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Bible Study Week 33 – Pressing Toward The Mark

The Descent of the Holy Spirit in a 15th centu...Courtesy of Wikipedia

Purpose of This Bible Study Lesson

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This lesson will lead you to understand that God’s primary purpose is to conform you to the image of His Son, who is the Author and Finisher of your faith.

Learning Goals

This Lesson will guide the participants to:-

  1. Discover the purpose of being conformed to Christ’s image
  2. Discover the process of being conformed to Christ’s image.
  3. Discover the importance of being an image-bearer of Jesus Christ

Introduction

In the book of Genesis we learn that when God Created human beings, He wanted them to have His image; He said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . . And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen 1:26a-27). Man was therefore meant to bear God’s image but sadly that image was distorted by sin and that image now appears as though being seen through a shattered mirror. It is only when we are reconciled back to God through His Son Jesus Christ do we gain the original image.

Begin Today’s Lesson by Reading: Romans 8:1-17, Gal 5:22-23 and James 3:13-17

Conforming to Christ’s Image

The English dictionary defines the opposite of conform as “rebel” and that is exactly what the Adam Race has become, a people who have rebelled against God’s plans. In Rom 8:29 Paul gives an assurance to believers in Rome about God’s conforming work in them by saying that “For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:”. Paul realized that Adams race is a corrupted race, but Christ’s race is a special race of whom the apostle Peter writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said of this race that “But ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet 2:9).

The purpose of being conformed to Christ’s image therefore is so that we “may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness” to become a beacon of light in a dark and desperate world.
The process of being conformed to the image of Christ is not an easy one because it involves the total surrender of our will to the will of God. The starting point is to yield our hearts to God fully and seek Him with all our being. Again the task is made harder because our faith is being tested by the various trials that we undergo, just as Peter warned us saying “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you have to suffer various kinds of trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is more valuable than gold that perishes when it is tested by fire, may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:6-7).

Purification is a process that God uses to remove the dirt and dross of the impurities in our faith which is compared to Gold; and to the believer suffering acts as a purification process.

When Christ was confronted by the Pharisees about whether to pay taxes to Caesar or not, He asked them to show Him a coin, and looking at it, He asked them whose image was engraved on the coin and they replied that it had an image of Caesar. This settled the whole matter when He told them “render unto Ceaser the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”. We also bear an image of God and we therefore belong to God, because He has reconciled us to Himself through His Son.

Bible Study Questions For Discussion – Week 33

  1. What are the eight virtues that come from above according to James 3:17? Please list them
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  2. Why do you think it is important for you today to pursue the mind of Christ? Please explain
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  3. Why do you think most people experience conflict within them in regards to their desires? Please explain
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  4. How can you describe the word “desire’? How can we overcome ungodly desires?
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  5. What kind of desires should we have as Christians today?
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  6. Do you think it is possible for us to have godly desires today as Christians living in the 21st century? Please explain
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  7. What is the evidence of a godly life according to Gal 5:22-23? Please explain
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  8. In your own words please explain briefly why you think some Christians are still bound by the works of flesh listed in Gal 5:19-21. Please explain
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Memorize Philippians 1:6
“And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus”.

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Bible Study Week 33 – Pressing Toward The Mark

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