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Bearing the Title “Christian”

April 20, 2019

WEARING THE LABEL

Janel was excited when her sister Shaina got home from her senior class trip to New York. She couldn’t wait to hear about all the fun Shaina and her friends had had on the trip.

“Hey, I bought these for you,” Shaina said, handing Janel a shopping bag. Inside were three sweatshirts all with the logo of Janel’s favorite designer on them.

“Wow! What a cool gift, Shaina, thanks! Three of them? These are so expensive!”

“Not in New York City,” Shaina grinned. “We found a place that was selling them for about $10 each.”

“You’re kidding!” Janel gave her sister a big hug. The next day she proudly wore one of the designer sweatshirts to school.

Two evenings later, when she pulled another of the new sweatshirts off over her head, she heard a ripping noise. “Oh, no!” she cried out.

Janel’s mom stuck her head into the room. “What happened?”

Janel showed her mom the long rip in the side seam of the sweatshirt.

“I can’t believe it tore so easily—the first time I wore it! Their stuff is usually really good quality. Anyway, I know they have a guarantee, so maybe I can send it back to the company and get it replaced or something. I wonder if Shaina kept the receipts.”

Janel’s mom sat down on the bed and turned the sweatshirt inside out, looking at all the seams. “Janel, how much did Shaina say she paid for this sweatshirt?”

“Ten bucks.”

“And how much would it be normally?”

“Oh, at least $50. I’ve seen them even more expensive than that.”

Mom sighed. “I think your sister got taken, Janel—and I don’t think the designer will be sending you any replacement sweatshirts.”

“What do you mean, taken?”

“Sometimes people manufacture cheap clothes and slap the label of an expensive designer on the front. It’s illegal, of course, but they often get away with it. Lots of people are just happy to have the designer label. They don’t realize they’re not getting the same quality.”

Janel looked down at the torn shirt. She could still wear the other two—until they fell apart, which probably wouldn’t be that long, she realized. Everyone would see the label and think she was wearing a top-quality product. But she would know different. Looking up, she caught her mom’s smile.

Janel might have pondered, How could these good-looking sweatshirts be of such poor quality? Mother was right when she said, “It’s what’s on the inside that matters.” Indeed, it is your character that matters to God.

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Sabbath

FOR STUDY

Memory Text: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Our Beliefs, no. 10, The Experience of Salvation: “Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God’s sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God’s law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life.”

Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 40

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Sunday

RESPONDING

Read Matthew 7:16-23

You’re reading a teen Sabbath School lesson. So you probably consider yourself a Christian. You’re wearing the label. But what’s inside the package?

If someone claims to be a Christian, does that make them a Christian? If you really wanted to know whether someone was a Christian, what questions could you ask to find out?

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Monday

BIBLE ANSWERS ON THE EXPERIENCE OF SALVATION

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 12:2; and 2 Peter 1:3, 4.

As God’s sons and daughters we are called to live as light in this dark world. Because we have experienced the gift of salvation that comes through Jesus, we are responsible to share it with others as well. Unlike material gifts, the gift of salvation is multiplied exponentially in our heart when we share it with others.

How has Jesus made all things new in your life when you decided to invite Him into your heart?

How are you an ambassador of Jesus? How do you share with others the message of salvation?

Unscramble and replace the mixed-up words below so you can read the message The message is from the New King James Version.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you tneserp your bodies a gnivil sacrifice, holy, elbatpecca to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be demrofnoc to this world, but be demrofsnart by the gniwener of your dnim, that you may evorp what is that good and acceptable and tcefrep will of God” (snamor 12:1, 2).

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you your bodies a sacrifice, holy, to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be to this world, but be by the of your, that you may what is that good and acceptable and will of God” ( 12:1, 2).

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Tuesday

REFLECTING

Read John 3:3-8.

Who’s a Christian? Do you have to go to church to be a Christian?

Do you have to believe Jesus is the Son of God?

What if you think Jesus was just a good man but you want to follow His teachings? Can you still be a Christian?

How do we know if we’re Christians?

What difference does wearing Jesus’ name make to the quality of our character?

“Christians are set as light bearers on the way to heaven. They are to reflect to the world the light shining upon them from Christ. Their life and character should be such that through them others will get a right conception of Christ and of His service” (Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 115).

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Wednesday

BIBLE INSIGHTS

Match the text to the correct reference. All texts are taken from the New King James Version.

Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 3:26; Isaiah 45:22; 1 Peter 1:23; Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; Colossians 1:13, 14; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:17.

“. . . he who does the will of My Father in heaven . . .”
“ . . . I am God, and there is no other.”
“. . . faith comes by hearing, and hearing . . .”
“. . . we are children of God, and if children, then heirs . . .”
“. . . leaving us an example, that you should follow . . .”
“. . . Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved . . .”
“ . . . you are all sons of God through faith . . .”
“. . . we have redemption through His blood . . .”
“. . . born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, . . .”

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Thursday

CONNECTING

Read Romans 10:9, 10.

Review the memory text.

Maybe you’ve wondered, Am I really a Christian? Sure, I go to church— maybe I’ve even been baptized—but can I really call myself a Christian? First, relax. It’s not about being “good enough,” or believing a complicated list of doctrines. If you love Jesus and want to follow Him, if you’ve asked Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart, you can be confident that you’re a Christian.

But the Bible does tell us that Christians are different from other people. When you become a Christian, you begin a new life. It’s not something that happens overnight—it’s more like starting out on a journey. At first your surroundings may be familiar, but as you keep traveling, things begin to change. The Bible—especially the story of Jesus—paints us a picture of what this new life is like. If we wear Jesus’ name, we want to live as He lived. That’s why it’s important to read the Bible—we need to know what the original is like if we want to copy it!

Maybe we can go beyond asking, Am I a Christian? Perhaps we need to ask, How am I letting Jesus change me? Am I following Him?

“But when we turn toward the Sun of Righteousness, when we come in touch with Christ, the whole soul is aglow with the brightness of the divine presence” (Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 40).

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Friday

APPLYING

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17.

All through this week’s lesson we’ve been thinking about what it means to be a Christian.

Think back over what you’ve learned this week about being a Christian. Look over the Bible verses in Wednesday’s lesson. Then circle the phrase that makes the statement below correct, and complete the next sentence with a few thoughts of your own.

I (am, am not) a Christian.

I know this is true because

If you circled “I am a Christian,” take a moment to talk to God and thank Him for the gift that made it possible for you to be part of His family. Renew your commitment to Him today.

If you circled “I am not a Christian,” where do you want to go from here? Is there a “next step” you need to or want to take? Talk to the Lord about it, then talk to a trusted Christian friend or family member.