NBC Sunday School Manual For November 19, 2023 :Topic – LIVE AS YOU WERE TAUGHT.
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme for the Month: “CHRIST FREES, LAW ENSLAVES.”
DATE: SUNDAY, 19TH NOVEMBER, 2023.
TOPIC: LIVE AS YOU WERE TAUGHT.
Devotional Reading: Leviticus 25:8-17.
Background Scripture: Colossians 2:6-23.
Lesson Scripture: Colossians 2:16-23.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7a
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Identify some human traditions in the church that can contend with believers’ faith in Jesus Christ;
● Identify the attributes of human traditions according to the passage;
● Make a commitment not to be entangled by human rules that profit nothing.
The church in Colossae was not established by Apostle Paul (Colossians 1:7-8), but Paul was committed to her growth. Paul heard that false teachers had invaded the church and were teaching the people that they must worship certain “spiritual rulers and authorities” in order to know God and have full salvation (Colossians 1:16). Furthermore, they must submit to the rite of circumcision, and observe strict rules about foods and other matters. In order to correct the heresy, Paul wrote and oppose these teachings. He told them that such teachings were simply human tradition and they are capable of leading them astray. He emphasised that it is faith in Jesus Christ alone that can give salvation. In fact, the heart of his reply was an admonition for the people to live by what they have been taught. This is the focus of today’s lesson.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. Freedom from Human Rules:
Having established that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross gives believers victory over principalities and powers, Paul went further to admonish the brethren in Colossae that they should ensure that no one holds them captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, empty deceit based on human tradition and the basic principles of this world which are not of Christ. (vv. 6-8). As he continued, he cautioned in verse 16 that they should not allow anyone to judge them concerning what they eat, drink or regarding their religious festival such as the new moon celebration and Sabbath worship. Paul stated that such things are mere representation of things to come. He assured them that since they have received Christ, the reality is found in Him alone. Even though God commanded the Jews to observe these festivals, they were only pictures of what they should expect in Jesus Christ. Paul also warned the Jews against being deceived by false humility, the worship of angels and claims of having access to the unseen realm. He added that such people are puffed-up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind because they have lost connection with the Source (Jesus Christ).
As much as rules and principles are good for the purpose of living right, Christians should be careful not to be held captive by some man-made rules and traditions that can contend with their faith in Jesus Christ. Such instructions may include sitting arrangement and sometimes tasks to be performed based on gender. Paul’s advice to the Colossians was to make sure they are set free from the bondage of legalism and remain connected to Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church. The encouragement is also applicable to contemporary believers in Christ. We should avoid the temptation of yielding to artificial rules, traditions and practices that deviate from what the gospel of Christ preaches. Apostle Paul’s concern was that since we have Christ, we should no longer be guided by traditions, rituals, occult belief and human regulations that are contrary to our Christian faith.
1. Discuss the danger of holding on to some human traditions in the church.
2. How does freedom in Christ allow people to break free from worldly temptations?
B. DO NOT SUBMIT TO WORLDLY RULES:
Apostle Paul’s exhortation to the brethren in Colossae was in phases. Previously, he had warned that because as believers they had died with Christ, they should no longer subject themselves to practices and traditions that are according to the principles of the world and not of Christ. The rules of ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’ are destined to perish because they are based merely on human teachings (vv. 21-22). Secondly, even though such regulations have an element of wisdom, self-imposed worship, false humility and harsh treatment of the body, they lack the capability to restrain bodily indulgence and they lack Christ inspired power of transformation. They only control the externals; they have no power to produce inward purity. Consequently, Paul recommended that they should live according to what they have been taught (vv. 6-8) and not allow anyone take them captive through deceptive philosophies.
This lesson is a reminder to believers in Christ that Christianity is based on faith in Christ Jesus. Strict adherence to human regulations that have no bases in Christ has no power to curb sin; it is only the power of Christ Jesus that sets us free from sin. We should cherish and hold on to the freedom we have in Christ Jesus in order to continue to grow in Him. Above all, we should identify some man-made laws that are being enforced in our churches and begin to live out what it means to have been raised to a new life in Christ.
1. Identify some human regulations that are prevalent these days and the possible ways to curb them.
2. Name some worldly norms, teaching or practices that challenge faithfulness to Christ and the things that easily draw people to these norms and practices?
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Identify at least three exhortations of Apostle Paul to the Colossian church and discuss which one is related to your church.
Take Home: Write down some lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson?
● Based on today’s lesson, make a commitment to live as God’s children instead of being entangled by human laws.
Happy Sunday in Advance.
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!