Tips for Teaching This Week’s Session of The Gospel Project for Adults
Every week, Aaron Armstrong and other adult ministry leaders offer guidance to help leaders prepare to lead and teach each session of The Gospel Project for Adults.
This week’s training notes:
This week, we’re in Unit 1, Session 3, which is called Made for His Glory. This session is a little bit different in that it’s the first of our sessions that is focused on the essential doctrine that flows through the entire unit, God’s glory.
This is something you’ll see as you complete every unit—as we journey through the story of Scripture, we’re going to take these important moments to go deeper into a core truth of the faith, one that you can see in the background of every passage you’re studying throughout. It’s a bit of a different approach than we’ve taken in the past, but I’m sure that your group is going to enjoy the experience.
With that said, here are your three things to know, read, and do as you prepare for this week’s session:
Something to know
As you prepare for this session, something to know is the essential doctrine itself. What we mean by God’s glory is important. It isn’t simply a fancy way of saying that God is awesome. (Though to glorify Him may well be.) As you’ll read in your Leader Guide on page 33, God’s glory is multifaceted. It is the way He represents His perfect character through His work in the world. It is His reputation. It is the inherent beauty of His attributes and characteristics. Why is this important for you to know, especially as you prepare to lead this session? Because God’s glory is at the center of our lives and our worship as Christians. We are to live in a way that reflects His glory. We are to worship Him because of His glory.
So consider your own perspective on God’s glory. Does thinking about His greatness inspire a sense of worship? Does it make you want to tell others about Him—to share the good news of that greatness and glory? Does His glory make you want to live in a way that expresses and reflects His glory?
Something to read
As for something to read, Christopher Morgan wrote an excellent essay on the glory of God that traces the theme of glory through Scripture in its centrality, meaning, and senses. It’s a bit on the academic side but highly worth your time if you’re inclined to dig in a bit deeper on this subject. Particularly insightful is this reflection found in the fifth sense of glory—as the ultimate goal of the display of God’s attributes, perfections, or person. Morgan writes:
Exodus and Ezekiel are abounding with passages that unfold God’s actions for the sake of his name, that people will know he is the Lord. Jesus informs that Lazarus’s death and subsequent resurrection had an ultimate purpose: it was for the glory of God (John 11:4; cf. 14:13). Peter’s death also shared this purpose (John 21:19). Paul points out that God chooses, adopts, redeems, and seals believers “to the praise of the glory of his grace” (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14). That is, in saving a people for himself, God displays his grace, and in displaying his grace he brings glory to himself. Further, the whole Trinitarian plan of redemption displays this goal, as seen in the mutual glorification of each person of the Trinity. The glorious Father sends the glorious Son, who voluntarily humbles himself and glorifies the Father through his incarnation, obedient life, and substitutionary death (Phil. 2:5–11; cf. John 6, 10, 17). In response the Father glorifies the Son, resurrecting him from the dead and exalting him to the highest place (Acts 3:13–15; Rom. 6:4; Phil. 2:9–11). The Father sends the glorious Spirit, who glorifies the Son (John 16:14), which all contributes to the glory of the Father (Phil. 2:11).
Morgan connects this potentially abstract concept directly to the gospel and to God’s nature as the Trinity. This is very helpful for us. In the gospel, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, all glorify one another. It’s not one of them being glorified with the others ignored—it’s all of them, all the time.
So take a minute and read this article. You’ll find a link to this in the Additional Resources for this session.
Something to do
Finally, consider different ways that you have seen God’s glory revealed in the world around you. What about the world we live in points you to its Creator? What makes you stop and say “wow”? As you do, take a moment and worship God because of them. Practically give Him glory today. As you prepare for a session like this, don’t treat it as an academic exercise. Instead, let the purpose of the session go deep into your heart. Let your time discussing God’s glory stem from an overflow of your love for Him.
So, as always, this has been a fair bit to cover, but I trust that it will both add to your preparation and help you determine what to focus on in your time.