07 August 2015

Sunday School Lesson—Children of God

Children of God


Adopted by God

©2014DamiWurtzPixabay CCO Public Domain


God works in believers to accomplish His purposes.


A1 Objectives

B1 Describe the new relationship between believers and God.

B2 Describe the benefits of being adopted by God.

A2 Scriptures

B1 Romans 8:1-17

B2 Ephesians 1:11-14

B3 1 Peter 1:1-9

A3 Notes

B1 Relationship between regeneration and adoption

C1 Regeneration

D1 Defined

E1 Born again (2 Corinthians 5:17).

E2 Rebirth

E3 An act of God, not man

E4 God initiates and completes salvation

E5 Prevenient grace. This is God's work in all humans. It is based on His love for humanity and desire for all to be saved. It is not based on human merit or effort, for no one seeks God. Humans can resist or not resist the work of the Holy Spirit.

E6 God saves based on faith, that is, believing God.

E7 We become a son/daughter of God because of regeneration.

D2 Theological views

E1 Calvinist

F1 Regeneration precedes faith

F2 Error not taught in Scripture

F3 Favorite Calvinist passage: "Everyone that believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone that loves Him that begot also loves him that is begotten of Him. " (1 John 5:1, EMTV) Also see: "If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him. " (1 John 2:29, EMTV)

G1 Calvinist will claim the words "has been born" proves that salvation came before faith, that is, regeneration precedes faith.

G2 This is obviously a forced interpretation.

G3 In its plain, normal sense it would indicate that being born of God will result in one who practices righteousness. They have already been born of Him.

E2 Classical/reformed Arminian

F1 Faith precedes regeneration

F2 Truth taught in Scripture

G1 "And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world so that He might condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:14-18, EMTV)

G2 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; and he who does not believe the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36, EMTV)

G3 "and from all things from which you could not (by the Law of Moses) be justified, by Him everyone that believes is justified." (Acts 13:39, EMTV)

C2 Adoption

D1 Does not happen at regeneration. The soul is redeemed at regeneration, the body at resurrection. Redemption of the soul comes first (Galatians 4:4-6). Adoption is the result of redemption.

D2 We receive the Spirit of Adoption (the promise and producing the possibility of adoption) (Romans 8:15).

D3 We are waiting for our adoption (Romans 8:23).

D4 It will happen at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). All the saints who have died up to the Rapture will be resurrected and receive a new body like Jesus's new body (1 John 3:2). The saints who are living at the Rapture will not be resurrected but will receive a new body (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

D5 So even though all believers are adopted this is not realized fully until the redemption of the body. We presently know we are sons and daughters of God and will fully know this at our resurrection.

D6 Scriptures

E1 "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15, NKJV)

E2 "Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body " (Romans 8:23, NKJV)

E3 "who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises;" (Romans 9:4, NKJV)

E4 "Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." (Galatians 4:1-7, NKJV)

E5 "having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will..." (Ephesians 1:5, NKJV)

D7 The word

E1 The Greek is huiothesía (υἱοθεσία) and it means "placing as a son," or adoption.

E2 Kittle (TDNT) under this term:

The NT. In the NT only Paul uses the term. His aim is to show that the sonship of believers is not a natural one but is conferred by divine act. The term might refer either to the act or to the result. In Rom. 9:4, relating to Israel, adoption is associated with the covenant and the promises. It means freeing from the law in Gal. 4:5. In Rom. 8:15 freedom comes with the spirit of "sonship" in virtue of Christ's all-transforming act. Eph. 1:5 traces it back to God's foreordination and thus leaves no room for boasting. In Rom. 8:23 the adoption is future; this teaches us that we always need God, but also that his purpose does not change.


A4 Questions

B1 Romans 8:1-17

C1 Verse 1

D1 How much condemnation is there for the believers? (None)

E1 The Greek word is katakrima and means the decision of an authority (judge or king) after an investigation.

E2 All humans are condemned until __________?

D2 Who are those who are in Christ Jesus? (Believers)

D3 Does this refer to all believers or is there a condition for no condemnation? (who do not walk according to the flesh but do walk according to the Spirit).

D4 What is "walking in the flesh?" (Thoughts, desires, words, and deeds like the unsaved. See Galatians 5:19-21)

D5 What is "walking in the Spirit?" (Thoughts, desires, words, and deeds according to God's laws. There are over 1,000 rules in the New Testament for Christians. See Galatians 5:22-26 for a partial list of examples of living by the Spirit).

D6 The last half of the verse is missing from most modern translations. According to Wilbur Pickering it is missing in 2.3% of Greek manuscripts. See his notes in his translation. This passage deals with the conflict between flesh and spirit).

C2 Verse 2

D1 What are the two groups of laws? (law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and the law of sin and of death).

D2 What is the law of sin and death? (We do not obey God's laws. We live by our own laws. Our thoughts, desires, words, and deeds are leading every person to condemnation and eventually to hell).

D3 What is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus? (It is God's law as seen in the New Testament. A new heart brings a new motivation to do and practice God's ways as Jesus taught us. See Jeremiah 31:31-34).

D4 Some version have "you" instead of "me." Wilbur Pickering states that around 1% of manuscripts have "you" (singular).

C3 Verse 3

D1 What couldn't the Law do/accomplish? (Make a new heart, reconcile to God, forgiveness of sins, salvation from God's wrath).

D2 What is the weakness of the flesh? (Our sinful desires).

D3 What is condemned? (The sin principle in our flesh. This is the desire to do our own thing and follow our own ways rather than God's).

D4 Did Jesus have sinful flesh? Did Jesus sin? (No).

D5 Who condemned sin in the flesh? (Jesus)

D6 What are we now free to follow? (Our walk in the Spirit).

C4 Verse 4

D1 Are we righteous? (No).

D2 How are we now considered righteous according to this verse? ("He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit").

C5 Verse 5

D1 What are the different priorities of those who live according to the flesh and those who live according to the Spirit? (One cares about fleshy things and experiences while the other cares about God's things and ways first).

D2 Which is the better way to live especially considering our eternal existence?

C6 Verse 6

D1 Which would you and I think is best, death or life and peace?

D2 Why do so many chose the fleshy way of life?

C7 Verse 7 What is the relationship to God in these two ways (fleshly or spiritual)?

C8 Verse 8 Is it important to please God?

C9 Verse 9

D1 If our goals, desires, and motivations point to our own way, what does that say about our Christianity?

D2 What is having the Spirit of Christ?

C10 Verses 10-11 What can God do to help us live a godly life?

C11 Verses 12-13 What is the result of those who live according to their fleshy experiences and desires?

C12 Verse 14 What is being lead of the Spirit? (Having a desire to live God's way. Studying and reading the Bible to grow and to know what God's way of living is).

C13 Verse 15 What came first regeneration or adoption? Do we have full regeneration or are we partly regenerated? Do we have full blessings of adoption or in part (Romans 8:23)?

C14 Verses 16

D1 What is the meaning of "Spirit bears witness with our spirit?"

E1 Changed life.

E2 Changed desires

E3 Changed motivations

E4 Changed priorities

E5 Desire to read/study the Bible

E6 Desire to pray

E7 Desire for God's glory

E8 Desire to humble ourselves to admit that God is right and we are not

D2 How are we considered "Children of God?" (Adoption)

C15 Verse 17

D1 Who is the real heir? (Jesus Christ)

D2 What are we? (1. Heirs of God. 2. Joint heirs with Jesus).

D3 What do we inherit? (Everything that is God's).

D4 Do we have our inheritance? (No)

D5 When will we have it? (When Jesus reigns. He is King; we are assistant rulers).

D6 How do we suffer today? (Temptation, abuse of all types)

B2 Ephesians 1:11-14

C1 Who receives this inheritance? (Christians)

C2 What is God's plan in this passage? (Christians are predestined for the inheritance).

C3 What comes first the believing or the sealing with the Holy Spirit? (Believe then sealed, practically simultaneously).

C4 What guarantee do we have for this inheritance? (The Holy Spirit)

C5 Do we have the full joy and possession of this inheritance now? (No. We have bits and pieces of God's help and blessings now, but the full blessing will come in the future).

C6 What is the "purchased possession?"

D1 Different views

E1 The inheritance itself

E2 Our glorified body that we receive on our resurrection

E3 The church

D2 Whichever it is, it will be wonderful and glorying to God.

B3 1 Peter 1:1-9

C1 Who is Peter writing to? (The scattered believers. They are scattered because of persecution. It may refer to Jews (Peter was Apostle to the Jews), Gentiles, or both. It probably refers to both).

C2 How is the Trinity seen in verse 2?

D1 The Father elects according to His foreknowledge.

D2 The Son shed His blood to redeem us.

D3 The Spirit sets apart or sanctifies God's people. He purifies them, works in our lives to mold us into the image of Christ.

C3 What have we been begotten to? (A living hope. This is our resurrection).

C4 What does begotten mean? (Another way of saying born again, spiritual rebirth, regeneration, making of a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)).

C5 How do we know we have a living hope? (Jesus rose from the dead).

C6 How does 1 Peter 1:4 describe out inheritance?

C7 Would we all fail the grace of God without His help (1 Peter 1:5)? (Yes, see Jude 1:24-25).

C8 Are we kept safe by works or by faith? (Faith)

C9 When do we receive the full salvation? (In the future. Our souls and spirits are a new creation, but we still have the old body that will die, but we have the promise of a resurrection to life. This is because God said so).

C10 If life wonderful, carefree, and always peaceful? (No)

C11 How long to trials last? (Briefly)

C12 What should be our attitude in these trials? (Joy)

C13 How can we have joy in these trials?

D1 Proves our faith is genuine.

D2 We receive God's help.

D3 We see Jesus who suffered and is able to help us?

D4 We know how it will end in God's blessings. Sometimes we only see the blessing after the trial is over.

C14 What illustration does Peter give of this idea? (The purifying of gold).

B4 General questions

C1 Is everyone a child of God? (No. He creates, but it the new creation that counts, for with regeneration comes adoption).

C2 In every trial we face who is there to help us?

C3 How does the teaching of adoption help, motivate, and bless us?

C4 How can we use the teaching of adoption to encourage others?

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