AGE GROUP: elementary (ages 6-11)
TIME REQUIRED: 45 minutes
This is lesson 29 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 29: GOD IS RIGHTEOUS
- Key Verse: “Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things…” Psalm 71:19 a
- Teaching Passage: Jesus Resists Temptation- Matthew 4:1-11
- Supporting Texts: Isaiah 5:16, Psalm 48:10
Bibles, previous attribute of God posters, a large piece of paper with the words GOD IS RIGHTEOUS written on it, key verse (Psalm 71:19a) printed on a piece of paper, blank paper and markers or colored pencils for each child in the group, 12 small pieces of paper to review the attributes
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 truths we’ve learned so far. As a quick review, choose 6 of the attributes and write them on a small piece of paper each and write those 6 definitions on small pieces of paper. Place them all face down and take turns turning over 2 at a time looking for a match. if they’re not a match, for each attribute turned up, say the definition and for each definition say the attribute. Choose a few attributes from the beginning of the series and a few more recent ones to help kids review all that they’ve learned.
- 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
- God Forgives = He grants pardon and cancels the debt of sin
- God is Glorious = He is full of glory (praise, honor & distinction)
- God is Good = morally excellent, virtuous or righteous
- God is Gracious = merciful, benevolent, kind & compassionate
- God Guides His People= He leads, accompanies, assists and gives direction/ guidance
- God Heals = make healthy & whole & free from ailments
- God is Holy = He is sinless, perfect and set apart
- God is our Hope = He is the One in whom our expectations are centered
- Jesus is Immanuel = God with Us
- God is Judge = He is the One who rules over and passes judgement on others
- God is Just = He is the One who is fair and does what is right
- God is King of kings & Lord of lords = He is The One who rules the rulers
- Jesus is the Lamb without blemish = He is the perfect sacrifice for sin
- God is Love = God has tender and caring affection for His people
- God is Majestic = God is stately, kingly, grand & raised up
- God is Merciful = God is full of compassion, pity, and undeserved grace & love for another
- God is Omnipotent = He is almighty or infinite in power
- God is Omnipresent = He is everywhere all the time
- God is Omniscient = He knows everything
- God is One = the Only God
- God Protects His People = He defends, guards, covers & shields His people
TEACH- GOD IS RIGHTEOUS:
Ask the kids if they’ve ever known anyone who is always right. Joke about how there are some people who think they’re right all the time, but because we’re all sinners we can be sure that no one is right all the time. We all are wrong in the things we think or say or do.
But, the Bible tells us that God is always right. Explain that the word we can use to describe the rightness of God is RIGHTEOUS.
Introduce the story from Matthew 4:1-11 and tell it in your own words. Some of the truths to discuss are:
- The Bible clearly tells is that Jesus is “God with us.” He is Immanuel. He came to earth and lived as a man to die and take the punishment for our sin.
- Before starting His earthly ministry, Jesus was baptized and right after being baptized, Jesus was led out into the wilderness to be tempted. As a man Jesus was tempted to sin just like we are, but what we’ll see is that His response is very different to our response to sin.
- He fasted (didn’t eat anything) for 40 days and 40 nights and was hungry and then Satan came and tempted Him.
- First, Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread. Obviously the One who spoke the world into being has the power to do that, but instead Jesus responded by saying that ‘man doesn’t live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.‘ There was no one that Jesus was going to obey Satan to meet a physical need.
- Second, Satan took Jesus to the highest point of the temple and quoted from Psalm 91 encouraging Jesus to throw Himself off the temple because the angels would protect Him. Satan wanted Jesus to prove that He was the Son of God by doing this. Jesus again responded with scripture by saying that the Bible also says, ‘do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
- Still Satan didn’t give up. Finally, he tempted Jesus to bow down and worship him and told him that he would give Jesus all of the splendor of the world if he worshipped him. Again Jesus responded with Scripture and said, ‘away from me Satan. For it is written, worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.‘
- Jesus did not give into temptation. Jesus did not sin. Jesus lived a perfect life so that He could die as the perfect sacrifice for our sin and offer us His righteousness in the place of our sin.
DEFINE AND REMEMBER:
To help the kids remember this truth about God, take a few minutes to define the attribute.
RIGHTEOUS = ALWAYS RIGHT, ALWAYS DOES WHAT IS RIGHT
EXPLAIN: In this lesson, we’re talking about the truth that God is Righteous. The word righteous has a clue to it’s definition right in the word. When we say that God is righteous we are saying that He is always and only right. He cannot be or do wrong and there is nothing that is right apart from Him. Ask the class how they saw God’s righteousness displayed in the story they just heard. Explain that righteousness is one of those attributes of God that we can never attain on our own, because we are sinful and can only be made righteous through Jesus.
Since motions & actions help kids remember, choose an action for RIGHTEOUS. A good motion might be to do 2 thumbs up and then move your hand with thumbs up in a big circle, like you’re saying right/ good always
SAY: “Our key verse for the week is Psalm 71:19 which speaks of God’s righteousness.” Then, work together as a group to make up motions for the verse and use the motions to remember the verse. Say the verse together with the motions several times.
In our story today, we saw righteousness in action. We were reminded that Jesus came to earth as a man and that He was tempted to sin and yet He never did. We were also reminded that we are just the opposite. We are unrighteous. Everything we do apart from Jesus is sinful and there is nothing right about it. The Bible is really clear in telling us that we are all sinners and that there is nothing we can do on our own to rescue ourselves from this life (Romans 3:10-12 & 23, 6:23, 5:8, Ephesians 2:8-9, etc.). Thankfully, the story does end there and we’re also told how we can escape from our unrighteousness and Jesus is the only way (John 14:6). The truth we need to remember is this – Jesus came to earth, He lived a perfect and sinless life, He died on the cross to pay for our sin (not His), He rose again and now we can live with Him if we believe that He paid the price for our sin. And, all people who believe in Jesus will be clothed with His righteousness so that we can stand before the Holy God. It’s the great exchange. On the cross, Jesus took on our unrighteousness and God’s righteous punishment for our sin and then gives us His righteousness. Now that’s worth celebrating!
Give each child a blank piece of paper provide markers or colored pencils. Encourage them to write the word righteous somewhere on the paper and then write or draw something to help them remember this attribute of God. They could write the definition for righteous or the memory verse or they could illustrate the story of Jesus’ temptation. 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 the group would come to know God more and more each week through this study and that they would remember that all of us are sinners who need to be saved and that they would turn to this good God for salvation. Pray that the lesson the class just heard on the righteousness of God would help to convict them of their sin and see their need for salvation.