Lesson: Blessings Above & Beyond: Restoration

People are always trying to change themselves for the better. They go on crash diets, have plastic surgery, get new hairdos, or buy new clothes. Americans spend $50 million a year on subliminal message tapes designed to help them do everything from improving their self-image to stopping smoking. 

Compared with the renovation God has planned for us, our own efforts to improve ourselves are trivial.

1. According to our memory verse, what is our condition when we are "in Christ"?

2. What characteristics did the Apostle Paul observe in the Thessalonians that led him to believe they were indeed new creations in Christ? (1Thessalonians 1:3)

3. In my own case, when I became a new creation in Christ, the change was internal. No one knew what had happened until I shared my testimony. Other times, as in Billy's life, the change is so dramatic everyone can see it on the outside as well as on the inside.

Who was the person changed, and what type of change took place in that person when Jesus touched his life?

  a)   Mark 9:14-29
  b)   Luke 19:1-10
  c)   Luke 5:18-26
  d)   John 9:1-11
  e)   Acts 8:26-40

4. The above are all examples of people coming to a saving relationship with Jesus for the first time. However, there are times when, despite the most compassionate environment, the best teaching and the strongest accountability networks, people still find themselves caught up in sin.

According to Luke 15:11-24, is it possible to break the yoke of sin and be restored to a right relationship with the Lord?

  Explain your answer
  What type of change(s) took place after the Prodigal Son was reconciled with his father?

5. The video, The Cop and the Cook, is a similar testimony of restoration by Daniel Hiers, the author of several of our courses and workbooks. Daniel was a preacher's kid and saved, but backslid into a very bad situation. See how Jesus restored him both internally and externally.
  a) What was the sin of which Daniel was guilty, both in God's eyes and the government's?
  b) Who caught Daniel and brought him to justice?
  c) What changes did the Lord make internally, in Daniel's heart?
  d) How had the appearance of Daniel, preaching his first sermon after being released from prison, changed from his appearance 7 years before at the time of his arrest?
  e) Who is the only Person Who could have effected such a change inside and out?
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