Sunday School Material 2-19-12: Inheriting Abraham's Promise
(Galatians 3:15-18; 4:1-7; 2/19/12)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God keeps His promises, including the promises to Abraham, his seed, and about eternal life. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live like we believe the promises of God.
Body: Read Galatians 3:15-18 I. Single Seed. Paul talks to his readers in this section of the Sunday School material about how the promise of God was given to Abraham and his one seed, not seeds.
Since the covenant was in place before the Law then the covenant has precedence. God will keep His promise.
Applications – - Using comparisons. Notice in vs. 15 of the Sunday School material that it can be helpful to make our point, by using comparisons. Every believer should be trying to help someone else get saved and or grow in the Lord.
In our attempts to minister and communicate with others, the idea of using comparisons can be very helpful. Paying attention to what the people you are ministering to pay attention to will give you a wealth of information to use for comparisons.
For example, many young people like the hand held video games and Face Book. Men tend to like sports. Many women like shopping or are familiar with being a mother or auntie.
Let’s work on using comparisons in our ministries of helping people get saved and helping them grow in the Lord (i.e., evangelism and edification).
- God is trustworthy. Notice in vss. 16-18 in the Sunday School material that God and His word are trustworthy.
First, when we see the distinction between “seed” and “seeds,” it should move us to prayerfully study every word in our scriptures to see how they apply to our lives.
Second, since God made a promise to Abraham and his seed, before the Law was given, we can trust God to keep His promise. Let’s live like we believe that God and His word are trustworthy.
Such living should be known for prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word. At the core of God’s word are the issues of being saved and then living a life that is focused on loving God and others, as we love ourselves.
- Estate planning. Notice in vss. 15-18 the whole idea of having a will. There are too many adults who don’t have a will. Consequently, there is too much drama about who gets what, when a person dies.
Every adult believer should have a will and strongly consider other estate planning devices like a living will, advance health care directives as well as powers of attorney for finances and health.
There are so many people who have considered leaving gifts for the church but never got around to the paper work, which often means the church doesn’t get what was intended.
Let’s work on being wise stewards, in the area of estate planning. Our churches could be so much further along, if more people included their church in their estate planning.
Read Galatians 3:1-7 II. Sent Son. When a child under the designated age receives an inheritance, he is little more than a slave, in his ability to exercise control of what he has inherited.
However, when the child comes of age then he can exercise control. Before Christ, we could not enjoy the inheritance of Abraham’s promise. But after Christ redeemed us from the Law, we became sons and heirs of God’s promises.
Applications – - God’s timetable. Notice in vss. 1-2, 4-5 of the Sunday School material that slaves and children are to be kept under control until the appointed time.
First, especially Black believers have a problem with slavery. Thank God that we don’t have official slavery anymore. Second, children should be under godly parental control, until they are able to handle the privileges and responsibilities of adulthood.
Too many parents and caregivers need to improve upon training their children to be ready. Third, at the appointed time, God sent Jesus to redeem us from the Law and change our status before Himself.
Let’s work on appreciating God’s timeline and making sure we do what we are suppose to do in the time that we find ourselves in. Some behave as if they are yet under the Law. And some act like they are saved before they accept Christ as their savior by faith.
- Close relationship with God. Notice in vs. 6 the familiar or intimate term “abba.” For many of us this is like referring to our father as “dad.” It is good to have an intimate or close relationship with God.
It is especially good, when things are rough and tough in our lives. Key ideas in developing a close relationship with God are prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of other believers. Let’s work on developing a closer relationship with God.
- Attitudes of heirs. Notice in vs. 7 of the Sunday School material that believers are heirs of God, as opposed to simply slaves. As heirs, we should have several attitudes. We should be grateful for what has been placed in our trust and given to us.
We should feel a sense of humility, because what we have been given is more about the generosity of God than our worthiness of what has been given. We should feel a deep sense of responsibility.
We should feel pressure to use the inheritance in the fashion that the giver wanted us to use it. As believers, we have inherited eternal life and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit among many other great blessings.
Let’s live like we are heirs of great blessings. Attitudes of gratitude, humility, and responsibility should be common to all of us.
Conclusion: Let’s work on living like we believe the promises of God. God has much for those who obey His will.
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