The War is Over

Lesson

9

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quiz9
When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States was thrust into World War II. After many fierce conflicts in the Pacific, it became evident that Japan could not triumph in its war against the United States. Repeated calls were made for Japan to surrender, but that didn’t happen, and it appeared the war would drag on, costing many more lives. On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” was dropped from the Enola Gay—a B-29 bomber—over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, a similar bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Japan soon signaled its intention to surrender. On September 2 of the same year, the Instrument of surrender was signed aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. World War II was over. In the same way, the war so many people experience with sin will be over when a surrender is made. Surrender to God is a vital key to living a life of real faith!
Hint

God asks us to surrender to Him. That is, to yield to God moment by moment so we can live in harmony with His will for our lives.
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In His darkest hour, when faced with the prospect of crucifixion, even though His humanity shrank from dying on the cross, Jesus surrendered is will to the will of His Father. In doing so, salvation came to the human family.
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Paul experienced what all human beings experience: the gravity of our human nature. Because we are fallen, we naturally want to live for self rather than live for God, but the life of a true Christian is the life of one who lives in harmony with heaven.
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Paul discovered that Jesus was able to strengthen him in his battle against self! He wrote in Romans 8:13, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus brings to us a supernatural ability to live in harmony with God.
Hint

Paul discovered the key to successful Christian living: surrender to God! He found that walking in the Spirit—living a life of being guided by the Holy Spirit moment by moment—allowed Him to no longer be a slave to his own selfishness and sinfulness! Paul offered the same counsel when writing to the Galatians, in Galatians 5:17, 18: “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” We can be led by either the Spirit of God or by the flesh—our natural desires and inclinations. It is when we choose to be led by the Spirit of God that God’s will is done in our lives.
Hint

Paul described the experience of surrendering to Jesus as being a “death.” When we come to Christ by faith, self dies, and we are made new through Jesus living His life in us.
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When a person gives his or her life to Jesus, self dies and Jesus reigns in the heart of that individual. It is in baptism that this experience is symbolically demonstrated. Baptism is the burial—in a watery grave—of an old life of sin, followed by a resurrection from that burial to walk in “newness of life.” [Note: There is more on the subject of baptism in It Is Written Bible Study Guide #14, “Buried Alive?”]
How often should a person die to self and surrender to the indwelling presence of God?

I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die _____________.
Hint

Paul understood that living a life of surrender to Jesus was not accomplished in a one-time experience. He recognized that he needed to die to self and allow Jesus to be the Lord of His life on a daily basis. It is a constant connection with God—rather than a one-time connection with Him—that transforms us into people ready for eternal life.
Hint

Growing in Christ is a process—the work of a lifetime. God in His mercy accepts us when we come to Him in faith, and He gives us the gift of His righteousness. As we remain surrendered to Him, our relationship with Him deepens, and growing in grace, we become more like Him.
Hint

God is gracious! When we repent of our sins, we can know that Jesus, as our Advocate and Defense Attorney, represents us before the throne of God. That is not to say that we want to become presumptuous and choose to cling to sin. Faith in Jesus will develop in us a hatred of sin. We will strive to surrender to God.
However, we can recognize that God is willing to forgive us our imperfections when we experience genuine repentance. Like a parent tenderly watching over a young child falling over while learning to walk, God looks on us with patience and love when we fall while growing in His grace. This does not minimize the seriousness of sin. The wages of sin is death! But God does not cast us off when we make mistakes. If our hearts are with Him, God helps us to grow in Him.
Hint

It is God’s plan that when we yield ourselves to Him (Romans 6:16), He lives in us. And notice: He will bring into our lives both the willingness (“to will”) to live for Him, and the ability (“and to do”) to live for Him! The Bible says that we are “by nature children of wrath.” (Ephesians 2:3) But God’s plan is to transform our nature—to re-create us in the image of God that was lost when Adam and Eve fell into sin in the Garden of Eden. “Even when we were dead in trespasses, [God has] made us alive together with Christ.” (Ephesians 2:5)
Those who are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) are accepted, forgiven, cleansed and kept by God as He lives His life in them.
How does God live in His children?

The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be _______ _________.
God has given the gift of the Holy Spirit so that He can dwell with us and in us, strengthening us and keeping us as we live a life of surrender.
How can a person receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who _________ Him!
Hint

As Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you.” (Matthew 7:7) God wants to give His Spirit to those who recognize their need of Divine help and ask God for His Spirit! It is good to keep in mind that God wants us to succeed spiritually. He wants to help us, to guide us and to dwell in us. God is with us and not against us!
How has God taken responsibility for our spiritual well-being?
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will ____________________ it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Hint

God has promised that He will perform the work that He has begun in your life. Instead of fighting your spiritual battles in your own strength, you can expect God to provide you with His strength in your daily Christian experience.
Hint

The plan of salvation is about more than giving sinners the gift of everlasting life. The plan of salvation deals with humankind’s complete recovery from the power of sin. And, ultimately, God will restore His own image in the minds of fallen sinners who have been redeemed. What Adam and Eve lost in the Garden of Eden will be restored!
God wants to do this work in you. Christianity goes far beyond simply believing certain truths—Christianity is a total surrender to the will of God.
The Holy Spirit will come to you as God’s Representative and guide you in the path you should go. As Isaiah wrote, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you  turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)
How does God encourage us to live through His power?

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your ____________.
Hint

Transformation! That’s what God can do in us. When you surrender your will to Him—when you ask Him to take your life and make it His—God will create in you a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within you. (Psalm 51:10) And you can be confident that having surrendered to Him, you will dwell with Him throughout eternity.