Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“Once Apart, Now Together”
April 29, 2018
Romans 12:9-18, 1 Corinthians 1:9, Philippians 1:3-7
Pastor’s Notes (Some additional thoughts for your Sunday school lesson):
I learned this week of a young man who tragically took his own life. I first met Jerry 40 years ago during my first pastorate. He was a vibrant teenager, full of life, but something went wrong. No one knows exactly what happened to cause such a tragedy, so let me suggest two very real possibilities. First, while Jerry was a Christian, he allowed Satan to rob him of his fellowship with God; to lose sight of God’s presence in his life creating a sense of being alone and without purpose. Second, Jerry had lost the peace and joy that comes with the community of the church, the fellowship of believers causing a sense of isolation and ultimately hopeless despair.
I truly believe, no matter the problems, if one lives in intimacy with the Father, and is experiencing the fellowship of believers, he or she can and will survive the storms of life and the winds of adversity.
Too many believers are living their lives in fear and frustration because they have allowed their intimacy with God and fellowship with believers to be interrupted.
Our lesson this week reminds us and encourages us to experience and enjoy our “purchased” intimacy with the Father and fellowship with the community of the church.
Once apart from God, now we have fellowship with God (1 Corinthians 1:9).
Adam’s sin, and by representation, our sin resulted in both physical and spiritual death. “The wages of sin is death.” The great tragedy of man’s fall is his separation from God. Subsequently, the greatest accomplishment of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection is man’s opportunity to be in fellowship once again with God.
At the time of Christ’s death, the veil of the Temple was rent in half removing the barrier that prevented man from the presence of God.
THIS LESSON OFFERS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW THE CONSEQUENCES OF MAN’S SIN, THE PROVISION GOD MADE THROUGH CHRIST, AND HOW ONE COMES TO BE IN A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
As believers, we are invited to experience His presence … See Matthew 11:28-29, John 15:4-7, Hebrews 4:16… As believers, God lives in us by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16).
In the presence of God there is peace, protection, and power
Once apart from the Church, now we have fellowship (Romans 12:9-18).
United with God through Christ we are also united with one another in the church, the “body of Christ.”
NOTE: The church is not by man’s design, as some say in order to excuse their absence; it is by Divine design
The church is a community of believer drawn together under the headship, the authority of Christ. We are a family related by the blood of Jesus, adopted into the Father’s family. The church is relational.
We are to experience fellowship with one another … See Hebrews 10:25
We don't go to church to be saved; we go to church because we are saved.
Fellowship thrives in an atmosphere of love, honesty, humility, patience, holiness, service, concern, care, and the willingness to pour your life into the life of others. Fellowship thrives where believers offer to other believers what they need for themselves.
Instead of being critical of others, be a care-giver.
Once without purpose, now we have fellowship in the mission (Philippians 1:3-7).
The church finds meaning in a common purpose.
Our mission is to make known the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world around us through verbal communication, a Christ-reflecting lifestyle, and Christian service.
Unity occurs when believers understand and undertake Christ’s commission to the Church, their common purpose.
Real fellowship occurs when everyone in the boat is rowing in the same direction.
NOTE – Someone who is not rowing at all, is less problematic than someone who is rowing in the opposite direction.
Involving ourselves in our common purpose eliminates personal preferences and all the associated problems.
Theological Theme: God changes us by bringing us into fellowship with Himself and His people.
Christological/Christ Connection: Our fellowship with God and with the Church is the result of Christ’s redemptive work.
Missional Application: Together, as the Church, we share in the common mission to extend the Gospel to all the world.