C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL MANUAL FOR FEBRUARY 6 & 13, 2022 UNIT ONE, LESSON TWO : TOPIC – GOD’S GRACE AROUND MAN’S FALL
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH WORLDWIDE
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
(KINGDOM OF GOD FAMILY)
THEME: GROW IN THE GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD
JANUARY – JUNE, 2022
UNIT ONE: THE GRACE OF OUR LORD
FEBRUARY 6 & 13, 2022
TOPIC: GOD’S GRACE AROUND MAN’S FALL
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
God gave man a soft landing, when man fell. This is nothing but grace in action.
Grace is understood as a generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved gift from God to people. It takes the form of divine favour and a share in the divine nature of God. It is an attribute of God that is most manifest in the salvation of sinners. The grace of God is His gift given to man; an expression of His nature for the purpose of ultimate victory over the devil (his works inclusive) and restoration of man to Himself.
The good and perfectly created man was deceived by the devil who led them into rebellion against God. Instead of enjoying all of God’s supernatural and undeserved provisions, they went into unprofitable hard labour, trying to figure out things for themselves, instead of relying totally on God. Their shame was soon revealed, and hiding from God’s presence because man’s lot. However, the ever-loving and merciful Creator as part of His creation plan had made redemption available, even when it was neither requested nor deserved. Thus, being the last but not the least in creation was not to man’s disadvantage
Also, man’s rebellion that ought to bring total destruction upon man as judgment was abated with immediate release of God’s ready-made ultimate plan. God turned things around for the undeserving and least expectant man.
It is natural for man to err, if he continues to live as a natural man. And that we mistakenly fall doesn’t meet God unawares. But He wants every man to enjoy the free gift of grace through his belief in and acceptance of Christ Jesus (the second Adam), who is the antidote to the poison the ancient serpent gave the first Adam. God can turn worst situations around for your good regardless of your background, human limitations, or oppressions.
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK ONE
Mon. Jan. 31: Prior Preparation For Man’s Redemption (Rev. 13:8)
Tue. Feb. 1: Pride Had Finished Lucifer, Earlier (Isa. 14:12-15)
Wed. Feb. 2: Proclaim The Excellency Of God’s Creative Power (Psa. 8:1, 2)
Thur. Feb. 3: Ponder On Man’s Position In Creation (Psa. 8:3,4)
Fri. Feb. 4: Power And Dominion Given To Man (Psa. 8:5-8)
Sat. Feb. 5: Proclaim God’s Excellency In Creation (Psa. 8:9)
1. Grace clearly manifests in how God chose to undeservingly favour the fallen man, before and after his fall.
2. It was man who sinned-disobedience. Yet, God Himself still came to deliver the same man from eternal damnation by offering redemption through Jesus Christ. This is great unmerited favour.
3. That God had prepared the propitiation for sin ever before man’s creation and eventual fall (Rev. 13:8) is a clear indication of grace, in that while man was even yet unaware and undeserving, God had already provided for His redemption (Jn. 15:13; Rom. 5:6-8).
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Romans 5:6-8
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: To show how unreservedly gracious God is, in the creation, positioning and redemption of man.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, learners should:
i. be able to discuss the depth of God’s grace to the undeserving man at creation;
ii. be able to show that God is always willing and ever-ready to restore man to His original position.
iii. be able to convincingly defend that the grace of God has always been there for man, even before eternity and man’s eventual fall; and
iv. have begun to live out the conviction that everything we will ever need is in Christ Jesus, for victory over the dictates of the flesh.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: GENESIS 1:26-30; 2:8-17; 3:7, 14-24
We thank God for the first lesson of this series that explicitly opened our eyes to the import of the series. In that previous lesson, we discussed the biblical idea that our God is the God of all grace. Both His character and actions show the absolute understanding of what Grace is, in the real sense. May we better interact with His grace for the redemption of our pasts, restructuring of our present, and re-enacting our glorious futures, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Bible shows that the God is not predisposed to defining His character traits – love, grace, mercy, judgment, etc. Instead, He demonstrates them in different ways, for our understanding. We see this very clearly in the demonstration of His grace towards man – creation, positioning and redemption intervention. This is the import of the second lesson of this series. Looking at the fact that God brought man in, as the last of His creative activities before resting on the 7th day, and how, yet, God gave him a special place above the earlier creatures, one would marvel at what man must have done to deserve such an ‘honourable’ treatment. The trust is, man contributed nothing, hence the Psalmist’s exclamation in Psa. 8:3ff. Moreover, the way God handled man’s fall, despite His no-nonsense character of justice, adds to the confusion of the carnal mind, as to why God would be so lenient, accommodating the disobedient man disobedient. No! That is God’s grace in action.
As we study lesson 2, let us open our minds for better understanding how God has been showing His grace to man from the beginning. This will surely make us better Christians, living and working in God’s grace through our Lord Jesus Christ.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
This is a two-week lesson with two major divisions, I and II Each is further divided into A and B.
DIVISION I: BEFORE THE FALL
This first part of this division dwells on how God’s grace strategically and specially positions man in creation. God ensured that all that man would need to live a good life (a heaven on earth) had been provided and readily available before being created. The other part reveals the convenient, conducive and comfortable garden God provided for mankind where everything was as good as God wanted it. God wants us to live lives that portray His glory and for His glory here on earth.
DIVISION II: IN AND AFTER THE FALL
The fall of a man has never been the end of his life, as much as he is willing to rise. And to rise, help/grace is always needed. In this division, we shall consider how man rebelled against His Creator, and instead of being utterly destroyed because of disobedience, God’s grace and mercy prevailed. This was revealed in how He rolled out His eternal provision for man’s redemption even from the point of punishing man.
I. BEFORE THE FALL
A. POSITIONS MAN SPECIALLY IN CREATION
B. PLACES MAN IN THE GARDEN OF BLISS.
II. IN AND AFTER THE FALL
A. MAKES GOD MERCIFUL TO THE UNDESERVING MAN
B. BRINGS REDEMPTION TO THE UNDESERVING MAN.
I. BEFORE THE FALL (1:26-30; 2:8-17)
God, the strategic Creator, always has His purpose in mind before executing His plan-a heaven on earth. That man came last in creation did not make him the least. In fact, he was graced to have dominion over the creations before him.
A. POSITIONS MAN SPECIALLY IN CREATION (1:26-30)
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (v.26).
i. v. 25: GOD made an indescribable glorious world in preparation for man’s coming. The statement, … *it was good* , can’t fully capture the glory of everything God had made before man’s creation (vv. 1-25).
ii. That … *God saw* and confirmed *that it was good* is enough attestation to the splendour of the God-made nature. God cannot lie (Num. 23:19),
iii. v. 26a: God so prioritised the creation and positioning of man that it made Him to call for a meeting of the Godhead, unlike in the case of the earlier creature; hence the Psalmist’s wondering in Psa. 8:3ff. Does man ever deserve this? No! What compelled Him? GRACE and LOVE!
iv. v. 26: Neither was man deserving of, nor did he demand the dominion that God gave him over the other creatures made before him. Imagine that God had chosen to do otherwise, could man have ever known, or protested? No!
v. vv. 27-30: God is the only “Talk-and-Do.” He did exactly with man, what He had graciously conceived for him (cf. Num. 23:19), even when man could least have contributed anything, in any way.
vi. This wonderful positioning of man is nothing but a product of God’s graciousness — Grace in action for the undeserving man who could neither ask for, nor contribute meaningfully to it.
vii. Every child of God is expected to enjoy the supernatural, since that is exactly the word, grace has brought us into.
B. PLACES MAN IN THE GARDEN OF BLISS (2:8-17)
Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it (v. 15).
i. v. 8: Ever before man came on board or could demand anything for his well-being, the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden. The description of this garden further attests to God’s inestimable graciousness, eternally geared towards man. Appreciate His Grace.
ii. Eden means ‘paradise’, ‘bliss’, ‘pleasure.’ It is so wonderful that anything like ‘Eden’ is most desirable (cf. Isa. 51:3). v. 9 clearly describes the abundance of the garden. God has been inexplicably good to man.
iii. vv. 8-14: Eden was a well-watered garden with wonderful natural resources — gold, Bdellium, onyx, to mention the few the Bible mentions.
iv. What a glorious garden, well equipped for the undeserving man! Similarly, He has abundant provision in Christ for as many as would make the most of Christ’s ever accessible and availing grace (2 Pet. 1:3).
v. vv. 8b, 15: In this glorious garden, God chose to deposit the undeserving man, for his benefits. Man had ready-made provisions for his total, absolute well-being that he neither anticipated, asked for, nor worked for.
vi. vv. 16-17: God could have chosen to make man a robot, or like animals that live by instincts. Who would query Him (Psa. 115:3)? Making man a free moral agent with the opportunity to choose between good and evil, is another expression of God’s unmerited favour. Don’t abuse this grace (Gal. 5:13).
vii. The grace of God in a man’s life positions such a man for supernatural supply and experience. Abuse of it blocks access to divine provision for a fulfilled life here on earth, and causes man to ultimately lose his eternal reward.
1. God had put everything in place to make sure man has a wonderful life and living I think Him, ever before man’s creation.
2. Man has never deserved anything from God since eternity; all man gets is by GRACE, and GRACE alone.
WORK TO DO
If God has so graciously endowed man, described the depth/magnitude of God’s pain when man abuses the grace, beginning with the Fall.
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO
1. God, having put everything in place for man, would not gladly behold that His efforts be wasted, for any reasons. Of course, no one can be happy seeing works of his hands being bastardised in any form.
ii. To whom much is given, much is expected.
iii. It took God special efforts in creating the special being — man.
iv. It would be so painful because man, the only creature created in His likeness, has tarnished His image.
v. Man should have appreciated his dominion better since he was the last to be created and was given everything to enjoy.