Sunday School - December 28, 2008

Sunday School - December 28, 2008

The devil is in the details” is a popular proverb, which simply implies “details are extremely important”. In a fast moving world where aggressive sales of products and services are more important than the actual quality stated, we are saturated with bold and loud claims of functionality and benefits with minor focus on the underlining qualifiers (the detailed facts in small print and the rapid statement at the end of a television ad) that diminish the stated claims. Such is the promotional ruse which makes prey of many.

Our desire to be pleased and our distaste for unpleasant facts (to a certain degree) promote the deception we so deeply detest. In the end, it appears that the facts are more in the details and the devil resides more so in the promoted claim. Although due diligence may expose a ruse, it does little to change actual facts for in life, such things as side effects and negative byproducts are the cost of living in a sinful world.

As Christians we have acknowledged the detail that we are sinners, lost and dead. It was only when we accepted this unpleasant fact, that we recognized the need to be saved by grace. Thus to be sick and deny that illness exist, one can never seek the cure of such; to be lost and not know, one can never be found.

Matthew 9:12. But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
Matthew 18:11. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

This week’s lesson is again from the gospel according to Luke. For those who follow the International Sunday School Lesson Plan (aka: The Standard Sunday School Lesson), this Sunday's lesson (December 28, 2008) comes from Luke 3:7-18.

This lesson began at a time when the Nation of Israel has long lost its glory (Luke 3:1-6). A nation originally established by God with the condition that its king must be one of their brothers (Deuteronomy 17:14-15), was now lead by strangers. The Nation of Israel, now a powerless remnant, had allowed sin to bring them under the forceful occupation of foreigners (The Roman Empire).

This lesson marks the last of Old Testament Prophets and the fulfillment of past prophecy, that there will come one to prepare the way for the Lord (Isaiah 40:3/ Luke 3:4). John, the son of Zacharias, was the prophet chosen.

John followed the tradition of former prophets in that he did not mince words, nor did he alter his message to cater to the current demographics. All who came to see him were sinners and to all sinners his message would apply, for it would serve not those in bondage to be falsely told that they are free.

Romans 3:23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
Romans 6:20. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

John addressed a multitude as “O generation of vipers”, a harsh truth for they were not only sinners but promoted sin. Their current state of foreign occupation was the fruit of their labor, for life reflects the consequences of our actions (Galatians 6:7). John preached a message of repentance which must come with a change of heart. This would result in a life bringing forth fruits consistent with the inward heart change. Such was not an inherit commodity, passed through bloodlines, for God judges man on an individual bases. In judgment, that which does not provide fruits will be as an unfruitful tree, fit only for fueling a fire (Luke 3:9). Giving this requirement, I am sure many turned away from John, for all probably did not see their true condition or accepted John’s assessment.

Those who had a heart toward repentance (Luke 3:10-14), inquired about the fruit of repentance (What shall we do then?). John’s reply to all: He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise; To the Publicans, exact no more than that which is appointed you; and to the Soldier, do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. Those with a heart determine to do good, must first seek the knowledge of good that needs to be done. Such was also the response of Saul on the road to Damascus and such should be our response in all that we do.

Acts 9:6. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Matthew 6:33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

John was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with power and authority which cause some to ask if he was the Christ. John stated his position as the herald to one that is greater than he, One that will baptized them with fire and thus finalize their repentant heart with the remission of sin. John mission was to clear the path so Christ could follow, for any vessel that is empty or clean, need to be filled. A heart that has repented with Godly sorrow is filled with Christ.

2 Corinthians 7:10. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

If you are not a typical Sunday School attendee, Go and surprise the teacher. If your Church does not follow the Standard Sunday School Lesson and you are not aware of the topic of discussion, take on the attitude of "positive anticipation". I am sure you will like it; there is nothing like reading and discussing God's Word.

FYI: Sunday School is not just for Kids, it is also for the Humble (who wish to seek godly sorrow unto repentance) at heart.

Good Day and God Bless