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sunday school

I recently started teaching a women’s Sunday School class at my church. Right now we are taking a look at some of the challenging questions and issues we face as Christians. I’ll be posting the notes from my class here each week. 

“Am I sick or experiencing suffering in my life because God is punishing me for my sin, or punishing someone else for his sin?”

I. Although we may be negatively affected by the sins of others, God does not punish us for someone else’s sin. (Ezekiel 18, key verse: 20)

II. Believers are not punished for their sin. Christ took the punishment for all of our sin on the cross. (Romans 8:1-2, Isaiah 53:1-6)

III. Purposes of/Reasons for suffering:

A. To bring glory to God (John 9, Job)

B. The logical consequences of sin

C. Discipline (Revelation 3:19, Hebrews 12:5-11)

D. To teach us humility and dependence on God (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

E. To grow us in spiritual strength and maturity (Romans 5:3-5)

F. To give us compassion for others, and to equip us to help those who are going through the same thing. (2 Corinthians 1:3-6)

G. To cause the lost to cry out to God for salvation

IV. Extra study resources:

A. Don’t Waste Your Cancer by John Piper

B. Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free by Tullian Tchividjian

C. Matt Chandler: “Suffering” on YouTube

D. “Why Does God Allow Sickness?” on 412Teens.org

E. “The Beauty of Faithful Suffering” on The Gospel Coalition