Middle Grades Lesson
for Sunday School
Imitators of Christ - Introduction
Teacher’s Notes: For the next few weeks, we will be looking at what it means to be like Christ. But before we look at His example, this week we are going to consider why we should be like Him, and what we need to do in order to be like Him.
Opening prayer: Lord, thank You for each student who’s here, today. Keep our ears and eyes focused on Your Word, so that we can learn more about who You are, and what you want us to be like. Amen.
Opening comments/story: (ask the children) Many children are named after someone special in their family, a parent or grandparent for example. Some children are named for famous people that their parents have never even met. Have any of you been named after someone else?
There are lots of people in this world who call themselves “Christians.” But what does the name “Christian” mean? It means a Christ-one, or “little Christ.” If we are truly Christians, we should want to imitate Christ, the one who we are named after.
Memory verse: (Have the children repeat this verse with you several times, until they are able to say it themselves. And encourage them to repeat it to others several times during the week, so that it’ll have a place in their hearts.)
“Be ye, therefore, followers of God, as dear children.” Ephesians 5:1
This Week’s Lesson:
What do we need to do in order to imitate Christ?
Have any of you learned to imitate another person…the way they walk, or talk, perhaps? (Allow the children to demonstrate an imitation, as long as it is not harming or making fun of someone else.) Sometimes we call that “impersonation.” What do you need to do in order to imitate someone? You need to spend a lot of time with them, watching and listening to them, so you know just what they are like, and how they sound. You need to really get to know them!
So how can you and I get to know Jesus Christ better? If we have a Bible (God’s Word) to read, then we can spend time, on our own, reading about how Jesus lived while He was on this earth. Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at many examples of how Christ lived on the earth. We will see, through His example, how we should live to be like Him.
Another way we can learn to imitate Christ is by studying other Bible passages that tell us how God wants us to live. Here are some examples of verses that tell us what God is like, and what He expects us to be like:
God is holy, and wants us to be holy:
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16
(“manner of conversation,” here, means the way that you live)
God is loving, and wants us to be loving:
“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” John 15:9
God is forgiving, and wants us to be forgiving:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
These are just a few of the many examples of what God has told us about Himself, so that we can be more like Him.
We can also learn how to imitate Christ by looking at other people around us who have known Him for a long, long time. If we see that they live their lives in a way that would be pleasing to God, in a way that seems to imitate what Christ is like, then we can also watch that person, and listen to what they have to say. That may be a pastor, or a Sunday School teacher; or perhaps a parent, or brother or sister. And by imitating that person, we can also be imitating Christ. The Apostle Paul, who wrote many of the books in the New Testament, recommended this way of imitating Christ, and wrote about it in some of his letters to the churches:
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1
“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example.” Philippians 3:17
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:9
But none of this is really possible without the help of The Holy Spirit, who comes to live in our hearts when we are saved. When we come to God and tell Him that we are sorry for our sins, and that we want Him to come and make our hearts clean so that we can become like Him, and that we are thankful that Jesus paid the penalty for those sins when He died on the cross, then He will forgive us for our sins, and send His Holy Spirit to come and help us to do what is right, and pleasing to Him. The Spirit will encourage us when we are imitating Christ; and will whisper words of warning to our hearts when we are doing things that are not pleasing to God. Do you have The Holy Spirit to help you become more like Christ? If not, you can invite Him into your life, today!
Closing Prayer: Lord, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to show us what You are like. Help us to want to know You better, so we can become more like Christ in everything we think, and say, and do. Remind us, as we go through this week, to live as true Christians should. And thank You for helping us to do that. In the name of Your Son, Jesus…amen.
Class Discussion/ Activity: Have you ever considered the idea that you are supposed to be an imitator of Christ? Take some time this week to think about the people in your life. Which ones are living a Christ-like life? Which ones are not? Which ones should you be imitating? And what can you do this week to start becoming more like Christ, yourself? You can start by praying that God would help you want to be more like Him. And you can ask God to show you what you need to do to be more like Him.
More Like Jesus
More like Jesus, I would be,
So when others look at me
Only Jesus they would see
As His Spirit lives in me.
Lisa DeVinney, February 2017