12/14/2022 - God Takes Sin Seriously.
We are not simply wrong people who need to do better; rather, we are dead people who need to be made alive.
What comes to mind when you think about sin? Consider your emotions—does the thought of sin make you sad? Angry? Indifferent? To fully understand the beauty of salvation and the power of grace, you must take sin seriously.
Consider what our sin says about God. Sin says God may be powerful, but not enough to deserve ultimate authority in our lives. Sin exploits God’s mercy and disrespects His patience. Sin says God is not worthy of our obedience. Sin isn’t just a mistake; it is serious. Why? Our sins are first and foremost against an infinitely holy God.
In Ephesians 2, Paul describes our state apart from Christ not merely as broken or flawed; he says we are dead in our sin. We are not simply wrong people who need to do better; rather, we are dead people who need to be made alive.
God confronts this bad news with a surprising response. Look at Ephesians 2:4-5: “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses.”
The good news of the gospel increases in its gravity as our awareness and hatred of sin increases. If sin seems like no big deal, the cross is not very impressive. When we have a right understanding of the seriousness of our sin, the gospel is good news—the revelation that we who are dead in our sin can have true life as a free gift in Christ.
As you prepare to teach, take a moment to reflect on your sin and to thank God for His mercy. Pray that God would graciously reveal to kids their sinful nature and desperate need for salvation as well as His holiness and provision of Jesus as the Savior they need.
Check out the resources below designed to help you lead a family worship experience as well as suggestions for morning and evening prayer times and family activities. You can also find the Adult Daily Discipleship Guide that accompanies our adult groups.
FAMILY TALKING POINTS
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.
Preschool: God loves us and sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus rose from the dead. Everyone who believes in Him will live with God forever.
Kids: God takes sin seriously. People deserve to die for their sins, but God loves us and sent His Son, Jesus, to defeat death by dying on the cross for our sins and rising from the dead. Everyone who trusts in Jesus has eternal life.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.
Preschool: What is the punishment for sin? The punishment for sin is separation from God.
Kids: What is the fair payment for sin? The fair payment for sin is death.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.
Preschool: [God] made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved.(Ephesians 2:4-5 Adapted)
Kids: But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved-. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Mornings: Ask God to help you seek forgiveness when you disobey or hurt others. Which of your thoughts or actions need forgiveness? How will you ask that person to forgive you? In what way do you hope they will respond?
Evenings: Praise Jesus for His work on the cross to pay for our sins and to provide forgiveness to all who believe in Him! Why was Jesus’ death necessary to provide forgiveness of sins? What must you do to receive this forgiveness?
For Fun: Play a game with your kids where you hold your hands behind your back and let them take turns slipping their arms under yours to act as your hands. Let them “help” you make a sandwich and eat it. Talk about how Jesus’ work accomplished what we could never do for ourselves. Praise Him for being the perfect sacrifice who offers forgiveness of sin.
To Serve: This week be the hands for someone you know who could use some help, or for someone you see as you are out and about. Hold the door open at the store or make a meal or cookies and deliver them to a neighbor. Read 1 John 3:16-18 and discuss how we can show Jesus’ love by helping and serving others. Discuss some ways you can share the gospel while helping others.
Adult Daily Discipleship Guide
** Next week: Christmas Celebration!