Dear Sunday school students,
Praise the Lord. This is the outline notes for you to refer and prepare for the Sunday school Half yearly Examination. You can go through the entire textbook chapters 16 – 23 for detailed explanations.
Lesson 16 THE CHURCH of GOD
Church – Definition, Beginning and Construction
Greek word used for church – Ecclesia, which means “Those who are called out for a special purpose”. Who called? Jesus Christ. Who was called? We are called. Therefore, the gatherings of believers who have been called out by Jesus Christ forms the church. Church is not a denomination or a building or an organisation. The concept of church was in the mind of God from eternity. The word church was first used by Jesus in the New Testament, when He told: “I will build My Church”. The first church consisted of the disciples of Jesus and Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus Christ is the One who is responsible for building the church, which means, He is the One who owns it and takes the leadership and He is the One who will take it forward till His second coming. When Holy Spirit descended on the group of disciples on day of Pentecost, the actual operation of the church began.
See the construction of the church. Page 46.
Growth and Membership
The disciples who were the initial members of the church, were appointed by Jesus Christ to go to ends of the world and make more disciples. That’s how the Apostles started the work of the church. The first church was at Jerusalem, then many churches started forming at different locations like Ephesus, Rome, Philippia, Collosea, Corinth, etc. The churches were known by the name of the place. Even though the apostles preached the Word of God, it was the Holy Spirit who worked in the lives of the hearers and transformed them, and they got born again. They took baptism. The Lord Jesus Christ added to His church, all those who were getting saved. This work still continues. Being born again (Rebirth) and getting baptised are the two essentials qualifying an individual to become a member of the Church. Unlike the church denominations we see around, no human beings can add or remove members from the real church. Only Jesus Christ can be the true Head of the Church. The organisations that we see today are just formed to help organise the gatherings for the smooth functioning of the church, but the actual leader is Jesus Christ himself.
Rebirth: All people born in this world are born as sinners. Which means, their spirit is not alive. When one person realises that he is a sinner and accepts Jesus Christ as the Lord and Saviour, he receives the gift of eternal life (spirit becomes alive and active). This is known as being born again or Rebirth. First birth is physical (from a mother’s womb), the next one is spiritual (born as a child of God) Jesus said: Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again (John 3:3)
Baptism: Baptism is a commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus commanded: Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16: 16)
The Code of the Church
Those who are born as the children of God are pure and holy. That is why God considers us as saints. Not because we became holy by our good deeds, but because we were made holy by the blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, as saints, we need to continue living a holy life. This is called Sanctification. Sanctification means “to be set apart.” Morally, to be sanctified means to be pure or holy while spiritually, to be sanctified means to be set apart for God. (More on Sanctification in Chapter 23) One who is sanctified should remain holy through out the lives by separating himself from evil, which is called Separation. There are two essential code of members of the church : Sanctification and Separation.
The duties of the Church
Once you are a member of the church, God expects mainly two things from you. First is to worship God with all your spirit, soul and body. Secondly, being actively involved in spreading the gospel. These two are evident in the greatest commandment. Love God (Worship), Love others (Gospel Work)
Jesus commanded: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Luke 10: 27
Lesson 17 – Church Similes
The church of God is a concept which originated in the mind of God. Hence it is a mystery and a secret. Therefore, lot of similes are used to explain the various purpose and meaning of the operation of the church.
|Tree||Stem||Branches||Christ nourishes us|
|Temple||Dwells||Forms a dwelling place for Christ||Christ lives in us|
|Building (House)||Foundation (Corner Stone)||Building blocks||Christ is our rock|
|Family||Father God or Elder Brother||Brothers and Sisters||God gives birth to us and protect us|
|Kingdom||King||Citizens||Christ rules over us|
|Body||Head||Body parts||Christ controls us|
|Sheepfold||Shepherd||Sheep||Christ guides us|
|Engaged Couple||Bridegroom||Bride||Christ loves us|
Lesson 18 – Salvation (Its need)
We were all born as sinners. Bible says in 2 verses :- “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”(Romans 3: 23) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6: 23)
Nobody can save us, because all humanity is lost. All people are helpless. That’s why Jesus had to come down to the earth to save us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3: 16)
There is only way to escape death (Second Death which is the lake of fire): Getting saved through Jesus Christ, because the Bible says: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)
What is Salvation?
Salvation means deliverance of man from a lost state of sin and death to supreme blessedness. Blessedness includes the privilege to be born again (Rebirth), Justification, Sanctification and Glorification.
What is sin?
Sin is also disobeying God’s commandment. Also, sin is not doing what God commanded.
Consequences of sin?
As a result of sin, God’s wrath came upon mankind. God cursed Adam and Eve, and the whole world got affected. We are living in a fallen world. Death came into existence. God brought Judgement and Punishment because God is righteous and just. Punishment was eternal hell. Even heredity. The power of sin still continues in this world.
The dominion of sin and need for Salvation
Sin is ruling over human beings like a cruel master. Hence the whole world is drowning in the waters of sin and God’s wrath. Therefore we badly need a powerful Master who can save us from the power of sin. He is Jesus Christ.
Lesson 19 – Salvation in Jesus Christ
A person fell into the water and he doesn’t know swimming. What are the minimum qualifications of a saviour?
- The person must know swimming very well
- The person must be powerful enough to lift the person while swimming
- The person must feel compassion for the dying person
- The person must be willing to jump into the water to save the person
Similarly, what are the qualifications of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Make notes on your own. Page 56
Lesson 20 – Salvation in three tenses
When we were born again, we got saved from the penalty of sin. This is called Past tense experience of salvation. On a day to day basis, we need to live a holy life and get saved from power of sin. This is called Present tense experience of salvation. When Jesu Christ returns back, we will go to heaven, where there is no more sin, death or satan. We are going to be saved from the presence of sin.
Lesson 21 – Salvation – How to experience it?
From the life of the lost son in the parable told by Jesus (Luke 15), there are three steps taken by the lost son to get saved. 1. Self realisation 2. Return (Repentance) 3. Confession