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A Synopsis of the Winter Quarter (December 2016- February 2017) Sunday School Lessons.

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Winter 2016-2017

Quarter At A Glance

by Walter D. Zorn

 

Create—that’s just what God does! And He does it for our benefit as He invites us to experience His goodness in the whole cycle of creation and recreation. This quarter explores various aspects of the great works of our Creator.

 

Creator of the Universe

God created the universe by His powerful word (lesson 5). He reveals himself as the sustainer of His creation as He renews the earth season by season (lesson 8). The way God cares for us in these acts should inspire “a new song” on our part (lesson 6). Since creation by its very existence acknowledges the Creator, should we not join our praise with that unspoken tribute?

Many people see the universe as a result of random chance. In so doing, they fail to praise, or even acknowledge the existence of, the one who created and sustains all that is. But the songs of ancient Israel teach us to praise God for creation continually and to recognize creation itself as sounding God’s praise!

 

Author of Salvation

Sadly, God eventually saw the created order spoiled by human rebellion. But He had a plan. From the beginning, He intended to send His Son to save humanity and recreate the cosmos.

The promise of a Savior was certain and divinely accomplished. Two of God’s willing servants in this climactic event were young Mary and her older relative Elisabeth (lessons 1 and 2). Both women experienced God’s miracle of a humanly impossible conception.

Mary’s conception was virginal, brought about by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). Elisabeth’s miracle was that of an elderly, postmenopausal woman’s being enabled to conceive the forerunner of the Savior (lesson 3). Elisabeth’s testimony affirmed to Mary that God had even greater plans for Mary’s own son. Zacharias, husband of Elisabeth and initially skeptical of the angel’s incredible news, named their son John as instructed; he grew to become the man the Bible calls John the Baptist.

God’s announcement of salvation did not come first to kings or religious authorities. The ones to hear first of the Messiah’s birth were simple shepherds when their nightly routine was interrupted by the divine announcement (lesson 4).

 

Lord of the ReCreated

Jesus came to give His life for us by paying sin’s penalty on the cross. The result is new birth for those accepting the gospel’s offer of salvation. Those who accept this new birth are collectively known as the church.

The church has been described in many ways, but one apt description you may not have thought of is “the community of the recreated.” The church is indeed God’s ultimate act of recreation. Everyone—whether Jew or Greek, in bondage or free, male or female—can be recreated by having sins forgiven. Because of Christ, everyone has equal access to salvation; everyone can be part of the church (lesson 10).

From the beginning, [God] intended to send His Son to save humanity and recreate the cosmos.

We the recreated walk in faith by the power of the Holy Spirit. The result is that we bear the fruit of the Spirit (lesson 13). We “do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). How can we do otherwise, given what the Son of God has done for us?

May this quarter’s studies result in ever-greater humility before Him, the one who not only creates, but also recreates!

 

DECEMBER

Unit 1: The Savior Has Been Born


Lesson 1, December 4 — God Promises a Savior — Luke 1:26-38

Lesson 2, December 11 —The Affirmation of the Promise — Luke 1:39-56

Lesson 3, December 18 — The Forerunner of the Savior — Luke 1:8-20

Lesson 4, December 25 — The Savior Has Arrived — Luke 2:8-20

 

JANUARY

Unit 2: Praise from and for God’s Creation


Lesson 5, January 1 — Praise God for Creation — Psalm 33:1-9

Lesson 6, January 8 — Praise God with a New Song — Psalm 96

Lesson 7, January 15 — Praise God the Provider — Psalm 65

Lesson 8, January 22 — Praise God the Creator — Psalm 104:1-4, 24-30

Lesson 9, January 29 — Praise God with All Creation — Psam 148

 

FEBRUARY

Unit 3: The Birthing of a New Community


Lesson 10, February 5 — ReCreated to Live in Harmony — Galatians 3:26-4:7

Lesson 11, February 12 — New Birth Brings Freedom — Galatians 4:8-20

Lesson 12, February 19 — Freedom in Christ — Galatians 5:1-17

Lesson 13, February 26—Christ Creates Holy Living—Galatians 5:18-6:10

 

  Diligent study of these lessons will not only bless you spiritually, but also aid you in discovering God's plan for your own life.

-John Alva Owston

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