A Closer Look
Christian found his roll in the arbor and headed back up the hill Difficulty. As the darkness fell, he was very much aware of the two lions about which Timorous and Mistrust had told him at the top of the hill.
• The way to the Palace Beautiful led through a very narrow passage. In that spot, Christian saw the two lions. What he could not see, however, was that they were _chained_.
The lesson that we learn from this is that many apparent spiritual dangers seem formidable until we examine them more closely with the eye of faith. The world, the flesh, and the devil can do us no harm. In fact, Christian’s greatest enemy at this point was not the lions but fear itself.
• The Porter, whose name was _Watchful_, explained to Christian the purpose of the lions being there. What was the twofold purpose?
1. _to try one's faith to determine in what it was being placed___
2. _to reveal those who have no faith_
• God sometimes puts obstacles in our way and allows Satan to test us to see the greatness of our faith. How did God do this with Abraham in Genesis 22? _He told Abraham to offer his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice._
• The Porter represents the pastor of the church. He is always to be watch-ful of new believers. Fittingly, the word pastor comes from the same word as pasture, and it refers to the shepherding ministry of a preacher. Note Paul’s command to the pastors of the church at Ephesus in Acts 20:28. Of what does he say they are to take heed? _of themselves and all of the flock_
• What position does the pastor have over the church? _Overseer_ (i.e., he watches over the spiritual welfare of the people)
• Who gave him this position? _the Holy Spirit_
• What is his responsibility to the church flock? _to feed them spiritually_
• Hebrews 13:7 gives further insight to the pastor’s responsibilities. Note the following:
• The congregation’s responsibility to the pastor is to _remember him, follow his faith, and consider the end of his conversation (behavior or conduct)
• The pastor’s responsibility to the congregation is to _speak theWord of God to them and to rule over them_
• The pastor’s accountability is that he will have to give account to God for how he watches over the flock that has been entrusted to him.
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The Four Young Ladies
• Watchful called for a young lady who, in turn, introduced Christian to three other ladies. These ladies and the Palace Beautiful itself represent the local church, which provides the Christian with the fellowship and instruction that is necessary to a victorious Christian life. What are the names of the four young ladies that Christian met? _Discretion, Piety, Prudence, and Charity_
• These four names represent the basic character that every fundamental church should possess. Besides having a watchful pastor who is aware of the dangers and issues of the day, the church must consist of a congregation whose members are discreet, pious, prudent, and full of love. Let’s examine each of these names in more detail.
• The dictionary defines discretion as _good judgment, wise cautionin speech or action_.
• Interestingly, Watchful (the pastor) first calls Discretion to examine Christian before he is allowed to spend the night at the palace. This action portrays the examination of a new Christian about his qualifications before he is admitted to membership in the church. Discretion is the exercise of good judgment in determining the suitability of an applicant for church membership. Notice the types of questions that Discretion asked Christian.
• After Christian shared his testimony and the other young ladies asked Christian a few more questions, they were satisfied with his answers, and they invite him to _join them as part of their family_. This is equivalent to accepting him into church membership.
Piety is a sincere and earnest desire to do God’s will. We get the word pious from it. Piety asked Christian about his inward motives for seeking salvation, and Christian’s response reminded him of his flight from the city of Destruction. He told them of the dreadful sound, of his meeting with Evangelist, who pointed him in the right direction, and he named three things that impressed him most in the Interpreter’s house. He also recalled his experience at the cross.
• Piety liked what she heard from Christian because it revealed a pious spir-it. It showed that Christian sincerely loved the Lord and wanted to serve Him. This is a characteristic of all true believers—they love the Lord with all of their _Heart_ and they sincerely desire to do His_will_.
• Prudence is the ability to govern and discipline oneself. Prudence ques-tioned Christian concerning his inward desires and temptations to indulge in the sins of the flesh. Did Christian ever think back to his sinful life?_Yes_. Did Christian find himself going through an inwardstruggle to do things that were wrong? _Yes. What words ofChristian’s sound like those of Paul in
Romans 7:21? When I would do what is best that which is worst is with me.
• When Christian was tempted to sin, how did he overcome it? (Note his fourfold answer)
1. I think of what I saw at the Cross.
2. I look upon my nice coat.
3. I read in the roll.
4. I think warm thoughts about where I’m going.
• Charity is love. Charity questioned Christian concerning his family and his desire for their souls’ salvation. What proved Christian’s love for his family’s souls? He cried for them_
• Why didn’t his wife and children follow him? His wife feared losing the world; his children were deceived by the pleasures of childhood
• Christian was so careful in his daily life that his family held even that against him. He stated that if anything hindered his family from trusting Christ, it was his _sensitivity to sinning against God or of doinganything wrong against his neighbors.
Do you weep for people’s souls? Are you careful that your daily words and actions do not mar your testimony before them?
In this lesson, we’ve seen the characteristics of the ideal church. Its members are discreet, using good judgment in admitting new members; prudent, exercising self–control over worldliness and the fleshly desires; pious, earnestly loving God and desiring to do His will; and full of love for each other and for the lost.
notes from the teacher’s lesson
(TCA 9A) (TCA 9B)
Memory Verse #1 from Creation lesson #1
Memory Verse # 2 from Creation lesson # 3
Hebrews (11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Memory Verse # 3 from Creation lesson # 5
1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Memory Verse # 4 from Creation lesson # 6
Genesis 1:1–2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
Memory Verse # 5 from Creation lesson # 7
1 Corinthians 15:21–22
For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive .
Memory Verse # 6 from Creation lesson # 9
Romans 3:4 ....let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:
“That You may be justified in Your words,
And may overcome when You are judged.”
Memory Verse # 7 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch1 Don't worry
Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say to you,do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?...
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Memory Verse # 8 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch3
Proverbs 29:1 Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy
Memory Verse # 9 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch5
Memory Verse # 10 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch7
Memory Verse # 11 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch 9 James 1:12
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
1. List examples from Scripture of ways in which God sometimes tried the faith of various Bible characters. What lessons can you learn from each of those examples?
2. Explain an instance in which your faith was tried. What specific things strengthened you during these trials, thus enabling you to “pass the test?”
3. Study the life and trials of Job. What lessons can you learn from his example?
4. Write a one– to two–page paper explaining the teachings of
James 1:12 and 1 Peter 1:7.
5. Study and research the hymn by Ron Hamilton (also known as Patch the Pirate) “Rejoice in the Lord.” What circumstance inspired him to write that song? What aspects of the song indicate that this circumstance was a great trial