Sunday School Material 3-22-15: The Spirit of Peace





(John 20:19-23; 3/22/15)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jesus sends His disciples forth with the Holy Spirit. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live like we appreciate what God is sending us to do and the Holy Spirit He has sent into our lives.

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Body:

Read John 20:19-21a

I. Peace and Joy. Jesus returns to His disciples on the first day of the week, Sunday evening. In our Sunday School material the disciples were afraid of the religious leaders.

Jesus came and showed His hands and side, as proof of who He was. As the disciples were overjoyed, Jesus greeted them.

Applications –

- God’s use of people. Notice in vs. 19 that the disciples were not at their best (i.e., hiding in fear from religious leaders), but God still had a plan for them. In like manner, God has plans for His people today that goes beyond our current short comings.

We tend to accept this idea, when it applies to us. But it also applies to others. Let’s be open to God using those who are not at their best today. Think about how quickly we discard people in church because of their sins.

- Peace. Notice in vss. 19, 21 that Jesus offers peace. Today, we know that God offers at least two types of peace. He offers peace with God. Whereas, sin had us as enemies of God, by grace, we are now able to be children of God.

And then Jesus offers us peace of mind. This world can be so confusing and stressful. But in Christ, we can learn to relax and simply trust that God is working things out for the good of His people.

Let’s live like we appreciate the peace the Jesus offers. Such living should be known for peacefully striving to live by God’s will.

- Overjoyed about Jesus’ resurrection. Notice in vs. 20 of Sunday School material that Jesus really did rise from the dead, and we should be overjoyed as well. Jesus’ death was necessary for the full payment of our sin debt.

Jesus’ resurrection give us great assurance that the payment was accepted and that we too shall rise again.

This should give us great joy. We should be overjoyed that we can trust the promises of God. We should be overjoyed that there really is life after death.

Let’s work on living like we are overjoyed about the resurrection of Jesus. We should be known for our joyfully striving to living by God’s will for our lives.

Read John 20:21b-23

II. Peace and Mission. In our Sunday School material Jesus talked about how the Father sent Him. He is now sending His disciples. He breathes on them and tells them to receive the Holy Spirit.

He talks about how who they forgive will be forgiven and who they don’t forgive will not be forgiven.

Applications -

- Being sendable. Notice in vs. 21b that being sendable is important. The Father sent the Son. And the Son is going to send the disciples. If the church is to be all that God is calling for it to be, it has to be bigger than the Pastor and a few key workers. Others have to be sendable.

Being sendable calls for having the character, competency, and chemistry. We have to be humble and trustworthy – character. We have to be able to do what we are being sent to do – competency.

And we have to be able to get along with the one who is doing the sending – chemistry. Let’s work on being sendable and appreciating the importance of developing sendable people.

- The Holy Spirit. Notice in vs. 22 the issue of receiving the Holy Spirit. Bible readers know that on the day of Pentecost there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, after this breathing out of the Holy Spirit.

Instead of trying to figure out how these two events relate, which scholars differ on, we should focus on the importance of having the Holy Spirit. As Baptist believers, we believe that saved people receive the Holy Spirit when they accept Jesus as their savior by faith.

We are permanently indwelt with the presence of God. Let’s live like we appreciate having the Holy Spirit in us. Such living should be known for enjoying His ministries of comforting, teaching, and guiding us, as we strive to live by God’s will.

- Forgiveness. Notice in vs. 23 of the Sunday School material that forgiveness is important. We can all agree that for those who accept Jesus as savior, there is forgiveness.

For all who do not accept Jesus as savior, there is no forgiveness. This should be preached and declared with great authority.

Beyond this understanding, there is room for discussion. Some have gone so far as to suggest that church leaders can declare God’s forgiveness and declare God’s lack of forgiveness for other issues.

Let’s work on making sure that we are saved and forgiven as well as trying to help others get saved and forgiven as well.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living like we appreciate what God is sending us to do and the Holy Spirit He has sent into our lives. God has much for those who obey His will.

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