Sunday School Quarterly – The Attributes of Christ

                     In His Image

Quarterly Theme:     The Attributes of Christ

THIS QUARTERS THEME:   The “attributes of Christ” are to be the identifying marks of The Church.  As God’s people we must strive to be like Him in every part of our lives in order to come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.  


Lesson 1      Christ our Example…………………..………………….  3

Lesson 2     The Mind of Christ………………..……..……………..    6

Lesson 3      The Holiness of Christ………………..……………....    9

Lesson 4      The Considerate Christ……………….…..………….   12

Lesson 5      The Humility of Christ………………….………….....  15

Lesson 6      The Love of Christ………………………..………….…   18

Lesson 7      The Forgiving Christ………………………………......  20

Lesson 8      The Integrity of Christ………………………..……..... 23

Lesson 9      Christ the Encourager………………..…………....…. 26

Lesson  10     The Giving Christ………………………...………..….. 29

Lesson  11      Jesus The Prince of Peace……………….…....……  32

Lesson  12     Jesus Christ The Image of  God..……………....... 35

Lesson  13     The Openness of Christ……..………………….……. 38

Lesson  14     Christ and Prayer…………………………..……....…. 4


IN HIS IMAGE is a quarterly Sunday School publication for The Church of God—Hdqs. Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.   For information about the church  or Sunday School literature contact the international office.                           Mail  - 440 Kentucky St. Walnut Ridge, AR 72476   Ph.(870) 637– 2368     email—


Lesson 1                               CHRIST OUR EXAMPLE___________

KEY VERSE:  1Pet 2:21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:


LESSON PREVIEWThis lesson speaks of the importance of following Christ’s example.  He is the light of the world and our lives are an extension and manifestation of that light, if our life resembles His.  Following His example also brings with it an assurance that we are His and He is ours.


                                                 BIBLE LESSON

1Pet 2:21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

1Pet 2:22Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

1Pet 2:23Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:


1Jn 2:3And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

1Jn 2:4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1Jn 2:5But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

1Jn 2:6He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.


2Pet 1:3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

2 Pet 1:4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

It is Christ’s steps that we must follow(1Pet. 2:21-23)                                                   If our lifestyle is not exemplary of the life of Jesus Christ, then according to Peter we have missed the calling of God for our lives because our calling includes following the example that the Lord left us.  We must not fall into the category of some of those who Paul wrote about to the Corinthian Church.  He said of them that they measured their spiritual condition and success by what they saw in others.  Many people’s bible today are their preacher, teacher or some other professing Christian. This should not be. The Bible must be the final authority for how we live our lives.

Immediately after Peter informs us that Jesus is to be our example, he then points to the things in Jesus life that is to be reflected in ours.  There was no sin in His life. There was no guile found in His speech and there was no retaliation when He was done wrong.  The cry of many is “but He was God and we are just human” suggesting that there is no way that we can live up to His example but though Christ was indeed God, He was also fully man. He contended with all the things in life that you and I do. (read Heb. 2:14-18 & 4:15) According to Hebrews, He was of the seed of Abraham, indicating that He experienced the same kind of opposition in life that you and I do, yet He was victorious over it.  He proved the possibility of living triumphant over evil and at the same time set the example for us to follow.

There is a well-known saying that is actually based on reality.  It goes like this, “if something is said loud enough, often enough and long enough, people will start to believe it.”  Most sermons anymore seem to reinforce the thought that people are going to fail in their effort to follow in Christ’s steps.  People have heard it so many times that now many no longer believe that we can walk in Christ’s steps.

 FOLLOWING IN HIS STEPS BRINGS ASSURANCE (1 John 2:3-6)                          John’s thinking is in agreement with Peter’s.  If we are going to lay claim on a relationship with Christ, then we must follow the example that He has set for us.

There is no doubt that the purpose in Christ coming encompassed many things.  Among those things was to seek and save those who were lost and to pay the cost for the redemption of mankind.  His coming was also about other things, like revealing to us who God is and what He is like but it was also for setting us an example how we should live.  His example was not only a guideline on how we should live our lives but also proof that it is possible to walk the kind of walk that God was asking of us. John’s writing’s here is about having the assurance that we are a child of God.  He uses the word “know” many times in I John.  He tells us how that we might “know” that we are saved and walking in His steps is one of those ways that we know He abides in us.  When Christ comes back for His own, He will be looking for those with a family resemblance

TO FOLLOW WE MUST BE FILLED (2 PETER 1:3-4)                                                      To be an example of Christ outwardly in our words and deeds, we must first take on His likeness in our heart.  Peter speaks of exceeding great and precious promises by which we take on the image of God.  For one to try to pattern their life after Christ without receiving the provisions God has provided for us can be discouraging because without God’s help our attempts will fall short.

The Apostle Paul speaks of a time in his life where many of his attempts in life to do what was right kept ending in failure.  There was something absent.  His attempts to do right were exactly that, “his attempts.”  The power of God was absent from his life and he was empowered only by his own will and that was not enough.  Notice how many times Paul used the pronoun “I” in Romans 7.  In Romans 8:1-3 we find the key to being able to walk successfully in Christ’s steps.  Romans 7 tells us that the law did not provide what a person needed to live a victorious life over sin.  Romans 8 tells us that things have changed.


FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                       Robert Murray McCheyne said, “For every one look you take at yourself, take 10 of Jesus.”   McCheyne seemed to understand that it is He (Christ) that we must conform to.  The more that we study Him and focus on Him, the clearer it becomes what we should be.  It was a glimpse of God in Isa. 6 that led to the transformation of Isaiah.

McCheyne also said, "It’s not great talents that God blesses, but great likeness to Jesus."


Php. 2:7-8  /  Eph. 4:22-24  /Rom. 8:29


Lesson 2                                 THE MIND OF CHRIST__________

KEY VERSE: Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: ______________________________________________________                                 LESSON PREVIEW:  We get a glimpse of the mind of Christ when we read in the gospels concerning His actions and His words.  The entire Bible actually gives us a picture of the mind of God.  He has revealed His thoughts to us because they are to be a pattern for our own thoughts.  This lesson is about taking on the mind of Christ and points to the importance of doing so.  _____________________________________________________                        

                                                            BIBLE LESSON                                                    

St. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

II Co 5:17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Php 4:8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Isa. 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.


1Pet. 1:13Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

1Pet. 1:14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

1Pet. 1:15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1Pet. 1:16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

A Renewed Mind (St. John 3:3)                                                                                         A person who has not received Jesus into his/her heart cannot fully comprehend the spiritual things of God.  In the Apostle Paul’s writings, he goes as far as saying that spiritually understanding things are even considered as foolishness to the unsaved.  It is plain to see that Nicodemus was at a loss of understanding what Jesus was talking about when He used the term “born again.”  The word “see” in this verse can be rendered “understand” or “comprehend.”  Many today like Nicodemus cannot comprehend the magnificent blessings associated with the Kingdom of God, simply because they do not have the mind of Jesus Christ who is the King of this kingdom.

Salvation is a mind-altering experience.  It is more than just a decision that we make.  It is also an inward experience that changes the inward person.  When a person is truly saved a new light or ray of understanding shines in.  The scales of spiritual darkness fall off and we see things from a different perspective – from a heavenly point of view.  The scales of spiritual blindness was illustrated in Paul’s life when the literal scales fell from the physical eyes of Paul after his conversion.  The call from worldly blindness to spiritual sight is also pictured in Jesus words to the backslidden Laodicean church where He stated, “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”


Salvation changes our perspective  (II Cor. 5:17)                                                            When we come to Christ, even our thinking is new.  We view life differently.  Our desires change and we see people from a different prospective.  Our minds are transformed from despising others to loving them.

One little boy whose mother was driving him to school, asked his mother why all the ignorant people and jerks were not out today.   She asked him what he meant.  He said, “when dad takes me to school there are a lot of ignorant people and jerks on the street.  Dad sees them all the time but when you take me they must all stay home.”  Salvation changes not only the way we see ourselves but also the way we see other people.

Where our minds should dwell   (Php. 4:8 & Isa. 26:3                                                  In these verses, we get instruction on where God wants our mind to dwell and at the same time an understanding of how God thinks.  We must not allow the disappointments, the unjust things in life that happen to us and the worldly mindset to captivate our thinking. These things can steal away the time for the creativeness to do good and the time for peace and joy in our hearts. What plays out in our life begins in our mind.  The mind truly is the battlefield where victory or defeat is decided.  

Taking charge of your thoughts (I Pet. 1:13-16)                                                           Many people let their mind wonder into areas where they should not.  They allow the enemy to set up his kingdom there.  Once he has established his stronghold in someone’s mind, it is hard to eject him and his thoughts.   We are instructed not to give him room but to resist him and eventually he will have to flee. It is as though people often lose their understanding of the importance of doing this.

The mind is a battlefield and the place where the devil likes to attack us.  Just because we have been saved doesn’t mean that the enemy will quit trying to insert his thoughts into our mind.  We must be diligent in our efforts to reject all his attempts to pollute our minds.  The more we resist – the stronger we become and the good news is we don’t have to battle him alone.  The spiritual weapons that God offers us in this warfare are beyond our own strength and enable us to cast out of our minds evil imaginations. (Read II Cor. 10:4-6)

FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                     It is easy in life to develop a mindset of looking for negative things in the life of others.  We must be on guard against such a mindset.  When this kind of thinking develops in a person it brings with it a miserable life.

Paraphrasing the words of C.S. Lewis – Some people are constantly looking down on others as if they are lower than themselves.  They find the faults in others and see them inferior to themselves.  They spend all their time looking down and not up toward God.  If they had been looking up they would have saw the holiness of God and thus been concentrating on improving the shortcomings in their own lives.

OTHER SCRIPTURAL HELPS                                                                                 Romans 12:1-2  /  I Pet. 4:1-2 /  Php. 2:2-5  /  I Cor. 2:16



Lesson 3                                THE HOLINESS OF CHRIST

KEY VERSE1Pe 1:15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;           __________________________________________________                                      LESSON PREVIEW: Holiness seems to be the missing message of today. There is little said about it in the preaching on the airways and even inside the doors of many Christian organizations.  The meaning and importance of this Bible doctrine has been so watered down in our day that many no longer understand it or pursue it. The objective of this lesson is to remind us of what holiness is and its significance in our Christian life. ______________________________________________________

                                                    BIBLE LESSON                                                              1Pet. 1:14‌  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:                                                                                                1Pet. 1:15‌  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;                                                                                                                1Pet. 1:16‌  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


1Pe 1:17‌  And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning ‌here in fear:

Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all ‌men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

1Pet. 1:18‌    Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, ‌as silver and gold, from your vain conversation ‌received by tradition from your fathers;

1Pet. 1:19‌  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Rom 8:3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

WHAT IS HOLILINESS  (1Pet 1:14-16)                                                                              The meaning of the word “Holiness” in both the Old Testament  and the New Testament carries with it the understanding of “purity.”  In this passage Peter makes it clear that giving in to the lusts of the flesh is contrary to living a life of purity.  One cannot yield to the sinful desires that we once surrendered to in the past, if we are going live a life of holiness.  Peter uses the word “obedient” in this passage.  Without being obedient to God there is no life of holiness.  Holiness doesn’t  just have something to do with our relationship with Christ.  In other words, just because we have been saved by Christ does not mean that we have been absolved of any further responsibility on our part.  We too play a part in holiness.  Peter uses the word “conversation” which has something to do with the way we live our lives.  It speaks of our words, our actions and even our thoughts.  We cannot be holy without His sanctifying power but it also takes consecration and obedience on our part too. What is holiness?  Peter tells us in verse 16 that God is a description of holiness.  There is no sin or anything that defiles in Him.

WHY HOLINESS (1Pet.1:17  & Heb.12:14)                                                                     Peter has given us two books (I Peter & II Peter) which speak of the necessity to live the right kind of life to win the prize at the end of the way. He warns of the possibility of losing out with God in II Peter Chapter 2.  He says that God will judge our works and not just the works of people who have never received Christ but the works of every man. (I Peter 1:17)

Holiness is not just a suggestion or a recommendation from the Word of God.  It is a commandment and a requirement to make heaven.  Hebrews chapter 12 makes it very plain that without it we SHALL NOT see the Lord.  There are a lot of things in life where there are options.   If you buy a car the colors and styles are optional.  In buying a house there are options.  You go to a restaurant and look at the menu and there are generally many options.  Life is filled with options but holiness IS NOT optional - not if we expect to make heaven our home.

The command for Holiness comes from God.  Some people look at the ten commandments as if they are the ten suggestions.  When the rich young ruler asked Jesus what he must do to have eternal life, Jesus said “well, let me give you some suggestions.”  Did Jesus say that? Of course not.  What He did say was “keep the commandments.”  Now we know that keeping God’s commandment is not all that needs to be done.  We also have to receive Him into our hearts but evidently keeping God’s commandments is part of it and that is not man’s words but the Lord’s.


HOW HOLINESS IS ATTAINED   (1Pet.1:18-19)                                                             Peter doesn’t leave the people with a sense of overwhelming responsibility but he has something else to share with them, that being that God has everything they need to live a victorious life, everything they need to stay the course and everything they need to win the prize.   In Peter’s second epistle he tells them that God has made available to us great promises which enable us to take on the divine nature and help overcome the struggle of the flesh.

HOW HOLINESS IS ATTAINED (Romans8:3)                                                                 There is a struggle today in the life of many to live the Christian Life and day after day many continue to lose the battle.  There is a voice coming from the outside that tells them spiritual failure is normal and it’s okay (read Jer. 6:13-14) but something on the inside keeps telling them that it’s not okay and that something is definitely wrong within.

Romans 7 is a picture of the struggle that many people have with sin.  Paul is showing what it was like in his life while he lived under the law and without Christ.  The good news here in this passage is Paul’s picture doesn’t end with the struggle continuing but it continues into chapter 8 with the struggle ending.

FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                    THE HOLINESS & PURITY OF HEART MESSAGE IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR – Little preaching is being done today on the subject of holiness and heart purity, in comparison to all the other preaching that is done.  Morality will continue to decline and souls will continue toward apostasy unless there is a clear call from the pulpits back to holiness. The message of heart purity is the need of the hour.

Many will not preach it because there is too much at stake materially, socially and politically for them.They stand a chance of losing their position in the church or organization where they are at.In many cases they will lose their financial support or social standing.They are like those who stick out their finger to check and see which way the wind of popularity is blowing and then plot their course and sermons that way.What is the most popular with men is generally the opposite direction we should go. Stephen didn’t check the wind of popularity to see which way his sermon should lean before he spoke but he brought to light the things that were wrong, regardless of which way the wind of popular opinion was blowing.



Rev. 20:6 / Eph. 1:4 / Matt. 5:8 /




Lesson 4                 THE CONSIDERATE CHRIST __________

KEY VERSE: Mat 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.                                                      ___________________________________________________

LESSON PREVIEW:  This quarterly consist of a series of lessons on emulating the life of Christ.  This particulate lesson is on one of the great character traits of the Lord that when found in our lives distinguishes us Christians from much of the rest of the world.  Christ took on the fleshly robe of man to show us that He understands and cares about us.  What a “CONSIDERATE” God He is to have come and put himself in our place so we can know that he truly is concerned about us. ______________________________________________________

                                                    BIBLE LESSON

Php. 2:1  If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Php 2:2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Php 2:3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Php 2:4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 

Mat 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Mat 7:12Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Luk 10:30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

Luk 10:31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

Luk 10:32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

Luk 10:33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

Luk 10:34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

Being considerate as Christ is   (Php 2:1- 4)                                                                To these Philippians saints Paul sends a reminder of the presence of the Lord in their own life.  He instructs them to take their focus off self and do as Jesus did for them and focus on the life of others.  He uses Christ as an example in being a considerate person.  Later in this chapter He also speaks of how Timothy has this wonderful characteristic in his life.  We are told in the book of Hebrews that our lives should be an encouragement for others to be thoughtful and Timothy’s life, along with the Lord’s life were truly modeling that scripture.

Paul’s admonishing to esteem others better than ourselves and not to concentrate too much on our own lives should cause us to examine our words and actions to make sure that we are following the Lord’s example in putting others before ourselves.  A person’s speech that is always filled with self-congratulatory words lacks the thoughtfulness of Jesus.  One who must always do the talking and never listens to the concerns of others lacks the thoughtfulness of Jesus.

Putting others before yourself will draw others to you.  It makes them want to be around you.  It speaks to them that you truly care for them.  Jesus came not to be ministered to but to minister to the needs of others.

 Jesus illustrated consideration of others in his actions (Matt. 20:28)                    What really stood out about Jesus was that His life was not just about Him.  It was about others.  There were those that got little attention from others of the day but Jesus took time for them.  There were the two blind men in Mathew chapter twenty that cried out to the Lord for help as He passed by.  The crowd rebuked them for crying out but the Lord considered their situation and healed them.   How about the little children in Mark chapter ten that were brought before the Lord to be blessed by Him.  The disciples rebuked those bringing the children but Jesus took the children up in his arms and blessed them.  Last there was the man at the pool of Bethesda who from his own mouth said that he had no man to help him when the angel would bring healing to the waters but in Jesus was found someone that had time for him and the man was healed.

Jesus taught consideration of others in His teaching (Matt. 7:12, Luke 10:30-34)      Jesus taught the “Golden Rule” found in Matthew chapter seven and practiced it in His own life too.  The passage in Luke chapter ten on the Good Samaritan is probably one of the most memorable illustrations that Jesus used to teach on how we should consider others.  It has been said that there are three kinds of people illustrated in this passage.  The first kind is those who gave no consideration for the victim but rather only thought of themselves.  They are the “beater-uppers.”  The second kind were those who may have had a little consideration for the victim but did not have enough to minister to him.  They are the “passer-uppers.”  The third kind is found in the one we call the Good Samaritan who had the kind of compassion that Jesus displayed in His life.  This kind is called the “picker-uppers.”


FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                       A Bit of Humor – The dog and the cat were having a conversation.  The dog said, “my owner gives me a bath whenever I need it.  He brings me water whenever I need it and feeds me whenever I need it, so He must be God.”  The cat said, “my owner gives me a bath whenever I need it.  He brings me water whenever I need it and feeds me whenever I need it, so I must be God.”  Some people like the cat have an elevated view of themselves.  Jesus pictured Himself as a servant.  How do we picture ourselves?

Rom 12:3For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

OTHER HELPFUL SCRIPTURES     Php. 2:19-22 / Php. 2:5-7 / Heb. 10:24 / I Cor. 10:24 / Col. 3:12-14 / Rom. 15:1-5



Lesson 5                            THE HUMILITY OF CHRIST____________

KEY VERSE:   Mat_23:12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. _____________________________________________________                                       LESSON PREVIEWThe divinely inspired attribute of humility is counter to the culture of today’s world.  For the most part, they do not understand how it can be a credit to their life.  They are taught that self-assertion and promotion is the way to fulfillment.  This lesson touches on the rewards of humility and the failure and disillusionment of pride.                                                           ___________________________________________________________

                                                           BIBLE LESSON

Php 2:6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Php 2:7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Php 2:8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.


Php 2:9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.                                                       Jas 4:10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Mat 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted


Luk 18:10Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

Luk 18:11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

Luk 18:12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

Luk 18:13And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Luk 18:14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted


Our example of humility (Php. 2:6- 8)                                                                             Humility is a part of the character of God.  Paul brings this out in his letter to the Philippian church.  He first reminds them that Christ is God.  Can anyone have a more exalted position than God?  Can anyone be more powerful than God?  The answer to these questions is a resounding “NO.”  There is no one who holds the high and lofty position that He does.  The Lord’s unparalleled greatness is what Paul was making reference to when He spoke of Christ as God, yet says Paul, Christ took on himself the form of a lowly creature called man.  This kind of humility is also unparalleled throughout history.

In the preceding verses, just before Paul vividly portrays Christ’s humility, he tells how we are to pattern our lives after Him.  He is saying in essence, that Christ is to be our example of humility.

God rewards the humble and brings down the prideful    (Php. 2:9, Jas. 4:10, Matt. 23:12)                                                                                                                           Paul to the Philippian saints says that just as God exalted Jesus for the humility that He had in His life, so God will do for you.  In the scriptures that we have here, the words of both James and Jesus concur with Paul that our willingness to humble ourselves will produce great blessings from God.  In God’s eyes humility is synonymous with greatness.  He honors humility and rewards it with things like wisdom and riches. Peter says that He gives grace to the humble and scripture teaches that the  rewards of it will even reach  into heaven.  (Matt. 18:4)


A picture of pride   (Luke 18:10-14)                                                                                There are many people in life who are much like the Pharisee in this passage.  This Pharisee lacked humility but was filled with pride.  Many spend their time criticizing others and promoting self.  The person that s more pleasing to God will be looking to promote others and searching their own life to see if there is any corrections that need to be made.

It has been said that some people are constantly looking down on others as if they are lower than themselves. They find the faults in others and see them inferior to themselves. They spend all their time looking down and not up toward God.  If they had been looking up they would have seen the holiness of God and thus been concentrating on improving the shortcomings in their own lives. This was a paraphrase of  something that C.S. Lewis said.  While we may not agree with everything that Lewis said and done, he gave us something to think about here.

Notice how the man’s conversation in Luke eighteen centered in on himself.  This is where a person filled with pride focuses.  They often turn the conversation toward themselves and their concerns.  A prideful heart wants recognition.  It says, “look who I am” or “look at what I have done.”  A person of humility will want to edify others and minister to them.

Some people think that boastful and self-building statements will draw people to them but generally it has the opposite effect.  It is the kind of person that builds up others that draws people.

FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                      Pride has a way of concealing itself and often it is the ones who possesses it that has a difficult time seeing it.  It is generally easier spotted in others than in ourselves.  Jesus taught that what’s in our hearts is manifested in our words and actions.  Pride will show up in these things and if we know what to look for, we can see it if it’s there.  Too many “I’s” in our conversation like the Pharisee and too much time focused on promoting self is an indication that something is wrong.

We cannot be full of ourselves which is self-centeredness.  Our concerns must include God and others.  The word “JOY” in English spells out for us the proper positions or order of where our concerns should be.  J = Jesus    O = Others   Y = Yourself.


OTHER SCRIPTURAL HELPS         Matt. 18:4 / James 4:6 / I Pet. 5:5-6 / Prov. 6:16-19 / Rev. 3:14-21



Lesson 6                              THE LOVE OF CHRIST____________

KEY VERSE:  Joh 13:35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.            ______________________________________________________

LESSON PREVIEW:  The kind of love this lesson is speaking of is “agape” love.  There are various types of love but this “agape” love we are speaking of here defines who God is and who we should be.  The word of God gives us tests to take to see if this love abides in us.  It is by this kind of love that the world around us will know that we are a Christian. ______________________________________________________

                                                BIBLE LESSON

Joh 13:34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Joh 13:35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.


1Co 13:4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

St. John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Joh 14:21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

1Jn 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.


“LOVE” the identifying mark of a Christian   (St. John 13:34-35)                            That we should love one another as Christ Jesus loved us is one of the great foundational mandates and truths of Christianity.  The doctrinal principle of love is so important to  God that Jesus Himself said that all of the Bible truths are based on two principle things.  One is that we love God with all of our heart, mind and soul and the other that we love others as ourselves.  No other religion teaches these principles on the same level as Christianity does, thus this kind of love (agape love) identifies us as a Christian when we truly possess it.

Defining  what “LOVE” is   (1 Cor. 13:4-8)                                                                        Hours could be spent on these few verses alone that describes to us what love truly is.  This passage mentions several character traits that are diametrically opposite of what you will find in the world.  Only the love of God can produce this list of things in a person’s life.  Jesus possessed them and true Christians will have them too.  An individual without God may work to have these things in his or her life but they will fall short somewhere.   When the Love of God abides in a person’s heart these things come naturally.  If we check this list that Paul gave us and find ourselves lacking in some area, we should be concerned and approach the Lord for help.

Things like kindness and longsuffering are getting harder to find in our world today but find someone that truly has the love of God and you will find them.  These things will set us apart from the world. 

Proof of “LOVE”   (St. John 3:16, St. John 14:21, 1 John: 5:3, 1 John 3:16)            Proof of the love of God is found in a person’s willingness to give of themselves to God and one another.  God proved His love for us in that He  gave His own Son and the value of what God gave speaks to how much He loves mankind.  In the same manner one cannot have the love of God and not give of themselves to His cause.  The love of God equates to giving.   “For God so loved that He gave.”  It is impossible to love God without giving ourselves to Him.  This includes surrendering ourselves to His cause and His word.  Jesus made it clear, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.”


FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                      Several years ago when I was in the Ukraine, they told me a story about a Russian Prince and his slave who were riding a dog sled in Siberia. Soon into their journey, they began to be chased by a pack of ferocious wolves. As much as they tried to outrun the wolves, they couldn’t. The wolves drew nearer and nearer and soon both men realized they wouldn’t be able to escape.

So, in great love, the servant threw himself off of the dog sled and sacrificed himself to the hungry wolves so his Prince would get away unharmed and survive. The servant died so the King could live.

As I listened to this story, one man said, “That’s a picture of the cross!”

To this, another man quickly responded, “No it isn’t. If that was a picture of the cross then the King would have thrown Himself off to save the slave. In the gospel, the King dies so the servants can live.”

Paul Washer


OTHER SCRIPTURAL HELPS                                                                                        Eph. 1:4 / Eph. 4:1-2 / Eph. 5:1-2



Lesson 7                            THE FORGIVING CHRIST________

KEY VERSE:  Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.                 __________________________________________________________

LESSON PREVIEW:  The Bible speaks of the importance of forgiveness in our lives – not only the importance of receiving it but also of giving it.  This lesson touches on some reasons why we should be quick to forgive and some warnings if we choose not to.  Forgiveness is a lot like mercy.  God says in order to receive it, you must be willing to give it.   ______________________________________________________

                                                      BIBLE LESSON

Luke 23:34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.


Mar 11:25And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.


Eph 4:31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Eph 4:32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Col 3:12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Col 3:13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.


THE FORGIVING PERSON OF CHRIST   (Luke 23:34)                                                  Here in the midst of the Lord’s suffering and ridicule, He cried out to the Father for Him to forgive His offenders.  They had not changed their plan to crucify Him or even offered any king of an apology, yet there was this willing to forgive them anyway.  Too often when people are offended they feel that they have the right to hold on to unforgiveness until somebody apologizes to them.  It was while the offense was happening that the word “forgive” came from the mouth of the Lord.  If we wait till people asks us for forgiveness before we give it, then that time may never come. There is something in the nature of God that seeks healing in relationships as soon as they have become broken.

FORGIVENESS – DO IT NOW    (Mark 11:25)                                                                   Many people hold unforgiveness for years, and for years they are in bondage. The  unforgiveness they have for others prevents them from receiving the forgiveness that they need from God.  The truth of the matter is our fellowship with God becomes broken and we are held captive by our unwillingness to forgive.  God says if we are unwilling to forgive others then God will be unwilling to forgive us.  (read Matt. 18:21-35)  Do not wait for someone to apologize to you.  Do not wait for the forgiveness of someone who has ought against you but Jesus says, each and every time that you stand to pray, examine yourself to see if you have something against anyone and forgive them right then.


THE CRUELTY OF UNFORGIVENESS    (Eph. 4:31-32, Col. 3:12- 13)                       Slow to anger and quick to forgive, seems to be the admonition of the scripture and this is in agreement with the example that the Lord set for us.  The scripture makes it plain, “even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”  Unforgiveness is the seedbed for bitterness.  The longer it is allowed to exist in our lives, the more bitterness it produces.  It can also be compared to cancer.  It continues to grow if it is not removed and the more it grows the more pain and damage it does.  Cancer destroys the body.  Unforgiveness and the Bitterness it produces destroys the spirit.  What cruelty unforgiveness produces in a person’s life!  It is no wonder that the scripture teaches us to be quick to forgive.


FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                      Once upon a time, there were two brothers who lived on adjoining farms. For 40 years they farmed side by side, sharing machinery, and working together as brothers should but then one day things changed.  There was a dispute and hard feelings ensued. Week after week went by and their bitterness continued.

One morning there was a knock on John’s (the older brother) door and he opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox.  The man at the door stated that he was looking for a few days work.  "Perhaps you might have a few small jobs here and there that I could do for you?"  "Yes," said John.  "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. My brother lives there. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. He done it out of spite but I will get him back.  See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me an 8-foot fence so I won't need to see his place anymore.” The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the posthole digger and I'll be able to do a job that you will be pleased with." After finding the materials for him, John was off for the day.

About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge -- a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work -- handrails and all and the younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched. "You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done." The two brothers met on the bridge with hands outstretched and then embraced one another.

They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. "No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother. "I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but, I have many more bridges to build."

Unforgiveness builds fences – Forgiveness builds bridges

(Author Unknown)


Other Scriptural Helps                                                                                                 Matt. 6:14-15 / Ps. 86:5 / Acts 7:59-60



Lesson 8                           THE INTEGRITY OF CHRIST__________

KEY VERSE:  Luk 23:4Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.                     ________________________________________________                                          LESSON PREVIEW:  There was a consistency in the life of Jesus concerning His words and His actions.  He taught Godly principles in both speech and conduct and there was no contradiction or discrepancy between the two.  The definition of integrity includes things like adherence to godly principles, honesty and soundness of moral character.  Jesus’ life was the picture-perfect example of what integrity is and how we should live our lives. ______________________________________________________

                                                         BIBLE LESSON

Luk 23:4Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

1Pe 2:21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

1Pe 2:22Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:


1Sa 12:1And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.

1Sa 12:2And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.

1Sa 12:3Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.

1Sa 12:4And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man's hand.


Dan 5:13Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?

Dan 5:14I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.

Dan 5:15And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing:

Dan 5:16 And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts; now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Dan 5:17Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

Mar 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.


CHRIST OUR EXAMPLE OF INTEGRITY     (Luke 23:4, 1 Pet. 2:21-22)                  When Pilate said, “I find no fault in Him” it was an indictment against the Lord’s accusers.  There will always be those who falsely accuse others but when we know that we are innocent then our conscience does not accuse us and there is real peace and fulfillment in that.  As for the false accusers Paul says, “whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (1 Pet. 3:16)

When Jesus came to build His church, He observed the religious systems that already existed and pointed out to His followers many negative aspects of those groups.  One of the things that disqualified those religious people from being a part of His “Called Out Ones” was their “say and do not attitude.”  Jesus gave some credit to what they said but revealed their hypocritical attitudes when He said, “they say and do not.”  Our lifestyle must support what we profess to believe.  Jesus taught integrity and is also our example for living a life of integrity.  When we become a member of the Church of God, there is a covenant that we take and there is a part of it that states we will believe and “PRACTICE” the teachings of the Bible.

A LIFE OF INTEGRITY PRODUCES GREAT REWARDS      (1 Sam. 12:1- 4)             There were great men and women of integrity in the Bible who God used mightily and it is clear from the scripture that they garnered the favor of God.  Samuel was one of those people.  He seemed to possess a moral compass that did not waver.  He was guided by a commitment to God that was of more importance to him than anything else around.  When Samuel spoke these words, he had already lived a good long life.  What a great feeling he must have had to have been able to look back over his life and know that he had been faithful to God and to the words that he had preached to others.  That should be each one’s goal in life.  Samuel’s words are a reminder of the Apostle Paul’s words when he said, “I have fought a  good fight, I have finished my course I have kept the faith:  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness…”     This    kind    of      assurance that Paul possessed does not come without integrity.  This is the feeling that we all want to have at the end of the way. 

REAL INTEGRITY IS NOT FOR SALE  (Dan. 5:13-17)                                                     Daniel was one of those young men chosen to be educated in the Chaldean way for the purpose of having influence on the rest of the Jews.  There is a process known as homogenization that blends milk together until it becomes more unified.  Something similar to the results of homogenization was what the Chaldeans were hoping for with Daniel and those we call the Three Hebrew Children.  The problem with the plan of the Chaldeans was that these young men that they picked were men that would not blend.  They possessed something called integrity.  They were committed to what they believed and there was no selling out for them, no matter what the offer might be.  These verses in Daniel chapter five speaks to the integrity that Daniel possessed and which we too should possess.

WITH INTEGRITY COMES PEACE    (Mark  7:6)                                                            The opposite of integrity is hypocrisy. When a person lives a hypocritical life, he always lives with the fear of being found out.  When a person lives a life of integrity there is a peace that comes with it and you don’t have to worry about being found out about some hidden wrong, because you practiced what you preached.


FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                      The Great Wall of China is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It stretches over 4,000 miles (6,400 KM) and was built to protect China from the barbaric hordes to the north. The designers of the wall made it so high that it could not be scaled, so thick that it could not be penetrated, and so long that no one could go around it.

Yet, during the first hundred years of the wall's existence China was successfully invaded three times, without the wall having been climbed or breached. So how, you ask, did the invaders raid China? Well, the problem wasn't the wall – it was the gatekeepers! In each of these invasions the barbarians simply bribed the gatekeepers who opened the gates, so the enemies just walked right through.


OTHER SCRIPTURAL HELPS                                                                                         Job 2:3 / Prov. 11:3 / Prov. 20:7


Lesson 9                      CHRIST THE ENCOURAGER __________

KEY VERSE:  Luk 4:18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, ______________________________________________________

LESSON PREVIEW:  The Gospels describe Jesus as a person who seemed to be on the lookout to do something good for others.  His life was about something besides Himself.  When He saw needs in people’s lives there was something in Him that moved Him to minister to the need.  Ministering to others was food to His spirit.  He told the Disciples, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” ______________________________________________________

                                                      BIBLE LESSON

Joh 4:10Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Mat 11:28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Mat 11:29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Mat 11:30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


Luk 4:18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,


1Th 5:11Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Eph 4:29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. ______________________________________________________

IT IS CHRIST’S NATURE TO NURTURE  Joh 4:10; Mat. 11:29-30                              The Lord made it His mission to lift up and build up people.  He did it through the words that He spoke to them, through the feelings He expressed for them and through the acts that He accomplished in their behalf.  He found people that were down trodden and left them with lifted spirits.  To those who had no hope, He gave them hope and something to live for. This woman at the well was one of those people whose life was in turmoil.  He took time to minister to her and because of that her life was changed.  The sinfulness of this woman did not prevent the Lord from sharing with her what she needed.  If we are not careful, we can easily count people out before we present them with the answer to their needs.  It is our responsibility to place before them the answer and it is their place to decide if they will receive it or not.

Jesus is concerned about us and wants to help us deal with the hardships of life and it is because of this that He said, “Come unto me, ALL YE that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”It is in His nature to nurture and lift the spirits of people.  If we have taken on the divine nature that Peter spoke about and that Jesus possessed, then it will be our nature to nurture also.

HEARING THOSE WHO ARE HURTING  Luke 4:18                                                      This verse mentions various categories of people that Jesus ministered to.  Among them were the broken-hearted and bruised.  Life is full of brokenness.  We live in a broken world where there are broken people with broken lives and broken hearts. At one time or another many of us ourselves have experienced such areas of brokenness as: Broken Dreams, Broken Spirits, Broken Hearts, Broken Relationships, Broken Promises, Broken Expectations and even a Broken Sense of Self Esteem.

Physically speaking, a bruise sometimes called a Contusion (which is caused by some type of trauma) is often very easily spotted because the blood surfaces around the wounded area.  With an emotional bruise, it is generally not so evident and is often hid from the view of others.  The fact of the matter is, these bruises exist all around us and in comparison to how many they are we only see a small portion of them.  If that same Spirit that rested upon the Lord is upon us too, there will be a compelling in us to help alleviate people’s emotional hurting and bring healing to those who are bruised.

William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army said, “Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity and listen to its pitiful wail for help.  Go stand by the gates of hell and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there.  And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.”

We are called to encourage  1 Tim 4:11;  Eph. 4:29                                                        These two verses speaks to our call of building up others. The word edify actually means to build up.  If we take this calling seriously, we will make it our goal to minister to others.  By studying the life of the Lord and those in the early church which are recorded in the Word of God, we find excellent patterns to help us accomplish this goal.  Sometimes encouragement came in the form of food, such as when Jesus fed the hungry.  Sometimes it comes in the form of comfort such as when He ministered to the grieving Mary and Martha.  Christ often encouraged the hopeless with words of hope.  Encouragement comes in forms as simple a visit, a smile or a pat on the back.  All of us are capable of giving encouragement in one way or another.

Paul warned against discouragement in these verses too.  A harsh and uncaring attitude toward others in an individual is a definite sign that there is something spiritually wrong in that person’s life.  There is great power in a person’s words and actions.  They can heal or they can hurt.  Jesus was the great physician.  We should want to be like Him.

Some people just need to know that “THEY TOO ARE IMPORTANT!”

FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                      There was a man once sitting by a tree near a creek, reading his Bible. Something caught his eye and he looked to see a scorpion caught between two roots of the tree.

The man reached over to help the scorpion loose, but each time he tried to grab it the scorpion tried to sting him. A man who was standing nearby watching this said, “Don’t you know it is the scorpion’s nature to sting? Why don’t you just forget it and let it die there?”

The man smiled and looked up and replied, “Should it be necessary that I change my nature to accommodate someone else’s nature? The scorpion may choose to sting, but I choose to help, that is just my nature.”


OTHER SCRIPTURAL HELPS        Psa 143:1-11 / St. John 5:1-9 / 2 Cor. 1:3-4 /  Acts 4:36-37 / 2 Cor. 7:6-7



Lesson 10                          THE GIVING CHRIST____________

KEY VERSE:  Joh 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ______________________________________________________

LESSON PREVIEW:  It is in the nature of God to give and the greatest gift ever given was given by God.  The Christmas season which is now upon us is all about this great gift that God gave us.  Jesus gave His life that we might have eternal life.  When we receive God’s gift, there is a spirit of giving that takes root in our heart too. One cannot be a Christian and have no desire to do for others.  ______________________________________________________

                                 BIBLE LESSON

Isa 9:6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


James 1:17 states, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

1Pe 1:18Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:


1Jn 3:17But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.


2Co 9:6But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

Luk_6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

GOD’S CHRISTMAS GIFT  (Isa. 9:6, St. John 3:16                                                            Around seven hundred years BC, the prophet Isaiah said, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given."  The fulfillment of those prophetic words came to pass with the birth of Jesus Christ.  St. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…”  That son was the same one that Isaiah spoke of and His name was Jesus.

God gave His Son and Jesus gave His life.  What a priceless gift that was given!  There has never been any greater gift given to mankind than this. The Apostle Paul called it an “unspeakable gift.”

It was God who gave the first Christmas gift and what a magnificent gift it is.  Romans 6:23 has unwrapped it for us and revealed its identity.  It says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  What greater gift could there be than the gift of eternal life.  The scripture declares that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world so God’s gift is not just for the wealthy or any select group of people.  It is for any who will accept Him into their lives.

 GOD’S GIVING IS A PATTERN FOR OUR GIVING   (James 1:17, 1Pet. 1:18-19)                                                                                                                                                         When God chose His Christmas gift for us, He chose the best He had.  To borrow words from the Apostle James, it was a “good and perfect gift from above.”   The Apostle Peter tells us that God’s gift was the “lamb without spot or blemish.”   If God was willing to give so much for us isn’t it only reasonable that we should want to give back to Him our very best.  John encourages us to have the same spirit of giving that Jesus had toward others when he said, “because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

THE NATURE OF GIVING   (1John 3:17, 2Cor. 9:7                                                           Giving is a product of God’s love.  Remember, the scripture says, “for God so loved that He gave.”  It is impossible to have the love of God and not have a giving spirit.  This is made plain when the Apostle John asks the question of how dwelleth the love of God in a person who has means to help his brother in need and does not choose to do so.   When a person gives only out of a necessity, for instance when pressure is put upon him/her to do so or when they do it but down deep they don’t want to do it, then God is not pleased with that kind of giving.  He loves a cheerful giver.  It is in the nature of God to give and it also becomes the nature of those who receives the Son of God into their lives.

THE REWARDS OF GIVING(2 Cor. 9:6, Luke 6:38)                                                        We should give out of love and our desire to minister to others but nevertheless God says if you will do for others I will do for you.  It has been said that you can’t out-give God.  God rewards the giving heart.   We may not be reimbursed today or  even tomorrow but at the proper time God will see that a payback takes place.  It may not come in the form that we might expect but you can count on God to reward you for your giving.

FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                      The Christmas rush is on!   You are going to miss all those good deals if you don’t hurry, at least that is what many of the stores want you to think.   Too, they want you to think that if you wait too long all the good stuff will be gone and there will be no good presents left to buy but rest assured, in most cases, there are at least some things left on the shelves, even after Christmas is over and THINGS ARE OFTEN CHEAPER TOO.

In all the hustle and bustle miss the sales if you will, miss the popular toys and gifts if you will but make it a point not to miss Christmas!

Enjoy the colorful lights but just remember they are not Christmas.  They are just a reminder of it.

Enjoy all the gift-giving and gift-getting, they may illustrate the spirit of Christmas but they too are not Christmas.

Enjoy the family get-togethers, laugh (at the right things), eat and let your family know that you love them.  This is a good thing but Christmas goes even deeper than this.

Christmas is about Jesus.  It is about acknowledging His coming some 2000 years ago.  It is about celebrating His life and showing our thankfulness to Him who is both the “GREATEST GIFT” and the “GREATEST GIFT-GIVER” of all times!


SCRIPTURAL HELPS                                                                                                 Eccles. 11:1 / Acts 20:35 / Prov. 11:24,-25



 Lesson 11                        Jesus The Prince of Peace___________

KEY TEXT:  Isa 9:6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ______________________________________________________

LESSON PREVIEW:  This lesson surrounding the Christmas season is a little different from most of the lessons in this quarterly.  We have been speaking of Christ as our example.  In this lesson, we speak of Christ as the Prince of Peace.  There is no other that can lay claim to that title.  It is reserved for the Lord alone, yet we can be recipients of that peace and display it in our lives for others to see.  ______________________________________________________                            


Isa 9:6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isa 9:7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.


Luk 2:8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Luk 2:9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

Luk 2:10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Luk 2:11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luk 2:12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Luk 2:13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Luk 2:14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


Joh 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.


THE PRINCE OF PEACE   (Isa. 9:6-7)                                                                                Some seven hundred years before the coming of Christ, Isaiah foretold about the coming of the messiah and gave Him the title of “Prince of Peace.”  This title means He alone has the power and authority over life to bring about a real and absolute peace.  Christ Himself possesses this kind of peace and it is matchless.   Regardless of whatever difficult situation may exist when He is allowed into our heart, troubles and divisions have to give way to His peace.   The storms of life may not always dissipate when we come to know Him but even when they don’t, there will be an indescribable calm in our lives because He is there.

THE ONE WHO BRINGS REAL PEACE HAS COME   (Luke: 2:8-14)                         What a blessed night when Jesus was born, some two thousand years ago.  The scripture says that the glory of the Lord appeared around the shepherds who were in the field tending their sheep.  We have some ideal of what appeared but Just exactly what that glory looked like we do not know.  We do know that those who experienced this event were afraid.  God’s glory must of spoke to the greatness of God and how powerful that He is.  The appearance of an angel and then multitudes of angels around the shepherds spoke to the willingness of God to interact with mankind but the main focus here in this passage seems to be on the message.  The message was about the Savior and the peace that He came to give to mankind.        The angel’s proclamation was that peace had come.  Peace had come because the Prince of Peace had come.  Not everybody would experience it in their lives but as many as received Him, they were able to experience it.  (Rom. 5:1)  Peace is one of the things that make up the fruit of the Spirit and in every case when we are saved, this spiritual fruit appears in our lives.  We can do things that will cause us to lose this peace but it is our responsibility to stay in the proper relationship with the Lord so that His peace remains. (Gal.5:22-23)


GOD’S PEACE VS. THE WORLD’S PEACE   (John 14:27)                                              Christians possess a peace that the world knows little about.  The world has not experienced it and so does not understand it.  The scripture says it is beyond comprehension of the natural mind.

Some people's peace is reliant upon whether or not there is a war going on around them.  When there is no war, then there is some kind of peace that may exist for that person but when war takes place then that peace vanishes.   Some people's peace is conditioned on how fair or kind they are treated but when they experience unkindness or feel they have been treated unfairly, then that peace vanishes.   Still others have a peace that is measured by material things.  As long as they are able to have the things they want, they are at peace with their surroundings but if those things are taken away, then their peace vanishes along with it.

There is only one kind of PEACE that can be constant in life and that is the PEACE that the PRINCE OF PEACE brings when we surrender our lives to Him.  It is not based on outward situations or circumstances but rather something inward.    It's REAL PEACE and there comes with it an assurance that no matter what takes place without, God is still in control of the situation.

This is the kind of peace that God offers to us and the kind of peace that amazes the world when they see it in our lives.  This is the kind of peace God says can abide within us, even when everything is chaotic around us.  Things may change in life but God’s peace can be a constant for us.


FOCAL POINT:                                                                                                                    We stand in awe of God’s greatness and of His willingness to interact with us but how about His nature.  The fruit of the spirit is his nature.  Keeping in mind how great God is, imagine the kind of love He must experience in His heart.  We get a glimpse of God’s love in the giving of His son but His love is matchless and measureless.  Imagine the kind of joy He experiences.  He has fulness of joy.  The bodies we have now cannot contain the measure of joy God is able to experience.  We can only handle a portion of it.  Imagine His peace.  Nothing can rob Him of it or diminish it, for He is in control of everything.  Just a portion of God’s great love , joy and peace is all one needs.  No wonder God calls it “life abundant” when we know Him!


SCRIPTURAL HELPS                                                                                                    Rom. 8:6 / Phil. 4:7 / Isa. 26:3 / Jer. 6:11 / Jer. 8:14



Lesson 12                       Jesus Christ The Image of God__________

KEY VERSE:  Heb 1:3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; _____________________________________________________

LESSON PREVIEW:  What a picture God gave us of Himself when Jesus came to earth some 2000 years ago.  Jesus told Phillip “those that have seen me have seen the Father.”  The Christmas season is a wonderful time of the year.  It not only brings hope and cheer but is also a reminder of who our God is.  The life of Jesus spoke to the unparalleled goodness and greatness of God but also to the nature of God and what He is like.  When Christ Jesus dwells in our heart, the world will also see the goodness, greatness and nature of God through our lives. ______________________________________________________


Heb 1:1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Heb 1:2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Heb 1:3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;


1Pe 2:9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

1Pe 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.


Rom 8:29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:


GOD REVEALED IN CHRIST  (Heb. 1:1-3)                                                                        Before the birth of Jesus, God chose to reveal Himself through the “WRITTEN WORD” and through the “SPOKEN WORD” of the prophets but with the coming of Jesus He revealed Himself through the “LIVING WORD.”   This world got a personal glimpse of who God really is.  From the Christ child’s humble beginning to His sacrificial gift of Himself on the cross, we have displayed for us in human flesh and in heavenly style the goodness and greatness of God.  Unlike the enemy of our souls (Satan) who does not want to reveal his true colors and agenda, God does want us to know who He is.  God is a “REVEALER.”  Satan is a “CONCEALER.”

The writer of Hebrews describes Jesus as the brightness of the Heavenly Father’s glory.  His glory was seen in Jesus in numerous ways.  God’s power was seen in the miracles that Jesus performed.  God’s peace was seen when he healed the broken-hearted.   His longsuffering was seen when Jesus was reviled but chose not to retaliate.  God’s mercy was seen in Jesus’ willingness to forgive.  God’s goodness in His readiness to minister to those in need and God’s love in the Lord’s supreme sacrifice there on the cross.  What a picture the Lord provided for us of God through His life here on earth.


OUR LIVES ALSO ARE TO PORTRAY WHO GOD IS  (1Pet. 2:9,12)                          Christians possess the attributes of God because He dwells in us but He is only seen by the world when those attributes are expressed through our actions.   The Apostle Paul said, “I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me.”  Our lives are to be the expression of who God is.    The Apostle Paul may not have been able to envision what a modern day projector and screen looks like but He did understand the concept.  He understood that God wants to project Himself through our lives and we are to be the screen that others can look at and see Jesus in the way we live our lives.

There is a move on today to classify everyone as sinners.  Some ministers and members in some churches speak of themselves as being the biggest sinners around (hopefully not in the church of God) because they think it is a show of humility and they do not want to appear self-righteous.   Peter did not say that others may see your sinful life and glorify God in a time to come but that they may behold your good works.  Sin never glorifies God.  We are called to something higher than that.


THE CHURCH AS A WHOLE IS TO BE A PORTRAYAL OF WHO GOD IS  (Rom. 8:29, Eph. 4:13)                                                                                                                             Our individual lives should show a resemblance to the life of Christ but it should also be noted that the church as a whole has been predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ.  This is part of the great mystery that Paul speaks of to the Ephesian saints.  Jesus even prayed for it in St. John chapter seventeen.  In chapter four of Ephesians we are  told that God has given the ministry to help bring  this about and in chapter five of Ephesians we are told that the word of God will produce a glorious church without spot or wrinkle.

Jesus summed up these things we are talking about here as He was praying to the Father in St. John chapter seventeen, when He said, “that the world may know.”  It’s about the world knowing who God is so that they too might receive Him into their hearts.


FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                      Henry Wingblade used to say that Christian personality is hidden deep inside us. It is unseen, like the soup carried in a tureen high over a waiter's head. No one knows what's inside--unless the waiter is bumped and he trips! Just so, people don't know what's inside us until we've been bumped. But if Christ is living inside, what spills out is the fruit of the Spirit.

Carl Lundquist.


OTHER SCRIPTURAL HELPS        St. John 1:14 / Col. 1:15 / St. John 8:28-29 / St. John 17:22




Lesson 13                            THE OPENNESS OF CHRIST

KEY VERSE:  Joh 18:20Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.  ______________________________________________________

LESSON PREVIEW:  The religious leaders of the day accused Jesus of various things that were not so.  He informed them that He had no hidden agenda and no ulterior motive besides that which He openly spoke of.  What a great pattern for our lives today, to always be open and up front with the people we associate with in life.  Jesus did not wear the mask of pretense.  As the saying goes, “What they saw is what they got.”                    ______________________________________________________

                                                      BIBLE LESSON

oh 18:20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.


Mat_23:27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.


2Co 4:1Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

2Co 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.      __________________________________________________________

CHRIST THE TRANSPARENT ONE  (John 18:20)                                                             Many of the religious leaders of Jesus day were so accustomed to underhanded and backroom plots and plans that they were critical of everyone, even those of their own kind.  They accused the Lord of being secretive and deceptive in what He was doing but it was actually many of His accusers who were the guilty ones.  Jesus was just what He appeared to be.  His love was genuine, His motives pure and His doctrine unambiguously declared.

In this passage of scripture Jesus reminded the high priest of His transparency.  He explains to Caiaphas that He has had no part in backroom plots to do evil.  After leaving Caiaphas, Jesus next stop on this even of His betrayal, would be at the judgement hall where He is brought before Pilate.  Jesus explains  to Pilate that everyone who is of the truth hears me.  People who are honestly seeking the truth love transparency.   Openness was the way of Christ and is also the way of the true Christian.

PRETENSE IS FUTILE AND ONLY BRINGS MISERY  (Matt. 23:27)                          Many people worry about what man is able to see in their life and give little consideration to what God sees in them.  If they would be more concerned about what God sees, they would not have to worry about what others are able to see in them.  We cannot conceal from God our actions and if we make it a point to always have a clear conscience before God then what man thinks of us is not important.  If we always guard our words and actions, then we do not have to be always looking over our shoulder to see if anyone has found us out.  What a miserable life it must be to always be afraid of being found out.  Often such a life leads to cover-up and as the old saying goes, “one lie leads to another.”

Jesus used the word hypocrite in this passage.  The word indicates “pretense” and “false appearance.”  The result of their wickedness and laboring to conceal who they really were left them empty, condemned and spiritually dead on the inside.

HONESTY IN HANDLING THE WORD OF GOD (2Cor.4:1-4                                       Paul says we have openly declared the truth.  He tells them if there is a spiritual blindness concerning knowledge of the truth, the enemy of men’s souls is responsible for that but we have committed ourselves to making known the word of God.  Such holy boldness and commitment to the truth is needed today.  There is much handling of the word in our time but much of the time it is with deceitfulness, craftiness and dishonesty.  So much of it is about money, numbers and prestige instead of the welfare of the people who will hear it.  This world is in need of people who loves others enough that they will boldly speak the truth in love.


FOCAL POINT                                                                                                                          There are many religious people in the world today who are much like those in the day of the Lord, whom Jesus called “whited sepulchres” and “hypocrites.”  The words underhanded and backroom plotters would fit their lives as well.  They are not honest about their real intent and motives.  Sadly, many are deceived by such people who masquerade as God anointed ministers.

Thank God for ministers and members who are what they portray themselves to be.   A church made up of such people is filled with trust and peace.


OTHER SCRIPTURAL HELPS                                                                                      Matt. 10:26-27 / 1John 1:5 / Luke 12:1-3




Lesson 14                       CHRIST AND PRAYER___________

KEY VERSE: Luk 9:28And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. ___________________________________________________________

LESSON PREVIEW: Prayer is communication with God.  Communication with God has been recorded all the way back from the time of Adam and Eve.  We see it throughout the Old Testament.   When Jesus came He did not institute prayer for it was already a common practice.  His life did emphasize the importance of it though.  Prayer was a priority in His life and He taught His followers that it should be a priority in theirs also.  His prayer life, like the rest of His life was a pattern for us to follow.                       ______________________________________________________                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   BIBLE LESSON

Luk 9:28And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

Luk 9:29And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

Luk 9:30And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:


Mat 6:5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Mat 6:6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.


Jud 1:20But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

Rom 8:26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Rom 8:27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. ___________________________________________________________

PRAYER IS TRANSFIGURING  (Luke 9:28-30)                                                                 Two other gospels besides the gospel of Luke give record of this event and use the word “transfigured” to describe the appearance of Jesus.  As Leonard Ravenhill so wonderfully put it, “prayer is transfiguring.” Jesus’ life taught us just how important that prayer is.  The bible tells us that  while He was praying Jesus was transfigured.  It was while He was praying that the Spirit descended upon Him like a dove.  While he prayed in the garden an angel came down from heaven and strengthened Him.  He prayed and the fish and bread were multiplied.  He chose His Disciples after He had spent a night in prayer.

The Lord knew it was important for His Disciples to see Him praying along with the powerful results of His prayers.  Peter later wrote about this momentous event where the Lord is transfigured.  He said that he along with others beheld the glory of God on that day.  What an impact it had on his life and no doubt on James and John who experienced it too.  All the Disciples saw the miraculous results of Jesus praying throughout His ministry and so said, “teach us to pray.”

CLOSET PRAYING  (Matt. 6:5-6)                                                                                        The emphasis here is not that it is wrong to pray in public but that we should not pray for self-glorification.  Public prayer is not wrong.  In fact, it is a great witness to our belief in God and our acknowledgement of His greatness and goodness.  Jesus Himself prayed in public but He also prayed in private.

We read of Jesus separating Himself from everyone and spending the entire night in prayer.  Jesus taught that private praying results in a public rewarding.  Preachers and teachers, before we stand before men on God’s behalf, we should first stand before God on men’s behalf.  If we spend time in our closets in behalf of our sermons and lessons then God will reward us with the Spirit’s anointing.  There is no unction or anointing without prayer, no real revival without it and no spirituality.  Prayer brings the breath of life into who we are and into everything that we do.

Prayer is to be so much more than just asking God for things.  It is two- way communication between ourselves and God.  It is God’s delight for His children to take time to have conversation with Him.  Communal praying is great and has its place but so does closet praying, which is just God and ourselves personally talking to one another.  As has already been mentioned, Jesus often spent time alone in prayer with the Father.  There is a special fellowship to be had when we spend time alone with God in prayer.  In this type of communion there seems to be a drawing away from the attachments of the world and a knitting together of our spirits with God’s Spirit.

PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST  (Jude 1:20, Rom. 8:26-27)                                      Praying is more than just saying words.  They must come from the heart.  You may not always have the right words to say but God understands the intent.  Sometimes though, we may not even know the things that we have need of or the things that we need to pray for.  The Holy Ghost does know those things and when He abides within us is able to join in on our prayers and speak to the Father for us.   This is what both Jude and Paul were speaking of when they mention things like  “praying in the Holy Ghost” and “the Spirit maketh intercession for us.”   Yeilding to the Holy Ghost in our praying will minister to us and build us up.

FOCAL POINT:                                                                                                                    Eighteen-year-old Hudson Taylor wandered into his father's library and read a gospel tract. He couldn't shake off its message. Finally, falling to his knees, he accepted Christ as his Savior. Later, his mother, who had been away, returned home. When Hudson told her the good news, she said, "I already know. Ten days ago, the very date on which you tell me you read that tract, I spent the entire afternoon in prayer for you until the Lord assured me that my wayward son had been brought into the fold."

Daily Bread, July 19, 1989.

Jas 5:16 ... The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.


OTHER SCRIPTURAL HELPS         Matt. 14:23 / Luke 18:1 / Ps. 34:6 / Acts 2:42 / Acts 4:31 / Matt. 6:9-13