Spiritual Success or Distress?
Quarter 1, Lesson 6

Lesson Six

Jesus: He Served To Save

Text: 2 Corinthians 8:1-9; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; Titus 2:11-14

Consider the difficulty of creating a worldwide solution for a worldwide problem. Two basic realities must be addressed. Reality one: is the solution workable among all people everywhere? Reality two: can people everywhere in all circumstances respond to the solution? We tend to stress the first reality and overlook the second.

God addressed both realities when He gave us Jesus to be the Savior of the world. For Jesus to provide salvation to all people, salvation had to be (1) workable everywhere among all people. It must work for the primitive and the advanced. It must work for the one who cannot read and the one who does read. It must work for the poor, the middle class, and the wealthy. Salvation in Jesus (2) must be based on an example that all people could understand. Jesus could have come as royalty; but royalty is not an option for most people. Jesus could have come as privileged, but being privileged is not an option for most. Jesus could have occupied a significant earthly position, but occupying a significant position is not an option for most people.

Among all people on earth are servants. Everyone understands the basic role and responsibility of a servant. For God through Jesus to create salvation that could be extended to the people of the world, He had to send Jesus as a servant.

2 Corinthians 8:1-9; The Christians in Macedonia.

These very poor people contributed to a fund to relieve the physical distress of Christians in Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:3). Their generous gift reflected God's grace that lived in them. They suffered physically for having faith in Jesus (2 Corinthians 8:2) and lived in "deep poverty." They responded to the need with the "wealth of liberality."

  1. They gave beyond what (verse 3)? Was it their own decision to be generous?

  2. What did they "beg" Paul and his companions to do (verse 4)?

  3. Why did they have this attitude and heart (verse 5)?

  4. Why were they so generous (verse 9)?

  5. Please note the fact that their attitude, heart, and action reflected the attitude, heart, and action of every Christian man and woman's supreme example. Paul noted that fact. Paul used that fact the motivate the Corinthian Christians. Paul did not want the Corinthian Christians to be generous to "keep up with the Macedonian Christians." He wanted them to be generous because it was Christ-like.

1 Timothy 2:3-6; Paul addressed image problems.

Christians living in the city of Ephesus had significant image problems. Paul wanted them to act in ways that publicly addressed the misrepresentations of whom and what they were.

  1. What two things does God desire (verse 4)?

  2. Who is the only mediator between the living God and people (verse 5)? What is a mediator?

  3. Why does the resurrected Jesus rightfully occupy the position of the only mediator (verse 6)?

  4. Please note the fact that salvation (reestablishing relationship and peace between God and people) could exist only through the work of Jesus. Salvation can be an option for all people only because of Jesus.

Titus 2:11-14; Paul addressed problems associated with behavior.

Christians on the island of Crete behaved in ways that destroyed the gospel's "healthy teaching."

  1. What had appeared bringing salvation to all men (verse 11)?

  2. What does grace instruct Christians to deny (verse 12)? Grace instructed Christians to live in what manner?

  3. For what should Christians look with joyful expectation (verse 13)?

  4. How did Jesus redeem and purify those who become Christians (verse 14)?

  5. Please note the fact that salvation exists as a reality because of Jesus. It is the redemption and purification available in Jesus that allows people to live within God's salvation.

Jesus came to save. Jesus served to save. He willingly assumed poverty. He mediates. He sacrificed himself to redeem. Those are the actions of one who willingly chooses to serve. Only because Jesus was a servant could He do those things.

The basic significance of this truth must not be ignored. Christian generosity is the natural result when Jesus is example. Improved Christian images are the natural result when Jesus is the example. Improved Christian behavior is the natural result when Jesus is the example. This truth is fundamental to Christian existence: Jesus must be my example. The basic reason that the Christian man or woman will assume the role of a servant: our Savior was a servant.

Link to Teacher's Guide Quarter 1, Lesson 6

Copyright © 1999, 2000
David Chadwell & West-Ark Church of Christ

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