Paul Confronted Peter
As the saying goes, people are creatures of habit, even children. Have you ever done something special in one of your kids ministry classes one Sunday with no real intention on revisiting that thing only to have your kids ask you about it the next Sunday? I have seen this both in my family life and in my ministry.
Another saying is that old habits die hard. And that is so true! As we begin a new volume this week and move away from the narrative of Acts we’ve been following, we’ll encounter Peter falling back into some old habits.
We’ve spent the last three months exploring the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the early Christians. We have repeatedly seen God show people that the gospel is for everyone. And not only is the gospel for everyone, salvation is available by grace through faith alone. Remember Unit 30, Session 3 from Acts 15? There had been conflict over this issue, which was straightened out through prayer and Scripture. This week we find that Peter had fallen back into a bad habit of treating Gentiles differently than Jews. He was even leading people astray by acting one way with Gentiles and another way with the Jews, as if Jesus’ gospel was not enough for salvation.
God had shown Peter in Acts 10 that all people are equal in their need for the gospel, but his behavior was not reflecting an understanding of that truth. When Paul saw Peter’s actions, he knew he needed to intervene because “they were deviating from the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14).
This week we can remind kids that there are all sorts of beliefs, behaviors, and maybe even habits that are not consistent with the gospel. God has rescued us from these and we should strive to evaluate everything in our lives in light of the gospel. The gospel of Jesus is all we need for salvation. We can also help kids see that they do not to have to wonder if they can do enough to be saved because salvation is found in Jesus alone. Remind kids that because God loves all people and the gospel is for all people, we can and should love all people too and share Jesus with them.
Jeremy Carroll (@jermpc) is the team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. Before coming to LifeWay, he has been active in local church ministry for nearly 20 years in TN, TX, and AL. Jeremy earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. A Middle Tennessee native, he and his family live in Murfreesboro, TN.