The Faithful Pursuit of Christ
“God is God. Because he is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to.” ― Elisabeth Elliot
Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. – Ephesians 6.24
6:7 Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows, 8 because the person who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. ©NET– Galatians 6:7-8
In the previous lesson we reflected on God’s faithfulness to Himself, His purposes, and His promises to us. It is the knowledge of God’s faithfulness that leads us to lean on Him, trust Him, obey Him and pursue Him. But, what does the “pursuing, faithful life” look like? Well, answering that question is the focus of this lesson.
First, let’s look at the “end run”, if you will, and let’s answer the question concerning the journey God has us on and where it ultimately leads. Second, let’s look at three primary enemies we will face along the journey. Third, let’s reflect on God’s powerful resources for navigating the journey successfully and arriving at the destination He has appointed.
Meditating on the “End Run”
- Read Romans 8:29. What is God’s amazing purpose for us? Will it be an easy journey (see Romans 8:23-26)?
does the writer of Hebrews characterize the Christian life, i.e.,
how does he speak about our journey in this life with Christ? What
advice does he give us? Read Hebrews 12:1-3 (cf. 1 Cor 9:23-27).
following two passages are key to our trusting God, obeying Him
throughout life, and believing that He is able to transform us into
Christlikeness. Read them carefully and let the Lord speak to you
about His intentions in your life. Note any thoughts He brings to
- Philippians 2:12-13
- Hebrews 13:20-21
Becoming Aware of Our Three Primary Enemies
- According to 1 John 2:15-16, what is the “world” and how should we relate to it? Compare James 3:13-4:4.
- As God is working out His plan, what is happening to the world’s systems and all their trappings? See 1 John 2:17 (cf. 2 Cor 4:14-16).
- If you are brave, read Revelation 18 and see what God does to the “world’s systems”. “Babylon” is used metaphorically to represent the world and its anti-God beliefs, practices and systematic evil. See Revelation 12:9 and 1 John 5:19.
The Flesh (= Our “Sinful Nature”)
the apostle Paul refers to the “flesh” in an ethical/spiritual
sense, he is not referring to our physical bodies, per se, nor to
some primal or lower nature in us. Rather, he is referring to a
person considered as a whole, including their outlook, actions and
habits, but viewed as fallen, separated from God,
in Adam and under the dominion of sin.
- According to Galatians 5:19-21, what does the flesh/sinful nature produce and what is the consequence?
- For those who are “in Christ”, what has God done to their sinful nature? See Galatians 5:24 and Romans 6:6.
The Devil & Evil Spirits
the following passages and note some of the things Satan and his
fallen angels try to do to us.
- Matthew 6:13 –
- Matthew 13:19 –
- John 8:44 –
- John 10:10 –
- 2 Corinthians 11:3 –
- Ephesians 4:26-27 –
- 1 Thessalonians 3:5 –
- 1 Timothy 5:14-15 –
Utilizing God’s Powerful Resources for Victory
The Indwelling Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit indwells every Christian (Romans 8:9) and knits together a repentant, believing/trusting heart in each of us. He uses several “means” to achieve this, including the word of God, the people of God, specific blessings, specific “chastenings”, suffering, and a host of other divinely appointed circumstances in our lives.
- Reflect on 1 Cor 3:16 and 1 Cor 6:19-20. Note the connection made between the indwelling Holy Spirit, temple imagery, and the costly sacrifice of Christ.
- How are we to put to death our flesh/sinful nature? See Romans 8:13.
- The “Fruit of the Spirit” is Christlikeness. See Galatians 5:22-23.
The Powerful Word of God – Dealing with the World, the Flesh and the devil
- How central is the word of God to your transformation into Christlikeness? See Hebrews 4:12.
- How should we deal with Satanic attack? See Matthew 4:4, Ephesians 6:10-18, and James 4:7-10.
The People of God
- Each of us has been called to bless other believers with a view to encouraging them to move forward with Christ. We can carry each other’s burdens (Gal 6:2), encourage each other (Heb 10:24-25), wisely teach and admonish one another (Col 3:16), be present with each other and love each other deeply (John 14:34-35). We can also provide a protective blessing in other’s lives by praying for them (Eph 6:18) and doing our best to ensure that there is no root of bitterness among us (Heb 3:12-13; 12:15).
- How does God refer to us in 1 Peter 2:9? How should this new identity be reflected in our behaviour (see 1 Pet 2:11-12; 1 peter 3:8-9)?
Chastening & Suffering
- What do you think of Hebrews 12:4-11?
your thoughts regarding what these verses teach about suffering:
- Romans 5:1-5 –
- 1 Peter 1:3-9 –
- Job 23:10 –
Divinely Appointed Circumstances
- Read Romans 8:28, one of the most quoted verse in the entire bible.
The Journey and God’s Appointed Destination
Read Hebrews 12:28-29. Put these two verses in your own words.
Think about – and pray through – Matthew 25:23. Surely this passage reflects the cry of every growing Christian’s heart. One they want to hear from Christ when they are judged in heaven. It is the destination God longs to lead us toward!
Quiet Times & Scripture Memory
- Continue to build daily Quiet Times into your life.
- John 3:16
- Ephesians 2:8-9
- Philippians 4:6-7
- Galatians 6:7-8 (This week’s passage)