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Youth Bible Study Lessons

 

The Creation Of The World



The Bible begins with a fundamental truth that conflicts with most so-called "scientific" authorities: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1) In his great wisdom, the eternal God spoke a word and created all that exists. The word of God, then, is the most powerful force in the universe, because it caused something to exist instead of nothing.

This unstoppable force is the same power that raised the dead, healed the sick, and stilled the raging sea. (Luke 8:24) The fact that God is the Creator teaches us that God is the highest authority with the most power. When people try to decide for themselves what is true and right, the result is always chaos and destruction, because they are not the authority on what is right.

Worldly people try to teach that we are merely random accidents: just products of aimless evolution. Trusting God as the Creator means that nothing happens by accident; that every molecule has a Divine purpose and design. No matter what your situation, where you were born or who brought you up, you have a place in God's created world.

God's creative power doesn't just mean that the universe has a meaningful past. It means that every individual in Christ has a meaningful future. You are not a random clump of cells; you are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. (Ephesians 2:10)


 

The Ten Commandments


After God had brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, He provided them with a set of instructions for life. These rules would be the basis for their relationship with God. If they obeyed the laws, they received blessings. If they disobeyed, they received curses. (Deuteronomy 30:15–20)

The first collection of these rules was called the Ten Commandments, in which God showed the Israelites how to interact with God and each other. The first four taught a right relationship with God;


1. You shall have no other gods than Me.
2. You shall not make or worship idols.
3. You shall not take God's name in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

In other words, you should fear and trust only the God of the Bible, you shouldn't create anything else (example, create a false image of a "god" in your mind that doesn't really exist in order to try to justify your sinful nature) that would take His place, you should not use His name inappropriately, and you should keep one day set aside for rest.  Jesus teaches in the New Testament (e.g. Matthew 12:12) that the law of Moses allowed people to do good on the Sabbath (the 7th day of the week)

The Fifth Commandment serves as a bridge between loving God and loving others:

5. Honor your father and mother. (Exodus 20:12)


As the authority over the home, parents are God's representatives, teaching young people what is right. To honor your parents means to honor God. Listening to and obeying our parents is God's designed way for us to learn how to fear and trust God.

The last five commandments teach us how to treat other people: with honor and respect.


6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet what belongs to your neighbor.

The guiding principle of these last five commandments is that whatever belongs to someone else is not yours to harm, steal, or even desire. By protecting others from harm, and helping them to keep what is theirs, the God-fearing person demonstrates love for God.

Jesus explained that loving God and your neighbor is the summary of God's perfect law. (Matthew 22:37–40).  When Jesus died on the cross, the Old Testament was fulfilled and the New Testament of Christ was established (Hebrews 9), but these principles from the Old Testament are beneficial for us to understand.

 

The Lord's Prayer


In Jesus' day, there was a popular belief about prayer. The Jewish leaders were experts at giving long, wordy prayers that impressed people. But Jesus taught that prayer should be unadorned by fancy words, and only adorned with humility towards God. The Lord's prayer from Matthew 6:9–13 had five elements.

1. Confession of God's nature: God is our Father in heaven, and His name is holy. As Father, he is loving and compassionate. As holy, he is just and righteous. Knowing that God is both filled with grace and wrath against wrongdoing keeps us humble.


2. Confession of God's sovereign rule: God's kingdom has come to earth in Jesus Christ. His will is perfect, and cannot be hindered. To pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven," means to submit yourself to God's perfect plan.


3. Confession of God's provision: Asking for our "daily bread" means trusting God right now today.


4. Confession of God's righteousness compared to our own: To ask God to forgive our sin debt means that we own up to our sin, asking for forgiveness.


5. Confession of our tendency toward sin: God is able and willing to deliver us from evil. Praying that God would do so requires humility.

The simple words of the Lord's prayer help to guide Christians to pray in an effective way. (James 5:16)
 

The Beatitudes


The Beatitudes are a collection of blessings that Jesus gave to people with certain qualities and desires in Matthew 5:2-11. But Jesus wasn't trying to teach that blessings came to certain kinds of people. Rather, Jesus was teaching that God's blessings are the natural result of dwelling in God's ways.

The poor in spirit are blessed because only those who recognize their neediness before God receive him. They receive the kingdom of heaven. Those who mourn are blessed, because God himself gives comfort.

Many of the Beatitudes seem to go against conventional wisdom. The gentle are blessed, for God will give them the earth as an inheritance. (Psalm 37:11) Those who are persecuted are blessed because God's reward in heaven is much greater than the temporary rewards of pleasing people on earth.

The Beatitudes have a focus on what is right in God's eyes. Those who hunger for righteousness will be filled. Those who are merciful will receive mercy. Those who are pure in heart will see God. Peacemakers will be called sons of God.

It may sometimes seem that the Beatitudes would get us nowhere in this dog-eat-dog world that we live in, and maybe that is Jesus's point. Surely it is better, more blessed even, to go somewhere in the kingdom of heaven than nowhere in this world.

 

The Fruit of the Spirit


The Apostle Paul describes the result of a life lived walking with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-24). When a Christian receives the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39), he or she is expected to walk in a certain way.  The Spirit is God himself, dwelling in the Christian as a guarantee or a seal that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).  The sword of the Spirit is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). That's why it's so important that we let God's word be the guide to lead us in our daily walk.

The "Fruit" of the Spirit means the result of the Spirit's work. Since a Christian is being renewed and transformed, we would expect the "fruit" of the Spirit to be in line with the nature and character of God. Following the word of God, the Christian is becoming more like the Lord in attitude and action.

The Lord is loving, joyful, and peaceful. He is patient, kind, and good. He is faithful. He is gentle, and the Lord is full of self-control. The perfect God-man Jesus Christ demonstrated these qualities in everyday life. As followers and disciples of the Lord Jesus, Christians should display this "fruit." As the fruit is defined by the tree it comes from, so the Christian's attitudes and actions prove that we belong to Christ and that we are obeying God's commands. (John 15:4-10) If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)

This doesn't mean that the Christian is going to be perfect, like Jesus. We still live in the flesh...but we are trying our best not to be dominated by sin and selfishness. 



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