“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans chp3 verses 22-24.
Week two of our ‘Two Ways to Live’ teaching was taught by Chris. It’s a difficult subject but very important. He used a very funny video of a man doing everything for his dog (a person dressed up as a dog) and then in the end the dog just ran off to do his own thing. With the Benny Hill theme tune in the background it played like a silent movie, but it was well received and a really good illustration to start our session off.
These days ‘sin’ is unfashionable. People don’t like to admit they are in the wrong with each other, never mind with God. We live in an age that says whatever is right for you is OK. Clearly the consequences of this are reported in our news every day.
‘Sin’ is not a word people outside the church are familiar with, but if pushed they would probably say it meant judgement, a word to make people feel guilty, bad and worthless. A word to condemn people to hell.
Sin, however, is God’s way of showing us that we ignore him. As he made the world, all the world rightfully belongs to him. Even as a parent I can appreciate how angry it would make me if my kids ignored me, refused to do anything I said and acted as if I didn’t exist while taking every good thing from me.
Explaining ‘sin’ to our Good News Group is important. At the heart of the Christian gospel is the message that we have sinned at God and that we need his forgiveness. As Romans 3 says – there is no difference. We are all able to receive his grace (undeserved acceptance). We need to explain ‘sin’ before we can tell them the fantastic, wonderful, exciting news about Jesus saving us.
Therefore we begin with explaining that we have IGNORED God. Ignored is a simple and effective word we can demonstrate through drama and illustrations that mean something to the people in our group.
We have developed this by introducing the word (and sign) for ‘sin’ and explaining it with this mnemonic.
- S = Shove off God
- I = I’m in charge
- N = no to your rules
With a lot of reinforcement we are finding that many of our group are taking this on board and now are showing us that they are gaining an understanding of sin. What is wonderful to note is that when we began, some of them thought that sin was about doing ‘bad’ things. That could easily lead to people thinking that if only they did more good things they would be OK with God on their own efforts. To explain the saving grace of Jesus – we all need to know we can’t save ourselves. As Romans 3 says; “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”