Sunday School

January 24 – Called as the Intercessor

Alternate Title – Called for the World's Belief

Alternate Title #2 – Jesus Prayed for Us

 

Bible Lesson: John 17:14-24 (KJV)


The key verse:
 John 17:20 (KJV) - "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; "

 

(Pop-up references come from The New Living Translation courtesy of Faithlife Reftagger)


What shall we learn from this lesson:

 

Which books in the New Testament were written by Jesus Christ? Although He did not physically write any of the New Testament books, we know all of it was written by His followers—His disciples. They quoted Him and recorded His messages and ideals.

 

In our lesson for today, we are included in His prayer for the disciples. He prayed not only for them but for all of us who believe in Him through the messages of the disciples (John 17:20). These messages are contained in the New Testament. Jesus said:

"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message."
(John 17:20 NLT)

Furthermore, we can depend on the Bible, as a whole, to teach us what God wants us to know because all Scripture is inspired by Him.

 

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)

 

His prayer gives us insight into his love for believers:

  • He asks for our protection from loss of faith due to the influence of Satan (John 17:15)
  • He asks for our strength in facing the temptations of the world of which we will gain through studying the holy word. We rely on the word, for it is the truth that we live by (John 17:17).
  • He asks for the unity of the believers so we may support each other with a common mission (John 17:21). The believers can experience unity with Jesus and the Father through the Holy Spirit who indwells us.
  • He asks for us to be with Him wherever He is (John 17:24). This is the promise of salvation in which we shall spend eternity with Jesus (John 14:3 ESV).

There is but one Christian church and that church is the body of Jesus Christ (Romans 12:4-5). All believers are part of the body and the Scripture for today emphasizes how important it is for us to be united with each other and with Christ.

 

His prayer for us is a road map for our mission to advance His kingdom on earth.

 

Christianity is an active religion. We are expected to do something to help advance that kingdom. One of the benefits of His prayer for the disciples (and for us) was for their protection and unity as they went out into the world to spread the word.

 

He prayed for our strength and protection as we carry out our mission to spread the word about Jesus, and to invite others to unite with us. By doing so, we glorify Christ through His church. We look forward to the day we can spend eternity with Him.

The Bible lesson link (at the beginning of the lesson) is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation Bible Version of John 17:14-24

 

The key verse: John 17:20 (NLT) - "I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message."

 

 

 

January 31 – Prophesying Daughters 
Alternate Title – Called to Prophesy 
Alternate Title #2 – The Holy Spirit in Us

Bible Lesson: Luke 2:36-38; Acts 2:16-21; 21:8-9 KJV 


The key verse:
 Acts 2:17 (KJV) - "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:"

(Pop-up references come from The New Living Translation courtesy of Faithlife Reftagger)

What shall we learn from this lesson: 

Introduction
In our lesson for today, we will see a sampling of how women were empowered, early on, to proclaim the message and mission of Jesus Christ. Over the last 2000 years, the church has evolved into one in which the participation of women in ministry is fundamental to church operations. 

Today, it is not uncommon for a church to have considerably more women than men in attendance and in ministry. All believers, men, and women have a spiritual gift that can be used to help each other and to advance God's kingdom on earth. This gift is assigned to each of us by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11).

Discussion - Anna, the woman prophet

One day, Joseph and Mary took the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to fulfill the Jewish obligations of "the redemption of the firstborn" and also "the purification of the mother after childbirth." While there, two prophets, Simeon, and Anna—a man and a woman, proclaimed the baby as the Messiah.

Anna was an elderly prophetess who had dedicated her life to worship God at the Temple after her husband had died. The Bible says she did not depart from the Temple and spent her time, day and night, worshiping God through prayer and fasting (Luke 2:37 KJV). 

When she saw the baby Jesus in the Temple, she praised the child as the Messiah and proclaimed this to others (Luke 2:38).

Discussion - Day of Pentecost and involvement of women.

Thirty-three years later (after Jesus' ascension) the role of the Holy Spirit would expand to indwell all believers, both men, and women. This was done on the day of Pentecost. Historically, this was a day normally used to celebrate the end of the harvest season but because of the events on this particular day of Pentecost, it had a new meaning to all believers. 

To understand the meaning of our lesson Scripture in Acts 2 we must first be aware of the setting and what had transpired. First, Jesus had suffered and died on the cross and was resurrected by God. 

Then, while in His resurrected body, He commanded the Apostles to not leave Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit arrived as He had promised (Acts 1:4). After His final instructions, He ascended into the clouds and disappeared, as they watched (Acts 1:9).

The Apostles would meet together along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus (Acts 1:14). We can see that women remained an integral part of the following of Jesus. There were at times 120 believers who would meet together (Acts 1:15). 

On the day of Pentecost, all the believers (men and women) were meeting together in one place when the Holy Spirit descended on them, preceded by a loud noise heard by all present and many others in the surrounding areas. 

Upon hearing this noise, many others came running and were shocked to be able to understand what the believers were saying in their own languages. The Bible says, "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance(Acts 2:4 KJV).

The Holy Spirit had given them this ability to communicate with everyone in their own language. They were speaking about the wonderful things God has done (Acts 2:11).

There were some who voiced a disparaging word on the reality of this miracle and accused them of simply being drunk (Acts 2:13). It was at this point when Peter stood to speak to help those present to understand what was happening. He said the people were not drunk (Acts 2:14-15). 

The lesson Scripture begins here with Acts 2:16 - both men and women will receive the Spirit and will prophesy.

Peter told those present that what was happening had been prophesied long ago (hundreds of years) by the prophet Joel (Acts 2:16). [See Joel 2:28-32 for Scripture Peter was speaking from.]

Peter said the following in Acts 2:17-18:

17. 'In the last days,' God says, 'I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.

18. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike— and they will prophesy. 

This prophecy was fulfilled on this particular Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on the believers and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus' promise (Acts 2:8 & John 14:16) and Joel's prophecy were both fulfilled on this Day of Pentecost. 

God did pour out His spirit on all the believers (men and women) and they were all indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The Spiritual Gift of prophecy is one of the gifts the Holy Spirit may bestow on a believer. 

As a final example of women followers who were empowered to proclaim the message and mission of Jesus Christ, we have the four daughters of Philip (one of the first 7 deacons) who all had the gift of prophecy (Acts 21:9). 

This lesson teaches us one main fundamental concept: all believers, women, and men have a place in the Church. We each have at least one spiritual gift which can be used to help each other and to advance God's kingdom on earth.

Your gift may be one of wisdom, leadership, teaching, faith, mercy, service, being a pastor, evangelism, hospitality, missionary, or any one of many other gifts the Holy Spirit could bless you with. You were given that gift for a reason; to use it to help each other and to glorify God. 


The Bible lesson link (at the beginning of the lesson) is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation Bible Version of Luke 2:36-38; Acts 2:16-21; 21:8-9 NLT 

The key verse: Acts 2:17 (NLT) - "In the last days, God says, 'I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.'"


February 7 – Called to Evangelize 
Alternate Title – Called to Testify 
Alternate Title #2 – Telling Others About Jesus

Bible Lesson: John 4:25-42 (KJV) 


The key verse:
 John 4:39 (KJV) - "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. "

(Pop-up references come from The New Living Translation courtesy of Faithlife Reftagger)

What shall we learn from this lesson: 

During the time of Jesus on earth, strict adherence to Jewish customs prohibited Jewish men, especially Rabbis, from greeting a woman in public. Considering this and the fact that Jews and Samaritans generally did not like each other, it was indeed a surprise to a Samaritan woman—who had come to a well to draw water—when Jesus asked her for a drink (John 4:7). 

In addition, Jesus did not have any container or rope of which to use to obtain water from the well (John 4:11). He was alone for the disciples had gone to the village to buy food John 4:8. He would have to accept a drink from a Samaritan woman's container. This would be even more shocking.

Under these conditions, the Samaritan woman was surprised that Jesus talked to her and actually had asked for a drink (John 4:9). 

She was also surprised when He told her things about herself that there should have been no way for Him to know (John 4:18). The way He talked to her and the things He said led her to ask if He was a prophet (John 4:19). Their conversation also led her to remark that one day the Messiah would come and answer all their questions (John 4:25). 

Jesus took this opportunity to reveal to her that He was the Messiah (John 4:26). At this point, two things happened. The disciples returned and were shocked to see Him talking to a Samaritan woman. 

Secondly, the woman was so startled at what Jesus had told her that she left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village to tell the others about Jesus and their conversation.

In some respects, Jesus was probably considered radical because He did not mind talking to women. In fact, women at times were in his group of followers. 

The Samaritan woman was excited to have heard the revelation from the man at the well. She had now become an evangelist, for she had a message to tell the others. Let us look at some attributes of evangelists that fit the woman's attitude:

    • They have a message that glorifies Jesus as our savior.
    • They are excited about the message.
    • They want to tell others this message.
    • They seek to inspire others to spread this message.
    • They are gratified when others are spiritually moved because of the message.

Jesus knew what was beginning to happen. The people in the village streamed out to see Him (John 4:30). Souls would be saved that day and the days to come. This "harvest" was far more important than the food His disciples had brought for Him to eat (John 4:34).

Jesus agreed to stay for a while in the village and over the next two days, many more would come to hear Jesus and His message and to believe (John 4:41).

All believers are called to be evangelists in one respect or another. How many of the attributes of an evangelist listed above apply to us? The answer is - they all should apply to each of us.

Sometimes we can be in danger of losing some of our excitement and urgency about the message of Jesus Christ. That is the reason we must often ask for the Holy Spirit to inspire and rejuvenate us.

The Bible lesson link (at the beginning of the lesson) is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation Bible Version of John 4:25-42 

The key verse: John 4:39 (NLT) - Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, "He told me everything I ever did!"

 

February 14 – Mary Magdalene: A Faithful Disciple
Alternate Title – Called to Support
Alternate Title #2 – Jesus' Resurrection

Bible Lesson: Luke 8:1–3; Mark 15:40; John 20:10-18 KJV

The key verses: Luke 8:1-2 (KJV) - "Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; "

(Pop-up references come from The New Living Translation courtesy of Faithlife Reftagger)

What shall we learn from this lesson:

As we discussed in the lesson from last week, in some respects Jesus was probably considered radical during His earthly life because He did not mind talking to women ... even in public. The Samaritan woman at the well is a perfect example of this. Not only was she a woman but she was also a Samaritan (John 4:9).

In fact, women, at times, were in his group of followers. Typical Rabbis during that day treated women very differently. They did not like to have them in their group of followers and did not seek to teach them as they did with the male followers. The history books tell us that some Rabbis of that time period would avoid even speaking to women in public

This points to one important observation: We are all God's children and "God the Son" demonstrated this by the kind way he treated women while He was on Earth.

In modern times, some cultures are still slow to give women certain basic rights such as attending school, driving a car, and teaching religious ideals. But especially in our country, women are an invaluable asset to the Church and society in general. To accentuate this point, for the first time we now have a woman vice president of the United States.

Without them, a lot would go unrealized. It is not unusual for the majority of active members in a Christian church to be women. We are fortunate that Christ did not set the example of treating women as dismissively as some did.

Several women who were followers of Jesus are mentioned in our lesson Scripture.

  • Mary Magdalene - From whom Jesus had cast out seven demons. She was one of several women that followed Jesus who He had cured of evil spirits and diseases (Luke 8:2).

    In John's accounting, she also was the first to see that Jesus had been resurrected and was told by Him to tell the others (John 20:11-18).

    In Luke's accounting, there were several women (including Mary Magdalene) who had gone to the tomb and then told the disciples that Jesus had risen (Luke 24:9-10). Regardless of the accounting, this was an important moment in Christianity and it was revealed first to a woman (or women) to announce to others.
  • Joanna and Susanna - contributed of their own resources to benefit Jesus' ministry and the disciples (Luke 8:3).

Other women - There are many other women mentioned in the Bible that interacted with Jesus. Some appealed to His mercy and healing capability while others showed reverence and kindness to Him. In the next lesson, we will discuss another woman, Priscilla, who Paul called a co-worker in the ministry (Romans 16:3-4).


The Bible lesson link (at the beginning of the lesson) is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation Bible Version of Luke 8:1–3; Mark 15:40; John 20:10-18 NLT

The key verses: Luke 8:1-2 (NLT) - "Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons;"

 

 

 



27Jan
Corporate Prayer Call Wednesday, Jan 27 @ 11:30 AM
27Jan
Corporate Prayer Call Wednesday, Jan 27 @ 6:30 PM
27Jan
Bible Study: Jesus & Justice Wednesday, Jan 27 @ 7:00 PM
28Jan
FBC Food Pantry Thursday, Jan 28 @ 9:00 AM
30Jan
Corporate Prayer Call Saturday, Jan 30 @ 8:00 AM
 
 

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