Philip and the Ethipian
- Children will learn about Philip and the Ethiopian through a modern day version of the story (Phil and the Foreigner).
- Children will discuss baptism and its role in salvation.
For scripture and summaries - see above.
- Costume pieces for Phil and the Foreigner
- “Witness” paper
- Pencils or pens
[Before kids arrive, “Phil” and “the Foreigner” should get ready. They remain outside the classroom until later.]
[As kids arrive, 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?
[Look up Salvation in a Bible dictionary. Read or have a volunteer read the definition to the class. It should be something like: “deliverance from the power and penalty of sin.”]
God has given us instructions for gaining salvation. How do we know what God’s instructions to us are? He gave us His instructions to us in the Bible. 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. The Bible is THE guide for OUR life. If we will get into his word daily, God will direct us in our everyday lives.
In this month’s story, we have an example of someone who heard God’s instructions and immediately obeyed even though the man didn’t know why he was being asked to do it.
- Do you ever have trouble obeying your parents or teachers when you don’t know why they have asked you to do something? (Allow any answers.)
“Phil” should be waiting outside the door and enter during the discussion. Feel free to make this story “your own.”
PHIL: Hello! I am Phil. God spoke to me and told me to come by this way. Would you like to walk with me?
[As you say this next part, walk toward Fireplace Room where you meet “the Foreigner”.]
PHIL: I came here from another country. I had to move because in my old country there were people who didn’t like what I do. You see, as often as I can, I tell people about Jesus. Do you know about Jesus?
[You should be near enough to “the foreigner” that he can hear you ask that last question. He looks up as you get near. You notice he is reading a Bible.]
PHIL: Hello there!
PHIL: I can see you are reading a Bible. Do you understand what you are reading?
FOREIGNER: No, not really. I wish someone would explain it to me. I’m reading here in Isaiah
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
- Who is this passage speaking of? The author himself or someone else?
PHIL: This passage was written by David. He was not deprived of justice and was not killed. No, this passage speaks of someone else. This is about Jesus.
Jesus came to earth and lived a perfect life. He was the only person who never, ever did anything wrong. Now, sir, turn to Romans 3:23.
FOREIGNER: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
PHIL: All the rest of us, you and me and everyone else who has ever lived – we’ve all done things wrong. We call that sin. And if we’ve sinned, we can’t live in heaven with God when we die – because God can’t be with sin. That is pretty sad for us. But there is good news!
We’ve all sinned, but Jesus never did. Now read Romans 5:8 for us.
FOREIGNER: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
PHIL: He gave himself as a sacrifice for us, and fulfilled the requirements to be our savior. But it wasn’t just that he died for us. That is pretty awesome, but he rose up from the dead! Death could not hold him because he was perfect. Death had no power over him. And he offers that to us. He offers to pay for our sin. Because he was perfect, his sacrifice takes away our sin. It is like we have never sinned. That means he made a way for us to get to go to heaven when we die. Jesus did this for us because he loved us. He offers us a gift – to be made clean so our sin doesn’t count against us.
FOREIGNER: How can we get this gift? How can we be made clean again?
PHIL: The Bible tells you in Acts 2:38
FOREIGNER: “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.’”
- What does that mean? What is baptism?
[Slowly walk toward baptistery area.]
PHIL: Baptism is like a burial; as if the person has died and then is alive again, literally a new man. You are buried to sin, dead to your old life. Then you, like Jesus, are raised again to live a new life.
FOREIGNER: That is so wonderful! What a wonderful gift to give us. [Notices bapistry.] Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized?
PHIL: Do you believe Jesus is the son of God? That he was perfect? That only he can make you clean?
FOREIGNER: Yes! I believe!
PHIL: Then yes, I will baptize you.
[Phil baptizes Foreigner. After the baptism, they both go to bathroom. “The Foreigner” comes out alone.]
FOREIGNER: Did you see Phil? I can’t find him anywhere. (Class answers no.)
Oh well! I’m so happy I don’t even care! Praise be to God! I’ll be on my way now. Blessings to you all!
[He leaves. Children follow teacher back to class.]
Wow! Wasn’t that exciting! What story in the Bible is that like? (Philip and the Ethiopian.) [Read the story from Acts 8:26-40 if needed. Discuss how it is similar and how it is different.]
In both stories, someone was an evangelist. That is a fancy name for a person who shares the good news about Christ. It isn’t a job, it is a lifestyle. It is being open to God’s leading, and being willing to speak the Word everywhere you are and in every difficult place God may put you.
We are always speaking – always giving a message. Whether we use words, our actions, our simply our expressions, we send a message. The message we send is very important!
In our story, what message did Phil and Philip tell? (The Word of God – the story of Christ.)
It came naturally – out of the happiness they felt from their own salvation. It becomes easier to tell others as you experience it yourself. It is easiest when it is second-nature. You can’t help it. One key to that happening is filling yourself up so very much with the Word of God that it spills out into your everyday life – in your conversations and your actions.
[Pass out Witness paper. Walk children through each question.]
- Who should be a witness?
We are all called to be like Phil and Philip. No matter where we are, we should speak of Jesus.
- What can you do?
Answers will vary. Children can talk to their friends, family and anyone hey meet. They can write to Juan and other children. They can share with visitors who come to church, etc.
- Where can you be a witness?
Answers will vary. School, Home, Church, Clubs, Sports Games and other events, etc.
- When does God want you to be a witness?
- Why does God want you to be a witness?
Because you love God. Because you have been given a great gift, and he wants you to share it.
- How can you be a witness?
Praying for the person, giving to mission work, talking to the people you meet.
Encourage the kids to be a witness this week.
Close in prayer.
D6 Curriculum Adventure Kids: Love One Another, Summer 2011
A lesson by Staci Woodruff from Jenks Church of Christ
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.