THE BLESSED ONES (PART ONE)

INTRODUCTION
When Jesus came into the world as God manifested in the flesh, He started His ministry with twelve disciples.
He brought with him some Kingdom principles they need to imbibe or carry out in order for them to really follow him and be his true disciples.
To reveal these kingdom principles to them, he has to call them out or apart mountain where he gave them some teachings about God’s kingdom.

We must note that unless we act of these sayings and put them to bear upon our lives and character, it does not benefit us.
It is the doers of the teaching that can be called “The Blessed Ones!”

May God count you worthy of becoming one of His blessed one’s in Jesus’ name (Amen).

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 5:1-20

A. BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT
I. Must we be poor in spirit to be blessed and become kingdom inheritors? The answer is yes. What does it mean to be poor in spirit:
a. KJV – Blessed are the poor in spirit
b. GNB – Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.
c. LB – Humble men are very fortunate
d. AMP – Blessed – happy to be envied and spiritually prosperous (that is, with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favour and Salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) – are the poor in spirit (the humble, rating themselves insignificant)…
e. GSPD – Those who feel their spiritual/ need
f. BER – Those who sense spiritual poverty
g. PHI – How happy are the humble-minded.
To be poor in spirit therefore means to know that you are spiritually poor; to be humble; to rate yourself insignificant, to know your need for God. Mt. 5:3; Prov. 16:18-19; Is. 66:2; Rom. 12:3; Phil. 2:3

II. The essence of humility in walking with GOD
Proud men and women are unfortunate. Instead of receiving assistance from God, He resists them. God does not walk or keep company with the proud in heart, looks, actions or the scornful. If you desire God to walk with you, you must humble yourself. As you are humble, grace is made available to you. Those who are full of themselves and strong in themselves are turned away empty. Are you humble?
Jam. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5-6; Mt. 23:12; Acts 12:20-23; Dan. 4:29-37; Ps. 101:5; Ps. 136:6; Heb. 4:16; 1 Tim. 2:1; Tit. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 15:10; 2 Cor. 6:1-2; 2 Cor. 12:7-10; 2 Chron. 16:9

III. Theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
The Kingdom of heaven is at the disposal of those who know they are spiritually poor. The privileges of the Kingdom, the privilege to handle and preach the gospel, the authority, the blessings, the provision and protection are for the poor in spirit.
Mt. 6:33; Lk. 18:29-30; 2 Cor. 5:18; Ps. 91:1-16; Jn. 5:19; Heb. 5:7-9; Mt. 28:18; Gen. 41:15-16; Dan. 2:14-23, 27-30, 46-49; 1 Sam 18:6-15

DISCUSSION
1. What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
2. In what areas and aspects of your life/ somebody else’s life have you sensed the manifestation of pride? In which ways does it come in? What effect has this pride on your progress in your personal walk with God?
3. The LORD gives ‘grace’ to the humble.
a) What sins that grace has enabled you to overcome?
b) What difficult situations and tasks has the grace of God enabled you to achieve?
4. What personal steps would you resolve to take after this study to be and remain poor and humble in spirit?

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART TWO)

INTRODUCTION
In the last study we started the series on The Blessed Ones. We were introduced to those who are poor in spirit, those who they are spiritually poor, the humble, who rate themselves insignificant; those who know their need for God. This is the premier condition of receiving or possessing anything from God.
Today’s study dwells on those that mourn shall be comforted. It is my prayer that this season, you shall be comforted in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 5:1-4; LUKE 6:20-23

A. WHO DOES IT MEAN TO MOURN?
To mourn means to express sorrow or grief over the loss of something or somebody. It’s an emotional state that may involve weeping, tears, praying, sighing, with or without, fasting, personal disfigurement, wearing of black or sombre materials, etc. How should a believer mourn? It should be in a godly sort. It must touch the heart. It’s the beginning of every genuine repentance confession of sin not preceded by mourning for sin, will not bring genuine repentance. Mourning must achieve God’s purpose in our lives.
Eccl. 7:2-6; Ps. 30:5; Joel 2:12-13, 15-17; 1 Thess. 4:13-14; 2 Cor. 7:10-11

B. UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES ARE CHRISTIANS PARTICULARLY EXPECTED TO MOURN?
i. For Sin In Penitence
Mourning for sin causes sorrow of heart as a sign of regret for what you have done wrong. It is a necessary sign and an initial step of genuine repentance needed for the restoration of the lost glory.
Joel 2:12-13; Ezra 10:6; Ps. 38:1-8; 2 Cor. 7:9-10; 1 Kings 21:27

ii. The Loss of God’s glory among His people
God is looking for those who are concerned and burdened about the situation of His people, someone who would take it upon himself to intercede for the body of Christ, for the restoration of God’s glory among His people.
Neh. 1:4; Dan. 9:2-8; 10:2; Lam. 2:11-12; Eze. 9:3-5; 22:29-30; Is. 62:1

iii. For Souls To Be Saved
Seeking the lost involves sorrowing. When the helpless and hopeless condition of the lost touches your heart, it results in mourning and intercession. It also results in an inner push to preach the gospel to the lost.
Ps. 126:5-6; 1 Sam. 15:35; 16:1; Rom. 9:1-3; 10:1

iv. Due To Persecution And Worldly Conflict
You might be burdened by events around you. Jn. 16:20-21; Lk. 6:21-22; 2 Cor. 1:4-5; Ps. 35:5; Acts 5:40-42

C. BLESSINGS OF MOURNING
Sin forgiven: the comfort of heart and the one that comes from the LORD, Joy of seeing souls saved; the great reward and glorifying the LORD. Ps. 30:5; Mt. 5:5; 2 Cor. 7:7-10; Ezra 10:1-4, 12; Is. 61:3; Rev. 21:3-4; Ps. 126:5-6; Lk. 4-5; Heb. 12:2

DISCUSSION
1. What sins that you committed (commission or omission) have you mourned for before?
2. What burdens do you particularly say you mourn for regularly? Is there any comfort yet?
3. How many members of your family are saved? What are you doing about those who are yet to be saved?

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART THREE)

INTRODUCTION
Today’s study is about ‘The Meek Ones.’ The Lord’s teachings are expected to become our lifestyle and daily attitude in life as we go through this present world. They are not for mere head knowledge.
According to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, if we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit and receive the truth in His word, we would be blessed in doing them.

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 5:1-5

A. WHAT IS MEEKNESS?
It is a personality trait of gentleness and humility the opposite of which is pride. Meekness does not refer to weakness or passivity but to controlled power. (Holfman’s bible dictionary)
Let’s look at different translations for further illumination of the word ‘meekness’.

KJV: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
TCNT: Blessed are the gentle…
KNOX: Blessed are the patient…
NEB: How blessed are those of a gentle spirit for they shall have the earth for their possession.
LB: ‘The meek and lowly are fortunate, for the whole wide world belongs to them.
GNB: Happy are the meek, they will receive what God has promised.
PHI: ‘How happy are those who claim nothing, for the whole earth will belong to them.

Meekness is then gentleness, lowliness of mind, not self-willed, easily entreated, claim nothing, not defending self but trusting God to fight for him, no self assertion, non-resistance or retaliation, no agitation, no fear of loosing out even though going through oppression, criticism and blackmail. It manifests in quietness of spirit and inner liberty from agitation (Gbile, Akanni (2000) – The Kingdom Lifestyle). Mt: 5:5; Phil. 2:2-3; Mt. 11:29; Lk. 6:29; 1 Pet. 2:21-23; Lk. 6:29

B. EXAMPLES OF MEN OF MEEKNESS
i. Jesus Christ, Our Model: Mt. 11:29-30; Is. 53:7; 1 Pet. 2:23; Mt. 26:52-54
ii. Moses: Num. 12:1-16; Lk. 9:51-56; Rom. 12:19-21
iii. David: 2 Sam. 16:5-13; 2 Sam 19:18-23

C. IN WHAT WAYS IS MEEKNESS ESSENTIAL IN OUR WALK WITH THE LORD
i. In hearing and learning for the LORD and His word: Jam. 1:21; Ps. 25:9; Prov. 3:5-6
ii. In teaching and bringing others up for the LORD: 2 Tim. 2:23-26; Tit. 3:2; Gal. 6:1
iii. In relating with others whether believers or unbelievers: Mt. 5:39; Jam. 4:7; Rom. 4:7; Rom. 12:18-21; Phil. 2:3-5

D. HOW TO CULTIVATE AND GROW IN MEEKNESS
Meekness is an attribute of Christ and is part of the fruit of the Spirit. It can be learnt. It can be cultivated as we daily yield our lives to Christ’s teaching and leading unless the flesh is crucified, there is no way for the carnal man (the self-independent, self elated, self seeking, self-promoting man) to be meek. Zeph 2:3; Phil. 2:2-5; Col. 3:5-10; Gal. 5:22-26; Prov. 3:4-6; Mt. 11:29

E. BLESSINGS OF THE MEEK
These include the following:
i. They shall inherit the earth.
ii. They shall eat and be satisfied; they shall have peace.
iii. The LORD will lift them up and grant them salvation
iv. The LORD shall guide them and teach them His ways.
Mt. 5:5; 2 Cor. 6:10; Jn. 12:32; Phil. 2:5-11; Ps. 22:26; Ps. 37:11, 37; Ps. 147:6; Ps. 149:4; Ps. 76:8-9; Ps. 25:9; Gen. 37:39; 41:38-44; Gen. 45:1-8

DISCUSSION
1. What aspect of the study affected you most?
2. Give further examples of the meek in the scripture or contemporary time.
3. Share experience of behaving as a meek person and allows GOD fight for you.

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 4)

INTRODUCTION
We’ve progressed in the study of the Blessed Ones as we consider a new attitude today. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness. The attitudes of the Blessed ones are the right attitudes we must maintain as believers before God if we are to receive any blessings from His presence. They are the kind of attitudes that form important bedrock from a strong and lasting relationship with Jesus. Any other attitude, apart from these may actually push us out of God’s presence. Hence, we need to cry to God until these are engrafted upon our very hearts and they become our daily experience.

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 5:1-12

As you hear the words of Jesus, you have automatically started building your house (life). It is those who hear and obey that will be able to stand the trials, storms and the rains that would inevitably come because of life. We need to be sober and pray that God will grant us revelation of His word with grace to obey.

A. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUNGRY AND THIRSTY? Let’s look at some versions of Matthew 5:6
KJV – Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
LIV – Happy are those who long to be just and good, for they shall be completely satisfied.
AMP – Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied! [Is. 55:1, 2]

It means to have a strong desire, a deep yearning, a keen appetite, for something it is a strong craving for something above all else. To be hungry and thirsty at the same time is such a strong and dangerous condition of need that may lead to fainting. Such a situation makes one to cry out for help for that need to be met. Ps. 42:1-2; 63:1; 2 Sam. 23:13-17; Judg. 15:15-19; Ps. 107:5, 6, 9; Prov. 27:7; Exod. 17:1-7

B. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS?
It means to have the greatest desire or passion to do what God requires, longing and passion for righteousness out of a need or an emptiness within. It also means to long to be just and good; to see righty prevail. 1 Tim. 6:9; Gal 6:12; Mk. 9:35; 1 Cor. 14:1; Rom. 8:1-2; 6:11-13

In the next study, we would examine how one can become hungry and thirsty for righteousness.

DISCUSSION
1. What is the greatest desire of your heart?
2. What do you consider most important in someone’s life?
3. What are things people are passionate about? How satisfying are they?

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 4B)

INTRODUCTION
In this study we would continue to examine the category of people that hunger and thirst after righteousness.
May the Lord bless us with understanding of the study in Jesus’ name amen.

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 5:1-12

A. HOW CAN SOMEONE BECOME HUNGRY AND THIRSTY FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS?
I. One needs to humble himself like a little child to desire nourishments from the presence of the LORD. Mt.5:3; Mt. 18:3; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Kgs 3:16-17; Lk. 10:41-42; Mk. 3:14
II. Ask GOD to show you your true spiritual condition. The day God showed prophet Isaiah a vision of Himself and His holiness, the firebrand prophet was able to see his spiritual poverty and created a deep hunger and passion for God’s holiness and righteousness. Deut. 8:3; Is. 1:1-6, 9-11, 16-21; Is. 2:9-12, 17-19; Is. 3:8-11, 16-26-27; Is. 5:13-23; Is. 6:1-7; Heb 12:5-11
III. III. Understanding God’s goal for your life compared with your present achievements. If someone doesn’t know where God is taking him to and His expectation from him, one tends to settle down to present or past achievements. The hunger and thirst for righteousness would then diminish. Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 2:9-10; Phil. 3:10-15

B. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS?
It means to have the greatest desire or passion to do what God requires, longing and passion for righteousness out of a need or an emptiness within. It also means to long to be just and good; to see righty prevail. 1 Tim. 6:9; Gal 6:12; Mk. 9:35; 1 Cor. 14:1; Rom. 8:1-2; 6:11-13

 

In the next study, we would examine how one can become hungry and thirsty for righteousness.

DISCUSSION
1. What is the greatest desire of your heart?
2. What do you consider most important in someone’s life?
3. What are things people are passionate about? How satisfying are they?

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 5)

INTRODUCTION
Today’s study discusses the category of the “Blessed Ones” that are merciful. Jesus said in Matthew 5:7 that “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy”. The blessings come as we act on His words; unlimited heavenly treasures of life are open to the obedient disciples. May God grant us a heart of obedience as we study His word in Jesus’ name (Amen).

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 5:1-7

A. MERCY AND HIS ATTRIBUTES
From the Penguin English dictionary, mercy means compassion, forbearance shown especially to an offender or an enemy. That implies you show tenderness of heart towards that individual, you forgive or pardon.
We would examine three Hebrew words related to mercy from the Bible dictionary.

‘Racham/ Rachamim’ means ‘family’ has the meaning of showing mercy, compassion or pity. It relates to the word for womb; it may have the connotation of a mother’s affection or of the bond between siblings. It relates to God’s mercy is never just a feeling but is expressed by action.
1 Kings 3:26; Gen. 43:30; Ps. 103:8-13; Is. 54:6-8; Is. 54:15; Is. 55:7; Ex. 33:19; Ps. 136:4-11; Is. 30:18-19; Ps. 25:4-7; Prov. 28:13-14; Lam. 3:31-33; Mic. 7: 18-20, Ps 102:13, Hos 2:19, 23; Hab 3:2; Ps 103:4; Is 9: 14-17; 10:20-22; Is. 10: 20-22 (NT) parallel is Splagchna – means upper part of human heart compassion and affection. Mt. 9:36; Mk. 9:36; Mt. 9:20; Lk. 15:20; Lk. 10:33

The second Hebrew word is “Chesed” similar to the Greek word ‘Elcos’. It means kindness steadfast love, lovingkindness, loyalty or constant love, love, unfailing love or faithfulness like Racham, it expresses itself in different varieties of human relationships and action. The relationship is always reciprocal. One who experiences the ‘Chesed’ of another is to reciprocate when the opportunity present itself.
Gen. 24:47; 47:29; Josh. 2:12-14; 1 Sam. 20:8, 14-17; 2 Sam. 2:5; Ex. 15:13; Ps. 107:8, 15, 21, 31; 1 Kings 8:23; Deut. 7:9; Is. 54:10; Ps. 103:17

The third Hebrew word is Chanan/ Chen. This implies mercy and pity. The psalmist described one who is generous to the poor. Some aspects involves not only pity but also being gracious. It is in this sense that the word is applied to God, referring to His gracious and generous nature. N.T. parallel is ‘Oiktirmos’ also means pity, compassion.
Job. 19:21; Ps. 37:21; 112:5; Prov. 14:21-23; 19:17; Col. 3:12; Phil. 2:1; 2 Cor. 3; Rom. 12:1

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 5B)

INTRODUCTION
Having looked at different meanings that mercy can imply, we can progress to look at features identifiable with a merciful life. That is why today’s study focuses on the attributes of a merciful life.
May the LORD make each and everyone of us increasingly merciful in Jesus’ name (Amen).

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: PSALM 103:1-22

A. ATTRIBUTES OF A MERCIFUL LIFE
I. HE/ SHE IS GRACIOUS

The LORD our GOD is kind and gracious. He shows mercy even when people have not said ‘sorry’ for their sins. What are the practical implications being gracious?
Ps. 103:8-14; Micah 7:18; Mt. 5:43-45; Lam. 3:22

II. HE/ SHE IS SLOW TO ANGER
We have to be careful about anger and know how to deal with it if it arises at all in our lives. We have to learn now to control it, stop it and eventually put it away. Ps. 103:8; Jam. 1:19-21; Ps. 103: 9; Ps. 37:8; Eph. 4:31-32.
What are the implications of Eccl. 7:9? Compare this with Ps. 106:29; Eph. 4:26; Jon. 3:1-10; 4:1-2

III. HE/ SHE WILL NOT ALWAYS CHIDE
That means he/ she will not always scold, strives. Grudge or contend. Correction must be done in the absence of anger and in love.
Ps. 103:9; Prov. 17:9; Heb. 12:10-11; Job 5:17-18; Ps. 103:10-11; Mt. 5:44-45; Lk. 6:35

IV. HE/ SHE FORGIVES AND FORGETS
Once GOD has forgiven us, He does not use our past to react against us. Ps. 103:12; Lk. 6:37; Mt. 6:14-15; Mt. 18:23-35

V. HE/ SHE IS COMPASSIONATE
He/ She is full of pity for the offender. Do you take time to understand people’s disposition in order to overlook their behaviour and show mercy? Ps. 103:13-14; Mt. 18:25-27

PRAYER
1. Father, make me like You in exercising mercy.
2. Father, make me to be plenteous in mercy.
3. Father, the grace to forgive and forget, give unto me today in Jesus’ name (Amen).

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 5C)

INTRODUCTION
In the last study, we looked at five major attitudes of the merciful. These are:
1. He is gracious; (2) He is slow to anger; (3) He will not always chide or scold; (4) He forgives and forgets and (5) He is compassionate or pitiful.
We need to continue to pray until we see full realisation of these attitudes in our lives.
Today’s study looks at how to cultivate these altitudes and the blessedness of the merciful. May the LORD enlighten our eyes of the understanding as we study in Jesus’ name (Amen).

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: COLOSSIANS 3:1-17

A. HOW DO WE CULTIVATE THE ALTITUDE OF THE MERCIFUL
There are three major ways to do this.
1. Accept the nature of the merciful by being born again. Lk. 6:36; Jn. 1:12-13; Jn. 3:3-7
2. Renew your mind daily with the Word of God. Rom. 12:1-2; Jn. 17:10.
3. Put on the bowels of mercies. Col. 1:12
B. THE BLESSEDNESS OF THE MERCIFUL
1. He receives salvation. 1 Tim. 1:12-16; Rom. 2:4
2. He receives help & mercy. Heb. 4:16; Mt. 5:7
3. He is chosen for Kingdom Service. 2 Cor. 4:1; Rom. 9:15-16
4. He receives a good wife, have a good home. Prov. 18:22
5. He receives mercy instead of judgement. Jam 2:13; Ps. 18:25
6. He receives favour and good understanding. Prov. 3:3-4
7. He receives peace. Prov. 11:17

CONCLUSION
A merciful person is full of mercies. This is understanding and considerate and therefore compassionate. He is easily peaceable and kind. He has grace to forgive and forget. He is not quarrelsome. Though always at the giving end, he is ever nourished, refreshed and blessed.

DISCUSSION QUESTION
1. How do you handle someone who keeps repeating the same offence?
2. Discuss the effect of anger on relationship. How did you resolve this situation?
3. Do you find it difficult to forgive and forget? If so, what could be responsible for this?

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 6A)

INTRODUCTION
Today’s study considers the category of the ‘Blessed Ones’ that are pure in heart. Jesus says in Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
For us to have a close walk with God and see Him or experience Him intimately, our hearts must be pure.
May God purge our hearts and make us yield our hearts fully unto Him until we become as pure as light in Jesus’ name. Amen.

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 5:8; 2 TIMOTHY 2:16-26

A. THE HUMAN HEART
The human heart is described as deceitful, wicked, evaluation centre of man.
Jer. 17:9-10; Mt. 23:25-28; Mt. 15:8; Prov. 23:7; Ez. 14:1-5; Gen. 6:5-6; 1 Cor. 2:11; Prov. 4:23; Mt. 15:18-20; 1 Sam. 16:7; 1 Kings 11:4; 2 Chron. 25:2; Ps. 7:9; Ps. 51:6

B. PURITY OF HEART
When something is pure, it means it is not mixed or mingled with any other substance even if that other substance is good and useful. A pure heart is one that contains only God and His purpose and counsel. No mixture with anything of self, Satan, the world or any other thing.
Ps. 51:10; Ps. 42:1-2: Ps. 73:25; Mt. 6:19-24; Col. 3:1-3; Jn. 4:34; Jn.14:30; Jam. 3:11-12; 1 Jn. 3:3. 5; Ps. 119:9, 11; Ezek. 36:25-26; 1 Jn. 1:7; 1Cor. 6:11; Ps. 24:4; Prov. 23:7a; Phil. 4:8; Mk. 7:21; Ps. 15:2; Mt. 15:8; 23:27-28; 1 Tim. 1:5’ 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:22; Heb. 4:12; Mk 11:29; Heb. 12:14

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 6B)

INTRODUCTION
Last study introduces us to the blessed ones that are pure in heart. Today goes further by examining how we can maintain a pure heart. May God give us understanding on how to secure and maintain a pure heart before HIM always in Jesus’ mighty name (Amen).

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 PETER 1:1-25

A. HOW DO I SECURE AND MAINTAIN A PURE HEART
1. Through a change of heart; a transformation of the old heart, the natural human heart which cannot be repaired, disciplined and trained to become pure.
1 Pet. 1:22-23; Ez. 36:25-26; Ps. 51:10; Jn. 14:4; Job 15:14
2. By a special work of the Holy Spirit. Jn. 16:7-11, 13
3. By keeping guard over your heart. Prov. 4:23; Ps. 139:23-24; Prov. 25:28; 1 Pet. 1:13-16
4. By being watchful as to what you hear, see or think. Job. 31:1-2; Prov. 4:25-27; Mk. 4:24; Lk. 8:18; Mal. 4:8; Col. 3:1-2; Rom. 12:2

B. THE BLESSEDNESS OF PURITY OF HEART
Purity of heart is required for God to relate to an individual. It releases God’s help and support. It is the basis for seeing God. It is the basis for abundant life and anointing.
Ps. 15:1-5; Ps. 24:3-5; Heb. 12:14; 2 Cor. 6:4-6, 16-18; 7:1; Ps. 73:1; Is. 26:3; 2 Chron. 16:9; Mt. 5:8; 1 Jn. 3:1-3; Prov. 4:23; Jn. 7:38

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 7A)

THE PEACEMAKERS

INTRODUCTION
Purity of heart as considered in our last study is a major requirements for the blessed ones. We need to go back and remind ourselves of conditions of securing purity of heart.
Today’s study looks at peace makers. May we be considered peacemakers before God in Jesus’ precious name Amen.

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 5:1-12

A. The Act of Peace-Making
A person is at peace if he/she is rested, is spiritually prosperous or well and is free from fears, agitating passions and moral conflict. For someone to be a peacemaker he/she must be at peace with himself/herself; you can’t give what you don’t have.

When someone gets into contact with Jesus, he/she can experience peace and thereby be a true peacemaker. A peace maker strives for peace no matter what and makes peace between two quarrelling parties or persons. To be a peacemaker, one can look at what Jesus did and taught on the issue.
Mt. 5:9; 2 Pet. 1:2 (amp); Is. 48:22; Jam. 4:1-2; 1 Cor. 14:33; Is. 9:6; Gal. 5:22; Is. 59:1-2, 8; Is. 48:22; Eph. 2:14-18; Lk. 6:27-35

B. At what levels do God wants us to make peace?
I. Make peace with God
You can’t be a peacemaker when you are not personally at peace with God
Is48:22; 59:8; Job. 22:21-22; 2 Cor. 5:20-21; Rom. 5:1; 1 Jn.1:6-9; Mt. 1:21.

II. Make peace with men
We can lose our integrity and message when we are not at peace with people.
Heb.12:14; Rom. 12:17-18; Mt. 6:14-15; Rom. 14:17; Mk. 9:50

III. Make peace with fellow brethren
You can’t be a good child of God if you are bad to your brother or sister.
Mt. 5:23-24; Gen. 4:3-12; 49:5-7; Ephes. 4:3; 2 Tim. 2:22; 1Jn. 2:9-11

IV. Reconcile men to God
By preaching the gospel, you are making peace between God and men.
2 Cor. 5:18-20; Is. 52:7; Eph. 6:15

V. Seeking peace in the land
Community or national peace is crucial to peaceful and godly living.
1 Tim. 2:3; Jer. 29:7; Ezek. 22:29-30

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 8A)

THE PERSECUTED

INTRODUCTION
We thank God for the wonderful study on the Peacemakers. We discovered or were reminded that our Father God is the Author and Prince of peace. He desires us to be peacemakers. We looked at different levels of peacemaking; with God, all men, fellow brothers and sisters; reconciling others back to God as well as seeking peace of the land we are in. we also saw the blessedness of making peace. We would be called children of God and eventually inherit all things in glory! Quite amazing! May the grace to pursue peace and ensue it at all times be made available abundantly to each and everyone of us in Jesus’ mighty name (Amen).

Today’s study examines ‘the Persecuted’.
May you be blessed as we share the word together in Jesus’ wonderful name (Amen).

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 5:10 & 2 Timothy 3:1-17

A. Persecution explained
To persecute is to harass or treat (somebody) in a manner designed to injure or afflict them, especially because of their race, religion, or political beliefs. It also means to annoy (somebody) with persistent or urgent approaches, attacks, pleas, etc, to pester or bully (them). Persecution seeks to intimidate, silence, punish or even kill people.

For Christians, persecution always comes because of your stand for Jesus Christ and righteousness. However someone being treated badly or harshly because of wrong doings or behaviour is not the same as persecution.
Gen.39:6-23, 1Sam.18:6-9; 19:1-5; 1Sam.24:1-22; Jer.37:4-16; Dan.6:1-17; 3:14-21; Lk.4:18-30; 1Pet.4:15-18.

Discussion
i. By what means can a person be persecuted?
Mt.5:11,Lk6:22;Heb.11:33-37;Jn.16:1-2;Acts6:8-13,Lk.4:28-29,2Sam.16:5-12;1Pet.2:23;Acts 5:27-28,40-41;23:33-35;Gen.4:1-8;Acts 9:1-2

ii. Is persecution compulsory for every disciple of Christ?
2Tim.3:12; Phil.1:29-30; 1Pet.2:21-23; Jn15:18-20

iii. What is the reason behind persecution as Christians?
Jn.15:18-25; 16:1-4

iv. Have you ever been persecuted?

B. What must be our attitude in times of Persecution?
…We must not loose our joy in the Lord
…Pray and ask God for more grace to endure;
…Pray for wisdom and instruction for divine direction;
…Resist the devil but endure men;
…Bless and curse not; pray for your persecutors.
1Sam 18:11-15, Acts 5:40-41, Jam.1; 2-5, 1Pet.5:6-10, 1Cor.10:13, Rom.8:18, 28,”cor.4:16-2Cor.5:1, Ps.34:19, Mt.10:23; 5:43-48

Discussion
I. Should a believer deliberately cause his own persecution?
Rom.12:18, Mt.6:13; 5:10-11.

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 8B)

THE PERSECUTED

INTRODUCTION
In the last study we looked at persecution and the attitude a believer must have when being persecuted. There is a purpose why God allows His children to go through persecution. This study today seeks to discuss the results of enduring persecution.May the Lord Jesus Christ who was persecuted for the sake of righteousness reveal more of His mind to us as pertaining persecution in Jesus’ name amen.

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: Acts 9:1-16

A. Results of enduring Persecution
There are lots of blessings you get when you are able to endure persecution for righteousness sake..These include the following:
1.Yours shall be the kingdom of Heaven; the kingdom of God will stand to back you up
2.Your reward shall be great in Heaven;
3.The Spirit of glory would cover ypu;
4.It confirms the genuineness of your faith and works patience;
5.You would receive a special crown from the Lord;
6.Your offering and services shall be acceptable unto God
Mt5:10, Acts 9:4-5,Mt.5:12,1Pet.4:12-14,Rom.8:17-19,1Pet.1:7,Jam.1:3-4,12,Mal.3:3-4
However you have to qualify by living a life of righteousness, being open about your profession of Christ; making a clean and permanent break from the world; and keeping yourself unspotted from the world. These are what characterised the life of Jesus, Joseph, Paul and the Daniel and his friends in the land of Babylon.
May these be ours as well in Jesus’ name amen.
Mt.5:10-11,2Tim.3:12,Jn.15:18-19,Jam.4:4,Lk.6:22-26,Jam.1:27,Jn.7:7;Gen.37:3-4,19-20;39:20,Acts16:16-25,Dan.3:1-30,Acts5:29

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 9A)

THE SALT OF THE EARTH

INTRODUCTION

In the last study we concluded on the salt of the earth. Those that are able to endure persecution unto the end would be highly rewarded and promoted. One of the special rewards for these faithful ones is the crown of life(Rev.2:10). May none of us miss this glorious crown in Jesus’ name (Amen).

Today’s study looks at another important aspect of the blessed ones-the salt of the earth. To be the salt of the earth as an important calling that we have in Christ Jesus in order for us to be relevant in the world in which we are living. May the Lord enlighten us and release the grace upon us to be real salt to our world in Jesus’ mighty name Amen.

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 5:1-13.

A. Significance of Salt in the scriptures
Salt as we know it is a substance generally used to flavour(sweeten, season) and preserve(purify, sustain) food. Areas of importance of salt in the scriptures include the following. 1.Every offering(sacrifice) made must be seasoned with salt.
Lev.2:13,Ezek.43:24, Mk.9:49,Col.4:6

2. It represents a sweet aroma of Christ; by the purity of lives and character; when a man does not allow the word of God to change and purify him, he has no salt in him. He has no salt with which to flavour his sacrifice or service and hence such sacrifice or service is unacceptable to God.
Mk.9:50,Eph5:2,2Cor.2:14-17,Rom.12:1-2,Heb.13:15-16,Phil2:17;4:18-19

3. As we have to use the powdery form of salt spread over the sacrifice; God intends His salt to be scattered all over the earth in order to sweeten purify and preserve it.
Mt.5:13,Mk.9:50,Jn.17:14-18,Mk.16:15-20,Acts1:8;8;1-5,8

Question
Discuss instances of offering service/sacrifice with or without salt.

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 9B)

THE SALT OF THE EARTH

INTRODUCTION
In the last study we looked at the significance of believers being salt of the earth. Today’s study now considers how a Christian can lose his savour as salt and how to maintain sweetness. May the Lord enlighten us and release the grace upon us to be real salt to our world in Jesus’ mighty name Amen.

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: Genesis 34:22-31; 35:1

A. Losing your savour as a salt
Sin and disobedience to the Lord’s instructions can make someone loses his savour as a salt. This include immorality, insincerity, cruelty, vengeance, lying, hawking, gossips, murmuring and complaining. The implications are very serious; to regain is difficult, the person would no longer be fit for use and no more desirable. When a Christian misbehaves and spoils his character, behaving in a way that is unbecoming of a Christian, he becomes a problem to the Christian fold as well as to the world. Gen.34:24-30,Prov.15:8,9,26,1Pet.4:15,Acts5:1-5,2Cor.2:17,Eccl.10:1,Mt.15:18-19,Mt.5:13,LK.14:34-35,Jn.15:16,Gen.12:14-20

B. You can maintain sweetness as a salt. It is the flesh, the human nature that normally contaminates the pure character of Christ in us, if allowed to grow side by side with our spiritual life. Walking in the spirit and yielding our bodies to God for His use on a daily basis preserves us from losing our saltiness. Abiding in Christ; He is the source of our sweetness. Don’t break your contact point with Him. Watch and pray. The Lord will surely preserve His own.
Rom.12:1-2; 8:14, Gal.5:16,Jude!:23,Jn.15:4,Col.3:16,Mt.26:41

 

THE BLESSED ONES (PART 10)

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

INTRODUCTION
In the last study we concluded on believers being salt of the earth. We saw how important salt is, how it seasons or sweetens food, preserves food and purify. We saw that every sacrifice has to be salted before it becomes acceptable.
The implication of this to us as believers is that for our service to be acceptable to God, it has to be done with purity of life and character. It is possible to loose one’s savour as a salt through sin and disobedience and the result can be serious but thank God we can maintain our sweeten if we walk in the spirit, allowing the Word of God guides us, yielding our bodies only to God for His use daily and abiding in Christ, the source of our sweetness. We must also endeavour never to break our contact point with Christ as well as always watching and praying.
Today’s study looks at Believers as the Light of the world. May the LORD make our lights begin to shine ever brighter and brighter in Jesus’ name (Amen).

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 5:14; ISAIAH 60:1-7

A. WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF LIGHT?
1. Light is quiet but can be seen.
2. Light shines, drives away darkness but attracts people unto itself.
3. Light burns, can produce hear and impact.
4. Light reveals or exposes things that are hidden.
5. Indirectly, its synonymous with life, joy, healing and health.
Jn. 1:9; Ex. 13:21-22; JN. 1:4-5; Eph. 5:13; 2 Pet. 1:19; Is. 60:3; Jn. 9:1-7

QUESTION:
Discuss other characteristics of light you might know.

B. WHY DOES THE WORLD NEED LIGHT?
The whole world is in darkness, people because of sin are in darkness. They grope in darkness and stumble; they help destroy each of other because they cannot see properly Christian’s needs to come in to bring light to the darkness. Christians as lights cannot be hid; need to shine forth to dispel darkness. This is our heavenly calling. Light is not to run from darkness but contrariwise.
Is. 60:2; Prov. 4:19; 1 Jn. 5:19; Eph. 6:2; Phil. 2:19; Mt. 26:69-73; Lk. 24:32; Mt. 8:17-24

QUESTIONS
1. What struck you most in this study?
2. What has dimmed your light in times past?

C. HOW CAN WE FULFIL OUR CALLING AS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
Light is most useful only in an environment of darkness. The grace of God on a believer’s life would continue to remain useless, making little or no impact if it is staying under bright light. Our light is meant for the world.
Believers should arise and shine living above sin, living the life of Christ.
Believers should preach the gospel and heal the sick.
Believers should be full of good works and fruit of the spirit.
Is. 60:1; Mt. 5:15-16; Lk. 12:35; Eph. 5:8, 11-18; 2 Cor. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:2

QUESTION
Discuss other avenues of fulfilling our calling as lights.

 

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (PART 10C)

INTRODUCTION:
In our last two previous lessons, we have been able to examine the characteristics of light and how we can fulfil our calling as light of the world.
Today we shall be examining God relationship with light

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 5:14; ISAIAH 60:1-7

A) The Original Light God is the original light. If we consider closely, anything that has fake, must have original. If Satan goes around parading himself as angel of light, and we know he is fake, then we need to realise that there is the Original Light somewhere
I) God is the Original Light: 1 John 1:6-7, John 8:12 John 9:5
II) He created Light. Gen 1:3, Isa 45:7a
III) He is wrapped in Light. Psalm 104:2
IV) His word is Light: God’s word is light which means truth. Psalm 119:105, Prov. 6:23, 2Pet 1:19, Psalm 119:130
V) His Light (word) brings Light (truth) we get the real truth from the word of God. Psalm 19:8

B) Believers and the Light of God
i) We are to be guided by the Light (His word) Psalm 119:105, 11
ii) We have been called into the Kingdom of Light (God’s Kingdom) 1 Pet 2:9
iii) We are to walk in Light (Righteous living) 1 John 1:5, 7
iv) We are to arm ourselves with light (daily studying and applying God’s word) Rom 13:12
v) We are to be the light of the word (living as God’s ambassadors on Earth) Matt 5:14-16, Phil 2:15

CONCLUSION:
The song, this little light of mine, I am going to let it shine, is not referring to candles or hand held lamp, rather it is referring to you and I. Our affirmation to live righteously in the world which practice unrighteousness, to do justice in the world where injustice reigns, to be discipline and fear God in a world that celebrate indecency and indiscipline.
The question to you and I now is that this little light of ours, are we going to let it shine in our neighbourhoods, work places, on the road, at social gatherings and in the Church?

 

THE BELIEVERS’ RIGHTEOUSNESS (PART 11)

INTRODUCTION:
One critical mark that differentiates the children of God from that of the devil is righteousness. This is so important that it forms a large part of the sermon preached by Jesus on the mount and He is still preaching it to us today.

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 5:20-48

1. What does ‘Righteousness’ mean?
Righteousness means uprightness, godliness. To be righteous means to have a right standing with God; to always do what is right, good, just, honourable in God’s sight. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
1 Jn. 3:7-10; Rom. 3:23; Rom. 10:2-5; Rom. 8:1-4; 9:30-32; Mk. 10:17-22

2. Righteousness of God through faith in Christ JESUS
Since the law failed to fulfil God’s righteous demands because it was week through the flesh, God had to look for another way to bring man to righteousness. This He did by sending Jesus His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. He therefore condemned sin in the flesh by Christ Jesus. He became propitiation (appeasement) for our sin by Hs blood through righteousness. In this way, anyone who believes in Christ Jesus and what He did for us on the cross, becomes justified before God.
Rom. 3:21-26; 4:11; 8:3-4; 7:7-12; 1 Peter 2:24; Rom. 9:31-32; 10:10; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Phil. 3:8-9; Lk. 23:39-43

 

THE BELIEVERS’ ACTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

INTRODUCTION:
As we know that as believers apart from preaching the gospel, the other major way of showing Christ to the world is by our acts of righteousness. Jesus Christ was holy and righteous in all his ways. Hence his disciples can not but follow in his steps. It is therefore imperative that we look at believers acts of righteousness in a close detail.
The matter of righteousness within and without is an important bedrock in the life of every believer. The righteousness imputed by the Lord Jesus Christ must result in external fruits of righteousness in our lives. May the Lord richly enlighten our eyes of understanding as we study in Jesus precious name. Amen.

CENTRAL BIBLE PASSAGE: MATTHEW 6:1-34

1. Charitable deeds(Acts of righteousness-NIV)
Our charitable deeds(KJV) or acts of righteousness(NIV) or good deeds(LIB) include the following:
Giving, praying, forgiving, fasting, investing treasures(riches, wealth, material possessions, etc) properly in kingdom matters rather than on earthly use, attitudes towards money and material possessions, focussing and being loyal to God rather than other things of the world, not worrying about ones needs. We are to do these things and make them become our lifestyles. None of the acts is optional for any believer. We have to cultivate the habit of giving, praying, fasting, forgiving, investing on things of the kingdom, focussing on the Lord and His will and refusing to worry.
Mt.6:1-2,Lk.6:38,Mt.6:5,Lk.18:1,Mt.6:14,Lk.5:35,Mk.11:25-26,Mt.6:19-20,24,Lk.12:16-24Mt.6:25, Phil.4:6-7,Mt.6:33,1Tim.6:6-11

2. What attitude of heart should we maintain?
a. All glory must be given to God
Let your light shine in such a way that men may glorify God ,not you.

b. Do it unto the Lord, not unto men
No expectation of reward from men. What can a mortal man give in exchange or as a reward for the eternal fruits of righteousness produced by your life? Mt.5:16,Phil.2:13, Col.3:17, 23-24, Mt.6:1, Phil.2:3, Jn.12:43, 1Cor.4:5, Lk.18:9,14