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Theme Romans 3: A Study in Faith Basics



Big Question What’s a Christian?



Romans 3:21-28

Christians are sinners

Scripture Memory Romans 3:21-28

Overview Section


Large Group

Small Group

Extra Time

Students will . . .


build relationships and have fun!

Pre-Start Activities (pp. 8, 9), SuperStart! DVD (Intro Loop), SuperStart! CD, CD and DVD players, TV or projection equipment

Get-Started Activity (5 minutes)

list sins.

SuperStart! DVD (Countdown), DVD player, TV or projection equipment, pieces of scrap paper, pencils, paper, marker, masking tape, scissors

Teaching Time (15 minutes)

discover that Christians are sinners.

SuperStart! DVD (Ancient Ruins Clips, Lesson 1), DVD player, TV or projection equipment, Bible

Worship (10 minutes)

praise God for helping them with their sin problem.

SuperStart! CD, CD player

Scripture Study (15 minutes)

study the Scripture to discover that Christians are sinners.

SuperStart! magazines, Bibles

Scripture Memory Discovery (5 minutes)

learn Romans 3:21-28.

Bibles (optional: paper, markers, straws)

Life Application (5 minutes)

discuss a challenge for this week.


Recap (5 minutes)

be encouraged to let God help them with their sin problem.

(optional: Lesson 1 CD print files Challenge cards)

Extra-Time Activities

further explore the lesson.

Unit 1 Extra-Time Activities (p. 12)

Pre-Start Activities (15 minutes before class begins)

Things to do ahead of time:

1. Set out the supplies for the Pre-Start Activities. 2. Collect supplies for the small groups. Go to for downloadable PDFs of the small-group time that you can e-mail to small-group leaders. 3. Make sure the DVD and CD players and projection equipment are cued and ready to go.

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(15 minutes before class) Supplies Pre-Start Activities (pp. 8, 9), SuperStart! DVD (Intro Loop; Countdown; Ancient Ruins Clips, Lesson 1), SuperStart! CD, DVD and CD players, TV or projection equipment, pieces of scrap paper, pencils, paper, marker, scissors, masking tape, Bible

Before Class Using masking tape, mark off a fairly large area on the floor where students will scatter their papers in the Get-Started Activity. Cut a large cross from paper and display it on a wall. On the CD is a Big Question poster and a Scripture Memory poster for Unit 1 and Eric’s photo. You may want to print and display these in your area. You can display the Big Question poster above Eric’s photo, as shown below.

Choose several of the Pre-Start Activities for students to do as they arrive. You can play songs from the CD and show the DVD Intro Loop as students have fun and interact with the volunteers.

Large Group

(30 minutes) Get-Started Activity, Teaching Time, Worship Get-Started Activity (5 minutes) Play one of the Countdowns when you are ready to begin the Get-Started Activity. Give each student a pencil and several pieces of scrap paper. Challenge students to write a different sin on each of their papers and then scatter the papers in the area you’ve marked off on the floor. It’s best if there are lots of papers on the floor and it doesn’t matter if there are duplicates. If students run short of ideas, prompt them by suggesting they think of wrong things people say and do at home, at school, on sports teams, while hanging out with friends, and so forth. Teaching Time (15 minutes) Prepare students for the video by saying, For several weeks we’re going to watch video clips of a reenactment of the games of the ancient Õibii (Who wee bee) people. The three tribes of the Õibii got together every year to compete against each other and to celebrate who they were as a people. For the reenactment, Samantha, Eric, and Tabitha are the chiefs of the three tribes and Patrick is the master of ceremonies. In today’s clip, let’s watch to see what happens to Samantha, chief of the Paui tribe. Show the video clip. After the video clip, ask these questions and solicit one or two answers for each: happened that wasn’t right? (Samantha accidentally cheated.)  What  do you think should happen? (Samantha’s team should be  What  disqualified. The competition should be redone.)

do you feel when you realize you did something wrong,  How 

whether it was an accident or not? (bad, embarrassed, mad)

Except for Jesus, all of us do wrong things. We sin. Have a volunteer come to the front and read Romans 3:23. Ask:

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are some examples of sins? (stealing, fighting, killing,  What  gossiping)

Select four volunteers, two boys and two girls, to come to the front. Have the boys pair up and the girls pair up. Have one student from each pair use masking tape to wrap his or her partner in the masking tape, sticky side out. Have the students being taped stand with their hands at their sides while their partners wrap them with tape from their hips to their shoulders. Continue talking while the students are wrapped in tape. Sins are those actions, words, or attitudes that don’t please God. Sins can be what we think, do, or say that don’t please God. We fight and hurt each other. We steal stuff that doesn’t belong to us. We forget to do our chores or just don’t want to do them. We do what we want instead of helping someone who needs help. We say hurtful words to others, or don’t say them but think them. Did you know that thinking something bad is the same as doing it? First John 3:15 says that anyone who hates his brother is a murderer. All of you wrote down some sins on paper and put those papers on the floor. You made a mess on the floor! Let’s use our two taped people to help us with an experiment. Let’s see if our taped people can pick up all of the sins from the floor.

Bible Insight Romans 3:21-23 This passage makes it very clear that all people have sinned. Throughout chapter 3, Paul affirms that everyone has sinned, both Jews and Gentiles. No one is righteous. Because of that, all people are in need of God’s grace and redemption.

Teacher Tip If you have time and would like to add more thoughts from Scripture, see these passages: Romans 3:9-12; 5:12; 7:15-20; 1 John 1:8.

Help the two taped people lay on the floor where the papers are. Ask the rest of the group to encourage them as they roll around for a few minutes, trying to pick up as many papers as they can without using their hands. With about 20 seconds left, let the tapers help stick any remaining sin papers to their partners so that all of the papers get stuck to one of them. When time is up, help the volunteers stand up and ask: How is sin like picking up the papers on the floor? (sins sort of stick  to you, lots of people encourage you to sin, I don’t always see that something is a sin)

Read some of the sins listed on the papers. The Bible tells us that we all sin. It doesn’t matter if we’re Christians or not. CHRISTIANS ARE SINNERS and non-Christians are sinners. It would be great if people suddenly stopped sinning as soon as they became Christians, but it just doesn’t work that way. What happens when we become Christians is that Jesus forgives us of our sins. Carefully cut the tape from the students and attach it to the paper cross. Because God wanted to help us with our sin problem, He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us. And when Jesus died on the cross, He took our sins. When we become Christians, God gives us the Holy Spirit who lives within us and helps us not want to sin. For these reasons, Christians are different from people who aren’t Christians. CHRISTIANS ARE SINNERS, but Le sson 1

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Christians can take their sins to God and He will forgive them. With the help of the Holy Spirit, Christians do their best not to sin, but when they do, they know they can ask God for forgiveness. For the next few weeks we’re thinking about a big question, “What’s a Christian?” Be thinking how you would answer that question. Today we’re discovering that CHRISTIANS ARE SINNERS. If you ever want to talk more about what it is to be a Christian, be sure to talk to your parents or your small-group leader. Worship (10 minutes) Ask students to join you in praising God for helping us with our sin problem. Lead in two or three songs from the CD, especially “Shout!” Lead in prayer, confessing sins and thanking God for helping us with our sin problem. Have students go to their small groups to go deeper into God’s Word and for relationship building. Q&A with Tabitha If you have time, there are three fun review questions on the DVD for this lesson (Q&A with Tabitha, Lesson 1). You can have your own Ancient Ruins adventure by choosing one boy and one girl to be the contestants, or have the boys compete against the girls. Pause the DVD player after each question so students can answer. You can use this fun video clip in lots of ways: at the end of the large-group time, at the end of the small-group time while you’re waiting for parents to arrive, just before the lesson Recap in the small-group time, or during the Pre-Start Activities. It’s one more fun way to help students remember the important concepts in the lesson. Review Questions 1. Samantha broke her staff because she a. was upset that she cheated in the competition. b. killed a spider with it. c. didn’t like the way it looked. 2. Sin is a problem that a. only non-Christians have. b. only Christians have. c. everyone has. 3. When you sin, it’s best to a. hide it. b. tell God about it. c. pretend it never happened.

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Small Group

(30 minutes) Scripture Study, Scripture Memory Discovery, Life Application, Recap Scripture Study (15 minutes) Hand out the SuperStart! magazines and ask students to turn to page 17. Have students read the “lowest” facts. Talk about how low we can feel when we sin. See if students can come up with a description of how low they feel when they sin or describe the lowest they have ever felt after doing something wrong. Have students turn to Romans 3 and ask for volunteers to read aloud verses 21-23. Discuss how people in Old Testament times tried to obey God’s law, including the Ten Commandments. But now God has given us a different way of being righteous—by having faith in Christ. Everyone sins, but the good news is that everyone can be made right before God, no matter what they’ve done. Ask the following questions. Encourage all students to participate and be sure to give students time to think about the questions. can we be made right before God? (by believing in Jesus and  How 

Supplies SuperStart! magazines, Bibles (optional: paper; markers; straws; Lesson 1 CD print files Challenge cards­—print and cut out one per student)

Teacher Tip Be sure to be sensitive to your students’ reading abilities. Ask for volunteers to read aloud or be sure to call on those whom you know like to read aloud. Include reluctant readers by asking them to listen as you or others read Scripture aloud and let them answer questions.

having faith in Him to take away our sins)

does Paul say there’s no difference among people? (because we  Why  all sin, because we all do wrong no matter who we are)

does it seem so easy to sin? (life is complicated, there are lots  Why 

of people who want us to do wrong, there are lots of temptations, we tend to do what we see others doing)

everyone sins, including Christians, why don’t we just give up  Since 

and quit trying not to sin? (God sent Jesus to take away our sins. We’ll never be perfect, but God will forgive us when we ask Him.)

For the prayer time, have students form a semi-circle around one volunteer. Have the volunteer fall backward while the rest of the students catch the volunteer before he reaches the floor. Remind the students that God will be there for us when we sin and start to feel low. Give all the students the opportunity to fall backward while the rest of the students catch them. Encourage students to pray, thanking God for being there for us, forgiving us when we sin.

Le sson 1

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Optional Activity Give students paper and markers to make targets. Have them put their targets several feet away. Tell students to blow small pieces of paper through straws to try to hit the center of their targets. Compare how impossible it is to hit the center of the target each time with how impossible it is for us to not sin. As volunteers read aloud each verse of Romans 3:21-28, have students blow one piece of paper through their straws at their targets.

Scripture Memory Discovery (5 minutes) Our Scripture memory for the next few weeks is Romans 3:21-28. Have students look at Romans 3 again and ask for volunteers to read aloud verses 21-28. There are some pretty deep thoughts in these verses, including some bad news and some very good news.

 Who can be made right before God? (ever yone who believes in Jesus)  What causes us to fall short of God’s glory? (our sins, our lack of faith)

CHRISTIANS ARE SINNERS, including you and me. Being sinners is not something we’re proud of. But when we ask God, He will help us with our sin problem. Challenge students to mark Romans 3:21-28 in their Bibles, read it every day this week, and work on memorizing it. Life Application (5 minutes) Get students’ ideas about what they can do in response to knowing that CHRISTIANS ARE SINNERS. One suggestion you can make is that students could make a large cross outline to put in their rooms. On pieces of masking tape, they can write their sins and attach them to the cross outline during the week, asking for God’s help to not sin. Another suggestion you can make is for students to place a paper target in their room as a reminder to aim for God and ask for His help to not sin. Remind students to come prepared next week to share what they did in response to knowing that CHRISTIANS ARE SINNERS.

You may want to give each student a Lesson 1 Challenge card to take home. Collect the SuperStart! magazines for use in the following weeks.

Recap (5 minutes) CHRISTIANS ARE SINNERS, and that includes me. Tell about a sin that you struggled with as a preteen and how God helped you. God is not surprised by our sins. He knows that we all sin. God doesn’t want us to make excuses or cover up our sins. He doesn’t want us to feel like we’re any better or any worse than anyone else. God just wants us to come to Him and let Him help us with our sin problem.

Extra Time

As you have time, let students participate in one or more of the ExtraTime Activities on page 12.

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