Another children’s object lesson from the doctrinal summaries of the Disciple’s Study Bible.
SCRIPTURES: I John 3:4, Romans 3:23
OBJECTS: a mock speed limit sign, a target
Today I want us to think about a word you probably hear all the time in church–the word “sin.” We talk about the sins people commit and how Jesus died for our sins. We ask God to forgive us of our sins. But what exactly is sin? I want us to look at sin today in two different ways that will help you understand it better.
I brought a couple of things to show you. First, I’ve got a sign. This is the kind of sign you see when you’re in the car. It’s a speed limit sign. You’ll see speed limit signs both in town and out on the highway. The sign tells us how fast we may drive our cars. We’re not supposed to go over the speed limit. Speed limits are laws, and if you break the speed limit a policeman can pull you over and write you a ticket. Then you’ll have to pay a fine, because you’ve broken the law.
God gives us laws, too. He has laid down laws in His word, the Bible. One way we can sin is by breaking God’s law. For instance, the Bible says, “Honor your father and your mother.” Now if you disobey your parents this afternoon, you won’t get picked up by the police! But you will be breaking God’s law, and that’s sin. I John 3:4 says, “Everyone who sins breaks the law…” That’s talking about God’s law.
I brought something else to show you. This is a target. We might use a target to shoot a gun at or to throw darts at. If you’re really a good shot, you may get a “bull’s eye.” If you’re pretty good, hopefully you’ll get close. If you’re not so good, you might miss the target altogether. That’s an example of another kind of sin.
Romans 3:23 tells us, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” We sin by missing God’s target. Even if we could make it through the day without breaking one of God’s laws, we still wouldn’t be as good, as kind or as loving as He wants us to be. There would still be good things He would want us to do that we wouldn’t give our best to, or perhaps wouldn’t even try to do at all. We all fall short of God’s target for our lives.
So what happens when we break God’s law and miss His mark? We’ll talk together next time about the consequences of sin.