This post is the ninth in a series on our new CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs. All the lyrics to Sing the Bible are word-for-word Scripture. I hope this series helps parents talk with their kids about each passage on the CD.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1-2
Even beginning a blog post about this verse, I have to stop and breathe, and pray.
If I take these words seriously, it changes everything. This verse changes how I treat people, how I see the world, how I spend my time, and even my body chemistry. It changes my breath, my heart rate, my stress level, my posture and my skin. It moves the wrinkles from my brow to the sides of my mouth. It makes me want to sing.
However, this verse is not a popular Sunday School verse for children. Adults usually don’t expect children to grasp the weight of their sinfulness or the depth of their need for forgiveness. But tell me, who really grasps the weight of their own sinfulness? Do you really understand the depth of your need for forgiveness? Do I? No way.
Here’s where I start with my kids: This verse presents 6 questions.
1. What does “no condemnation” mean?
2. What does “in Christ” mean?
3. What is “the law of the Spirit”?
4. How does the Spirit give life?
5. What is “the law of sin and death”
6. How does the Spirit set me free?
The age of the child will dictate how this goes, but if I really listen, I’m usually astounded at the simple truths in their answers. And just as a reminder, our goal is not helping them achieve total understanding. It is spending time with them in the context of Scripture. Trust that The Lord is teaching you both. And when in doubt, remember the cross.
They will probably say something terribly incorrect, but there’s no hurry. Feel the freedom to let some things go unexplained. Or admit you don’t know. You can say “Hmmm” or “very interesting” or even “I don’t know about that” if they start talking reincarnation or something. Sure, we want them to learn, but we also want this conversation to continue for years to come.