The students will understand that everyone has sinned and must repent and ask forgiveness for the things they have done wrong. They will be able to identify behavior which is sin.
Introduction: Show a picture of a child misbehaving. Ask the question: What is the child doing? What makes him do this?
Progression of Events:
Climax: Since that time, every person is born with sin in his heart. Use the black page of the Wordless Book.
Conclusion: The sins that we commit reflect the darkness of sin with which everyone is born.
Response: Have each student identify behavior which is sin, and conclude that each of us has committed some of these sins.
SIN: The Hebrew word hatta'th means "missing" and the Greek, hamartia, "missing the mark." Other Hebrew and Greek words are translated as ''transgression, impiety, depravity," and "violation of the law."
God endowed man with the power of choice and man sins when he chooses to transgress or violate the Law of God; he misses the mark God intended and made possible for him. The first sin in the universe was an act of free will in which the creature deliberately, and with perfect understanding, chose to corrupt the holy, godly character with which God had endowed him.
Children bear a resemblance to their parents. Therefore all mankind, as children of Adam and Eve, bear a resemblance to them in that all have sinned (Romans 5:12). And all come under the penalty of death, but "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
God was looking for love and fellowship from man, His creation. In order for there to be real love there must be a choice: a choice to give love or not to give love. That is why God took the risk of giving man a choice to disobey.
Sin in its most basic form is choosing to love the world, flesh or devil instead of loving God. That is why the greatest commandment is to love God, because it is the very purpose for which we were created (Mark 12:28-30).
Special Unit Instructions:
Use the black page of the Wordless Book to stress the spiritual need of the children. Tell them that the dark page reminds you of sin, or things that are wrong. When it is dark, we stumble and cannot find our way. When we are in the darkness of sin, without God's help, we cannot find Him. Sin separates us from God who is holy. God cannot allow sin where He is.
All of us have sinned (Romans 3:23). Help your children recognize what sin is by explaining some of the sins common to their age level, such as lying, disobedience, etc. Then explain that God has said sin must be punished. The punishment is eternal death—to be separated from God forever. If we have sin in our hearts, we cannot go to Heaven where He is. God knows there is nothing we can do to get rid of our own sins, but He loves us and made a way for us to have our sins taken away.
Write the following equation on a chalkboard or large poster: Adam and Eve plus Disobedience equals Sin. Use this equation to talk briefly about how Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sinned. Bring out how everyone is born in sin as a result. A telephone will ring—pre-recorded. Answer the phone, and have a conversation with a child in the second or third grade. This child describes a problem—cheating, lying, stealing or some other sin. In conversation tell him about Jesus, explaining that all have sinned. Make clear that Jesus must come into our hearts and remove the sin. The child's voice should be pre-recorded. Use "pause" button while you respond. A short wrap-up probably would be required, perhaps using some questions to ascertain whether the students fully understood.
Briefly darken your entire department. Ask the students whether they like it better when it is dark or when it is light. Point out that we can't play games in the dark, read a book, see something beautiful, etc. Darkness can be scary. Bring out that God doesn't like darkness, and He doesn't want darkness in our hearts.
Ask several teachers and/or students to recount one time they did something wrong, to illustrate the point that we all have sinned. Be sure to conclude by saying that God has forgiven these sins, and that all sin needs to be forgiven.
Bring a large picture or model of a wild horse. Talk about how that horse needs to be broken (have his will conquered and made to be obedient to instructions) before he would be of any use to his owner. Compare this to our need to let Jesus take control of our life and conquer our stubborn will.