Questions About the Covenants:
- Q: What is a covenant?
- A: A covenant is an agreement between two or more persons.
- Q: What is the covenant of grace?
- A: It is an eternal agreement within the Trinity to save God’s chosen people.
- Q: What is the Old Covenant?
- A: An agreement between God and Israel established at Mount Sinai in the giving of God’s Laws.
- Q: Did Israel keep the Old Covenant?
- A: No. The Israelites disobeyed God’s laws, breaking the covenant and bringing God’s wrath upon them.
- Q: What is the New Covenant?
- A: A covenant that depends completely on God’s promise to save his elect people from their sins.
Ask your kids, “What is the biggest difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant?” The main difference is that the New Covenant depends on God’s promise, not his people’s obedience.
- Q: What did Christ do to fulfill the New Covenant?
- A: Christ kept the whole law for his people, suffered on the cross for their sins, and rose from the dead so that they might share in his life.
The reason the New Covenant does not depend upon our obedience is not because God doesn’t care about obedience. It is because Jesus has obeyed for us. He did what we cannot do. Not only that, but he took the punishment for our sins and rose in victory over death. This is the Gospel!
Questions About Jesus
- Q: Did our Lord Jesus Christ ever sin?
- A: No. He was holy and obeyed God perfectly.
- Q: How could the Son of God suffer?
- A: Christ took on flesh and blood and became a human being so that he could be a substitute for sinful humanity.
This is the heart of the Gospel. Make sure your kids understand what it means for Christ to be our substitute. You can illustrate it my telling the story of a big brother who decides to take his little brother’s (or sister’s) after the younger sibling got into trouble for hitting the older brother. We’ve sinned against Jesus, but he takes the punishment for our sins. That’s a substitute.
- Q: What is the atonement?
- A: The atonement is Christ satisfying God’s justice by his suffering and death as a substitute for sinners.
- Q: What kind of life did Christ live on earth?
- A: Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to God’s law.
- Q: What kind of death did Christ die?
- A: The painful and shameful death of the cross.
- Q: For whom did Christ die?
- A: For the whole world, but especially for those whom the Father had given him.
It’s typical in evangelical churches for only the first half of this answer to be taught. But the Scriptures also teach that the death of Christ was a death in the place of his people. He bore the sins of his people. Those who do not belong to him (i.e. the non-elect) receive great benefits because of Christ’s death on the cross, but their sins have not been atoned for. Otherwise, their sins would be punished twice: on the cross and then in hell.
Questions About Salvation
- Q: Who will be saved?
- A: Only those who repent of their sin and believe in Jesus will be saved.
- Q: What does it mean to repent?
- A: To be sorry for sin, to hate sin, and to turn away from sin and follow Christ.
- Q: What does it mean to believe in Jesus?
- A: To know that your only hope is Christ and trust only in him for salvation.
You can teach your kids about faith and repentance with a simple illustration. Go in a dark room and turn the lights on in an adjoining room. The dark room represents sin and the lighted room represents Christ. In order for us to believe in Jesus and go into the lighted room, we have to leave the dark room. Leaving is repentance. We automatically turn away from darkness when we face the light, and we automatically turn away from sin when we trust in Jesus.
- Q: Can you repent and believe in Jesus by your own power?
- A: No. Only God by his Spirit gives repentance.
Since the Bible tells us that we love the darkness rather than the light, it makes sense that we will never leave the darkness behind so long as we don’t want to. We need God to give us new desires so that we will turn away from sin.
- Q: How were God’s people saved before Christ came?
- A: They believed in the Savior to come.
- Q: How did they show their faith?
- A: They offered sacrifices according to God’s commands.
- Q: What did these sacrifices represent?
- A: They were symbolic of Jesus, the lamb of God who died for sinners.
Even many adults are confused about how God saved people in the Old Testament era. The Scriptures teach us that they were saved in the same way as New Testament believers: through faith in Christ. They faith was forward looking and the object of their faith was symbolized in many of the temple regulations and the sacrificial system. They did not experience the work of the Holy Spirit in the same way as New Covenant believers, but the object of their faith was Christ and they were justified by that faith just as we are.