Nigeria Baptist Convention Sunday Bible Study Manual For May 12, 2024 : Topic - RECKONED AS RIGHTEOUS.

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Nigeria Baptist Convention Sunday Bible Study Manual For May 12, 2024 : Topic - RECKONED AS RIGHTEOUS.

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SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION

NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE

Theme for the Month: "STANDING IN THE FAITH."

DATE: SUNDAY, 12TH MAY, 2024.

TOPIC: RECKONED AS RIGHTEOUS.

Devotional Reading: Genesis 15:1-6.

Background Scripture: Romans 4.

Lesson Scripture: Romans 4:13-25.

GOLDEN TEXT:
“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised to do." Romans 4:20-21

OBJECTIVES:
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Discuss the weaknesses of the Law;
● Explain the importance of faith in receiving God's promise, like Abram;
● Make a personal commitment to grow in the faith.


INTRODUCTION:
The first few chapters of the book of Romans centres on the fact that the whole human race, both Gentiles and Jews, had been under the grip of sin. Therefore, they needed to be put right with God through faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. Perhaps, even more central is the theme that God kept His promise to Abram through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Paul gave the example of an Old Testament hero (Abram), that the Law and the Prophets had already revealed that God's way of putting people right with Him is through faith in Jesus, without any reference to the Law. According to Genesis' account, Abram found favour with God as he trusted the promises made to him to be the spiritual father of many nations (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:11). The word "Reckoned" (counted), as used in the passage, suggests that God's only way of accepting people is by their faith in Jesus Christ. Paul concluded that the true descendants of Abram are those who have faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, whether Gentiles or Jews.

The focus of today's lesson is that the way of salvation for both Gentiles and Jews has always depended on a response of faith to God and not adherence to the Law.


THE LESSON EXPLAINED...


A. FAITH AS CONDITION FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS
[Romans 4:13-15]

Paul explained in the latter part of chapter 3 that righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe and so, there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles. After all, they have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:22-23). Paul's emphasis on faith as a condition for righteousness illustrates how workers' wages are not regarded as gifts but an obligation. The reason is that it is something earned as a result of work done (v. 4). Therefore, it was not through the observance of the Law that Abram and his descendants received the promise that he would be the father of many nations but through the righteousness that comes by faith (v. 13; Genesis 17:4-6). According to verse 14, if those who depend on the Law are heirs, then faith means nothing and the promise is without value. In verse 15, he explained the consequence of the Law saying, "... because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression."

Basically, faith in Christ Jesus is the only thing that makes one righteous, like Abraham. The Hebrew word translated 'Righteous' means to be right with both God and humankind. Notably, this kind of righteousness is only attained by faith in Jesus Christ for the purpose of being reconciled to God. On the contrary, because the Law reveals sin (Romans 7:7-11), it produces wrath and not promise. The Law points us to what is right but it does not empower us to obey God's laws, In addition, there is neither justification, nor salvation in the law neither does it help to live a righteous life. Even today, the only thing people need to be saved is faith in the Lord Jesus who died for the redemption of humankind. Any other condition to receive the gift of salvation outside faith in the finished works of Christ, no matter how popular, is not biblical and should be discouraged.

DISCUSSION TIME:
1. How can you differentiate between righteousness by faith and the Law, in the light of today's lesson?
2. Discuss some ungodly conditions people give today in order to be saved and how to correct such errors.


B. GOD'S PROMISE COMES BY FAITH:
[Romans 4:16-17]

Having explained the weaknesses of the Law (v. 15), Paul became more emphatic about God's promise that can only come through faith. He declared in verse 16 thus, "Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abram's offspring not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all." This suggests that God's promise is not only for Abraham but for all his descendants, both Jews (those of the law) and Gentiles (those who have faith, Galatians 3:7).

As reaffirmed by Paul, God has made Abraham the father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God whom he believed, the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not (v. 17). Apparently, those who believe in Christ Jesus have right to all the blessings contained in the Abrahamic covenant, irrespective of their race or tribe. Also noteworthy in the passage is the correlation between faith and grace. Paul's explanation is clear about Abraham who received God's promise only through the grace of God. The implication is that believers can only receive God's promise to Abraham through faith. We should also note that God does not justify us by obeying His law but by believing His gracious promise in the person of Jesus Christ. Christians are, therefore, reminded that God's promise is a free gift to as many who believe, as Abraham did and not necessarily those who obey certain laws.

DISCUSSION TIME:
1. Discuss the importance of the Law since God does not justify anyone by keeping the Law.
2. How can believers partake of the promises of God to Abraham?


C. ABRAHAM'S HOPE IN GOD:
[Romans 4:18-25]

According to Genesis' account, God promised to make Abram's descendants as many as the stars (Genesis 15:5). Abram believed in God, even though there were no evidences of the promise. At the end, he became "the father of many nations" as it had been foretold. Although he was well- advanced in age (about one hundred years old) and his wife Sarah was above childbearing age, yet his faith did not waver. According to verse 20, Abram did not waver through unbelief, regarding God's promise but was strengthened in his faith and he was convinced that God has the power to do what He had promised concerning him as the future father of many nations (v. 17). Ultimately, God honoured his faith; he became the father (ancestor) of many nations, according to God's promise: "So shall your offspring be".

Faith is key to receiving the promise of God, like Abram whose faith was commended. Walking with God by faith requires that we keep trusting Him, even though we may not see the physical manifestation or the evidence of His move. As believers, we must believe that God can do what He has promised to do. Abram and Sarai were both old; beyond childbearing age, yet Abram believed and God gave them Isaac (the promised child). In other words, whatever God promises, He performs; if only we believe. The summary of the lesson is that Christians should learn to walk with God by faith and not by sight so that we would be reckoned as righteous, like Abraham.

DISCUSSION TIME:
1. From today's lesson, what should be our attitude in times of waiting?
2. Explain what you understand by "Walking with God by faith."

Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Nil.

Take Home: Write down three lessons you are taking home from today's lesson?
● __________
● __________
● __________

Commitment:
● Based on today's lesson, make a commitment to walk with God, as you patiently wait for the fulfilment of His promise.

Happy Sunday in Advance.

Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!

Nigeria Baptist Convention Sunday Bible Study Manual For May 12, 2024 : Topic - RECKONED AS RIGHTEOUS. Nigeria Baptist Convention Sunday Bible Study Manual For May 12, 2024 : Topic - RECKONED AS RIGHTEOUS. Reviewed by Muyiwa Abodunrin (Muyilight) on May 11, 2024 Rating: 5

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