How do you explain justification to your tween?


Use the following dialogue with your Tween to talk about the amazing gift of justification we have in Jesus! God the Father had a plan of grace for us (Grace-unmerited favor-receiving something we do not deserve). Jesus has taken the consequence that we ALL deserve when he shed His perfect blood for our sins.

Something amazing happens when we believe by faith in Jesus we are forgiven and freely justified. Think of it as “just-if-I-had” never sinned. Really? Jesus’ work and sacrifice on the cross frees me from the consequence of my sin and declares me innocent?

Yes! That is what is so amazing about grace! While the following story pales in the comparison to the awesome work of Jesus, it might help to understand a little more about the gifts of grace, justification, sacrifice, and atonement for our sins as seen in Romans 3:23-25.

One day two kids were playing in their neighborhood. Although they had been warned several times about trespassing on Mr. Erie’s property, they could not find it in themselves to stay away from his interesting house.They were always a little fearful of the house, but also quite curious.

Everyday Mr. Erie was seen bringing in new electronic devices or other interesting and fun looking items. The kids began playing around his house. One of the boys dared the other to throw a rock at the side of the house. This was in order to see if Mr. Erie was home. If he came out they would hide and leave later, but if not they would go take a “peek” at the intriguing items through the window.

Even though he knew he shouldn’t, the child threw the rock at the house anyway. Unfortunately, his throw was off and he threw it right through the window. It shattered into a hundred pieces.

Mr. Erie came running out, grabbing both children by their arms, pulled them in and sat them on the couch. The boys were terrified. They knew they were guilty of trespassing and disobeying their parents. They were fearful for the consequence they knew was coming.

Mr. Erie called the police and the two boys were taken to face the Judge immediately. Mr Erie started telling the Judge how guilty these two boys were and saying mean things about them. The Judge was just about ready to deliver their “just deserved penalty” for each child to pay $50 fine and 10 hours of community service, when in comes a Friend.

This Friend asks to speak to the judge and says the following. “Your honor, I know these boys extremely well and I love them so much. I want to trade places with them. Not only do I want to pay their fines in full, I want to work off their community hours as well.

Your honor, you know I am an honest man, and I am innocent of all charges. However, in addition to taking their fine and community service, I would also like to transfer their guilty verdict to me and give them my innocent record.”

The gracious Judge slammed down his gavel…and said “By this amazing act of sacrifice, love and grace I declare both of these boys innocent and all penalties and fines are “paid in full;” just-as-if they had never disobeyed their parents, trespassed, or broke the window. Boys go in peace.”

Then the Judge turned to the Friend and said with a gentle smile, “I am well pleased and thank you for your willingness to carry out My plan.”

Questions –

  1. From the story who do you think the Judge represents in real life? Mr. Erie? The Friend? The two children?
  2. Think back through this story and put yourself in place of one of the children. What do you think about the Judge and the Friend now?
  3. How do you think this story relates to what Jesus has done for those who trust and accept His gift of justification and grace? Think about how much great the love of our Heavenly Father is and Jesus sacrifice on the cross. It is not just for one court case or a fine. It is for all eternity and with it comes a reward of Heaven and our Friend Jesus forever.

If you have already received this amazing gift of justification, grace and forgiveness of sin, take time to thank Jesus it for it. now.

If you have not accepted this free gift from Jesus you can do it right now by talking to an adult you trust or by talking to Jesus directly in prayer. The following verses and ABC acrostic can help you.

  •  A- ADMIT you are a sinner & ASK for forgiveness!
    Romans 3:23- “For all have sinned & fall short of the glory of God.”
    1 John 1:9- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
  • B- BELIEVE in Jesus as your Savior & BECOME a child of God by receiving Him!
    John 3:16- “For God so loved the world that He gave His one & only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
    John 1:12- “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
  • C- CONFESS that Jesus is Lord & CHOOSE to follow Him daily!
    Romans 10:9- “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
    Luke 9:23- [Jesus said,] “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”