Sunday School. July 12
The title of today’s lesson is:
The Bible and Culture
God calls His people to live by Biblical values in a sinful culture.
(1) Christians are often misunderstood or even misrepresented by society. Our commitment to live according to Scripture is seen as old fashioned. Some even believe that such a commitment is harmful to society.
However we as Christians have a great opportunity to shine light into society through our biblical values.
(2) Key verse: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
(3) There is an old saying that Christians can either be a thermometer or a thermostat in the world. We either adapt to the values of our culture, like a thermometer changes in response to temperature, or we can shape culture, like a thermostat controls the temperature. Scripture is clear: Rather than allow the world to change our values, we should live out the values of Scripture and thereby influence culture.
(4) Jesus was instructing Christians to recognize and practice their unique and vital role in the world: to declare Gods kingdom and purposes. If we lose our identity and become mingled with the world, we will fail to fulfill that role. God intends for our Christian character and values to have an impact on our world.
(5) Jesus also called His people to remain visible.
Light is an important metaphor in scripture, Often symbolizing Jesus and His mission. As light, Christians convey the gospel in a sin darkened world.
(6) Hiding who we are is inconsistent with being a believer. Conversely, letting our faith be seen is foundational to our identity. Just as a city on a hill will naturally be seen by all those around it. Believers ought to be clearly recognized by the surrounding world.
(7) When Jesus said He came to fulfill the law rather than abolish it, He meant that He came to accomplish its purpose. In other words, the law was altered or abolished because Jesus came . Rather, Jesus brought out its intended meaning. Gods plan, ordained before the foundations of the world, hasn’t changed, and it is accomplished through Jesus.
(8) Through His life and teachings, Jesus pointed toward the definition of righteousness the law had always intended. It wasn’t merely a matter of outward appearances and religious activities. True righteousness is a matter of the heart, motivated by love.
(9) Our righteousness must go beyond the religious practices of the Pharisees, who were very devoted to biblical, and their own, rules of righteousness.
Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus set forth spiritual principles, and we put these principles into practice when we let them defy who we are, not just what we do.
(10). In order to understand the clash between biblical values and cultural values, we must recognize and appreciate the fact that a follower of God has a world view that stands in direct contrast to that of the world. As such, our approach to every aspect of life is altered.
The contrast is well illustrated in how our view of entertainment should be different. What brings us pleasure and relaxation? Where do we turn for recreation?
(11) Godliness in thought and action must be our goal when establishing our entertainment choices.
(12). Our thought lives form the most private aspect of who we are, and provide a foundation upon which we build our values . Ask God to examine the most private parts of your life, and expose in your heart what needs to change. Then pray that He will help you to be and to live according to His will for your life.