TEXT: John 15:1-9; Ephesians 3:14-21
Some of Jesus’ last words to His disciples were, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Though we cannot see Him today with our physical eyes, we can know we have Him in our lives by the presence of His Spirit in us. We have the daily assurance that He can dwell within each heart. The focus of Paul’s writing from which we draw part of our lesson today is the value and the necessity for the believer to have the presence of Christ and His indwelling Spirit as a moment-by-moment reality. The essence of the Christian life for Paul was union with Christ, the basis for our hope of Heaven. Paul expressed it this way: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
- What is it necessary for us to do in order to have the definite knowledge of Jesus’ presence in our lives? See John 14:23, Acts 3:19, and Revelation 3:20.
- Once Christ’s presence is in our lives, we must ensure that He will continue to abide with us. John 8:31 indicates that we must continue in His Word. What do you think the word continue means in this context?
- Name some of the promised blessings Jesus’ presence brings to those who continue to love, obey, and follow Him.
- Paul and John describe our relationship with Jesus in 1 Corinthians 1:9 and 1 John 1:3 as being one of fellowship. How would you describe Christian fellowship?
- At times when we cannot actually feel the presence of the Lord, what confidence can we receive from God’s Word that He is, indeed, still with us? See 2 Corinthians 5:7 and Hebrews 13:5.
- There is a definite contrast between the circumstances shown in Matthew 18:20 and 2 Timothy 4:14-17, and yet Christ was present in both instances. Describe what is taking place in each case, and what we can learn about Christ’s presence from these Scriptures.
- God has promised to be with us in every situation. Look up the following Scriptures and explain how each verse shows us God will be there: Psalm 46:1; Isaiah 43:2; Mark 13:11; Hebrews 4:15-16.
- What effect did the presence of the Spirit of the Lord have on those of the Early Church in the Book of Acts (Acts 13:33; 5:12)? What effect did the Spirit have on the lives of the listeners?
- In order for the Gospel to be spread, the disciples had to move into other parts of the world. What initiated these moves?
- When we have the reality of Christ’s presence with us now, what is our hope for the future? See John 14:3, 1 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 4:17, and 1 John 3:2.