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Uncovering a Perfect Life

Aim: For each child to recognize that Jesus pleads for His children before God, and to seek to become His child

Core Competency: Identity in Christ

Objectives: The children will

  • Realize that anyone who claims to be free from sin is a liar
  • Accept Jesus as our atoning sacrifice and mediator

Key Verse: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness ( 1 John 1:9 )

Story: "Walking in the Light " ( 1 John 1:1-9 )

Materials Required:

  • Liquid Paper (optional)
  • penny
  • saucer
  • food coloring, green
  • candle, red
  • matches
  • jar
  • water

Eye on Science:

Advance Preparation: Ensure that the candle will stand by itself on the saucer without falling over (if not, mold a small stand from aluminum foil or clay). The candle should be about 2/3 as tall as the jar.

Mix a few drops of food coloring into the water, so that it can be clearly seen by the children.

In Class: Compare preparation of a formal letter or newsletter today with 50 years ago. The "old" approach used a typewriter; when the "f" key was pressed, a metal hammer whacked the paper through a ribbon, immediately "printing" an "f" onto the paper. If you meant to press "d" instead of "f", the "f" could not be undone. Compare this to sin - once a sin is committed, it cannot be "undone". Consequences will follow.

To cover up the "f" and replace it with a "d", you had to roll the paper out of the typewriter, paint over it with Liquid Paper (show), blow dry, roll the paper back into the typewriter, position it correctly, and press "d". Much work! And, of course, you can always scrape off the Liquid Paper to reveal the original error - it has been covered but not erased! In the Old Testament, to receive atonement for sin, you had to acquire as perfect of a lamb as possible, confess your sin to the priest, have the lamb sacrificed, and (in some cases) spend a week outside the camp as "unclean". Much work - but God would forgive the sin.

Nowadays most editing uses a computer. If an "f" is accidentally pressed, the backspace key will erase it without a trace. When we sin, we have Jesus Christ who will "erase" our sin as if it never existed. All of the guilt is completely gone.

Application: Are you covering up your sin, or has Jesus erased it completely?

The apostle John (not John the Baptist, but the disciple) lived with and was trained by Jesus for three years. In his first letter to the church, he begins by describing how to "walk in the light".

Three points stand out in the first chapter:

  • 1 John 1:2-4 John witnessed Jesus giving eternal life to His followers; in the same way, a Christian today experiences God's forgiveness and renewal. John proclaimed this message so that others also could have fellowship with God and with other Christians.
  • 1 John 1:5 God is perfect light. Sin is darkness, and so nothing touched by sin can exist in God's presence. Everyone has sinned, and this sin separates us from God.

    Demonstrate this separation by taking the penny (which represents a child) and placing it in the saucer. Take the "icky green liquid" (which represents sin) and pour into the saucer until the penny is well-covered. Point out that you cannot pick up the penny without getting the green water on your fingers. Similarly, God cannot touch the sinner because of the sin in his life.

  • 1 John 1:7,9 If we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful (He does what He says) and just (He fulfills all requirements of the Law), and forgives our sin through His blood sacrifice. In so doing, He purifies us from sin so that we can be reunited with God.

    Demonstrate this by taking the candle (which represents Jesus) and placing it in the water (which represents His incarnation into this world). Light the candle (Jesus was the light of the world, John 1:5,9 ). Place the upside down jar over the candle but not over the penny (representing that Jesus suffered and died for our sins). As the candle burns, dims, and finally dies, the green water should be sucked under the rim and into the jar, leaving the penny uncovered (Jesus took our sins on Himself, so that we can be purified from them).

Close with the true story of Brother Andrew's gibbon. Brother Andrew was a daring missionary who smuggled Bibles into the old Soviet Union, where they were illegal to own or read. Before becoming a missionary, he was in the navy. During a stop in Africa, he obtained a young pet gibbon (a small monkey).

Brother Andrew's shipmates loved the gibbon almost as much as he did. One day one of them touched the gibbon's side, and it screamed in pain and fled to the corner. Gently, Brother Andrew retrieved his pet and examined its side. Early in life, someone had attached a wire around its waist; now the wire and grown into the skin, causing it to be very sore and tender.

Patiently, Brother Andrew took his very sharp knife and shaved the hair from around the wound, then cut away the skin where it had grown over the wire. The gibbon watched him carefully, but seemed to understand that he meant him good. Finally, Brother Andrew cut through the wire and removed it from the gibbon's waist.

Immediately the gibbon leapt to its feet and scampered around the room full of joy, hugging the sailors and grinning. The life-long pain was gone; he was free!

Application: Is sin still controlling your life and separating you from God? Won't you go to Jesus and have it removed once and for all?

Used: KIDZ 03/98 , KIDZ 06/02

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