SECOND QUARTER 13 LESSON SERIES YEAR 3
EXPLORING GOD'S WORD
GOAL: That the learners will immerse themselves in God's Word in order to guard themselves against false doctrines; and to have an immovable faith in God.
CONTENTS UNIT I: DISCOVERING THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD Lesson 1: The Power of God’s Word Lesson 2: The False Teachings Rejected II: FORTIFYING YOUR FAITH THROUGH GOD’S WORD Lesson 3: Keeping the Faith Lesson 4: Refusing to Compromise Lesson 5: Relying on God’s Word Lesson 6: Deepening Your Roots Lesson 7: Holding On To Sound Teaching UNIT III: DEFENDING GOD’S WORD (1 & 2 TIMOTHY) Lesson 8: The Charge to Hold On to God’s Word Lesson 9: The Charge to Suffer for the Word Lesson 10: The Charge to Continue in the Word Lesson 11: The Charge to Preach the Word Lesson 12: The Charge to Live in the Word Lesson 13: Be a Defender of the Word
Lesson 1 THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD Lesson Aim: That the learners will experience the transforming power of God‘s Word in their lives. Scripture Text: Hebrews 4: 12 – 13 Memory Verse: “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4: 12 (NIV) IN ADVANCE: Read and study Hebrews 4. Pray as you plan/prepare for the class. Prepare the pictures of the different kinds of swords to be used at the Entrance portion. [Note: you may also download pictures from the net or use / enlarge these samples. SESSION TIME ENTRANCE: 1. Show the following pictures of swords to the learners and allow them to give their comments.
2. Ask: What are some of the possible uses of the sword? Possible answers: a. For cutting something. b. May be used as a weapon to harm, kill or maim another person/s. c. For decoration or as souvenir items. 3. Say: A sword is a long-edged piece of forged metal, used in many civilizations throughout the world, primarily as a cutting or thrusting weapon. Transitional Sentence: Today, we are going to study about the Word of God, a spiritual weapon which is more powerful than any two-edged sword. SUBSTANCE: 1. Ask the learners to read Hebrews 4:12-13. I. The Description of God’s Word 2. Ask: How does v. 12 describe the Word of God? Expected Answer: The word of God is living and active. 3. Ask: What does v. 12 say about the power of God‘s word? Expected Answer: God‘s word is sharper than any doubled-edged sword. a. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. b. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 4. Say: Let us look more closely to the meaning of the descriptions on the Word of God so that we will see and understand how the Word of God works in the person‘s life. 5. Lecture briefly about the meaning of the following words/phrases- you can summarize or translate in the local language. (Source: Commentary on Hebrews 4:12-13 by Richard J. Krijcer)
1. Living and active / quick and powerful. The word of God is alive and at work in the person’s life. There is no excuse not to know God and His Word because it is written partly in our hearts, written fully out in printed form—the Bible, and given by the Spirit. He is the God who cares, communes, and communicates clearly His plan and principles.
2. Sharper. It means that God uses His Word as an “all-seeing eye,” piercing one’s innermost being. It exposes any fault or pride and shows the right way to live, to know God, and to live a fruitful, faithful, productive life. (Psalm 95; Heb. 3:13).
3. Double-edged sword. On one end, He is the God who saves and invites; on the other end, He is the God who exposes and judges.
4. Penetrates. The entirety and depth of our life is fully open to God; there is no privacy, no personal rights before the Most Holy God who made us. He is the right judge and the One to show us His right
instructions and call us to adhere to them. God is also active, showing the deceitfulness of sin and how it destroys when we think it is good. He does not want us to lose out or fall short on what we can have.
5. Dividing soul. Meaning, the power of God to enter us ever so deeply, into what we may think is unknown or impenetrable. No manner of will, plan, or pride can hold God back; but He may, as a judgment, allow you to do as you please, thinking you are OK, but missing out on so much wondrous, precious provision the mind could never fathom (Psalm 139: 23).
6. Spirit, joints and marrow. It means that God searches us out in great detail and knows both our rational and irrational thoughts and will. This is not about dividing the parts of a body, but it refers to His attribute of being omniscient- being the “all knowing” God. The point is that God’s power and purpose will cut through anything. He looks deep within us and nothing can stop what He finds.
7. Attitudes of the heart. The Word searches our inner life and heart and what lies deep within us. God knows and He wants us to tell Him about it. In so doing, we can know Him more and be open to correction and change. He knows every detail of our lives. He is the One who searches it all out and thus everything we do is known by Him. Additional Notes: Hebrews 4:13 explains to us the character of the Word, the Word of Scripture and of the gospel. Because this Word is God‘s word, it shares the very attributes of God Himself. It is living, and full of activity and power to achieve. Through the Word, God Himself is active and so it is never without result (Isaiah 55:11). 1). The Word of God brings either salvation or judgment. 2). The Word of God penetrates into a man‘s inmost being like a dissecting knife. 3). It brings under judgment the thoughts and ideas of man‘s mind and will (1 Cor. 4:5) (Source: The New Bible Commentary, Revised/ Edited by D. Guthrie, etc.) II. The accountability of all the creation to that Word- v. 13 6. Ask: What does v. 13 say about the power of God‘s Word in relation to His creation? Expected answers: a. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God‘s sight; b. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before His eyes. c. We must give account to Him. 7. Say: Let us look further into the meaning of this verse (v. 13): (Source: Commentary on Hebrews 4:12-13 by Richard J. Krijcer) 1. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Through His Word, God is living and active. We are not alone; we have a God who lives in and beside us! 2. Everything is uncovered / naked. God lays us bare; He knows it all; just as the ancestors to the recipients of this letter failed in the desert, so today we fail many times. Their misdeeds were exposed and used as an example for countless people, including us today, to know what not to do (Heb. 4:2). 3. Laid bare / opened. It means that God opens all things - our motivations, thoughts and deeds. Our good deeds and contradictions will be uncovered and exposed. 4. Give account. This is both sobering and comforting. We will be held responsible for our thoughts and actions. We all will one day stand and be judged, be held accountable and receive our reward and then enter His eternal rest. The Israelites laid waste their promise and reward; let us not be found guilty of doing the same. Here is the motivation to better watch out and better live right, for we will be judged.
But keep in mind: He is gracious and merciful and we have no excuse; we have all we need, His Word, Spirit, and the Work of Christ, and His personal empowerment to make life work (Rom. 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:11-14; 2 Cor. 5:10)! Additional Notes: God uses His Word to confront man. Before God, nothing is hidden. It makes us aware that all things stand stripped and bare and fully exposed to His searching. It is to Him, the God from whom this Word comes, that all who hear the Word should give back an account. (Source: The New Bible Commentary, Revised by D. Gutrie) GENERAL TRUTH: God’s Word is dynamic and life-changing.
SIGNIFICANCE: 1. Ask: What examples do you know that shows the power of God‘s Word working in the lives of people today? Possible answers: (list on the board the answers given by the learners and add some examples:) a. The worst sinner changed into a ‗saint‘. [Example: Paul, ____, etc] b. Broken families/ relationships get restored. c. People being set free from all kinds of addiction. [Example: ___] d. Warring tribes (nations, groups, individuals) obtained peace with one another. e. Communities/ societies changed/ transformed. f. Others. 2. Ask: What are some common struggles that Christians need to overcome through the help of God‘s Word? Possible answers: a. Struggle against habitual sins, pride, selfishness, etc. b. Struggle against Satan and his demons. c. Struggle against the ungodly system of this world. d. Others. PERFORMANCE: 1. Ask the following questions in order for the learners to examine their lives: a. When was the last time that you were confronted by the Word of God about a specific area in your life? (Reflect and share in class or in small groups). How did you respond? b. What specific Scripture verse/s did God use to speak to you recently? 2. Give time for each learner to be quiet before God, as they reflect and make a personal commitment to obey God‘s Word in their daily lives. 3. Let the learners form a circle and let them pray for each other. Close in prayer.
LESSON 2 THE FALSE TEACHINGS REJECTED Lesson Aim: That learners will stand against false teachings by the truth of God‘s Word. Scripture Texts: 2 Peter 2:1-10, 17-19; Jeremiah 23: 16-21 Memory Verse: ―Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.‖ 1 Cor. 16:13 IN ADVANCE: Pray for yourself and your learners to understand the lesson. Study the Scripture texts and the contents of this lesson. Bring pictures (or actual money) of two peso bills (P50, P100, P500, P1000)– a fake & genuine bill. Photocopy the ―The C&MA Statement of Faith, ‖ available at the end of this lesson. Give each learner a copy. ENTRANCE:
1. Show two similar peso bills, but one is a fake and the other is genuine. Give a prize to the first one who can distinguish which is which. 2. Ask: How would you know if a product is real or fake? [You may use the Central Bank advisory on how to detect false bills and coins] Possible answers: We can tell if a product is real or fake by any of the following methods: a. By looking closely at its texture and appearance. b. By tasting it (if it‘s edible). c. By knowing the real one. d. By comparing it to the real one. 3. Say: It is important that we can recognize whether a product is real or fake so that we will not be deceived. Similarly, we must be able to recognize the false teachers/teachings and its proponents so that we will not be deceived by them. Transition Sentence: Today, we will study how we will be able to discern and stand against the teachings of false prophets and teachers around us. SUBSTANCE: 1. Ask the learners to read 2 Peter 2:1-10; 17-19 2. Divide the learners into 3 groups to answer the specific questions assigned to each group. Ask them to designate a leader to facilitate the discussion and a secretary to record their findings. After five minutes, ask each group representative to share their findings to the whole class. I.
Warning Against False Teachers
Questions for Group 1: 1. What warning was given to the believers in v.1? Expected Answer: There were false prophets and false teachers present in their midst. 2. What did false teachers do to deceive the people? v. 1b, 17,18,19 Expected Answers: a. They secretly introduced destructive heresies like denying the sovereign Lord who can save them, v. 1b b. They introduced divisive teachings that result to moral and spiritual destruction of those who accept them, v. 1b c. They were compared to ―springs without water‖ v. 17. The thirsty traveler comes to the spring expecting cool, refreshing water but finds it dry. They were also compared to ―mist driven by a storm‖- gone before a drop of moisture falls. This means false teachers promise satisfying truth but in reality they have nothing to offer. d. They used words that sound impressive to the new converts but in reality have nothing to offer, v. 18. e. They promised freedom, v. 19 (Probably freedom from moral restraint (see 1 Corinthians 6:12-13; Galatians 5:13). Additional Note: False prophets and false teachers always operate in camouflage. Those who are not grounded in the truth of the Word of God will be easily deceived by them. 3. Were they successful in deceiving people to follow them? Why do you think so? v. 2 Expected Answer: Obviously YES because-a. Many followed their shameful ways- Matthew 24:5,11,24; Acts 20:19-20, like bringing the way of truth into disrepute (v. 2). [Disrepute means a situation when people no longer respect the truth.] b. Greed - They were motivated by the desire for money. They commercialized the Christian faith for their own selfish advantage (v. 3.) They exploited people with made-up stories. They distorted the truth to suit to their own thinking and desires. Note: The Christian faith is not only about correct doctrine but also correct living. II.
False Teachers & Their Followers will Surely be Condemned–2:4-8
Question for Group 2: What three examples are given to show that God will destroy the wicked but will rescue the godly? Expected Answers: a. The angels when they sinned, v. 4 (Probably referred to the fallen angels- Rev. 20:1, 2; Jude 6; 1 Timothy 3:6 b. The ungodly people in Noah‘s day, v. 5. God destroyed them by flood. Only Noah and his family were spared. (See Genesis chapters 6 &7) c. The ungodly cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, v. 8. God burned these cities but saved Lot, a righteous man. Additional Note: These Old Testament examples remind us that God‘s judgment is sure to come to the wicked- to the false teachers and prophets and their followers.
God’s Warning Against False Prophets- Jeremiah 23:16-21
Question for Group 3: What was God‘s warning to His people against false prophets and teachers? Jeremiah 23:16-21 Expected Answers: a. Do not listen to them - v. 16 b. Reject them for they are not God‘s messengers - v. 21 (See Galatians 1:8,9) 3. Distribute the photocopy of the ―The C&MA Statement of Faith‖ found at the end portion of this lesson. 4. Tell the class to read the following passages personally and if possible, to memorize or familiarize themselves with the verses. By doing this, they will be able to answer ―false teachers or prophets‖ when they come to persuade them. [You may go through it quickly with the learners]. GENERAL TRUTH: Standing firm in the Word of God will guard oneself against falling into false teachings. SIGNIFICANCE: Ask the following questions: 1. Do you think false teachers and prophets still exist today? Expected Answer:
Obviously, they exist in great abundance!
2. What are some clear examples of false teachers or false teachings in our generation? Possible answers: Let us reject the false & deceiving teachings and doctrines of the following: a. Jehovah‘s Witnesses b. Mormonism (Church of the Latter Day Saints) c. The Name Above Every Name (Quiboloy) d. Plain Truth by Armstrong e. Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) f. New Age g. Satanism h. Others 3. What should Christians do to protect themselves from false teachings? Possible Answers: a. By consistently studying the Word of God. b. By asking the Holy Spirit for discernment and right course of action. c. By memorizing Scripture verses to use against their teachings. 4. What should we do when somebody comes to us to share about their false beliefs? Possible answers: a. Reject them. b. Give them good Christian reading materials/ tracts. c. Make a stand against their false beliefs by using Scripture passages. d. Do not argue with them or entertain them.
e. Others PERFORMANCE: 1. Ask: Did you have a recent encounter with any groups of people who are teaching or propagating false unbiblical] teachings? How did you handle them? (Ask two or more to briefly share their experiences). 2. Ask: What specific things would you do this week to strengthen your faith and beliefs so you can stand against false teachers/ teachings? Possible answers: a. Study the hand out sheets on The C&MA Statement of Faith. b. Read and study Godâ€˜s Word daily, consistently. c. Have a consistent and regular devotional time with God. d. Others. 3. Ask them to pray a prayer of commitment to be faithful to God in reading and obeying His Word. 4. Ask someone to lead in the closing prayer.
THE C&MA STATEMENT OF FAITH [http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/doctrine] 1. There is one God, who is infinitely perfect, existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 5:48, Matthew 28:19) 2. Jesus Christ is the true God and the true man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He died upon the cross, the Just for the unjust, as a substitutionary sacrifice, and all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood. He arose from the dead according to the Scriptures. He is now at the right hand of Majesty on high as our great High Priest. He will come again to establish His kingdom, righteousness and peace. (Philippians 2:6-11, Luke 1:36-38, I Peter 3:18, Hebrews 2:9, Romans 5:9, Acts 2:23–24, Hebrews 8:1, Matthew 26:64) 3. The Holy Spirit is a divine person, sent to dwell, guide, teach, empower the believer, and convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. (John 14:15–18, John 16:13, Acts 1:9, John 16:7–11) 4. The Old and New Testaments, inerrant as originally given, were verbally inspired by God and are a complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men. They constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and practice. (2 Peter 1:20–21, 2 Timothy 3:15–16) 5. Man was originally created in the image and likeness of God: he fell through disobedience, incurring thereby both physical and spiritual death. All men are born with a sinful nature, are separated from the life of God, and can be saved only through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The portion (fate) of the unrepentant and unbelieving is existence forever in conscious torment; and that of the believer, in everlasting joy and bliss. (Genesis 1:27, Romans 3:23, 1 Corinthians15:20–23, Revelation 21:8, Revelation 21:1–4) 6. Salvation has been provided through Jesus Christ for all men; and those who repent and believe in Him are born again of the Holy Spirit, receive the gift of eternal life, and become the children of God. (Titus 3:4–7) 7. It is the will of God that each believer should be filled with the Holy Spirit and be sanctified wholly, being separated from sin and the world and fully dedicated to the will of God, thereby receiving power for holy living and effective service. This is both a crisis and a progressive experience wrought in the life of the believer subsequent to conversion. (1 Thessalonians 5:23, Acts 1:8, Romans 6:1–14) 8. Provision is made in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ for the healing of the mortal body. Prayer for the sick and anointing with oil are taught in the Scriptures and are privileges for the Church in this present age. (Matthew 8:16–17, James 5:13–16) 9. The Church consists of all those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, are redeemed through His blood, and are born again of the Holy Spirit. Christ is the Head of the Body, the Church, which has been commissioned by Him to go into all the world as a witness, preaching the gospel to all nations. The local church is a body of believers in Christ who are joined together for the worship of God, for edification through the Word of God, for prayer, fellowship, the proclamation of the gospel, and observance of the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. (Ephesians 1:22–23, Matthew 28:19–20, Acts 2:41–47) 10. There shall be a bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust; for the former, a resurrection unto life; for the latter, a resurrection unto judgment. (1 Corinthians 15:20–23, John 5:28–29) 11. The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent and will be personal, visible, and pre-millennial. This is the believer's blessed hope and is a vital truth which is an incentive to holy living and faithful service. (Hebrews 10:37, Luke 21:27, Titus 2:11–14)
LESSON 3 KEEPING THE FAITH Lesson Aim: That the learners will choose to make the Word of God as the strong basis of their faith. Scripture Text: Jude 3-4; 17-25 Memory Verse: ―Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.‖ (Psalm 119:1) IN ADVANCE: Always pray as you plan and prepare for the class. Pray for your learners that they will stand firm on the truth of God‘s Word, the basis of their faith. Memorize the assigned memory verse. SESSION TIME ENTRANCE: 1. Ask: In constructing a building, what is the first action for constructors to do? Expected Answer: The laying of the building foundation. 2. Ask: What happens if the foundation is not strong? Possible Answers: a. The building will collapse. b. The building cannot stand against earthquakes. c. The building will not last long. d. The occupants will be put in danger. e. Others 3. Say: As the strength of the building is determined by its foundation, so the strength of one‘s faith is also determined in one‘s foundation in the Word of God. Transition Sentence: We will study today how to keep our faith strong in the midst of false teachers/teachings that creep into the church. SUBSTANCE: 1. Ask the learners to read Jude 3-4; 17-25 2. Say: Our lesson is entitled ―Keeping the Faith.‖ Let‘s now look at the occasion and purpose why Jude wrote this letter. (A short lecture).
Brief Background on the Occasion and Purpose of the book: Verse 1 says, “To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.” Although Jude was very eager to write to his readers about salvation, he felt that he must instead warn them about certain immoral men circulating among them who were perverting the grace of God (v. 4). Apparently, these false teachers were trying to convince the believers that being saved by grace give them license to sin, since their sins would no longer be held against them. Jude saw the urgency for his readers to be on guard against such men. Thus, he prepared them to oppose the perverted teaching on the truth about God‘s saving grace. (Source: NIV Study Bible) As true believers of Jesus Christ, we are to be defenders of the faith–v. 3. Faith in this context refers to the body of truth held by the believers everywhere. It refers to the gospel and all its implications. This truth was under attack and had to be defended. In our lesson today, we will learn three important principles on how we can contend for the faith. I.
Know the False Teachers and Their Strategy
3. Ask: How did Jude describe the false teachers in verses 4,8-10,12-13,18-19? Expected Answers: a. Godless men change the grace of God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Savior and Lord. They assume that salvation by grace gives them the right to sin without restraint. b. They are under the judgment of God because of their sin, vs. 5-7. c. They are in camouflage ―…secretly slipped in among you,‖ v.4 d. They pollute their body, reject authority and slander celestial beings, v.8 e. They speak abusively against whatever they do not understand, v.10. f. They are shepherds who feed only themselves. They are ‗clouds without rain‘, ‗autumn trees without fruit and are uprooted‘, they are ‗wild waves of the sea‘, and ‗wandering stars‘, vs. 12-13. g. They are scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires, v.18. h. They are divisive people who are creating factions in the church. They do not have the Spirit of God, v. 19. A person who does not have the Spirit is not saved, Rom. 8:9. II.
Know How to Grow in Your Faith, vs. 20-23 In order to be not deceived by false teachers, a believer should be well founded in his/her faith.
4. Ask: What then are the believer‘s responsibilities in order to grow in the faith? vs. 20-23 (Let each learner read aloud the verse and to give the answer. Possible Answers: a. To build up self in the most holy faith. v. 20a. How? By studying the Word of God, meditate on it, listen to the teachings of the apostles (or pastors and teachers) etc. b. To pray in the Spirit, v. 20b...according to the Spirit‘s promptings and with the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom. 8:26-27. c. To keep self in God‘s love. v. 21. God keeps believers in His love and enables them to keep themselves in His love. d. To be merciful to those who doubt. v. 22. [Perhaps those who have come under the influence of
those who reject God. Don‘t condemn but help them to be strong and be firm in the faith]. e. To help those who are in the verge of destruction (those who are falling away from the faith). ―Snatch others from the fire and save them.‖ v. 23 III.
Know the Truth About our God- vs. 24 Jude concludes his letter by focusing attention in God who is fully able to keep those who put their trust in Him.
5. Ask: How should you trust in Him? v. 24 Expected Answers: a. Know and believe that God is able. v.24 To keep us from falling away from the faith. Only trust Him. Rom.8:35-39. To present us before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy. He made us righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:1, 2; 3:22; 5:9-11 b. Know and believe that Jesus is our only Savior. v. 25 He is the only way of salvation. John 14:6 He is the giver of eternal life. John 3:16 c. Know and believe that all glory, majesty, power and authority belong to Him now and forevermore. v. 25 Worship Him with great reverence. Live holy lives and serve Him. 6. Ask the learners to read and memorize Psalm 119:1. ―Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.‖ v.1 7. Ask: According to the verse, who are the ―blessed‖? (Those who walk in the law of the Lord, and live a life that is blameless). Thus, it is important that our faith is well-founded in the Word of God, to be able to walk according to the law of the Lord. GENERAL TRUTH: Keep your faith strongly grounded in the truth of God’s Word. SIGNIFICANCE: 1. Ask: What do some people today take as the basis of their faith and practice? Possible answers: a. Church traditions b. Teachings of some popular religious leaders c. Oral traditions d. ―Pamahiin‖ (folk beliefs) e. Horoscope & palm-reading, fung shui, etc. f. Others 2. Ask: As Christians, what should be the basis of our faith and practice? Expected answer:
The Word of God, the Bible!
3. Ask: What should believers in Christ do in order to stand against false teachers and their teachings? Expected Answers: a. Know the truth and the right Biblical teachings, John 8:32; 1 Timothy 4:15,16 b. Study and meditate daily on the Word of God - 2 Tim. 2:15; Psalm 1:2 c. Identify cults, false teachings and beliefs – Matt. 7:15-20 d. Pastors and church leaders should guard their members from false teachers (ferocious wolves). 1 Peter 5:2; Matthew 7:15 e. Do not entertain them if and when they come to your house to share their doctrinal beliefs. Galatians 1:6-8
PERFORMANCE: 1. Ask the following questions for personal reflection: a. Personally, what is the basis of your faith and practice? b. Do you fully trust in the Word of God as the foundation of your faith and practice? c. What specific actions will you do this week to stand against false teachers and their teachings? 2. Give time for the learners to respond individually and silently to the questions. Then, read aloud to your learners the following lines: The whole Bible contains… The mind of God. The state of man. The doom of sinners. The happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy. Its precepts are binding. Its histories are true. Its decisions are immutable. (Reference: The Speaker‘s Sourcebook) 3. Request someone to lead in the closing prayer.
Lesson 4 REFUSING TO COMPROMISE Lesson Aim: That the learners will take a firm stand on God‘s moral absolutes, in the midst of unfavorable situations. Scripture Text:
Daniel 1: 3-5; 8-16
Memory verse: “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he ask the chief officials for permission not to defile himself this way” Daniel 1:8 IN ADVANCE: Pray for the learners to understand what it meant to stand firm for Christ. Study the Scripture verses. Study the lesson plan and prepare all necessary resources for the class. Reflect on this brief background of our text: The Babylonians, under King Nebuchadnezzar, had attacked Jerusalem in 605 B.C. At that time, he captured young Jewish boys to be taken back to Babylon. Daniel was one of them. As a young boy who was raised up in a godly Jewish culture, Daniel determined not to compromise God‘s laws, no matter what the cost even if he was captured and brought to Babylon, a foreign nation. This lesson will explore young Daniel‘s firm stand on his beliefs and its endresults.
SESSION TIME ENTRANCE: 1. Ask: What is a compromise? (Take time to listen to your learners’ ideas and opinions) Expected Answer: The Dictionary defines compromise as: a. An agreement reached by both sides, which may involve giving up some personal points. b. The risk damaging the reputation of, through unwise action. 2. Say: I have a list of questions, answerable by ―yes‖ and ―no.‖ All questions are about Bible characters and how they responded to compromising situations around them. [Optional: Ask students to stand if they think the answer is YES, remain seated if the answer is NO]. a. Did Abram pass the test when God asked him to offer his only son Isaac? (Yes) b. Did David overcome the tempting situation with beautiful Bathsheba? (No) c. Was Paul successful in preaching the Good News to the Gentiles? (Yes) d. Did Jonah promptly obey the call of God to go to Nineveh? (No) e. Did Daniel eat the royal food served on the King‘s table? (No)
Transition Sentence: Today, we are going to study the life of Daniel and see how he responded to a compromising situation around him. SUBSTANCE: 1. Ask the learners to read silently the experience of Daniel in Daniel 1. 2. Divide the learners by two‘s and give each pair one question. (If the number of learners is less than 10, assign 2 questions to some pairs). 3. Write on the chalkboard the lesson outline in order for learners to follow the main points: Title: ―Refusing to Compromise‖ Outline: I. Royal Treatment Prescribed, Dan. 1:3-5 II. Godly Alternatives Proposed, 1:8-13 III. Steadfast Conviction Rewarded, 1:14-16 4. Ask the following questions and let the learners respond: I.
Royal Treatment Prescribed, Daniel 1:3-5
a. What was the primary purpose why Daniel and his friends had to be physically fit? v. 5b Expected Answer: As captives, these young Hebrew boys were to be re-educated if they were to be of any value to the king. They were ―indoctrinated‖ into the Babylonian culture in order to think or act like Babylonians. In a way, they still have to mature physically, socially, and intellectually in Babylonian culture so that they could enter the king‘s service. They were to be trained for 3 years, starting with the beginner‘s training - eating the royal food & wine of the king. Additional Note: Their names had been changed. They have to learn the new language. They were exposed to Babylonian education. The goal was clear—to change their way of thinking while they were still young. Still not satisfied, King Nebuchadnezzar had specified a special menu as his royal treatment to attract young Daniel to their way of life. II.
Godly Alternatives Proposed, Daniel 1:8-13
b. In verse 8, why do you think young Daniel ―resolved not to defile himself‖ by eating the royal food? Expected Answer: He did not compromise his Jewish culture by defiling himself because he knew that the food from the king‘s table was first offered to idols. The wine likewise was poured out, as practiced, on a pagan altar. Ceremonially, unclean animals were slaughtered or prepared according to the king‘s pagan way of preparation. Daniel was a keen student of the Jewish Scriptures and he was firm in saying, ―NO‖ to cultural pressures of a foreign country. c. Because of Daniel‘s firm stand on his Jewish beliefs in the face of cultural pressure, what did God do for him? v. 9
Expected Answer: God intervened to honor the faith of Daniel and had caused the official to show favor to Daniel. This means God honors those who honor Him. He never fails the person who put his trust in Him. d. In verse 10, the official seemed inclined to grant Daniel‘s request, but why was the pressure too strong to conform to the King‘s command? Expected Answer: The official was afraid that his head will be cut off should the King see that Daniel and his friends were worse than the other young men of their age. Also, the official was merely carrying out the order of the king so he did not have the authority to grant the request. e. What was Daniel‘s alternative solution to their problem about eating the King‘s food? v.11-16 Expected Answer: Daniel used good judgment by offering a better alternative instead of rebelling and complaining. He asked the guard to test them for 10 days for them to simply eat a menu of vegetable and water. Then after 10 days, they were compared with those who eat the royal food and wine, v. 11-14 III.
Steadfast Conviction Rewarded, Daniel 1:14-16
f. What was the end-result of Daniel‘s proposed alternative? vs. 15-16 Expected Answer: Daniel and his friends looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away the royal food and wine and gave them vegetables only. Because Daniel and his friends were willing to honor God in the details of their lives, God gave them positions of honor and usefulness in Babylon. GENERAL TRUTH: Believers whose faith is founded in God’s Word have the strength to firmly stand on God’s moral absolutes. SIGNIFICANCE: 1. Ask: What are some reasons why some Christians today are compromising their faith? Possible answers: a. They lack the power to resist. b. They may be reasoning out, ―Every body‘s doing it.‖ c. They are not living close to God. d. They are afraid to offend their friends. e. Others 2. Ask: What are some situations in life that Christians are tempted to compromise? Possible answers: a. Staying pure before marriage. b. Staying away from bad activities: parties with liquor and drugs, pot sessions; fraternities; etc. c. Manner of dress/ grooming that are not becoming as a child of God.
d. Language/ manner of talk that does not please God. e. Others. 3. Ask: How should Christians handle situations when tempted to compromise? Possible answers: a. Go back to Scripture verses and use it to strengthen your conviction. b. Resolve in mind to say ―no‖ to compromising situations. c. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you strength and wisdom. d. Speak out boldly what your conviction is regarding that specific situation/ issue. e. Stay away from the source/s of temptation or pressure. f. Others. PERFORMANCE: 1. Ask: From the list above, which areas do you feel the pressure to compromise is great? What specific plans do you have in mind to be able to stand firm from the pressures? 2. Say: If anyone of you here needs help and wants to be prayed for, you can signify it by raising your hands. (Let them know that you are willing to spend time with anyone who needs help during the week). 3. Let them pray for one another. 4. Share these closing words before dismissal: Daniel stood firmly on his convictions! Therefore, the challenge is— Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone! Dare to have a firm conviction, Dare to make it known! 5. Lead in the closing prayer.
LESSON 5: RELYING ON GOD’S WORD Lesson Aim: That the learners will fully depend on the Word of God to personally experience God‘s approval. Scripture Text: Psalm 119:1-24 Memory Verse: “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 IN ADVANCE: Pray for divine guidance. Study your lesson well and master its main points. Prepare all the needed materials before going to class. Memorize the assigned memory verse. ENTRANCE: 1. Say: I will give you some true-to-life instances but tell me if you Agree or Disagree with the statement and why? a. As a military paratrooper, I landed in my parachute safely on a grassy land, because my hand was holding a New Testament. (Disagree: God‘s Word /NT is not an amulet or ‗anting-anting’) b. A black cat crossed my way one moonlit night. I simply recited the Lord‘s Prayer, thus I was kept away from harm. (Disagree: Relying on God‘s Word is appropriating and practicing its promises in life that matters, not merely on what we believe as ‗bad luck‘, generally associated with black cat).. c. Unexpectedly at the mall, I heard a bomb exploded that made me run to safety. Then I thank God for His divine protection. (Agree: Thanking God for His protection is one way of relying or trusting in His promises.) d. Somebody shot at me on my way home; to my surprise, the bullet missed me and instead got imbedded inside my Bible. (Disagree: Holding a Bible on hand is not a protective shield. It is the words in the Bible that is powerful) e. A bottle of beer with fresh egg stirred into it makes my day healthy and physically fit. (Agree: Drinking wine is wrong when you are intoxicated with it and making it persistently habitual). 2. Summarize the main points of the above case scenario and emphasize trust in God alone. Transition Sentence: We rely heavily on what we know and had experienced in life but today we will learn what it takes to rely fully on God‘s Word. SUBSTANCE: Divide the learners into three groups. Each group will be given two questions to answer from the verses indicated. Each group should select one leader and a secretary who will write down the group‘s answers to the questions.
Questions for Group 1: 1. What terms / words were used by the Psalmist to describe God‘s Word in Psalm 119? Expected Answers: Verse 1: The law of the Lord Verse 2: Statutes Verse 3: His ways Verse 4: Precepts Vs. 5 & 8: Decrees Vs. 6&10: Commands Verse 7: Righteous laws Vs. 9&11: Word 2. What do verses 1-3 tell us of the person who rely [walk or keep] His laws or statutes and what does that mean? Expected Answer: He is blessed! This means—he is favored by God‘s goodwill or approval because, like the Psalmist, he has passionate devotion and full reliance on God‘s Word. Questions for Group 2: 3. From verses 10-16—list at least 5 attitudes of the Psalmist that showed his full reliance on the Word of God. Expected Answers: a. He sought God with all his heart, v. 10 b. He treasured His word in his heart, v. 11 c. He rejoiced in following God‘s statutes, v. 14 d. He meditated on His precepts, v. 15 e. He delighted on His decrees, v. 16 4. The Psalmist also relied fully on God‘s Word but how did he do it? Read verses 17-24 Expected Answers: a. He obeyed God‘s Word, v. 17 b. He opened his eyes to see wonderful things in the law, v. 18 c. He longed for His laws at all times, v. 20 d. He kept His statutes, v. 22 e. He meditated on His decrees, v. 23 f. He delighted on His statues, v. 24 Questions for Group 3: 5. Why do you think did the Psalmist refer to God‘s word as—―they are my counselors‖? v. 24
Expected Answer: The Psalmist might have taken godly instructions and corrections from God‘s word in his times of need. As such, he cannot help but keep trusting/relying and withdrawing strength, wisdom, and guidance from God‘s Word. Additional Note: Some commentaries say that Psalm 119 is a passionate devotion to the Word of God (and the God of the Word) which is the dominant theme. It highlights two aspects: (1) God‘s directives for life, and (2) God‘s promises. It is no wonder why the Psalmist himself had relied heavily on God‘s Word for guidance and directions in life. 6. From our memory verse in Psalm 119:11, what is the benefit of keeping His word in one‘s heart? Expected Answer: God‘s Word kept in one‘s heart will drive sin away from one‘s life. This becomes particularly intense when one spend special time and devotion set aside just for the God of the Word. 7. Question for Everyone:
Based on our study today, what is the outstanding biblical truth or lesson you have discovered?
GENERAL TRUTH: Relying in full dependence on His words make a believer favored or approved by God. SIGNIFICANCE: 1. Ask: In today‘s modern life & technology, what are possible instances that could hinder or replace full reliance on God‘s Word? Possible answers: a. Having great love of money. b. Owning a cell phone or laptop for easy communication c. Fame, honor, prestige, and wealth d. Good educational/ professional background e. Achievements/ success f. Ambition in life g. Others Note: These are not bad by themselves, but selfish pursuit or excessive devotion to it might be a deterrence to our Christian life, instead of being a benefit. 2. Ask: What steps do we need to take to strengthen our full reliance on God‘s Word? Possible answer: Just like the life experience of the Psalmist, we too have to appropriate His Words in our daily life. Here is how to do it - We can use the visual finger method by raising your right hand and counting off on your fingers the following ways:
a) b) c) d) e)
Hearing (little finger) Reading (ring finger) Studying (middle finger) Memorizing (pointing finger) Meditating (thumb finger)
PERFORMANCE: 1. Say: Psychologists tell us that most of what we retain from hearing the Word will only be inspirational, in which, after a week, we remember only just about 5% of what we heard. 2. Hold your Bible and raise it on your left hand and say: ―It would be difficult for God‘s Word to be taken away from me if I have memorized it and meditated on many of its promises, which had been essentially retained in my head and heart. Then, I will have a 75% retention of His Word when I memorize & meditate upon it daily.‖ 3. Call for reflection: Let us examine our lives. How many percent of God‘s promises had been retained in your mind and heart? What is your plan of action this week in order to increase the percentage retention of His words in your life? Which area do you feel you need the most help? 3. Pair the learners for sharing and prayer. Let them know that you are available if anyone needs counsel. 4. Let the learners form a circle and ask if someone would want to be prayed for. Let him/her get inside the circle for others to pray for him/her.
LESSON 6 DEEPENING YOUR ROOTS Lesson Aim: That the learners will continue to deepen their roots in the Word of God. Scripture Text:
Memory Verse: “So then, just as you received Jesus Christ as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7 IN ADVANCE: Pray for your learners. Study the text / lesson well. Prepare a living, potted plant and an artificial potted plant for the Entrance Portion of the lesson. Memorize this week‘s memory verse.
SESSION TIME ENTRANCE: 1. Show the living, potted plant and an artificial potted plant to the class and let them compare. Live plant Alive Real Growing It has roots Etc.
Artificial plant dead/ no life artificial not growing no roots
2. Ask: What is one important part of the plant that helps it to grow strong and healthy? Why? Expected Answer: The roots! The food nutrients from the ground get into the plant through the roots. Without roots, the plant will die. 3. Say: As the plant needs to deepen the roots into the ground for nourishment and growth, so we also have to deepen our roots in the Word of God for spiritual nourishment and growth. Transition Sentence:
The necessity of deepening our roots in the Word of God is the focus of our study today.
SUBSTANCE: 1. Ask the learners to read Psalm 1.
2. Say: We will learn the difference in the life of a godly man and an ungodly man, as presented in Psalm 1:1-6. We will also learn why it is necessary to deepen our roots in God‘s Word. 3. Divide the class into two groups and let them answer the questions below. After five - seven minutes, let a representative of each group share their findings/answers: Question for Group 1: Describe the way of life of the righteous or the godly man, vs. 1-3, 6. Expected Answers: a. He does not associate and participate in the ways of the wicked. He does not listen to the advice of the wicked. He does not identify with those who do wickedness as a way of life, or those who do evil habitually. He does not spend time with those who ridicule God and defiantly rejects His law. b. He delights in the Law of the Lord and he meditates on it day and night. He turns to the Word of God for guidance, rather than in the counsel of the wicked. c. He is likened to a tree planted by the streams of water.(Cf. Jeremiah 17:7-9) Note: Jeremiah said, ”Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” Sends out its roots by the stream in which the roots go out where the water is. Water is the source life of a plant, just as the Word of God is the Christians‘ food to sustain spiritual life. Does not fear when dry season comes because he has enough supply of water. The leaves are always green because it has good supply of nutrients. Does not worry when drought season comes for it still continue to bear fruit. Additional Note: You may use this material to explain further this portion: Understanding the Function of the Root System (Source: Rooted in God‘s Word by Jeanne Kun) a. The root system serves to guarantee the existence of the whole tree. Without roots, a tree simply would not even survive. One of the roots' functions is to anchor the tree in the soil, providing stability and a firm base for the entire structure of the trunk, branches, leaves, and fruit. The root system of a tree is primarily hidden underground, it is often as extensive and broad as the crown of the tree, and its longest roots may reach as deep in the earth as the tree is tall. b. Another purpose of the roots is to take up water and minerals from the soil, synthesizing food and growth regulators that are transmitted through the woody portions of the roots to the trunk. c. In order to take up water and minerals, the roots penetrate into the soil, seeking the best conditions. In temperate climates, roots are found closer to the surface of the ground, but in drier, arid areas, roots penetrate to a much deeper level, seeking moisture. Some desert shrubs have roots that extend downwards in the earth as deeply as 230 feet! d. A final task of the root system is to store food for later use in the growth of the tree's trunk, branches, and foliage.
This is the importance of the root system of a tree. A tree withstands the blows of strong winds when it is deeply rooted and its leaves do not wither, for there is abundant supply of water. Hence, it yields its fruit in season. The benefit is—it blesses man, animals and birds with its unfailing fruit and shade. This is a good comparison of the blessedness of the righteous man, whose life is rooted in the Word of God and thus become a blessing to many. This is why the Lord watches over the way of the righteous; His eyes are always focused on them. He is the deliverer of the righteous. Question for Group 2: Describe the life of the ungodly man, vs. 4-6 Expected Answers: The ungodly man‘s life is the exact opposite of that of the godly man. a. He is like chaff that the wind blows away. This is a simile of the wretchedness of the wicked. b. He will not stand in the judgment, that is, he will not be able to withstand God‘s wrath when He judges, Revelation 6:17 c. He will not stand in the worshipping assembly at God‘s sanctuary. d. His way will perish. Additional Help: A chart to compare the life of a godly and the ungodly man. (Source: TEV Bible)
The Godly Man He rejects the advice of evil men. He does not follow the example of the sinners. He does not join those who have no use for God. His delight is in the law of the Lord (Word of God or Bible). He studies the Word day and night. He is compared to a tree that grows beside a stream. He bears fruit at the right time. His leaves do not dry up.
The Ungodly Man He does not acknowledge the Lord. He loves to commit sin. He loves to mock others. He does not delight on God‘s Word, but in the world. He is like straw that the wind blows away. He will be condemned by God. He is kept apart from God‘s own people. He is on his way to his doom.
5. Say: What have you learned from this passage about deepening our roots?
GENERAL TRUTH: Deepening our roots in the Word of God ensures spiritual strength and stability.
SIGNIFICANCE: 1. Ask: What do you think are some surrounding factors that may hinder a believer from deepening his/her roots in the Word of God? Possible answers: a. Bad company (barkada). We can befriend with them but we have to limit constant association with them. There is a saying> Playing with fire gives you a big chance to get burned. b. Advance Technology- e.g. Television, internet, etc.- These are good tools but these will keep you away from God‘s Word if you fail to exercise personal discipline.
c. World system of beliefs â€“ e.g. post-modern philosophy, New Age, etc. d. Others 2. Ask: How can we deepen our roots in the Word of God? Possible answers: a. Be consistent in studying His Word daily through personal devotion. b. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn Godâ€˜s Word through Bible study, Sunday school, fellowship meetings, worship, etc. c. Read good Christian books that will help you grow in the knowledge of God and His Word. d. Listen to Christian radio programs/ watch Christian TV programs. e. Others PERFORMANCE: 1. Ask: What is keeping you from deepening your roots in the Word of God? What specific action do you plan to do this week to deepen your roots in the Word of God? (Give time for the learns to reflect) 2. Encourage the learners to make a personal commitment to God to start the day and end the day with Bible study and prayer. 4, Lead in the closing prayer.
LESSON 7 HOLDING ON TO SOUND TEACHING Lesson Aim: That the learners will firmly hold on to sound Biblical teachings against the false teachings that may creep inside the Church. Scripture Text:
Revelation 2: 18-29 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for He who promised is faithful”. Hebrews 10:23
IN ADVANCE: Pray for understanding of God‘s Word for you and your learners. Study the text / contents of this lesson. Memorize the given memory verse. Familiarize yourself with the background of the passage: Rev. 2:18-20 is part of the letters to the seven churches (2:1-3:22). This passage is addressed to the church in Thyatira. The City of Thyatira, though not a great city, was an important city because of commerce in wool, linen and apparel, dyed stuffs, leatherwork, tanning and excellent bronze work. Aside from commerce, it was also known for an extensive trade guild or labor union network which played a prominent role in the social, political, economic and religious life of the city. Each guild has its own patron deity, feasts and seasonal festivities that included sexual revelries. Worship of Apollo and Artimes (Diana) was prominent. Acts 16:14 mentions that Lydia, a proselyte of the gate, came from a Jewish settlement at Thyatira. It has been suggested that some of Paul‘s converts at Ephesus went out to evangelize Thyatira. (Source: The Expository Bible Commentary by Frank Gabelein, p. 443) Familiarize yourself also with the background of Jezebel Jezebel was a pagan (a person who doesn‘t believe and worship the true God.) She was the wife of King Ahab. She was a great influence to the King. She helped him become powerful in his time. However, she brought her religion to him and to the whole kingdom. Her belief was being adapted by the people of Israel. They worshipped Baal (Jezebel‘s god) instead of the God of Israel. Jezebel was charged with sorcery in the Old Testament. (Sorcery - witchcraft practices). Her name is being used as a symbol of a wife given over to unholy practices. CLASS SESSION ENTRANCE 1. Ask: What do you think will happen when one string of a guitar is not in tune with the rest of the strings? Expected Answer: It will create musical disharmony.
2. Ask: What will you do to make them sound in harmony? Expected Answer: To produce the right tune, the guitarist has to adjust, loosen or tighten the strings to produce a right tune. 3. Say: When one of the guitar strings is off, its music would be out of tune. Likewise in the Church, when some teachings become erroneous or theologically ―twisted‖, the Church life would be affected. Transition Sentence: Today, we will study how to deal with some the ―out of tune teachings‖ that may adversely interfere the life of the church. SUBSTANCE 1. Ask the learners to read Revelation 2:18-29. 2. Say: In the book of Revelation, the term ―Jezebel‖ is not the same person referred to in the Old Testament. It is symbolic that carries the meaning of its name as mentioned in the Old Testament. Teaching Method: Question and Answer with Discussion/Interaction 3. Ask the class the following questions for discussion. Ask them these questions one at a time: 1. What are some commendations or praises given by Christ to the Church in Thyatira? v. 19 Expected Answers: a. They are known for their love and faith. b. They are faithful in serving the Lord. c. They persevere in trials. d. They are growing spiritually. 2. What are some words of condemnation or judgment given by Christ to the Church? vs. 21,22 Expected Answers: a. a. The Church tolerated a woman who calls herself a prophetess who mislead God‘s people by her false teaching, namely: to indulge into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (Note: The name Jezebel (King Ahab’s wife in the OT) here refers to a prominent woman in the congregation who undermined loyalty to God by promoting tolerance toward pagan practices). As a result, many of them were carried back to old pagan ways. They were deceived and followed her teaching. b. Christ condemned that woman not only in her perversion and deception but also for her refusal to repent (v.21). She was given time by God to repent but she did not change her ways and thinking. 3. What was Christ‘s verdict or punishment for the unrepentant ―Jezebel‖ and her followers? vv. 22-23 Expected Answers: a. She will be cast into a bed of suffering- v. 22
Note: Disease was often considered as appropriate punishment for sins (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:29-30). On a bed she sinned, on a bed she will suffer. b. Those who commit adultery with her will suffer intensely unless they repent. v. 22 Note: The Lord is walking among His Churches. He judges evil, but He also offers deliverance to those who have fallen, if they repent and stop doing “Jezebel’s” deeds. c. Verse 23 says; ―I will strike her children dead‖. ―Her children‖ could refer to her actual children born of sexual sins or may refer to her followers. We don‘t know certainly but Christ announced it for other Churches to know that He is the one who searches hearts and minds and will judge each one according to his/her deeds- v. 23. 4. What was Christ command and promise to the faithful ones in Thyatira? vv. 24-25 Expected Answers: a. They have to hold on to what they have, until Christ returns. v. 25. Note: “…what you have…” may refer to sound judgment, their insight into Jezebel’s teaching and evil deeds, and their ability to discriminate between authentic and spurious worship. b. The promise given to the overcomers and those who do the will of the Lord to the end. “The proof of authentic trust in Jesus is steadfastness of belief and continuance in the will of God till Christ returns or death comes.” Promised authority over the nations- v. 26. The coming reign of the Messiah over the world is to be shared with His disciples (see Revelation 1:6; 3:21; 20:6). Promised ―morning star‖- v. 27. Some link this expression to Christ Himself as in 22:16. Believers would then receive Christ as their very life. Or it may refer to the resurrection in the sense that the morning star rises over the darkness of this world‘s persecution and offers victory over it. Perhaps the combination of these two thoughts may be intended.‖ (Source: Expository Bible Commentary, vol. 12 p. 446)
GENERAL TRUTH: The Word of God is the true and final standard of faith and practice of the Church. SIGNIFICANCE: 1. Say: If the Word of God is the standard of faith and practice of the church, what must the believers do in response? Expected Answers: a. Adhere to the Bible as the final authority of faith and practice. b. Emphasize living a holy life. c. Consistently study the Word of God and apply it in daily living. d. Ask for the Holy Spirit‘s discernment and guidance. 2. Ask: What practices or teachings are destroying the churches today? Possible answers:
a. Materialistic lifestyle b. Liberal ideas/ideals c. Immorality / promiscuity d. Complacency e. Double standard beliefs & daily practice f. Others PERFORMANCE: 1. Divide the learners by twoâ€˜s to pray for each one another, that they may be able to stand on the truth of the Word of God all the time. 2. Close in prayer.
Unit III: Defending God’s Word (1 & 2 Timothy) Lesson 8 THE CHARGE TO GUARD GOD’S WORD Lesson Aim: That the learners will carefully guard themselves against the widespread false teachings that might infiltrate in the Church. Scripture Texts: 1 Timothy 6:20-21; 2 Timothy 2:14-19 Memory Verse: “Guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge”. 1 Timothy 6: 20 IN ADVANCE: Pray as you study the lesson. Contact one of your learners to do the role play at the Entrance Portion. Memorize this week‘s memory verse. Photocopy the Apostles‘ Creed, found at the end of this lesson, for the Performance Portion. SESSION TIME ENTRANCE: 1. Ask the person assigned to do the role play to enter the class and recite the given piece: The Script of the Role Play: “I have something important to tell you this morning. I have decided to stop attending this church. I will become a member of the true Church of Jesus Christ. I learned now that Jesus is not really God, He is just a mere man of God. Sorry to tell you this but I have to leave now”. (The person exits). 2. Ask the class: What can you say about what the person had just said? Any reactions? Possible Answers: a. I am shocked! b. I am confused! c. Is this true? I can‘t believe it. d. Others Transition Sentence: Our lesson today stresses the need to be on the guard against false teachings that may corrupt the sound Biblical teachings in the Church. SUBSTANCE: 1. Request the learners to read silently 1Timothy 6:20-21; 2 Timothy 2:14-19. 2. Say: Our lesson today is entitled: “The Charge to Guard God’s Word”.
First of all, let‘s define the big word—GNOSTICISM. (Write the word on the chalkboard). The Greek word, ―gnosis‖ means knowledge. The big word—Gnosticism—comes from this word. Its central teaching was that the spirit is entirely good and matter is entirely evil. 3. Say: (Short Lecture) Gnosticism is one of the most dangerous heresies or false teachings that came up during the first two centuries in the Early Church. Let us now discover the five errors which came out of this unbiblical teaching on dualism: We need to know them all so that we will be on guard all the time when we encounter such teachings. a. Man‘s body is matter, therefore it is evil. It is to be contrasted with God who is wholly Spirit and therefore good. b. Salvation is the escape from the body, achieved not by faith in Christ, but by special knowledge. c. Christ‘s true humanity was denied in two ways: Christ only seemed to have a body, a view called ―Docetism‖ from the Greek the word ―dokeo‖ which means ―to seem,‖ and The Divine Christ joined the man Jesus at baptism and left Him before He died, a view called ―Cerinthianism‖ after its most prominent spokesman, Cerinthus. This view was mentioned a lot at the background of 1 John (see 1:1;2:22; 4:2-3) d. Since the body was considered evil, it was to be treated harshly. This form of Gnosticism is the background of part of the letter to the Colossians (2:21-23). e. This dual belief also led to lack of legal and moral restraints. The reasoning was that since matter and not the breaking of God‘s law (1John 3:4) was considered evil, breaking His law has no moral consequence. Note: Gnosticism as addressed in the NT was an early form of heresy, but not the intricately developed system of the second and the third centuries. Gnosticism is also reflected in 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, 2 Peter and 1 Corinthians. (Source: NIV Study Bible, Introduction to 1 John) 4. Ask: How do we guard the Word of God and the church‘s sound Biblical teachings from being corrupted by false teachings? [Wait for answers from your learners. Appreciate their answers.] 5. Say: Let‘s answer the following questions by looking at Paul‘s advice to young Timothy, based on the Scripture text in 1Tim. 6: 20-21; 2 Tim. 2:14-19. (Assign each learner to answer each question). Question 1: In 2 Timothy 2: 14, Paul wants Timothy to keep reminding God‘s people of ―these things‖. What was Paul referring to by ―these things‖? Expected Answer: Those two words referred to Paul‘s teaching and preaching which Timothy had heard repeatedly in all of Paul‘s three missionary journeys. This means that constant reminders of God‘s Word will keep the Christians away from being deceived by erroneous teachings. Question 2: What other things was Timothy reminded to warn God‘s people of? 2 Timothy 2:14 Expected Answer: On ―quarreling about words.‖ This means to refrain from engaging in pointless debates or petty arguments. This might result to one person winning the argument but losing the potential contact. It must be noted that one should be gentle but firm when sharing the truth or in confronting the false teachers; with the goal of correcting those who err in their faith. Question 3: In verse 15, what were Paul‘s exhortations to young Timothy?
Expected Answers: To present himself to God as one approved. To be a workman who does not need to be ashamed. To correctly handle the word of truth. Question 4: In 2 Timothy 2: 16-18 how did Paul describe the false teachers? Expected Answers: They love godless chatter and foolish discussions that drive people farther away from God. Their teachings spread like gangrene or open sore that eats away the flesh. They wandered away from the truth and say that resurrection has already taken place. They destroy the faith of some (those who are weak in their faith in Christ were the easy targets). Question 5: In verse 19 Paul told Timothy that ―God‘s solid foundation stands firm.‖ What does Paul mean and what does it refer to? Expected Answer: Paul told young Timothy that despite of the heresy of Hymanaeus and Philetus, he should be encouraged to know that the Church is founded in God‘s solid foundation. There are two engraved truths on this: One stresses the security of the Church – the Lord knows who are His. The other emphasizes human responsibilities- everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness. The Church is owned and securely protected by God. Question for everyone: What do you think is the important truth we can learn today? GENERAL TRUTH: We must guard watchfully the Word of God against widespread false teachings that may destroy the Church’s firm foundation of faith and practice. SIGNIFICANCE: 1. Ask: Why do you think some believers are easily swayed away by false teachings? Possible answers: a. They are not solidly grounded in the Word of God. b. They are not strong in their faith (spiritually immature). c. They love money more than anything d. Others. 2. Ask: What are some important Biblical teachings that are under attack by false teachings these days? Possible answers: a. The Divinity of Christ b. The triune God c. The teachings about the Holy Spirit d. The teachings about salvation e. Others
3. Ask: How should we guard the truth of the Word which God has entrusted to us? Possible answers: a. Keep on teaching God‘s people about the Word of God. b. Study the Word of God carefully. If we know the truth it will be easy to know what is false. c. Depend on the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us into all truth. d. Living a transformed life is a strong testimony of those who are in the truth. e. Be on guard- when you discern false teachings or doctrines creeping in the Church, deal with it and prevent it from spreading. PERFORMANCE: 1. Distribute the photocopy of the Apostles‘ Creed to the learners to read aloud together. 2. Ask them if they believe the statements written in the Creed. 3. Let them pray for commitment to be true to the Biblical teachings and ask God for wisdom. 4. Ask someone to lead in the closing prayer.
The Apostles’ Creed: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
LESSON 9: THE CHARGE TO SUFFER FOR THE WORD Lesson Aim: That the learners will commit to suffer persecution willingly for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Scripture Text: 1 Peter 4:12-16; 2 Timothy 1:8-12; 3:10-13 Memory Verse: “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” (2 Tim. 1: 12) IN ADVANCE: Pray for yourself and your learners. Study the lesson well. Memorize the given memory verse. Download one video clip about the persecuted church from the internet, to be shown in the Significance Portion. (For those ones who have easy access to internet). Testimony of a persecuted Christian (for those who do not have access to internet, find someone who had experienced persecution due to his/her faith in Christ). Print out the pictures of Jesus‘ crucifixion (found at the end of this lesson) to be used at the Entrance Portion. Photocopy ―What tradition says about the apostles‘ manner of death‖ to be used at the Significance Portion. CLASS SESSION ENTRANCE: 1. Ask: ―What comes to your mind when you think of Holy Week? (Allow learners to share their thoughts) 2. Show the pictures of Jesus being crucified (see the end portion of this lesson). What can you say about these pictures? Possible answers: a. Jesus‘ sufferings were terrible. b. How people hated Jesus! c. Jesus suffered intense, unbearable pain. d. It was for my sins that Jesus suffered and died. e. Jesus‘ followers may suffer too. Transition Sentence: We will learn today why Christians should be willing and ready to suffer persecution for the sake of Christ and the gospel. SUBSTANCE: 1. Say: Please open your Bibles to 2 Timothy 1:8-12, 3:10-13. Let me ask you two questions on the topicI. Suffering for being a Christian- 1 Peter 4:2-17
In verse 12, Peter told the Christian readers not to be surprised at the painful trials they are suffering but to rejoice instead. 2. Ask: Why should believers rejoice when they suffer for being a follower of Christ? Possible Answers: a. Because we share in the suffering of Christ b. We rejoice when His glory is revealed. (We will receive the prospect of Christ’s full manifestation in all His glory for the believers.) 3. Ask: Why are believers called ―blessed‖ if they are insulted because of the name of Christ? v. 14 Expected Answers: a. The Spirit of glory and of God rest on them- v. 14 b. They bear the name of Christ- v. 16 c. They are counted as one of Christ‘s disciples II.
Suffering for the Gospel- 2 Timothy 1:8-12 Paul encouraged Timothy not to be ashamed of two important matters: To testify about the Lord, v. 8a To take Paul as the Lord‘s prisoner, v. 8
4. Ask: On what basis did Paul suffered for the gospel? v. 8c, 9, 11 Expected Answer: He suffered imprisonment because he proclaimed the gospel of Christ, which he believed to be: a. God‘s power for salvation. b. God‘s calling for him to live a holy life. c. It is God‘s own purpose, not man‘s effort. d. It is through the gospel that one receives eternal life, v. 10 e. It is through the gospel that he was appointed a herald, an apostle, and a teacher, v.11 5. Ask: What was Paul‘s personal declaration about his suffering as stated in 2 Tim. 1:12 [our memory verse this week]? Expected Answer: He was not ashamed of his suffering for he knows whom he believed, and he is convinced that He is able to guard what He had entrusted to him for that day (judgment day). III.
Suffering Persecution for Living a Godly Life- 2 Timothy 3:10-13 Paul reminded Timothy that persecution, in some sense, is the lot of all believers who does not compromise (co-reference: John 16:33). Those who live godly life in union with Christ will be persecuted and be the object of the world‘s displeasure.
6. Ask: Why do you think those who live godly lives suffer persecution? v. 12 Expected Answer: This is a reality because evil people are always in opposition with Jesus Christ, His word, His work and His people. They persecute Christ and so those who follow Christ will also be persecuted as well (see John 15:18-21)
GENERAL TRUTH: Those who live for Christ should be willing to suffer persecution for the sake of the gospel. SIGNIFICANCE: 1. Choose of the two options below, depending on your available resources: a. Show the video clip you prepared about the persecuted church. *Note: if you have access to computer, download free “Youtube” downloader and go to: http://youtu.be/QYyNrgkKf6o > a 4-minute video clip about the persecuted church. b. Ask someone who experienced being persecuted because of his/her faith to share his/her testimony to the class. 2. Ask: What forms of persecutions have they experienced? [After the video presentation /testimony] Possible answers: a. Insults b. Physical torture c. Verbal abuse d. Rejection e. Threats of death, death 3. Distribute the photocopy of ‗How the Disciples of Christ Died‘. Go through it briefly. Then ask them after browsing through the material: 4. Ask: What are your reactions or comments upon knowing how the early disciples died? [Encourage learners to express their views and feelings.] PERFORMANCE: 1. Ask: How should you face persecution? Are you willing to suffer for Christ? Give time for the learners to reflect. 2. Ask your learners to share their commitment to the person sitting next to them and let them pray for one another. 3. Spend time praying for those ones who are persecuted. 4. Sing ―Find us faithful‖ 5. Lead in the closing prayer
How Tradition Says the Apostles Died As someone has correctly pointed out, hypocrites and martyrs are not made of the same stuff. Men may willingly die for what they believe to be true - even if at times what they believe is actually false. But no one will die willingly for something they know to be a lie!! Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus, committed suicide. Only John, of the other 13 Apostles, did not die by homicide, but a martyr. Apostle Peter (Simon Peter), Bible writer Andrew, son of a John & brother of Peter (Matthew 4:18) James, son of Zebedee & Salome and elder brother of John (not brother of Jesus) the Bible writer John, son of Zebedee and brother of James; Bible writer (John & Revelation) Philip of Bethsaida Bartholomew (Nathaniel) Thomas (Didymus)
Rome, Italy (Nero)
Edessa, Greece Jerusalem, Israel (Herod) Ephesus, Turkey or Turkish Isle of Patmos
thrown in boiling oil but unharmed; died of Natural causes
Homicide: beaten/flayed, and crucified head down Homicide: lanced by idolatrous priests & burned up in an oven
James (son of Alphaeus); Bible writer (? half brother of Jesus?)
Homicide: severely scourged & tied by ropes on x-shaped cross where he hung 2 days to expire
India or Armenia
Homicide: crucified head down, at his own request
44 AD Homicide: beheaded with sword; Mark (the 1st 10:39 & Acts 12:1-2 martyr)
Matthew (Levi), of Capernaum the Bible writer
Jude (Thaddaeus...Judas Lebbaeus)
Manner of Death
Homicide: axed to death with a halberd
Homicide: thrown down from the Temple tower & not dead so clubbed to death with a fullers club at age 94
Simon the Zealot (the Canaanite)
Suicide: by hanging Matt. 27:5
Matthias (the 11 remaining Apostles chose him to replace Judas)
Homicide: stoned and beheaded
Paul (chosen by Jesus on the road to Rome, Italy 66 AD Homicide: beheaded Damascus) Check out the Highest TRUTH (posted/adapted 16 Sept. 1999; latest update 1 February 2003)
Lesson 10: THE CHARGE TO CONTINUE IN THE WORD Lesson Aim: That the learners will continue to remain faithful in defending the Word amidst terrible conditions in the last days. Scripture Verses: 2 Timothy 3:1-17 Memory Verse: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it.‖ 2 Tim. 3:14 IN ADVANCE: Study the background of the Scripture text [2 Timothy 3] Pray and study the lesson well in advance. Prepare to draw four long lighted candles and a half-lighted candle on the board, for the Entrance Portion. [Or you can draw them on paper in advance, to be posted on the board later]. ENTRANCE:
1. Tell this short story. Despite the ridicule and mocking crowd who passed by D.L. Moody, a famous evangelist, who was preaching by the side street of New York, he went on preaching the word. One person asked with a sarcastic tone on his voice, ―And so, Mr. Moody, were there hundreds saved in your boring evangelistic meeting last night?‖ ―Four and a half‖ was his reply. ―Oh, I see!‖ replied the person who asked. The person further said, ―I expect you to mean four adults and one child.‖ ―No,‖ replied the evangelist. ―It is four children and one adult!‖ (Draw on the board 4 long lighted candles to represent children and the half-lighted candle to represent an adult). D.L. Moody undisturbed by the person‘s sarcasm said, ―Let me explain, you see…the adult only has half of his life left on earth to give to the Lord; while the four children have their own long lives before them.‖ So, D.L. Moody continued to explain—―that an adult is like a lighted candle that is half-burnt! While children have their whole lives left to shine and share Jesus to others.‖ 2. Say: What an great lesson to learn from D.L. Moody! He had an enduring spirit and passion to continue on his ministry despite ridicules he received due to the preaching of the Word. Transition Sentence: We will be studying Paul‘s words of encouragement for young Timothy as the latter faced adverse circumstances. SUBSTANCE: 1. Ask a learner to read aloud the Scripture text in 2 Timothy 3:1-17 2. Say: Verse 14 of 2 Timothy 3 provides the theme of our text today. The instruction of Paul to young Timothy was to remain in the doctrine which has been faithfully taught to him. Paul indicated that
apostasy must be guarded against by all means, for it would be difficult to endure it then, especially before the return of Jesus Christ. Let me define some important words that we will use:
Apostasy – is a falling away from the faith‖ (Bible Dictionary) Last days – the time beginning with Christ‘s first coming onward. Withstand – to stand up against; oppose with firm determination; resist; fight off.
3. Assign the following questions to groups or to individual learners: a. Question 1: In verses 1-5, what was Paul‘s specific instruction to Timothy about what to withstand or resist in the last days? Expected Answer: There were 18 specific descriptive words from verses 2-5 that Timothy must have nothing to do with. (Request the learner to mention aloud one by one the words describing the conduct of people in the last days. You may write them on the board as they are mentioned). Note: Today we call this age, as described in this list in 2 Tim. 3:2-5, as the Age of Humanism. The Bible pictures this as the selfishness of man. Isaiah 5:20 pronounces a woe upon those who call evil good. b. Question 2: Who were the two false teachers of godless ideology who were continually learning but do not acknowledge the truth? v. 7-8 Expected Answer: They were Jannes and Jambres, who according to Jewish tradition, were Egyptian counselors of evil that opposed Moses and the truth! c. Question 3: In verse 9, what is the ultimate defeat of these godless or false teachers? Expected Answer: They will get from bad to worse in their evil deeds but eventually everyone will see the end of their foolish and stupid false teaching. But one assuring truth will prevail—God will see to it that His faithful few are preserved against apostasy or falling away. d. Question 4: What was an encouraging charge of Paul in order to challenge Timothy to withstand against apostasy? v. 10-11 Expected Answer: Paul presented to Timothy his life example in teaching and in his experience supported by his exemplary conduct. Note: Since conversion, Paul’s purpose in life never altered as he carried out the commission Christ gave him. His firm personal faith in God enabled him to withstand against those who opposed Christ and him. e. Question 5: In verses 14-15, what was Paul‘s other encouraging charge to Timothy, for him resist or fight off against apostasy? Expected Answer: Paul reminded and charged young Timothy about his very sound childhood or early family background/ training in the Word.
f. Question 6: Why did Paul emphasized the Scriptures, not his own personal example, in his charge to Timothy against apostasy? v. 15-16 Expected Answers: Because the Word is able to make one wise for salvation through faith in Christ. It is God-breathed. It is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. 4. Say: What is the key concept or main point brought forth by our lesson today against apostasy? GENERAL TRUTH: God’s word is our ultimate safeguard to be able to stand and remain steadfast amidst terrible conditions in the last days. SIGNIFICANCE: 1. Ask : Why do some people today think that these are the ―last days‖? Possible answers: a. There are many observable unnatural and strong calamities. b. Godlessness is everywhere c. Greed or the selfishness of man is the current prevailing trend. d. All conceivable evils are common everywhere. e. Others (Accept more reactions from learners) 2. Ask: What instances/circumstances Christians today may tend to ―fall away‖? Possible answers: a. In our decision-making. b. In crisis situations, due to outside pressures c. Influences from friends, classmates, and ―barkada‖ d. Others. 3. Ask: How about you? What are some ways for you to be able to withstand, resist, or fight off apostasy? [Listen to their answers and appreciate or affirm it] 4. Reflect and Commit. Give the following list by which the learners may consider to make a personal
_____ a. I will continue and remain firmly anchored in God‘s Word. _____ b. I will use the Word to counteract religious falsehood. _____ c. I will seek to be equipped fully in the Word. _____ d. I will choose to walk in the path of righteousness. _____ e. I will stand and defend the truthfulness of the Word. _____ f. I will do my best to remain loyal to Christ until the end of my life.
PERFORMANCE: 1. Ask: From the above checklist, what area/s have you made a personal commitment, so that you may be able to resist or fight off apostasy when it comes your way? (Let learners share in groups of three) 2. Give time for the learners to pray for each other, specifically on their commitments. Find a fitting chorus or song to close your class hour. [I Have Decided to Follow Jesus, Jesus I Would Faithful Be, etc.] 3. Close in prayer.
LESSON 11 THE CHARGE TO PREACH THE WORD Lesson Aim:
That the learners will commit themselves to preach and teach God‘s Word whenever there is an opportunity. 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Memory Verse: “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2 IN ADVANCE Pray for your learners to understand the lesson. Memorize 2 Timothy 4:2. Study your lesson well. ENTRANCE
1. Ask: In what occasions do we usually find the following: Charge to the graduates? Answer: Commencement exercises of schools or graduation program Charge to the couple? Answer: A wedding ceremony Charge to the Officers? Answer: The officers‘ installation or induction into service Charge to the workers? Answer: An ordination ceremony 2. Ask: What impact do these ―charges‖ do to the individuals concerned? Possible Answers: a. This creates an inner motivation to obey or fulfill what was charged. b. This helps the person to have the right focus. c. This inspires the person to set right priorities. d. Others. Transition Sentence: There is one very important charge that all Christians must know and follow, and we are going to learn it today. SUBSTANCE 1. Request the learners to read 2 Timothy 4:1-5. [Divide the learners by two’s and let each pair to read one verse starting from verse, until verse 5]. 2. Say:
Our lesson today is entitled, “The Charge to Preach the Word”. To have a bird’s-eye-view of the lesson, write on the board the simple outline as follows:
I. The Nature of the Charge, v. 1 II. The Content of the Charge, v. 2 III. The Reason for the Charge, vs. 3-4 IV. The Continuation of the Charge, v. 5 3. Ask learners to get a partner and each pair will answer the following questions: a. Question 1: To whom did Paul address this words, ―I give you this charge” and what is the nature of this charge? v. 1 (see also 1:2) Expected Answer: Paul addressed this charge to his protégé—young Timothy. Its nature rests on the fact that this charge was witnessed by the presence of God (who sent His Son to redeem sinners) and Christ who will judge and establish His kingdom at His coming. At this juncture of time, faithfulness in proclaiming His Word will be rewarded. b. Question 2: List the 5 specific contents of the charge and give a brief explanation of each, v. 2 Expected Answers: a. Preach the Word. Paul exhorted Timothy to keep on proclaiming the truth of the gospel message in its completeness (Acts 20:27). b. Be Prepared. Timothy was advised to always be ready in any given situation to speak God‘s Word without compromise, even during his off-duty hours, whether the time is right or not. c. Correct. Paul charged Timothy to refute or convince his listeners with the clear and right presentation of the Word (free from errors) using godly patience to prove an argument. d. Rebuke. That Timothy should use God‘s Word to reprimand erring Christians and the unsaved people in order to see their own condition before a holy God. e. Encourage. That those who had been rebuked and corrected need encouragement and counseled properly that sin could be forgiven and spiritual life could be strengthened. c. Question 3. What was Paul‘s primary reason why he gave those solemn charges to Timothy? v.3-4 Expected Answer: Paul told Timothy that when he will be gone, time will come when people will no longer listen to sound biblical doctrines and will just follow their own desires. They will believe in legends and myths to satisfy what they wanted for themselves. Additional Note: Paul warned further that when that time come, people will have abundance of unsettled faith and many would merely be curious and rest their stand on speculations in matters of religious beliefs. During those times, Paul implied that teachers of all kinds will appear. As such, Paul claimed that those who would turn away from the truth of the Word would be vulnerable to evil and godless influences surrounding them (See 2 Timothy 3:1-5). d. Question 4. Enumerate four ministry guidelines or ―job descriptions‖ given to young Timothy, for him to take heed as a leader of the church. Give a brief explanation of each, v. 5 Expected Answers:
Keep head in all situations. Paul advised Timothy that he should think, control, and be disciplined in all circumstances of life. ―Think before you leap!‖ says the Chinese proverb. Endure hardship. Timothy was charged to endure suffering ―like a good soldier of Christ‖ (2 Tim. 2:3) and to stand firm on the Word because Paul, his mentor, would soon be gone. Do the work of an evangelist. That Timothy should likewise be concerned of the unsaved or unchurched people of his community aside from his leadership duties inside the church. Discharge all the duties of the ministry. This means Timothy should do administrative, supervisory duties and functions that was expected of him in church in accordance with the Word (3:16).
e. Question 5. In 1 Timothy 4:16, what was Paul‘s previous fatherly advice to Timothy as his son in the faith? Expected Answer: Timothy should watch or guard his life, doctrine, and to persevere in these matters. This implies focused attention given to one‘s character, career, and doctrine. Why so? Because people around us ―read‖ and watch the kind of gospel we preach and teach. Note: A leader or a minister in the church should first of all plan and prepare not only sermons but his life as well if he is expected to bless others. Paul advised Timothy to continue doing these things when he will be gone. f. Question for Everyone: Having studied Paul‘s wise counsel to Timothy—what truth can we draw out from this lesson for us to bring home this week? GENERAL TRUTH:
Every child of God is charged to preach and teach the Word of God whenever there is an opportunity. Recite/ emphasize the memory verse to remind learners to “walk their talk”- to live what they preach/ teach. SIGNIFICANCE 1. Ask: What do you think are some hindrances why some Christians cannot preach or teach the Word of God effectively? Possible answers: a. Fear of people or people‘s reactions b. Lack of training c. Undeveloped skills/talents d. Lack of resources- like teaching materials e. Not living a consistent victorious life f. Others 2. Ask: As the ―Lord‘s worker‖ like Timothy, what are some areas of life and ministry do we usually seek or look for from ―Pauls‖ (more matured workers) of today? Possible Answers: a. Expectations of life example and modeling b. Guidance in decision-making and goal-setting of life c. Show the way in handling conflicts d. How to cope in crisis situations
e. Good breeding examples for family life (also husband and wife relationships f. Others 3. Ask: As today‘s ―Pauls‖, how can we be of help to the present ―Timothy‘s‖? Possible answers: a. Do intentional mentoring or coaching b. Be an example in life, deed and words c. Provide good counsel when asked or as needed d. Provide moral, spiritual or even physical support in their times of need. 4. Ask: What are some ways by which one can improve himself/herself in the preaching or teaching ministry? Possible Answers: a. Regular study of the Word b. Daily Prayer and Quiet Time to know God‘s will c. Seek counsel of matured believers in Christ d. Read devotional books e. Participate in leadership seminars f. Others. PERFORMANCE 1. Pray for one another. Each learner will get a prayer partner and exchange prayer requests. Suggest for them to schedule a time to meet together during the week:
Study the Word together and learn practical ways how to teach the Word - either to children, youth or adults. Pray for each other to have a desire and passion to teach someone with the Word in a one-on-one setting. Get out together to find someone to begin teaching the Word, perhaps over a cup of coffee and biscuits.
2. Challenge learners to start a new teaching ministry, using the gospel message from the Word. 3. Say: ―A journey to a thousand miles starts with the first single step!‖ May this proverb inspire us to start now to preach and teach the Word anywhere, anytime, any event, and any opportunity given to each one of us. 4. Lead in the closing prayer.
LESSON 12 THE CHARGE TO LIVE IN THE WORD Lesson Aim: That the learners will defend God‘s Word and live it by living an exemplary life. Scripture Text: 2 Timothy 4: 6-8 Memory Verse: ―Yet I am not ashamed because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12b IN ADVANCE: Pray for your learners, including yourself. Study the lesson and the context of 2 Timothy 4:6-8. Print out a copy of the testimony of an engineer and give it to one of your learners at the Entrance portion. CLASS SESSION ENTRANCE: (Let a learner read aloud this brief story at the start of the class) An engineer shared, ―One of my boyhood hobbies was assembling toy houses. Every time I open a new box of toy house, the first thing I would find is the instruction sheet. But many times I thought I didn‘t need to follow it. I was confident that I could do it without the instruction sheet. In my mind, I knew I have the competence how to put the toy house together. Thus I didn‘t bother to read the instructions. I simply started to glue the pieces together, but in the process I realized too late that I missed an important part- putting the master bedroom in its designated place. ―You know what?‖ The engineer continued, ―It‘s easy to think that there is no need for instructions to follow in our lives, only to realize later that we‘ve been glued in the wrong place. Following God‘s instructions is the only way to live a consistent Christian life, which sets a good example for others to emulate.‖ Transition Sentence: Similarly, we will learn today the principles of how to live an exemplary life, in the midst of this messed up world. SUBSTANCE: 1. Ask a volunteer to read aloud the Scripture text in 2 Timothy 4:6-8. 2. Say: This lesson, entitled “The Charge to Live in the Word”, is the second to the last lesson of Unit 2 on ―Defending God‘s Word‖ and a continuation of Lesson 11 wherein it talks about Paul‘s charge to Timothy to preach the word. We will learn today that Paul did not only give a charge to Timothy in words but he also set a personal example by sharing his own experience. Paul knew that his ministry was about to end (4:6-8), so he was very much concerned about the welfare of the churches he started, because persecution under Nero
had already started by then. This is the historical context when Paul instructed young Timothy to take care of God‘s people who were under his pastoral ministry. Let us learn from Paul‘s personal life experience from the text that we are going to study. 3. Ask the following questions to individual learners or assign to small groups: a. Question 1: What does Paul mean when he said, ―I am…being poured out like a drink offering?‖ v. 6 (See also Numbers 15:1-10) Expected Answer: Paul likened himself to a drink offering being poured out. In the Old Testament times, a drink offering (a Jewish practice) referred to the wine that was added to the rest of the offerings or sacrifices presented as an aroma pleasing to the Lord. In this verse, Paul regarded his approaching death as the pouring out of his life as an offering to Christ (see Philippians 2:17). b. Question 2: In verse 6b Paul mentioned this phrase; ―the time has come for my departure.‖ What does he refer to when he said, ―my departure?‖ Expected Answer: Paul implied about his impending death. This suggests that his ministry would culminate in death and it may come within a short period of time. c. Question 3: What 3 things were mentioned by Paul in verse 7 and what do they mean to Paul? Expected Answers: a.
“I have fought a good fight!‖ Like an athlete, Paul had successfully won the prize at the end of the game. He had done his best as well as a minister of Christ.
“I have finished the race!” Like an athlete, Paul had carefully observed the rules of the Christian faith and had completed the race course of life by faithfully serving the Lord. From his long ministry experience, we learned that he, too, ended his ministry well.
“I have kept the faith!” As a seasoned worker of the Lord, he had defended and kept the Gospel message faithfully until the end.
Additional Note: Verse 7 is considered the best life declaration of Paul on how he passionately defended his faith and devotedly served his Lord despite the cold chains around his wrists during his imprisonment. From his example, it is implied that it‘s a great tragedy when Christians become ―disqualified‖ in the race course of the Christian life (1 Cor. 9:25). This may happen because of failure to guard and keep the faith by living it out personally. Like Paul, may we be able to say ―I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith‖ as we anticipate the end of our life and ministry, with faith and joy.
d. Question 4. What is this ―crown of righteousness‖ which Paul is talking about in v.8a? Expected Answer: Paul used a figure of speech [metaphor] referring to the laurel wreath placed upon the head of the winning athlete of a race course during his time (1 Cor. 9:25). It may also refer to a precious ―victor‘s crown‖ that serves as a prize or a reward for living a righteous life, to be received ―on that day‖ (the day of Christ‘s return).
e. Question 5. Who will reward Paul and those ones who love ―his appearing?‖ v. 8b? Expected Answer: The Lord, the righteous Judge! This means Paul is assured of receiving the crown of righteousness from the Judge who saw how he lived an exemplary life. In verse 8 he said; “there is in store for me…‖ and not only for him but all those who love His second coming. What an assurance to know this by heart and mind! Additional Note: The awarding ―on that day‖ will be based on righteous living, not on one‘s popularity or performance. The award for this righteous living is certain! Those who live righteously look forward for Christ‘s coming. But those who live sinful lives dread and will regret the coming of that day. The coming of Christ should be longed for and loved by every believer who lived righteous and exemplary life. It is not something to be feared or be brushed off out of our minds. It is sure to come! f. Question 6. Paul‘s life example is worth emulating but what made him very sure about his eternal future? Read 2 Timothy 1:12 (our Memory Verse) Expected Answers: a. He knew whom he believed. b. He was convinced that Christ is able to keep his deposit. ( ―Deposit‖ means Paul‘s entire life and ministries are all safe and secured in the Master‘s heavenly bank). c. He knew that there is ―in store‖ for him a crown of righteousness from the righteous Judge (2 Tim. 4:8). 4. Ask: What main lesson have we learned from our study that may guide us in living a righteous and exemplary Christian life this week? [Expected answer is the general truth of this lesson] General Truth: Defend God’s Word, not only by words, but also by living in the Word through an exemplary life. (Let the learners recite the memory verse; 2 Timothy 1:12b.) SIGNIFICANCE: 1. Ask: What do you think are the common reasons why many Christians today have difficulty in living an exemplary life that is according to the Word of God? Possible answers: a. The pull of earthly concerns is very strong. b. Wrong priorities and motives in life.
c. Interference of temptations and trials faced in life. d. Lack of spiritual depth and discipline. e. Others 2. Ask: What are some practical ways we can do in order to live an exemplary life which is according to God‘s Word? Possible Answers: a. Imitate Paul‘s life and ministry example. (Be a modern ―Paul‖, an imitator of the life of Christ). b. Choose one Bible command from your daily Bible readings and try to do it during the week and see it benefit your spiritual maturity. c. Make a list on the areas of your personal life which you may want to set as an example for others to emulate. You can ask the learners to give examples: In our talk - the words we use and the way we say it. In our walk- our way of life. Our words should be consistent with our deeds. In our attitude—often observed in relationships and conduct. Others (let learners suggest more)
3. Ask the following questions for self- introspection: a. Which of the above areas do you struggle to be an worthy example?? b. What practical ways would you commit to do this week in order to live an exemplary life? (Give time for self evaluation). PERFORMANCE 1. Ask learners to choose a partner and share with each other some important decisions they have set to do this week. Then let them pray together.) 2. Say (Challenge): Our heavenly Father will never forget our life examples and faithful services that we have rendered in His name. The crown of righteousness is for those who live exemplary lives, according God‘s Word. This is infinitely more important than being applauded by people around us in recognition of any good achievements in the ministry. Thus, let us keep our lives focused on God, to be a pleasing aroma of worship to our Almighty and gracious Father. 3. Lead in singing this chorus… ‖In my life Lord be glorified, Be glorified! In my life Lord be glorified, Today! In our church Lord be glorified, Be glorified! In our church Lord be glorified, Today!‖ 4. Request a learner to lead in the closing prayer with everybody standing.
Lesson 13 BE A DEFENDER OF THE WORD Lesson Aim:
That the learners will victoriously defend the Word of God in the midst of difficult circumstances.
Scripture Text: 2 Timothy 4:9-22 Memory Verse: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 IN ADVANCE Pray for yourself, including your learners. Read and study the context of 2 Timothy 4. Prepare: a) Have a blackboard or white board to write important points of the lesson b) Prepare the script of the skit for the Entrance Portion. c) Assign four members of the class to do the skit. Study the ―Helps for the Teacher‖. Helps for the Teacher: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Paul resumed his itinerant ministry in the Mediterranean world after he was released from house arrest in Rome in A.D. 62. Writing to Titus from somewhere in Macedonia, probably between A.D. 62 and 66, he said that he planned to visit Nicapolis (Titus 3:12). Assuming that he did visit Nicapolis, Paul went from there to Rome, evidently indirectly. His visit to Troas (2 Tim. 4:13) probably took place shortly before he wrote 2 Timothy. It may be that Paul's arrest required his leaving his cloak, books, and parchments there, but that is only speculation. In any case, Paul ended up in Rome as a prisoner again (2:9). He had already had his initial hearing and was awaiting trial when he wrote this epistle (4:16). He believed that the Roman authorities would execute him soon (4:6). Timothy seemed to have remained at Ephesus for some time following his reception of Paul's first epistle to him and then, presumably, Paul's personal visit of him there (1 Tim. 3:14). He was evidently in Ephesus when Paul wrote this second epistle to him (2 Tim. 1:16-18; 4:14 cf. 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 4:19). Ever since Rome had been burned in July of A.D. 64 and Nero had blamed the Christians, it had become dangerous to be a Christian. It was also dangerous to have contact with leaders of the church such as Paul. Consequently many believers, including some of Paul's coworkers, had chosen to seek a much lower profile and become less aggressive in their ministries. Timothy faced temptation to do the same. Paul wrote this epistle to urge him to remain faithful to his calling and loyal to his father in the faith. Timothy needed to stand shoulder to shoulder with Paul and the other believers and to continue to "preach the Word" as he had done. 2 Timothy is an intensely personal letter, written to encourage Timothy in his difficult task and to ask him to come to Rome. Source: Dr. Thomas Constable’s Notes on 2 Timothy.
ENTRANCE 1. Ask the assigned learners to do the skit to present it at this time. Skit: Characters – Paul & 3 visitors (Assign one learner to play the role of Paul in prison and the three other learners to act as Paul’s visitors. They should come one at a time). Visitor 1: “Hi, Paul! How are you? I‘m here just to tell you that all of us will one day face death either sooner or later. Good for you…your time seems to come soon! So, take pleasure in your situation now. Anyway, you are bound for heaven, is it not? You are a missionary, so you should be great in the sight of God. For sure He will welcome you at the heaven‘s gate!‖ (Exits). Visitor 2: (Comes in quietly, sad looking, and almost in tears. Taps the shoulder of Paul and whisper), ―You better escape Bro! Here, you look pitiful. You have no lawyer to defend you. You have no family, no companions to encourage you…tsk! tsk..! tsk…..! See! It‘s only me who dared to visit you.‖ (Exits.) Visitor 3:(Comes in with a warm smile and a Bible) ―It‘s nice to see you again, Brother Paul! God will make a way for you where there seems to be no way! We prayed for you at the church - for God‘s strength and good health! We admired your positive outlook of your situation. Thank you, you are a blessing to us!‖ (The end!) 2. Ask: Which of the three visitors do you think gave the best advice to Paul and why? (Allow a brief time for interaction). Transition Sentence: Today we are going to study how Paul dealt with his difficult situation, brought about by his strong defense of the Word of God. SUBSTANCE 1. Say: Our lesson today, entitled ―DEFENDER OF THE WORD”, will show us the attitudes of Paul in the face of difficult, personal circumstances because of his defense and propagation of the Word of God. Let‘s all read silently the Scripture text for today, found in 2 Timothy 4:9-22. We observe here that Paul, as a minister of the gospel, was people or team-oriented. People to him are important despite of the fact that some caused him pain. 2. Ask: Give the following questions to the learners. (Question and answer method is used for better group participation). a. Question 1: How many people were mentioned by Paul in 2 Timothy 4? Expected Answer: Seventeen (17) people, including Timothy. b. Question 2: Who were the people who were considered part of Paul‘s ministry in the defense of the Gospel (Allow each learner to participate by naming those people and say something about them). Expected Answers:
Timothy- - Paul needed his presence because his two friends & colleagues left him. He had to bring Paul‘s possessions from Troas—cloak, scrolls, & parchments because it was about winter time. (vv. 9,13, 21). Crescens-. Nothing was known of him but he went to Galatia, probably to do an errand for Paul. (v. 10). Titus- With Paul‘s permission, he went to Dalmatia for missionary work. (v. 10c) Luke- He was the only friend of Paul who served, travelled, sailed, walked with him up to Rome. (v. 11a) Mark- He was very useful in Paul‘s ministry. The companion of Paul & Barnabas on their first missionary journey (v. 11b). See also Acts 12:25-13:5. Tychicus- He was sent by Paul to Ephesus. He was one of Paul‘s trusted team members (v. 12). See also Eph. 6:21. Priscilla & Aquila- They were close friends of Paul since his second missionary journey (v. 19a). See Acts 18:2ff. Onesiphorus- The personal friend of Paul who was not ashamed to look for Paul in prison and extended help to him (v. 19b, cf. 2 Tim. 1:16). Erastus- The itinerant associate of Paul who was the city treasurer of Corinth (v. 20a, Rom. 16:23) Trophimus- He became sick in Miletus. He was the traveling companion of Paul on his third missionary journey (v. 20b). Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia- They were the group of believers in Rome with whom Paul ministered to (v. 21).
Note: Paul, as a people-oriented minister, always recognized the people who worked with him in the proclamation and defense of the Word. c. Question 3: For what reason did Demas deserted Paul? vs. 10 Expected Answer: In verse 10a, Demas was a source of pain and sadness to Paul because he left the ministry. He succumbed to love ―this present world‖ instead of love for the ‗appearing‘ of the Lord.‘ d. Question 4: What was the circumstance that could have been the cause of Paul‘s discouragement? v. 16 Expected Answer: It was when no one came to support and stand by him, instead everyone seemed to have deserted him. e. Question 5: What made Paul victorious in spirit, despite his imprisonment and impending death? vs. 17-18 Expected Answers: He had the Lord who stood by him, strengthened him, and delivered him “out of the lion’s mouth.” He courageously defended the Word- v. 17 He was assured that soon the Lord will take him to His heavenly kingdom- v. 18 In everything that Paul did—he did it all for the glory of God!- v. 18 f. Question 6: What attitudes did Paul demonstrated in the midst of his difficult circumstances? 4:6-22 (Share this portion briefly.)
Expected Answers: He was hopeful in the face of death (4:6-8) He was contented in life (4:6, 7) He desired companionship (4:9-12) He continuously studied the Word (4:13) He gave warning against those who oppose the faith (4:14, 15) He had forgiven those who abandoned him (4:16) His strength was in the Lord (4:17,18) g. Question for Everybody: From this list of Paul‘s attitudes--what words can we use to summarize him? Expected Answer: He had a victorious attitude! (Expand more if necessary.) General Truth:
The God, who gave Paul victory amidst the difficult circumstances in defending the Word, is the same One who can also do it for us. (Allow learners to memorize the verse to reflect on it for the whole week)
SIGNIFICANCE 1. Ask: In doing our task as ―defenders of the Word‖ in our generation, what are some reasons which may cause us not to have a victorious attitude? Possible Answers: a. Diminishing passion b. Fatigue/ burn out c. The work becomes a routine, boring d. Lack of resources e. Lack of benefits f. See the ministry as a ‗thank-less‘ job. g. Failure to see positive results in one‘s ministry. h. Failing health i. Dissatisfaction j. Unfulfilled expectations k. Others 2. Ask: What are some reasons why we feel reluctant to defend the Word when called for? Possible Answers: a. Afraid of people‘s reactions. b. We may think that the task is too difficult. c. Feeling of weakness and inadequacy. d. The job of defending the Word is the work of a professional (pastor, evangelists, etc.). e. Lack of skill 3. Ask: What do you think are some specific ways we can engage in the ministry of defending the Word? Possible Answers: a. As ―defenders‖- be ready and willing to stand for the truth even when it entails difficulties in life. b. As ―errands‖- support the people who are directly defending the Word.
PERFORMANCE 1. Ask: From the above roles we just discussed, which one do you see God is calling you to do? (Let them respond silently.) 2. Challenge: When our life on earth is over and time is done, could you say with all your heart with the Apostle Paul:â€•I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith?â€– 3. Let them pray for one another. 4. Ask someone to lead the closing prayer.