A brief introduction to the quarter’s lessons:
God has always related to His people through generous covenants that we could never hope to earn or live up to. This is demonstrated through various covenants in the Old Testament and the establishment of the New Covenant through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of God’s faithful love and grace, we are able to live in covenant relationship with Him today.
This quarter will study covenants from a variety of perspectives. We will see how Jesus fulfilled the law in the sense that it was given full meaning. Jesus emphasized the deep, underlying messages of the gospel and this same message is continued through the apostle Paul and the writer of Hebrews. Relationships of faith empower us to live the covenant and spread the gospel message.
Here is an overview of the units in this quarter’s lessons:
Unit I, “A Fulfilled Covenant,” in four sessions, reveals a new sign of the covenant for Jewish and Gentile believers, as recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, Hebrews, and Colossians. During the celebration of the Passover, Jesus explained to the disciples that he would initiate a new covenant through his death. Paul explains that the sign of the covenant is now a relationship of the heart between God and God’s people, not circumcision.
Unit II, “A Heartfelt Covenant,” has five sessions and gives new meaning and purpose to the Law. According to Matthew, Jesus began teaching the Law in a way that gave life to the hearer and doer. Unlike other teachers of the Law, Jesus preached the transforming righteousness of the Kingdom. Jesus challenged the mere external observance of God’s law without internal transformation.
Unit III, “Covenant: A Personal Perspective,” has four sessions. It focuses on personal relationships between people in 1 Samuel, Ruth, and Ephesians. Ultimately, those relationships pave the way for the Messiah. After Christ established the New Testament church, relationships between people have been based on relationship with Christ Jesus. These relationships continue the work of Christ Jesus by spreading the gospel message.