NBC Sunday School Manual For February 26, 2023 :Topic – God Calls You In To Light
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme of the Month:
GOD’S CALL AND ITS RESPONSIBILITIES.
DATE: SUNDAY, 26TH FEBRUARY, 2023.
TOPIC: GOD CALLS YOU INTO LIGHT.
Devotional Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10.
1 Peter 2:1-10.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9.
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Discuss the the relevance of Peter’s admonition in the passage;
● List the promises of God in the passage;
● Verbalise their willingness to shun sin, and grow in the faith.
One of the challenges we presently | face, as a nation, is irregular electricity supply. It is so bad that whenever electricity is restored, children will shout in unison; “Up NEPA!” Usually, ally, the expression is seen on their faces as well as their actions. In fact, this goes a long way to show that the importance of light for the survival of humankind and animals cannot be over emphasised. Personally, I learnt a great lesson about light and darkness the day I forgot some of my things in the church, after a meeting. Because I am used to the terrain, I thought I could find my way through the darkness. Unfortunately, as I gradually made my way through while imagining the exact spot, I hit my head on one of the pillars at the centre of the Conference Room. However, as important as physical light is, it cannot be compared with the marvellous light which God Himself has called us into, in order to proclaim His wonderful acts.
The first letter of Apostle Peter was addressed to the Christians also known as “God’s chosen people” (v. 1) who were scattered throughout the Northern part of Asia Minor. His main purpose was to encourage them to endure persecution and suffering, as a test of their faith. They were also to join with the “Living Stone” (Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 2:4) and be built into a spiritual temple where they will offer spiritual sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1). God’s call into light is as important as His call to salvation, redemption, liberty, and eternal life. Today’s lesson focuses on God’s call from the dark world into His marvellous light, a call to identify with the Living Stone, which is Jesus Christ and His people as a holy nation.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. ADMONITION TO GROW SPIRITUALLY:
[1 Peter 2:1-5]
It is evidently clear that Apostle Peter was interested in the spiritual well-being of his recipients. Even though they were persecuted, he reminded them of the good news about Jesus Christ, whose death, resurrection, and promised return give them hope (1 Peter 1:3-12). He, therefore, called them to a holy living, which was to be different from their old life of sin (1:14). He also encouraged them to rid themselves of all kinds of evil, according to verse 1. They are to shun:
● Malice: Malice means hatred, wickedness, meanness, with the desire or intention to deliberately harm someone.
● Deceit: The word “Deceit” refers to dishonesty, deception, pretence or act of cheating others.
● Hypocrisy: Hypocrisy is pretending to be what one is not. It is closely related to to also means insincerity or a life of inconsistency between what people profess and what they actually are.
● Envy: Envy is jealousy, bitterness or resentment against another person.
● Slander: This means to speak ill of another person merely to run them down. The admonition to lay aside the under-listed wicked acts was followed by two commands:
(1) to crave for pure spiritual milk (the Word of God), so that they will grow and be saved.
(2) An invitation to come to the rejected Stone (Jesus Christ). The reason is obvious: that they may be built into a spiritual temple and offer acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ (v. 5).
Peter’s admonition to the people to grow spiritual spiritually is also relevant to contemporary believers because of the times and days we are in. James was concerned about the spiritual growth of his audience. This is seen in verse 2 when he said, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,…” This necessitated the call to lay aside the old lifestyle, and crave pure spiritual milk, which is the Word of God. Every Christian needs the appropriate nourishment through the Word of God in order to grow to spiritual maturity. The fact remains that feeding on the Word of God is necessary for moral and spiritual growth, just as milk is necessary for a child’s physical growth and healthy living. The testimony, according to verse 5, is that like living stones, we also will be built into a spiritual house and a holy priesthood whose sacrifices will be acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1. Why did Peter describe Jesus as the “Living Stone” who was rejected by people as worthless but chosen by God as valuable? v. 4
2. Discuss some practical steps Christians can take to increase their longing for the Word of God.
B. BECOMING A HOLY NATION:
[1 Peter 2:6-10]
Apostle Peter was all-inclusive in his letter to his audience. Having encouraged them to grow to spiritual maturity, he also called them to come to the Lord – the Living Stone who was rejected by the people as insignificant but was chosen by God as valuable (v. 4). He portrayed Jesus as the precious cornerstone. He said, “… See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (v. 6) He made an analogy between those who believed in the stone, which was of great value to them and those who did not believe. He said in verses 7b-8, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” Unfortunately, they stumbled because of their unbelief and such was God’s will for them. Nevertheless, God wants everyone to be saved (Romans 11:32; 1 Timothy 2:4). Peter became more precise about their true identity in verse 9 when he said, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
As Israel was called God’s chosen people, in the Old Testament, so believers in the New Testament are referred to as chosen or elect of God. To be “chosen” is to be among those who collectively share a burden of responsibility. Peter’s message is clear that God has called believers out of the dark world of sin into His marvellous light (salvation). For that reason, we are now the recipients of His mercy and grace, even though we were not God’s people and did not know His mercy at one time. In other words, the exclusive privileges of Israel are now enjoyed by all who believe in Jesus Christ, regardless of their nationality (1 Peter 1:1). Therefore, the opportunity of being God’s chosen people should propel Christians to always proclaim His praises among the nations.
1. Discuss the benefits of being called God’s own people, according to Peter in the passage.
2. What did Peter mean in verse 8 when he referred to Jesus as the stone that will cause people to stumble and the rock that will make them fall?
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Make a list of the various names by which Peter described the people of God in the passage. Which of them do you like best and why? Discuss.
Take Home: State at least three main lessons you are taking home, based on today’s lesson:
Commitment: Make a personal commitment to always declare the praises of Him who has called from darkness into His marvellous light.
REVIEW FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY
We thank God for His grace and mercy. He has graciously taken us through the month of February. I believe we have been greatly blessed, as we studied God’s call and its responsibilities. We want you to answer these questions:
● Did you learn new insights about wisdom, as a as against foolishness?
● How did the Holy Spirit help you to mentor someone?
● Which of the lessons inspired you the most and how did you apply it?
● What new lessons did you learn about treating the rich and the poor equally?