Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elijah in the New Testament - Youth Sunday School Lesson

Elijah in the New Testament

Brief: Elijah’s example continues to teach us about the glory of God, about grace, and about prayer.

(Printable Student Sheet available for Patreon supporters or with a purchase of Elijah, the Bold and Fearful Prophet.)

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

Read Luke 9:28-36.

Why do you think Moses and Elijah are the people to appear and share this moment with Jesus?

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 to live a life pleasing to God.

What was so glorious about them?

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.

What was wrong with Peter’s suggestion to put up shelters?

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.

Paul says that people are saved by grace, not works. What is the difference between the two?

When we say that we’re saved by grace, we’re saying that God saves us. He does the work. When we say that we’re saved by works, we’re saying that we can save ourselves by being good enough to earn God’s approval.

How does relying on works harden people’s hearts and become a stumbling block to them?

Relying on works for our salvation keeps us from relying fully on God. We can’t see how much God has done for us in saving us by His grace if we continue to think that we can save ourselves.

Why does prayer have to be done in faith, and why by a righteous person, and why earnestly?

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.  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 about 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.

This lesson is included in my book, Elijah, the Bold and Fearful Prophet: Youth Bible Studies on 1 and 2 Kings.
Elijah, the Bold and Fearful Prophet: Youth Bible Studies on 1 and 2 Kings - Perfect for Youth Sunday School Lessons by [Wilson, Rev. Stephen R.]
Kindle $1.99, Print $4.99

Find more youth lessons on my Free Youth Ministry Helps page!

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