26 Sep Quarter Four Lesson Twelve
Well, we have made it to the final lesson of Quarter Four. We hope you are learning and growing and desiring to give the gospel out to many others, planting the seed that God may use to give them new birth or grow them in their faith.
In the last lesson, you began the practical application portion of this quarter by applying the gospel to various situations you might encounter throughout life. We have a couple more for you to try in this lesson.
In this lesson we want to look at some clear biblical instruction regarding the importance of the gospel when it comes to guiding others. It is important to remember that as ministers of the gospel we are not giving out sanctified advice, common sense, or even Scripture devoid of the gospel. We are seeking to give out the gospel as it applies to the individual person and situation.
Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:16 (NASB).
Paul was compelled to preach the good news to people. He had an inner motivation from the Holy Spirit, an inner drive, a compulsion, and that was to preach the gospel.
Question 1. Do you share Paul’s passion for the gospel? Would you say that you are compelled to proclaim the gospel? Do you have an inner drive to share what you are learning as it relates to the good news of Jesus Christ?
Having stated positively his compulsion to preach the gospel; Paul follows that up with it negatively and says, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel”. Both the positive statement and the negative statement indicate that Paul clearly knew what his mission was.
Question 2. Do you understand your mission in ministry, which is to give out the gospel to others, specifically applied to their situation? Please share your thoughts:
We wanted to share an illustration of this, and it comes from a period of time in the history of the nation of Israel. Please read the following passage of Scripture and answer the questions below:
When Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, he said to them, “Go up there into the Negev; then go up into the hill country. 18 “See what the land is like, and whether the people who live in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many.19 “How is the land in which they live, is it good or bad? And how are the cities in which they live, are they like open camps or with fortifications? 20 “How is the land, is it fat or lean? Are there trees in it or not? Make an effort then to get some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes. Numbers 13:17-20 (NASB)
Moses sent one person from each of the twelve tribes to go and spy out the Promised Land, to bring back a report of the land and the people living in it. The spies went out and saw how lush the land was, that it “flowed with milk and honey”, and they even brought back some huge clusters of grapes showing how prosperous the land was.
Their report to Moses: Thus they told him, and said, “We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.” Numbers 13:27 (NASB)
Joshua and Caleb were two men that brought back good news; they said the land was perfect for them—the fields were fertile and the fruit was abundant—and that the nation of Israel should go forward and God would give them the land. God had promised this bountiful land to the nation of Israel and Joshua and Caleb believed this good news and were ready to act accordingly. Having seen the “milk and honey land”, and tasted the fruit, and being aware of God’s promise to give the land to them, they were compelled to share the good news with others and motivate them to move into the Promised Land.
The other 10 men who went to spy out the land were not relying on the promise of God, and were not looking at the fertile fields and abundant fruit, rather they were fixated on the problems and so brought a bad report. They said,
“Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 “Amalek is living in the land of the Negev and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites are living in the hill country, and the Canaanites are living by the sea and by the side of the Jordan.” Numbers 13:28-29 (NASB)
Then to show just how hard it would be to take the land, they made an outlandish comparison between themselves and the people living in the land:
But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” 32 So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. 33 “There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:31-33 (NASB)
Do you see how focusing on the problem brings fear and paralyzes us to live in the promises of God? Focusing on God’s promises to us, seeing His power and beauty and strength, enables us to live by faith and walk in the promises of God.
We want to be like Joshua and Caleb who tasted and saw the wonder and beauty and fertility of the land and believed in God’s promise to give it to them. In other words, we want to fix our eyes on Jesus, to see the glory and beauty of the gospel, and to live in the promises of God. The forgiveness we have in Jesus is a big cluster of grapes, fruit from the cross; the righteousness that we have in Jesus is a large bowl of apples, fruit from the cross. Our acceptance with God, our justification from all wrongs, our overcoming of sin and death in Christ, all of these are the fruit of the cross of Jesus. We do not want to be like the unbelieving ten spies who focused on the problems, lived in fear, and brought a bad report. Let us bring the good news to many others.
May we be compelled to share the good news with people, so much so that we could say “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!”
Now let us move on to some additional situations that you might encounter while ministering either with us here at Gospel Growth Ministries or in your daily life at work, school, or elsewhere. Please prayerfully respond to the following situations. Please choose at least two situations below to respond to, putting a “N/A” in the other boxes. Remember, men respond to men, ladies to ladies:
You have seen Jim often at your men’s Bible study. Jim is 50 years old; he has a wife and two teenage children. You’ve noticed he has missed the last couple of Bible study sessions, and then one day you see him in the grocery store. While speaking with him in line at the grocery store, you discover that he has just lost his job. He is angry and bitter about his situation.
Question 3. How would you respond to Jim?
Samantha is 22 and single. While talking with her you notice a wound on the inside of her arm. Concerned you ask her what happened. She yanks her sleeve down and says, “You don’t want to know.” In kindness, you reassure her that you only want to help. She tells you that when she is upset about things in her life she cuts herself to feel better.
Question 4. How would you respond to Samantha?
Max is 65 and obese. He is sitting at the pharmacy looking very dejected and upset. You ask him if he is alright and he says, “Well, my doctor just told me that if I don’t lose 50 pounds that I’ll probably have a heart attack this year. I’m afraid I’m going to die. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Question 5. Please write out your response to Max.
LaTanya is 42; she is a married with four children. She teaches her children at home and is also very active in your local church. While speaking with you, she begins to talk negatively about other ladies in the congregation.
Question 6. Please write out your response to LaTanya:
Jesse is 28 and married. He and his wife are expecting their first child. While talking with you he tells you that he really wants to stop smoking, but he doesn’t know how. His wife is trying to help, but he is feeling frustrated because the more he tries to quit the more he wants to smoke.
Question 7. Please write out your response to Jesse:
Linda is 19 and single. She shows up at your church for the first time on Sunday, saying she saw an Internet presentation about Jesus and wants to learn more about Him, but she is having a difficult time understanding the Bible. She is asking for help in understanding it.
Question 8. Please write out your response to Linda:
We hope you enjoyed the opportunity to respond to sample situations; of course, life is full of many varied opportunities for gospel ministry, and we should always be praying that God would give us a chance to help carry the burdens of people, and share the gospel with them if there is an open door.
Finally, we hope your time here was beneficial, and that you had an opportunity to see Jesus and benefit from the gospel teaching. If you enjoyed your time here we encourage you to give out the website to your friends and family with your recommendation. You may also write out a testimony to share on the website and send it to email@example.com along with your picture (if you wish), and we’ll post your comments on the testimonies page.