Bible Lesson: Confidence in God’s Work (Philippians 1)

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The following lesson was used for older elementary students.  The students will be studying Philippians and Ephesians in the following weeks.  Click here to see the first lesson in the series.
The purpose in each of the lessons will be to help them learn and implement a personal daily time with God in His Word.  This was an adaptation for our class and may be used as a guide for your ministry needs. The lesson is only a guide and can be adapted for your needs.

Bible Lesson Tilte: Confidence in God’s Work (Philippians 1)
Scripture: Philippians 1 and selected Scriptures.
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
Printer Friendly Bible Lesson: [print_link] this lesson plan
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Supply List: Bibles, Discovery worksheets, pencils/pens, copies of devotional week 1 (take home page),
Learning Goal: Students will learn that God completes the work He begins in the lives of believers.
Learning Activity #1: Discovery worksheet.  (At the end of the lesson is an optional worksheet)  This activity enables students to look up verses about Paul, Timothy and Philippi to refresh the memories of those who know this and to introduce them to those who aren’t familiar with Scripture.
Learning Activity #2: I Choose Joy (week 1).  Print out a copy of this optional devotional for students to use as a resource to have a daily quiet time.
Memory Verse:  Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Bible Lesson:  Confidence in God’s Work (Philippians 1)

(Begin the lesson with prayer.)
Read Philippians 1:1-2. Who is writing this letter? (Paul & Timothy) From your activity sheets what did you learn about Paul? (Allow responses) What did you learn about Timothy? Where is Philippi and who were some people who believed in the Lord Jesus when Paul’s missionary team shared the Good News?
Let’s read Philippians 1:3-6.
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Our focus of our Bible lesson from Philippians is going to be on Paul’s confidence that God completes His work in the lives of followers of Christ.
Have you ever heard the song ‘He’s still working on me’? The lyrics go “He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars, the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be! He’s still working on me.”
When we studied Psalm 1 we discovered two groups of people living in this world (Psalm 1); the wicked and the righteous. Who do the wicked represent? (People who do not believe in Jesus as their Savior from sin)Who do the righteous represent? (People who have believed in the Lord Jesus as their Savior from sin)
Being confident of this
Before a person became a follower of Jesus he/she had a sin nature that controlled his/her decisions. The moment a person believes in the Lord Jesus he/she becomes a new creation.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”

Simply put once you and I became a Christian we still have an old sinful nature living in us, but as a new creation in Christ we have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts enabling us to live a spirit-filled life. We have the two natures of the old, the wicked person we once were before we were saved. As believers we have a new righteous because of our faith in Jesus.
What does being confident mean? (Allow responses)


  1. Having strong belief or full assurance; sure: confident of fulfillment.
  2. Sure of oneself; having no uncertainty about one’s own abilities, correctness, successfulness, etc.; self-confident; bold: a confident speaker. (Dictionary.com)

Having two natures we also have 2 kinds of confidence. There’s self-confidence and Christ confidence. To be self-confident is to trust in your own strength and abilities. Christ-confidence understands without the power of the Holy Spirit controlling your life you are not able to do anything that pleases God.

  • Romans 7:18 “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”
  • John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”
  • Philippians 4:13(NKJV) “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Once we become a follower of Christ in order to live a life that pleases God our confidence has to be in Christ and His power to help us in every way.
In this verse Paul’s confidence is in God not his feelings and not what he can and can’t do for God.
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion
The moment we put our faith in Jesus God’s work begins in us. Did you know that God was thinking and planning His work for you before you were even born?

  • Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
  • Ephesians 1:4 “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.”
  • Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God has started a work in us that He planned before we were born. As believers we should be walking daily with Jesus reading God’s Word and praying. As we walk with Him we will see God working in our lives changing us to look more and more like Jesus.
God has created us to do good works. Believers serve Jesus by using the gifts and talents He has given us. You and I will discover what the work He wants us to do when we daily walk with Him. He will show you the work He prepared in advance for you to do and He will teach you and empower you for that work.
Do you remember what work God had chosen Paul for? (Acts 9:15-16 “This man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he will suffer for My name.”)
Paul was so confident that God would complete the work He started in his life that no matter how difficult his life was as a follower of Jesus he chose to rejoice and continue to do God’s work.
He encouraged the Philippians and all believers that we can continue to serve and obey Christ even when we face difficulties.

  • Philippians 1:29-30 “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him. Since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.”

Until the day of Christ Jesus
When will God’s work in believers be done? (In the day of Christ)
What is the day of Christ Jesus? One day Jesus is going to come back and rule the new heaven and the new earth as the King of kings. Those who believed in Jesus will be rewarded for the lives they lived on this earth as Christians. Those who rejected Jesus will be judged and punished for the wicked deeds they did during their life on this earth.
Believers should live each day walking closely with Jesus so we will be ready when we meet Him face to face. We can do that by making a daily quiet time a part of our daily schedule.

  • John 2:28 “And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming.”

God is faithful and will complete the work in our lives if we are believers. We can trust Him to do what He says He will do. Our challenge is to be faithful to Him and spend daily quiet time with Him so we can watch and see Him work in and through our lives.
Application Questions:
Now that we have went deeper into the meaning of Philippians 1:6 we need to do something with what we discovered. We can do that by asking ourselves some questions:

  • Allow students to create questions they can ask themselves from this lesson on Philippians 1:6.
  • God works in the lives of believers by changing their attitudes and actions to look more like Jesus. How do you see God working in your life?
  • Which kind of confidence am I putting my trust in? (Self or Christ’s)

Close in prayer.
Worksheet option: For our class I had the questions on one side and included the selected Scriptures on the back of the page so they could just flip the page over and read the verses.

Paul

Before Paul became a follower of Jesus he was called Saul.
1. Read Acts 8:3. What do you discover Saul did to followers of Christ?
______________________________________________________________________
Saul had been given permission to travel to Damascus and arrest followers of Jesus and bring them back to Jerusalem where they would be put in prison.
2. Read Acts 9:3-6. Who did Saul meet on his way to Damascus?
_______________________
3. From Acts 9:15-16 What work had God given Saul to do?
____________________________________________________________________
4. From our lesson in Philemon why was Paul in a Roman prison? (If you can’t
remember read Philemon 13.)____________________________________________

Timothy

5. Carefully read Acts 16:1. Where did Timothy live? ___________________________
6. Read Acts 16:2. How did others speak about Timothy?
________________________
7. Read Acts 16:3. Who wanted to take Timothy with him on his journey?
___________
8. What kind of journey was Paul taking Timothy on? ___________________________
 
9. Read 2 Timothy 1:5. Who shared their faith with Timothy?
__________________________________________________________
10. From this verse what kind of faith did Paul say Timothy had? (No faith, weak faith, sincere faith)

Philippi

11. Locate Philippi on a map.
12. From Acts 16:13-15 who became a follower of Jesus when Paul and his
missionary team visited Philippi? _________________________________
13. Read Acts 16:25-34. Who became a follower of Jesus when Paul and Silas
were in  prison in Philippi?  ___________________________________

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