After Jesus returned to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to the apostles, the gospel began to spread. Those who heard the good news at Pentecost included visitors from Rome, and they were likely among the three thousand who believed. (See Acts 2:10,41.) When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans in AD 57, he had never been to Rome. But by that time, Roman believers were meeting in house churches.
Paul wrote his letter in part to explain the essentials of the Christian faith and what it means to live for Jesus. Paul’s words are helpful to Christians today. As you guide your kids through Romans 5–6, help them grasp the good news of the gospel. This is the message for which Jesus’ followers gave their lives. This good news changes everything.
First, help your kids understand the benefits of believing in Jesus. To appreciate the good news, kids need to understand the bad news: Apart from Jesus, we are dead in our sin—separated from God. We need to be rescued. God sent Jesus into the world to rescue sinners. When we trust in His death and resurrection, we are made right with God and are saved from sin and death.
Next, compare and contrast the first Adam with Jesus—”the second Adam.” Adam represented all people, but he sinned. Sin brought death into the world, and death spread to all people because all people sinned. Jesus came to bring us life. He obeyed God perfectly. All who trust in Him are forgiven and have eternal life.
Finally, introduce how believers deal with sin in view of God’s grace. Since our sin is forgiven, should we keep on sinning? Paul was emphatic that the answer is no. When we are in Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin. Sin will still be a struggle in our fallen world, but we have power through the Holy Spirit to resist sin and live a life that honors God.
Because God created everything, He is in charge of everything. Everyone sins, or disobeys God. Our sin separates us from God. The good news of the gospel is that God sent His Son, Jesus, to take the punishment we deserve. Everyone who trusts in Jesus will be saved.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
- Babies and Toddlers
- Jesus came to save people from their wrong choices.
- While we were sinners, God sent Jesus to rescue us.
- The good news about Jesus is for everybody.
- Jesus saves everyone who trusts in Him.
- The church serves God.
- God loves us and sent Jesus to save us.
- What is the church? The church is all Christians everywhere.
- God sent Jesus into the world to rescue sinners.
- What is the church? The church is all Christians everywhere, who gather together in their communities to worship and serve God.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
- Romans 12:5
- “Doers of the Word” (James 1–2)