This is an object lesson to teach children about how throughout their Christian life they will become more and more like Christ. They will learn about the concept of sanctification in a concrete way.
Appropriate Age: K-6 (will be best understood by the older children)
- One plastic bottle (perhaps labeled with name of the person it will represent)
- One large tub of water (preferably a tub which is clear)
- Set the tub of water and the empty plastic bottle on a table where all of the children can see it.
- Explain that the tub of water represents God and the bottle represents a person. The person can be yourself or a child in the room to make the object lesson more realistic and personal for the children. For this lesson, I will have the bottle represent the teacher and therefore use the pronoun “I” to represent the bottle.
- “If I am this bottle, then before I came to Christ I lived apart from God.” Point out to the children how the bottle and the tub of water are separated. They are far apart and not together.
- “As I learned more about sin and Jesus dying on the cross for sin, I moved a little closer to God.” Move the plastic bottle along the table closer to the tub of water.
- “When I became a Christian, I then jumped in the water. I turned away from my sin and believed that Jesus was the only way to be forgiven of my sin and to have peace with God. I then had a personal relationship with God. I knew Him!” Now take the bottle and place it in the tub of water.
- “When I put my faith in Jesus to gain forgiveness of my sin. The Holy Spirit came to live inside of me.” Point out to the children how the empty bottle is now filling with water from the tub.
- “Throughout my life as I learn more about God and the Holy Spirit works on my heart to become more like Christ, I begin to resemble Christ.” Point out to the children how the bottle is sinking to the bottom of the tub and becoming surrounded by water.
- “The longer I am a Christian the more the Holy Spirit will work on my heart to get rid of sin, the more I will get to know God and the more Christ-like I will become. This bottle is surrounded by the water. It is almost as if it is the water. But, it is still a bottle right?”
- “I will always be me just like this bottle will always be a bottle. But, the longer I am a Christian the more like Christ I will become in my attitudes and my actions because the Holy Spirit will be changing my heart.”
- “Now imagine if this tub of water was the ocean! The bottle is now on the bottom of the ocean and filled with salt water! It is almost as if this bottle is a part of the ocean, but it is still a bottle. Imagine that I am still this little bottle. I know God. I am filled with His Holy Spirit. I know a lot about the part of the “ocean” where I spend most of my time, but will this little bottle get to explore every part of the ocean? “
- “Just like this bottle, I will never be able to fully know God while here on this earth for His greatness is far too big for me to know. Yet I can still know Him and the Holy Spirit will still work in my life to shape me into being as Christ-like as I can be while living here on earth. I will still be me with my sinful nature just like this bottle in the ocean will always be a bottle, but it is exciting for me to be filled with, surrounded by and consumed by God. I can think of no better way to spend my time than by getting to know Him better and becoming more like His Son Jesus Christ!”
Romans 6:22 “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”