NBC Sunday School Manual For June 9, 2024 : Topic – HOPE AMIDST SUFFERING

 NBC Sunday School Manual For June 9, 2024 : Topic – HOPE AMIDST SUFFERING


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Theme for the Month: "EXPERIENCING HOPE."


Devotional Reading: Deuteronomy 31:1-8.

Background Scripture: 2 Corinthians 3:1-18.

Lesson Scripture: 2 Corinthians 3:5-18.

“And we all, who with unveil faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18

By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Describe the benefits of the new covenant;
● Compare and contrast life without Christ and the freedom we have in Christ;
● Resolve to continue to reflect God's glory.

The Baptist denomination is known for some distinctive practices; some of which are fading away. For instance, one of the ways new members are accepted into another Baptist church is through a letter known as "Transfer of Membership". It is usually written and duly signed by the pastor of the person's former church as evidence that the person is truly a member of the church. Upon the receipt of the letter, the person is whole-heartedly accepted as a member of the new church.

In Paul's days, letters of recommendation were often given to believers who moved from Jerusalem to a new church as evidence that they belonged to the body of Christ and should be accepted in their new church. Paul used this analogy to prove the authenticity of his ministry and maintained that he did not need such a letter because the Corinthian believers which he planted in the faith were enough testimony of the authenticity of his ministry. In defence of his ministry, Paul compared the new covenant and asserted that while the old covenant brought death, the new covenant brought salvation and righteousness, and is of greater glory than the old covenant.


[2 Corinthians 3:5-11]

The first few verses of 2 Corinthians 3 are a continuation of Apostle Paul's defence of his ministry and apostleship. He declared that he did not need any letter of approval because the Christians in Corinth were his letters of recommendation. These letters, as Paul explained, were not written with ink on paper but on the hearts to be known and read by everyone. Paul found his competence and sufficiency not in himself, but in God who has made him a competent minister of the new covenant, not of the letter which kills, but of the Spirit which gives life. Remarkably, Paul's boast of achievement in ministry is not rooted in himself but in God who gave him strength.

He made a comparison between the new and old covenants. He said:
● The old covenant brought death while the new covenant brought life.
● The old covenant was engraved on stone tablets, which was given to the Israelites by God through Moses; the new covenant on the other hand is written on the hearts of men by the Holy Spirit.
● The old covenant came with a glory that the Israelites could not look at such that Moses had to veil (cover) himself; the new covenant came with a surpassing and lasting glory. much

He explained that if the ministry that came with condemnation was so glorious, how more glorious is the ministry that brought righteousness and salvation? He added that the fading glory of the old covenant cannot be compared with the surpassing glory of the new covenant, which endures. It should be noted that the old covenant that was given to Moses at Mount Sinai was in no way bad or evil. Paul described it as holy, righteous, good and spiritual (Romans 7:12, 14). It is only unfortunate that the people brought condemnation upon themselves because they were lawbreakers.

Today's Christians are partakers of the new covenant which comes with a surpassing glory. With greater glory comes a greater ability to know God, fellowship with the Holy Spirit and carry out the will of God on the surface of the earth. The ministry that has been given to us is encompassed with more glory than the old covenant. While we appreciate God for the old covenant, we should cherish the spiritual capacity we have as new covenant believers. We have unhindered access to God's mysteries and are better positioned to bring God's kingdom on earth.

1. What is the implication of verses 5 and 6 to Christians?
2. Why is it difficult for some Christians to attain to the status of showcasing the surpassing glory of the new covenant?

[2 Corinthians 3:12-18]

The first lesson emphasized Paul's claim of the superiority of the new covenant in Christ to the old, which was mediated by Moses. Having described the disparity between the two (vv. 6-11), he said, "Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold." (v. 12) He made it known that their ministry was different from Moses' who had to put a veil over his face so that the Israelites would not see the brightness of what was fading away. Unfortunately, their minds were dull. Whenever the old covenant was read, the same veil that prevented them from seeing the face of Moses still remained; it is only in Christ Jesus that the veil can be taken away. In other words, it is only those who have received the new covenant that have had their veils removed. He said in verse 17, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." The word translated "freedom" in verse 17 means "freedom from servitude, confinement, or oppression." Paul used this word to describe the experience of salvation in Christ and to underscore that Christians no longer live in bondage as slaves to sin. Jesus came to set us free spiritually. Since we come to God without a veil, we can reflect the Lord's glory and this glory transforms us into His likeness with ever-increasing glory. In fact, the Scripture says that Christ Himself is the radiance of God's glory (Hebrews 1:3a), the eternal and unfading glory which He had with His Father before the creation of the world (John 17:5).

Anyone who turns to the Lord through the new covenant would have their veil removed; their sins would be forgiven and they would freely obtain salvation (v. 16). The Holy Spirit inside of the believers gives them freedom from the futile effort of trying to be saved by keeping the Law (v. 17). Salvation through Christ Jesus has removed the veil from our eyes. Therefore, as Christians, we are expected to continue to brightly reflect His glory (v. 18) because God lives in us and continues to work in us.

1. How can a Christian continue to reflect God's glory as long as he/she lives?
2. Discuss how you will practise your freedom in Christ this week, as a follow-up of today's lesson.

Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Ask a few class members to briefly explain how they will share their faith in Christ with those who come their way this new week.

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

● Based on today's lesson, make a personal commitment to always reflect the Spirit of God wherever you find yourself.

NBC Sunday School Manual For June 9, 2024 : Topic – HOPE AMIDST SUFFERING  NBC Sunday School Manual For June 9, 2024 : Topic – HOPE AMIDST SUFFERING Reviewed by Muyiwa Abodunrin (Muyilight) on June 08, 2024 Rating: 5

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