Laura Miller | Category: Children's Sunday School; Mission; Church Planting
... and it goes on and on. This is how the Great Commission works, simple, tried and true. Of course, from age to age, generation to generation, society to society, differences crop up in flavor and procedure, but the truth and power of the message stay the same. Regardless of the differences, regardless of the circumstances of each age or generation or society, the efficacy of the work of grace comes from the person of the Holy Spirit, not from man. Pastor Ben referred to this passage from Iain Murray's book, Revival, in his sermon of April 27, 2014 ("Praying for Gospel Passion"):
Such is man's state in sin that he cannot be saved without the immediate influence of the Holy Spirit. Regeneration, and the faith that results from it, are the gifts of God. Therefore whatever conversions are multiplied, the cause is to be found not in men, nor in favorable conditions, but in the abundant influences of the spirit of God that alone make the testimony of the church effective. No other explanation of revival is in harmony with the truths that 'the essence of the Christian scheme -- the utter depravity of man, the sovereignly-free grace of Jehovah, the divinity of Christ, the atonement in his blood, regeneration and sanctification of the Holy Spirit.
The children in the catechism class have embarked on a new series of lessons called, "How Will I Know I Will Live Forever?", and the foundational question and answer is a simple one: "Who were our first parents? Adam and Eve." As simple as this answer is, the implications are great and transcending, but not so much so that even little ones can't grasp the possibilities. You see, we show a visual that symbolizes the spread of mankind after our first parents peopled the earth.
Introduced during our memory verse lesson, the students discover how Eve was intended to be the "mother of all the living". The pyramid of generations provides a picture of generational multiplication of families not too unlike how we might construct our own family trees. But there have been so many years and so many generations between the time of Adam and Eve and now, that, for example, the likelihood of accidentally finding any overlapping branches between your family tree and mine is practically infinitesimal. The children can picture three, or maybe four, generations within their own families, and older ones can comprehend how relatively very little time those generations have been on the earth, and how many, many, many generations there must have been over the many, many, many years since Adam and Eve started this huge, diverse, world-wide family of ours. It's more than our brains can handle, and yet, not so overwhelming that even the children can see what it means in the big picture of evangelism.:How in the world can we reach all those lost, unsaved chidlren of Adam and Eve with the message of the Gospel?!
As Murray states, only the Holy Spirit can bring regeneration, and God, in his sovereign wisdom, determines that his followers will be the vessels of this message of Deliverance and Redemption.
This applies here, in Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania, as "we exist to delight in the beauty of God's greatness, to proclaim the truth of God's Word, and to ignite a joyful passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ among all the peoples of Pittsburgh and the world." The call to be a vessel isn't limited only to those on the mission field, and children are more than able to obey the Lord's command to reach the world -- through, among other ways, their prayers! With this in mind, the catechism class will begin a "30 Ways to Pray for a Missionary" prayer journey with our very own missionaries. (Parents, look for information in your children's bags.)
We are all descended from Adam and Eve. The Lord in his kindness and mercy has chosen many to be in his family, based solely upon the atoning work of Christ and the faith he gives to believe. Won't you pray with us that the Lord will extend his saving grace to others -- here in Pittsburgh through the church planting work of Three Rivers Grace, and abroad through missionaries and believers worldwide?
The purpose of our church blog is to serve the overall mission of our church: to delight in the beauty of God's greatness,