13 June 2018

Growing In Holiness

Theme: The Believer’s Testimony

Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 6:1-7:1

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: We are to live blameless and obedient lives that point people to Christ.
Think: Cultivate a desire to be a pure dwelling place for God’s Spirit.
Do: Be growing in holiness, separating myself from all sin.

B1 2 Corinthians 6:1,
C1 Working together
D1 With other ambassadors
D2 With God
D3 How do we work together with other ambassadors (believers)?
D4 How do we work together with God?
C2 In vain
D1 This is receiving God’s grace, which all believers have, and not using it. It just gets ignored.
D2 Give some examples of this.
D3 How do we use God grace?
E1 The grace of salvation
E2 The grace of God’s gifts
F1 Romans 12:4-8 LEB For just as in one body we have many members, but all the members do not have the same function,  in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another, but having different gifts according to the grace given to us: if [it is] prophecy, according to the proportion of [his] faith;  if [it is] service, by service; if [it is] one who teaches, by teaching; if [it is] one who exhorts, by exhortation; one who gives, with sincerity; one who leads, with diligence; one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
F2 1 Peter 4:10-11 HCSB Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.  If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
F3 Parable of the talents
G1 Matthew 25:14-15 MKJV  For it is as if a man going abroad called his own servants and gave them his goods.  15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to each according to his ability. And he went abroad at once.
G2 Why is it important to be faithful to the gift God gives?
G3 We need to remember: Matthew 25:29 MKJV  For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will abound. But from him who has not, even that which he has shall be taken away from him.
B2 2 Corinthians 6:2
C1 Should we or others be concerned with Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation?
C2 How does this apply to God’s grace?
B3 2 Corinthians 6:3 GNB  We do not want anyone to find fault with our work, so we try not to put obstacles in anyone's way.
C1 How can we live as Christians as the New Testament teaches and not be offensive? Do we just accept everything? Does doctrine not matter? Isn’t doctrine divisive? Isn’t preaching about sin make people feel guilty and not return to church? Should we be inclusive in the Gospel, Doctrine, and the Christian life?
C2 What obstacles might hinder or stop someone from becoming a Christian?
B4 2 Corinthians 6:4-10
C1 What hardships did the first century brothers and sisters endure?
C2 How did they show they were really God’s servants?
C3 How did God help them, and how will He help us?
C4 Paul writes about the difficulties with joys they have faced being Christians. How is it possible to have joy in these many difficulties?
C5 Why would Paul and the others continue to preach Jesus and the Gospel if the resurrection and Jesus’s life were NOT true?
C6 How can believers be grieving, sorrowful, etc. and still rejoice?
B5 2 Corinthians 6:11-13
C1 Is being honest what we believe helpful or hurtful?
C2 Closed hearts is an expression showing a lack of fellowship and honesty in relationships. How does this happen in a church setting?
C3 Paul is stating, “We love you and want to help you. Why don’t you show the same feelings for us?” Yet, Paul doesn’t seek this love so greatly that he compromises Christian teachings.
B6 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
C1 Utley comments in his notes on this verse: Believers must restrict their most intimate, personal relationships to fellow believers. This helps us fight the pull of fallen culture away from Christ. Faith in Jesus and the indwelling Spirit have caused a sharp and deep cleavage within families, businesses, hobbies, amusements, even churches.
One must take into account passages like 1 Cor. 5:9-13; 7:12-16; 10:27 to get the theological balance of this truth. We must remember the wickedness of first century pagan culture. This is not an affirmation of monastic living, but an attempt to reduce intimate personal relationship with the fallen world system (cf. 1 John 2:15-17).
D1 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 MEV I wrote to you in my letter not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I did not mean the sexually immoral people of this world, or the covetous and extortioners, or the idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. 11 But I have written to you not to keep company with any man who is called a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Do not even eat with such a person. 12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But God judges those who are outside. Therefore “put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”
D2 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 deals with a believers married to an unbeliever.
D3 1 Corinthians 10:27 deals with eating with a non-Christian. Do not ask if the food was dedicated to an idol.
D4 1 John 2:15-17 MEV Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 The world and its desires are passing away, but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
D5 What do some Christian pastors ignore this separation?
C2 Robertson’s Word Pictures comment on this verse: Literally, "Stop becoming (μη γινεσθε present imperative, not μη γενησθε aorist subj.) unequally yoked with unconverted heathen (unbelievers)." Some were already guilty. Marriage is certainly included, but other unions may be in mind. Cf. Eph 5:7. Paul gives as the reason (γαρ) for this prohibition five words in questions to distinguish the contrasts.
D1 Ephesians 5:7 MEV Therefore do not be partakers with them.
C3 There are four contrasts named here; what are they, and how to we avoid the ungodly ones?
D1 Messiah and the devil (literally worthless) are opposite in methods, doctrine, standards, in fact, everything.
D2 A believer and a unbeliever have nothing in common either.
E1 1 John 5:11-12 GNB92 The testimony is this: God has given us eternal life, and this life has its source in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has this life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
E2 1 Corinthians 1:30 HCSB But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us — our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
D3 The temple of God is the believers, who have God the Holy Spirit, and idols, which are dens of demons.
E1 1 Corinthians 3:16 NKJV  Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
E2 1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
E3 1 Corinthians 10:20-21 NKJV  Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.  21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons.
E4 1 Timothy 4:1 NKJV  Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.
C4 The word fellowship in 2 Corinthians 6:14
D1 2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
D2 Hebrews 2:14 KJV  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
D3 Greek words
E1 The Greek word for fellowship in 2 Corinthians 6:14 is μετοχή metochḗ (used 1X) while the verb form is μετέχω (used 8X)
E2 There are 2 words that mean fellowship, partake, share. The difference between the 2 words (in bold above) is explained by Westcott in a comment on the verse: The distinction between it [μετέχω] and κοινωνέω were partakers is correctly stated by Westcott; ‘the latter marking the characteristic sharing of the common fleshly nature as it pertains to the human race at large, and the former signifying the unique fact of the incarnation as a voluntary acceptance of humanity.’
D4 Basically, 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns of the danger of any interaction with unbelievers that would tempt us to drift from the faith.
B7 2 Corinthians 6:17-2 Corinthians 7:1
C1 What are we Christians to come out of?
C2 What is separation?
D1 First, it is separation from the 4 things listed in 14-16.
D2 Second, clean versus unclean.
E1 Clean is those things approved by God, but unclean things are disapproved by God.
E2 The New Testament shows us what is clean and unclean for example: Galatians 5:19-23 NKJV  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,  20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,  21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
C3 Some verses warning of NOT separating
D1 Psalms 106:34-35 WEB They didn’t destroy the peoples, as Yahweh commanded them, but mixed themselves with the nations, and learned their works.  
D2 2 Chronicles 19:2 WEB Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked, and love those who hate Yahweh? Because of this, wrath is on you from before Yahweh.
D3 Proverbs 29:27 NKJV An unjust man [is] an abomination to the righteous, And [he who is] upright in the way [is] an abomination to the wicked.
E1 Another translation: Proverbs 29:27 GNB92 The righteous hate the wicked, and the wicked hate the righteous.
E2 The New English Translation (NET) of Proverbs 29:27 has this footnote: tn Heb “who is upright in the way” (so NASB; KJV and ASV are similar). Here “in the way” refers to the course of a person’s life, hence “who lives an upright life.” Cf. NAB “he who walks uprightly.”
sn The proverb makes a simple observation on life: The righteous detest the wicked, and the wicked detest the lifestyle of the righteous. Each is troublesome to the beliefs and the activities of the other.
C4 In light of the above notes, what should be our attitude and actions towards unbelievers in daily life, witnessing, and social issues?
B8 Be encouraged!
C1 John 15:5 NKJV  "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
C2 Philippians 4:13 NKJV  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
B9 Next week:
C1 Grace for every trial
C2 Theme: The Believer’s Strength

C3 Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

06 June 2018

Great Expectations

Theme: The Believer’s Identity

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:1-21

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Christ has given us the privilege of representing Him and sharing the message of reconciliation, even as we long for our home in Heaven.
Think: I allow the fact that I represent Christ to guide all I do.
Do: Live as Christ’s representative to the world, sharing the message of reconciliation.

B1 2 Corinthians 5:1-10,
C1 How does this verse give us comfort: 2 Corinthians 5:1 GNB92 For we know that when this tent we live in—our body here on earth—is torn down, God will have a house in heaven for us to live in, a home he himself has made, which will last forever.
C2 What wonderful hope is for Christians who die?
C3 Are we going to be a disembodied soul floating around in the sky?
C4 What are some differences between our current body and the new one?
Our body

Made with hands
Not made with hands
From earth (dirt)
From God
Not eternal
On earth
In heaven
D2 What is the difference between the Christian’s new body and the nonbeliever?
E1 Philippians 3:21 GNB He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule.
E2 This verse speaks of the resurrection body but somethings are similar: 1 Corinthians 15:42 GW That is how it will be when the dead come back to life. When the body is planted, it decays. When it comes back to life, it cannot decay.
E3 What else can you think of?
C5 What is our guarantee for the new life, body, home, and fellowship to come?
C6 We have never seen heaven, so how do we know there is one?
D1 It is most reasonable.
D2 Jesus existed in history.
D3 The Gospels record eyewitness testimony of Jesus’s ministry.
D4 It is most reasonable that Jesus is who He says He is—God.
D5 He states there is a heaven, so it is most reasonable that heaven exists.
F1 Matthew 5:34 GNB But now I tell you: do not use any vow when you make a promise. Do not swear by heaven, for it is God's throne.
F2 John 6:33 GNB For the bread that God gives is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
F3 John 17:1 GNB After Jesus finished saying this, he looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your Son, so that the Son may give glory to you.
C7 What hope does this verse give you? 2 Corinthians 5:8 GNB We are full of courage and would much prefer to leave our home in the body and be at home with the Lord.
C8 2 Corinthians 5:9 NKJV Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. Why should we try to please God?
C9 The Bema Seat in 2 Corinthians 5:10 refers to the judgement of Christians what we have done or not done. This is right after the Rapture. For more information, see here. Compare: 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 NKJV For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
B2 2 Corinthians 5:11-18,
C1 What does terror of the Lord refer to? Why would that motivate Paul? Why should that motivate you and me?
C2 2 Corinthians 5:12, why would character (heart) be of greater importance than appearance? Why do many people judge character by appearance?
C3 2 Corinthians 5:13, why do many people think the Christian’s lifestyle is insane? Name some of the rules in these verses.
D1 Ephesians 4:14-15 WEB that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Christ.
D2 Ephesians 4:26-28 WEB ”Be angry, and don’t sin.” Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath, neither give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need.
D3 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 WEL 14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what does righteousness have in common with unrighteousness. What fellowship is there between light and darkness? 15 What harmony does Christ have with Satan? What does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What does the Temple of God have in agreement with idols? For you are the Temple of the Living God, just as God has said, "I will live in them and walk in them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 "So then come out from among them. Be separate," says the Lord, "and do not touch [what is] unclean, then I will accept you, 18 “And I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters," says the Lord Almighty.
C4 2 Corinthians 5:14, for how many people did Jesus die for? Remember, the Bible must be understood and interpreted in its plain, normal sense. Compare: Romans 6:1-8 HCSB What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.
C5 2 Corinthians 5:15, how many might live? Is it all or some? What would make the difference?
C6 2 Corinthians 5:16, should we treat some people better than others? A comment from J. C. Ryle on Luke 11:27-32 is worth reading: We are all naturally inclined to attach great importance to a religion of sight, and sense, and touch, and eye, and ear. We love a sensuous, tangible, material Christianity, far better than one of faith. And we need reminding that seeing is not always believing. Thousands saw Christ continually, while He was on earth, and yet clung to their sins. Even His brethren at one time "did not believe in him." (Joh 7:5.) A mere fleshly knowledge of Christ saves no one. The words of Paul are very instructive: "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." (2Co 5:16.) We are to worship Christ in spirit and truth, not flesh and experience (John 4:23 NKJV But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him).
C7 2 Corinthians 5:17,
D1 How perfect was God’s first creation (as in Genesis 1-2)? (Everything was pronounced good. God, so to speak, took His books of standards out and checked everything, and everything was perfect).
D2 How about God’s new creation in a believer?
D3 If all is new, what should our attitude be about God’s ways?
D4 How do we know if all things are new?
E1 For ourselves, we can read and study 1 John.
E2 For others it is more difficult, because their thoughts, desires, words, and deeds must be the same in private as they are in public. This is one reason that if a spouse (usually wife) reports abuse or children report molestation, it must be believed and acted on. Most of these are crimes against society and MUST be reported to law enforcement. This would also be true for pastoral abuse as: 3 John 1:9-11 GW I wrote a letter to the congregation. But Diotrephes, who loves to be in charge, won't accept us. 10 For this reason, when I come I will bring up what he's doing. He's not satisfied with saying malicious things about us. He also refuses to accept the believers we send as guests. He even tries to stop others who want to accept them and attempts to throw those people out of the congregation. 11 Dear friend, never imitate evil, but imitate good. The person who does good is from God. The person who does evil has never seen God.
E3 We need integrity, not transparency, for integrity refers to the incorruptibility and honesty of a person’s character, while transparency can be lied about and turned against another person so as to abuse them.
E4 Also these differences in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds: Galatians 5:19-26 WEL Now the works of the flesh are obvious; they are adultery, sexual sin, moral corruption, unrestrained lust, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strife, provoking jealousy, hot anger, pushing to be first, selfish scheming, dissensions, heresy, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, wild partying, and so on, about which I have told you before, and as I have also told you in the past that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 Those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be longing for empty praise, irritating one another, and envying one another.
C8 2 Corinthians 5:18-20,
D1 Who has done all the steps leading to salvation and creating the new person?
D2 Do we deserve any credit? (NO!)
D3 Through whom did God restore fellowship of sinners after they believed the Gospel?
C9 2 Corinthians 5:21,
D1 When the Lord Jesus died, because of sin, whose sins were they?
E1 Isaiah 53:6 NLT - All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.
E2 1 Peter 2:24 NLT - He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
E3 John 1:29 WEB The next day, he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
E4 1 John 2:2 NKJV And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
E5 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NKJV Now all things [are] of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
D2 How does God consider believers righteous?
E1 We sinned, and God must punish us for sin.
E2 God wants all to be saved, forgiven, and new creations.
E3 Either we can be punished or someone else.
E4 The Lord Jesus took the punishment for us.
E5 Since all our sin has been punished, we now are righteous.
E6 It is all of God!
E7 Rejoice!
B3 Next week:
C1 Growing in holiness
C2 Theme: The Believer’s Testimony
C3 Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 6:1-7:1