the body of Christ. Consequently, the power of the law that condemns no longer threatens believers. He made it clear in verse 4 and said, “So my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ that you might belong to another body….” He added that the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in them when they were controlled by the flesh but everything ended in death. Now that they have died to what once held them captive, they have been released from its bondage (the law). Therefore, they will no longer serve in the old way of the written law but in the new way that is controlled by the Spirit.
Paul’s basic concern according to the passage is that Christians are no longer controlled by law, but by the Spirit because we are part of the body of Christ (v. 4b). It is however unfortunate that many still serve sin or legalism with more devotion instead of serving God out of the newness of the Spirit we have received through Christ Jesus. As long as believers continue to live under the Law as a covenant, and seek justification by their own obedience, they will continue to be enslaved by sin and will not be useful in the service of God. Nothing but the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus can make any sinner free from the law of sin and death.
1. Identify some laws in the Church that seems to have enslaved members from serving God.
2. What should be the attitude of believers in response to the freedom we are enjoying through Christ Jesus?
B. GOD’S PERFECT LAW:
Paul’s teaching on the subject of release from the law and being bound to Christ was comprehensive. His answer to the question of whether the law is sinful in verse 7 is amazing. He was emphatic about the usefulness of the law to him. He said, “Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’ (v. 7). In other words, the law in itself is not evil because it has helped him to understand the nature of sin, which stirred up all kinds of selfish desires in him. He added that apart from the law, sin is a dead thing. According to verse 9, he testified that he was once alive apart from the law which probably may be a reference to Adam in the Garden of Eden whose experience represents the entire human race (Genesis 2:16-17). He concluded in verse 12 that the law itself is holy, and the commandment is holy, right, and good. Invariably, Paul meant that the law is not to be blamed for the sinful lifestyle of man but the corrupt nature of man.
According to Paul in the passage, the law in itself is good but sin had corrupted the work or effect of the law. He declared in verse 1.0b that the commandment which was supposed to bring life brought death to him. The harmful nature of sin, and obedience to the law is seen in the passage, and believers must die to sin and law. The weakness of the law is not in the law but in the corrupt nature of Man. The natural human heart is resistant to obeying God and finds opportunity to express all manners of evil desires (v. 8). The law reveals our guilt and excites our rebellion, bringing forth more sin and death. However, the power of God in Christ has delivered us from the sinful nature. Believers should remember that they have been set free from the power of sin and the law and have become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:18). This should spur us to be more committed to the course of Christ and kingdom work.
1. Discuss the benefits of the law according to the passage.
2. Describe what Paul meant in verse 9.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Differentiate between serving in the old way of a written law and in the new way of the Spirit.
Take Home: Write down some lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson?
● Based on today’s lesson, make a commitment not to be controlled by the law but by the Spirit of God.