Monthly Archives: September 2013

What is sin?

Have you ever heard someone talk about sin and wonder what that means?  Sometimes people define sin as the bad choices we make or the bad things we do.  That’s a good start, but sin is more than that.  It started long ago, with Adam and Eve, the very first people.

You’ve probably heard of Adam and Eve.  God created them after the earth and plants and animals and all of that.  They were the first humans who ever lived and they had a perfect place and a friendship with God.  They talked to God everyday and they were very close to Him.  Can you imagine hanging out with God every day?  They did that.  But then they did something to mess it all up.

God had asked Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from only one of the trees in the garden.  You know what happened though?  That’s right, they ate it anyway.  They sinned.  That means they went against God’s commandment.  That’s one meaning of sin.

The really bad thing is their sin meant that everyone who ever came after them would be someone who sinned too.  That’s called a sin nature.  It means we’re all born as sinners and there’s nothing we can do about it.  We will all sin in our lives (Romans 3:23).  That part of us is another meaning of sin.  And it’s for that sin that Jesus had to die in our place.  He had to earn back our friendship with God that Adam and Eve messed up, because we can’t earn it back on our own.  We’ll talk more about what He did later this week.

How are things going with memorizing verses?  Let’s memorize this one: 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”

The Holy Spirit is God

I mentioned this before, but I want to make sure you remember.  The Holy Spirit isn’t just some thing or someone that God sent to help us.  He IS God.  The reason why He can help us is because He is God.  The reason why He can comfort us is because He is God.  The reason why He is powerful in our lives is because…you got it…He is God.

God is invisible, yet He showed himself when Jesus came to live on the earth (Colossians 1:15).  When He went back up to heaven, we had no more way of seeing Him, but now He lives in us.  If you want to read a very interesting story about the Holy Spirit, look at Acts 1:6-11 and Acts 2:1-12.  The Holy Spirit did some amazing things in the lives of the disciples and He can do some amazing things in your life too!

Can you think of one thing that God is doing right now to help you, comfort you, or make you more like Him?

Do you have John 14:16 memorized yet?  Let’s say it one more time, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever”

The Holy Spirit is our comforter

We all get scared sometimes.  We all can get worried that something won’t work out the way we want it to. But God doesn’t want us to be afraid.  He even sent the Holy Spirit to keep us from being afraid.

There are lots of bad things that can happen in life, but none of them are so big that God can’t handle them.  He’s got everything under control and He wants us to trust Him.  In those times that we have a hard time with that, He promises to help.  He reminds us of who He is and what He’s done by the Holy Spirit bringing things to our thoughts.

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit reminds us that we’re children of God if we’ve trusted in Him to save us (see more about that here if you have questions).  He helps us to feel better because He lets us know that He loves us.  And if God loves us, what could possible keep us from being happy for very long?

Keep up the great work memorizing John 14:16. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever”

The Holy Spirit is our helper

When Jesus rose from the dead after dying on the cross, He spent some time with His disciples, but then He explained to them that He had to leave to go back to heaven.  He told them not to worry, though, because a helper would come for them.  Since He couldn’t be with them, or us, on the earth anymore, He sent the Holy Spirit to help us.

It’s cool to think about what it would have been liked to walk with Jesus while He was here, but He actually said that it’s even better to have the Holy Spirit than to have Him here with us (John 16:7).  Jesus could only be in one place at a time, but the Holy Spirit can be all places, He can even be in our hearts.

So what does He help us with? He helps us to pray because sometimes we don’t even know what we should say (Romans 8:26).  He helps us to know what is right and what is wrong (John 16:8).  He helps us to understand God and the Bible (John 14:26).  He even helps us to not be scared (We’ll talk more about that tomorrow).  There’s a lot of ways, even more than these that I listed, that the Holy Spirit helps us. Can you think of any more ways?

Keep working on memorizing John 14:16. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” Do you have it yet?

The Holy Spirit is not an “it”

When you think of the Holy Spirit, what do you think of?  Maybe you’ve never even heard that name before.  Maybe in your church they say the Holy Ghost.  Lots of people have different thoughts about the Holy Spirit.  The most important thing is what God said in the Bible.

The Holy Spirit is mentioned all throughout the Bible, both in the times before Jesus came to live on earth (the Old Testament) and after He came (the New Testament).  The Holy Spirit guided the people of the Old Testament just like He does for us today, but Jesus spoke about Him in a new way.  He said that the Holy Spirit would be sent after He went back to heaven.  In other words, when Jesus returned to heaven, the Spirit took His place on earth.

Why do I say that the Holy Spirit is not an “it?”  Because things don’t think for themselves or do things on their own.  People do.  God does.  And the Holy Spirit is God.  He has a purpose and He speaks to you.  He spoke to the men who wrote the Bible to tell them what to say, He helped create the world, He helps you to pray, and He cares about you.

Let’s keep memorizing that same Bible verse.  John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever”

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Some stuff in the Bible is hard to understand.  Actually, there’s a lot of things about God that are hard to understand.  How can God be everywhere at one time?  How did He create everything by speaking?  Stuff like that.  Probably one of the things about God that’s most misunderstood is the fact that He’s the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all at once.  And while most people seem to understand who God the Father is, and Jesus the Son, they’re not sure what to think about the Holy Spirit.

Have you ever heard someone call the Holy Spirit the “Holy Ghost?”  That can be pretty confusing because it makes you think the Holy Spirit is some kind of weird invisible ghost thing.  In fact, the Spirit isn’t a thing.  He’s God.  We’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

Ghosts are scary, but God care about all of His people and He’s got good plans for you.  His Holy Spirit is sent to help you, to make you feel better, to make you brave, and to help other people through you.  There won’t be time to cover every little topic about the Holy Spirit that we could possibly talk about, but we’ll try to take a good look at just who He is and what He means to you.

Let’s memorize a Bible verse about the Holy Spirit. In John 14:16, Jesus says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever”

Jesus is coming back

Not only is Jesus alive right now in heaven, He’s promised that He’ll come back to us.  When He does return, it will be to bring all of His followers to be part of heaven. He even said there will be new earth (Revelation 21:1)!

It’s important that we know that Jesus is coming back for a couple of reasons.  First, because it gives us a great hope.  If we know that Jesus is returning we know that everything will work out for us in the end.  Second, knowing that He’s coming back helps us to realize that we need to always be prepared for His return.  We shouldn’t just get ready for Him later, we should do it now.

The Bible talks a lot about what will happen when Jesus returns in the book of Revelation.  Since it’s kind of hard to understand, ask an adult to explain to you what some of those things are.  It’s really exciting!

Keep working on Acts 4:12.  Do you have it memorized yet? “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Jesus is alive

It can be sad to think about how Jesus had to die because we’ve disobeyed God, but we shouldn’t stay sad because Jesus didn’t stay dead.  He’s alive!  When we celebrate on Easter, we’re celebrating that Jesus came back to life by the power of God and later He went back into heaven.

After He came back to life, Jesus went to visit all of His friends, the disciples, to show them that He was alive. Some of them believed Him right away, but others wanted to see proof that He was really Jesus. He showed them on His hands where the nails had gone through to hold Him onto the cross.  He even ate with them to show that He was real.  Before Jesus went back up to heaven, He had a message for His disciples and for me and you.

He said that He would always be with us, even though He left to go back to heaven.  Do you  know how it is that Jesus is always with us?  Read John 16:7 to see how Jesus promised a Helper, the Holy Spirit, to all who trust in Him.  While Jesus sits in heaven with God, allowing us to be able to pray (Ephesians 2:18), the Holy Spirit is in us, helping us to pray, to obey God, to understand the Bible, and even helping us to worship God.

Jesus is very much alive! Read John 21:1-14 to see some things Jesus did after He was raised from the dead.

Keep studying and memorizing Acts 4:12: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Jesus is Savior

One of the most important things you could ever know in your life is who Jesus is.  I’m sure you probably have heard in church or from someone else that Jesus died on the cross, but do you know why?  Do you know what His dying on the cross did for you?  If you do know, that’s awesome!  If you don’t, you need to know.

First you need to know why Jesus had to die.  You see, we’re all sinners, that means we disobey God.  He wants us to be perfect, just like He is, but none of us can do it. The Bible calls this falling short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Only someone who’s perfect can be in heaven with God, so none of us can make it… unless…

The good news is that Jesus was perfect, the only perfect person who ever lived, because He is God himself who became a man.  Because He was sinless while He lived on earth, He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that the price that must be paid for our sin is death. But since Jesus chose to die in our place, He paid that price!  This is why we call Him our Savior, because He saved us.  If it weren’t for Him, we couldn’t be with God.

If we trust in Jesus and ask God to forgive us for all of the times we’ve disobeyed Him, He’ll save us and help us to live for Him.  Isn’t that great? You know what’s even better?  Jesus didn’t stay dead.  He’s alive!  We’ll talk more about that tomorrow, though.

Do you have John 1:1 memorized?  Let’s work on Acts 4:12 now.  This one will take longer to learn: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Jesus is God

Sometime when people hear that Jesus is God, they think, “But I thought Jesus was the SON of God!”  It is true that Jesus is the Son of God, but it’s not a son like parents have here on earth.  Jesus wasn’t born, He has always been, even before the beginning of time.  The Bible says He was in the beginning with God and He was God (John 1:1).

So how can He be both the Son of God and God himself? Well, there’s a really hard to explain part of who God is, called the Trinity.  God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  They’re all God, but it doesn’t mean that there are three Gods.  See what I mean by hard to explain?  For now, all you need to understand is that Jesus is no less than God the Father, who is usually who we think of when we say “God.”

There are lots of places in the Bible that talk about Jesus being God and even Jesus said that He is God.  Look at Colossians 1:16 and 1:19 to see how it was Jesus that was used in creating the world and that He is God in a body. Now look back at the story of creation in Genesis 1:1 and think about it knowing that Jesus was creating.

Keep practicing memorization of John 1:1 today: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”