Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lesson - Jesus Is The Head Of The Church

VERSES:   Ephesians 1:20-23

MEMORY VERSE:  Ephesians 1:22  "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  "John." In order for the students to memorize the books of the New Testament, write a book each week on a small slip of paper, so the student may take the book home to memorize. This lesson's book to remember is John.

PRAYER: Pray that we have the kind of heart that treasures God's Word and molds our life around His Word, giving up man's traditions and ideas and clinging to God's desires. 

SPECIAL SONG:  No, Not One (see June 2014 -Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:  Draw a Large Activity (see below) on white board or chalk board.

  • When we have a Bible question, where is the best place to go to find the answer? That's right! To the Bible! People can sometimes be wrong or mistaken, but the Bible is never wrong. Never, ever! God keeps His promises and can be trusted (1 Kings 8:56). God has always had a plan for everything. He had a plan for creating the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1), He had and has a plan for the family (Ephesians 5:22-33; 6:1-4), and He has a plan for the church. He knows how He wants the church to be ruled and that is by Jesus' Words. We always want to be able to prove what we do by quoting book, chapter, and verse. We speak where the Bible speaks and we are silent where the Bible is silent. In times past, God used to talk to people through the prophets, but how does God talk to us today? Only through His Son, Jesus (Hebrews 1:1, 2). We find His words in the Bible and the Bible only.
  • When we look around our cities and maybe even our neighborhoods, we see many buildings that have the word "church" on their signs, but they teach many different things--sometimes conflicting things. How can that be? Does it matter to God how He is worshiped? Did it ever matter to God how His people worshiped Him? Yes. We can think back to the tabernacle and how God was very specific in His commands in building the tabernacle and was even particular about who touched certain things and who went into certain rooms (see May 2014 - Lesson - The Tabernacle on this blog). It definitely mattered to God how He was worshiped in the Old Testament! Let's see if it matters to God how He is worshiped in the church today.
  • We may ask, "Who is the one who made up these rules on how to behave in the Lord's church?" or "Who is the head or the one in charge of Jesus' church?" Let's turn our Bibles to Ephesians chapter 1 and read verses 20-23. (Read verses.) Who is the head of the church? Jesus is the head. Is Jesus over some things or a few things? No, He is over ALL things in the church. He is the One with the last word on everything in the church because He bought and paid for the church with His own blood. (Acts 20:28). These same verses also tell us that the church is Jesus' body. Jesus is the head of His body. Ephesians 4:4 tells us how many bodies there are--one! That makes sense, doesn't it? One head and one body. Not two or three heads and one body or one head over many bodies. Jesus is the one head over the one body which is the church.
  • Some people think that it doesn't really matter what people do to worship God, as long as they "have a good and kind heart and they do the best they can." That is not what it says in the Bible. God wants things done His Way and His Way only. He always has and always will. We need to prove that we are worshiping God according to His Word by singing, praying, partaking of the Lord's Supper, giving, and preaching (see October 2015 - Lesson - How Do Christians Worship God? on this blog). There are always consequences for doing things our way instead of God's Way. We remember what happened to Korah and the men who followed him instead of following Moses like God wanted (see May 2014 - Lesson - Korah's Rebellion on this blog). They and everything that belonged to them were destroyed.
  • Jesus said He would build His church (Matthew 16:18). So, who is the head of His church? Jesus is! No other man, council, conference, or group of men can man make changes or rules to the Lord's church. No one died and purchased the church, but Jesus. Jesus has power over all things in the heavens and on the earth (Matthew 28:18-20). That means that Jesus has authority or the 'last word' over all things, especially in His church. Jesus is the only head of His only church and He has all power in heaven and on earth!
"Older" Student Tips:
  • We find that Paul has again written another letter to Christians, but this time he has written God's thoughts and instructions to the church at Ephesus. People who lived in the city of Ephesus were called Ephesians. That is why this letter of the New Testament is called "Ephesians." It is a letter to the Christians who were living in the city of Ephesus. We know that the apostle Paul wrote this letter because he signed the letter in the very first verse of the first chapter.
  • If we discover that we have been taught wrong, we should adjust our thinking to God's Way instead of man's ideas.
  • We should always ask ourselves if we can prove what we do by book, chapter, and verse. This is an excellent way to know if we are pleasing God.
  • More verses:
    • There is one body - Ephesians 4:4
    • The body is the church - Colossians 1:18, 24
    • The head of the body is Christ - Ephesians 1:22, 23
    • The members of the body are Christians - 1 Corinthians 12:27
ACTIVITY:  One Head Over One Body, The Church
Materials:  8.5" X 11" white bond paper, crayons.
  1. Hand out white paper.
  2. Fold paper in half.
  3. Write "Who Is The Head Of The Church?" on the front of the folded paper.
  4. Open paper.
  5. With dark crayon, trace folded line down the middle.
  6. On the left side of the paper, draw a line across the middle of that half of the paper.
  7. In top left box, draw three circles. These are heads.
  8. In top left box, draw one body under the three heads.
  9. In top left box, write "Many heads. One body."
  10. In bottom left box, draw one circle. This is a head.
  11. In bottom left box, draw three bodies.
  12. In bottom left box, write "One head. Many bodies."
  13. In the box on the right side of the paper, draw one circle. This the head.
  14. In the box on the right side of the paper, draw one body.
  15. In the box on the right side of the paper, write "CHRIST is One Head. CHURCH is one body."
  16. Cross out both boxes on the left side of the paper with a red crayon since there are no Bible verses to prove these ideas.
  17. In the box on the right side of the paper, write " Ephesians 1:20-23" and "Ephesians 4:4."
  18. Fold paper and take home.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Lesson - We Will Reap What We Sow!

VERSES:  Galatians 6:7-8

MEMORY VERSE:  Galatians 6:7  "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Luke. Write "Luke" on small slips of paper, so the students may take home another book of the New Testament home to memorize.

PRAYER: Pray that we are determined to live in a godly way here on this earth, pleasing God, and helping others.

SPECIAL SONG:  The Wise Man Built His House On The Rock  (See March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)  Adam And Eve In The Garden (See March 2014 - Lesson - Sin In The Garden on this blog. Click on the orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:  Write "Galatians 6:7-8" on the white board or chalk board. Explain that 'Galatians' is the 'book,' '6' is the chapter, '7-8' are the verses, and the dash ( - ) means all the verses in between the numbered verses. As the Bible teacher teaches the lesson, "godly" words and "evil" words may be discussed and written on the board, also making it easier for the students to spell the words during the Activity (see below).

  • (This lesson may be designed for older students, but can be made simple for the young ones. Please review to see if the lesson will be understood by your students.)
  • God has always had laws or rules. In the very beginning of the pages of the Old Testament, we read about God giving rules to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (see March 2014 - Lesson - Sin In The Garden on this blog). God gave the first man and first woman a command: "You may eat of every tree in the garden, but do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The day that you eat of that tree, you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:16, 17). Did Adam and Eve obey God's rules? No, they did not! They listened to the serpent and sinned in the Garden! Is that what God wanted them to do? No. God always wants us to obey Him. When we do what God tells us to do and are obedient to Him, God is pleased, but when we disobey, God is not pleased and there are always consequences that follow that disobedience. Were there consequences for Adam and Eve? Most certainly! In the end, they were banished or sent out of the beautiful Garden of Eden, working among the weeds for their food and having to eventually die a physical death.
  • On the other hand, God rewards those who love and obey Him. We remember Abram in the book of Genesis (see March 2014 - Lesson - Abram Obeys God on this blog). God talked to Abram and told him to leave his home and travel to a place where God wanted him to go. Did Abram obey God and travel to a land far away, not knowing where he was going? Yes, he did! He listened to God and obeyed and was blessed by God. Did God reward Abram for his obedience? Yes! He promised that He would make Abram's name great, would make Abram a father of many nations, and through Abram all nations would be blessed. Did God keep His promises? Yes, He did. God always keeps His promises.
  • There are many more examples of God blessing those who obeyed Him and even more examples of God's anger toward those who disobeyed Him. But, what determined God's blessings or His anger? The person either chose to obey God or to disobey.  Does God still want us to choose His way and obey His rules? Let's turn our Bibles to a New Testament book--the book of Galatians, chapter 6, and verses 7 and 8. (Read verses.
    • "Be not deceived" - We are told not to be tricked!
    • "God is not mocked" - No one makes fun of God!
    • "For whatsoever a man soweth" - whatever someone plants in the ground
    • "That shall he also reap" - that exact same thing is what the man will harvest or grow.
  • When we plant carrots in this earth, what comes up? Carrots! When we plant watermelons in the dirt, what comes up? Watermelons! One cannot call carrot seeds watermelon seeds and expect to grow watermelons! God cannot be tricked and we, also, should not be tricked! God sets the rules for this physical earth and also for the spiritual. Man cannot change God's laws. 
  • Are we sowing seeds of goodness, patience, and love or are we planting seeds of deceit, bitterness, and lies? It matters what is in our "seed packets." It matters what we are sowing and planting because one day, we will reap what we have sown. (Discuss godly and evil seeds that people plant in their lives and what they reap when the fruit of those seeds are harvested.)
  • The person who is disobedient to God and plants bad things in his life, like lying and stealing, cannot expect to grow good things and be pleasing to God! God knows what kind of life we are living and knows what types of fruit we will harvest by the seeds we have planted. If we live in a wicked and worldly way, we will reap worldly and wicked fruit, but if we live in an obedient and godly way, then we will reap an everlasting life. What a reward it will be to be in heaven! Let's sow those good things and never the wicked. 
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Sometimes people try to trick other people by pretending to live godly, but they are really living a wicked life. These people are called hypocrites. They say one thing, but do another. There will be no hypocrites in heaven. God cannot be tricked. He knows everything.
  • Definitions:  "Sow" means to plant; "Reap" means to harvest.

ACTIVITY:  Godly and Evil Sowing 
Materials:  One 9.5 inch long envelope, one 12" x 18 " tan construction paper, scissors, crayons, marker.
  1. Hand out one envelope to each student.
  2. Lick the envelope and seal it.
  3. Cut envelope in half. These are the seed packets.
  4. On one half of the envelope, write "Godly Sowing" and "Galatians 6:7,8." Open side should be facing up.
  5. Decorate "Godly Sowing" with cheerful coloring.
  6. On the other half of the envelope, write "Evil Sowing" and "Galatians 6:7, 8." Open side should be facing up.
  7. Decorate "Evil Sowing" envelope with plain coloring.
  8. Hand out tan paper.
  9. Fold tan paper in half, then in half again.
  10. Draw the outline of three large "seeds".
  11. Cut seeds out, cutting through all four thicknesses of paper. (If this is too difficult for smaller hands, simply draw a total of twelve seeds and cut them out one at a time.)
  12. On six of the seeds, write six characteristics or deeds that would be considered "godly," such as "love," "joy," "kindness," "helping others," "goodness," and "patience." One deed should be written on each seed. If time permits, the words "The seed of" can be written above each deed.
  13. On the other six seeds, write six characteristics or deeds that would be considered "evil," such as "gossiping," "envy," "stealing," "lying," "anger," and "selfishness." One deed should be written on each seed.
  14. Place all seeds face down in front of the student, so that the words cannot be seen.
  15. One by one, the student chooses a seed and places it in the appropriate seed packet until all seeds are in packets. 
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY:  (See October 2014 - Lesson - Ezekiel - Activity for another Activity idea, using this same message.)