Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, where does this faith come from?
From the Holy Spirit.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 3:4-6
Outline for lesson
- Open in prayer: Gracious God, thank you that you call us to become citizens of heaven. Thank you that I can confidently know that my home is in heaven with you and that I have been chosen to be your precious possession, holy and set apart for your glory. Help me to live a fruitful life of gratitude to you. May my life bear great witness to you. Grant understanding to the children who will hear this lesson. May they clearly understand that salvation is by grace through faith and that the right response to you is a thankful heart. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
- Introduction: You will need to place the letters. spelling FAITH, in the box and wrap the box in the wrapping Paper. Secure the gift tag to the outside of the box.
Explain that you have a gift in the box. Invite them to guess what’s in the box! Ask them if they’d like you to open the box. Once the box is opened, pull out the letters in the wrong order, and ask if they can figure out what they spell. Read out the gift tag for the children; it should say “To: New Christian, From: The Holy Spirit.” Explain that faith is a free gift from the Holy Spirit, and it is given to every new Christian. Ask if they noticed anything about the wrapping paper. Tell the children that a new Christian is described as someone who has been born again and the Holy Spirit is the one who gives the gift of faith.
Introduce the children to Question 35: “Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, where does this faith come from?” Explain to the children that this question will help them to understand a little more about the free gift of faith that comes from the Holy Spirit.
- Activity: You will need a copy of the Q35 What We Were Word Search (RB)for each child. The children will need to find the following words: astray disobedient envy foolish hated hating malice slaves
Once the children have found the words in the word search, explain to them that these words are used by Paul in today’s Bible passage to describe all those who are not Christians. Ask them what they think of the words. Ask them whether they think these kinds of people deserve to be saved from God’s judgment, anger, and punishment. Emphasize to the children that no one deserves God’s free gift of faith, and no one can earn God’s free gift of faith. It is given graciously by the Holy Spirit.
- Lesson: 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.
Ask the children to describe one of the best gifts they’ve ever received. Ask them if the gift changed their lives forever.
Ask the children to think about the occasions when they receive gifts, and ask them if they had to do anything to qualify for the birthday gift or Christmas gift. Gifts are freely given without reason and illustrate the greatest gift a person can ever receive. The gift of faith is the most significant gift ever, and it is life-changing!
Read Titus 3:1—7. Provide Bibles for the children to read along.
Explain to the children that Paul is trying to help Titus understand how to care for and teach the Christians in his congregation. In chapter 3, Paul asks Titus to remind the Christians about what they once were, before they were given faith by the Holy Spirit. He is encouraging Titus to help the Christians live joyful, godly, and obedient lives.
Explain to the children that these verses clearly identify where faith comes from, and they contain a strong reminder that people cannot save themselves. Paul says that salvation comes from God the Savior. God in his great kindness and love reaches out to save those who are undeserving. Invite the children to look at verse 5 and ask them if they can identify what the Holy Spirit does.
The Holy Spirit gives faith through:
Explain to the children that it is God the Holy Spirit who changes people’s hearts when they become Christians. In verse 7 Paul explains to Titus that Christians are justified by God’s grace; because of Jesus, Christians are declared not guilty by God. At the same time, the Holy Spirit washes away a Christian’s sin and makes him or her new.
Encourage the children to think back to Question 25 : “Does Christ’s death mean all our sins can be forgiven?” The iodine/bleach illustration demonstrated the washing away of sin. Christians are born again and become members of God’s family. Remind the children of the box in wrapping paper and the fact that when the Holy Spirit gives the gift of faith, a new Christian is born into God’s family. Acknowledge to the children that this is a difficult thing to understand and that they will gain a deeper understanding as they get older. They just need to remember that the gift of faith comes through the Holy Spirit to those who are undeserving but greatly loved by God.
Conclude the teaching time by helping the children commit Question 35 and the answer to memory.
Recite: Help children memorize this week’s verse, question and answer.