Christ and His Church - Lesson 6
Christ: The High Priest of His Church
The Worship of the Church
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can explain the role of Christ as our High Priest.
- The student can describe the function of the church as priests.
- The student can list four words that can guide us in effective worship.
- Each student should have a Bible
- The teacher should have access to a chalk board or marker board. No PowerPoint provided with this lesson.
- Have a song book or song sheet with the song "The Church's One Foundation."
Christ as our High Priest serves as the mediator between us and God in the worship God wants us to do. We need to understand God's instructions about worship and learn to do it well so it will please Him.
Lesson Plan for the Teacher
Introduction: (10 minutes)
- Take the roll, introduce visitors and have a prayer.
- Go through the song "The Church's One Foundation" and connect the expressions in the song with what we have studied thus far about the church. The expression "The Church's One Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord," for example, would tie back to the first lesson about "I will build my church" and the foundation of Christ's divinity. Then sing the song.
Learning Experiences: (30 minutes)
- Our study this quarter deals with the various roles Christ plays in the life of the church and how we, as the church, connect with these. Today we are focusing on Christ as our High Priest.
- Q: What was the special function of the Jewish High Priest? A: On one day of the year, he went through the tabernacle's Holy Place and into its Holy of Holies where he offered the blood of a sacrifice on the mercy seat, first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people. (See Hebrews 9:6-7; Leviticus 16.)
- Read Hebrews 7:11. Q: What does it mean that Jesus is a high priest after the order of Melchizedek? A: He did not receive the priesthood by family descent; He has no predecessor in His role and no successor. Is a priest forever (Hebrews7:23). Q: What tribe did the Jewish priests come from? A: Levi. Q: Of what tribe was Jesus? A: Judah.
- So we have a high priest, but one of a different tribe and a different order. To learn what Jesus does as our high priest, let's read Hebrews 4:14-16 and 7:23-27. Q: What is Jesus' work as our high priest? (Write the answers from the class on the board.) A: He is both intercessor and sacrifice. He offered Himself for us as the sacrifice we needed and now He intercedes on our behalf so that when we sin, He can still offer us grace. It is through Him that we approach God.
- Read Hebrews 2:17-18. Q: How did He prepare Himself for His role as intercessor? A: He came to earth and lived like one of us and was tempted like we are. As both God and man, He is uniquely qualified to be the intercessor between humans and the Father.
- Read 1 Peter 2:9. Q: Christ is the High Priest and, according to this passage, who are the priests who serve with Him? A: The church is the priesthood. Q: As priests, what does the passage say we are to do? A: Declare praises to God. Read Hebrews 13:15. Q: Connect this passage to what we have just studied about Jesus and the church. A: Through Jesus, our High Priest, we bring to God a sacrifice of praise, not of animals or the fruit of the ground, but a sacrifice of the fruit of our lips that confess His name.
- Read Hebrews 10:19-25. This passage sums up much of what we have studied. Through Christ, our High Priest, WE enter the Holy of Holies, coming into the very presence of God Himself, and can come there with assurance because Christ has made us clean from sin. Such assurance gives us hope, but we need to spur each other on to love and good deeds by our meeting together to praise God and encourage one another.
- Let's think for a moment about what the church should do in worship and how these things can be done as God wants us to do them.
- When the church comes to worship God, we should always worship Him asHe has directed. He gave the Israelites careful instructions about how He wanted them to worship Him and punished people severely when they departed from His plan. Q: What are some Old Testament examples of this principle? A: Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10 who brought strange fire which God had not commanded; Saul in 1 Samuel 13:8-14 when he offered a sacrifice that he was not supposed to offer; Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26:16-21when he sought to offer incense but was not a priest. In the Christian age,God has also revealed how He wants us to worship. In 1 Corinthians 11:23, for example, Paul says he received from the Lord the instructions he had passed on to the Corinthian church about how to take the Lord's supper and,by not following this teaching, they were bringing judgment on themselves (v. 29). So, what we do in worship and how we do it is very important if we are to properly fill our role as priests.
- Let's look at four passages that teach us principles about what we are to do when we worship. (Teacher: Write on the board the four scriptures and the four key words that come from them as you develop this lesson.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 11:26. Q: When we take the Lord's supper, what should we be doing? A: Proclaiming the Lord's death. Q: To whom and in what way are we making this proclamation? A: To any who might be visiting who see what we are doing, and for those who don't understand what we do in worship. If we are taking the supper properly, we are sending a message to them about our belief in Jesus' death and resurrection. Q: Do we proclaim by other things we do in worship? A: Yes. We sing songs of proclamation ("To God Be the Glory") and should say things in our prayers that proclaim our belief in God's greatness. Our giving proclaims our devotion to God and our message from the Word provides a similar proclamation. So when we engage in these worshipful actions, let us do it with a mindset of "proclamation." Let's write "proclamation" on the board."
- Read Hebrews 13:15. Q: What does this passage say we do in our worship? A: Offer praise. Q: What actions do we take in worship that give us the opportunity to express our praise and adoration for God? A: Songs, Lord's supper, prayer, giving, reading and discussion of scripture. Let's write the word "adoration" on the board." Q: What is an example of a praise and adoration song we sing? Q: How do we praise God in our giving? How do we praise God in taking the Lord's supper?
- Read Ephesians 5:19-20. Q: According to these verses, to whom is our worship directed? A: To the Lord, to God the Father through JesusChrist. This suggests that our worship should have within it a sense of communication as we sing and pray to God. Q: What is a song in which we would be expressing a message to God? A: "O Lord and Father ofMankind." "Unto Thee O Lord." Q: What thoughts might we be sending to God as we take the Lord's supper and when we give? A: Thanks and commitment. Let's write "communication" on the board. Think of callingGod on your cell phone to communicate with Him?
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:26. Q: From this verse, what purpose should lie behind our worship? A: Strengthening or edifying the church. Q: What is something we do in our worship assemblies for worship that builds us up? A: A song of encouragement-"Onward Christian Soldiers."Sermons, the reading of scripture, and the sense of fellowship among believers as we take the Lord's supper. Let's write "edification" on the board. Q: Just to help us remember these, what do the first letters of these words spell? A: PACE.
Application: (5 minutes)
- In the Christian era, Christ is the High Priest and the church is the priesthood which, through the high priest, offers worship to God.
- We should feel highly honored that God has placed us in such a role and we should take very seriously our time of worship together.
- Four words can help us keep our minds focused on what we should be thinking about when we worship: proclamation, adoration, communication, and edification-PACE.
- Next week, I'll ask you what the four words are that should guide our worship.
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