Bible Study or Sunday School Lesson 8

FreeThe Life Of A Disciple In The World
The Virtues & Fruits of the Spirit
Session 8: Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control

Core Teaching: God gives us power to live the Christian life.  That power is Grace.

Session Goals: To help students see that even though the Christian life is hard, the Fruits of Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control are really gifts from God through the Holy Spirit.           

Supplies: Bibles, A Copy of “The Faithfulness Worksheet” for each person, Whiteboard/Newsprint, Markers, Masking Tape

Memory Verse: 2 Timothy 2:24-25 NRSV

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth,

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

Scripture:

Romans 8:31-39 NRSV
Matthew 5:3-11 NRSV
1 Corinthians 10:23-31 NRSV
Revelation 2:8-11 NRSV

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Class Session

Opening Prayer- Student

Announcements, Attendance, and Offering- Teacher

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Introduction to the Lesson- Teacher

Faithfulness?

Gentleness?

Self-Control?

You must be kidding!  Help me brainstorm a song, movie or TV show that celebrates these 3:

Hard to do isn’t it?  Do you see how counter-cultural living the Christian life really is?  Do you see how following Jesus is difficult in a world that celebrates the opposite of the life God calls each of us to live?

How Faithful are you willing to be?

How Blessed is your life because of your Gentleness?

How much Self-Control do you really have?

These are just a few questions we are about to explore.

Small Group Discussions- Student Leaders

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

  1. What is Faithfulness?
  2. What is Gentleness?
  3. What is Self-Control?
  4. How can knowing God is FOR us help us to be more Faithful?
  5. How are the Beatitudes like the Fruits of the Spirit?
  6. Why is the Christian life difficult?

Big Issue

OK, by now you must all think this whole being a Disciple thing is really, really, hard.  Living like Christ is hard.  Being Holy is hard.

Well hear the good news: God empowers us through Grace to receive these gifts of the Spirit!  The Fruit of the Spirit is a gift from God.  If we open ourselves to the reality of God in our lives, if we believe in what Jesus did, and we believe the things Jesus said, and we simply follow Jesus…the Holy Spirit will help us each step of the way.

Faith Link

God FOR Us– Read Romans 8:31-39 to the group.

  • What is Paul trying to teach us in this passage?
  • Do you believe God is FOR us?  Why or Why not?
  • Do you believe nothing can separate us from God?  Why? or Why not?

q  The more faithful we are to the God who is FOR us, the more we can feel and see the presence of the Spirit in our lives and decisions.

  • Name a person that comes to mind when you think of Faithfulness.  What makes this person Faithful?  How do they show it?

q  Pass out the “Faithfulness Worksheet” to each person.

  • Put a by the ones you feel Faithful in now.
  • Put a by the ones that need more work.
  • By each one write the name of a person who represents Faithfulness in that area to you.
  • Brainstorm as a group ways to build up Faithfulness in each of these areas and write down the best ideas on your sheet.

Blessed are the Gentle– Read Matthew 5:3-11 to the group.

q  Paul’s Fruit of the Spirit has a strong parallel to Jesus’ Beatitudes.

  • As a group, spend some time matching up the Fruits to each characteristic Jesus calls blessed.

q  Notice that Meekness and Gentleness are similar.

q  To be Meek means to submit to God’s will.  It does NOT mean that you let the world walk all over you.  Now think about this in terms of Gentleness.

  • How respectful of others are you in your daily life?
  • Do you see this respectfulness as a sign of submitting to God’s will?
  • Do you think that knowing our true Purpose in life is to do God’s will and not our own helps us to be Gentle?
  • If God values all persons because God created all persons, shouldn’t we value all persons as well?
  • Go back and look over the Beatitudes again.  Pick out which ones YOU are practicing in your life.

Grace Eliminates The Impossible – Read 1 Corinthians 10:23-31 to the group.

  • What is Paul describing here?
  • What does it mean to do “everything for the glory of God”?
  • Why is Self-Control important for a Christian?
  • Think back to the 7 Deadly Sins: how is Self-Control important in combating each Deadly Sin?

q  Jesus gave himself for us, he saves us: not from suffering but from ourselves, not from injustice but from being unjust, not from death but FOR life because works even beyond physical death.

  • How would you describe Jesus’ Self-Control?
  • How does God’s Grace help us?

q  The Christian life is difficult, very difficult.  Any gospel that promises an easy life is NOT the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Some might even say a truly Christian life is impossible.

  • Would you say a truly Christian life is possible or impossible?  Why?
  • Name some ways God’s Grace has helped you to live the impossible life and to have some self-control.

Life Application

Read Revelation 2:8-11 out loud to everyone-

q   Faithfulness is a lifestyle unlike many things considered a lifestyle today.  Gentleness is a Lifestyle as well.  As is Self-Control.  They are part of the lifestyle of the Spirit.

  • Is your church like or unlike the Church in Smyrna?
  • Do you feel like your Christian Community has been tested?  Why or Why not?
  • What would a life look like that is “faithful unto death”?
  • Do you have confidence in God even on the worst day?
  • What could help you to have more confidence in God?
  • Look back over your Worksheet on the Fruits of the Spirit from session 6.  Take some time in silence to think about The Fruits of the Spirit in your life.  Write down you new thoughts on the worksheet.

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

Closing Prayer- Students: Stand in a circle holding hands with your eyes closed.  Each person will pray out loud to God in a quiet “murmur” at the same time.  When the murmurs have ceased say “Amen” together.

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