C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL MANUAL FOR , MARCH 20 & 27, 2022 UNIT ONE, LESSON FIVE : TOPIC – THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE
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 TWO: THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD
MARCH 20 & 27, 2022
LESSON FIVE : THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE
As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3).
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Truly, knowledge is power, but more powerfully, the knowledge of Christ empowers man in all ways.
Sincerely, it is of no use going through life, until we realise who is really in charge. Life is at its best when we give Jesus Christ the Title Deed to our lives. That means He controls our heart, our passions, our substances, everything we have, and our relationships, everyone we know. It means He controls us! That is where life begins, by giving Jesus the monopoly. Remember, when Jesus has the monopoly, when He is in control, we win! But what does it take to make it through this life? Once we have placed Jesus in the driver’s seat, we have made that commitment? Our memory verse answers this.This one verse tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ gives us everything we need for life. So, rather than looking to the ‘so-called’ experts that tell us what we need, let us always look to the unfailing One through the infallible, inerrant Word of God. It is there that we can discover His Divine power; it is the power that supersedes any other power. When the wind and waves were releasing their fury on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus rebuked them and everything was quiet. The disciples were amazed at Jesus’ awesome power, and asked, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him.” That is the power that can give us all that we need for life and godliness. But you must resolve, hunger for and desire this power through salvation and consistent growth in the knowledge of Christ, by His Written Word, the Bible. How well and often do you study that Word?
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK ONE
Mon. 14: Knowledge Reflects God’s Grace (Psa. 77:1-3)
Tue. 15: Knowledge Applies God’s Grace (Psa. 77:4-6)
Wed. 16: Knowledge Extends God’s Grace (Psa. 77:7-10)
Thur. 17: Knowledge Preserves In God’s Grace (Psa. 77:11-13)
Fri. 18: Knowledge Edifies In God’s Grace (Psa. 77:14-15)
Sat. 18: Knowledge Helps To Appreciate God’s Grace (Psa. 77:16-20)
1. The knowledge of God is the power that combats and defeats false teaching in the Church and the world at large.
2. We ensure this by firstly examining what we hear, testing it by the Scripture, as the Bereans did in Macedonia (Acts 17:11). We should also handle God’s truth rightly (2 Tim. 2:15). The more we are reading and meditating on God’s Word regularly (Jos. 1:8). the more we are sharing it responsibly with others within the Church and in the world at large.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURES: Philippians 4:13
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
AIMS: To encourage believers to grow in the true knowledge (experimental and relational) of the Lord Jesus Christ.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, learners should
i. have been more like the Apostles, exhibiting signs of readiness to spiritually grow, and growing on to maturity and godliness;
ii. by able to discuss the dangers involved in discarding the true knowledge resident only in our Lord Jesus Christ;
iii. be able to discuss the coming wrath of God upon those who persist in ungodliness and false teaching; and
iv. be more resolute to lives that would show to the world, despite their scoffing, that only the knowledge of Christ gives true and lasting power.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: Hos. 4:6; Rom. 10:1-4; Heb. 8:11-12; 2 Pet. 1:2-4.
Glory be to God Almighty for seeing us through lesson 4 where we discussed, GOD’S GRACE IS REALISED IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. We trust that you have been able to fully appropriate this grace, and have begun to enjoy the unlimited riches of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.
This current lesson is titled THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE. It is amazing, the value that the Bible gives to knowledge! All the power available from God to live and be godly comes through knowledge — His knowledge. We need to put a premium on doctrine and instruction in the Scriptures, because life and godliness are at stake. Knowledge may not guarantee godliness, but at least, it leads in the direction of godliness. Conversely, ignorance seems to guarantee ungodliness, because the Scripture says that the divine power that leads to godliness is given through the knowledge of God.
It is not just any knowledge that will result in experiencing God’s power; only the knowledge of God’s Word leads a person to the true knowledge of Him and consequently, His power. Only the knowledge based on God’s Word will produce a genuine experience of God and His power. The reason for this is that, the power of God is revealed and experienced in His Word. Therefore, to know His Word is to know and experience His power.
May we be enabled by the Holy Spirit to experience God anew, and become further empowered, through the knowledge of God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
This is a 2-week lesson with two major divisions, I and II. Each is further divided into A and B.
DIVISION I: TRUE KNOWLEDGE DON’T DISCARD
This first division dwells on the grave consequences of a lack of God’s knowledge. The one who lacks God’s knowledge is killing him/herself. On the other way round, the zealous one who also lacks knowledge is doing him/herself a great deal of harm. However, knowledge acquired outside of God will not endure; because it will soon pass/fade away like a flash in the pan. But when true knowledge is gotten, it must be held on to, with zest and determination not to allow it slip off.
DIVISION II: TRUE KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
This division likewise dwells on two important issues. One, Godly Knowledge Affords Divine Power, where we are exposed on the all-sufficient power of God Promises Us His Knowledge. This will be fulfilled in us when we passionately seek after Him through the various avenues — the Holy Spirit, the Bible, saved and sanctified teachers, and the fellowship of the brethren.
I. TRUE KNOWLEDGE: DON’T DISCARD
A. LACKING GOD’S KNOWLEDGE IS SUICIDAL
B. ZEAL WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS
II. TRUE KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
A. GODLY KNOWLEDGE AFFORDS DIVINE POWER
B. GOD’S PROMISES US HIS KNOWLEDGE
I. TRUE KNOWLEDGE: DON’T DISCARD (Hosea 4:6; Romans 10:1-4)
The Bible encourages us to buy the truth and sell it not. True knowledge is the knowledge that reveals and releases all good and godly things from above (cf. Jas. 1:17), physically and spiritually. Hence, whoever is fortunate to have it must guard it jealousy by living in, and for it. Discarding it is dangerously miserable!
A. LACKING GOD’S KNOWLEDGE IS SUICIDAL (Hos. 4:6)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children (v. 6).
i. v. 6a: A sad indictment of the people of Israel. God’s heart was grieved when He made this complaint, declaring, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…
ii. The Israelites had the law, the prophets, God’s promises, and the certainty of the coming Messiah who would save them from their sin. Refusing to take heed to God’s instructions and warnings, they were destroyed and scattered. Indeed, lacking God’s knowledge is suicidal.
iii. The leaders of the nation, and the priests, in particular, were held responsible and accountable for this shocking state of spiritual decline among God’s people who had pledged allegiance to foreign kings and gods, instead of looking to Yahweh for help in times of need. Where/who do you turn to, in difficult times?
iv. v. 6b:Aa a result of God ‘rejecting’ and ‘forgetting’ Israel, they would be destroyed (cf. Deut. 28:15ff).
v. In Isaiah 5:53, the Southern kingdom of Judah was warned of a punitive devastation. The prophetic curse was fulfilled in the Babylonia captivity of 606-536 B.C. The knowledge of God demands obedience, for effectiveness and productivity.
vi. Since the great truths of the OT serve for our learning (Rom. 15:4,continuing in ignorance of God’s knowledge can bring nothing but disaster to the people. But we can find help in God (Hos. 13:9).
vii. Christians must heed this warning to Israel, for many are being led astray by false gospel, championed by deceptive teachers. Many are being destroyed for lack of knowledge, because they have rejected the true gospel of grace, receiving doctrines not founded on God’s Word (cf. Acts 5:36-37).
viii. Being like the Berean Christians is a handy encouragement which believers must adhere to, in order to have and retain God’s knowledge (Acts 17:11).
B. ZEAL, WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS (Rom. 10:1-4)
For I bear them witness that have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge (v. 2).
i. v. 2: Many people have zeal for religious things, but don’t know the righteousness that comes from God, thus seeking to establish theirs that is a combination of their own ideas and the foolishness of the culture in which they live. This is dangerous.
ii. Zeal without knowledge has wreaked incalculable havoc in history! Think of the scores of political movements and would-be-saviours who have promised the impossible while relying on the ignorance of the masses as to their true agendas.
iii. Combining a lack of understanding with religious zeal results in legalism and religious terrorism. Worse still, those who continue in such ignorant zeal remain alienated from Christ.
Many Pharisees became preoccupied with keeping the right rules at the expense of heartfelt trust in the Lord, justifying themselves before men, as they display their ‘righteous’ works (Matt. 23:23-26; Lk. 16:14-17; cf. Phil. 3:4-7). In their zeal, they missed His righteousness. Consequently, they stumbled on Jesus (cf. Rom. 10:3,4).
v. It is possible to fall into the mind-set that we must add something to the finished work of Christ, to be truly acceptable to God. Yes, obeying Christ’s commands isn’t optional (Jn. 14:15). Yet, our good works are not the means of establishing right relationship with God, neither do we make ourselves more worthy by our obedience. Only Jesus’ righteousness, imputed on us by faith, does that for us (cf. Isa. 64:6).
vi Israel refused to accept the righteousness that comes through faith, rather clinging to that through the law, hence their ignorant zeal (Rom. 10:1-3). Jephthan also horribly demonstrated the dangerous zeal without knowledge. One can be blind and ignorant, ignorantly (Jn. 8:39-44; 13-41).
vii. Those zealous for God without knowledge, are heading in the direction of the way that seems right but leads to destruction (cf. Prov. 14:12).
viii. Zeal is the energetic and unflagging enthusiasm for a course, or an idea. It is possible to be negatively zealous. This almost ruined Paul before his conversion. Being zealous for the supposed cause of God without being knowledgeable about Him in an experiential and a relationship way would eventually lead the supposedly zealous into the devil’s den, if he/she doesn’t repent.
1. Any knowledge acquired outside God is a trap and haunting shadow.
2. Beware of being ignorantly zealous in religious things, lest you be fighting against God unknowingly. Ask Paul!
WORK TO DO
Discuss the difference between knowledge and the knowledge of God.
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO
* “Knowledge” here refers to human knowledge. It is general awareness, or possession of information, facts, ideas, truths, or principles.
* The knowledge of God has to do with clear awareness, explicit information of God that consists in familiarity or understanding, gained through experiential and relational study of Him, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is in His Word.
When one truly considers the contrast between knowledge and the knowledge of God, he quickly comes to recognise how lacking he truly is; for man’s knowledge pales in comparison to the wondrous glory of the knowledge of the Creator.
Let us consider a couple of examples of the differences between man’s knowledge and knowledge of God.
i. Man’s knowledge is finite, while God’s is infinite. The knowledge of man is bound by what he has experienced in his life. Those experiences can come through a variety of avenues, whether through the five empirical senses, or through knowledge gained from books and literature, etc. When all man has is his own knowledge and understanding on which to depend, his view of life is quite dim and one-sided.
God’s knowledge, conversely, is not finite in any way, shape, or form. Any man who believes his knowledge to be equal to that of the Almighty should take test offered by God to Job in Job 38-41. This test is the final test distinguishing finite knowledge from the infinite. Even with all the wonders of science available to us today, we can only answer a few of the questions God gives Job. We cannot even get a passing grace, much less ace the test.
God’s knowledge is in no way finite. God knows the intricacies of man, both physically and mentally, because He created him. God knows the inner workings of the universe, because He puts them in place. The list goes on and on. Yet, the knowledge of God does not waver or decay.
ii. Man’s knowledge is of physical origin, while God’s is spiritual. Because of man’s knowledge coming through the realm of experience, combined with the knowledge of others, the knowledge which man, of his own accord, gathers would only pertain to those physical things. Therefore, man’s knowledge and understanding of many aspects of life would be greatly lacking, if it were not for God and His Word. The greatest problem man faces is the desire to apply only his own knowledge to his decisions and not seek wisdom from the Word of God.
On the contrary, God’s knowledge stems from the spiritual realm. It is not bound by the physical things of this earth, but instead surpasses it with a knowledge of He who is beyond these physical things (cf. Isa. 55:8-9).
God’s knowledge far surpasses our own because of His understanding of spiritual things. Without the revelation of the knowledge in Scripture,an would truly be lost in his quest for knowledge and understanding. God has revealed the great truths of the Scripture from His vast vaults of knowledge. Yet with these things before us, we have only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the knowledge of God. When considering a comparison of knowledge and understanding, the Creator always beats the created, hands down.
iii. Finally, the knowledge of God is the knowledge acquired through salvation in Christ Jesus alone. It is saving knowledge grounded solely in God’s decision to reveal Himself to sinners (Gen. 18:18-19; Ex. 33:17; Psa. 139; Jer. 1:5; Amos 3:2; Eph. 3:15). It is not so with the human knowledge.