1. Date
  1. Step 2 Explore Scripture
  2. 1. Call attention to the first discussion question, “Can you think of people you may have hurt or offended?” (p. 38)
  3. (1) Call on a volunteer to read Matthew 5:23-24.
  4. (2) Have the first case study read. Then call for responses from members.
  5. Ask: Suppose when Lorine apologized, her friend refused to accept her apology or offer forgiveness? What then? (She might try again later, or write a note. If the friend still refuses to forgive, Lorine is no longer responsible; she has done her part.)
  6. (3) Explain that the primary teaching in Matthew 5:23 is that we should not approach God until we have tried to make things right with one we have offended.
  7. 2. Read aloud the second discussion question, “Are you bitter or holding grudges against someone who has offended you?” (p.37)
  9. Step 2 Explore Bible Truth




1. Keep in mind that teaching plans are only suggestions and teachers should use them, change them, or not use them, as he/she sees fit. Some activities suggested may be used in different ways.
2. The author suggests that members be encouraged to keep a daily journal, notebook, or folder as they work through this study. You may want to give every person a manila folder in which to keep handouts and notes from the study.
3. Be sure to look at the Preparation for This Lesson section of each lesson well in advance so that you can make suggested assignments ahead. You might also like to prepare handouts and posters in advance.
4. Make clear to your class that this book should be prayerfully studied at home on a daily basis. Encourage them to meditate carefully on “Questions for Reflection” in each chapter and then pray that God will help them make any changes needed in their lives. Books should be given out the week before the first lesson (Mar. 4).
5. Some of the poster samples provided may be enlarged on your church copier and used for display. For some posters you may prefer colorful, handmade posters on poster board with larger print.

If you plan for your class to memorize Scripture during the quarter, you may want to look over the Hope for Today Scripture portions (a copy is provided). It contains favorite Scriptures that should be easy to memorize. They can be ordered from the American Bible Society.



Week 1





Preparation for this lesson


1. Provide copies of the following to give to all class participants:
(1) Outline of weekly sessions (first 8 weeks)
(2) Worksheet for March 3 (to use in the class session)
2. Make a large banner with the book title, Returning to Holiness, to display throughout the study
3. Write the following Scripture references on pieces of paper to distribute to members to be read when called for: Psalm 66:18; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 59:1-2; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 38:18; Jeremiah 15:19a.
4. Make a large poster showing STEPS TO SPIRITUAL RENEWAL. (See sample attached.)


Teaching the Lesson


Step 1 To Begin the Session

1. Distribute the two handouts mentioned above: Outline of weekly sessions and Worksheet for March 3. Give out the Scripture references listed in #3 above.
2. Introduce the topic Returning to Holiness with comments similar to these:

Our world today is in dire need to a return to holiness and God’s presence and power. As we look around at the nations we see greed, materialism, manmade philosophies and religions, war, and yes, terrorism, on every hand – even in America. Every kind of sin imaginable corrupts our society.

Every spiritual Great Awakening in the past was preceded by a group of believers united in persistent, urgent prayer, humble repentance, and personal spiritual cleansing. The result was spiritual renewal that released the power and presence of God in mighty outpourings of the Holy Spirit that spread throughout large parts of the world.


3. Tell the class that we need to define three words as we begin our study. Have members look at # 1 on their worksheet. Call on members to define or explain each of the words. The teacher may bring out the following ideas as needed:
· holiness – means set apart for God, purity (Christlike)
· .revival – Christians getting right with God (people being saved is a by-product of revival)
· .repentance – confess and turn from sin and agree to follow God’s way

Step 2 Examine the Scripture

1. Ask a volunteer to read aloud Guy Greenfield’s statement on holiness from the #2 item on the worksheet.

Say: Scripture tells us that lack of holiness is the main reason God withholds his presence and power. (Call for Psalms 66:18 to be read.)

Say: The key element of revival and spiritual awakening is given in 2 Chronicles 7:14. (Call for that Scripture reference.) Ask: According to this passage, what is the key to revival and spiritual awakening? (true repentance, fervent prayer, and turning from sin – spiritual cleansing.)
2. Display the poster, Steps to Spiritual Renewal. Read the title. Beginning with the bottom step, “Ignore Sin,” comment on each step, using the following ideas as needed.
First step – Ignore sin – This is where most of us are. We seldom consider specific sin as something we need to deal with.
Second step – An awareness that sin is against God – God’s Word reveals the dreadful nature of sin.
Third step – Confess sin – Admit to God we were wrong. (Call for Psalm 38:18)
Fourth step – Repent of sin – Ask God’s forgiveness, turn from the sin and renew your commitment to follow God. (Have Jeremiah 15:19a read.)
Fifth step – Spiritual cleansing – God forgives; barriers between us and God are removed.
Sixth step – Spiritual Renewal – The Holy Spirit can work in one’s life with great power
3. Lecture briefly as follows:
A key requirement for experiencing God’s power in your life is given in Isaiah 59:2. (Call for that Scripture reference). Because of unconfessed sin, many prayers may go unanswered, and believers live in despair and pain while wondering where God is.
The marvelous truth is that God forgives us when we ask Him to. (Call for the reading of 1John 1:9.)
How, then, can we receive spiritual cleansing? The author of our book gave this answer: “Only the Word of God can bring the intense conviction and repentance that releases the cleansing flood of the Holy Spirit.” [Gregory Frizzell, p. xiii, Returning to Holiness]
Step 3 Prepare for in-depth study of units 2 and 3
1. Ask members to turn to the introduction of their book to page xii to Exciting Goals for Each Reader. Have them read the goals silently and choose two priority goals that they would like to reach; then they should write them on their worksheet in the space provided under #3. Allow about 3 minutes for this activity.
2. Lecture briefly on the topic, Christ in You – The Foundation of victory. (pp.5,6) You may wonder, How can I ever be truly victorious over sin?” We know we will never be perfect, but because Christ lives in us, we can become more and more like Him if we face up to our sins and ask God’s forgiveness. Listen to what Paul said. (Read Romans 6:6 and Galatians 2:20) Then Paul nailed it down in Colossians 2:6: “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” I hope our study of this book will help us do that.
3. Tell the class there are seven key points to remember if we are to meet God through this book. Have members’ turn to page 6 in the book. You may have volunteers read aloud each of the key statements as you come to them. Following the reading of each statement you may want to make a brief comment (see examples below).
Key point 1. This relationship journey with God requires prayer, Scripture reading, questions for self-examination, and confession and repentance of sin revealed or change needed in your life.
Key point 2. Make a note of personal sins in your life that God has revealed to you, and list possible ways to overcome sinful patterns. Select Scriptures that promise strength and hope.
Key point 3. Only God can bring conviction and spiritual discernment (see John 16:3 and 1 Corinthians 2:11). Prayerfully commit yourself to go through all the Scriptures.
Key point 4. Daily confession and cleansing is the key to walking in the Spirit. Daily study of the Scripture, confession and repentance of known sin, and commitment to God’s ways are the essence of discipleship and Christian growth.
Key point 5. Do not be afraid of what God might show you or ask of you. Spiritual growth is a lifetime process, and God will show mercy and give you guidance.
Key point 6. Satan designs strategies to keep you from knowing and walking with God. Effective spiritual warfare can be boiled down to one key principle:
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7NIV)
Key point 7. There is enormous power when two or three “agree together” concerning a prayer request (Matt. 18:14).
4. Close the session by quoting God’s special invitation to each of us, found in James 4:8(NIV): “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
A Journey to Revival Through Daily Cleansing




Preparing for your Journey





Week 1







Week 2


Week 3


Week 4


Week 5


Week 6


Week 7








Week 8




Setting Goals

Preparing for a Life-changing Journey



Beginning your Journey



Sins of Thought


Sins of Attitude


Sins of Speech


Sins of Relationships


Sins of Commission


Sins of Omission

Sins of Self-Rule and Self-Reliance




Onward to Powerful Prayer and Service



Steps to Powerful Prayer

Appendix A – Assurance of Salvation





































1. Define the following words:



2. Read Baptist leader Guy Greenfield’s statements on holiness of believers:

“Holiness is believing Christians was attained through the cross and is to be preserved in clean and moral living.


Being sanctified, or made holy, is a work of the Holy Spirit on the basis of Christ’s atonement that calls for obedient submission from those who have been saved.


Christians are holy because of their calling in Christ, because of His atonement for their sins, and because of the continual ministrations of the Holy Spirit.”

(Holman Bible Commentary, pp. 661-662)



3. colspan=2 style="border-bottom-width:2pt;border-bottom-style:solid;">Write your first and second priority goals (see p. xii in the book).










Week 2






1. Make one copy of the devotion, Importance of the Mind, for each teacher.
2. All teachers should have a sample copy of the Unit 2 poster, Seven Categories of Sin” to use in making a large poster for display. Or you may choose to enlarge the sample copy, making enough enlarged copies for all classes.
3. You may wish to make enough copies of Worksheet 2, March 10, for class members in all classes at one time and have them available for the teachers along with the copy of the Teaching Plans.

Just a reminder – If you plan to encourage Scripture memorization, teachers should make specific plans with class members. You may want to use Scripture portions in the Hope for Today booklet, or choose others.



Week 2






Preparation for this lesson


1. Prepare a large Unit 2 poster, “Seven Categories of Sin” to display March 10 – April 21.
2. Provide copies of Worksheet 2, March 10, for all members.
3. Made a copy of the devotion, Importance of the Mind, in advance, to assign to a class member to use as a resource for preparing a brief devotion (4-minute limit)
4. Write these Scripture references on pieces of paper for distribution to volunteers to be read when called for: 1 John 5:13; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Colossians 3:3.





Step 1 To Begin the Session

1. Call attention to the Unite 2 poster, Seven Categories of Sin.” Read the title of today’s lesson, “Sins of Thought.”
2. Say: Scripture tells us that sin begins in the heart and mind. Jesus said in Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (NIV).
3. Call for the previously assigned devotion, The Importance of the Mind. (See suggestions in Preparation for the lesson, item #3)
4. Hand out copies of Worksheet 2. Tell the class to look at #1 on the worksheet as you read aloud the proverb, “Sow a thought, reap an act…”

Read Proverbs 23:7 from the King James Version: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

Ask: What does the Scripture and proverb say to you? (What one thinks is a large part of who he is.)


Step 2 Explore Scripture


1. Say: As we begin to think about spiritual cleansing and renewal, we must first be sure of our salvation.
2. Have members read silently the three Scriptures printed on page 15 of their book, then write the central truth of each passage on the worksheet (Item #2) in space provided. After two or three minutes ask volunteers to share what they have written. Be sure responses include the following ideas:

Matthew 7:22,23 - In the day of judgment, many who think they are saved will discover they do not know God.

John 17:3 – True salvation consists of knowing Christ in a life-changing personal relationship.

Romans 8:16: - People who are genuinely saved can have assurance of their salvation.


3. Tell the class that God wants us to be certain of our salvation. Call for the reading of 1 John 5:13. Say: We can be grateful that our eternal security is not dependent on our goodness, but on Jesus’ righteousness. Our part is faith, repentance, and commitment to Christ.
4. Lead the class to discuss three general kinds of thoughts: (1) Christ-centered thoughts, (2) thoughts related to our earthly lives, and (3) evil thoughts. Tell members they may make notes in the space provided under item #3 on the worksheet. Use the following ideas as needed.
(1) Christ-centered thoughts

Say: Let’s talk about some examples of Christ-centered thoughts.

(Suggestions: studying and meditating on Scripture; reading Christian inspirational books and magazines; choosing and implementing plans for ministry and service through the church; thoughts of adoration and praise to God; thoughts of gratitude to God for His creation and blessings.

Ask: What does meditating on Scripture entail? (Exploring God’s message to you; considering changes you need to make)


(2) Thoughts related to earthly lives

Ask the class to give some examples of thoughts relating to everyday life.

(Making plans for daily living: jobs, children, schools, retirement, health, community interests, leisure time activities)

Explain that we should give appropriate thought to making our daily lives the best they can be, and should seek God’s guidance and help.

Ask: What are some hindrances to living successful, productive lives?

(Leading such busy lives one may tend to leave God out; failure to seek

God’s guidance may result in making poor choices, setting wrong

Priorities, and acting from wrong motives.)

(3) Evil thoughts

Ask: What kind of thoughts are contrary to God’s commands?

(impure thoughts, thoughts of fear, worry, resentment, unbridled anger, pride, prejudice, hate.)

Say: Paul reminds believers that we are to bring our thoughts in line with what God expects. Call for the reading of 2 Corinthians 10:5.


5. Discuss: What are some things we can do to change a sinful pattern of thinking?

(Suggestions: (1) On becoming aware of a wrong thought, confess it to God and ask His forgiveness. (2) Replace a sinful thought with a more Christ=centered one. (3) Memorize key Scriptures that can be brought to mind when needed.

Have members read silently Philippians 4:8 (printed on the worksheet, #4. Or you may have them read it in unison.

Say: In verse 7 Paul had just counseled his readers to “be anxious for nothing, but make their requests known to God, and his peace would guard their hearts and minds. Verse 8 reinforces the truth that if we focus our thoughts on what is right and good, God will bless us immeasurably with His peace and His presence.


Step 3 Apply Bible Truth to Life
1. Lecture briefly on making God the primary focus of our lives:
Although we know we will live on this earth only a short time, most people live their lives as though we will be here forever. We should spend more time thinking of and preparing for kingdom citizenship. We want to look at some practical ways to make the things of God the primary focus of our lives.
(Call for the reading of Col. 3:3) Paul’s statement that we set our affection on things above corresponds with Jesus’ reminder that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Believers truly want to put God first, but in our human frailty, we fail to do so again and again. Spiritual cleansing requires consistent and persistent effort on our part.
2. Ask: What are some things that will help us achieve the goal of putting God first? Allow time for responses from members. The following ideas should be brought out:
(1) Daily prayer – Should include praise, and expressions of gratitude to God, confession and repentance of sin, right motivation in making requests of God for ourselves and others, and commit ourselves to God’s will as we seek His help and guidance.
(2) Consistent Bible study – May include a planned daily Bible study, note taking and mediation on Scripture, and memorizing key passages.
(3) Worship – avoid making worship merely ritualistic; put for a special effort to prepare your heart for worship as you show reverence and honor to God; allow the music and the message to speak to you in a true worship experience. When your church observes the Lord’s Supper, ask yourself, is my participation a time of self-examination and renewed commitment to God?
3. Conclude the lesson with a summary statement or two, similar to the following:

Read aloud Hebrews 12:14 (printed on p. 21 of the book). Tell the class that the pursuit of holiness – becoming more Christlike – should be a priority for every believer. Basic to this pursuit is changing our thought patterns to meet God’s approval. Suggest that, if they have not done so, members might like to record in their journal or notebook any changes they think God would have them make in their thinking and made it a matter of prayer this week.

1. Do you remember this familiar proverb?
Sow a thought, reap an act; Sow an act, reap a habit;
Sow a habit, reap a character; Sow a character, reap a destiny.
(1) The same thought is expressed in Proverbs 23:7 – “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (KJV)
(2) What is the proverb and Scripture saying to you? Write your answer.
2. Read the Scripture below (printed on p. 15 of your book), then write the central truth of each passage in the space provided.
Matthew 7:22,23
John 17:3
Romans 8:16
3. Notes on three kinds of thoughts:
Christ-centered –
Our earthly lives –
Evil –
4. Read Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”



Week 3






1. Make copies of the following for each teacher:
(1) One copy of Teaching Plans for each teacher.
(2) One copy of devotion “Why attitudes Matter” for teacher’s use as a resource
(3) Two copies of “Assignment/Reports” sheets for each teacher. One copy will be cut apart and assignments given out in advance. The other copy is for the teacher’s use during the session.

Provide copies of Worksheet 3, for all class participants.



Week 3








Preparation for this lesson


1. Provide copies of Worksheet 3, for all members
2. Obtain a copy of the devotion, “Why Attitude Matters” for teacher’s use as a resource.
3. Prepare in advance written assignments for eight people assigned to bring brief reports to the class on the following subjects: (1) A lukewarm attitude toward God, (2) Sin of Pride, (3) Sin of Vanity (self-centeredness), (4) An attitude of prejudice, (5) Sin of Unbelief, (6) An angry or disagreeable attitude, (7) An unloving attitude, (8) The sin of materialism.
4. Obtain 2 copies of the “Assignment/Reports” sheet. Cut one apart for making assignments in advance; keep the other for your use in class.


Teaching the Lesson


Step 1 To begin the session

1. Say: God is not only interested in our actions; He also evaluates the attitude behind

the action


2. Call attention to the lesson title , Sins of Attitude, on the Unit 2 poster (Seven Categories of Sin).

Ask: You may recall your parents saying to you, “You’ve got an attitude problem!” What did they mean? (Possible response: You were looking at something from a wrong perspective.)


3. Present devotional comments on “Why Attitude Matters” similar to those provided in the devotional resource.

4. Hand out worksheet 3. Have members read item #1 silently and follow instructions.

After a few moments, give members an opportunity to share what they wrote.


Step 2 Explore the Scripture

1. Tell the class that several people will report on sinful attitudes discussed in today’s lesson. (Assigned in advance) Have members turn to item #2 on the worksheet.

Suggest that they make a note of something helpful each speaker says as reports are given.

2. Call for reports. After each report you may want to bring out a thought that was not mentioned or make a general statement similar to the ones below.
(1) Report 1 (lukewarmness - p.24)

When a Christian is lukewarm toward God it becomes apparent that his love for God is not as great as he thought it was.



(2) Report 2 (pride – pp. 24,25)

A proud, self-righteous person sees little need for spiritual cleansing and growth in his own life. Think about this: Why is it so difficult to recognize self-righteousness in ourselves?


(3) Report 3 (vanity; self-centeredness, pp.25, 26)

God is not pleased with the person who is overly concerned with himself and his own needs and desires. Have the class turn to item #3 on the worksheet entitled “Meditation.” and read it silently. (Or it may be read aloud.)


(4) Report 4 (prejudice - pp.26,27)

God is no respecter of persons but loves all people equally. He expects believers to respect and care about people of every race, culture, class and creed just as He does.


(5) Report 5 (unbelief - p. 27)

Believers of weak faith tend to experience doubt, worry, and fear for the future rather than trust God who has promised to be with us no matter what. He has promised perfect peace to those who choose to trust Him. (Isaiah 26:3)


(6) Report 6 (unbridled anger - pp.27, ,28)

An angry, contentious attitude is in direct contrast to what God desires for His people. The Spirit cannot work in an angry heart.


(7) Report 7 (unloving - pp. 28,29)

God is love, and He expects believers to develop toward others a loving spirit that refuses to hold grudges, is willing to forgive, and practices kindness. (Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)


(8) Report 8 (materialistic - pp.29,30)

Americans have lived in an affluent society for many years. Many of us have come to consider the things we want as necessities. Ask: What are some wrong attitudes that some people to be more materialistic? (Possible answers: covetousness, pride, greed, discontent, poor management)


  Step 3 Apply truth to life

1. Ask members if they have become aware, during this study, of a wrong attitude they need to work on. Have them record their thoughts after item #4 on the worksheet.
2. Suggest to members that if they have not yet worked through this chapter at home on a daily basis they should try to do so this week. They should not skip chapters. Remind them of the plan for seeking spiritual cleansing: Read the Scriptures, meditate on them, read the paragraph below the Scripture and the Questions for Reflection (answering them honestly), then during your prayer time ask God to convict you of any changes you need to make in this area. Close your prayer by confessing and repenting of any sin revealed to you, and ask God’s guidance as you seek to make needed changes in your life.

Close the session with prayer.

Devotional Thoughts for Week 3





“The only disability in life,” said Olympic gold figure skater Scott Hamilton “is a bad attitude.” You may recall that Scott Hamilton had a lot of obstacles to overcome on his way to becoming an Olympic gold medalist. He remained optimistic, however, and never gave up. He had a good attitude even in adversity.


What do we mean, then, when we talk about attitude? According to Webster’s Dictionary, one definition is, “a manner showing one’s feelings or thoughts; one’s disposition, opinion, etc.”


Attitude can be good or bad. The way we view ideas, events, or circumstances in life has its roots in our thinking and the conclusions we reach. Most non-Christians look at issues not situations from a world-view that is often in stark contrast to the biblical view. A Christian whose spiritual life is not what it should be can easily fall prey to the distortions of a world-view perspective that leaves God out.


T.W. Hunt, noted author of The Mind of Christ and former professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary, recently told seminary students, “You will not know the spiritual world through natural faculties…Being a spiritual person is a daily way of life.” To make that truth a part of our lives is the main purpose of this study on Returning to Holiness.

WORKSHEET for Week 3




Read the following two quotations then write why you think a bad attitude would be a hindrance to you.

(1) “The only disability in life is a bad attitude,” Scott Hamilton, Olympic gold star figure skater.
(2) “Being a spiritual person is a daily way of life.” T.W. Hunt, author and former professor of Southwestern Baptist Seminary.








As each report is given in class, make a note of something helpful the speaker said.

(1) lukewarm attitude toward God


(2) sin of pride


(3) sin of vanity (self-centeredness)


(4) sin of prejudice


(5) sin of unbelief


(6) unbridled anger or disagreeable attitude


(7) an unloving attitude


(8) materialistic




My desire is to put SELF in its proper place:

God first, because I honor Him as Lord;

Others second, as an expression of God’s kind of love;

Self last, because I seek to do God’s will.


My prayer is that my life be so transformed

That I will live in obedience to His Word,

Share my witness to those who know Him not,

And show compassion to someone who needs me.


- Bessie L. Kennedy





Has God made you aware of any attitudes He wants you to change? Think about each of the areas discussed in today’s lesson, and decide where you may need to improve.

Jot down your thoughts in the space below.







Report 1. Topic: A lukewarm attitude toward God (p.24)
Assigned to:
1. Prepare a two-minute report on the assigned topic. (Suggestion: Tell why God is displeased with this attitude, and why you think it would be self-defeating for you.)
2. Begin your report to the class by reading one of the Scriptures printed in the text.
Report 2 Topic: Sin of pride (pp.24, 25)
Assigned to:
1. Prepare a two-minute report on the assigned topic. (Suggestion: Tell why God is displeased with this attitude, and why you think it would be self-defeating for you)
2. Begin your report to the class by reading one of the Scriptures printed in the text.
Report 3. Topic: Sin of vanity (self-centeredness) (pp.25, 26)
Assigned to:
1. Prepare a two-minute report on the assigned topic. (Suggestion: Tell why God is displeased with this attitude, and why you think it would be self-defeating for you)
2, Begin your report to the class by reading one of the Scriptures printed in the text.
Report 4: Topic: Sin of prejudice (pp. 26,27)
Assigned to:
1. Prepare a two-minute report on the assigned topic. (Suggestion: Tell why God is displeased with this attitude, and why you think it would be self-defeating for you.)
2. Begin your report to the class by reading one of the Scriptures printed in the text.
Report 5. Topic: Sin of unbelief (p. 27)
Assigned to:
1. Prepare a two-minute report on the assigned topic. (Suggestion: Tell why God is displeased with this attitude, and why you think it would be self-defeating for you.)
2. Begin your report to the class by reading a Scripture printed in the text.
Report 6. Topic: Unbridled anger or disagreeable attitude (pp.27, 28)
Assigned to:
1. Prepare a two-minute report on the assigned topic. (Suggestion: Tell why God is displeased with this attitude, and why you think it would be self-defeating for you.)
2. Begin your report to the class by reading one of the Scriptures printed in the text.
Report 7. Topic: An unloving attitude (pp.28, 29)
Assigned to:
1. Prepare a two-minute report on the assigned topic. (Suggestion: Tell why God is displeased with this attitude, and why you think it would be self-defeating for you.)
2. Begin your report to the class by reading one of the Scriptures printed in the text.
Report 8. Topic: Sin of materialism (pp.29, 30)
Assigned to:
1. Prepare a two-minute report on the assigned topic. (Suggestion: Tell why God is displeased with this attitude, and why you think it would be self-defeating for you.)
2, Begin your report to the class by reading one of the Scriptures printed in the text.



Week 4





1. Provide copies of the puzzle, “Sins of Speech” for all individuals participating in the study. Give one copy of the completed puzzle to each teacher.


2. Made two copies of the GROUP ASSIGNMENTS sheet for each teacher – one to cut apart and distribute during the session, and one for the teacher’s use.


3. See that each classroom has a chalkboard or a large poster (or sheet of paper) for

Use with this lesson. Poster board, butcher paper, or newsprint may be used.

Provide chalk or a marker as needed.



4. Provide each teacher with a copy of what the completed poster, Types of Sinful

Speech may look like. (Responses will vary, but this may provide additional suggestions.)



Week 4






Preparation for this lesson


1. Made copies of the puzzle “Sins of Speech” for all members, and one copy of the completed puzzle for the teacher. Have pencils available.
2. At the top of a chalkboard or large poster write “Types of Sinful Speech.”

Draw three vertical lines to form four columns with the following headings:

Foul Speech, Untruthful speech, Disagreeable speech, and Fighting words.

This activity will be completed as instructed in the lesson plans. (A copy of what the completed activity might include is provided.) Have chalk or marker available.

3. Prepare four study group assignments to be used as directed in the teaching plans. Two copies of the GROUP ASSIGNMENTS sheet should be made.

One copy should be cut apart in advance, ready to be given out to the four study groups. The teacher should have a copy for use in class.




Teaching the lesson


Step 1 To introduce today’s topic

1. Pass out copies of the puzzle “Sins of Speech.” Provide pencils for those who need one. Tell the class that work on the puzzle will introduce us to the kind of speech patterns God condemns. If members do not complete the puzzle within the allotted time, they may finish at home. Allow no more than 10 minutes for this activity.
2. Begin with this true illustration: After former president Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in the 1970’s and his White House tapes were released to the public, many people were shocked and disturbed by the foul language the president had used in his conversations in the Oval Office.

We have become aware in recent years of an unprecedented explosion of vile speech in our society. Some of us were taught in our younger years that to resort to the use of slang or profanity indicated that we had a poor grasp of the English language. While there may be some truth to it, we know that people from all walks of life often use foul language (President Nixon, for example.)

God declares that the use of foul, untrue, or disagreeable speech is a sin. As Christians, we still have to deal with our sinful natures. In this study we want to decide if we engage in any sinful speech patterns that we need to change.

Step 2 Examine Scripture

1. Divide the class into four groups (or pairs if your class is small). If necessary, individuals could work alone.

Distribute the group assignments. Allow five to ten minutes for group study then call for reports. A reporter from each group will read a Scripture, answer a question assigned to them, and ask the class to help list descriptive words in the appropriate column.

2. The teacher may add suggestions or comments as needed. Your copy of the completed activity may be useful.

Step 3 Look at life applications

1. Say: There are a number of reasons why believers become involved in harmful speech patterns, sometimes without realizing it. One of the most obvious is carelessness. We don’t plan it – we just don’t think before we speak.
(1) Jesus made a compelling statement about careless speech: “But I tell you that men will have to give account of the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36).
(2) Ask: If this is true of careless speech, what would Jesus have to say about the malicious or hateful speech that we often purposely engage in?
(3) Say: It is important that we find ways to make our speech reflect the spirit of Christ.
2. Say: The spirit of Christ is best seen in His incomparable love. . To reflect His spirit of love, we must do as He commanded and love one another. We are told to even love our enemies.

Ask: What are some of the practical aspects of demonstrating love through our speech? (Possible answers: (1) Use words that build up others rather than tearing them down, (2) Never say things that hurt others, and (3) We should disagree agreeably, in a spirit of love, and always respect the other person and his/her opinions)

3. Lecture briefly on how our church leaders should be treated. You may want to use some of these ideas (see pp.35-36 in the book).
(1) Read 1 Timothy 5:17
(2) We should be aware that pastors and other staff will have various approaches to their work – and they can’t please all of us.
(3) We should honor our leaders as God-called men whom God has sent to lead our church. They deserve our encouragement and prayers.
(4) We should avoid gossip, speculation, rumor, or thoughtless criticism of God’s servants. Our leaders are not perfect, any more than we are. We need to help each other be the best for Christ that we can be.
(5) A church has a right to expect two things of leaders: moral purity and Doctrinal integrity. Lapses in these areas are rare, but when they occur, they must be dealt with in the right spirit.
Close with prayer for the spiritual growth of your church membership and staff.



Types of Sinful Speech




Foul Speech









Off-color Jokes








Broken Vows


“White Lies”



















Fighting words






Evil Speech







Week 4



Group 1 Topic: Foul/Foolish speech (p. 32)

1. Study these Scriptures: Ephesians 4:9; Ephesians 5:4; Matthew 5:37; Exodus 20:7. Plan to read to the class the two Ephesians passages.
2. Prepare a statement telling why foul speech is unacceptable for Christians.
3. Ask the class to help you list words that describe kinds of foul speech God condemns. Record responses in Column 1 on the poster or chalkboard. (Examples: corrupt, profane)



Group 2 Topic: Untruthful speech (pp.32, 33)

1. Study these Scriptures: Proverbs 12:22; Colossians 3:9; Plan to read them to the class.
2. Discuss some problems a liar faces; tell the class your conclusions.
3. Ask members to help you name different ways people may be untruthful. List responses in column 2.



Group 3. Topic: Disagreeable speech (p. 33)

1. Study these Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 10:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Plan to read them to the class.
2. Explain why one should praise God in difficult or disagreeable situations.
3. Ask the class to help you name examples of disagreeable speech.

Write responses in column 3 on the poster or chalkboard.





Group 4. Topic: Fighting words (pp. 33-35)

1. Study these Scriptures: Ephesians 4:3; 1 Corinthians 1:10;
Luke 6:41,42. Plan to read aloud the first two passages.
2. Discuss with the class how disagreeable words can damage the unity of a family or a church.
3. Call on the class to help you list types of words that would be considered disagreeable or divisive. Record responses in column 4 on the chalkboard or poster.



Week 5





1. Prepare posters for display in each class: Two Basic Relationships. (Two versions are attached; use whichever you prefer.)
2. Prepare copies of Worksheet 5 for all Bible study participants.
3. Make one copy of the devotional comments, Right Relationships, for each teacher to use as directed in the teaching plans.
4. Provide a copy of the Teaching Plans for each teacher.
5. Write the five discussion questions (pp.38 – 42) on a poster to display. Provide one poster for each class. As an alternative you may put the discussion questions on five sentence strips to display as needed. (A copy of the Discussion Questions is attached.)

Make two copies for each teacher of the sheet containing Case Studies and Study Assignments for pairs to be used during the class session as indicated in the Teaching Plans. One copy will be cut apart and distributed; the other copy is for the teacher’s use.



Week 5, (pp. 38 – 48)





Preparation in Advance


1. Prepare the poster, Two Basic Relationships, for display in class.
2. Make copies of Worksheet for Week 5 for all class members.
3. Obtain a copy of the devotion, Right Relationships, for the teacher to use as directed in the teaching plans.
4. Display the five Discussion Questions (see pp. 38 – 42) on a poster or on sentence strips to be displayed as needed.
5. Obtain two copies of the sheet containing Case Studies and Study Assignments for pairs to be used during the class session. One copy will be cut apart and distributed; the other copy is for the teacher’s use.


Teaching the Lesson


Step 1 To Introduce Today’s Study

1. Say: The late W. Oscar Thompson stated in his book, Concentric Circles of Concern, “The most important word in the English language, apart from proper nouns, is relationship.” One might ask, What about love? The fact is, love can be expressed only through relationships. (Call attention to the poster, Two Basic Relationships.) Thompson went on to explain the two basic relationships in life: (1) the vertical relationship with the Father through faith in Jesus the Son, and (2) the horizontal relationship with people.
2. Distribute Worksheet for Week 5. Instruct members to read the Scripture printed in Item #1, and complete the acrostic (as time permits). Suggest that members commit to memory Mark 12:30-31a.


3. Tell the class that before we discuss today’s topic, Sins of Relationship, we want to think briefly about the basis for forming good relationships. (Use the devotion, Right Relationships, as a resource for lecturing briefly on this subject.
4. Say: Relationship sins generally fall in five major areas. We will consider five questions as we seek to discover where we stand personally in our relationships. In discussing these questions we will look at some case studies or true life situations to help us evaluate our own relationships.







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Step 2 Explore Scripture

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1. Call attention to the first discussion question, “Can you think of people you may have hurt or offended?” (p. 38)

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(1) Call on a volunteer to read Matthew 5:23-24.

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(2)   Have the first case study read. Then call for responses from members.

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Ask: Suppose when Lorine apologized, her friend refused to accept her apology or offer forgiveness? What then? (She might try again later, or write a note. If the friend still refuses to forgive, Lorine is no longer responsible; she has done her part.)

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(3) Explain that the primary teaching in Matthew 5:23 is that we should not approach God until we have tried to make things right with one we have offended.

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2. Read aloud the second discussion question, “Are you bitter or holding grudges against someone who has offended you?” (p.37)
(4) Read Matthew 6:14,15 aloud.
(5) Read aloud the following statements from our book’s author, Gregory Frizzell: “Many people hold secret bitterness against friends or family… (or) it may be toward strangers who have wronged them…Today, believers need to be aware that we can develop bitterness toward godless politicians, social activists, and entertainers who attack our values.”

   Say: We could add to that list the terrorists who carried out the September 11 attack, those who attack the beliefs and values that Baptists hold dear, and civic, political, and religious leaders who have betrayed our trust.

Here is the question we want to discuss: How can we forgive someone against whom we still harbor resentment? Allow time for member response. Encourage further discussion by posing these questions:

· Have you ever had difficulty forgiving someone? Why? (All of us who have been badly hurt probably have harbored resentment against the person responsible..)
· What are some practical steps you can take to help you forgive?
· (Ask God for help; begin praying for the person who hurt you; decide that with God’s help you will not continue to harbor resentment) Remind members that we should despise the sin but love the sinner, and that only God can enable most of us to love an enemy.
2. Point to the third discussion question, “Are you involved in any improper relationship.” P.40
(1) Say: Inappropriate relationships may involve sexual immorality or it can be as simple as an inappropriate “close friendship” that has the potential for leading to wrongdoing.

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(2) Read Exodus 20:14 and 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
(3) Call for the reading of case study 2. Encourage members to share their thoughts. (Mention two dangers in this kind of relationship: the possibility of the close friendship taking a romantic turn; and the danger of unconsciously depriving one’s spouse of the time, attention, and sharing of thoughts and ideas he or she deserves.)
3. Read aloud the fourth discussion question: “Do you neglect regular fellowship and meaningful service through your church? P.40
(1) Read Hebrews 10:25
(2) Tell the class to turn to the worksheet, item #2, and write a description of an ideal church member.

Ask one or two volunteers to share their descriptions.

(3) Point out that one’s primary goal should not be, “What can this church do for me?” but “What can I do for the Lord through my church?”
4. Call attention to discussion question five: “Are your family relationships consistent with God’s Word?” p.42

Have the class form pairs and provide each with a topic and Scripture (from the Study Assignments sheet) to read and study briefly. After 2-3 minutes, call for reports.


Step 3 Apply to Life

Have members turn to item #3 on their worksheet. Ask them to follow the Instructions given, ending with a silent prayer.



Devotional Comments




The foundation for right relationships with one another is a close relationship with God. In his farewell speech in Springfield, Illinois, on becoming president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln said, “Without the divine assistance of the Divine Being…I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail.” Our weaknesses should alert us to our need for God’s help. We cannot relate to God from a distance. We must spend time with Him every day.


Only as God’s love flows through us to other people will we be willing to act sacrificially on their behalf. Only God can provide His servants with more tolerance, a forgiving heart, and true love and compassion. Paul wrote, “Love is patient…kind….does not envy….does not boast…is not proud…is not rude…not self-seeking…not easily angered…keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always persevers. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8NIV).


Another key to worthwhile relationships is self-knowledge and acceptance. Our commitment to God should lead us to evaluate ourselves as to our sincerity, self-respect, humility, willpower, reliability, attitudes, thoughts, and devotion. A Christian should talk to God about changes he or she should make. The basis for self-acceptance is acknowledging our limitations while seeking to improve. Our need for self-worth is met when we recognize just how much God loves us.


God has given us guidelines for relating happily to one another. Jesus commanded that we love one another (1 John 4:11), that we do good to our enemies (Luke 6:27), and that we share our witness with the lost (Acts 1:8). The writer of Hebrews reminded us that we are to minister in God’s name (Hebrews 6:10). Paul exhorted readers to not judge one another and to treat one another right (Romans 13:10). If we follow God’s will instead of insisting on our own way, we can rejoice in all of our relationships

(Adapted from copyrighted material, Lifeway Christian Resources, Bible Book Study for Teachers, Jan.-Mar. 1995 “Establishing Relationships” – Bessie L. Kennedy- pp.128-9)




1. Believers have two basic relationships: with God, and with other people. Write Jesus words about these relationships into the acrostic below. (You will not use the letter P)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Mark 12:30-31a NIV)



2. Write your description of an ideal church member.



3. Do you have a good relationship with all of your family members? Are there areas in which you see a need for improvement? Do you need to resolve a misunderstanding? Settle a quarrel? Change an attitude? Do you need to express more love and concern for a loved one? Make a note of any changes you feel you should make. Pray silently for God’s help.


For use during the class session Week 5


Instructions: Cut apart and give to volunteers to read as called for in Step 2 (See discussion questions #1 and #3.)


Case Study 1

Lorine noticed that one of her friends was treating her in a cool manner. She wondered why. Suddenly she realized that she had unwittingly “leaked” information told her in confidence by her friend. What could she do to make things right?





Case Study 2

Marvin and Betty, who worked in the same office enjoyed many of the same interests. They talked together during coffee breaks and often went to lunch together. They became good friends. Both were happily married and saw nothing wrong with their growing friendship. What are same of the dangers of such a relationship?


For use during the class session – Week 5. Cut apart the following Topics/Scriptures to assign to pairs (or groups) to study, discuss, and report conclusions to the class as called for. (See Step 2, Discussion question 5)



1. God’s Special Words to Husbands (pp. 42,43). Ephesians 5:23,25; 1 Peter 3:7



2. God’s Words to fathers, parents (pp.43,45). Ephesians 6:4; Matthew 18:6



3. God’s Special Words to Wives (p. 44). Ephesians 5:24, 33; 1 Peter 3:3,4 NIV



4. God’s Special Words to Children, Youth (p. 46). Ephesians 6:1-3


5. God’s Word to Adult Children (care of elderly), (p.47). Matthew 15:4-6; 1 Timothy 5:4



To display on a poster or on sentence strips



1. Can you think of people you may have hurt or offended? (p.38)
2. Are you bitter or holding grudges against someone who has offended you? (p.39)
3. Are you involved in any improper relationship? (p. 40)
4. Do you neglect regular fellowship and meaningful service through your church? (p. 40)
5. Are your family relationships consistent with God’s Word? (p.42)








1. GOD



Vertical Relationship

With the






The Believer









2.  The Believer                    Other Believers




Horizontal Relationship


Other People











Instructions: Draw a vertical line from God to The Believer. You may want to put a small cross in the center of the line. In the second one, draw 4 or 5 stick figures in a row with two-sided arrows in between each.






Week 6





1. Make a copy of the Teaching Plans for each teacher.
2. Make copies of worksheet 6 for all Bible study participants.
3. Provide each teacher with a copy of the resource, Dealing with Transgressions, for use in introducing the lesson.
4. Look over the attached WORD STUDY sheet, and plan to use it as a poster to be displayed for use during the class session, or you may prefer to make copies for all participants. (You could do both.) Prepare materials ahead.



Week 6


Sins of Commission pp.49 – 57





Preparation for this lesson


1. Make copies of Teaching Plans for all teachers.
2. Make copies of worksheet 6 for all participants.
3. Obtain a copy of the lecture, Dealing with Our Transgressions, to use as a resource in introducing the lesson.
4. Obtain the WORD STUDY poster or the Word Study handouts, whichever your church decided to use.
5. Prepare the following Scripture references to pass out in the class to read when called for:
(1) Ephesians 5:5,12]
(2) 1 Corinthians 3:16 –17
(3) Exodus 20:23; Matthew 7:24
(4) Malachi 3:8 – 10
(5) Proverbs 13:11
(6) Leviticus 19:31
(7) Revelation 2:14,15
(8) Romans 14:23


Teaching the Lesson


Step 1 To begin the lesson

1. Ask: How many of you have ever been stopped or given a ticket for a traffic

Violation? (Most of us have) Were you aware that you were breaking the law? Such experiences should help us understand the meaning of transgression.

Call attention to the Word Study poster (or handout). Go over the three terms and definitions: transgression, sin, wrong.


2. Lecture briefly on Dealing With Our Transgressions based on the resource provided.
3. Have members turn to item #1 on the worksheet and read silently a condensed version of King David’s prayer when he realized the enormity of his sin.

  Step 2 Study the Scriptures

1. Say: In today’s lesson we will look at sins of commission. The Scriptures describe some common areas of transgressions of human beings. As we read each passage, we want to identify specific sins that believers need to look out for.
2. Distribute the eight Scripture references, ask the volunteers to be ready to read them as called for.
(1) Call for Ephesians 5:5,12.

Ask: What specific sins are mentioned or implied in these verses?

(Sexual immorality, uncleanness, or perversion; idolatry, covetousness) Say: We may well say, “That doesn’t apply to me –I don’t do those things.” Ask yourself, ‘what kind of movies do I attend? Do I watch television shows that are filled with sinful acts? Am I too tolerant of filth, sexual immorality, and violence in the things I read and the programs I watch? Do I listen to off-color jokes?

In Romans 1, Paul spoke of the impure, idolatrous sins of the people and then said, “Therefore God gave them over to the sinful desires of their hearts…” for they had “exchanged the truth of God for a lie.” (Romans 1:24a, 25a)

We live in a day when tolerance is considered a virtue. But God’s Word indicates that we should be intolerant of sin.


(2) Read 1 Corinthians 3:16,17.

Ask members to identify the temple of God in this passage and why.

(Believers are the temple of God because the Holy Spirit resides within)

Suggest that we name sins that would defile the human body.

(Anything that damages the body physically, such as drugs, alcohol, smoking, unhealthy diet, sexual immorality)

Say: Dr. Frizzell stated that when we obey God’s spiritual and physical laws, we save ourselves from many of the spiritual, emotional, and physical problems that cause pain for so many.


(3) Call for the reading of Exodus 20:23 and Matthew 7:24.

Have a volunteer define idolatry. (Anything one places ahead of God)

Ask: What are some things one might be tempted to put ahead of God?

(Recreation instead of worship; spending too much time making money, attaining social status, or seeking self-serving power to the neglect of service to God; making family the first priority instead of God)


(4) Call for Malachi 3:8-10 to be read.

Ask these questions:

(a) Why does God expect His people to tithe and give offerings? (This was God’s plan for supporting His work of evangelizing the world)
(b) Why would those who failed to obey God in this matter be called robbers? (Everything belongs to God – Is it too much to ask that we give back a portion of what He has given us for His kingdom work?)
(c) What did God promise those who obey Him in their giving? (Untold blessings - see verse 10)

Give members an opportunity to share a personal testimony concerning their giving.


(5) Have Proverbs 13:11 read.

Ask: What principle concerning the believer’s use of money is brought out in this verse? (God honors hard work and consistent savings)

Ask: What widespread sin violates this principle? (Gambling)

Call on volunteers to explain what is wrong with gambling. (It is a game of chance based on the hope of receiving wealth without labor. Gambling can be addictive, and those who can least afford it are the losers. Believers should trust God, not luck or chance.)





(6) Call for the reading of Leviticus 19:3.

Have members name forms of “familiar spirits” or the age-old occult that today goes under the general term new age. (Astrology, horoscopes, witchcraft, spiritual mediums or psychics, crystals)

Explain that much of the new age movement promotes the deification of man, and many popular self-help books contain significant elements of such philosophy. Humanism is a force to be reckoned with in universities and society as a whole. Believers should be alert to the new age influences of self-exaltation that can creep into their thinking through the media.


(7) Call for Revelation 2:14,15.

Say: This passage relates to Christians who compromise their beliefs.

The author of our book said, “In our increasingly godless society, both churches and individuals are being pressured to compromise with evil.”

We are aware that Christian denominations and churches are being forced to deal with divisive social issues that are contrary to biblical standards. Compromise with evil is another form of spiritual idolatry.


(8) Read Romans 14:23

Explain that although we no longer face issues of eating meat offered to idols, we do face a number of issues that can violate conscience. If we cannot do something with the sure knowledge that God approves, then we should not do it. Too often, Christians rationalize about their lifestyles or reasons for not taking a stand for what they know to be right rather than talking to God about it.


Step 3 Apply to Life Today

1. Have the class turn to the worksheet, item 3, and read silently the poem, “Temptation.”


2. Ask: What were the two sources of temptation mentioned? (Temptation from Satan dealing with the person inwardly, and temptation that presented itself from sources outside himself.)

Ask: What conclusion did the writer reach in the last two lines? (He must rely on God’s power for the strength to live in the will of God).


Step 4 Close with this thought: Ask: Have you become aware of a sin in your life that you are tempted to ignore instead of going to God with it?

Say: No one is more miserable than a Christian who knows he needs to change something in his life but doesn’t do so.

Devotional thoughts for Week 6,





According to Holman’s Bible Dictionary, transgression is defined as “image of sin as overstepping the limits of God’s law.


Human beings have an innate sense of right and wrong. We call it conscience. Webster defines conscience as an awareness of right and wrong, with a compulsion to do right. It is possible to so harden one’s conscience that it can no longer serve as a dependable guide for one’s actions.


Even though God always expected human beings to obey His laws, He has never left them without hope for their sinfulness: “God did not leave humans with the hopelessly impossible task of performing the law perfectly. The law God gave (Israel) contained provisions for atonement through repentance and appropriate acts of contrition (Lev. 19)

(Marion Soards. Holman Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Pub., Nashville, TN,pp1194)


With the coming of Christ, God fulfilled His plan for a new covenant: salvation by grace through a faith commitment to Jesus as Savior. As Christians, we still have to deal with our “old sinful natures.” God expects believers to do our best to live by His commands and standards. When we fail to do so, we need to do as David did when he faced up to his sins with Bathsheba: In 2 Samuel 223:9, we read, “he said to the Lord, I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now O Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant.” In a very special prayer in Psalm 51, David poured out his remorse to God, confessing and repenting of his sins and pleading for God’s forgiveness.


Turn to your worksheet, item 1, and read a condensed version of David’s prayer.



(poster or handout, week 6,)






(trans, over + gradi, to step)


1. To break (a law, command, etc.)

To sin (against)


2. To go beyond (a limit)





1. The willful breaking of religious or moral law
2. Any offense or fault




(bangr, twisted)


1. Not in accordance with justice, law, morality, an established standard
2. Contrary to fact; incorrect
3. Not function properly
Something wrong (unjust, immoral, or illegal act)

WORKSHEET for Week 6



1. Read these scattered portions of David’s prayer from Psalm 51.

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to

your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin…against you, you only, have I sinned and what is evil in your sight…cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean.


“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me

…Restore to me the joy of your salvation. A broken and contrite heart, O

God, you will not despise.”



2. Jot down some specific sins of commission as they are named during the study.





3. Read the poem below silently.



I rejoiced in love for my Savior-King

I thought I’d surrendered everything.

But then, from deep within my heart

Stirred desires for things apart

From Him. -

The lure of former worldly joys,

Reluctant listening to godless noise,

Tempted to make the popular choice,

Persuaded to yield to a wayward voice.



I joyfully praised my Master-King

For all the blessings He would bring;

Then from the world about me came

The subtle message to disdain

His love –

Persistent calls to compromise,

Embrace the thoughts of the worldly-wise:

A grasping reach for selfish gain,

Ambitious need for wide acclaim.



I know God’s strength alone can fill

My life with power to do His will.

- Bessie L. Kennedy



Week 7





1. Prepare a copy of the Teaching Plans for each teacher
2. Make copies of worksheet 7 for all participants.
3. Provide three copies of the Panel Interview in advance for teachers to use in the class session.
4. Provide each teacher with a placard or banner with the TEACHING AIM as follows:


1. Examine reasons believers often fail to do what they know they should do, and
2. Determine how self-rule and self-reliance may stand in the way of spiritual growth
5. Prepare for display a poster, SELF-RULE or CHRIST-RULE, containing two large circles. Draw a small circle in each. Divide each large circle into 6 – 8 segments. Label one small circle Self-rule, the other, Christ-rule. Provide a marker for use during the class session.



Week 7






Preparation for this lesson


1. Obtain a copy of the Teaching Plans for week 7
2. Make copies of worksheet 7 for all participants.
3. Make copies of the Panel Interview ahead for two panelists and the interviewer. Choose two panelists in advance to participate. The teacher may be the interviewer or choose someone else.
4. Make and display a placard or banner with the following:


1. Examine reasons believers often fail to do what they know they should do, and
2. Determine how self-rule and self-reliance may stand in the way of spiritual growth.
5. Prepare a poster, Self-rule or Christ-rule, containing two large circles. Draw a

Small circle in the center of each large circle and divide each large circle into

6 – 8 segments. Label one small circle self-rule and the other, Christ-rule.



Teaching the Lesson


Step 1 Explore the first Teaching Aim

1. Tell this true story: There were two sons in the Taylor family in England. The older one was quite ambitious and turned his attention toward Parliament and prestige. But Hudson Taylor, the younger, chose to give his life to Christ, so he turned his face toward China and obscurity. Hudson Taylor is known and honored on every continent as a faithful missionary and as the founder of the China Inland Mission.

When you look in the encyclopedia to see what the other son has done, you find these words, “The brother of Hudson Taylor.” One moral of this story is expressed well in 1 John 2:17: “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (NIV).


2. Call attention to the Teaching Aim poster, and read the first aim aloud.

Say: This aim deals with what our book calls sins of omission. James 4:17 says it another way: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” We have a panel who will help us examine this truth.


3. Tell the class that the panel will lead us in a study of Scripture as they explore sins of omission that we often do not recognize as sin.

Conduct the Panel Interview as suggested in Preparation for This Lesson.

       Step 2 Examine the second Teaching Aim

1. Tell this story: Years ago a missionary told of a time, while he was away on a preaching appointment, his wife and little daughter stayed at the home of a friend. On the bedroom wall just over the bed where they slept, there was a picture of Jesus that was reflected in the large mirror of the dressing table across the room. When the child woke up on her first morning there, she saw the picture reflected in the mirror while she still lay in bed, and exclaimed to her mother; “I can see Jesus through the mirror!” When she sat up to take a better look, she brought her own body between the picture and the mirror, so that instead of seeing the picture of Jesus reflected, she now saw herself. So she lay down again, and again she saw the picture of Jesus. She was up and down several times after that with her eyes fixed on the mirror. Then she said, “Mommy, when I can’t see myself, I can see Jesus; but every time I see myself, I don’t see Him.”

The child spoke a greater truth than she realized, for it is true that when self fills our vision, we do not see Jesus!

2. Read aloud the second Teaching Aim from the poster on the wall. Suggest that this part of our study deals with the chapter on “Sins of Self-rule and Self-reliance.

3. Have members turn to item 1 on worksheet 7 and read silently definitions of two phrases Paul used “the flesh” and “dying to self.”

4. Lecture briefly, using the outline below, as you discuss with the class three crucial principles of victory over sin and self. (See pp. 66 – 72)
(1) Choose to “die to self” in your daily life
a. Say no to thoughts, attitudes, or actions that are of the flesh
b. Read Matthew 16:24-25. Identify “cross” as whatever it takes to do the will of God.
c. Read Romans 6:6. Say: Because Christ is in us, we already have the power to die to self, but must choose to do so. The key is repentance and faith.
(2) God breaks old self patterns so as to release His life through us.
a. God’s primary method is the conviction and revelation of the Holy Spirit through Scripture
b. Sometimes He breaks our self patterns through the circumstances of life: trials, temptations. (like the refining of metal; See Proverbs 17:3
(3) A vital spiritual principle is that of total reliance on Christ’s strength rather than human ability.
a. Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and Galatians 2:20
b. We have excellent strategies, methods, and training available today, but we must never substitute them for spiritual cleansing, prayer, and dependence on the Holy Spirit.

Step 3 Apply Truth to Life

1. Call attention to the poster, Self-rule or Christ-rule. Ask members to name things that believers dominated by “self” would be interested in. Record responses in the segments of the circle. (Possible responses: A new house, getting ahead at work, recreation, making a name for himself) Do the same with believers dominated by Christ. (Possible responses: Church worship and service, a Christian home, ministry to people, job integrity)
2. Emphasize that there is nothing wrong with many secular interests as long as they do not crowd out the things God wants us to do.
3. Have members look at item 4 on the worksheet and read it silently.

Suggest that we make it our prayer this week.

Close with prayer for proper balance in our daily lives as we try to place Christ at the center.



(The two panelists should stand or sit together during the interview. The teacher may be the interviewer or designate someone else.

Interviewer:  Panelist 1, will you read John 15:4,5?


Panelist 1: “Abide in me, and I in you…I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

Interviewer:  Panelist 2, tell us how we can abide in Jesus.


Panelist 2: The most important way to abide in Jesus is through earnest, consistent prayer and daily Bible study. If we neglect spending time with God every day we cannot expect to experience spiritual cleansing or growth.
Panelist 1, how would you answer the person who claims to be too busy to give significant time to God?
Panelist 1: I would say, you will never be stronger spiritually than the strength and quality of your personal time with God.

Interviewer:  Panelist 2, please read Acts 1:8.


Panelist 2: “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Interviewer:  Panelist 1, whom did Jesus call to be witnesses?


Panelist 1:  All believers.


Interviewer:  Panelist 2, tell us how we can know the persons to whom we should witness.


Panelist 2: One way is to maintain a prayer list of lost people you encounter in daily life, such as family members, neighbors, classmates, work mates, or people who work for you. Get to know them better, show kindness, or meet a special need, and pray daily for them. Turn to item 3 on the worksheet and jot down names of people to pray for this week.
(Allow time for the worksheet activity.) Panelist 1, what would you tell the person who says he can’t witness?
Panelist 1: I would first explain that there are many ways to witness, such as in ordinary conversation, or telling someone what Christ has meant to you or sharing an experience about your dependence on God. You might invite a lost person to attend a special event at your church, or to join a Bible study class. Of course, every Christian should be able, with God’s help, to explain to someone how to be saved. You could use John 3:16, a gospel tract, or the group of Scriptures we call the Roman Road. Scriptures references for the Roman Road are listed in item 3 on the worksheet. We must remember that none of us is able to win people to the Lord. We give them the gospel message, and the Holy Spirit must convict them of their need of a Savior.

Interviewer:  Panelist 2, please read Ephesians 4:8.


Panelist 2:
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”

Interviewer:  Panelist 2, who receives spiritual gifts, and how can one know what his gifts are?


Panelist 2: Every believer possesses at least one spiritual gift at any given time. A spiritual gift is the God-given ability to accomplish a particular task for God. God will help us discover our gift. We need to be alert to different ways He may use to reveal our gift. He may present you with an opportunity to serve, or you may be made aware of a need that is not being met and feels an urge to help. You may feel a need to exercise a talent (which may also be a gift) in a certain area of service. Spiritual gifts come in all kinds: teaching, music, ministry, hospitality, preaching, working with children. God expects us to use our gifts diligently.

Interviewer:  Panelist 1, read Romans 6:14 and explain what Paul meant.


Panelist 1: “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace.” Paul reminded believers that although they still must deal with the “old nature,” God’s grace through Christ has set us free from the bondage of sin. Some people have a particular sin that they have difficulty overcoming. The Christian who turns to God for help can be free of the burden and guilt of that sin.
Panelist 2, Read James 5:16 and tell us how you think this verse can help us have more of God’s daily presence and power?
Panelist 2: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Through earnest prayer a person can experience more of God in his life. The author of our book suggests that every great spiritual awakening was accompanied by intense prayer and fasting. Fasting should not be legalistic, but experienced as a natural part of being concerned enough about the things of God that no thought is given to food.

Interviewer:  Panelist 1, read James 1:22 and comment on it.


Panelist 1: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” After hearing God’s Word, a person is responsible for obeying it. When God reveals sin in our lives, He expects us to repent. Failure to do so is disobedience. If you ask, God will give you an obedient heart. In Philippians 2:13 we are told, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do his good pleasure.”

Worksheet 7



1. Two definitions to commit to memory:

The flesh – refers to our human actions and thoughts when operating apart from the direct control of Christ.
Dying to self – choosing to deny, or die to, one’s own wishes and completely surrender to Christ.



2. Write here the names of lost people you will pray for this week. Then add names of troubled, ill, or grieving persons you will pray for.







3. A useful tool in personal witnessing is The Roman Road; look up the references and write them down. Memorize them this week.

Romans 3:23 –



Romans 6:23 –



Romans 5:8 –



Romans 10:9,10 –




4. Make this prayer your own during the week ahead:

A Daily Prayer

O God, help me commit myself

To you in such a way

That I may hear and heed your voice

As you direct my path today.

- Bessie L. Kennedy




1. Prepare Unit 3 posters for each class, entitled ONWARD TO POWERFUL PRAYER AND SERVICE. List the two topics for this week: Steps to Powerful Prayer and Appendix A - Assurance of Salvation.
2. Provide copies of the Teaching Plans for all teachers.
3. Make copies of Worksheet 8 for all Bible study participants.
4. Provide copies of the tract, “Steps to Peace with God” (two copies for each person).

Have available enough copies of the book, How to Develop a Powerful Prayer Life, for all Bible study participants.



Week 8 (pp.77 – 99)





Preparation in Advance

1. Prepare or obtain the Unit 3 poster entitled, ONWARD TO POWERFUL PRAYER AND SERVICE. The two topics for this week’s study should be listed:

Steps to Powerful Prayer and Appendix A – Assurance of Salvation.

2. Obtain a copy of the Teaching Plans
3. Provide copies of worksheet 8 for all class members.
4. Obtain copies of the tract, “Steps to Peace with God,” for all members. (Two copies for each person.)

5. Obtain copies of “How to Develop a Powerful Prayer Life” for all members.



Teaching the Lesson


Step 1 To Introduce this Study

1. Distribute worksheet 8.
2. State that in our study of Returning to Holiness through prayer and spiritual cleansing, we have explored types of unconfessed sin that can hinder our spiritual growth and prevent God’s power from working in our lives.
(1) Have members look at worksheet 8, item #1. Suggest that in

2 Chronicles 7:14 we are given key elements necessary for revival and spiritual awakening.

(2) Have volunteers read the passage aloud and name key elements for revival.

(True repentance, fervent prayer, turning from sin.)

(3) Tell members to look at item 3 on the worksheet while volunteers read aloud the prayers of certain national leaders.


3. Mention the author’s conclusion that prayer is the basis – the heart and soul – of every successful relationship with God.
(1) Ask members if they are completely satisfied with their prayer life. Ask if they have the relationship with God they desire.
(2) Comment that we miss many of God’s blessings because of an inadequate prayer life.

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Step 2 Explore Bible Truth

1. Tell members to turn to page 78 in their book, Returning to Holiness. Ask that as each of the “Five Practical Steps to a Powerful Daily Prayer Life” are read they take a moment to underline a statement that is meaningful to them.

(1) Call on volunteers to share what they underlined.
(2) The teacher may want to underline key sentences in each section in advance to emphasize as needed.
(3) Tell the class that we will begin a study next week on “How to Develop a Powerful Prayer Life.”



2. Introduce Appendix A (pp. 87 – 97) with the following statements:

(1) God wants all believers to be certain of their salvation. (Read 1 John 5:13) Tragically some church members who think they are saved actually are lost.
(2) In Romans 8:16, Paul tells how one can be sure of salvation: “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”
(3) Some church members made professions of faith that were not genuine. (Mention the common reasons listed on p. 90.)


3.Explain that the author lists seven Biblical Indicators of Salvation (pp. 91 – . Assign each of the seven indicators to a member to read the first sentence only and the Scripture verse that follows.


4.Read aloud, without comment, three possible sources of doubt (pp.93-94)

(1) Say: When you ask God for reassurance concerning your salvation, He will let you know if you are saved.
(2) Salvation is based on God’s Word. Let us review the truths in seven important Scriptures about salvation. (Read aloud the bold-faced statements and Scriptures on pages 95 – 96.)

Step 3 Apply to Life

(1) Have members read silently item 3 on the worksheet, How to Become a Christian. Say: Not only will this outline help you understand more clearly your own salvation; it will help you explain the plan of salvation to a lost person.
(2) Distribute copies of the tract, Steps to Peace with God. (This tract is an excellent resource for taking a person through the steps leading to salvation. Two copies are needed for witnessing.)



1. Read 2 Chronicles 7:14 (below) to find the key elements of revival

And spiritual awakening. Jot down the key elements.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”



2. Inspirational Prayers from former national leaders

(1) George Washington, First U.S. President

“Direct my thought, words and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate Blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit…. Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy Son Jesus Christ.”

(2) John Wanamaker, American Merchant and U.S. Posstmaster General, 1889 – 1895

“ Oh, Lord, Thou hast told us how to pray. Help us to shut the door, shutting out the world, and the enemy and any fear or doubt, which spoils prayer. May there be no distance between our souls and thee.”


(3) George Bush, 41st U.S. President

“The Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us; so that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways…that all peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.”


3. How to Become a Christian

1. Admit you are a sinner. “All have sinned…” Romans 3:23
2. Know that sin separates one from God. “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life…” Romans 6:23
3. Affirm salvation as God’s gift. “By grace are ye saved through faith…it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
4. Believe that Jesus died for your sins and was raised. “If thou shalt confess …the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9
5. Confess sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…1 John 1:9
6. Repent – decide to turn away from sin and follow God’s way. Repent ye …that your sins may be blotted out.” Acts 3:19
7. Commit yourself to Christ as Savior and Lord. “…every tongue…confess. Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Philippians 3:11)

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