The LRF take Christ's admonition to feed His lambs very seriously (John 21:15). We hold Catechism classes for the children of our fellowship in which we teach systematically the Old and New Testaments so that the children know not just disjointed Bible stories (the fare of many a Sunday School class) but the broad sweep of Bible history.
Old Testament History
Old Testament History is really the unfolding of God's covenant promise in Genesis 3:15 to send the Seed of the woman to crush the seed of the serpent. Only this promise, believed by the saints of the Old Testament, and constantly attacked by Satan, explains the history of the Old Testament. God's faithfulness to His promise despite the unfaithfulness of God's people is the great reality of the Bible. Thus, we teach Old Testament History as a series of high and low points (victories and defeats for God's people in Christ): Creation to the Mother Promise (low point, the Fall); The Fall to the Flood (low point, abounding wickedness before the Flood); The Flood to the Exodus (low point, Bondage in Egypt); The Exodus to the Conquest of Canaan (low point, the wilderness wanderings); Canaan to David/Solomon (low point, the Judges); David/Solomon to the Return from Babylon (low point, Babylonian Captivity) and Return from Babylon to Christ (low point, 400 years of darkness after Malachi). Thus Christ marches victoriously through history in the service of God's covenant promise!
Our aim in all of this is that the children learn the wonderful works of the Lord (Ps. 78:4) and that they see Christ, the Seed of the woman in the Old Testament as the Old Testament prepares God's people for Him (Luke 24:44; John 1:44). Click here to read the book we use for this course. Click here read our pastor's lesson outlines.
New Testament History
After teaching our children about God's marvellous works in the Old Testament in preserving His people according to His promise to send Christ, we begin with New Testament History. We begin with the renewed promise of the coming of Christ as the Lord reveals this to the forerunner, John the Baptist. What joy this was to the elect remmant of God's people oppressed under apostate Judaism. After 400 years of darkness (during which time Israel was a plaything for the nations and eventually under the cruel tyranny of Rome) God finally speaks a message of salvation to His people! Then we show how Christ came in the fullness of time, sent into the world to be born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem us who were under the condemnation of the law (see Galatians 4:4-5). We teach the children that it was Christ's great work to save us from our sins by His death on the cross, not to establish an earthly Jewish kingdom, as many of the people of that day expected. The conflict between the carnal expectations of the Jews and Christ's real mission explains so much of the history in the Gospels. We follow Christ through His earthly ministry: His three tours of Galilee, interrupted by visits to Jerusalem; His mighty words and deeds done in the service of the Gospel which He preached (spiritual salvation from sin); the increasing opposition of the religious leaders; and finally His suffering and death at Jerusalem. Then we teach that our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead, appeared to His disciples, ascended into heaven, and continues to save and preserve His people from His exalted position at the Father's Right Hand in heaven. The course ends with an overview of the history recorded in the book of Acts: Pentecost, the early New Testament Church, her struggles and persecution; the preaching of the Gospel to the Samaritans and then the Gentiles; the calling of Saul of Tarsus and Paul's three missionary journeys and voyage to Rome. After our children have been thoroughly instructed in Bible history we teach them the doctrines of the Bible, using the Heidelberg Catechism and the Essentials of Reformed Doctrine book. "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children ..." (Deut. 6:6). "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children" (Isa. 54:13). Click here to read the book we use for this course. Click here to read our pastor's lesson outlines.