Faithlife Sermons

Lesson 2- Sharing God's Eternal Plan

Evangelizing Your Community  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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This is a series of lessons based off the book Evangelizing Your Community by Stafford North.

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Objectives:

You will be able to use the ten steps in God's eternal plan to explain the basic Bible story and to tell how one can be saved.

Preparation:

Read Chapter 2 in North's Evangelizing Your Community.
Have access to a chalkboard, whiteboard, or use the PowerPoint provided.
Each student will need a blank sheet of paper and a pen or pencil.

Theme:

The gospel message is the story of God's eternal plan: He created people sinless but, with the power to choose, they chose sin and thus separated themselves from God.Because God loved people, He made a way for them to come back to fellowship with Him if they will respond to His invitation.

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (5 minutes)

Prayer about evangelism.
Be sure each student has a paper and pen or pencil to use during the class.

Learning Experiences (35 minutes)

Although the Bible has many complex elements, its basic theme is very simple. Being able to explain that basic theme is not only a way to help someone know how to be saved, but it is also foundational in putting all the pieces of the Bible story together. In this lesson, we will study how to tell the Bible story and the gospel message in ten simple steps. Being able to draw ten pictures, write a short sentence with each and look up one or two passages of scripture with each picture is an excellent way to help a person learn how to be saved. This simple approach has been used in many nations and by many people to very good effect. As we go through the ten steps, draw the picture as I show it to you. Then, along with each picture, write a key sentence to explain the picture and note one or two passages to use when you share this message with others.
At our next class meeting we will all have an opportunity to share this message with someone else in the class. Spend a little time going over these ten steps so you will be ready for that exercise.
(Draw on the board the first picture or use the PowerPoint provided.)
Q: What does this picture represent?
A:Guide the students by questions until they get something like: GOD AND PEOPLE ARE IN FELLOWSHIP.
Q: Read Genesis 3:8 What does this passage say about the relationship between God and His recent creation-Adam and Eve?
A: They shared a close fellowship.
Q: Does this picture also tell how each of us started life?
A: Yes. We all began life in fellowship with God as innocent children. So this picture is not only how the Bible story begins, it is also how my story and your story began.
Have you drawn the picture, written a statement and noted a passage of scripture?
The next picture is a face with a question mark. (Draw this picture on the board.)
Q: What might this picture mean?
(As needed, ask such questions as: What did God give people that He did not give animals? Do human beings just act from instinct?)
Q: Read Genesis 2:15-17 What does God expect Adam and Eve to do about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
A: Stay away from it. Thus, God gave people the power to choose and expected them to make a right choice about not eating from this tree. Read
Genesis 1:27 NKJV
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Q: What light does this passage shed on this topic?
A: God made people in His image-that is, He made them with a will, with the power to choose, with a mind and emotions, and with an eternal soul. So, this picture suggests: GOD GAVE PEOPLE THE POWER TO CHOOSE.
Q: What are some of the consequences of God's giving people choice?
A: We have a responsibility to make good choices and will suffer harmful consequences if we make bad choices. The presence of evil in the world with all the harm that has brought is because God gave human beings the right to choose. God didn't put evil into the world. Since He didn't make us robots but, rather, gave us choice, people's bad choices have brought evil and all that goes with it into our world. "Because God gave us the power to choose" is the answer to many questions people ask about why there are bad things in the world, why evil and suffering are here, and why bad things happen to good people.
The next picture shows an "S" with a hand pointing to it. Draw an arrow pointing toward the "S" if that will be easier for you.
Q: What does the "S" stand for?
A: Sin.
Q: And what does the arrow mean?
A: PEOPLE HAVE CHOSEN TO SIN.
Q: How does this connect with the story of Adam and Eve? Read Genesis 3:6.
A: So Adam and Eve sinned.
Q: What percentage of people who have reached an age of being responsible for their decisions, have also chosen to sin? Read Romans 3:23.
A: All of us have sinned. The story of all people is the same. All have sinned in one way or another. We have lied, stolen, been unkind, left undone what we should have done. We have all chosen to sin.
The fourth picture shows the consequences of sin. Remember, all have sinned.
Q: What happens to all as a result of their sins?
A: SIN SEPARATES US FROM GOD.
Q: Read Isaiah 59:2 What does the passage say sin does?
A: Separates us from God.
Q:Read Romans 6:23. What does this passage say comes as a consequence of sin?
A: Sin pays wages and wages of sin is death, spiritual death.
Q: What does it mean to be separated from God?
A: Not only to be separated from Him in this life, but to be eternally separated from Him-living eternally where He is not present. Thus to miss heaven and to live in hell. No wonder people in this condition have a sad face. Their future is very dim.
Q: Once my sins have separated me from God, is there anything I can do to earn my way back to God's presence? How many good deed does it take to erase one bad deed?
A: No one can earn his/her way back to God by being good or doing good deeds. We actually are helpless and hopeless in this position of being separated from God.
Q: What is God's position about our sins? Read Ezekiel 18:20.
A: He must punish them.
Q: What quality of God is reflected in this passage?
A: His justice.
Q: Read 2 Peter 3:9 What does this passage suggest about God's desires?
A: God does not want us to continue to be separated from Him?
Q: What quality of God does this suggest?
A: His love and desire to save. So, God's qualities place Him in a dilemma. He must punish us but He wants to forgive us? Thus our drawing-P or F? WILL GOD PUNISH OR FORGIVE?
Q: So which has decided to do?
A: He has developed a plan that allows Him to do both. He will both punish and forgive.
Q: But how can God do this?
A: He is just and must punish our sins. But He also loves us, and wants to forgive us.
Q: What way did God find both to punish and to forgive our sins?
A: Jesus lived a perfect life and did not deserve to be punished for sins but received punishment for sins He did not do.
Q: What principle is God using here?
A: Substitution. Christ receiving the punishment in our place. From the beginning God had a plan in mind.
Ephesians 1:4–5 NKJV
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
If people sinned and were, therefore, separated from Him, He would send His Son to die for sins in our place. The entire Old Testament tells how God developed this plan by using the nation of Israel through whom to bring a savior.
Q: Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. How does this verse explain the plan of God?
A: The sinless Christ took the punishment of the real sinners upon Himself and died in their place.
Draw on the board the cross with drops of blood coming down from it.
Q: Read John 3:16 What does this verse teach about the plan of God?
A: IN SHEDDING HIS BLOOD, JESUS TOOK OUR PUNISHMENT UPON HIMSELF.
Now put the next drawing on the board-the cross with a hand or an arrow pointing toward it.
Q: What does this picture suggest?
A:SINNERS MUST CHOOSE THE CROSS. Just as we chose to sin, we must choose God's remedy for sin. The doctor can prescribe the medicine, but we must choose to take it.
Q: Read John 3:16 What does this verse teach about our accepting Jesus?
A: We must believe in Jesus and that faith can take us from a perishing state to having the prospect of eternal life.
Q:Read Ephesians 2:8-9 What do these verses add about our being saved?
A: God provides the grace, but we must accept by faith.
There are some other verses to consider along with these that help to give us the full picture of our salvation.
Q: Read James 2:20-24 What does James teach about faith?
A: That God asks for a demonstration of our faith before He rewards it. An undemonstrated faith is a dead faith.
Now draw another picture on the board-F plus O. GOD DESIRES FAITH PLUS OBEDIENCE.
Q: Read Acts 2:38 On the day of Pentecost, what did Peter tell believers to do to demonstrate their faith so they would receive forgiveness of sins?
A: Repent and be baptized for forgiveness of sins.
Q: Read Acts 22:16 What does Ananias tell Saul (Paul) to do as a demonstration of his faith before his sins will be washed away?
A: Be baptized.
Q: Galatians 3:26-27 What did those who had believed in Christ do to be put into Christ?
A: Be baptized.
Q: So what did inspired teachers tell people to do so they would be forgiven of sins, have their sins washed away, and to be put into Christ?
A: Believe and be baptized. Faith without the demonstration of repentance and baptism is incomplete and does not yield the benefit of forgiveness of sins.
Draw the next picture on the board.
Q: What does this picture suggest to you?
A: SINS THAT SEPARATED US FROM ARE GONE AND WE ARE HAPPY TO BE WITH GOD AGAIN.
Q: Read Acts 2:38 What does Peter say will happen after baptism?
A: Sins will be forgiven.
Q: Read John 14:23 What does this passage teach about our relationship with God and Christ?
A: When we obey Christ, He and God will "make their home" with us.
Q: Read 2 Corinthians 5:18 What word does this passage use to describe what happens between us and god?
A: Reconciliation. Back together again.
Now the final picture.
Q: What does it suggest?
A: All the saved are now in Christ.
Q: Read Galatians 3:27 Where does God place us after baptism?
A: ALL THE SAVED ARE IN CHRIST, IN HIS BODY.
Q: Read Acts 2:47 What does this passage teach happens to the saved?
A: God adds them to the group already saved-the church. This is the culmination of God's eternal plan. People who have sinned and who have believed in Jesus and have demonstrated that faith in repentance and baptism are restored to fellowship with God. These ten steps lead us through the Bible story and make a good way to teach a person how to be saved.

Application: (5 minutes)

Every Christian should be able to tell the gospel message to someone else. Leaning to draw these ten pictures and being able to explain them with a brief sentence and scriptures will enable you to share this message at any time and in any place.

Assignment:

From the notes taken in class, make a good copy of the pictures, statements and scriptures you want to use when you tell this story.
Practice telling the story of God's eternal plan to someone you know-a family member or a friend. In class next week, you will be asked to sit with a partner so that you can each draw the pictures and explain them, with scriptures. You can use notes as needed.
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