Sunday Morning 3/28: Unit 30, Session 4: Guarding the Truth

In New Testament times, Corinth was an important city in ancient Greece. About eighteen years after Jesus’ death on the cross, Paul preached the gospel to the Corinthians and established the church there. (See Acts 18.) He stayed in Corinth for at least 18 months.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote to help believers solve some problems within the church. In his second letter, written just a few weeks later, Paul wrote to encourage the church and to assure them that God loved them—even when they had troubles. Of all Paul’s letters in the New Testament, none reveals his heart as much as 2 Corinthians. In it, Paul showed his passion for Christ as he fiercely defended his ministry against false teachings.

Paul wrote of the dangers he faced as a disciple of Christ—stonings, beatings, imprisonment, hunger, and hardship. But he also wrote of the comfort and the strength to endure that Jesus gives to those who trust in Him. Nothing could keep Paul from sharing the good news of Jesus—a  lesson for the believers at Corinth and for all believers everywhere.

As you talk about 2 Corinthians 11, emphasize that God gives us power to stand up for the gospel. Paul cared about the believers in Corinth, and he wanted them to be faithful to Jesus and remember the gospel. Paul may not have been an eloquent speaker like those who preached lies, but he refused to back down. Paul suffered and nearly died to share the gospel.

Second Corinthians teaches us that sharing Jesus with the world is not always easy. There will always be some who try to stop the good news from spreading. God calls believers to follow and obey Jesus no matter what. Like Paul, we guard the truth because God, the Father of the Lord Jesus, deserves to be praised.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • False teachers were saying things that were not true.
    • Paul wrote a letter to the church at Corinth.
    • Paul wanted people to remember what is true about Jesus.
    • Believers follow Jesus and obey Him no matter what.
    • The church worships God.
  • Preschool
    • Paul wanted people to remember what is true about Jesus.
    • Why does the church exist? The church exists to glorify God.
  • Kids
    • God gives us power to stand up for the gospel. 
    • Why does the church exist? The church exists to glorify God by worshiping Him, showing His love, and telling others about Jesus.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Colossians 1:18

NEXT WEEK 

“EASTER: Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection” (Matthew 26–28; John 20)

Sunday Morning 3/21: Unit 30, Session 3: New Life in Jesus

Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians while he was imprisoned in Rome. At this point, Paul had not yet visited the church at Colossae. The church was established by Epaphras, who reported to Paul that the church was facing troubles with false teachers. Paul wanted to put an end to the false teaching and remind the believers of who Jesus really is. Key to this letter is Paul’s teaching about how the gospel affects how we live.

As you talk with your kids about Colossians 2–3, focus on some of the main points Paul makes. First, God changes us when we trust in Jesus. The Bible describes us apart from Jesus as “enemies of God” (Rom. 5:10) and “dead” in our sins (Eph. 2:1). Jesus rescued us from sin and death by dying on the cross and rising again. Jesus gives new life to people who trust in Him.

Second, following Jesus means living for Him. Jesus is our reason for living, and He gives us power to live in a way that honors Him. Jesus adopts us into His family and makes us new! We respond to the good news of the gospel by submitting to Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Finally, Jesus calls us to turn away from our sinful ways and live in a way that honors Him. Paul contrasts an earthly way of thinking with a godly way of thinking. The old, sinful way of living (the “old self”) is characterized by anger, wrath, hatred, lies, and filthy language. Paul wrote that living for Jesus means putting away the evil, selfish ways of the world and living like Jesus by loving God and loving others.

In Jesus, we have power to live in a new, godly way. This way (the “new self”) is marked by compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love. Paul says believers should “put on” these things. As we grow in this new way of living, God is making us more like His Son.

God changes us when we trust in Jesus. He adopts us into His family and makes us new! Jesus calls us to turn away from our sinful ways and live in a way that honors Him.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Paul wrote a letter to a church.
    • Paul said to do everything for Jesus.
    • When we love Jesus, He helps us live for Him.
    • Believers live so we can honor God.
    • The church worships God.
  • Preschool
    • God helps us live like Jesus. 
    • Why does the church exist? The church exists to glorify God.
  • Kids
    • Jesus gives new life to people who trust in Him. 
    • Why does the church exist? The church exists to glorify God by worshiping Him, showing His love, and telling others about Jesus.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Colossians 1:18

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Guarding the Truth” (2 Corinthians 11)

Sunday Morning 3/14: Unit 30, Session 2: Paul Met Jesus

Saul was no stranger to religion. He grew up in a religious household. He was a devout Jew who was born in Tarsus (Phil. 3:5) and inherited his Roman citizenship from his father. So when people began talking about this man named Jesus and claiming that He was the promised Messiah, Saul was defensive.

Saul believed strongly in the Jewish faith of his ancestors. He violently persecuted God’s church and tried to destroy it. (Gal. 1:13-14) He dragged believers from their houses and put them in prison. He approved of the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Saul thought he was doing the right thing by defending Judaism, but God’s purposes could not be stopped. As Saul was on his way to arrest believers in Damascus, the Lord stopped him in his tracks.

Jesus revealed Himself to Saul, and Saul was never the same. He was struck blind and led into Damascus, where a believer named Ananias placed his hands on Saul. Suddenly, Saul could see again. Saul was convinced that Jesus is Lord. Saul later described the experience as being like dying and receiving a new life. (Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:17)

God had a purpose and a plan for Saul. He had set Saul apart before Saul was even born. (Gal. 1:15) God said, “This man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites” (Acts 9:15).

Jesus changed Saul’s life. As you share with your teach, clarify that conversion happens when a person recognizes his sin, repents, believes in Jesus, and confesses Jesus as Savior and Lord. Jesus changes a person’s heart, and as a result, his life is changed too. 

Jesus appeared to Paul and changed him inside and out. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15) Jesus called Paul, who was once an enemy to Christians, to spend the rest of his life telling people the gospel and leading them to trust in Jesus.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Paul did not love Jesus at first.
    • Jesus came to Paul.
    • God changed Paul’s heart to love Jesus.
    • When we trust in Jesus, He changes us from the inside out.
    • The church worships God.
  • Preschool
    • Jesus saved Paul from his sins. 
    • Why does the church exist? The church exists to glorify God.
  • Kids
    • Jesus saved Paul and chose him to spread the gospel. 
    • Why does the church exist? The church exists to glorify God by worshiping Him, showing His love, and telling others about Jesus.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Colossians 1:18

NEXT WEEK 

  • “New Life in Jesus” (Colossians 2–3)

The Gospel Project at Home

Redemption families, we are so excited to introduce a new resource that we feel will be extremely beneficial and reap great rewards for your family. The Gospel Project at Home is a resource that provides an at-home family devotional that corresponds with each Sunday morning lesson.

This will allow you to enhance what your kids are learning on Sunday through family devotional time. We are excited that it provides a Bible story video for elementary kids and also a separate video for preschoolers! Kids will be able to sing along with the key passage song which will help them memorize the key passage for the unit. This will provide new ways for our families to worship together. The Gospel Project at Home includes a family activity for you to do during the week and a way to incorporate this into your child’s bedtime routine once a week!

We want to come alongside you and help you have a Gospel-centered home! Every Monday we will send out a link to the activities that correspond to Sunday’s lesson! You will have to create a username and password to view the links each week.

Be on the look out for an email with more information!

Blessings,

Redemption Kids Ministry

Sunday Morning 3/7: Unit 30, Session 1: Philip and the Ethiopian

The believers in the early church faced intense persecution. After Stephen was killed, Jesus’ followers at the church in Jerusalem scattered; however, they did not stop talking about Jesus. They continued to share the good news. One man, Philip, took the gospel to Samaria. The crowds there listened and believed, and they had great joy.

In today’s Bible story, Philip was instructed by an angel of the Lord to go to a certain road in the desert. Philip obeyed. The Spirit led Philip to a chariot, where an Ethiopian official was reading the Scriptures from the prophet Isaiah. The Ethiopian man did not understand what he was reading, so Philip explained it to him.

The man was reading from the prophet Isaiah: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter … In his humiliation justice was denied him … For his life is taken from the earth” (Acts 8:32-33). The official wondered if Isaiah was speaking about himself or another person. Philip told the official that Isaiah’s words weren’t about Isaiah; they were about the Messiah—Jesus! The official believed in Jesus and was baptized.

Guide your kids to consider the role of the Holy Spirit in this interaction between Philip and the Ethiopian official. Who was responsible for Philip’s going to the desert? Who helped Philip explain the Scriptures? Who changed the heart of the official so he would believe?

The Ethiopian official knew what the Old Testament prophets said, but he did not understand that they spoke about Jesus. The Holy Spirit led Philip to help the official understand the good news about Jesus: Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead, just like the Old Testament prophets said.

After his interaction with the Ethiopian official, Philip continued sharing the gospel in all the towns on his way to the town of Caesarea.

In our mission of making disciples, believers must be willing instruments to be used in the hands of the Lord. Philip didn’t go into the desert today with a strategy for converting another man; the Holy Spirit led Philip, and he obeyed. As believers, we can be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and willing to follow His lead. He will go with us.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • The Holy Spirit told Philip to go to an Ethiopian man.
    • Philip told the man the good news about Jesus.
    • The Holy Spirit helps people believe the good news.
    • The Holy Spirit helps us tell the good news.
    • The church worships God.
  • Preschool
    • Philip told the Ethiopian man about Jesus.
    • Why does the church exist? The church exists to glorify God.
  • Kids
    • The Holy Spirit led Philip to tell the Ethiopian man about Jesus. 
    • Why does the church exist? The church exists to glorify God by worshiping Him, showing His love, and telling others about Jesus.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Colossians 1:18

NEXT WEEK

  • “Paul Met Jesus” (Acts 8–9)

Sunday Morning 2/28: Unit 29, Session 4: Doers of the Word

The early church was made up mostly of Jewish believers who had grown up believing they needed to fully obey God to be accepted. Grace was a new concept for them, and many struggled with understanding how grace and obedience fit together. Some made the mistake of thinking that once they had acceptance in Jesus, obedience didn’t matter after all.

This greatly concerned James—Jesus’ half-brother and a leader in the church at Jerusalem— so he wrote a letter to the Jewish Christians scattered throughout the Roman Empire. James wanted these Christians to understand that grace and obedience do not work against each other; they work with each other.

James wrote, “Be doers of the word. If you hear the word but don’t do it, you fool yourselves. Anyone who is a hearer but not a doer is like someone who looks at himself in a mirror, goes away and forgets right away what he looked like.”

James wanted Christians to realize that true faith in Jesus—a faith that comes by grace—will always lead to action. True faith is an active faith.

James gave an example: When we look into a mirror and see something is not right—our hair is out of place or food is stuck in our teeth—we don’t just walk away; we fix it. The gospel is like that mirror. It shows us what is true about ourselves, and when we see we are not living out our true identity, we should want to address it.

Help your kids understand that true faith in Jesus always leads to living differently. When we trust in Jesus, God changes our hearts so that we will want to live a life pleasing to Him. We aren’t accepted by God because of our obedience; we obey God out of gratitude because we are accepted by Him through Jesus.

Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word” (John 14:23). James reminded believers to be doers of the word. Jesus rescues us from sin and frees us to live a life that honors God. By doing what is good and right, people who trust Jesus can show that they really believe in Him.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • People are saved by faith in Jesus.
    • The Bible tells us how to obey God.
    • Believers show the world that Jesus has changed us.
    • Our love for Jesus helps us do what is right.
    • The church serves God.
  • Preschool
    • James reminded believers to do what Jesus said. 
    • What is the church? The church is all Christians everywhere.
  • Kids
    • James said that faith without works is useless. 
    • 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

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Philip and the Ethiopian” (Acts 8)

Sunday Morning 2/21: Unit 29, Session 3: The Good News

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.
  • Preschool
    • God loves us and sent Jesus to save us. 
    • What is the church? The church is all Christians everywhere.
  • Kids
    • 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

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Doers of the Word” (James 1–2)

Sunday Morning 2/14: Unit 29, Session 2: Stephen’s Sermon

Stephen was one of the seven men chosen to serve as leaders in the early church at Jerusalem. (See Acts 6:1-7.) God blessed Stephen and gave him power to do wonders and miracles like some of the apostles.

Some of the Jews accused Stephen of blasphemy and dragged him to the Sanhedrin, a group of Jewish leaders who acted as a legal council. Stephen addressed the group. He drew from the Jewish history, which the leaders of the Sanhedrin would have known well. But Stephen taught from the Old Testament things the Jewish leaders had likely never realized. 

As Stephen preached, he showed how the Old Testament pointed to a coming Savior and how that Savior was Jesus. Stephen pointed out that the Jews’ ancestors had rejected God’s prophets. And they were just like their fathers; they rejected the Messiah, the Lord Jesus. Not only did they reject Jesus, they killed Him!

The Jewish leaders rushed at Stephen. As he faced his enemies, Stephen looked into heaven and saw God’s glory. Jesus was standing at God’s right hand. The Jews forced Stephen out of the city, and they stoned him.

Remind your kids of Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:22: “You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Following Jesus will include difficulty and suffering. Jesus gives words of both warning and comfort: “Don’t be afraid” (Matt. 10:26).

Stephen was killed because he was a Christian. Jesus told His followers that they would be persecuted—hated, hurt, or even killed—for loving Him. Jesus also said that those who suffer for Him would be blessed. We can face suffering in this life because Jesus suffered first. He died and then rose again, and He is waiting for us in heaven.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • God was with Stephen.
    • Stephen told about God’s plan to send Jesus.
    • Stephen said that Jesus is the Messiah.
    • We can remember that Jesus suffered for us.
    • The church serves God.
  • Preschool
    • People hurt Stephen because he followed Jesus. 
    • What is the church? The church is all Christians everywhere.
  • Kids
    • Stephen preached about Jesus no matter what. 
    • 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

NEXT WEEK 

  • “The Good News” (Romans 5–6)

Sunday Morning 2/7: Unit 29, Session 1: Ananias and Sapphira

Something amazing was happening among believers in the early church. Not only was the Holy Spirit changing people’s hearts to believe in Jesus, He was empowering them to live differently. We see the evidence of God’s grace among the believers in Acts 4:32-35. The believers shared everything they had. If one person had a need, someone else gladly gave what he had to meet that need. As a result, “there was not a needy person among them” (Acts 4:34).

Joseph (also known as Barnabas) was one of the disciples living in this way. He sold a field and gave the money to the apostles. But trouble arose when Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold some land. Perhaps they wanted to appear as generous as Barnabas without feeling the full cost of such generosity. They secretly kept back some of the money, and Ananias brought the rest to Peter.

When Peter confronted Ananias, he didn’t tell him he was wrong to only bring part of the money. In fact, Peter said Ananias could have been honest about how the money was divided. Ananias and Sapphira’s sin was in pretending to be generous when they were actually greedy. They had tried to deceive the apostles, but Peter pointed out that they were guilty of trying to deceive God. Ananias dropped dead, and a few hours later his wife did too.

As you teach this story to kids, avoid using Ananias and Sapphira as a warning to be generous or die. As sinners, we struggle with the temptation of greed. Point your kids to Jesus, who forgives our greed and changes us through the Holy Spirit. Ananias and Sapphira wanted to look generous, but they were greedy. The Holy Spirit changes our hearts to want to share with those in need because Jesus generously gave all He had so we can share in His riches and have forgiveness and eternal life.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Ananias and Sapphira lied about their gift.
    • Ananias and Sapphira were punished for lying to God.
    • We give because Jesus gives us what we need.
    • Jesus gave up everything He had for us.
    • The church serves God.
  • Preschool
    • Ananias and Sapphira pretended to be generous. 
    • What is the church? The church is all Christians everywhere.
  • Kids
    • Ananias and Sapphira lied about their gift to the church. 
    • 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

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Stephen’s Sermon” (Acts 6–7)

Sunday Morning 1/31: Unit 28, Session 4: Living Like Jesus

Like his first letter, Peter’s second letter was written to believers in the early church who had experienced persecution and suffering. At this time, Peter was in a Roman prison. He was aware that his death was imminent. (See 2 Pet. 1:13-15.) Besides the outside threats to their faith, these believers were also confronted with false teachers within the church who tried to lead them away from the true gospel. 

Paul warned against false teachers. In the opening chapter of his letter, Paul’s exhortation to live like Jesus gives believers a measure for making sure they are following the truth. The best defense against false teachers is a dedication to a knowledge of the truth. As you prepare to teach from 2 Peter 1, consider these two questions: How do we live like Jesus? Why do we live like Jesus?

First, God’s people live like Jesus through the power of Jesus (2 Pet. 1:3-4) and through personal application (2 Pet. 1:5-7). Not only is the Christian life marked by faith in Christ, it is characterized by goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. These come from knowing Jesus, who calls us to Himself.

Second, God’s people live like Jesus to confirm their calling. (2 Pet. 1:8-11) If we claim to have faith but do not live like Jesus, we have forgotten what Jesus has done for us. Because God has credited to us Jesus’ righteousness, we strive to live in loving obedience to Him to show those around us that Jesus has truly changed our lives.

Soon after writing this letter, Peter was killed in Rome as Jesus had predicted. (John 21:18-19) Help your kids grasp that Jesus lived a perfect life and died the death we deserve for our sin. When we trust in Jesus, God forgives our sins and changes our hearts. Jesus calls and empowers His followers to live like Him.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Peter wrote a letter to people who loved Jesus.
    • Peter told believers to remember what Jesus did for them.
    • Jesus helps His followers live like Him.
    • We live like Jesus because He died for us.
    • The Holy Spirit helps us.
  • Preschool
    • Peter encouraged believers to live like Jesus. 
    • How does the Holy Spirit help Christians? The Holy Spirit comforts us, shows us our sin, and guides us as we live for God’s glory.
  • Kids
    • Peter instructed believers to live like Jesus. 
    • How does the Holy Spirit help Christians? The Holy Spirit comforts us, shows us our sin, and guides us as we live for God’s glory.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 2 Peter 1:3

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Ananias and Sapphira” (Acts 4–5)