Sunday Morning 8/29: Unit 35, Session 5: Defending the Faith

Jude, along with James, was a younger half-brother of Jesus. And like James, it wasn’t until Jesus rose from the dead that Jude believed Jesus was the Son of God. Sometime between AD 65 and AD 80, Jude wrote a short letter to warn believers about false teachers. False teachers had secretly made their way into the church, and Jude urged his readers not to abandon their beliefs but to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3). 

Jude warned the early Christians that some people would try to divide them by sinning and by teaching things that weren’t true. Jude wanted them to not only defend the true teachings but also to actively share the gospel. He told his friends to show mercy to those who doubt, to lead others to Jesus, and to hate sin.

There are still false teachers today, and some of them still try to sneak into the church itself. God loves us, and He warns us through Scripture to be on guard. We can study His Word to know what is true, and we can rely on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment.

Such a strong warning about false teachers might be reason for panic among believers, but Jude ended his letter reminding them of God’s promise. Ultimately, Jesus is the One who protects His people from sin. Throughout history, God has been working out His plan to bring a people to Himself. God will keep us, and He calls us to not only remember His truth but to encourage other believers to defend the faith.

Because of Jesus, we will be able to stand before God with great joy. In the words of Jude, “to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen” (Jude 25).

Jude warned the early Christians that some people would try to divide them by sinning and by teaching things that weren’t true. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life—the One who protects His people from sin. Because of Jesus, we will be able to stand before God with joy.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • We must always remember the truth about Jesus.
    • Some people were teaching wrong things about Jesus.
    • Jude wrote a letter to help people remember the truth.
    • The Bible helps us know what is true about Jesus.
    • One day all Christians will see Jesus.
  • Preschool
    • Jude said to remember what is true about Jesus.
    • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.
  • Kids
    • Jude urged believers to stand up for what is true. 
    • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 1:6

NEXT WEEK 

  • “John’s Vision of Jesus” (Revelation 1)

Sunday Morning 8/22: Unit 35, Session 4: Children of God

The apostle John had been one of Jesus’ closest friends. Along with Peter and James, John was part of the innermost core of Jesus’ disciples. John even referred to himself in his Gospel as “the one whom Jesus loved.” John left Jerusalem and went to Ephesus around A.D. 70. He stayed there as a church leader until nearly A.D. 100.

It is not surprising that 50 years after Jesus returned to heaven, John wrote a letter to help believers understand who Jesus is: the Son of God. At the center of John’s message was one key theme: love. Obeying God’s command to love one another is a mark of believers, whom John describes as brothers and sisters—children of God.

John wrote that God is love, and if believers truly love God—if they truly are His children—they will love one another. Our love, which we draw from the power of the Spirit, should be so deep that we are willing to lay down our lives for one another just as Jesus did for us. It is this deep, genuine love that will cause the world to understand the reality of the gospel.

Love is misunderstood and distorted in our culture today, and your kids have been or will be impacted by this in some way. Your kids may see love as just a feeling, as something temporary, or as something that has to be earned. This Bible story provides you with the perfect opportunity to expose the world’s myths about love and remind your kids of the truth about God’s love.

Also help your kids begin to grasp the idea that followers of Jesus are children of God. This is an identity shared by all believers. As Christians, we can know that Jesus loves us by what He did for us: dying to save us from our sins. We, in turn, can show our love for Jesus by what we do to serve others.

John wrote a letter to teach believers in the church—the children of God—about the importance of showing love. Love is more than feelings or words; it is an action. Jesus showed God’s love for us when He died on the cross to rescue people from sin.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Because Jesus gave His life for us, we give our lives for others.
    • People who love Jesus are part of God’s family.
    • God wants us to love one another.
    • We know what love is because Jesus gave His life for us.
    • One day all Christians will see Jesus.
  • Preschool
    • People who are God’s children love one another.
    • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.
  • Kids
    • Children of God love one another with their actions. 
    • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 1:6

NEXT WEEK 

  • Defending the Faith” (Jude)

Sunday Morning 8/15: Unit 35, Session 3: Brother’s in Christ

Paul was a prisoner under house arrest in Rome when a man named Onesimus (oh NESS ih muhs) came to visit him. Onesimus was a slave who had run away from a wealthy man named Philemon. As it turned out, Paul was a friend of Philemon. So when Paul told Onesimus the good news about Jesus and Onesimus believed, Paul desired forgiveness and reconciliation between Onesimus and Philemon—now brothers in Christ.

So Paul wrote a letter and told Onesimus to take it to Philemon. The Book of Philemon is the letter written by Paul to Philemon. Though Onesimus had become dear to him and Paul wanted Onesimus to stay with him in Rome, Paul sent him back to Philemon with his letter.

In the letter, Paul urged Philemon to show kindness to Onesimus and treat him as a fellow brother in Christ. Paul even offered to pay Onesimus’s debt for him. Though Paul could have used his authority as an apostle of Christ to force Philemon to do what he wanted, Paul instead appealed to him as a friend and a fellow believer. He urged Philemon to treat Onesimus as if he were Paul himself—with love and kindness.

Paul offered to pay Onesimus’s debt to make peace between him and Philemon. In this way, Paul acted like Jesus, who makes peace between God and humanity. Jesus took the punishment we deserve for our sin, paying our debt so that we can be forgiven and welcomed into God’s family as brothers and sisters of Jesus. (See Heb. 2:11.)

Paul’s letter serves as a reminder to us that everyone is equal before Jesus. People from completely different backgrounds—like Paul, a former Jewish leader; Onesimus, a runaway slave; and Philemon, a Gentile slavemaster—are brought together by the gospel under the lordship of Jesus Christ. In light of God’s love for us, we can be loving, kind, and forgiving to our brothers and sisters in Christ for the glory of God.

Paul offered to pay Onesimus’ debt to make peace between him and Philemon. In this way, Paul acted like Jesus, who makes peace between God and man. Jesus took the punishment we deserve for our sin. He paid our debt so that we can be forgiven and welcomed by God.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus came to make peace between God and people.
    • Paul told Onesimus to return to Philemon.
    • Paul asked Philemon to show kindness to Onesimus.
    • Jesus wants us to do what is right because we love Him.
    • One day all Christians will see Jesus.
  • Preschool
    • Paul wanted to make peace between his friends.
    • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.
  • Kids
    • Paul encouraged Philemon to treat Onesimus as a brother in Christ. 
    • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 1:6

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Children of God” (1 John 2–3)

Sunday Morning 8/8: Unit 35, Session 2: Paul’s Shipwreck

Paul was in Roman custody because of unfounded accusations brought against him by the Jews. Paul had stood before rulers in Caesarea and invoked his right as a Roman citizen to appeal to Caesar. So Festus the governor arranged for Paul to go to Rome.

Paul got onto a ship going toward Rome. As if Paul’s journey to Rome had not already been delayed and complicated enough, the ship was caught up in a terrible storm. Paul had warned the crew not to sail from Crete because they would lose everything and die. But they didn’t listen. Paul pointed out the error of their ways, but he still gave them hope. An angel had appeared to Paul. He said Paul would make it to Rome and all of the people with him would survive.

Paul urged everyone on the ship to eat so they would have energy. They planned to run the ship ashore on an island, but the ship got stuck on a sandbar. The waves battered the ship and it broke into pieces; however, all of the people survived and made it safely to shore.

Paul suffered for Christ. In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul listed the kinds of things he faced: beatings, stoning, shipwrecks, various dangers, hardship, sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, nakedness, and other daily pressures. (See 2 Cor. 11:24-29.) Again and again, Paul saw evidence of God’s control over his life and the gospel was advanced.

As you talk with your kids, emphasize that Paul trusted God to keep His promise to rescue him from the storm. He encouraged the sailors to trust and obey God too. God calls us to trust in His Son, Jesus, who died to rescue us from sin and death, and to tell others this good news. We can encourage others to trust God because we know He is good and in control.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus died to keep us safe from sin and death.
    • Paul was taken on a boat to Rome.
    • A storm broke apart Paul’s boat, but God kept him safe.
    • Nothing could stop God’s plan for Paul
    • One day all Christians will see Jesus.
  • Preschool
    • Paul trusted God to keep him safe.
    • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.
  • Kids
    • Paul trusted God to rescue him. 
    • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 1:6

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Brothers in Christ” (Philemon)
  • Sunday Morning 8/1: Unit 35, Session 1: Paul Before Rulers

    Paul was in custody in Caesarea, the capital of the Roman province of Judea. The Jewish leaders had brought serious charges against him, so Paul now stood before Felix, the governor. Felix listened to Paul’s defense but delayed a ruling. He met with Paul off and on for two years. When his time as governor ended, Felix left Paul in prison because he did not want to upset the Jews.

    Festus succeeded Felix as governor. The Jews presented their accusations against Paul and asked Festus to bring him to Jerusalem. They hoped to ambush Paul as he traveled and kill him. But Festus invited Paul’s accusers to make their case in Caesarea. When Festus heard Paul’s case, he asked if Paul wanted to be tried in Jerusalem. Paul, knowing his rights as a Roman citizen, appealed to be heard by Caesar.

    Several days later, King Agrippa visited Festus and heard about Paul. He asked to listen to Paul’s defense himself. Festus wasn’t sure how he would justify his sending Paul to Caesar without substantiated charges, and he hoped this hearing would provide stronger evidence against Paul. Festus told Paul he was out of his mind, but they determined Paul could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.

    With these events, Paul was positioned to go to Rome, just as God had said he would. (See Acts 19:21; 23:11.) God had chosen Paul to take the gospel to Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites. (Acts 9:15-16) Paul met with people again and again to tell the good news about Jesus. He wanted everyone to believe that Jesus is Lord. Because Jesus has the power to save people from sin, Paul was willing to do whatever it took to share the gospel.

    As you share with your kids, prompt them to consider how Paul might have felt as he spoke before rulers and remained in custody for two years. Lead them to consider how God was at work to keep His promises.

    FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • God wants all people to hear the truth about Jesus.
      • People put Paul in prison.
      • Governors asked Paul questions about Jesus.
      • Paul taught about Jesus no matter what.
      • One day all Christians will see Jesus.
    • Preschool
      • Paul told rulers about Jesus.
      • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.
    • Kids
      • Paul was willing to do hard things to share the gospel. 
      • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.

    UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • Philippians 1:6

    NEXT WEEK 

    • “Paul’s Shipwreck” (Acts 27–28)

    Promotion Sunday

    We want to communicate with you about our promotion process so you know when it is appropriate to promote your child!

    • August 8 is the Promotion Sunday for this year.
    • From the 3-year-old through 5th grade classrooms children follow the school system cut-off (September 1) and promote every August on the promotion Sunday for that year.
    • These promotion steps are designed to avoid a bottleneck which is difficult to accommodate. Much like an elementary child doesn’t move to the next grade with their birthday, they use the school calendar and promote once annually.
    • To promote from 2-year-old class to 3s, a child must be 3-years-old by September 1 of that year and be potty trained.
    • Children that are not potty trained but are 3-years-old by the decline will promote once they complete potty training (exceptions are made on an individual basis for medical conditions of children that are different-ables).

    We hope this explanation helps and will guide you on when it is time to promote your child. We are excited for August 8 for all those promoting! We love our kids and want to serve each child and volunteer well through our stewardship of the Redemption Kids Ministry.

    First Grade Bibles

    We are excited to welcome your kids to first grade! As we begin this year, your child will receive their very own Bible! Please partner with us as we encourage the kids to regularly use their new Bible and we hope they will bring them to church! The Bibles will be our guide as we discuss God’s truth and teach them to locate the various Bible stories. Each unit of The Gospel Project will also contain a memory verse, referred to as the Key Passage. We encourage you to help your child memorize this verse and use their new Bibles to actually find the verse!

    You can find the latest lesson and memory verse (or key passage) here at goredemptionkids.com! Register for Bibles HERE!

    Sunday Morning 7/25: Unit 34, Session 4: Running the Race

    While Paul sat in a Roman prison from AD 60 to 62, he wrote letters to churches he had started or visited on his missionary journeys. Despite his circumstances, Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi is filled with joy. Philippians reveals Paul’s heart as a devoted follower of Christ. It is full of practical advice about how to live for Jesus and love others.

    In the third chapter, Paul wrote about knowing Christ. He said that his relationship with Jesus was the only thing that mattered. This was in stark contrast to his priorities before becoming a believer. As a devout Jew, Paul had been proud of his status: He was circumcised according to the Law, he belonged to the Israelite tribe of Benjamin, he was a faithful Pharisee, and he obeyed the Old Testament law. Now, as a Christian, Paul considered these accolades to be worthless.

    Paul set an example for the Philippian believers. They had been distracted by false teachings. He encouraged Christians to press on through difficulties by essentially keeping their “eyes on the prize.” He set himself up as an example for the Philippians to imitate. Paul was motivated by God’s promise to stand before the Lord, meet Him face-to-face, and know Him completely. Paul’s journey toward Christian maturity involved figuring out God’s call on his life and carrying it out. 

    Our perseverance in the race reminds us of Jesus’ enduring the cross, which provided forgiveness of our sins and salvation. Because Jesus fixed His sight on the victory that awaited Him, we persevere, fixing our gaze on the hope that one day we will be glorified with Him.

    As you talk with your kids, help them think about the Christian life as a race. We don’t want to get distracted or give up running even though it is hard. We can encourage one another toward the finish line. The Lord will help us, and He promises a wonderful prize: life with Him forever.

    Following Jesus is like running a race for a wonderful prize. We remember that Jesus never sinned but He endured the cross so we can have forgiveness of our sins. We press on to fully know Jesus and share in His victory for eternity.

    FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • Following Jesus is better than anything.
      • Knowing Jesus is better than anything.
      • Paul wanted to know Jesus more and more.
      • We wait for the day when Jesus will come back.
      • God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Preschool
      • Following Jesus is like running a race.
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is how God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Kids
      • Following Jesus is like running a race for a wonderful prize. 
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • 1 Timothy 6:12

    NEXT WEEK 

    “Paul Before Rulers” (Acts 24–26)

    Sunday Morning 7/18: Unit 34, Session 3: Together in Jesus

    During his second missionary journey, Paul stopped in Ephesus and preached in the synagogue. (See Acts 18:19.) Apollos, a Jewish believer, also taught in the synagogue there. Paul’s third missionary journey took him back to Ephesus, where he spent two to three years speaking with crowds about Jesus. (See Acts 19:8-10.) As people believed in Jesus, the church was established and grew under local leadership.

    Paul was in a Roman prison when he wrote his letter to the church at Ephesus. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians—like other letters he wrote to churches when he was unable to meet with them in person—brought words of instruction and encouragement that are still helpful to believers today. The letter to the Ephesians focuses on the big idea of unity.

    Paul wrote to teach Jewish and Gentile believers that they are one in Christ and that they should treat one another with the love of Christ. Focus on these three ways believers are united: united in sin, united in Christ, and united in one Church.

    First, we are united in sin. Paul’s description applies to first-century believers, to believers today, and to everyone. We are spiritually dead. Our union with Adam as the representative of the whole human race unites us in sin. Apart from Christ, we live as the world lives—doing whatever we want. This is bad news.

    Next, we are united in Christ. Jesus is the second Adam. All who trust in Him are united to Him and to one another through Him. He makes us alive again. This is the good news of the Bible. Finally, we are united as the Church. Jesus breaks down barriers between Jew and Gentile, and He unites forgiven sinners as one church.

    As you share with your kids, emphasize that God brings together different people as the church. People who might otherwise have nothing in common are part of the same family, adopted as brothers and sisters in Christ forever and ever.

    The gospel brings together all people who have faith in Jesus. God’s salvation is a gift of grace, not something we can earn with good works. Forgiven sinners come together as the church to obey God and do His work in the world. 

    FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • The good news of the gospel brings people together.
      • Jesus brings people to God.
      • We are saved by grace through faith.
      • The gospel makes everyone part of the same family.
      • God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Preschool
      • The gospel brings together everyone who has faith in Jesus.
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is how God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Kids
      • The gospel brings together different people as the church. 
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • 1 Timothy 6:12

    NEXT WEEK

    • “Running the Race” (Philippians 3)

    Sunday Morning 7/11: Unit 34, Session 2: Paul Was Arrested

    As Paul’s third missionary journey came to an end, a prophet named Agabus warned him that the Jews would seize him in Jerusalem and hand him over to the Gentiles. (See Acts 21:10-11.) 

    But Paul did not hesitate. He returned to Jerusalem and was seized by a group of Jews who wanted to kill him because he taught things contrary to their teaching. 

    The Roman soldiers nearby saw the commotion and stepped in, taking Paul into Roman custody. Now Paul was in Gentile hands. Paul remained under Roman protection and was staying in the barracks when the Lord gave him a message: “Have courage! For as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so it is necessary for you to testify in Rome” (Acts 23:11).

    What a comforting message for Paul! The sovereign Lord told Paul his future: You’re going to Rome. Paul wasn’t exactly sure how he was going to get to Rome, but he could trust that God was working all things together for that purpose.

    The next morning, Paul’s nephew uncovered a plot to kill Paul and reported it to the Roman army commander. The commander arranged for Paul to go to Caesarea, where he would be safe.

    In this Bible story, we see God using human means to bring about His end. Even when others threatened his life, Paul continued to obey Jesus. He believed that God, who showed His love for the world by sending His Son to die on the cross and rise again, would help him through hard times. We too can risk everything to share the gospel with courage because we know that God loves us and will care for us. 

    We too can risk everything to share the gospel with courage because we know that God loves us and will care for us. God calls us to be obedient and faithful as we take part in His greater plan to show His glory to us and through us for the fame of His name.

    FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • We obey God because He loves us and takes care of us.
      • God chose Paul to tell people about Jesus.
      • Some people wanted to stop Paul’s preaching.
      • God kept Paul safe so he could do God’s plan.
      • God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Preschool
      • God protected Paul.
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is how God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Kids
      • God protected Paul so he could preach about Jesus. 
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • 1 Timothy 6:12

    NEXT WEEK 

    • “Together in Jesus” (Ephesians 2–3)