Monday, December 17, 2012

“Live in the Light” Adult Sunday School Lesson

International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday December 23, 2012

Purpose: To discover what it means for us to live as God's “children of light

Scripture Text: John 1:1-5; Ephesians 5:1-2, 6-14 (CEB)

John 1:1-5
(1) In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
(2) The Word was with God in the beginning.
(3) Everything came into being through the Word,
and without the Word
nothing came into being.
What came into being
(4) through the Word was life,
and the life was the light for all people.
(5) The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

Ephesians 5:1-2
(1)Therefore, imitate God like dearly loved children. (2) Live your life with love, following the example of Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. He was a sacrificial offering that smelled sweet to God.

Ephesians 5: 6-14
(6) Nobody should deceive you with stupid ideas. God’s anger comes down on those who are disobedient because of this kind of thing. (7) So you shouldn’t have anything to do with them. (8) You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, so live your life as children of light. (9) Light produces fruit that consists of every sort of goodness, justice, and truth. (10) Therefore, test everything to see what’s pleasing to the Lord, (11) and don’t participate in the unfruitful actions of darkness. Instead, you should reveal the truth about them. (12) It’s embarrassing to even talk about what certain persons do in secret. (13) But everything exposed to the light is revealed by the light.(14) Everything that is revealed by the light is light. Therefore, it says, Wake up, sleeper![a] Get up from the dead,[b] and Christ will shine on you.[c]
a. Ephesians 5:14 Isa 26:19; 51:17; 52:1; 60:1
b. Ephesians 5:14 Isa 26:19
c. Ephesians 5:14 Isa 60:1

My Thoughts by Burgess Walter

Our lesson this week combines two passages of scripture, one from the Gospel of John, and the other from the book of Ephesians. However, the theme is the same for both, and that is light.

John begins his gospel by paraphrasing the Book of Genesis, but the words translated “beginning” in Genesis is about a new creation, the word beginning translated in John means “before time.” The word “Word” used by John is the Greek word “logos” which can mean, “speech,” “thought,” “reason,” and “revelation.” The idea that the Creator God only had to think a world into existence and that all of the Godhead was present at that time (per-creation) was a new revelation. The most important part of the new creation may have been the separation of “light and darkness.” Genesis 1:3 says “God said, “Let there be light.” And so light appeared.”

John says in his Gospel in verse 3c &4 is “What came into being (4) through the Word was life,
and the life was the light for all people.

John continues his thought by saying in verse 5 “The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.” Regardless of how dark it is, the smallest amount of light can dispel the darkness, but, no amount of darkness can extinguish the light. During WWII when blackouts were practiced by even the smallest of towns across the USA, it was said one lit cigarette could be seen for miles by a trained pilot.

In the Book of Ephesians, Paul uses “light” as a metaphor for Christians. As Christians we are “children of light,” and we should live our lives in accordance to that fact. Christians should live the way “the light of the world” lived. A life filled with love, goodness, justice, and truth.”

Those that reject the “light” live in darkness, (or sin). Most of our sins occur under the cover of darkness, we try to keep secret those things that God would find disgusting. When Christians do their job and live as Christ representative, they are a challenge to those in darkness and are hated and disrespected by those living and hiding in the darkness. Once the sins have been exposed by the “light” they can no longer be hidden without the shame that comes from the light of those Christians in their life. Paul says in verse 13 “But everything exposed to the light is revealed by the light.”

May your light continue to shine throughout this season of Advent, Merry Christmas to all.

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