NIGERIAN AIR FORCE PROTESTANT CHURCH NATIONAL YOUTH FELLOWSHIP BIBLE STUDY OUTLINE FOR 2019 CONVENTION

THEME PLUGGED INTO GOD’S REST

FOCUS OVERFLOWING IN GOD’S REST

TEXT EXODUS 33:1-23, HEBREWS 3:1-19 AND 4:1-11

MEMORY VERSE

MATTHEW 11:28(KJV)

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

OBJECTIVES

By the end of this study, class members should be able to:          

1.         Explain the type of rest God provides for His people.

2.         Relate with the benefits of God’s Rest

3.         Understand the hindrances to enjoying this great promise left for us.

INTRODUCTION

“A man named Fredrick Taylor may provide some answers. Taylor worked for a large steel mill during the Spanish-American war in 1898. He was an ambitious young executive and was one of the first to apply scientific methods-as then known-to study the productivity of manual labour. In those days there were no cranes to load steel bars onto the railroad cars. It was backbreaking manual work and, after some experimentation, Taylor concluded that men could do more work if they took more rest pauses at definite intervals. He induced some of his workers to try his new method. He offered a dollar a day more and flattered them by calling them his “high-priced men”. Under this system, a whistle was blown after the men had carried iron for twelve minutes. At this whistle they were to sit down and rest. After three minutes’ rest, the whistle was blown again as a signal for the men to resume work. The result-the amount of iron carried increased from 12 and a half to 47 tons a day. This seeming miracle ushered in the era of rest pauses, the forerunner of today’s coffee breaks.”

Our efficiency and proficiency is increased when we work from a place of rest. Christ can make the rest of your days be the best of your days if He is the Rest of your days. For a believer’s life to make God pleasing music, music that plays on throughout eternity, one must learn to enter His appointed rest.

LESSON EXPLAINED

  1. God’s kind of Rest (Hebrews 4:11).

Entering into God’s rest is a reserve for every believer. God’s Rest as seen in our text is a working rest. Yes, God rested on the seventh day from His work of creation, but thankfully He continued (and continues) to be active in providentially sustaining all He has created. As Jesus taught, “My Father is working until now and I myself am working.-(John 5:17). The point is that believer’s rest is not a state of uneventful inertia and inactivity. Even as God is dynamic and not static, so also is His rest which believers are called to enter.

The application of this truth is that believers need to daily enter into his rest, experiencing communion with the One who is the source and essence of rest, so that our souls are re-energized, refreshed and satisfied in Him.

2.         Benefits of God’s Rest (Exodus 33:11-23, Deut.12:9-10).

Every time the children of Israel were in right standing with God they enjoyed the benefit of his Sovereignty and this was seen in the numerous wars they won, the spoils of war, lands, good health etc. Having been made partakers of Christ and if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end, there are blessings that we can enjoy both now and in the future.

All that God has is ours in His Rest and remains thus if we remain in an unbroken relation with God.

When God’s Rest is entered a believer is confidently assured within and outwardly lives peacefully in the assurance of God’s daily provision, protection and deliverance.

3.         Hindrances to God’s Rest (Hebrews 4:11-16).

Israel fell from the promised rest of God because of disobedience and unbelief, and the same thing can happen to any professing Christian. To keep this from happening — and to show that we are more than mere professing Christian youths, the writer says, “Be diligent to enter God’s rest” (NIV). It’s not the idea that you work your way to salvation, it’s the idea that you diligently seek to plug into God’s rest by faith. The writer gave us several instructions: Pay close attention to what you have heard (Hebrews 2:1); don’t neglect your great salvation (Hebrews 2:3); consider Jesus (Hebrews 3:1); do not harden your hearts (Hebrews 3:8); take care against an unbelieving heart (Hebrews 3:12); exhort one another every day against the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:4); and fear the unbelief that will keep you from your promised rest (Heb. 4:1).

Other hindrances to Rest are persecution and anxiety (See Acts 9:23, 2Corithians 2:13).

4.       Discussion Time.

  1. With illustration(s), give the attributes of God’s Rest?
  2. List some benefits of operating in the realm of God’s Rest?
  3. In practical terms, what can hinder a youth from experiencing the rest God promised us?

5.         Prayer Points.

  1. Lord God, help me to embrace the kind of rest you have exemplified.
  2. Father, help me to live daily appropriating the benefits of rest.
  3. Father i receive your power to overcome every hindrance to enjoying your rest in Jesus Name.

6.         Summary/Take Home.

  1. The rest God promised us is something we begin to enjoy from here on earth.
  2. Diligence is required if we must enter into God’s rest.
  3. Laboring includes obedience to, and trusting God’s promises.
  4. The Lord Jesus, as our High Priest supplies the mercy and grace we need to possess our Promised Rest.

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NIGERIAN AIR FORCE PROTESTANT CHURCH NATIONAL YOUTH FELLOWSHIP BIBLE STUDY OUTLINE FOR 2019 CONVENTION

THEME PLUGGED INTO GOD’S REST

FOCUS ACTIVATING GOD’S REST

TEXT  EXODUS 33:1-23, HEBREWS 3:1-19 AND 4:1-11

MEMORY VERSE

MATTHEW 11:28 (KJV) 

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

OBJECTIVES

By the end of this study, class members should be able to:          

  1. Understand what it means to cease from their own works.
  2. Remind themselves of the key ingredient for salvation and a victorious life on earth.

INTRODUCTION

Henry Bosch tells the following story entitled “Oh Rest in the Lord”. Years ago the English steamer Stella was wrecked on a rocky coast. Twelve women were put into a lifeboat, but the boisterous sea immediately carried it away. Having no oars, they were at the mercy of the winds and the waves, and they spent a fearful night being tossed about by the raging tempest. They probably would have lost hope if it had not been for the spiritual stamina of one of the ladies, Margret Williams, who was well-known for her work in sacred oratorios. Calmly she prayed aloud for divine protection. Then, urging her companions to put their trust in the Lord, she encouraged them by singing hymns of comfort. Throughout the dark hours her voice rang across the water.

Early the next morning a small craft came searching for survivors. The man at the helm would have missed the women in the fog if he had not heard Miss Williams singing the selection from Elijah. Oh, rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him!” steering in the direction of her strong voice, he soon spotted the drifting lifeboat. While many others were lost that night, these few trusting were rescued”.

LESSON EXPLAINED

1.         Our own works and the need to cease from it (Hebrews 4:10).

Many Christians are anxious and troubled. Although they are experiencing the ”rest” of salvation that accompanies the forgiveness of sins and are looking forward to the eternal “rest” of heaven, their souls are still in turmoil. Fearful and doubting, they seem to be continually burdened by life’s problems. A closer look at their anxiety can reveal the reason for their distress.

 Ceasing from our labour entails that we no longer try by our own power and ability to please God but allow his Spirit to do it in and through us. We are not relying on our strength to give us victory over the battles of life but confidently trusting God to do it for us as we wait on him.   Philippians 2:13: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. This is because God has the best purpose and provisions for our lives as well as the best plan to get us there (Jeremiah 29v11). Also, the result we can ever get by our strength and ability can never be compared with that which God will do for us by his power (1Corinthians 2:9, Ephesians 3:20). Zechariah 4:6 tells us that, it is not by power, nor by might but it is by the spirit of God.

2.         How to Cease from Our Own Works (Hebrews 4:10).

“The story exists of a Keke driver who was on his way to the market when he overtook an old man carrying a heavy load. Taking compassion on him, the driver invited the old man to ride in the Keke. Gratefully the old man accepted. After a few minutes, the driver turned to see how the man was doing. To his surprise, he found him straining under the weight, for he had not taken the burden off his shoulders”.

We will cease from our own works once we understand that we can only enter God’s rest by His help. Ceasing from our own works entails that we must receive the promise of God by faith while it is still time: but when the time is over, it is over. (Matthew 11:28-30, 2Peter1:10). Paul would echo the urgency of the invitation to come on in declaring “now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation”. (2Corinthians 6:20, quoting Isaiah 49:8) We enter God’s rest by our total faith in the sacrifice of Christ and complete obedience to God. When we enter salvation we have entered His “Eternal Rest” from the penalty of sin. Then there is sanctification where daily we continue to enter His Rest by “abiding” in Him, with the result that we are resting from the power of sin in our life and growing from babes into matured adults till we meet our Saviour in glory and are freed from the presence of sin, disease and poverty, the “Ultimate Rest”.

3.         Discussion Time.

  1. What does it mean to cease from your own works?
  2. Does ceasing from one’s work mean doing nothing? (Read John 6:29).
  3. Differentiate between One’s own work and God’s Work?

4.         Prayer Points.

  1. Lord I receive grace to cease from my own works and trust in the finished works of Jesus Christ.
  2. Help me Father to live daily appropriating the sufficiency of your promises.

5.         Summary/Take home.

  1. Ceasing from our labour entails that we no longer try by our own power and ability to please God but allow his Spirit to do it in and through us.
  2. God has the best purpose and provisions for our lives as well as the best plan to get us there (Jeremiah 29:11).

NIGERIAN AIR FORCE PROTESTANT CHURCH NATIONAL YOUTH FELLOWSHIP BIBLE STUDY OUTLINE FOR 2019 CONVENTION

THEME  PLUGGED INTO GOD’S REST

FOCUS  UNDERSTANDING GOD’S CONCEPT OF REST

TEXT  EXODUS 33:1-23, HEBREWS 3:1-19 AND 4:1-11

MEMORY VERSE

MATTHEW 11:28 (KJV)

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

OBJECTIVES

By the end of this study, class members should be able to:          

  1. Define Rest and describe the nature of God’s Promised Rest.
  2. Know why some Israelites did not enter the Promised Rest.
  3. Know the implication of the Promised Rest for believers today.

INTRODUCTION

            A story is told of an exploring party in Africa which had employed a group of native carriers to go with them into the interior. Being in a hurry to reach their objective, the party was pushed relentlessly for several days. Finally the natives just sat down and would go no farther. Asked what the matter was, the superstitious natives replied, “We are waiting for our souls to catch up with our bodies”.

As seen in the account of creation, God’s original plan for Himself and the man which he created was rest. Rest is one of the greatest gifts God gave to mankind and it is synonymous with peace. The word “rest” in Hebrew means “nuach” and in Greek “anapausis” and it means to “cease from work or movement in order to relax, sleep or recover strength”. It also means to be “placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position”. Put in our context therefore, “Rest” means to cease from our own efforts at getting right with God and achieving success in every aspect of our endeavour, to a specific position (in Christ) where we are placed and supported by God because the works required for us to get right with God and have good success were finished from the foundations of the earth.        

We are simply required to plug our trust in God’s finished work and continue doing so all through life’s circumstances, knowing that all things pertaining to life and godliness have been provided.

THE LESSON EXPLAINED

  1. The Nature of God’s Promised Rest (Hebrews 3:11).

The particular “rest” referred to here was that of the land of Canaan; into that rest God solemnly said the Israelites who disobeyed Him would never enter (Hebrews 3:11). They had been rebellious. God had warned and entreated them severally; He had caused His mercies to pass before them, and had visited them with judgments, but all in vain; and He now declared that because of their rebellion they would be excluded from the Promised Land (Hebrews 3:16–19). Eventually, the next generation did place their faith in God and, by following the leadership of Joshua, they, after forty years, entered into God’s rest, the land of Canaan (Joshua 3:14–17).

Today, we have come to understand that the Christian life is not to be one of striving to earn favor with the Lord. Rather, it is a life entered into, and lived out by faith. We are exhorted to plug into God’s rest. That is, we are to simply trust Him to do in and through us what only He can do. The passage in Hebrews 4 talks of three types of rest: the Creation Rest (v4), The Promised Land Rest (v5-6) and The Salvation Rest (v9-11). On the seventh day of creation, God rested. That is, He stepped back to enjoy His creation but sin entered and that rest was marred as far as man is concerned. The Promised Land rest speaks of God’s desire to lead the children of Israel into the land of promise. Again that rest was marred because of rebellion and the sin of unbelief. Salvation rest means that Jesus has paid in full the penalty for our sins. We do not merit, nor can we achieve salvation by good works (Eph 2:8-9). It is to be experienced by faith in the Son of God and in His finished work on the cross. We obtain it simply by plugging in.

  • A Promise that still stands today (Hebrews 4:11).

Using the Israelites as an example of those who were not resting in God’s promises, the writer goes on in chapter 4 to make the application personal, both to the Hebrew Christians and to us: “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it” (Hebrews 4:1). The promise that still stands is the promise of salvation through God’s provision-Jesus Christ and the victorious life that results from that. He alone can provide the eternal rest of salvation through His blood shed on the cross for the remission of sins and guarantee a victorious life here on earth.

Faith is the key to entering God’s rest. The Hebrews had heard the gospel preached to them, just as the Israelites knew the truth about God, but the messages were of “no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith” (Hebrews 4:2). To us today, the promised rest still stands and if we would learn to trust God in every circumstance, we would enjoy His rest in every circumstance. (Read Philippians 4:6-7).

  • God’s Promised Rest (Hebrews 3:18 – 4:11).

There is in God a provision of Rest for His people. This is clearly evident from the scriptures, “Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. . . . Since therefore it remains for some to enter it (Hebrews 4:1)”.

God has left us a promise of entering His rest. The writer of the Book of Hebrews begins his discussion of God’s rest in chapter 3, where he references the Israelites wandering in the desert. In giving them the land of Canaan, God had promised them that He would go before them and defeat all their enemies in order that they could live securely (Deut. 12:9–10). All that was required of them was to fully trust in Him and His promises. However, they refused to obey Him. Instead, they murmured against Him, even yearning to go back to their bondage under the Egyptians (Exodus 16:3; 17:1–7; Numbers 20:3–13).  

4.         Discussion Time.

  1. In your own word define or describe rest?
  2. What rest did God promise the children of Israel and what rest is available to us now?
  3. What do you understand from the following scriptures about God’s promise of rest? (Hebrews 3:18 -19, 4:1–11).

5.         Prayer Points.

  1. Father, help my heart to fully accept and acquaint myself with the rest you have promised.
  2. Father, help me not to fall short of the promised rest.

6.         Summary/Take Home.

  1. God’s promise of rest is attained when we rest in God’s promises.
  2. The rest of God is available to the children of God.
  3. The Christian life is not to be one of striving to earn favor with the Lord. Rather, it is a life entered into, and lived out by faith. We are exhorted to plug into God’s rest.
  4. The promise that still stand is the promise of salvation through God’s provision—Jesus Christ and the victorious life that results from that.