Bible Study or Sunday School Lesson 6

Free ItemThe Life Of A Disciple In The World
The Virtues & Fruits of the Spirit
Session 6: Joy and Peace

Core Teaching: If we live in harmony with God, if we are disciples of Jesus, then we can experience abundant Joy and true Peace in our lives, even on the worst day.

Session Goals: To help students understand why Joy and Peace are two important Fruits of the Spirit and why they are a part of a Virtuous life.

Supplies: Bibles, “Fruits of the Spirit” Worksheet, Whiteboard/Newsprint, Markers, Masking Tape

Memory Verse: Philippians 4:19-20 NRSV

And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

(Write on the Board and encourage Youth to memorize this week.)

Scripture:

John 15:8-11 NRSV
1 Peter 1:3-9 NRSV
Psalm 92:1-8 NRSV
Isaiah 26:1-4 NRSV

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Class Session

Opening Prayer- Student

Announcements, Attendance, and Offering- Teacher

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Introduction to the Lesson- Teacher

Joy and Peace. These are two virtues to the secular world but they are “Fruits of the Spirit” to the Christian world.  Why?

Part of living a life in harmony with God produces certain by-products in the Christian Disciple.  When we work towards God’s goals (often called The Kingdom of God) we find that we have access to the Holy Spirit more and more.  It is not that the Spirit is not with us always.  It is that we need to tune ourselves into the Spirit so that we can hear God’s voice.

It is like listening to music.  We try and tune in our favorite radio stations.  We try and cue up our favorite track on an album.  We search for just the right music on our MP3 player.  We don’t like listening to just anything.  And certain music gives us certain feelings.  A fast beat might help us to exercise.  A slow beat might help us to relax and reduce stress.

To tune into God fully, we can hear the “music” of the Spirit and it gives us some tangible results in our lives.  Results like Joy and Peace.  At first we only experience a little.  But the more we stay “in-tune” with God the more we experience the fruit of abundant Joy and the fruit of true Peace.

Let’s think about some ways to “tune-in” by looking to Scripture for guidance.

 

Small Group Discussions- Student Leaders

Key Questions (These should be answered during the discussion below)

  1. What is Joy?
  2. What is Peace?
  3. Why should we live “In Christ”?
  4. What is the primary source of Joy?
  5. Why is it important to think about our Salvation?
  6. How is Peace connected to Joy?
  7. What does a Peace-Full person have that other people don’t have?

Big Issue

Hand out the worksheet “Fruits of the Spirit” to each person.

  1. Put a by the fruits you believe are most evident in your life.
  2. Write by each one the name of somebody you know who exhibits this fruit in their lives.
  3. Circle one fruit you most WANT to learn about.
  4. Draw a BOX around the one you most NEED to acquire.
  5. Now write in any thoughts you remember from the lesson on “Love” by that fruit name.
  6. Keep this worksheet handy for the next several lessons and write in notes you want to remember about each Fruit of the Spirit.

Faith Link

Complete Joy?– Read John 15:8-11 to the group.

  • What is Jesus trying to share in this Scripture?
  • How does Love feed Joy in a Disciple’s life?
  • Is it possible to feel Joy apart from God?  Why? Or Why not?

q  We are to attach ourselves to Jesus.  The way Christians sometimes say this is that we are to “Abide in Christ.”  If we live “In Christ” then Jesus promises the Joy of God will be ours.

  • Do you know any “Joyless” Christians?  If so, what are they like?  Why might they be Joyless?
  • What does keeping Christ’s commandments have to do with Joy?

Salvation Brings Joy– Read 1 Peter 1:3-9 to the group.

  • What is this Scripture saying?
  • What has been happening (maybe) in the community being addressed by this letter?
  • What is this community like?

q  The primary source of our Joy is the fact of our salvation.  Spend a minute and think about this as a group.  Too few Christians ever consider this.

q  One reason some Christians may not be Joy-Full is that they haven’t thought about what it means to be “saved” to experience Salvation in the here and now.

  • What is it like to think about your sins?
  • What is it like to think about your Salvation here and now?
  • Which brings more Joy?  Why?  How?

“The knowledge of God without that of our wretchedness creates pride. The knowledge of our wretchedness without that of God creates despair. The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the middle way, because in Him we find both God and our wretchedness.”  Blaise Pascal

  • What connections can you find between this quote and the Scripture we read?
  • How can we “know” Jesus better?

Joy brings Peace- Read Psalm 92:1-8 to the group.

  • What is it that brings Joy to the singer of this Psalm?
  • What does this say about God?
  • What does this say about humans?
  • What might the relationship between God and humans be according to this Psalm?

q  The Fruits of the Spirit are not isolated from each other.  They connect to each other.  Neither Joy nor Peace are dependant upon circumstances.  They are by-products of our relationship with God.  This relationship should be marked by Obedience for a Christian.

  • Can you be Obedient without it feeling like a chore or a duty?
  • What is the difference?

q  If the source of our Joy is the fact of our Salvation here and now, then that Joy should bring with it confidence that all of our needs will be met, and this will bring us true Peace.

“If as Christians we claim to have abundant life, how does it happen that so many of us give so little evidence that this life is superior? We say that God is our Father and is quietly arranging all things to work to our good, yet we fly into a panic at the first approach of trouble.  We claim Christ is Lord of our lives, yet when someone tramples our rights we show by our actions who is really in command.  We talk piously about peace, but when tragedy strikes, our peace goes to pieces.  We preach forgiveness, but let someone injure us and see what happens.”  Selwyn Hughes, How To Live A Christian Life, Seabury Press, 1982, pp. 14-15

Life Application

Read Isaiah 26:1-4 out loud to everyone-

q   Some would say that knowing Peace, true Peace, is simply knowing that God is truly present, even when things look the worst.  Peace is the certainty of God’s presence despite the circumstances.

  • Have each person describe a “Peace-Full, Peace-Filled” person they know.  What makes a person this way?
  • Have each person think of a time something bad happened in their lives.  Were they able to feel God’s presence?  Why or why not?
  • Even if we can’t “feel” God being present can we still “know” God is present?  Why?  How?
  • How does this Scripture relate to what we have been discussing so far?

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Joys and Concerns- Teacher: Write these on a piece of butcher paper.

Closing Prayer- Students: Break into prayer partners and share a Joy with each other and then share one thing that would bring more Peace to each person’s life.  Pray together thanking God for the Joy and asking for help with the Peace.

 

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