Think about the last time you put together a resume. What was on it? It probably included your work history, special accomplishments, awards, and personal references. What about your failures, weaknesses, or biggest struggles? Did they make the list? Probably not. We want people to see the good, not the bad. When it comes to God, however, there is nothing we can hide from Him. He sees everything. We all think sin, and our sin deserves death and separation from a perfect and holy God forever. But because of God’s great love for us, He makes a way for us to be declared right in His sight.
RIGHTEOUSNESS: Being declared right in God's sight and living in a way that honors Him
MEMORY VERSE: “May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation - the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ - for this will bring much glory and praise to God." Philippians 1:11
This Week’s Finish Line: We can be declared right in God's sight
In the beginning, God created everything and He created it good. God and man talked and had a perfect relationship. Sadly we know that it didn’t stay like that because we learn in Genesis 3 that Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin entered the world. Sin is anything we think, say, or do that does not honor God and we have all sinned. When we sin, we go against what God says is right. It’s like we’re telling God that we think our way is better than His. Because of our sin we are all guilty. God is perfect, righteous, holy, and just so He must give the right consequences for sin, which are death and separation from Him forever. But God, in His perfect mercy, had a good and perfect plan to rescue us and make a way for us to be declared right in His sight. We cannot be declared righteous by our works or by following the rules, but only through faith in Jesus Christ. When we believe in Him and accept the free gift of salvation, God declares us right in His sight and not guilty of our sins! Then, we can begin to live a righteous life as a way to honor God.
- Talk with your kids about what it means to be guilty. If you have done something wrong, can you ever undo that wrong thing? Can we do anything to earn righteousness and make up for our sins? (Nope.)
- Read Romans 3:21-28. What did Jesus do? (He came to earth, lived a perfect live, and sacrificed His life to take the punishment we deserve. He didn’t say dead but came back to life 3 days later!)
- What is the only way we can be saved from the punishment we deserve and be declared righteous or not guilty? (We put our faith in Jesus and what He has done for us.)
- Talk with your kids about the fact that the moment we are saved, God declares us righteous. Jesus took our punishment so God sees that we are right in His sight and no longer guilty of sin. That is some really good news!
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
While at dinner, ask your family to explain to you what righteousness or the word righteous means. Give them time to think on it and explain it. Some may have no idea at all, and others may have a good grasp of it. Teach them that only God is righteous because by definition righteousness means to be perfect. This means that God is ALWAYS right, He is never wrong and everything that He does is justified. We can only be righteous if God declares us right. We are made right in God’s sight when we believe that Jesus came to this earth as a man, lived a perfect life, died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins, and then rose from the grave three days later. God alone is righteous but by grace through faith He can declare us righteous too!
Friend: Drive Time
As you are driving to and from activities this week, practice this month’s new memory verse together as a family. As you become more familiar with it, you can begin playing games like seeing how quickly you can say the whole verse, seeing who can say it the most times before a red light turns green, and saying one word each until you reach the end of the verse!
“May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” – PHILIPPIANS 1:11 (NLT)
Counselor: Bed Time
As you are getting your family ready for bed, spend a short time coming up with reasons to be thankful that God is holy, just, loving, and faithful. He is our perfect, righteous Father! Then spend time in prayer thanking Him for offering to declare us right in His sight through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.
This week in our classrooms, we talked about an easy way to share with others how they can be declared right in God’s sight, too. It’s called the “Romans Road” and we used the Bridge Illustration to walk through it together. Our older Elementary kids went home with a take home page that you can find online here. Spend time this week as a family using this illustration and practicing sharing the Romans Road with one another. Then pray for opportunities to share it with friends and family members who you can encourage with this Good News!
Pray and thank God for sending Jesus and making a way for anyone who believes to be declared righteous.
Next week we will learn that living righteously honors God.
Image via Unsplash