“Faith Comes First” Bible Lesson

“Faith Comes First” Bible LessonIt can be common for children who are raised in our churches to profess Christ at a young age and then become wrapped up in living a good life for Jesus.  Slowly their salvation becomes dependent on their good works and they forget the power of the true gospel message.  This lesson from 2 Peter will remind children that their good works must be based upon their faith first.  Faith in Christ is the foundation for everything a Christian does.

Text: 2 Peter 1:5-8

Learning Objective:  The children will learn how faith in Christ is needed before any good works.

Target Age: 3rd-5th grade

Time Needed: 20 minutes

Materials Needed:  a glass jar, a sharpie marker, six ping pong balls, one bag of rice

  • Another option would be use colored bouncy balls instead of ping pong balls. You could send one home with each kid and challenge them to live out that virtue during the week and report back.


“I am going to begin with one very important question.  What needs to happen in a person’s life for them to be saved from their sins and spend their eternal life with God in heaven?” Take answers from the children.

“A person must believe and put their trust in Jesus Christ dying on the cross on their behalf.  They must believe that Jesus’ death saved them from their sins by taking the punishment of God’s wrath for them.  They must put their faith in Jesus.”

“Faith is the beginning of everything in the Christian life.”


  • Open your Bibles to the book of 2 Peter.  We are going to read together from chapter one verses five through eight. Read the passage aloud.


“In verse five Peter begins by telling us to supplement our faith.  That means our faith in Jesus comes first.  Everything we do comes after our faith in Jesus.”  Place the glass jar on a table where all the children can see it. “This glass jar will be representing our faith in Jesus today.”

“After Peter stated that our faith comes first.  He made a list of good things for us to do and be after we have put our faith in Jesus’ work on the cross.” “What is the first good thing in the list?” Virtue.

“What is virtue?”  Take answers from the children. “Virtue is living a life that is good.  Doing the right thing and making good choices.”

Choose one child to come up and pick a ping pong ball.  Write the word virtue on the ball with the sharpie marker.  Have the child drop the ping pong ball into the glass jar.

“What is the second thing on the list after virtue?” Knowledge. “What is knowledge?” Take answers from the children.

“Knowledge is to know about something, which in this case would to know about God and the Bible.”

Choose one child to come up and pick a ping pong ball.  Write the word knowledge on the ball with the sharpie marker.  Have the child drop the ping pong ball into the glass jar. “After we put our faith in Jesus it is good to have virtue and knowledge, but our faith must come first to hold the virtue and knowledge together in our life.”

“What comes after knowledge in the list?” Self-control. “What is self-control?”  Take answers from the children.  “Self-control is having control of your actions, feelings, and words.”

Choose one child to come up and pick a ping pong ball.  Write the word self-control on the ping pong ball with the sharpie marker. Have the child drop the ping pong ball into the glass jar. “God wants us to have a life full of virtue, knowledge, and self-control, but first we must put our faith in Him.  Without faith in the work of the cross, our good works in our life will fall apart just like these ping pong balls would all roll away without this glass jar to hold them together.”

“What is next on Peter’s list?” Steadfastness. “What is steadfastness?”  Take answers from the children. “Steadfastness is keeping a set direction.  Moving in the right direction at all times and not giving up.”

Choose one child to come up and pick a ping pong ball.  Write the word steadfastness on the ping pong ball with the sharpie marker. Have the child drop the ping pong ball into the glass jar. “In order to be steadfast in our life we must first have faith in Jesus’ work on the cross.  It is hard to keep your life moving in the right direction if you do not know the right direction in which it should go.  Having faith in Jesus helps you to know the right direction.”

“What is next on Peter’s list?” Godliness. “What is godliness?”  Take answers from the children. “Godliness is living in the way God would want you to live.”

Choose one child to come up and pick a ping pong ball.  Write the word godliness on the ping pong ball with the sharpie marker. Have the child drop the ping pong ball into the glass jar. “We cannot know how to live in the way God wants us to unless we first put our faith in Him.  Faith comes before all other good things we do in our life.”

“What is next on Peter’s list?” Brotherly Affection. “What is brotherly affection?” Take answers from the children. “Brotherly affection is caring about the well-being of the people around you.”

Choose one child to come up and pick a ping pong ball.  Write the word brotherly affection on the ping pong ball with the sharpie marker. Have the child drop the ping pong ball into the glass jar. “Understanding how much God cared for us to send Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins will help us to then care for others.  Remembering Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross will help us to make sacrifices in caring for others.  Our faith in Jesus must come first before our brotherly affection.”

“What is the last good thing in Peter’s list?”  Love. “Love is special because love should be a part of every good thing we do in our life.  We should grow in knowledge because we love God.  We should have self-control over our words and actions because we love others.  We should be steadfast out of our love for God and others.” “Turn to 1 Corinthians 16:14.” Read this verse aloud.  “All that we do should be done in love.”

Choose a child to come up and take the bag of rice.  The child will pour the rice into the glass jar covering the ping pong balls. “This rice represents love in your life.  It covers all of the good deeds you do in your life.  Yet even love is held together by your faith in Jesus’ dying on the cross of your behalf.”


Read aloud 2 Peter 1:5-8 one more time. “Why does God want us to live out this list of good things in our life?”  Take answers from the children. “We live out these good things as a demonstration of our faith in Christ.  These good things are fruit in our Christian life.  They show that we have life within us that wants to live for God.”

“What comes first before we can live any of these good things?  What is the foundation?  What holds all of these good things together?”

“Our faith in Jesus Christ dying on the cross on our behalf to save us from our sins by taking the punishment of God’s wrath for us.” “The Christian life begins with faith and then has love poured all over it!”


  • This lesson could be a quick introductory lesson to a nine part series about each of these character traits.

Additional Activities: After the lesson you could use any of the following to expand and review what the children have learned.

  • Adapt our “Fruit of the Spirit Game” to use the virtues listed in this passage instead. Instead of drawing a fruit, you could draw a glass jar.
  • Adapt our “That’s impossible” game to talk about putting those virtues into your life without God’s help. Only God can grow these character qualities in you and it only happens through faith.
  • Use our creative methods to help the children memorize this Bible verse.


  1. Debbie says

    I was looking for an object lesson that would incorporate plastic easter eggs that I was already using to tell the Easter story with. I filled 12 eggs with different verses from different parts of the passion week. Each child read their verse and I used pictures and a symbol for each one…like a coin for the betrayal, nails for crucifixition, etc. Then, after the last egg and the risen Savior was shared I told them to look at the eggs. They were empty like the tomb. They were also empty like our hearts are after we are first saved. We are new creatures, clean for the Master’s use. Then I gave them all a white mint. “This is the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised would come in his place. The Holy Spirit is given to each believer when they are born again. The egg now has the Holy Spirit in it. Then I gave them a copy of the 2 Peter 1:5-7 verse that explains the attributes we should strive to have after we are born again. I told them to fill their hearts with these things. They were to fold up the verse and put it in their egg. Then I gave them light colored jelly beans. These jelly beans represent the good things that the Holy Spirit can use in your life to bring glory and honor to Him.
    Then I got out an empty egg. I put the same Holy Spirit white mint in it. Then I started putting black jelly beans in it. When I put the first one in I said. “What happens when you sin? Let’s say you tell a lie….this jelly bean is black like that lie you told. If you don’t ask Jesus to forgive you and ask His help then chances are that you will tell another one, and then another sin, and before long you have lots of unconfessed sins and the Holy Spirit is sad and although He is still trying to get you to confess it and start over, you just don’t hear him very well because of all the sin. Don’t let that happen! Let God have first place in your life. Keep your self clean from sin and strive to learn the virtues in 2 Peter 1:5-7!

  2. Gioia says

    This was an excellent lesson, thank you. We did a three part series using another 2 lessons and this one: Living a Life of…(Prayer / Worship / Faith). One of my main points that tied the lessons together was, “What’s the first thing you think of when I tell you that I’m Livin’ a Life of Cupcakes!?” The kids called out, “You’re always eating cupcakes! You get as many cupcakes as you want! You get a ton of cupcakes!” Exactly. When you live a life of prayer, worship and faith it doesn’t mean that you occasionally pray, sometimes say nice things to the Lord or think about what you believe once a year. You SURROUND yourself with talking to God, singing to Him, telling Him He is amazing throughout your day and actively think about what you believe and LIVE as though you believe it.

    This site always gives me a great springboard to work from and I appreciate it very much…thank you!

  3. Reymar Chua says

    This is just fantastic! I’m not a kid anymore but have learned a lot from this Lesson exercise. This is really an effective way to teach the children. Thank you so much! Truly you have been blessed by the Lord! Keep up the great work! Surely God will keep blessing you everyday of your life as you continue to walk with Him. It’s so great to be used by God. He is everything!

  4. says

    I am working on a literature course for my high school children using the Book of Virtues. I am going to be able to use much from your lesson to introduce the spiritual side of this course. Thank you for your site.

  5. Francis Ayitey says

    The above Bible Lesson on Faith was very awesome. I have really learnt a lot from it.

    God blesses you so much for your good works there okay.

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