“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” James 2:23
Read today’s key verse with your class. Help them understand with the following: imputed means counted; to put to his account, either in his favor or what he must be answerable. Righteousness means that righteousness which has regard to God and the divine law; especially internally where the heart is right with God; piety toward God, and hence righteousness; i.e.: to regard as evidence of piety, hence the righteousness which is in or through faith in Christ.
Summary: Abraham believed the promise God made in Genesis 3:15 (God would send one to deliver mankind from their sins). It is proven in his faithfulness to obey God’s call upon his life. He was faithful to leave his home and walk the land God promised would belong to his descendants (even though at this point he and Sarah were old and without any children). Abraham believed God would give him a son, just like He promised. Even when the promise was fulfilled and he had his son, Isaac, Abraham was faithful to obey God when God asked Abraham to give him back. And because of his righteousness (faith that Jesus would come), he was called the Friend of God.
This lesson helps us to understand that “righteousness” before God is when we have faith in Jesus: see II Corinthians 5:21: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Optional Worksheets to be downloaded:
Ideas for children:
Stickers always work well with children. Often times I watch Wal-Mart or Oriental Trading Company for specials or deals on things I can use for crafts for Sunday School (i.e. foam sheets, Bible Story scene stickers, crowns, stick on jewels, construction paper, etc.). I keep a stash and when I need something, I go search in my stash!
For today’s lesson, we took a 5×7 foam sheet and put a sticker of a Bible looking man on the bottom. The children then put a whole bunch of stickers of stars on the top. We placed the verse James 2:23 on the bottom to remind them that because Abraham believed God (and acted upon that belief), he was called the friend of God.
Refer to the wall in your classroom that has become a mural. Today, have them consider Abraham. Are they willing to change the course of their life to follow God, just like Abraham did? Have them write (on a puzzle piece or construction paper) ways we can live a righteous life before God. Add these to your mural, as a reminder to please God with our lives.
Have them each add anything else they may have brought to add to the wall. Encourage everyone to participate.