28 January 2016

Sunday School Lesson—Extreme Faith

Extreme faith

sunday school

Theme: God provided a sacrifice

Scriptures: (see )

A1 Outline--Abraham told to sacrifice Isaac

B1 Yahweh's call

B2 Yahweh's command

B3 Abraham's response

B4 Isaac's question

B5 Abraham's answer

B6 Abraham's altar

B7 Angel of the Lord's message

B8 The substitute sacrifice

B9 Angel of the Lord's blessing

A2 Notes and questions

B1 Faith

C1 Is not

D1 Blind

D2 Unreasonable

D3 Wish

C2 Is

D1 Based on facts

D2 Reasonable

C3 Is faith really faith until it is tested?

C4 Have you been tested?

C5 Does Yahweh test so He knows what we will do or does the test show US what we are?

B2 Sacrifice

C1 What is a sacrifice? (A giving of something precious).

C2 Have we ever sacrificed anything?

C3 Abraham had waited 25 years for Yahweh's promise to give an heir.

C4 Does Yahweh want human sacrifice? (No)

D1 Condemned

E1 ...to say to the people of Israel, "Any of you or any foreigner living among you who gives any children to be used in the worship of the god Molech shall be stoned to death by the whole community. If any of you give one of your children to Molech and make my sacred Tent unclean and disgrace my holy name, I will turn against you and will no longer consider you my people. But if the community ignores what you have done and does not put you to death, I myself will turn against you and your whole family and against all who join you in being unfaithful to me and worshiping Molech. I will no longer consider any of you my people. (, GNB92)

E2 You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. (, ESV2011)

E3 For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. (, ESV2011)

E4 And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger. (, ESV2011)

D2 Yahweh stopped the sacrifice. The sacrifice did NOT happen.

C5 What is Yahweh asking of Abraham? (Obedience)

B3 What is the difference between a test and a temptation?

C1 Test--to see if someone will be faithful and believe God.

C2 Temptation--to see if someone will be unfaithful and disbelieve God by disobeying.

B4 How does Yahweh test our faith today? Have you ever been tested?

B5 --How long did Abraham wait until he obeyed? (The next morning).

B6 Students of the Scripture vary on what age Isaac was between 15 and 36.

B7 Would you let you dad take you on a journey like this?

B8 --Why did Abraham tell his servants that "we" will return?

B9 How far will we go to obey the rules that the Lord Jesus gave us?

B10 Why did Isaac let his father tie him up and be placed on the altar? Would you let your dad do this?

B11 --What if Abraham stopped obeying God at this point?

B12 Why did Yahweh do this test instead of something else?

B13 What would be the greatest test to you? What if all our money was gone and there was no promise of more coming?


C1 Scripture says, "...now I know..." Here Yahweh is speaking. Did God have to learn something? Was He ignorant of what Abraham would do?

C2 Does Yahweh know the future?

D1 Seems like a silly question but there is a theology idea called Open Theism. It is wrong.

D2 Open Theism teaches

E1 God has an openness to the future, especially as it relates to pray, the problem of evil, and personal relationships.

E2 So do our prayers make a difference?

E3 We "collaborate with God towards the achievement of his goals."

E4 God has decided to wait until prayer happens before making a decision. This would be future that is not known beforehand.

E5 God has flexible strategies for dealing with individuals and all of humanity. For example, "If the Hebrew midwives had feared Pharaoh rather than God and killed the baby boys, then God would have responded accordingly and a different story would have emerged."

E6 God has decided for humanity to have libertarian freedom.

E7 God knows all that can be known, but He does not known what is unknowable--the future. He does have foresight and would know what can be known. They give the example of a meteor hitting the earth in the future.

E8 Also--"Open Theism is the thesis that, because God loves us and desires that we freely choose to reciprocate His love, He has made His knowledge of, and plans for, the future conditional upon our actions. Though omniscient, God does not know what we will freely do in the future. Though omnipotent, He has chosen to invite us to freely collaborate with Him in governing and developing His creation, thereby also allowing us the freedom to thwart His hopes for us. God desires that each of us freely enter into a loving and dynamic personal relationship with Him, and He has therefore left it open to us to choose for or against His will." Quoted from "Open Theism" entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

E9 Some Bible passages they quote in support

F1 So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people. (, NASB77)

F2 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. ​What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, an outcry! (, ESV2011) God is surprised.

F3 He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." (, ESV2011) Now God knows.

D3 The issue

E1 Omniscience

E2 Does God know all things or just things that are knowable?

E3 Is the future knowable?

E4 Some future are knowable as predicting where a planet or other heavenly body will be in 50,000 years, but what about people's decisions?

D4 The problem It is wrong because

E1 Based on philosophy and then proof-texted.

E2 What does the Bible say?

F1 Because if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows all things. (, EMTV) God knows everything, not just referring to motives, circumstances, etc.

F2 LORD, you have examined me and you know me. You know everything I do; from far away you understand
all my thoughts. You see me, whether I am working or resting; you know all my actions. Even before I speak, you already know what I will say. (, GNB92)

F3 All His works are known to God from eternity. (, WPNT) Wilbur Pickering notes, "God hadn't changed; it was always His purpose to include the Gentiles. Perhaps 5% of the Greek manuscripts omit 'all His works . . . to God from eternity' (as in NIV, NASB, LB, TEV, etc.)."

F4 Remember what happened long ago; acknowledge that I alone am God and that there is no one else like me. From the beginning I predicted the outcome; long ago I foretold what would happen. I said that my plans would never fail, that I would do everything I intended to do. (, GNB92)

E3 Others

F1 William Lane Craig points out that the Lord Jesus knew perfectly and completely what would happen during Passion Week.

F2 He notes in another YouTube video clip that time doesn't affect God like us. He is the eternal now where everything that we call time is equally present and exists. Part 1 and Part 2.

G1 Calvinism sees God decreeing and predestining everything.

G2 Open Theism where God does not know the future perfectly, but when things happen, as in the case of Jesus predicting Peter's denial, then God has decreed that.

G3 Simple foreknowledge. God does not know the event because He decrees it but that the event is known. "God's knowledge chronologically prior to the event is logically posterior to the event. God's knowledge doesn't determine the event. It's the event that determines what God foreknows. And our decisions to not cause something, but it's our choices that determine how certain propositions are true or false. God being omniscient knows only all true propositions." God knows our choices infallibly. If it would have been a different decision, God would have known that. God would not have any way of planning the future (according to some).

G4 Middle knowledge. This is similar to the simple foreknowledge but adds how God could have this perfect knowledge and "providential control over human history without abridging human freedom." "Prior to God's decision to create the world, God knows how any free creature would freely choose in any circumstances God might place him in. So by choosing to create certain circumstances and put certain creatures in them, God's foreknowledge comes as a result. He knows exactly how that creature will behave, because He knew what that creature would do, if he were in those circumstances. So this gives God foreknowledge of the future on the basis of His knowledge of how persons would freely choose in any circumstances that he might be placed in." This view shows that God can have a plan, since He knows how any person will choose in these circumstances. This would explain not just that God knows but how is it that He can know. In a sense God chooses the circumstances and knows how one will choose. This is different from compatibilism where God decrees the highest and greatest desire, so a person will choose that desire freely over any other desire present.

E4 Consider

F1 Did Jesus foreknow Peter's denial? compared with

F2 Did Jesus foreknow Judas' betrayal? compared with and

F3 Did Jesus foreknow His rejection by Israel? compared with , , and .

F4 The problem would is, are future decisions known or are they decreed. Many open theists would come to the conclusion that some things have been decreed by God. So how can we tell? You can't have it both ways. Does God know, does not know (He gives a good guess based on someone's character and thoughts), or decrees it?

E5 The bottom line is that God does know all things known and unknown (future), past, present, and future.

B15 The substitute

C1 What is the substitute in this verse?

C2 Who provided the ram?

C3 What is the significance of the words "...instead of his son?"

C4 Read "...but God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us! (, WPNT). How does this apply to and us? See also "Because Christ also suffered on account of sins, once for all, the righteous on behalf of the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God; having been put to death, to be sure, in flesh but having been made alive in spirit; (, WPNT)

C5 Was God under any obligation to provide the sacrifice? What does this show about God's character?


C1 What is the significance of God's words in verses 15-18?

C2 After Abraham and Isaac returned, what a story they had to tell? Is there any application for us in some way today?

C3 How would his father's faith affect Isaac?

C4 How can we show our faith to our children?

C5 If our future looks dark and foreboding, what will we do? Will we see obey God's rules?

C6 How does our faith grow? Is your faith and mine growing?

C7 This must have been very troubling to Abraham. Are we willing to step out of our comfort zone to do God's will?

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