Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids that there is only one God.
Needed: Bibles, empty bags or boxes with pictures of various gods taped on them, one blank bag or box with cookies or another prize inside
Intro Game: What’s in Box #?
Before class, print out pictures of various gods and paste one picture onto each box or paper bag. Leave one box or bag blank but put a snack or other prize inside to share with the group.
Tell students that you’re going to ask for volunteers to come up. You’re going to ask them a question, and if they get the answer right, they’ll be able to choose one of the boxes or bags. Each of the boxes or bags represents a different god. There might be a prize in the box or bag that they choose.
If a student answers correctly, let them choose a box or bag. If they don’t answer correctly, have them sit down and repeat the question for the next volunteer. If the next volunteer doesn’t know the answer, review the information with the class and move onto the next question.
When students open all the boxes or bags and discover that only the blank one had anything in it, explain that the blank one represents the real God. We don’t know what God looks like, so we can’t make a picture of Him. In fact, one of the Ten Commandments is that we should never try to make a picture of God.
But God is the only real God, so He’s the only that can give us anything good. That’s why only His box/bag had a prize in it.
Ask students, Because we are Christians, because we believe in God and Jesus when other people do not, does that make us more special or more important than other people that don’t believe in God?
We are not more special or more important than other people. God loves everyone. We’re just lucky that we know the truth and that we do believe in Him.
Are pastors or priests more special or more important than the rest of the people in the church?
Pastors and priests are not more special or more important. It’s simply that God has given them that special job in the church, and He gives the rest of us other special jobs in the church.
(Read Acts 14:8-10.)
“In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, ‘Stand up on your feet!’ At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.”
How did Paul heal the crippled man and make him walk? (God gave him power through the Holy Spirit.)
What did the man need to have to be healed? (He had to have faith. He had to believe in Jesus.)
Game: Get Up!
Have students lie down on the floor. Sitting is fine if you don’t have enough room for everyone to lie down. When you yell, “Get up!” everyone should get to their feet and jump into the air as quickly as they can. The first person to jump gets to be the next caller. Play as long as time allows. Be sure to give everyone a chance to be the caller, even if you have to ask someone who’s already done it to give up their turn.
(Read Acts 14:11-12.)
“When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in human form!’ Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.”
When Paul healed the man, what did the people think Paul was? (A god.)
Was Paul a god? (No, he was a regular human, like us.)
(Read Acts 14:13-20.)
“The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
“But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: ‘Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. In the past, He let all nations go their own way. Yet He has not left Himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.’ Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
“Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.”
Why did the people try to kill Paul? (Because he told them to believe in the real God and not in fake gods.)
How many Gods does the Bible say there are? (One.)
There is only one God. There are three parts to God–God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit–but they are all one God.
Activity: Acting It Out
Remind students that Paul was able to heal the man who was crippled not because he was more special or more important than other Christians but because God gave Him a special job to do as an apostle.
Ask students, What do you think God could choose you to do for Him? (Write their answers on a blackboard, whiteboard, or a large piece of paper.)
Divide students into groups of two or three. Have each group decide on and act out a scene in which one or two are performing one of the tasks the group mentioned in a way that either benefits other Christians or helps reach out to unbelievers.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You are the only one true God. Help us to believe in You and only You and to use our talents to help other people believe in You. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Paul: The Odd Apostle.