Sharing Your Faith - Lesson 4
God's Eternal Plan (1)
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can draw 10 figures which summarize God’s plan for saving us and can put with each picture a short sentence explaining it and a scripture reference teaching it.
- The student will express gratitude to God and Christ for making this plan possible.
- The student will desire to teach this lesson to others.
- Have access to a board and chalk or markers.
- Take the sheet provided with all the drawings and make one copy for each two people you expect in class. Then cut each sheet into 10 pieces so that each of the small drawings is on a square by itself and is about 2 inches by 2 inches. Do not include scripture verses in your cutouts. Then put each of these sets of pieces in its own envelope so you will have one envelope for each two students expected in class.
- Each two students will need a surface on which to layout the ten pieces of paper—a table, a desk, the seat of an extra chair, or a large book or cardboard.
- Provide for each student a blank 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper and a pen or pencil.
The Bible reveals God’s eternal plan by which He determined to save people if they sinned and, thus, were separated from Him. This plan may be expressed in ten steps, each of which can be shown by a simple drawing and a verse of scripture. By learning these, a student can have a general grasp of the story of scripture and have a simple way of sharing this with others.
Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class
Introduction: (about 15 minutes)
- Welcome the class and recognize any visitors.
- Make any necessary announcements.
- Have a song such as I Owed a Debt I Could Not Pay or A Wonderful Savior.
- Ask one of the young men to lead a prayer and especially ask God to help the class reach out to the lost.
- Hand out the quiz over the previous lesson and ask the students to complete it. After allowing time for completion, let the students check their answers. No.1—Right Motivation, Right Involvement, Right Person, Right Approach, Right Focus, and Right Attitude (8 points each). No. 2—Our Class, Our Activities, Home Bible Study, Individual Bible Study (8 points each for any 2). No. 3— Jesus (12 points). No. 4—Humble, Open, Listen, Empathetic, Generous (8 points each for any 3). Pass around the sheet on which students can write down their grades. Record the grade on your class grade sheet.
- Q: What does the word “gospel” mean? (good news)
- Q: What is the good news? (that Jesus came to make it possible for us to be forgiven and come back to God.)
- We all need to know a simple, clear way of telling this story to others. And that is what we will study for this lesson and the next. When it is over, everyone in the class should be able to sit down with someone and explain the basic Bible story in a very simple way.
- This will be helpful when you are visiting with friends about the Bible or when you are on a campaign or when you might teach a Bible class sometime in the future.
Learning Experiences: (about 26 minutes)
- Ask the students to pair off (there could be up to three in a group). Then hand each group one of the envelopes you have prepared. They will need a surface on which to layout the ten pieces of paper—a desk or tabletop, an empty chair, a notebook. Tell the students that these ten pictures, put in the proper order, tell the story of the whole Bible. Ask them to work on putting them in order. After a minute or two, ask “What does G stand for?” Someone will say “God” and you can acknowledge that as correct. After another 30 seconds, ask “What does the S stand for?” Someone will say “sin.” Tell students if they think their group has worked it out to let you look. If correct, congratulate them. If not, give them a hint and tell them to keep working. After about five minutes, proceed with the next step. Now hand out the blank sheets and pencils.
- Tell the students you want them to help you put the ten steps telling the Bible story in order on the board. Tell them that after they are on the board, you will later discuss each in detail. (It is important to get all the steps on the board during this class meeting so students can check the order they put them in and correct it as necessary. You will go back in the next lesson and elaborate on the meaning of each step.) They should learn to do three things: draw the figure, put a verse of scripture with it, and then be able to write a short sentence explaining what this drawing means. Tell them after two class meetings on this topic, you will ask them to teach this lesson to someone else—a brother or sister, parent, or friend so they should learn with that in mind.
- Go to the board. Q: “What drawing goes first.”
- Someone will say, the G and happy face. You now draw that picture on the board (in a location that lets you draw the rest following it.) Ask the students to draw this picture on their papers. Now talk briefly about the meaning of that concept—God and man began in fellowship with each other. The lesson text gives more details on each point. Ask the student to rearrange their pieces into the correct order as you go along.
- Q: What comes next? The face with a question mark. Q: What does this suggest? (God gave man the power to choose.) Q: What was the first choice Adam and Eve made? (To eat or not to eat of the forbidden fruit.)
- Q: What comes next? Pointing to S. Q: What choice did Adam and Eve make? (To eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.) Q: And have we all also chosen at some time to sin?
- Q: So what happened when Adam and Eve sinned? And what happens when we sin? (Sin separates us from God—and eventually this means eternal separation from Him.)
- What is next? Now God must make a choice. Will He punish the sinner or forgive him? Q: Does God have to punish sin? (Yes. He is a just judge and cannot ignore sin or let it go unpunished. What would we think of a judge today who turned convicted criminals loose with no punishment.) Q: Does God want to forgive our sins? (Yes. He is also merciful and loving and wants to remove the barrier between us and Himself.) So if God must punish our sins but wants to forgive us, what can He do? This is God’s great dilemma. The good news of the gospel is that He found a way to do both.
- Q: How did God manage both to punish our sins and forgive us? Through the death of Jesus on the cross and that is the next drawing. Q: What do the drops represent? (Jesus’ blood.) Q: But why is His blood important? (Because it was in His death by shedding His blood that He was punished for sins He didn’t do -thus God could count His undeserved punishment as punishment for our sins. He was our substitute.)
- Q: So what comes next? Yes—pointing to the cross. Since God gave us choice, we can choose Jesus and the cross or reject Him. We can benefit from Jesus’ death or not—that is our choice. We can believe in Him or not.
- Q: So is believing in Jesus all one has to do to have Him take our punishment? (No.) Q: So what is the next drawing? Faith plus obedience. We must believe in Jesus (accept Him as our savior and then we must show Him this faith is real by demonstrating it. Q: What are the first demonstrations we are asked to do to show our faith? (Repentance and baptism. Mention that you will discuss all of this more fully next week.)
- Q: After we obey in repentance and baptism, what happens next? Our sins are removed and we are restored to fellowship with God.
- Q: What does the C stand for? Christ—All those whose sins are forgiven are added to Christ. We are baptized into Christ. Q: What are some Bible names for all those who are in Christ? (church, kingdom, family, body.)
- Remind the students of how important it is for us to be able to explain the Bible story to someone in this simple fashion and that the next lesson will provide verses that go with each step.
Applications: (about 3 minutes)
- Q: What are some words that could express how we should feel about the fact that Christ came and died on the cross so you could have forgiveness of sins?
- Q: How should this affect how I live daily?
Assignment: (about 1 minute)
- Practice drawing the 10 figures in order. Take your sheet home and see if you can do them from memory.
- After next week’s lesson that will give you more detail, we will ask you actually to go through sharing these drawings with someone else.
Evaluation: (next class meeting)
- At the beginning of the next class period, give students a couple of minutes to see if they can draw the ten pictures in order.
- As an attachment for this lesson, the author has provided a full statement on each of the ten steps in explaining the story of scripture. You should read this as background material for teaching these two lessons.
- The author of this series has two correspondence courses on his Website built around these ten steps. One is for adults and the other for children. If these would be useful for you to use, either with the students in this class as a follow-up exercise, or to make for them to use with others, you may download them free at www.oc.edu/faculty/stafford.north.
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