God has called us to be one as the Father and the Son are one, John 13:34,35 and 17:20,21. These relationships correspond to the second of the great commandments and are perhaps the greatest testimony to the truth of the Gospel.
Note: This unit is a follow on from Bible Friendships, and so can easily share many of the same resources and ideas. Teachers should coordinate with each other across year levels to support each other
In Isaiah 41:8 God gives Abraham the very highest compliment possible when he says that Abraham was his friend. In a similar way, Jesus in John 15:15 calls his disciples his friends, and with the coming of the Holy Spirit intends the same for all of us. Further, God’s plan was that we would be one as the Father and Jesus were one. Students learn in many ways, one way is by looking at the direct instruction given in the Bible. Two key areas are the Book of Proverbs which has a great deal to say about our relationships, and the letters of Paul in the New Testament which spend a lot of time dealing with relationship issues in the early Church.
- What are the two great commandments? And, so, how important are our relationships with others?
- What is true friendship? What does it look like?
- We can only live this way by the power of the Holy Spirit
- What are the kind of things which destroy these relationships? (lack of faith, bitterness, anger, jealously and so on)
Prov 11:9; 16:28 - we can destroy each other by the words of our mouth
Prov 12:26 - choose carefully your friends
Prov 14:20; 19:4,6,7 - there are false friends who only like you when you are popular or rich
Prov 17:9 - a true friend will forgive and cover an offense
Prov 17:17 - the mark of a true friend
Prov 18:19 - damaging a close friendship is the wist kind of damage
Prov 20:6 - real friends are very hard to find
Prov 22:24 - look at the character of people and decide if they will really be good friends
Prov 27:6 - a true friend will tell you the truth even if it hurts you, they are only trying to do you good
Prov 27:9 - there is great joy from the counsel of a friend
Prov 27:10 - be faithful to your friends
Prov 27:17 - we grow by the interchange between friends, even disagreements
Prov 29:5 - beware flatterers
Matthew 18:21-35 - forgive each other
Matthew 22:34-40 - the great commandments
John 13: 31-35 - the old commandment becomes a new commandment
John 15:1-17 - we abide in Jesus by loving each other
John 17 - the prayer of Jesus, he prays we will be one as the Father and the Son are one
Romans 8 - by the Spirit we are able to live as God desires
Romans 12:1-21 - broad summary of how to live as a Christian
Romans 13:8-10 - love fulfills the law
Romans 14 - do not judge one another
Romans 15:1-7 - bear each others burdens
1 Corinthians 13 - what is love like
Galatians 5:1- 6:10 - set free in Christ, but called to fulfill the law through love which comes by the power of the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 4:1-5:21 - long exhortation and description of the Christian life
Ephesians 6:1-4 - children obey their parents
Philippians 2:1-11 - live with each other with the humility of Christ
Colossians 3:8-17 - living as Christians
1 John 3:11-24 - if we do not love each other, then we do not love God
See below for a few additional verses
For examples the themes of:
Search Youtube for similar themes
Fruit of the Spirit You Tubes
Ideas/strategies for lessons
View a video of a well known movie and use it as a springboard for discussion
Students create their own play/video/puppet play based on the kind of themes seen in a video
Students look at selected passages from Proverbs and students create a role play or some other presentation mode to illustrate the idea
Students use a prayer journal to read a selected passage and write down how they can apply this in their life and then pray about it - they may or may nor report back to the class
Question Box: Students place cards in the box with examples from their own experiences of an Unfriendly or Friendly incident with the question for the teacher (eg what happens now? Does this mean my friend no longer likes me? …)
TRUST: Y chart: what does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like?
Learn the Fruit of the Spirit through song (see above in Resources).