#4) Man is sinful.
Suggested Verses: Romans 3:20,23
Explanation: “In the Bible God’s law – the Ten Commandments – show us that God is holy and righteous.
God’s people must also be holy and righteous. If we are to live with God in heaven forever,
we must obey all of His commands perfectly, all of the time. We must never do anything wrong. Can we do this? Have you ever disobeyed any of God’s commands? Which ones? Have I?
So God’s commands also show us something else – they show us that we do wrong things. God’s commands show us that we don’t obey God all of the time. God’s commands show us that we all break His laws. That means that everyone – all people, even children and babies – are sinners. Being a sinner is the opposite of being holy and righteous. Sin is disobeying God. When did our sin begin? We were born with sin. From the very first moment you started growing inside your mommy’s body, you had a sin nature – the desire to sin. When a little baby gets angry and arches his back because dad is putting him in his car seat, he is acting out his sin nature. When a little toddler stamps her foot and says, “NO!” to mom, she is acting out her sin nature.
We received our sin nature from the first people, Adam and Eve, when they sinned in the Garden of Eden. And we show that we are sinners like them by the wrong things we think, desire, say, and do. For example: We don’t’ always love God most of all. We don’t obey His good command to honor mom and dad. Sometimes we lie about someone”
(Teachable moments: sassying back, envying a toy/game, fighting with friend, demonstrating more love for things than God. Use these & point to commandment that was broken and ask your child “What does this prove about you?” Be sure they know that Mommy & Daddy have the same problem by admitting sin & pointing back to the commandment broken)
---Demonstrating Sin Nature to children---
Animal World concerning “instinct”:
· Lion: “If a lion has the choice between eating a head of lettuce or the meat, what will he always desire? The meat. Because animals are made with an instinct to desire meat.”
· Rabbit: “If a rabbit has choice between meat or the lettuce, the rabbit will desire the lettuce. Because the rabbit has an inborn desire to eat plants and not meat.”
· Take kids fishing: (Put a worm on a hook) “You offer a fish a worm and it’s desire is for the worm regardless of the hook. It goes after the worm even though that worm will mean the death of the fish.”
Always end those examples with “That’s a little something like what our sin nature is with the desire to sin.”
---Romans 3:23-all have fallen short---
· Mirror Activity: (Take mirror & plaster mud all over it. Then show your child a flower and say, “What does the mirror reflect? Is it doing what it’s supposed to do? What changed? Did the flower change & become ugly? Or did the mirror change? That’s a little something of what it means when we fall short of the glory of God. Because we are sinners our hearts no longer show back to God that: He is the best, that he is the greatest. (*Please refer to Essential Gospel Truth #2 for previous Mirror Activity)
Implication: You have disobeyed God’s commands. You are a sinner.
Heather’s thoughts: How easy Jill (ha ha-like I know her!) has made it for us to think about presenting these gospel truths to children. The “Instinct” example of a lion is so great for teaching about Sin Nature. That can definitely be used for preschoolers. Many seem to know even what carnivores & herbivores are with Dinosaurs. (Hey, we could use a dinosaur example too!)
Jeez, yesterday, today and tomorrow I think are a few of the hardest gospel truths to teach children. I believe that they are most hard for us because they are often overlooked in presentations of the gospel. Thus when hardely talked about, they are definitely hard truths for us to hear about ourselves-let alone telling them to children. However, as I have mentioned before, their souls are just as important as a co-worker that we want to know Jesus or a neighbor or someone at the grocery store. Therefore, how can we NOT tell our children these truths? We must tell them-in their language/but not leaving out or sugar-coating the truth.
Anyways, as you can probably see, this gospel truth will naturally leads to the very next essential truth which is “God is JUST & is RIGHT to punish sin.” Tomorrow will be tough-just know that.