June 11, 2023 – Bible Doctrine 2 – God’s Revelation of Himself to Man

Lesson Date: June 11, 2023

Focal Scripture Passage: Psalm 19:1-7; Romans 1:16, 18-20; 2:12-15; 3:23; 6:23; 10:13-14, 17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2:1-3

AIM: To lead students to discover the source and purpose of general revelation and special revelation, and to encourage (a) any who are not saved to accept Jesus, and (b) everyone to thank God for giving us His special revelation through the Bible.

 

Before class: Read the chapters containing the focal passages several times during the week.  Write the question, “How Can We Know God?” on the marker board or chalkboard.  Get enough copies of the Lesson Outline handout for your anticipated attendance.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask everyone to think of a loved one or close friend they know very well.  Ask: “How did you get to know that person?” (by spending time together, talking with one another, and doing things together).  Tell the class that those are ways we as humans get to know one another.

Direct the students’ attention to the question, “How Can We Know God?” written on the board.  Tell them that we humans are finite and limited in our understanding, but God is infinite and vastly superior to us in knowledge and understanding.  Direct their attention again to the question on the board, and then ask, “How can finite and limited humans possibly know anything about our infinite and limitless God?”  Allow time for some responses.

Erase the question from the board and write the word “Revelation” in its place.  Ask the students to suggest definitions for the word (revealing, disclosing, uncovering).  Tell them the only way finite humans can know God or anything about Him is for Him to reveal Himself to us.

Explain that God reveals Himself to mankind in two ways: through general revelation and special revelation.  In this second lesson of our study of Bible doctrine we will learn about those two ways we know about God.  The title of today’s lesson is God’s Revelation of Himself to Man.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Be sure everyone has a copy of the current Sunday School Member Quarterly.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (The Bible’s Authority and Inspiration).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (2 Tim. 3:16).
    • State that you hope they have each read the Bible every day this week.
  2. General Revelation is Available to Everyone.
    • Explain the following:
      • General revelation is what God has revealed about Himself to everyone on earth.
      • There are two ways God reveals Himself to everyone.
    • Ask everyone to turn to Psalm 19, and then ask a volunteer to read Psalm 19:1-6.
    • Ask: “What do the world and the universe declare and show?” (the glory and creativity of God).
    • Ask: “Are those things only available to a few people, or to everyone?” (everyone).
    • Tell the class the first way God reveals Himself to all mankind is through nature; everyone on earth can see that the universe was made by a glorious, orderly, and powerful creator.
    • Ask everyone to turn to Romans 2, and then read Romans 2:12-15.
    • Explain that these verses are talking about Jews who had the Law of God, and Gentiles who did not.
    • Ask: “According to verse 15, what is written in the hearts of all men?” (the works of the law).
    • Ask: “What bears witness in our hearts?” (our conscience).
    • Ask: “According to the last phrase of verse 15, what does the conscience do?” (accuses us when we do wrong or excuses us when we do right).
    • Explain that the conscience is that inner sense of right and wrong that we are all born with.
    • Tell the class that the second way God reveals Himself to all mankind is through our conscience; everyone on earth is born with an inner sense of right and wrong.
    • Summarize: God’s general revelation of Himself is available to everyone on earth, through nature and through our conscience.
  3. General Revelation Shows We are Sinners.
    • Ask everyone to turn to Romans 1, and then ask a volunteer to read Romans 1:18-20.
    • Ask: “According to verse 18, what is revealed from heaven?” (the wrath of God).
    • Ask: “What is God’s wrath directed against?” (all unrighteousness and ungodliness).
    • Ask: “What do verses 19 and 20 say everyone on earth can know about God?” (His invisible attributes, eternal power, and Divine nature).
    • Ask: “What does the last phrase of verse 20 say about mankind?” (because of what we know of God, there is no excuse for our sin).
    • Tell the class general revelation shows that we are all sinners, without excuse before God.
    • Ask everyone to turn to Romans 3, and then read Romans 3:23.
    • Ask: “How many people are sinners?” (all of us)
    • Ask everyone to turn to Romans 6, and then read the first half of Romans 6:23.
    • Ask: “What ‘wages’ or reward do we earn through our sin?” (death).
    • Tell the class that since we are all sinners, we deserve death.
    • Ask a volunteer to read all of Romans 6:23.
    • Ask: “What’s the difference between wages and gifts?” (wages are what we earn by our actions, but gifts are undeserved blessings).
    • Ask: “What is the gift of God?” (eternal life through Jesus Christ).
    • Tell the class that God offers salvation through Jesus.
    • Ask: “Do we know that through observing nature or listening to our conscience?” (no).
    • Ask: “How can we know about salvation available through Jesus?” (by reading the Bible).
    • Tell the students general revelation is sufficient to condemn, but is insufficient to save.
    • Summarize: General revelation shows man’s sin, but does not tell us how to be forgiven and saved. For that, we need special revelation.
  4. The Bible is God’s Special Revelation to Man.
    • Explain the following:
      • General revelation is what God has revealed to everyone on earth.
      • Special revelation is what He has revealed to mankind through His Word, the Bible.
      • General revelation is available to everyone, but special revelation is only available to those who read the Bible.
    • Ask everyone to turn to Hebrews 1, and then read Hebrews 1:1-2.
    • Ask: “According to verse 1, how did God speak to men in the past?” (through His prophets).
    • Tell the students we have the Old Testament today because God spoke to His prophets, who wrote down what He said.
    • Ask: “According to verse 2, how has God spoken to man in more recent times?” (through His Son, Jesus Christ).
    • Tell the class the first thing we must know about the Bible as God’s special revelation to man is that God spoke through prophets and His Son.
    • Ask everyone to turn to Hebrews 4, and then ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 4:12.
    • Ask: “What does this verse tell us about the Bible?” (it is living, powerful, and exposes the thoughts and intentions of our hearts).
    • Tell the class the second thing we must know about the Bible as God’s special revelation to man is that the Bible is the living Word of God.
    • Ask: “Does everyone have or read the Bible?” (no).
    • Summarize: God’s special revelation to man is only available to those who read the Bible, the living Word of God given through prophets and His Son.
  5. The Bible is Necessary for Salvation and Spiritual Growth.
    • Ask everyone to turn back to Psalm 19, and then ask a volunteer to read Psalm 19:7.
    • Ask: “What does the ‘law of the Lord’ do?” (converts the soul).
    • Tell the class the Bible converts the soul.
    • Ask everyone to turn back to Romans, and then ask a volunteer to read Romans 1:16.
    • Ask: “What does the Gospel of Christ found in the Bible have power to do?” (save anyone – Jew or Gentile – who believes).
    • Tell the class the Bible has power to save.
    • Ask everyone to turn to Romans 10, and then read Romans 10:13-14, 17.
    • Ask: “According to verse 13, what does God do for those who call upon His name?” (saves them).
    • Ask: “According to verse 14, what must happen before a person can call on Jesus for salvation?” (he or she must hear about Jesus; that’s why Bible teaching, preaching, and witnessing are so important).
    • Ask: “According to verse 17, what comes through hearing the Word of God?” (faith).
    • Tell the class the Bible is necessary for salvation because the Bible imparts faith.
    • Ask everyone to turn to 1 Peter, and then read 1 Peter 1:23-25.
    • Ask: “According to verse 23, how are we born again?” (by the Word of God).
    • Tell the students verse 25 explains this, when it says the Bible is the instrument through which the Gospel is preached to us.
    • Tell the class the Bible brings new birth.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 2:1-3.
    • Ask: “Why does verse 2 say we should desire the Word of God?” (so we may grow).
    • Tell the class that just as milk produces physical growth in a baby, the Bible produces spiritual growth.
    • Summarize: Salvation and spiritual growth come through the Bible, God’s special revelation to man.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the students that the title of today’s lesson is God’s Revelation of Himself to Man.  Give each of them a copy of the Lesson Outline handoutReview the lesson by reading the four main points and their subpoints from that outline:

General Revelation is Available to Everyone

  • Through nature – Psalm 19:1-6
  • Through our conscience – Romans 2:12-15

General Revelation Shows We are Sinners

  • We are sinners, without excuse – Romans 1:18-20
  • We are sinners who deserve death – Romans 3:23; 6:23a
  • God offers salvation through Jesus – Romans 6:23b

The Bible is God’s Special Revelation to Man

  • God spoke through prophets and His Son – Hebrews 1:1-2
  • The Bible is the living Word of God – Hebrews 4:12

The Bible is Necessary for Salvation and Spiritual Growth

  • The Bible converts the soul – Psalm 19:7
  • The Bible has power to save – Romans 1:16
  • The Bible imparts faith – Romans 10:13-14, 17
  • The Bible brings new birth – 1 Peter 1:23-25
  • The Bible produces spiritual growth – 1 Peter 2:1-3

Stress the fact that while God’s glorious creation reveals His greatness, power, and creativity, no one could ever be saved without God’s special revelation, the Bible.  Tell the class that God went out of His way to send His Son to pay for our sins, and then to provide us His Word, the Bible, to tell us about Jesus and how we can receive Him and the gift of eternal life.

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Urge any who have never repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus to do so right now.  Tell everyone to thank God for giving us His special revelation through the Bible.  Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: If anyone present has just received Christ as their Savior, tell them to make that public during the invitation at the end of this morning’s worship service.  Tell everyone to look for evidences of God’s glory in nature (general revelation), and to read the Bible daily to receive God’s special revelation.  Tell them to keep the Lesson Outline handout in their Bibles so they can refer to it again later.

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