Teaching children about salvation -- the Christian belief that Jesus Christ is God, but became a human and died to atone for the sins of the world -- can be difficult. By making the concept simple enough for children to understand, and using object lessons, songs, games and illustrations at their level, you can teach children about salvation. By reinforcing these ideas through the early years, children can grow into stronger Christian adults.
Songs can be a great way to help a child memorize an important concept. Singing to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel," say these words and do the actions in parentheses:
"Hear, Believe, Confess" (point to your pinky finger, ring finger and index finger sequentially with each word) "Be baptized in water" (slide your finger down your index finger and up your thumb) "Rise up anew to walk in Christ" (point to your thumb on the opposite hand) "And live like you ought to" (wag finger like a teacher at a student)
Games can reinforce an idea to a child and put it into practical terms. In a spin on "The Price is Right," gather eight small items from around your home and a Bible and make a poster or sign that says "Heaven." Write the price of each of the small household items and the Bible on one side of an index card. On the opposite side, write a price that is either higher or lower in red ink. For the "Heaven" poster, make the actual value $0 and the value in red $10,000. Fold the cards so that the red prices are showing and place in front of the items. Allow each child to guess whether the price of each item is higher or lower than the value in red ink on the card. Keep score for the children and for each correct answer, give one point. Once you get to Heaven, ask the same question about the price and regardless of the answer, explain that going to Heaven is absolutely free. Offer a treat to any child who guessed correctly.
You can further a child's understanding of salvation by reinforcing the idea with an object lesson. Start by asking "What is sin?" The answer is "Sin is anything that we do, think or say that goes against what God has told us in the Bible to be Truth." Then ask for examples of sin. Write sins on a hard-boiled egg with a permanent marker. Explain that the egg is like our hearts before we meet Jesus. Explain who Jesus is and that he did what he did because of the sins on the egg. Peel the egg. Explain how Jesus's act on the cross has changed our heart from messy and full of sin to clean and soft.
Help the children to create a "salvation railroad" in a hands-on activity that shows them how the steps to salvation are connected. Create one train car each for "Believe," "Pray," "Repent," "Confess" and "Baptism" for each child. Using glue and construction paper, instruct the children to put the cars in order and explain the path to salvation through this illustration.
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