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Only One Gospel

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ONLY ONE GOSPEL 

Scripture: Acts 4:12; Romans 1:16; 2 Corinthians 3:2–3; Galatians 1:6–10; Ephesians 4:14

Memory verse: Romans 1:16
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes...."

Lead—In

Before class, cut several traffic signs from cardboard or poster board. Suggested signs might include a stop sign, yield sign, speed-limit sign, street sign, and a one-way sign. Colour them to accurately portray the real signs. Also make a few that are incorrect in design, wording, or colour. Before the students arrive, hide all the signs except the one-way sign around the room.

Begin this week’s study by having the students look for “real” traffic signs. As each sign is discovered, discuss whether it is a symbol for the real sign or if there is something false about it. Ask what could happen if we followed a false directional sign. Continue until all the signs have been found and discussed.

Finally, hold up the one-way sign. Discuss the use and ask what would happen if it had arrows pointing in both directions. Explain that in this week’s study they will learn more about the importance of knowing the difference between what is true and what is false. Encourage the students to listen to learn about our most dependable “road sign” in life.

Hearing God’s Word

False direction is not limited to road signs. Our world is filled with false information about the Bible, God, Jesus and truth. (Ask the students to think of religions that do not follow Jesus. Some examples are Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Write the students’ responses on the chalkboard.) Each group believes it has the right idea about what truth really is. We believe, however, that there is only one gospel—the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only through Jesus can sins be forgiven. (Read Acts 4:12.)

What is the Gospel?

Gospel means “good news.” It is Jesus’ message of love and salvation. Jesus’ central teachings and the record of His ministry are recorded in the first four books of the New Testament.

Ask: “What are they?” (Allow responses.)

These four books are called the Gospels. However, the gospel can also refer to all of the New Testament writings. This does not mean the Old Testament is unimportant. In fact, much of the meaning in the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament.

Proofs that the Bible is True

Ask: “How can we know the Bible is the true Word of God? How is it different from any other religious writing?” (Allow responses.)

People who do not want to accept the truth of the Bible often ask this question. There are several good reasons why we believe the Holy Bible is the one and only true Word of God.

The first reason is the Bible’s unity of message. There is one main message that runs from Genesis through Revelation. It is the message of God’s love for man and His plan for our salvation. This unity is remarkable when we realize the Bible was written by about 40 different authors over more than 1,600 years! Most of the authors did not know one another and lived centuries apart. No other collection of stories and events written under the same conditions could possibly be so well united in thought and purpose.

Another reason why we believe the Bible is the true Word of God is its timelessness. Even though the Bible is very old, its message has meaning to every generation. God’s message has not become outdated as many of people’s ideas have.

God’s Word has had greater circulation than any other book in all of history. It has been translated into almost every language. No work of man has such wide circulation. The Bible continues to be the best seller of all books in print.

Continued preservation is another proof that the Bible is no ordinary book. The Bible has been around for a long time, and many attempts have been made to destroy it. But none of these attempts have been successful. God’s Word has endured in spite of what some have tried to do. (Ask a student to read Matthew 24:35.) God’s Word will never pass away.

Fulfilled prophecy is another proof that the Bible is the true Word of God. Many events foretold in the Bible have taken place. (Compare Isaiah 9:6 and Luke 2:11, Joel 2:28, 29 and Acts 2:1-4, 14-18.) Many current events are told about in God’s Word.

The proofs discussed so far are convincing. But the strongest evidence of the truth of God’s Word is its life-changing power. People throughout the world have been changed by the power of God’s Word. They give up their sinful practices and become filled with Jesus’ love. That is a wonderful proof that the Bible is no ordinary book. No other religious book can claim that kind of influence for good.

Paul—a Changed Man

Our memory verse this week is found in Romans 1:16. Paul wrote these words to the Christians at Rome. Paul had once hated all Christians. He didn’t believe Jesus is God’s Son, and he tried to punish all who did believe. But, after Paul experienced God’s power, his attitude changed. He became such a strong believer that he wanted to tell everyone he met about Jesus and His love for men. Paul was definitely a changed man.

Mixing Truth and Error

With these reasons in focus, it is clear the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true gospel. However, some religions or religious ideas contain just enough truth to make people think it is the whole truth. This is very dangerous.

Paul warned Christians about this problem in his letter to the Galatians. (Ask the students to find Galatians 1:6–10.) Apparently the Christians there had been listening to some other teachings that were not true. Paul was surprised that they would be so easily swayed by teaching that was not true. He told them that the gospel should be their only source for finding out what is true. If anyone else—even an angel—should try to tell them otherwise, they were not to believe it. God’s Word alone was their answer book.

Paul issued a similar warning in Ephesians 4:14. (Ask a student to read this verse.) We are not to allow cunning and crafty teachers to cause us to be tossed back and forth from one way of thinking to another. What God’s Word teaches is the truth. God does not change His mind. His Word stands.

Today’s False Teachings

Paul’s advice is good for us today also. Many false ideas and philosophies are presented through TV programs, music, books, and magazines. Classmates may try to convince you that we should live for pleasure. Some believe that we can be our own gods. Others mix a little truth with a lot of error, for example, teaching that God promises to meet our needs so He wants all Christians to become wealthy. Unless a believer really knows what God’s Word says and means, it is difficult to argue with deceitful teaching.

Knowing the Truth

Ask: “How can one know whether or not something is true?” (Allow discussion.)

The first step is to make Jesus your Lord and Saviour. When Jesus is in your life, He sends His Holy Spirit to guide you to truth. (Ask a student to read John 16:13.) The Holy Spirit helps us recognize truth from error.

Once Jesus is your Saviour, you then need to read and study the Bible. You need to know what it says so you can “test” the things you hear. When you know the teachings of the Bible, you will not be influenced by half-truths.

A lot of people may try to convince you that the Bible is full of fairy tales or myths. They may make fun of you for believing the Bible is true. But remember this: You do not have to defend God’s Word. It will stand on its own. It has done so for centuries. Your responsibility is to believe God’s Word and live by it. That is what makes the difference, and those around you will respect you for your stand.

We are Living Letters

Paul wrote an important message to the Corinthians (and us). (Ask a student to read 2 Corinthians 3:2, 3.)

Ask: “What do you think Paul meant?” (Allow responses.)

Paul was saying that our lives would be reflections of God’s Word. We are walking “Bibles” read by those around us. Are you reflecting the one true gospel with your life? Are you a good “living letter” of God’s love and truth?

Accepting God’s Word

Explain the gospel of Jesus Christ step by step. Stress God’s great love and care for every person. Ask those who want to receive Jesus as Saviour to raise their hand. Pray individually with each one who responds.

Europe Challenge

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Unreached Tribes of Europe to Believe

1. Unbelievers to accept Jesus as their personal Saviour,
2. New believers show they are saved by worshipping the Lord,
3. Messengers model for new believers how to worship Jesus.                                    

Prayer Promise

"Then the man said, 'Lord, I believe,' and he worshiped him" (John 9:38).

Remember: ONLY ONE GOSPEL  

Memory verse: Romans 1:16
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes...."

1. The gospel message is "Jesus Saves." It is good news to share with everyone.
2. The Bible is true. It says so and the lives of believers prove it.
3. I want to be God's living word, like an open Bible to be read by others.

Pray for Unreached Tribes of Europe to Believe.

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Study 9 | All the World/Great Teachings | africaatts.org/go-teach

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