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THIRD TERM

SCHEME OF WORK

SUBJECT: CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE  CLASS: JSS3

WEEK  TOPICS

  1. PAUL AND CIVIL AUTHORITIES PAUL BEFORE FELIX [ACTS 24; 1-23]]
  2. PAUL BEFORE FESTUS [ACTS 25; 1-20]
  3. PAUL BEFORE KING AGRIPPA
  4. THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH TODAY

5-7  REVISION AND EXAMINATION

 

REFERENCES

[1] Christian Religious knowledge for JSS. BK 3, by T.N.O Quarcoopome et al.

[2] Christian Religious knowledge for JSS. BK 1-3 by A.F Bello.

[3] Christian Religious Knowledge for JSSBK 3, by Adeyinka.et al

[4] Ilesanmi Christian Religion Studies for JSS Bk 3 By Tunde Erumol et al

[5] Revised Standard Version Bible.

[6]  Past Questions: Junior WAEC

 

 

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WEEK ONE

PAUL AND CIVIL AUTHORITIES PAUL BEFORE FELIX [ACTS 24; 1-23]

This lesson is about Paul’s trial before Felix. He is falsely accused but Paul knows he has a clear conscience before God and man. This lesson teaches students that believers should always strive to keep a clear conscience. This is only a guide for the lesson. Adapt to your individual classroom needs.

Memory Verse: Acts 24:16 “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.”

Bible Lesson: Paul’s Trial before Felix

Introduction: Keeping a clear conscience.

Imagine a stop light, this explains how our consciences are like stop lights. When we are about to do something that we shouldn’t our conscience is warning us to stop. If we stop we avoid danger. If we ignore that warning over and over again our conscience is no longer sensitive to doing what is right. If you are a believer the Holy Spirit is like a traffic light. He will warn you if you are about to go somewhere or do something you shouldn’t. If you obey His warning, you will have a clear conscience. If you ignore Him you will have a guilty conscience. You can have a clear conscience once again by confessing your sin. If you continue to disobey the Holy Spirit you harden your heart to Him and can’t hear Him as clearly as you can when you are walking in obedience to Him.

As we have followed the life of Paul in the Book of Acts we have seen a believer who obeys the Holy Spirit and as a result has a clear conscience before God and man.
Let’s recite our memory verse: Acts 24:16 “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.”

Let’s turn in our Bibles to Acts 24.

Paul is falsely accused before Felix. Acts 24:1-9

Paul was in Caesarea for five days before his accusers arrived. The high priest Ananias with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus who work on a bigger firm, he came to make their charges against Paul before Felix.

Have you ever been in a court room? In a courtroom a judge is seated to hear the case that is brought before him/her. He/she will hear statements from both sides of the issue and make a decision of what to do.

In our lesson today the person that is like the judge in the courtroom is the Governor of Caesarea, Felix. He is seated waiting to hear this case against Paul that has been brought to him so he can decide what should happen to Paul.

The high priest and the unbelieving Jews of Jerusalem have brought a lawyer named Tertullus to present their charges against Paul to Felix. The following are the charges they have brought against Paul (Read verses 5-8):

  1. Paul is a trouble maker who stirs up riots among the Jews all over the world.
  2. He is the ringleader of the Nazarene sect and even tried to desecrate the temple.

After Tertullus brought these charges against Paul for the unbelieving Jews, the Jews that were present indicated that they were in full agreement with the charges made.

Paul has been falsely accused. None of the charges that were presented to Felix were true. From our study from Acts who was really responsible for stirring up riots when Paul was preaching the Gospel? (Unbelieving Jews)

  • Jesus was falsely accused by unbelieving Jews. Believers can expect that people may falsely accuse them (lie about them). 1 Peter 2:12 tells us to “live such good lives among the pagans that though they may accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.”

Paul makes his defense before Felix. Acts 24:10-22

After hearing the unbelieving Jews’ side of the issue, Felix nods to Paul to present his side. Paul doesn’t have a lawyer speak for him. The Holy Spirit enables Paul to speak in his own defense.

Paul states that the facts that he is presenting can be proved to be true (Read verses 10-16).

Paul states:

  1. Twelve days ago he went to Jerusalem to worship.
  2. He was not found arguing with anyone at the temple or stirring up trouble in the synagogues or in the city.

Paul admits:

  1. He worships the God of his fathers.
  2. He is a follower of the Way (Christians) (which the unbelieving Jews call a sect).
  3. He believes all that is written in the Law and the prophets.
  4. He believes in the same hope as these Jews that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.

As a result of Paul’s beliefs he makes every effort to always keep his conscience clear before God and man.

What does it mean to have a clear conscience? How do you feel when you have a guilty conscience? (Weighed down, sick to your stomach, etc.)

How can a believer keep a clear conscience before God and man?

  • Obey God and confess sins when we disobey. (1 John 1:9) “Draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)
  • Stay in God’s Word so your life will be in alignment with God’s Ways. (Ephesians 5:26, Psalm 119:9,11,105)

Paul makes his defense against the unbelieving Jews’ accusations (Verses 17-21):

  1. He went to Jerusalem after being away for several years to bring gifts to the poor and to make an offering.
  2. He was ceremonially clean when he was found in the temple courts.
  3. He was not with a crowd of people when he went to the temple.
  4. He was not involved in a disturbance. The Jews from Asia should be present to make a case if they have something against him.
  5. He already stood before the Sanhedrin. Those that were present should make their case what crime he committed. He is on trial because he shouted ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead’ that he is on trial before Felix.

Paul boldly proclaims God’s Word to Felix and Drusilla. Acts 24:23-27

Felix was very familiar with the Way (Christianity-belief in Jesus-that He died, was buried and rose again the third day) that Paul spoke about. He ended the proceedings and said he would decide the case when Lysias the commander arrived. He ordered a centurion to guard Paul and allowed him to have some freedom and allowed his friends to take care of him.

A few days after the trial, Felix and his wife Drusilla brought Paul before them to hear him speak. Paul spoke about faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul also spoke to them about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. When Felix heard Paul’s message it frightened him. He sent Paul away. Let’s read what he says to Paul in verse 25.

Felix was hoping that Paul would pay him to release him. Paul would not have a clear conscience if he bribed Governor Felix to be set free. The power of the Holy Spirit living inside him enabled him to be obedient to be a prisoner. Paul had the Lord Jesus’ comfort and promise that he would testify about Him in Rome. Paul would wait and do things God’s way even if that meant he had to sit in prison while he waited.

 

 

EVALUATION

  1. What crime did the unbelieving Jews accuse Paul of? (Being a troublemaker, stirring up riots, desecrating the temple)
  2. Who did Paul say he worshiped? (The God of our fathers)
  3. What does Paul say the real reason is that he is being accused? (For his belief in the resurrection of the dead)
  4. What did Paul speak to Felix and Drusilla about? (Faith in Jesus Christ, righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come)
  5. How did Felix respond? (He was afraid and sent Paul away until it was a more convenient time)
  6. How many years was Paul in prison? (2)
  7. Why did Felix leave Paul in prison? (As a favor to the Jews)

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK TWO

PAUL BEFORE FESTUS [ACTS 25; 1-20]

Introduction

Paul had been falsely accused of starting riots and defiling the temple. Although innocent of these accusations Paul was kept in prison in Caesarea where he appeared before a succession of governors and leaders including Felix, Festus and even the Jewish King Agrippa. At each court appearance Paul spoke freely about his Christian faith. His accusers could never prove him guilty and Paul eventually used his right as a Roman citizen to ask to be sent to Rome to appear before Caesar’s court.

Acts 25:1-6 – The trial of Paul before Festus.

Before Festus meets with Paul, he makes a trip to Jerusalem, where the chief priest and other leading men bring charges against Paul. They want Paul brought to Jerusalem. Festus refuses this request, but does allow certain of the leaders to accompany him back to Caesarea for a hearing. Paul is ordered to be brought forth. This time charges are added to charges.

Vs7: “After Paul arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him which they could not prove.”

While being unable to prove corruption against Paul, they only showed their own hearts. These were the kind that Paul warned about in his letter to the Philippians; “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.”

Vss8-9: Synopsis – Paul begins his defense, but Festus wishes to placate the Jews, so he says to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me on these charges?” And here is where we see Paul play his ultimate card.

Vs10-11: “But Paul said, ‘I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know. If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar.'”

When Paul said, “No one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar,” there was no more argument to be had. His Jewish accusers would have not more say in the matter.

Note: The law of appeal to Caesar was very sacred to the Romans. Under Julian law any magistrate, or any other with Roman authority, who put to death, or tortured, a Roman citizen who had made an appeal to Caesar, could themselves be condemned. It could even result in a death sentence. (This appeal was generally used as a final need. Most citizens would not want to appear before the emperor of Rome. But Paul must go to Rome.)

Paul’s appeal took Festus completely by surprise, even though it got him out of a rather sticky situation. The whole matter had been taken out of his hands, and he did not have to make any tough decisions. He consulted with his council of advisors and then announced, “You have appealed to the emperor; to the emperor you will go.”

Vs12: “Then when Festus had conferred with his council, he answered, ‘You have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you shall go.'”

The council agreed that Paul should be sent to Rome. But this also relieved Festus of any obligation to the Jews, which he was really needed in beginning his new administration.

EVALUATION

  1. What was the accusations levelled against Paul by the Jews?
  2. What was Paul’s defence?
  3. Why was Festus unable to pass judgment on Paul?

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK THREE

PAUL BEFORE KING AGRIPPA

After Paul defended himself with intelligent speech and an appeal to Caesar, Festus told him “You appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you will go“. Therefore, because of Paul’s appeal, Governor Festus sent him to be tried in Rome instead of Jerusalem.

But before Paul was taken to Rome, the King of the Jews, King Agrippa, and his wife, Bernice, came to Caesarea Maritima to pay their respects to the new governor. King Agrippa was the Jewish leader approved by Rome so, again, Festus needed to impress him. Festus told them all about the prisoner (Paul) and how the former governor, Felix, had left him with this dilemma. Agrippa found this very interesting and wanted to meet Paul. Felix planned a large and ostentatious gathering with Agrippa, high-ranking officials and the important men of the city. During the gathering Paul was brought before the group. Paul did not waste this opportunity to share his testimony with all of these important people. He told about his formal education, strict adherence to Jewish law and his fanatical campaign against Christians before he eventually encountered Jesus. He described, in detail, what Jesus had told him to do. Agrippa and the others were impressed with what Paul had to say.

“Then Agrippa said to Paul, Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?’

Paul replied, ‘Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.'” Acts 26:28-29, NIV

Agrippa told Festus that Paul could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar. He agreed that Festus now had no choice but to send Paul to Rome.

EVALUATION

  1. Who was King Agrippa?
  2. How did Paul defend himself before Agrippa?
  3. What was Agrippa’s response to Paul?

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK FOUR

THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH TODAY

Below are the missions of the church:

1. To proclaim the gospel throughout the world and make disciple of all nations. Before ascension Jesus commissioned His disciples saying: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you even to the end of time.”

2. To serve as community of worship and fellowship. Jesus said where two or three are gathered in His name there He is. Matthew 18:20.

3. To mature believers and prepare them to perform works of ministry. Read Ephesians 4:11-12.

4. To train believers with different gifts to work for the ministry of Jesus Christ.

5. To strengthen the body of believers.

6. To encourage believers.

EVALUATION

1. Mention at least five functions of the church.


 




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