I. To The Sunday School
These outlines are arranged in chronological order and each is numbered, beginning with Genesis, and proceeding through the Scriptures. This will enable the Sunday School adopting this plan to cover the Bible once every five years, as there are altogether 263 lessons, equally divided between the Old and New Testaments. These lessons could be repeated at the conclusion of the five year period, thus making it a permanent scheme.
It would be a good plan to alternate three months of lessons from the Old Testament with three months from the New Testament and, by this means, show clearly how inseparably the one is linked with the other. It has been well said that in the Old Testament the New Testament lies concealed; while in the New Testament the Old Testament lies revealed. Let us never forget that on the morning of His triumphant resurrection our Lord Jesus Christ “began at Moses, and all the prophets, and expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). The Bible is devoted to the revelation of one Person—the Lord Jesus Christ, and the exposition of one theme—redemption through His precious blood; and this is found in prophecy, type, symbol and incident throughout the Old Testament. (See Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11).
The general plan adopted in the preparation of these lesson outlines is as follows. First, is the title of the lesson, followed by its location in Scripture. In some cases quite a large portion is assigned. This would have to be considerably reduced to be read in the class. Next is the Golden Text, or memory verse, which seeks to summarize the main thought. If this verse is too long for the junior pupil, part of it could be selected. Following this is the outline of the lesson with several divisions, each marked differently. The main divisions are indicated by Roman numerals “I, II, III,” etc. These in turn are divided under Arabic numerals “1, 2, 3,” etc. These are subdivided by Arabic numerals in brackets “(1), (2), (3),” etc. Where these, in turn, are divided, they are designated by small letters in brackets “(a), (b), (c), (d),” etc. Thus an orderly presentation of the lesson or subject is made possible.
A complete index to this five year lesson scheme will be found on another page which will contain the number of the lesson, the title, the Scriptural location and the Golden Text.
II. To The Teacher Or Preacher
The word “preacher” has been added because many young gospellers have written testifying to the help they have received from the study of these outlines which, though primarily prepared for Sunday School teachers, have also proved helpful to those who are seeking to preach the gospel of the grace of God.
After the teacher’s own individual study of the lesson as hinted in “Suggestions as to the preparation of the lesson,” the teacher could now consult the outline in this book. Its ^divisions should be noted, and all the Scripture references carefully and prayerfully pondered, for they all have a bearing on the particular division in which they occur. These outlines have been purposely condensed. The teacher will not be able to use them as crutches upon which to lean, and thus eliminate that individual and diligent study of the Bible which is absolutely essential to right teaching. Each outline is designed to encourage the teacher to study the Bible for himself, so that he may “prove his own work and ... have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” (Galatians 6:4).
The teacher can now add his own notes, comments, Scripture references and illustrations, etc., in the wide margin left for this purpose. By this means he will make a permanent record of the result of his own study and, by incorporating his own material with the outlines, can thus make them his own in a real sense. A sample of how these notes may be supplemented by further additions, will be seen overleaf.
Jesus The True Vine
Golden Text: John 15:6
I. The Necessity For This Union
1. Man is separated from Him. Cp. Isaiah 59:1, 2; Ephesians 2:12.
2. Man is dead and without life. Ephesians 2:1; 4:18; Colossians 2:13.
3. Man is fruitless; vs. 4-6. Luke 13:6-9; Matthew 3:10; 21:19. Ill. Isaiah 5:1-7.
II. The Means Of This Union
1. The ploughing of the soil in preparation for the planting. Here is the conviction of the Spirit. John 16:8; Hosea 10:12, 13; 6:1; Isaiah 28:24, etc.
2. The sower. The Lord Jesus. By His death and resurrection. Matthew 13:37; John 12:24.
3. The seed. The word of God. 1 Peter 1:23-25; James 1:18; Hebrews 4:12. Living, powerful, life giving.
4. The soil—the human heart; Luke 8:15.
5. The result. Life in Christ; Colossians 3:3.
III. The Results Of This Union
1. Fruit; vs. 2-6. note the various fruits that should be seen in every Christian’s life.
(1) Of the Spirit; Galatians 5:22, 23—ninefold.
(2) Of righteousness; Philippians 1:11. In a righteous life before men.
(3) Of holiness—separation; Romans 6:22.
(4) Of lips—thanksgiving. Hebrews 13:15; Psalms 92:1-4; 50:23.
(5) Of work; Colossians 1:10. Consistency and constancy.
(6) Of soul-winning. Romans 1:13; 1 Corinthians 9:20-23.
(7) Of Generosity. Philippians 4:17; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9; 9:6-15.
2. Abiding in Christ. Note its consequences in the prayer life of the believer. Vs. 7-9.
(1) The condition, “abide.”
(2) The privilege, “ask.” Note the fourfold conditions for prayer. (a) Ask believing; Matthew 21:22. (b) Ask in His Name; John 14:13. (c) Abiding in Him; John 15:7. (d) According to His word; John 15:7. (e) According to His will; 1 John 5:14.
3. Obedience: vs. 10, 14, 17. Note the emphasis on obedience. There is no substitution for this in the Christian life. “If any will do he shall know;” John 7:17.
4. Joy; v. 11. Cp. Philippians 2:2; 3:1; 4:4-7; 1 John 1:4; Romans 15:13.
5. Love to others; vs. 12-14, 17. Cp. 1 John 2:9-11; 3:14-18.
6. Communion and fellowship; v. 15. Note the threefold division of this chapter.
(1) “My disciples”—known by what we are; vs. 1-8.
(2) “My friends”—known by what we do; vs. 9-15.
(3) “My witnesses”—known by what we say; vs. 16-27.
7. Service; v. 16. Here is “the mighty ordination of the pierced hands,” the only ordination required for service for Him.
8. Separation from the world; vs. 19-25. Cp. John 17:15-17; 1 John 2:15, 16.
IV. The Power To Maintain This Union
The Spirit. Cp. Romans 8:8, 9, etc.