This is an excerpt from the Adult Leader’s Preparation for the first lesson of Gospel Basics for Kids. Each week of Gospel Basics has reflections and readings to help the teacher prepare to engage kids on the same topic.

The apostle Paul wrote to the first-century church at Corinth that he “passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4). This is the gospel; it’s the culmination of the great story of redemption God has been unfolding since before time began. Each one of us is a participant somewhere in His storyline of redemption.

Paul reminded the church in Rome of the confidence we can have in Jesus and His work. In Romans 1:16–17, he writes, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.’”

On one hand, the gospel is “the power of God for salvation.” Salvation from what? God wants to save us from the penalty of sin: salvation from what we’ve done, salvation from the power of sin, salvation for what we’re called to do today, salvation from the presence of sin, and salvation for our future.

On the other hand, in saying “It is through faith that a righteous person has life,” Paul is saying, in essence, that the good news is that God has the power to save everyone who walks by faith, believing God can save him or her. The good news is that God saves us as we trust in Him and not in ourselves. The means by which God does this— the righteousness that is revealed—is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus applied to our lives by God’s Spirit.

Followers of Jesus must see all of life—our lives and others’—through the lens of the gospel story. To do so, we must understand the whole gospel. The gospel is the power of God for salvation through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is for the purpose of glorifying God and participating in His mission of saturation, by the power of the Holy Spirit to make disciples who make disciples. In a right understanding, the gospel has past, present, and future implications. This week, we’re considering who God is.

How have you helped your children understand that they are a participant in God’s storyline of redemption?

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