On Sunday we began a three-part series on sharing the gospel with children. Once the problem of sin and the need for a Savior has been established with a child, you can then explain how God has dealt with sin through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Make sure children understand that Jesus took their place in suffering and dying, that it was their punishment He took. Also emphasize the fact that Jesus is stronger than all sin and death. They held no power over Him and He never sinned! Your conversation might look something like this:
“Is there any hope? Can we ever have God’s life again to be able to know and glorify Him? Yes! We can. Because God is so good and loving and powerful, He has made a way. He sent His Son Jesus to come into this world to live and die for us. Jesus was God and man at the same time.
When Jesus lived, He never sinned. He was perfect. So when He died on the cross, He wasn’t dying because He was being punished for His sins. Instead, because He was perfect, He could take all of our sins and pay for them. He took the punishment that should have been ours. He took our sins to the cross with Him and they were buried with Him. They were gone and then He rose again because He had beaten sin and Satan. They weren’t stronger than Him. He took them away and then there was no more sin that could keep Him dead.”
How Do We Have God’s Life?
Explain that salvation is offered to all people, but that it requires a response. We don’t just automatically get salvation unless we respond and receive it.
“And all the sin and all the punishment that should have been ours, Jesus took so we don’t have to keep living in it. Does that mean everybody just “gets” God’s life and can keep on living just the way they are right now? No, it doesn’t. Remember, we’re all born without God’s life. In order to be rescued from sin and the flesh and its power and punishment and be filled with God’s life, He tells us two things: repent and believe.”
Ensure a clear understanding of repentance.
“Repent means to turn away from something and go the other way. So you repent of your sin. You confess your sins (agree with God that they’re wrong) and then turn away from them and decide that that’s not what you want in charge of your life anymore. You’re completely done with sin. You hate it and realize how much you need Jesus to clean and save you from it.”
You could illustrate this by walking one way and then turn around and go to the other way. Repentance is a complete turning around. You can’t go both ways at once. You can’t follow sin and God at the same time. You have to choose between them.
Ensure a clear understanding of belief along with the fact that as you repent and believe God gives you His life (His Holy Spirit) and you give Him yours. He’s the good, great King and Shepherd you now have the joy of knowing, obeying, and glorifying.
“After you repent, then you choose to believe that when Jesus died on the cross, He took all your sin and died so you wouldn’t have to. When He died, it was enough. There’s nothing more you can add to the payment for your sin. Nothing you do makes you better. Nothing you have done is too bad to not be forgiven. You must realize there’s absolutely nothing you can do to earn God’s forgiveness and get His Spirit. You must understand that Jesus alone is the way back to God and trust that He alone can save you from sin. You can’t try to do anything to save yourself.
And as you do that, you completely give yourself to Jesus and understand that you must live with Him as the King of your life. You can’t just keep on going your own way. He’s in charge now. He’s perfectly good and loving and you can trust Him completely. You don’t have to be afraid of Him being King, but you can’t ask for Him to save you while still living with the flesh (yourself) in charge of your life and deciding how to live.”
The Spirit Given
“As you repent and believe, God takes away your sin and makes His life, His Spirit, live in you again. That means the flesh is no longer in charge. You’re completely new because instead of being dead without His life you now have His life in you. That means you can know Him and love Him and want to be like Him and actually be like Him.”
Come back Sunday for the final post of this three-part series and learn how to communicate to a child truths of the Spirit-indwelt life.