Kids Bible Lesson on Romans 5:12-21: Jesus Paid It All

Jesus Paid it All! Sunday School Lesson on Romans 5 and God’s Grace

What does it cost to get to Heaven? How can we achieve salvation? Well, the bad news is that we all fall short of God’s glory, and no one is capable of earning or buying grace. Because of Adam, we are born into sin, which bears the consequence of death. The good news is that through Jesus, we have eternal life and righteousness! Jesus pays the price and takes away our sin. Through one man, evil came, but through another man, we have hope.

This is essentially the Gospel in a nutshell! The law points out our faults and sins, reminding us that all have inherited sinful nature from the Fall. Thanks be to God, we have salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ our Lord, who gives us His righteousness! We don’t get the punishment we deserve for our sins, but instead enjoy the free gift of God’s grace and eternal life.

More Bible Teaching Ideas

Passage: Romans 5:12-21

Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade

Materials Needed: Construction paper; paper plates; cotton balls; glue; markers or crayons; pictures of mountains; popsicle sticks; camping gear; tape; scissors; decorative supplies; Bibles.

Lesson Opening: This passage describes the importance of God’s grace. We certainly don’t deserve it, but our sins are paid for by Jesus. We are blessed and counted righteous because of Him. Open with some activities to spark thought and introduce themes. Some possible ideas include:

  • High stakes reward/punishment: Invite students to participate in a challenge. Provide several trivia questions or physical activities. Explain that if the students can complete them, they’ll get a special prize. But if ONE person misses a question/activity, everyone will be “out” and not receive the treat! However, the group can choose a “savior” to fix the mistake and earn back the treat.
  • What does this cost? Look at a few high-cost items, and identify what it would cost to purchase them. Discuss money, and what it means to pay for things. What would it take to save up and buy certain things? (This could be better for older students.)
  • Act it out! Illustrate the principle with kids. Have a student come to the front of the class, and give them a heavy load to carry (stack of books, bags, etc.). Continue to pile on more things, explaining that they are like the sins we are born with because of Adam’s decision. Invite another student (or teacher) to come and carry the load instead, remembering that Jesus takes the heavy things away and lightens our load through His death and resurrection!
  • Swap it! Provide each child with a simple item, and invite them to trade it with an item from another student. Explain that they must switch items at least twice. If they still do not like the item they end with, they can trade it with a leader for a better item. Explain that God lets us trade our sins for His love and grace.

Explain to students that today’s lesson is about what Jesus does for us. We do not get the punishments that should come from sin, but we get God’s free and wonderful grace! We will see how we inherit a sinful nature and how we can be redeemed by Christ.

Bible Lesson:

This passage is from the book of Romans, which contains a lot of wonderful words about grace. Explain to students that this part of the Bible, called an “epistle”, is based on letters that Paul wrote to churches. The passage is fairly straightforward for reading, but might require extra explanation for younger audiences. You might have students take turns reading these verses, or you could choose to read them out loud and pause to explain and discuss what is being said.

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. -Romans 5:12-14

These verses might be a little challenging to understand, especially for younger students. Summarize the idea here. Review how sin entered the world: Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Unfortunately, because of that, everyone is born with sin. It’s sort of like having the same color eyes or hair as your parents. Our parents pass along traits to us, and Adam passed along sin to everyone. The reason we need laws and rules is that we are naturally inclined to do the wrong things. We start out unclean, and because of that, we are born knowing that we will one day die.

Ask: How does it feel to know that you were born already “infected” with sin?

It sounds a little bleak. But thanks be to God, it isn’t hopeless! God had a plan all along, and someone else came to help take care of our sins…

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. -Romans 5:15-17

Here is the good news! Adam’s sin brought upon all of us sin and condemnation. That means we are found guilty, and ultimately doomed to die. But God gives us grace instead! That means that we get something we don’t deserve. We deserve death, but instead we get the opportunity for eternal life. Jesus gave His life for us as a free gift. That gift means that we will not die, but be looked on as righteous. It means that God looks at us and does not see our sins, but sees us as good. The blood of Jesus erases all of our bad things and makes us clean and new. We can be with Him because He paid the price for us, instead of us!

Ask: Has anyone ever bought you a special treat, or given you something for free, just because? God’ grace is a free and wonderful gift that anyone can have!  

 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 -Romans 5:18-21

Ultimately, it all leads to God’s glory. When sin is present, it seems like death and darkness are in charge. We might feel powerless to free ourselves from evil, and on our own, we are. But because of Jesus Christ, God reigns. His power is far greater than anything else, and we have the hope that He gives us grace, forgiveness, and righteousness. He takes away all the bad stuff and trades it for life and hope!

Ask: How do you know that God has forgiven you?   

If there are children with you who might not already have a relationship with the Lord, this is a great opportunity to invite them to think about learning more, or to pray with them. Remind students that even though God gives us grace, we still make mistakes. We will still sin every day, but God forgives us! We can always pray and ask for help doing the right thing. If we believe and trust in Jesus to save us, we can know that we will have life with Him. Alleluia!

Close with prayer, thanking God for His grace and the new life we have in Jesus.

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