Christ and His Church - Lesson 3
Christ: The Savior of His Church
The Holiness of the Church
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can explain the process given in Ephesians 5:26 by which we are cleansed.
- The student can list five different ways to look at the salvation through Christ.
- The student will commit himself/herself to living a life of holiness since Christ has made us clean.
- Each student will need a Bible.
- The teacher should have access to a chalk board or marker board or use the PowerPoint provided.
- Each student should have access by songbook or printed sheet to sing the songs, There's Power in the Blood' and , Purer in Heart O God.'
In Lesson 1 we learned that Christ built the church as a culmination of God's eternal plan. In Lesson 2 we studied the actual point in time when the church began. In this lesson, we study what it means to be saved by Christ and what this tells us about how we should live.
Lesson Plan for the Teacher
Introduction: (10 minutes)
- Call the roll, note visitors, and have an opening prayer.
- Tell the class that today's lesson is on Christ, the Savior of His church.
- Tell the class that they will sing a verse or two of two songs and that at the end of the class you will ask them to connect the songs to the lesson.
Learning Experiences: (30 minutes)
- Read Ephesians 5:22-27. Q: What relationship does verse 23 say exists between Christ and the church? A: He is its savior. Q: What does this term suggest? A:That someone was in danger and they have been saved from that danger. That a group of people called the church has had a common experience of having been saved by Christ.
- Q: From our reading, by what process were we able to receive the blessing of having Christ as our savior? A: We were made holy, we were cleansed by the,washing with water through the word' (v. 26). Q: What does this description suggest that we did? A: We followed the instructions of the word and were washed with water by being baptized. Q: Is that what the people on Pentecost did? A: Yes, they followed the words Peter gave as he was inspired by the Spirit by being baptized.
- The scriptures express the concept of Christ being our savior through a number of different pictures. These are presented and discussed in Everett Ferguson's book The Church of Christ on pages 150-159. Here, in brief, is his analysis of theBible pictures of salvation.
- Read Ephesians 5:2. Q: What does this verse suggest Jesus became for all? A: An offering, a sacrifice. Q: Why do people need such a sacrifice? A: We were sinners and in God's system of justice these sins had to be punished. God's plan, however, allowed for Jesus to become the substitute punishment for sins. His death on the cross was an offering which God could accept in place of the punishment all sinners deserve. Read Hebrews 9:26. So, says Ferguson, Jesus is savior to those who accept Him because He became their sacrifice. He says this is expressing the 'savior concept' in the 'language of worship.'
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. Q: What does this passage suggest has been the problem between human beings and God? A: Sin has separated them like two people who have become estranged from each other. Q: So what word does the passage use to tell what Christ has done about this problem? A: Reconciliation. By becoming sin on our behalf, He has made it possible for two parties who were apart to be reconciled. Ferguson says this expresses the 'savior concept' in the, language of personal relations.'
- Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Q: What does this passage suggest that Christ has done for us? A: He bought us. Read Revelation 5:9. Q:What was the price Christ paid to buy us? A: His own blood. Read Hebrews 9:15. Q: What does the language here suggest that Christ did? A: He became our ransom to buy our way out of sin. Read Ephesians 1:6. Q: What word is used here to describe the transaction in which Christ bought us? A: Redemption. We have been bought back. We once belonged to God. We left Him by sinning. Now, Christ has redeemed us. Ferguson says this expresses the 'savior concept' in the 'language of the marketplace.'
- Read Romans 4:25. Q: What term is used here to express Jesus' work as our savior? A: Justification. Q: In what sphere of life would this term normally be used? A: In the law court where, as Ferguson puts it: God has pronounced the verdict of 'not guilty' upon the sinner, or better, "guilty but pardoned'' (156). Christ, then, died to take our punishment so that we would be justified and thus not have to experience the punishment which we deserved. Ferguson calls the use of this term 'justified' the expression of the 'savior concept' in the 'language of the law court.'
- Read 2 Corinthians 2:14. Q: What is the image here? A: A triumphal procession as victors return home. Read Colossians 2:15. Q: So how does this fit the concept of Christ as savior? A: In the cross, He triumphed over Satan and his armies so that we can join him as part of the victory procession. Ferguson says our being pictured as part of the triumphal procession shows Christ as our savior in the 'language of warfare.'
- Remember, then, these words, each using a different picture, to describe Christ as savior: our sacrifice, our reconciliation, our redemption, our justification, and our victor.
- Now return to the passage with which we began. Read again Ephesians 5:25-27. Q: Christ became our savior so we could be part of a body of people whom this passage describes in what terms? A: A radiant church; without stain or wrinkle,or any other blemish; holy, blameless. Q: How did each of us first become like this? A: By the washing with water through the word. Q: Did that act make us clean forever? A: Yes and no. It made us part of a body, each member of which can, under the right circumstances, continue to be blameless, but this condition does not happen automatically to all who have begun this life.
- Read 1 John 1:6-10. Q: To whom is this passage addressed? A: To Christians. Q: What two paths are described in these verses? A: The path of darkness and the path of light. Q: What is the difference between those Christians who walk in light and who walk in darkness? A: Not whether they sin. Those on the path of light are said to sin at points along the way. The difference is in their attitude toward sin. Those on the path of light are trying not to sin but occasionally fall down. Following in the light is their goal. Those walking in darkness, on the other hand, are living a life of sin and do not seem to care or to be making an effort to live differently. Q: What help do those walking in the light have to keep doing the right thing? A: They follow God's example because they walk in the light as He is in the light. They have the help of fellow Christians because they have fellowship with one another. They confess their sins when they do wrong and such confession helps them to keep on walking in the light.
- To summarize, if we keep on walking in the light as God shows us that light, and if we keep in touch with our fellow Christians, and if we keep a tender conscience to confess our sins when we become aware of them, then Christ will keep on forgiving our sins. Living a holy life should be my goal and when I fall because I have done something wrong, I need to correct it and confess it.
- Q: Does this mean that if I sin and die before I can confess it, I will go to hell? Is God playing a game with me to see whether I sin last or confess last? A: No. Those who are living the life of walking in the light and confessing as they are aware of their sins can expect that Jesus will continue to forgive their sins. If, on the other hand, I am committing sins purposely, know I am doing wrong, and continue in that sin without repenting or confessing, then Christ has not promised to forgive my sins.
- Q: What should motivate me to live a holy life? A: Christ's sacrifice for me. My desire to please Jesus. It is a happier, better way to live, avoiding many of the difficulties of the sinner. My relationship with other Christians. My desire to make the body of Christ look attractive to those outside. My desire to have Christ keep on forgiving my sins. The ultimate goal of heaven.
Application and Evaluation: (5 minutes)
- Q: Connect the lesson with the two songs sung at the first of the class.
- Q: List the five terms that show the different views of Christ as savior.
- Q: What are practical ways that we can keep walking in the light?
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