When you think about what you want your children to learn at church, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? We’ve all been there. With so much truth in the Bible where do we start? Why not start where the Bible starts. No, not necessarily creation, but GOD.
Who is God? What is God like? What does God do?
“The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls Father.” ~ C. H. Spurgeon
Through this series of 42 lessons we’ll be introducing children to fullness of God’s character one attribute at a time. Most churched children will tell you that God created the world, or He rescues His people, or even that Jesus came to earth to rescue God’s people, but the goal of these lessons is for them to begin to know more of who He is and what it means to worship Him for who He is.
AGE GROUP: elementary (ages 6-11)
TIME REQUIRED: 45 minutes
This is lesson 8 of 42. in our study on the Attributes of God called “Can you tell me what God is like?” Visit the series index to view all the lessons and get more ideas for using this curriculum in your children’s ministry.
LESSON 8: GOD FORGIVES
- Key Verse: “Who is a God like You, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance? You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy.” Micah 7:18
Teaching Passage: Jesus heals the paralyzed man- Luke 5:17-26
- Supporting Texts: Psalm 103:3, Hebrews 9:22, Micah 7:18, 1 John 1:9, Hebrews 8:12
Bibles, previous attribute of God posters, a large piece of paper with the words GOD FORGIVES written on it, key verse (Micah 7:18) printed on a piece of paper, blank paper and markers or colored pencils for each child in the group
REVIEW PREVIOUS LESSONS:
Ask one of the kids in the group to remind you what you’re learning this year. Remind them that each week we’ll be looking into the Bible to answer the question… “Can you tell me what God is like?” and will be learning one of the many truths about God that we see in His Word.
Ask if anyone can remember the 3 truths we’ve learned so far. Have the kids stand up and say the attributes of God and do the motions.
- God is Almighty= He has absolute power or is all powerful
- God is the Alpha and Omega= He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last
- God is Awesome = He inspires awe and amazement
- God is Compassionate = He shows a deep concern for His people & a desire to meet their needs
- God is the Deliverer = He is the rescuer or savior
- God is Exalted = He is noble, elevated and lifted up
- God is Faithful = He is reliable, trustworthy, true to His Word & keeps His promises
TEACH- GOD FORGIVES:
Start out by reading this week’s memory verse (Micah 7:18) and then asking if anyone in the group can define the word forgive. Have someone in the group remind you in one or two sentences who needs to be forgiven (all of us) and why we all need to be forgiven (because we have all sinned and the punishment for sin is death).
Then, choose a few kids from the group to act out the story while you read the text – Luke 5:17-26. You’ll need one child to be paralyzed, one to be Jesus, at least one to be the man’s friends and at least one pharisee.
After the skit, talk through the story in your own words using the following outline:
- A bunch of people had come to Jesus to be healed
- some men brought their friend who was paralyzed to be healed by Jesus
- but, the house was full, so they climbed on the roof and lowered him into the house through the roof right at Jesus’ feet.
- When Jesus saw him, He said, “your sins are forgiven.”
- The Pharisees started thinking and whispering to themselves wondering who Jesu thought He was because only God can forgive sins. (notice that they were thinking these things, not saying them).
- Jesus asked the pharisees why they were thinking these things.
- Then, Jesus told the man to pick up his mat and walk. Jesus healed the man to prove that He also had the authority to forgive the man’s sins.
DEFINE AND REMEMBER:
To help the kids remember this truth about God, take a few minutes to define the attribute.
FORGIVES = GRANTS PARDON AND CANCELS THE DEBT OF SIN
EXPLAIN: Talk with the kids about times they’ve done something wrong and asked for forgiveness or times when they’ve forgive someone else. Talk about how hard it is to forgive someone who has hurt you or upset you and get kids to give examples of times it was hard to forgive someone.
Since motions & actions help kids remember, choose an action for FORGIVES. A good motion might be to act like you’re tearing up a piece of paper (imagine a judge tearing up a ruling).
SAY: “This week our memory verse is Micah 7:18. This verse asks a very important question about God. “Who is like you?”…. who else pardons sin? The answer to that question is no one. There is one one else in the world who can pardon or forgive sin. Forgiveness of sin is only possible through Jesus’ death in our place.
Work together as a group to make up motions for the verse using the motion for forgive that you just learned to help you remember it. Read the verse with the motions together a few times.
Today’s truth about God sums up the whole story of the Bible. Knowing that God forgives sin and that He forgives through Jesus is one of the most important things we can ever know about God. When the man’s friend’s dropped him into the room with Jesus and Jesus forgave his sin, Jesus was teaching the crowd that what the man needed more than physical healing was to be healed spiritually. The Bible tells us that ever since Adam and Eve we have all sinned (Romans 3:23) and we all deserve to be punished for that sin (Romans 6:23). We are all sinners in need of forgiveness and that forgiveness is only possible through the death of Jesus in our place (Hebrews 9:22). That is the reason that Jesus came to earth; to save sinners like you and me, to forgive us of our sin and restore the broken relationship between God and His people.
Give each child a blank piece of paper provide markers or colored pencils. Encourage them to write the word forgives somewhere on the paper and then write or draw something to help them remember this attribute of God. They could write the definition for forgives or the memory verse or they could illustrate any of the passages you read about God being forgives. After a few minutes, bring the group back together and give kids time to share what they have drawn or written.
Pray that the kids in your group would come to see themselves as sinners in need of forgiveness and that they would turn to Christ in faith for forgiveness and salvation.