UB David + I'll B Jonathan, Inc.

under a special agreement with

this lesson is written by The Mailbox Club International

presents Explorers Series 1

 

UB David + I'll B Jonathan, Inc.

under a special agreement with

Explorers Series 1

Series 1
Lesson 7: Four Questions

Four Questions

Dear Friend,

What is the most terrible thing in the universe? It is SIN!

Sin changed Lucifer from a beautiful angel into Satan, the enemy of God. Sin ruined God’s beautiful creation. Sin brought lying, cheating, stealing, hatred, murder, sadness, sorrow, sickness, and death into the world.

God hates sin!

When we see all the terrible things that sin causes, we can understand why God hates sin. God says that there is no sin in Heaven, so if we want to go to Heaven, we must be forgiven of all our sins.

In this lesson we are going to find the answers to four important questions:

1 What is sin?


2 Why do I sin?


3 How does God show me that He loves me?


4 How can I be forgiven of my sins?

1 What is sin?

Sin is thinking wrong things, saying wrong things, and doing wrong things

The Bible talks a lot about sin, but what is sin? Sin is thinking wrong things, saying wrong things, and doing wrong things. Every sin is a sin against God.

In the Bible, God gives us many commandments

In the Bible, God gives us many commandments. These command-ments tell us what is right and what is wrong in God’s sight. When you disobey these commandments, you are sinning against God.

• God says, "Honor your father and your mother." When you talk ugly to your parents or disobey them, you are sinning against God.

• God says, "Obey those who have the rule over you." When you talk ugly to your teachers or disobey your teachers, you are sinning against God.

• God says, "You shall not lie." This means that you must tell the truth. When you tell a lie, you are sinning against God.

• God says, "You shall not steal." This means that you must not take anything that does not belong to you. Cheating is stealing because you are taking information that does not belong to you. When you take something that does not belong to you, you are sinning against God.

Donna came to her Bible teacher with a big problem. She said, "I tell so many lies. I lie to my teacher at school. I lie to the principal. And I lie to my mother."

"Why do you tell so many lies?" asked the Bible teacher.

"I tell lies to keep from getting into trouble," said Donna.

Surprised at this answer, the Bible teacher pointed toward Heaven and asked, "But, Donna, when you tell a lie, who do you get in trouble with?"

Donna thought a moment and said, "God!" It seemed as though she had never realized that telling a lie got her in trouble with God.

"Well, would you rather be in trouble with your principal or with God?"

"The principal," said Donna.

"And would you rather be in trouble with your mother or with God?" asked the Bible teacher.

"I would rather be in trouble with my mother any day than be in trouble with God," replied Donna.

"Then quit lying!" said the Bible teacher. "If you have done something wrong, tell the truth and take your punishment, but don’t lie. That gets you in trouble with God."

"I didn’t know that," said Donna. "I won’t do that again."

Every sin is a sin against God

Note: If anyone wants you to do anything that is wrong, anything that is against what God says, God does not want you to obey that person. Say “NO” to that person.

2 Why do I sin?

The reason I sin is that I have sin in my heart. I was born with sin in my heart. It is sin that causes me to say, "I will do what I want to do!"

Choosing my way instead of God’s way is sin. We have all done this. The Bible says, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…" (Isaiah 53:6).

Sin hurts us, and sin hurts other people. But the worst thing about sin is this: Sin hurts God’s heart! The reason sin hurts God’s heart is that He loves us so very much. Jesus tells us that we must “repent” of our sins.

To show us what repentance is, Jesus told of a father who had two sons. He was a good father and he loved his sons. One day he needed his sons to help him. He went to the first son and said, "Son, go work in my field today."

father and son

This son had a bad attitude. He was really rebellious. He said, "I WILL NOT GO!" Do you think the father was pleased with this son? No, he was not. He loved his son and he was hurt by his son’s rebellious attitude.

The father said, "I will go to my other son." He went to the second son and said, "Son, go work in my field today."

The second son said, "I will go, sir!" But he did not do what he said he would do. He did not go. Do you think the father was pleased with this son? No, he was not.

The father’s heart was really broken now. His sons were acting very badly. He walked away slowly.

Meanwhile, the first son had been thinking about how good his father had been to him. He saw how wrong he had been and how he had hurt his father’s heart.

He had a "turn around" in his heart attitude. He repented of his sin. No doubt he went to his father in tears and asked his father to forgive him. Of course the father was glad to forgive him. Then the son did what his father had asked him to do.

(See Matthew 21.)

Do you know why Jesus told us this story? He wanted us to see how we have hurt God’s heart by our sin. I am like the son who said, "I will not go!" Jesus said that if I want to be forgiven of my sins, I must repent.

repentance means to turn around

What does it mean to "repent"? It means to "turn around." When I see that I have been going the wrong way, what should I do? I should turn around and go God’s way. That is repentance. It is more than just saying, "I am sorry." It is saying, "I am sorry and I will not do that again," and then turning away from it and not doing it again.

3 How does God show us that He loves us?

Satan tells us that God does not really love us. He tries to make us think that God hates us because of our sins. The truth is that God loves us with all His heart.

Suppose that I am the principal of a school, and I make a rule that there is to be no fighting. I write the rule on the chalkboard, and the whole school sees and hears it. I say also that there is to be a punishment if anyone starts a fight.

In the school there is a boy named Jimmy, whom I love very much, but Jimmy gets into a lot of trouble. I have had to punish him several times. At recess Jimmy starts a fight. Everybody sees him. I also see him start the fight.

When recess is over, all the children come into the auditorium. All the students are looking at me to see what I will do. I have a son of my own in the room. John is my only son, and I love him dearly. I ask John to step out in the hall with me.

I say, "Son, Jimmy has broken my rule. There must be a punishment. I must keep my word. Jimmy thinks that I hate him because he broke my rule, but you know that I love him.

I want to ask you, ‘Will you take Jimmy’s punishment for him?’"

My son says, "Yes, Father, I will do anything for you that you wish. And I love Jimmy too."

I bring my son before the whole school and I say, "Jimmy has broken my rule against fighting. You know that I said that there is to be a punishment if anyone breaks my rule.

I must keep my word. But my son John says that he will take Jimmy’s punishment. He says that he will do this gladly for me and for Jimmy."

Then I punish my son. I punish him just as if he had broken the rule himself. When the punishment is over, I say, "Jimmy, I want you to know that I love you and I have nothing against you—nothing at all. I want you to come forward now and give me your hand."

Jimmy comes forward in tears. He takes my hand and says, "I did not know that you loved me so much!"

Jimmy comes forward in tears

How does God show us that He loves us? God shows us how much He loves us by what He did for us. He gave His only Son to take the punishment for our sins. The Bible says, "God shows His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

4 How can I be forgiven of my sins?

Dear friend, has God shown you the sins that are in your life? Have you realized that God loves you, and your sins hurt His heart? Have you seen that the reason you sin is that you choose to go your own way instead of God’s way? If you have seen that you have been going your own way and that your sins hurt God’s heart, I have good news for you:

God wants to forgive you!

God says, "I will forgive you if you will only turn to Me." You can turn to God right now. Find a place where you can be alone with God. Tell Him that you want to stop sinning. Tell Him that you want to "turn around" and go His way. Thank Him for giving His Son, the Lord Jesus, to take the punishment for your sins. Tell Him that you are trusting Jesus as your Savior. Thank Him for forgiving you of all your sins.

God forgives us because Jesus took the punishment for our sins.

You ask, "How can I be sure that all my sins are forgiven?" You can be sure because God says so in His Word. He says, "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His [Jesus’] name’s sake" (1 John 2:12). God forgives us because Jesus took the punishment for our sins.

Not only are your sins forgiven, but God gives you a new life. The Lord Jesus comes to live in your heart so you can stop sinning. The name Jesus means “Savior.” Jesus is the Savior who saves us from our sins.


Matthew 1:21 (graphic by Stephen Bates)


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