Philip and the Ethiopian
- Children will learn about Philip and the Ethiopian.
- Children will make “Good News tellers” and practice telling the good news about Christ.
For scripture and summaries, see above.
- Chairs for practicing sharing the good news
- Good News Teller page
- Markers or colored pencils
- “Wordless” Scroll
As students arrive, review the activity we did for the “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (which was sandals that told the gospel story - like a “wordless book").
Open with a prayer.
Make a scroll of the “wordless book.”
Pass out scroll paper. Have students glue on the colored squares in order.
As the students make the book, discuss what each color represents.
Black – represents the darkness of sin. Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Red – represents the blood of Christ which he shed for us. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
White – represents being made clean in the water of baptism. Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”
Green – represents growth as a Christian. 1 Peter 2:1-3 “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
Yellow/Gold – represents living in heaven with God forever. 1 Thessalonians 5:15-17 “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
When completed have students put their scroll under their chair to be used later.
[Review the Armor of God passage from Ephesians 6:10-18. Remind kids that this month we are studying the helmet of salvation.]
[Ask questions to see what kids think about salvation. What does salvation mean? How are we saved? Etc.]
[Have your cake mix and shampoo bottle where students can see them.]
Why is it important to follow instructions? (Allow answers.)
This cake mix has instructions on it. It even has pictures to help us understand even better what we should do. (Discuss several different outcomes by skipping certain instructions on the box. Not turning on the oven-raw cake, using motor oil instead of cooking oil, etc.)
Even shampoo bottles have instructions on them. What would happen if we lathered up our hair and didn’t rinse?
In our daily life if we make a mistake and don’t follow a cake recipe correctly we may have to throw it away. As believers, if we don’t follow God’s instructions for our lives, we miss out on something more important than eating a piece of cake. We miss out on His best for us and the blessing we receive as a result of our obedience. We could even miss out on salvation.
How do we know what God’s instructions to us are? (He gave us His instructions to us in the Bible. "The Bible is the guide for our life.") We can know what we are supposed to do to please Him and we can know what doesn’t please Him. We can know how to have eternal life by reading His Word. We can also know what our purpose on this earth is by reading God’s Word and spending time with Him.
The Bible is THE guide for YOUR life.
In order to be able to do God’s Work we need to be obedient to His voice and direction every day of our lives. In this month’s story, we have an example of someone who heard God’s instructions and immediately obeyed. Let’s turn in our Bibles to Acts 8:26. [Read or have children read. Stop as indicated to direct discussion.]
[Show a map of where Philip is and where the angel told him to go.]
Notice that Philip received instructions and didn’t hesitate to obey. He didn’t ask questions or argue with God. He didn’t tell God he would do it later, he went immediately where God told him to go.
Who did Philip meet on the road? (The man from Ethiopia.) [Show Ethiopia the map.]
This man had travelled all the way from Ethiopia to Jerusalem to worship God. This man was not yet a believer in Jesus but he was a man who was seeking God and wanted to do what pleased Him. Did you know that not everyone who comes to church has been saved? Many people come to church because they have a desire to know God and want to please Him and they come to church because that’s the place they hope to learn more about Him. Sometimes people come to church because they know it’s the right thing to do but they have never placed their faith in Jesus.
What is the Ethiopian doing while he travelled? (Reading Scripture.)
What did Philip ask in Acts 8:30? (“Do you understand what you are reading")
Philip is such an exciting example as an obedient follower of Jesus! Philip has the opportunity to share Jesus when the Ethiopian says, “How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?”
What was the man’s response to what Philip taught? (He saw some water and said, “Why shouldn’t I be baptized?")
The Ethiopian gave orders for the chariot to stop. He and Philip climbed out. Philip took the Ethiopian man down to the water and baptized him.
This Ethiopian man’s life was changed forever because he believed in the Lord Jesus. He now understood what God had written in Isaiah about Jesus. He believed in Jesus and his sins were forgiven. To show that he truly believed and was a believer in Jesus he was immediately baptized.
What would you say if someone asked you to explain Jesus to them? (Allow discussion. Hopefully they will remember the wordless book!)
We are going to practice sharing the Good News like Philip did. [Act out the story. Use a couple of chairs for the chariot. Have one person be in the chariot and hold up their wordless scroll. Have the other person be Philip and use the wordless scroll to explain the Gospel.]
Do not force a child to act out the story, but greatly encourage them to at least be the Ethiopian. After everyone has been able to be both roles as desired, bring the kids back to the tables to close.
[Optional project – Make Helmets. See instructions page.]
- Where can a believer find God’s instructions for his/her life? (The Bible)
- Who gave Philip a message to travel to Gaza? (An angel of the Lord)
- What did Philip see when he was traveling on the desert road? (An Ethiopian riding in a chariot reading the Book of Isaiah)
- What was the Ethiopian’s job? (He was treasurer for the Queen)
- Who told Philip to stay near the chariot? (The Holy Spirit)
- How did Philip help the Ethiopian man? (He explained the Bible to him and how Jesus is the Promised Savior that was written about in Isaiah.)
- Why did the Ethiopian want to be baptized? (He believed in the Lord Jesus.)
- Who took Philip away so the Ethiopian didn’t see him anymore? (The Spirit)
- Why was it important for Philip to immediately obey the Lord’s instructions? (The Ethiopian man may not have heard the Good News and been saved)
Close in prayer.
A lesson from Staci Woodruff from: Jenks Church of Christ
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