#4: Man is Sinful (10 Essential Gospel Truths for Kids)

10 Essential TruthsToday we continue our detailed look at a presentation given by Jill Nelson at the 2007 Children Desiring God Conference entitled “Presenting the Gospel to Children.” In my last post, I introduced the series (including links to both the audio and the handouts.  Thus far we have looked at the following:

Today we will continue with the next Essential Gospel Truth which kids need to understand to combat false gospels and to understand the true and saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So, let’s get started.  ESSENTIAL TRUTH #4 IS:

Man is Sinful.


In her talk and in the handouts to the talk, Ms. Nelson gives poignant, concise and theological sounds explanations for each of the truths which will work great with kids.  I have included my notes of these explanations below, but I would encourage you to listen to and/or read her full narratives as well.

  • If we are to live with God forever, we must obey all his rules.
  • We must never do anything wrong.
  • Have you ever disobeyed one of God’s commands?  Which ones?  Have I?
  • God’s commands show us that we do wrong things an we don’t obey God all the time.
  • All people, even children and babies, are sinners.
  • That means they are the opposite of righteous and holy.
  • Sin is disobeying God.
  • We are born with sin.
  • We are born with a sin nature.
  • That means we desire to sin.
  • Like the baby who arches his back when he doesn’t want to obey and go in the seat or the toddler throwing a tantrum.
  • We get our sin nature from Adam and Eve.
  • We show we are like them by the wrong things we think, say, desire and do.


  • Millions of examples every day.
  • Use teachable moments
    • Like when a child envies a toy
    • Or has a fight with a friend
    • Or shows a love for things
  • What does this prove about you?
  • Illustrate sin nature with examples from the animal kingdom
    • Lions would choose meat rather than lettuce.  He desires meat.
    • Rabbits would choose lettuce rather than meat.  The rabbit desires lettuce.
    • The fish desires the worm.
  • Illustrate Romans 3:23 with mirrors
    • Take mirror and put mud all over it
    • What does the mirror reflect?
    • What changed?  The thing being reflected or the mirror?
    • Our hearts no longer show back to God that he is the greatest.


The implication of this truth to kids is:

You have disobeyed God’s commands.  You are a sinner.

Scriptural Support

Romans 3:20

For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. [Romans 3:20 ESV]

Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [Romans 3:23 ESV]

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