Sunday School Material 7-24-16: Unwavering Hope





(Romans 5:1-11; 7/24/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that the hope of believers is in God and God alone. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to make sure that we are believers and that all of our hope is in God.

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Body:

Read Romans 5:1-5

I. Unashamed Hope. In our Sunday School material Paul notes that since his readers are justified by faith, they have peace with God and grace. He talks about how suffering produces perseverance and character and hope. The Holy Spirit has been given to God’s people.

Applications –

- Justified. Notice in vs. 1 that justification is by faith. To be “justified” is to be declared righteous. It doesn’t mean that we live rightly, but it means that God considers us right.

Our justification is by faith, not by our works. No one lives right enough to be right with God. We are right because of our faith in Jesus’ death being the substitute payment for our sin debt.

Let’s live like we understand being justified by faith. Such living should be known for confidence in God, in spite of our short comings. It should be known for joy, in spite of what is going on around us.

- Peace. Notice in vs. 1 that there is peace with God. The peace of the Sunday School material includes a lack of hostility with God. Before being saved, we were enemies of God.

But as saved people, we are at peace with God. Jesus’ death has satisfied the requirements for holy God and believers to be in friendly relations.

In addition to having peace with God, we should be thankful for having the peace of God. This is a calm assurance, no matter what is happening in this world or in our bodies or minds.

Let’s live like we appreciate peace with God and the peace of God. This kind of living should be known for joy, peace, and a striving to obey God.

- Suffering. Notice in vss. 3-5 that suffering leads to hope that God will see us through. Being a believer doesn’t make us exempt from trouble. But it does help us reinterpret what is happening in our lives. We can see it as temporary and a part of our testimony.

Let’s work on dealing with suffering, in a Christian way. God is still working all things out for the good of His people. We are never in a hopeless situation. Even in death, we look forward to eternal life, beyond the grave.

Read Romans 5:6-11

II. Unearned Salvation. In our Sunday School material Paul notes that it is rare for a person to die for someone else. Yet, Jesus died for us. In fact, God showed His love for us, by having Jesus to die for us, while we were yet sinners. There is reconciliation with God through Christ.

Applications –

- God’s love, while we were sinners. Notice in vss. 6-8 that God showed His love towards us, while we were yet sinners. First, we were powerless sinners, before we got saved. Even if we tried to live right, we could not live right enough to be right with God.

Second, God didn’t wait until we got ourselves together, before He showed His great love for us. For a person to think that they have to get themselves together, before they get saved is a lie from the devil. While we were yet sinners, the price was already paid.

Third, given what God has done for us, we should strive to live for Him. God should not have to lure us with blessings or threaten us with punishment.

We should be so appreciative of Him giving His Son that we live in obedience to Him. Let’s live like we appreciate what God has done for us.

- Boasting in God. Notice in vs. 11 of our Sunday School material that there was boasting in God. On one hand, we have nothing to boast about, in our selves. We are still falling short of what God expects out of us. When we do well, it is because of God’s grace, not our own goodness.

On the other hand, we have so much to boast about in God. He is loving, powerful, holy; He is the creator, sustainer, and judge; and He is so much more.

Furthermore, we should boast on Him. This is called praise. A great benefit of praising God is the more we praise Him, the better believers feel. Let’s work on boasting on in the Lord.

Conclusion: Let’s work on making sure that we are believers and that all of our hope is in God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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