Table of Contents
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ASSEMBLIES OF GOD NIGERIA
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS|JULY-DECEMBER, 2023.
UNIT 5: The Gospel By Luke
LESSON 20: NOVEMBER 12, 2023.
TOPIC: A NEW ERA BEGINS
Memory Verse: Luke 1:68 – Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people (KJV).
Lesson Bible Text:
Lesson Central Truth:
The era of God’s grace that began with the birth of John the Baptist is still in effect today.
INTRODUCING THE LESSON
John the Baptist was a key figure in the first coming of Christ. He served as Christ’s forerunner, calling people to repent in preparation for His coming. This message of repentance made him a celebrated figure among the Jewish people, in that corruption had arisen among the leaders in Jerusalem.
As a result, Jesus was extremely popular among the people who desired spiritual reform.
However, this message of repentance (and, therefore, a call to reformation) brought about opposition as well.
And so, God raised up John to proclaim repentance and declare Christ, and John faithfully fulfilled that calling. The message of repentance remains important today, for repentance opens the heart to receive Christ’s marvelous gift of grace: salvation and eternal life.
Also see; open-heaven-12-november-2023
1. JOHN’S BIRTH FORETOLD
A. A Prayer Had Been Answered – Luke 1:5-13
B. John: Empowered By The Holy Spirit – luke 13-17.
2. ZECHARIAH’S REACTION
A. Zechariah Expresses Disbelief – Luke 1:18-22
B. The Lord Is Kind – Luke 1:23-25.
3. JOHN’S BIRTH
A. John’s Arrival – Luke 1:57-68
B. John’s Call – Luke 1:76-80.
1. JOHN’S BIRTH FORETOLD
As we examine John the Baptist’s life we see that the miraculous power of God played a central role in his ministry. This was true even in the announcement of his birth, described in detail by Luke. John was born to a priest named Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. They were both godly people and advanced in years, yet they had no children for Elizabeth was barren. God appeared to Zechariah at his place of service unto the Lord through an angel. We serve a prayer answering God. Zechariah might have presented his problem before God and God did shows up to him. Do you have issues that seems impossible like that of Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth? Keep serving the Lord. Keep trusting God. Surely, answers to your prayers will come.
While God had answered Zechariah’s prayer, He also provided an additional blessing: Zechariah and Elizabeth would have a son. Such a blessing was clearly a miracle from the Lord. God identified the child as a boy and instructed that the couple name him John. The name John means “the Lord is gracious,” or “shows grace.” John’s name was an indication that the time of God’s grace was about to begin. The angel of God gave details about John’s character and the effect he would have on his family as well as on the nation. Among the things the angel revealed about John was the fact he would be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. John’s great purpose would be to prepare the way of the Messiah by turning hearts of people to God before the Messiah came. Just like John, we too must prepare our hearts for Christ’s rule and daily submit to His rule. We need the Spirit’s power in our lives to minister effectively and powerfully in a sinful world.
2. ZECHARIAH’S REACTION
Zechariah first reacted with disbief to the angel’s message. This can be attributed to his and Elizabeth’s age at the time of the announcement–both were well beyond the normal age of procreation. It means that even godly people who believe a great deal of truth about God, who are well advanced in their walk with God, can still struggle with doubt and unbelief in other areas. The stories of Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Hezekiah and Jehoshaphat all show us that a true believer may sometimes be overtaken by unbelief. Zechariah focused on his infertility instead of on God’s sufficiency. He had his eyes on the creature, not the Creator; his problem, not His promise. As believers, we must note that God’s promises are ever sure and non of our unbelief can stop His agenda or purpose concerning us. Angel of God took away Zechariah’s ability to speak–this could serve as punishment for Zechariah’s lack of faith.
After Zechariah’s time of service in the temple came to an end and Zechariah returned and the wife became pregnant as the angel of God had told him and Elizabeth responded to God’s kindness to her with gratitude. Elizabeth rejoiced with a great joy by praising God who had taken away her reproach. Our God is the only One that has power make a barren woman of many years like Elizabeth to have children. “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalms 113:9). As believers, we must bear in mind that our God will cause fruitfulness to happen in any aspect of our lives that is barren. At times, our situation may seems impossible, but our God will make it possible.
3. JOHN’S BIRTH
Luke 1:57-68, 76-80.
Elizabeth delivered a son and the neighbours and relatives rejoiced with her. We should note that the birth of John was a result of the great mercy which the Lord had shown to Elizabeth, to Israel, and ultimately, the world. This is so because the arrival of John the Baptist was a key moment in God’s larger plan in providing salvation for all mankind through Jesus Christ. Fear got hold of the people around because of an obvious miracle that had taken place in the sealing and then loosing of Zacharias’ tongue. The miracle prompted people to question: “What kind of child will this be?” Therefore, Zechariah’s praise focused upon God’s grace in providing salvation through Jesus Christ. The doings of the Lord is always a wonder to many around.
John’s arrival as the forerunner of Christ ushered in the new era with clear role and purpose. The infant John is called God’s prophet which means that God had selected him to declare information to the people. He is the prophet of the “highest”–which describes God as the most glorious and transcendental of beings. God intended to redeem His people through the person of Jesus. Therefore, John would go before the God of Israel as His representative in order to prepare His way. Mercy is the basis whereby God could offer salvation. God’s mercy is in the person of Jesus Christ. John’s offer of salvation through the forgiveness of sins is linked to the One who provides this salvation, that is, Jesus the Messiah. Verses 78-79 turn our attention to God’s mercy which was made available to the nation through Jesus Christ. Just like John, our message must centre on Christ and not on ourselves or our church. We must point everyone to Christ crucified.
Lesson Action Word
It was nothing but good news to Zacharias that he would not only have a son, but that the son would have a significant role in God’s plan of redemption. This is the good news that Gabriel brought to Zacharias. This gives a better idea of what it really means to preach the gospel–it is to bring good news to people who need it. Christ is the Good news to all.
Lesson Prayer Point
Father, help us to always point people to Christ and live our lives for Your purpose in Jesus Matchless Name. Amen!
Remain blessed as you join us in our Sunday school both online and at any Assemblies Of God Church close to you as we study together under the Feet of the Master.
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