Think of a relationship you really cared about that became broken.
- What was that like?
- How can that be like our relationship with God?
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Just like our actions can hurt a relationship with another person, sin can affect how we relate with God. The good news about being a Christian is that Jesus forgives all our sin, but the bad news is that we still sin every day. This study will help us know what to do about this.
There is a difference between our relationship with God and our fellowship with God. Our relationship as God’s child never changes once we trust in Jesus (just like you never stop being your mom’s child). However, sin affects our fellowship with him and the way we know his love and forgiveness.
The Bible is full of people who cared about God and promised to follow him, but then messed up. Israel’s King David is an example. He loved God, but then slept with a woman who wasn’t his wife. To cover it up, he had her husband murdered. When his friend found out, he called him out on it. Suddenly David realized how far he was from God and was broken-hearted about it. He wanted to follow God, but could God ever forgive him? Yes! David confessed his sin to God, which restored his fellowship with him. David wrote a song in Psalm 32 to express how he was feeling about that. Let’s read it.
Read Psalm 32:1-7
1. Describe how David feels physically in verses 3-4.
2. What caused him to feel this way?
3. What did he do to deal with his sin?
6. In verses 6 and 7, how does David respond after being forgiven and relieved of his guilt?
Once we invite Christ into our lives, we have a RELATIONSHIP with him. No one can ever take that away. No matter what you do, your RELATIONSHIP with God doesn’t change. However, our FELLOWSHIP with God is broken when we sin. Kind of like when you lie to your parent, you are still their child, but there is a distance between you and them. When you confess your lie to them, and they forgive you, the FELLOWSHIP is restored. The same is true in our FELLOWSHIP with God.
7. How does it affect you and your fellowship with God when you hold onto a sin and don’t confess it?
8. Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. What does God do through Jesus to let us experience his love and forgiveness?
9. Read 1 John 1:9. Just as David experienced God’s love and forgiveness when he confessed his sin, we can too. Confession involves three things whenever we become aware of our sin:
So let’s try it out…
Here is an activity to help you experience God’s love and forgiveness right now:
CALL IT SIN – Write down on a piece of paper a list of the ways you have sinned.
CALL IT FORGIVEN – Write down 1 John 1:9 over your list and thank God for forgiving your sin. Then rip up the list and throw it away as a reminder of how God has taken away your sin.
CALL ON GOD to change you – Pray and ask God to change you and take back control of your life.
Confessing your sin isn’t just a one-time thing. Whenever you become aware of sin in your life, practice the three Cs so you can continue to connect with God.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.