Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elijah in the New Testament - Youth Sunday School Lesson

Luke 9:28-36, Romans 11:1-10, James 5:13-20

Historical Context: Elijah’s life, recorded in the Old Testament, provided a means for God to communicate many lessons to His people.  But Elijah’s chariot ride to Heaven doesn’t stop God from speaking through him in the New Testament as well.  

Authorship of Luke: Luke was a Gentile believer and professional doctor.  His book is written for Theophilus, a Roman noble, for his own personal reference.  Luke gathered most of the information for his book by interviewing eyewitnesses, such as Mary and the Apostles.

Authorship of Romans: The Book of Romans is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the Christians living in the city of Rome.

Authorship of James: The Book of James is a letter from Jesus’ younger brother, James, to Christians throughout the Roman Empire.

Elijah” – Hebrew for “The Lord is my God”

Discussion Points:

Read Luke 9:28-36

1. “Moses and Elijah appeared” – Why do these two men in particular share this moment with Jesus?

2. “Moses and Elijah appeared in glorious splendor” – What was so glorious about them?

3. “’Let us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ (He did not know what he was saying.)” – What was wrong with Peter’s suggestion?

Read Romans 11:1-10
4. “’I have reserved for Myself…’  There is a remnant chosen by grace…it is no longer by works…the elect…the others were hardened.” – What is Paul saying?

Read James 5:13-20
5. “the prayer offered in faith…the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective…prayed earnestly” – Why does prayer have to be done in faith, why by a righteous person, why earnestly?

1.I will try more and more _____________________ as I _________________________


2.I will be __________________________ that ________________________________


3.When I _______________, I will try to _____________________________________


4. God _______________________________________________.  All I have to do is

My Comments:
1. The presence of these three figures together should call to mind the three stages in the plan of redemption.  Moses represents the Law as the giver of the Old Testament Law.  Elijah represents the Prophets as one of the greatest and one of the first of the Old Testament prophets.  The Law was a list of rules and regulations for living a holy lifestyle.  It proved to be more than the Jewish people could bear.  They found that, try as they might, they could not follow all of the rules.  They could not please God by their actions.  The Prophets confronted people with their failure to follow the Law.  They called sinners to repentance, back to God.  Through Jesus’ life and death, God forgives our sin.  Since we could not keep the Law, He gives us grace by reckoning us with Jesus and gives us the Holy Spirit, through whom we are more enabled live a life pleasing to God.

2. The only reason for them being glorified is that they were faithful to the Lord God during their lifetimes and were then allowed to enter His Presence in Heaven.  Their appearance is a reflection of God’s glory.  The angels are always said to have a brilliant appearance.  Just as the Moon reflects the light from the Sun, so God’s people reflect God’s glory.  Christians, though not yet as pronounced as Moses and Elijah in this passage, should be noticeably different from other people because of the Presence of God in their lives.  Matthew 5:14-16 tells us to let our light shine before men.  Jesus says in Matthew 13:43, that at the end of the world, Christians will shine like the sun in Heaven.

3. It sounds as if Peter wanted to build some sort of memorial for each of the three persons there.  The problem is that this would have made Elijah and Moses equal in honor with Jesus, which cannot be.  God will glorify His faithful servants, but never on a par with Himself.

4. When God told Elijah that He had reserved for Himself seven thousand people in Israel, it is clear that He was the one taking action in that situation.  He did not say that seven thousand people had chosen on their own to remain faithful to Him.  A remnant indicates a minority and the fact that they’re chosen by grace says that God chose them, not that they chose God.  It is not by our works that we are saved.  It is not by our choosing, but by God’s sovereign grace.  The term “the elect” signifies a choosing of a few people from among the many.  When we hold elections, we do not vote for everyone in the country to hold a special office, but select only a few people to fill those particular positions.  The hardening of the others means that God has made and kept most people sinful and from going to Heaven.

5. When we pray, we should have our wills in tune with God’s will.  In fact, the Holy Spirit living inside us should be the One that prompts what we pray for.  We cannot expect God to grant any prayer by any person.  He will only do that which is according to His will and those who are in tune with Him are the only ones who will know what His will is in order to know to pray for.  Therefore, we should pray in faith because we should feel that God Himself has led us to pray for what we’re praying for.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective because the righteous person, the person who is in a right relationship with God knows God’s will and therefore knows what to pray for.  We should also pray earnestly because what God wants is what we should want.  We should be passionate for the things God is passionate about.  God is not ho-hum about what He does so neither should we be ho-hum about what God does or is about to do.

1. I will try more and more to shine as I reflect God’s Presence in my life.
2. I will be thankful that God has chosen me.
3. When I pray, I will try to want what God wants.
4. God speaks to man every day.  All I have to do is listen.

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