20 balloons with 10 Commandments and other laws written on them. Here is my list:
1. No other gods.
2. No carved images.
3. Don't take God's name in vain.
4. Keep the Sabbath holy.
5. Honor your mother & father.
6. Don't murder.
7. Don't commit adultery.
8. Don't steel.
9. Don't lie.
10. Don't covet.
11. Don't eat pork.
12. Stay away from blood.
13. Don't cheat others.
14. Give tenth of everything to God.
15. Feed the hungry.
16. Comfort the sick.
17. Help the poor.
18. Don’t call anyone bad names.
19. Forgive debts.
20. Don't go to fortunetellers.
Treats for everyone.
Verse(s): Acts 13:38-39
Goal: Provide an object lesson demonstrating the meaning of justification.
Set-up/Introduction: Discuss the Law in the old testament/covenant, and how the only way to right with God (righteous) is to keep the law perfectly. Produce a bag with the first 10 balloons and explain that if they can keep all ten balloons afloat, they will get their prize.
Activity: Start throwing first 10 balloons in the air reading each caption. Pickup any balloons that hit the ground explaining that this is a law they have broken.
Start introducing the next 10 balloons explaining that there are other laws that had to be kept.
After a period of time, have children catch the remaining balloons and have a seat. (I did not time this, but it would probably be a good idea.)
Conclusion: Quickly review the number of laws they broke vs. the number they did not. The rule was that not a single balloon could hit the ground to get your prize. But I am going to give you your prize anyway. This is called "grace".
The old covenant said that not a single law could be broken. You had to be perfect to be right with God. But no one can be perfect. As Christians, Christ was perfect for us, so we are made right with God by His grace.
Today we read, "Brothers, listen! In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is freed from all guilt and declared right with God--something the Jewish law could never do." (Acts 13:38-39 NLT) This is called being justified which means as Christians it is "just-as-if-I'd" never sinned.
Continue discussion of justification, grace, etc.