What do we believe by true faith?
The Apostles Creed – See Below
Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write, appealing to you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all. (Jude 3)
There is one true faith that was handed down by the apostles.
Outline for lesson
- The Apostles Creed: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into Hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.
- Open in prayer: Gracious God, thank you for revealing yourself and your great plan of salvation in and through your Word. I praise you for the courage of the men and women who have contended for the Christian faith all through history. Thank you for the historic creeds of the church, and for the way they clearly articulate biblical doctrine. Grant understanding to the children who will read this lesson. May they be equipped with a knowledge of the true Christian faith, and may they be made ready to stand for you. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
- Introduction: Show the children the Pictures Burning of Latimer and Ridley and Cranmer’s Martyrdom from Q31 Martyr Illustrations (RB). Ask the children to describe what is going on in these two pictures. Let them look carefully at the pictures and notice the details. Tell the children that these pictures are of three men known as the Oxford martyrs. The first picture shows Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley being burned at the stake on October 16, 1555. Thomas Cranmer was burned five months later. Each of these men died because he contended for and defended the true Christian faith during a time when the Queen of England wanted her people to follow doctrine not taught in the Bible. Introduce the children to Qyestion 31: “What do we believe by true faith?” Explain to the children that this question will help them to consider what true Christian faith is and what it means to contend for the faith.
- Activity: Print a copy of Q31 Apostles Creed Bookmark (RD). Cut up the verses and Phrases from the Creed. Put the twelve pieces of Paper in an envelope. Make several sets of the puzzle, each in its own envelope. Introduce the children to the Apostles’ Creed by reading it to them. Tell the children that a creed is a statement of Christian beliefs. All through history people have had to contend (fight) for the true Christian faith, starting soon after Jesus’s death and resurrection. Tell the children that Christians in the fourth century were facing great opposition from a group called the Gnostics, who taught that Jesus didn’t really die and rise again. (You may want to write out the word for them and explain that the G is silent.) In response to the false teaching, the Apostles’ Creed was formulated as a statement of true Christian faith. This Creed is named for the apostles. Tell the children that it wasn’t written by the apostles, but it contains the things the apostles taught. Divide the children into small teams. Give each team an envelope with twelve slips of paper in it; there should be six Bible verses and six points from Apostles’ Creed. Explain to the children that everything that is written in the Apostles’ Creed is found in Scripture. Challenge the children to link the statement from the Creed with the Bible verse it’s derived from.
- Lesson: You will need Q31 Apostles’ Creed Bookmark (RB), one per child. Begin the teaching time by asking for God’s help. Ask that the lesson would be taught faithfully and that the children might listen well. Read Jude 1—4. Provide Bibles for the children to read along with you. Point out to them that the book of Jude is one of the shortest in the whole Bible. It has only one chapter! Tell the children that in this small passage, Jude calls Christians to contend for the faith. He wants to make sure that they fight to defend the true Christian message and to maintain the biblical faith that has been passed down from generation to generation. For some Christians, defending the true faith still involves risking their lives, as Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer did, but for the millions and millions of others it means knowing all about the faith and being able to tell others why you believe it. It involves resisting people who teach false things about the faith. Everyone who knows and understands the true Christian faith does so because of a long, long line of believers who contended for the faith! Ask the children what soldiers do before they go into battle. They train and equip themselves in preparation to contend! Inform the children that knowing and understanding the Apostles’ Creed is one of the ways God’s people can prepare themselves to contend for the true Christian faith. In verse 3, Jude calls Christians to defend the faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints. “Tell the children that the Apostles’ Creed contains the core doctrines that Jude is referring to. It communicates the truth of the gospel as understood by the apostles, who learned it from Jesus himself and who taught it to God’s people in the church. All but one of the apostles were put to death by people who opposed the message they taught, Jude also highlights that the Christian faith was handed to the saints “once for all”; the message was given to the church once for everyone, for all time. The final point to draw out for the children from the passage is that sometimes those who threaten the church and the understanding of the true Christian faith are those who are already inside the church, not simply outsiders. Close by explaining to the children that in many churches around the world, the Apostles’ Creed is said collectively each week. Saying the Creed together is a good way to remind each other what the true Christian faith is as we prepare to contend for it. Give the children a copy of the Apostles’ Creed in a bookmark format. Invite them to read it with you and place it somewhere they will see it regularly, like in their Bible or by their bed.
- Recite: Help children memorize this week’s verse, question and answer.