Christian Churches of God
God’s Plan of Salvation
(Edition 1.0 20070204-20070204)
In this lesson we will review the study paper God’s Plan of Salvation (No. CB30). Included are a number of activities that will assist in reinforcing concepts relating to God’s Plan of Salvation.
God’s Plan of Salvation
To review the basic concepts related to God’s Plan of Salvation.
1. Children will understand the meaning of the Plan of Salvation.
2. Children will understand why the Plan of Salvation was needed.
3. Children will understand that the Plan of Salvation covers a very long time.
4. Children will understand some of the symbolism of the Plan of God.
John 3:16; Romans 5:12,20,21; 2Peter 3:9.
Open with prayer.
Ask the children what they think the Plan of Salvation is?
Read the paper God’s Plan of Salvation (No. CB30).
Activity associated with Lesson: God’s Plan of Salvation (No. CB30_2).
A. White as Milk
B. Where are you?
Close with prayer.
1. Read through the paper God’s Plan of Salvation (No. CB30), unless it is read as the sermonette.
2. Review the basic concepts of the paper with the children by posing the following questions in bold to them.
Q1. Why did we need a Plan of Salvation?
A. Before God began to create, He foresaw that one third of the angelic creation under Lucifer would rebel and mankind would follow in their sin. Knowing that anything other than His perfect Laws bring misery, death and destruction, He had to ensure that there would be a way to restore both the physical and spiritual creation back to Him and in doing so restore harmony and peace between Him (God) and His creation.
Q2. Who were the first created human beings? Did God create them perfect?
A. Adam and Eve were the first humans God made. They lived in the Garden of Eden and were sinless/perfect before God, which means they did not break any of God’s Laws.
Q3. Did they remain sinless? If not what does the Bible tell us happened?
A. No, they both sinned. Eve was tempted by the serpent to eat the fruit of the tree that God had told them not to eat from. She sinned and offered some of the fruit to Adam and he too, by partaking of it, disobeyed God. Mankind for the first time knew what sin was (Gen. 3:1-6).
Q4. What were the consequences, or result of Adam and Eve’s sin?
A. The land was cursed and the Jubilee system was started (Gen. 3:16-19; Lev. 25:4); with this first sin came death (Rom. 5:12). Because they sinned Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden and Eden (Gen. 3:23-24).
Q5. All humans have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 5:12; 1Jn. 1:8-10) except one. Do you know who that one is?
A. As a man, Jesus Christ was tempted in all points like us but he did not sin. (2Cor. 5:21; Heb.5:15; 7:26-28).
Q6. If Christ had not lived a sinless life and paid the price for our sins, what would have happened to us?
A. We would remain dead with no possibility of being restored to the Father (Ecc. 9:5-7; Mat. 9:24; Lk. 8:52; 1Thes. 4:13).
Q7. Did God want us to perish and be gone forever?
A. No, God does not want anyone to perish or to be lost forever (Jn. 3:16, 2Pet. 3:9).
Q8. When did God set in place the plan that Christ would be the sacrifice that would restore both the spiritual and physical creation?
A. Jesus Christ, the Lamb/Messiah of God was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev.13:8).
Q9. Does God offer repentance and reconciliation to all people, tongues and nations? Do the fallen Host (angels) have an opportunity to repent and be restored? Is God calling and working with everyone now?
A. God is not a respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11). Both mankind and the fallen Host are given an opportunity to repent. It is God’s will that none of us should perish (2Pet. 3:9) and seeing that we have all been called to the same glorious future (Eph. 4:4) we believe all will repent in their appropriate order (Ecc. 3:1).
Q10. Who did God start this reconciliation, or bringing-back process, with?
A. Abraham. For more information please see the papers Abraham and Sarah (No. CB10) and Abraham and Isaac: A Faithful Sacrifice (No. CB11).
Q11. What is a covenant?
A. A convent is not a word used as much in modern language as it was in the past. Simply put, a convent is an agreement between two parties to do or not do something. Covenant is from the Hebrew word Beriyth (SHD 1285) and means a covenant, alliance, pledge between men: it is a treaty, alliance, league (man to man) a constitution (monarch to subjects) agreement, pledge (man to man) alliance (of friendship) alliance (of marriage), or God and man: alliance (of friendship), covenant (divine ordinance with signs or pledges).
Q12. What was Abraham’s responsibility or part in the covenant?
A. To remain faithful and obedient (Gen. 17:1-9).
Q13. Did the covenant pass to Abraham’s children?
A. Yes. (Gen. 17:19ff; 22:17; 28:3, 4; 32:12; 35:11.)
Q14. Did all of ancient Israel have access to God’s Holy Spirit?
Q15. Did God know Lucifer, Adam and Eve, and ancient Israel would disobey Him?
A. Yes (Ps. 147:5; Is. 40:25, 26). That is why God and His Law are perfect and He established a Plan that could not be stopped.
Q16. What happened due to Israel’s disobedience to God?
A. The nation of Israel forfeited, or gave up the chance to marry Christ or be in the First Resurrection. Ancient Israel did not have access to the Holy Spirit though they had the Law of God. They showed us it is impossible to be obedient to God without the Holy Spirit. Israel repeatedly went after foreign gods and broke God’s Laws and received the curses that go with breaking God’s Law. God repeatedly forgave them when they asked for His help and protection. Through God’s wisdom, love and mercy He set up the perfect Plan where any individual can now repent and be baptized and have access to His Holy Spirit. Anyone who has died without receiving God’s Holy Spirit will have this opportunity in the Second Resurrection (Rev. 2:28; 22:16; 2 Pet 1:19).
Q17. As we know, Lucifer/Satan did not obey God and rule the Host and planet correctly, and mankind soon followed in their disobedience to God. From among the loyal sons of God whom did God the Father decide to make a man and send to Earth?
A. Jesus Christ was chosen and was willing to give up his spiritual life to be made a physical man.
Q18. What are some of things that Christ did to reconcile us to God?
A. He freely gave his life. Because he led a sinless life he was the perfect acceptable sacrifice (Heb.7:27; 9:12; 10:10-19; 1Pet. 3:18). Jesus Christ paid the price for all our sins and reconciled, or gave us the opportunity to be reconciled, or brought back to the Father. He taught us how to keep God’s Law. On Pentecost in 30 CE he sent the comforter, the Holy Spirit, to God’s people to help them keep God’s Laws more perfectly (Jn. 14:26; 15:26; 16:7; Acts 2:1-4).
Q19. Was Messiah’s first Advent to Earth to function as High Priest or King?
A. High Priest (Heb. 2:17; 9:11-12).
Q20. When Christ returns at his second coming what role will he fulfil?
A. When Christ returns to Earth he will be our High Priest and King. He will replace Satan as Day Star or light bringer and ruler of the planet (2Pet. 1:19; Rev. 2:28, 22:16).
Q21. What is everyone required to do so as to be restored back to God?
A. Repent, be baptized, obey God and keep God’s Laws. This includes the yearly participation in the Lord’s Supper and foot-washing ceremony.
Q22. What does “repent” mean?
A. To repent means to feel sorry for the things that we have done that were wrong and against God’s way and to turn from the wrong and do right, which is to do God’s Will.
Q23. What’s baptism?
A. Jesus also taught that we should be baptized, which means after we repent and turn our lives to God, we should be totally submerged under water for a short period of time to symbolize the dying of our old ways and our raising up to a new life in obedience to God.
Q24. Can children be baptized?
A. We can only be baptised when we are adults. The Bible defines an adult as someone who is twenty years of age. But, in the meantime, if we are under twenty years of age and have believing and obedient parents, we are sanctified by them (1Cor. 7:14). See the paper Sanctification of the Children of God (No. CB69). This means that God looks on us kindly while we are under the protection of our parents. It is hoped that believing parents teach their children the Laws of God, and in time the children will live by these Laws when they are adults.
The Church of God does not recognize or perform infant baptism. This is because we must be fully aware of our sins and be sorry for the wrongs we have done, and be able to count the cost before we can go into the watery grave of baptism and be made alive (clean).
Q25. What are the two sacraments of the Church?
A. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Q26. What is the Holy Spirit?
A. Christ led the way for the gift of the Holy Spirit to come to God’s people. The Holy Spirit is the power of God, which allows us to partake of the nature of God Himself, and it is a gift that He gives freely to anyone who asks for it. We can read more about the Holy Spirit in the paper What is the Holy Spirit? (No. CB3).
Through Christ, by way of the Holy Spirit, we understand the Bible and how God shows us what He wants us to do. God showed us that He had put into place His new covenant, which He talked about in Jeremiah 11 (Rom. 2:14-15). God put the second part of the same covenant into place after the resurrection of Christ when the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon mankind. From then on His Laws were to be written on our hearts and in our minds.
Q27. When Messiah comes back to Earth what will happen?
A. Jesus said that no one knows when he will return except his Father (Mat. 24:36). When Christ comes back he will rule as our King for one thousand years. (Rev. 20:4). The elect will help him rule as kings and priests. The elect are the people who keep the Testimony of Christ and the Commandments of God (Rev. 12:17; 14:12). These people will be part of what is called the First Resurrection – they will be the first ones of the dead from Adam to be raised back to life. If they are alive when Christ returns they will be translated into spirit beings.
Q28. What happens after the 1000-year reign of Christ is over?
A. At the end of the 1000 years Satan is released and he again makes war with Messiah and the saints. This time Satan and the entire fallen Host are reduced to flesh and die (cf. Isa. 14:15-20). The fallen Host will be brought back to human life with the rest of mankind who lived but did not do what God wanted them to do. They make up what is known as the Second Resurrection (Rev. 20:12-15). See also the paper The Judgment of the Demons (No. 80).
Those in the Second Resurrection will be taught to live by God’s Laws and will be given a chance to be part of God’s family. This is called the judgment. If they do not wish to turn to God and be obedient to Him, God will mercifully let them die in Gehenna fire from which they will have no further existence. God is a God of mercy. He does not have a place of eternal torment, which others who claim Christianity call Hell. If you do not choose to follow God’s way, He allows you to die forever (Rev. 20:12-15).
Q29. What can we do now to be part of God’s Kingdom?
A. The only way to become part of God’s family now is to know the Only True God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (Jn. 17:3). We must repent and be baptized, and then begin and continue to obey the Laws of God. If we’re too young to be baptized, we continue to be obedient to our parents in following God’s word and do the best we can in keeping God’s Commandments and ask God to forgive us when we do wrong.
A. White as milk
B. Where are you?
A. White as milk or are you?
Supplies: 1 cup of milk (preferably warm milk) per child, 2 x tablespoons of vinegar per child, and a spoon.
Q. What does white represent in the Bible?
A. Holiness, righteousness and purity.
Q. Were Lucifer, Adam, Eve, and even newborn babies created without sin?
Encourage the children to taste the milk (providing they are not lactose intolerant); cookies or crackers can also be offered. Ensure that they leave at least ½ to ¾ cup of milk in their glass. Discuss how the milk tastes.
Hold up the bottle of white vinegar and ask: What do you think this is?
If you get answers that it is water or could be the Holy Spirit because water frequently represents the Holy Spirit, discuss how looks can be deceiving. Remember how Eve saw that the tree was good for food, and it was a delight or looked really good to her eyes, and was desirable to make her wise, so she ate it (Gen. 3:6). What happened once she ate the fruit? Allow the children to talk about their ideas.
Ask who wants to go first with adding the clear liquid to their milk? Begin allowing the children to pour the white vinegar into their milk.
More questions that can be asked to stimulate discussion:
Are we the same once we sin?
Was the milk the same after the vinegar was added?
Did the milk taste the same after the vinegar was added?
What is God’s Plan to restore or bring us back to Him?
What did God do?
What did Christ do?
What does each one of us need to do?
B. Where are you?
Resource idea from http://fatlion.com/science/airpressure.html
For one demonstration: Kite string at least 22 feet long (7 metres), plastic straw cut in half, balloons (a variety of balloons can be tried to see the different results if time permits), cellophane or masking tape, 2 chairs, Which World are you handout. Cut the handout into two pieces and secure each piece to a chair. Precut the kite string to 22 feet (7 metres); place the chairs about 21 feet apart; once the balloon/straw are threaded on the kite string ensure the kite string is pulled tight.
Q. Ask the children where we all start out.
A. On God’s side: perfect beings.
Q. Ask who will volunteer to blow up the balloon.
A. The balloon is like us, created perfect. God gave the Host and mankind free moral agency. This means we can choose to do right or wrong. God did not create robots. Our minds, personalities and beliefs are not sealed or fixed and we can choose to do good or evil.
If we are in the Church we are sanctified, or set apart by our parent's relationship with God; if not, at some point in our life God calls us. Messiah is our High Priest (Heb. 2:17; 9:11), and helps teach and care for us.
The straw represents Messiah guiding us on the straight and narrow path that leads us to God (Mat. 7:14) and keeps us in God’s presence.
The string represents God’s Law going out from Himself. God and His Law always remain constant or the same; they are unchangeable. We as people or the fallen Host are the ones that choose to obey/disobey – stay by God or move away from God.
Thread the piece of straw that will be attached to the balloon on the kite string. Have the child blow up the balloon and hold the end shut.
Tape the straw on the balloon securely. Christ did not come to destroy the Law; he always kept it (Mat. 5:17). Have the child stand by the chair on God’s side since we were all created perfect. The child quickly opens his fingers and releases the air from the balloon.
The balloon will rocket to the other chair as the air is released. This happens because of tremendous pressure of the weight of the air pushing on the balloon. The same is true for us every moment of every day. The only reason we don't get crushed is that our bodies push back at the air with the same pressure.
Q. Discuss how when we do not obey God the Holy Spirit leaves us/air out of the balloon and we end up like sour milk or very far away from God and more easily tempted or tricked into following Satan. Because of sin we are closer to Satan than God.
A. When we repent and ask God to forgive us, and change our ways, the Holy Spirit is again restored to us. Ask the same child to blow up the balloon again and this time tie the balloon securely shut. Messiah/ the straw is still with us and in conjunction with the Holy Spirit guides us back to the Father. It is still hard work and sometimes it takes the help of others to get us back to the Father. This is what the Church does; it helps, teaches, supports and corrects us when we are making mistakes. Ask the children to help move the balloon back to God’s side. This can be done by making paper fans, then using the hands, etc.
Discuss what they remember most for this activity and where they want to be: on God’s side or Satan’s side, and how they are going to keep themselves there.
Close with prayer.
Handout: Which world are you?
Eden, a place where God’s Laws are kept perfectly
The current world ruled by Satan, the prince of the power of the air Ephesians 2:2