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Practice repentance

Practice repentance

Stain a cloth with berry juice, then remove it with lemon juice.

Discussion point: Jesus’ sacrifice means our sins can be “washed away” when we repent.

To complete this science experiment, you will need these supplies:

a white cotton cloth
berries (fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries or raspberries)
lemon juice                                          
measuring cups
a cookie sheet                                     
a spoon

  • Prior to beginning the experiment, create a stain on the cotton cloth using the berry juice.
  • Invite your children to try to wash the stain out using water. (Bath time is an ideal time for this activity!) Point out that the berry stain is like sin; no matter how hard we try, we cannot get rid of sin on our own.
  • Next, place the stained cloth on a cookie sheet. Have your children pour lemon juice on the stained area, one teaspoon at a time. As you do so, explain that the lemon juice represents God’s power.
  • Read 1 John 1:9 and rinse the fabric with water. Explain that our job is to confess our sins and that God is the one who purifies us (or washes our sins away). You may need to pour hot water through the fabric if it is a tough stain.
  • Use the questions provided below to prompt discussion. Finish by taking time to pray together, asking God if there is any sin in your lives that He wants to remove. Personal confession can be done aloud or quietly.
Questions for discussion
  • Could you wash the stain out using your own strength?
  • How do we get the dirt off the outside of our bodies?
  • Can we wash our insides?
  • What did get rid of the stain?
  • Who does the lemon juice represent?
  • What do we need to do to get rid of our sin?
  • What is the difference between a proud person and a humble person?
Key concepts

It can be hard to admit that we have sin in our hearts. It can also be difficult to accept the fact that we cannot get rid of our sin using our own strength. The berry stain is like our sin. We cannot get rid of it on our own. Jesus did not sin, so He was able to be the perfect sacrifice and take the punishment for everyone’s sins.

The great news is that God will forgive the sins of anyone who asks and will purify our unrighteousness. A proud person will not admit they have sin in their lives and they will refuse to ask for God’s help. A humble person will confess their sin and ask God to wash their sin away.

Relevant Scripture

Acts 3:18-20 “But this is how God fulfilled what He had foretold through all the prophets, saying that His Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus.”

Hebrews 9:14, 27-28 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! …Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”

James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

1 John 1:6-8 “If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

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.”