What is sin?
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
- disobeying God
- wanting to do things our way, instead of God’s way
- breaking God’s rules
We haven’t obeyed God’s rules perfectly all the time. We have all fallen short of His standard of living. God is in charge and he has made a standard (or rules) of how we should live and all of us have broken the rules. No one can live up to the standard God has given.
Who has sinned?
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23.
“There is not a single person in all the earth who is always good and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20
God is holy and because God made us to be like him, we must be holy too. But we’re not – we’re not pure. We have all sinned. The bible says that every single person has sinned.
When did sin start?
The Bible tells us about the first sin. Adam & Eve disobeyed God in Genesis chapter 3.
Since then, everyone is born a sinner. We were born with a desire to sin; a “want to” to sin.
We cannot obey God perfectly, no matter how hard we work at it. We have a sin nature that makes us like the wrong things & makes us want to do the wrong things.
“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:5
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
Why is sin a problem?
Sin is a huge problem because God and sin do not go together. God made us so we could have a relationship with Him. Because of sin, we are separated from God. We cannot have a right relationship with God because of our sin.
Sin gets in the way of our relationship with God because God hates sin! Sin is not okay with God, not even 1 sin. God can’t stand sin. God is holy and we are sinners. Sin needs to be dealt with if we are going to have a relationship with God.
Illustration: Make a sign that says ‘sin’ and a sign that says ‘God.’ Put the signs up as far apart from each other as you can. Say, “God and sin do not go together. We have learned that we are all sinners. So, we are all over here [point to ‘sin’ sign.] How do we get over there? [point to ‘God’ sign.]
Illustration: Make a whole bunch of papers that say ‘sin.’ Pile them up in front of you. Make a few papers that say ‘good deed.”’ Take one paper out of the pile. “What if I only did this one sin? Would that be okay?” Put it back in the pile. “Even 1 sin makes us guilty of all. What if I worked really hard and was really good. Would that take care of the sin? Like I am making up for my bad thing with a good thing.” Put 1 ‘good deed’ paper beside the sin pile. “Hmmm. How about doing something else good? (put another ‘good deed’ paper by the pile) No amount of good deeds can pay for sin.”
What is the punishment for sin?
“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23.
We are sinners and God is just (that means He is fair) and righteous (always does what is right). Because God is just, He has to punish sin; He can’t ignore the rules. And we all know that we haven’t followed God’s rules. We have disobeyed God’s rules.
Since God makes the rules, He also decides on the punishment for breaking the rules. Because God is righteous, we know that the punishment will be right. Because God is just, we know that the punishment will be fair.
God says that the punishment for sin is death. That doesn’t mean that when you sin you are going to drop dead immediately! It’s eternal death – being separated from God forever; not being able to live forever with God in heaven.
God can’t ignore our sin; He can’t pretend that it hasn’t happened or that we don’t deserve eternal death. God is just and so, God must and will punish our sin.
That’s a pretty huge punishment!
What if you told a little lie? That’s not such a huge thing; the punishment for it would be small, like having to say you’re sorry and telling the truth.
But what if you did something really, really bad? You would expect to be punished a lot! Like being grounded for weeks and weeks or having your favorite video game being taken away.
Is the punishment for our sin little or big? Well, eternal death is a big punishment; that means that our sin must be really big to deserve that kind of punishment.
Think about the punishment for sin and you will start to realize just how bad our sin really is.
What can we do about sin?
There’s nothing we can do to save ourselves. It’s already too late. There is nothing we can do to help ourselves. We can’t work hard enough; we can’t be good enough.
Telling kids about sin is vital. Kids need to understand that they are sinners and that sin is a huge problem that they cannot fix. This is a big concept to understand. Let kids sit with it for a while. Give them a chance to mull it over. Give them a chance to realize that it is personal. All have sinned – them means me!
But always leave kids with the hope of a solution to that problem! God is our good & loving King and He is kind to sinners. He hasn’t treated us the way we deserve. God has a plan. God made a way for sin to be punished and for sinners to be saved! God sent Jesus to take our punishment and be our Savior!
Check out the other blogposts in this series!
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Introduction
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about God
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Sin
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Jesus Part 1
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Jesus Part 2
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Salvation Part 1
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Salvation Part 2
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Following Jesus Part 1
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Following Jesus Part 2
- 7 Tips for Sharing the Gospel with Kids
- Recommended Resources for Helping Kids Understand the Gospel