Review the memory verse of the week and talk about how it relates to the Truth section.
Review the Pentateuch, Historical books, Poetic books, Major and Minor Prophets of the Old Testament.
Include time for any remaining JG members to recite all 66 books of the Bible.
Truth – You can discuss any of the in Bible questions you would like to address. Here are some tips that may help:
Genesis 1:26-28 – You could spur your JG’s thinking about this question by reminding them that purpose always dictates design. For example, a hammer is designed with a hard, flat surface that concentrates its weight in a small spot because it is intended to drive nails into wood. God’s purpose for humanity is to preserve and creatively develop the earth for His glory and our enjoyment. He designed us so that we could think creatively and analytically, communicate with one another and commune with Him so that we could fulfill that purpose.The words, “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” implies the development of human civilization and the culture(s) it would encompass. This means that God intended a world full of billions of un-fallen people to develop their language, music, art, science, mathematics, commerce and government under the Lordship of their Creator. The words, “subdue it and have dominion” implies that humanity was intended to explore and harness the world’s resources. This means that God intended the human race to discover uses for wood, stone, metals, natural gas, etc.
Genesis 2:5-8, 15 – God created the Garden of Eden to begin showing Adam how he could fulfill his purpose. Adam had all the potential he needed designed into him, but he still needed God to give him some on the job training. The word “work” implies that Adam was to tend and develop the garden. The word “keep/take care of” means that Adam was to protect and preserve the garden. Some scholars take this as a warning to Adam that the garden needed protection from an enemy as well as an instruction that he was not to waste what God had made. Adam’s assigned task was similar to God’s work in that it was to be a creative effort. God created the “raw” material, the palette, so to speak. He then commissioned Adam to further the work, allowing him to mirror God’s creative work and participate in the ordering of the world. Imagine how Adam’s enthusiasm for, and fulfillment in, this task would bring greater glory to God!
1 Timothy 4:1-5 – The cultural mandate implies that people would marry (“be fruitful and multiply”) and would enjoy the produce of the earth (“subdue it and have dominion”) with thanksgiving. To forbid marriage and certain foods (other than those that God forbid in the Law) constitutes a rejection of the Cultural Mandate and treats the world as if it were something evil that must be escaped or avoided. But although the world is fallen and temporarily cursed, it is not evil and God will one day renew its perfection.
The key to a biblical view of living in God’s world is receiving its blessing with thanksgiving to God. He is a gift giver. His gifts should be neither scorned nor taken lightly. Rather, our grateful and adoring attention should be drawn to Him for all the goodness we receive from living in His world.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 – The key to explaining these passages about wealth and property is to remind your JG of the basic principles of stewardship. Nothing we own is truly our own. It is entrusted to us. We may enjoy personal property, but our responsibility in stewardship is to use property to be a blessing to others and to bring glory to God. You should also connect Genesis 2:15 to this discussion.
Truth – Here are the main points you’ll want to make clear:
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion…” is the Cultural Mandate. It is the commission to creatively build a God-glorifying human civilization that would extend throughout the world.
Adam’s task to work and keep the garden was a training stage for humanity.
Work is a gift from God in which we should engage six days a week and pursue excellence according to the ability He gives for His glory.
Property is a gift from God which God entrusts for our enjoyment and for the blessing of those around us.
That cultures exist is a necessary consequence of the Cultural Mandate. That cultures have many beautiful or noble qualities reflects the image of God in us. But cultures also reflect the sinfulness of the people that populate them. Christians must selectively participate in culture, relying on God’s Spirit and Word to give them discernment about the aspects of their culture they should avoid. They should also seek to be culturally engaged in such a way that they have opportunities to make the gospel known.
Equipping – The equipping questions for this week will take some thought. You have a great opportunity to spark some deep discussions, especially in the third question. Plan on leaving extra time for equipping during this meeting. As always, guide your JG away from any performance mentality thinking if it arises in your discussion.
Accountability – Allow time for smaller groups of 2 or 3 to ask accountability questions and pray for one another.
Mission – This week, conclude your discussion of how to help people investigate Christianity using the Life Issues booklets as a tool for making the gospel known. Discuss the question, “What is Required to Have Eternal Life?” from the fourth Life Issues booklet. Also, discuss how your group member’s attitudes toward witnessing may have changed over the last several weeks. Lead your group in prayer asking God to make you all fishers of men.