“No one will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.” Romans 3:20
Our lessons from Week 2 focused on the effects of sin in our lives and our need for wholeness. Not only are we broken people, but the world we live in is also broken. On Day 1, we studied the effects of sin on creation. We began in the book of Genesis by reading passages about creation and God’s proclamation that it was good. After sin entered the world through the eating of fruit by Adam and Eve, we read how the earth became cursed because of man’s sin. (Genesis 3:17-19) Paul states in Romans 8:19-22,
“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning, as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. God promises to make all things new including the earth. (Revelation 21:1-5)
We evaluated our sensitivity to sin and our proclivity for false worship on Day 2. Looking back at Genesis 3, we considered how Adam and Eve chose a piece of fruit instead of obedience to their loving Father’s wishes. We also responded to how exchanging truth for a lie speaks broadly to the human condition of sinfulness.
We considered the severity of God on Day 3. The three words that instantly come to mind when I think of God’s severity are wrath, punishment, and separation. What about you? We also responded to questions that dealt with hell.
Our lesson on Day 4 continued this thread by considering not only God’s severity but His loving kindness and justice. We must acknowledge the depth of our depravity and God’s severity in order to embrace the fullness of His kindness. We considered why Jesus had to die for the sins of humankind. During this lesson, we also learned more about sacrifice in the Old and New Testaments and the importance of blood. Old Testament sacrifices never removed the sin of God’s people because the sacrifice was the blood of bulls and goats which can never atone for sin. (Hebrews 10:4) Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. The cross is the intersection of God’s wrath and His grace, of His love and His justice.
Week 2 concluded with our Day 5 lesson on our need for wholeness. We must be far-sighted and look to the eternal and not to the temporal. Nothing in this world holds meaning or will bring lasting fulfillment when compared to Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Just as Jesus offered the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:13,14 water that would forever quench her thirst, He offers the same to us. His gift to us is a continual filling of water that will well up to eternal life. Jesus brings wholeness to our lives.
Questions to Ponder
- Have I ever considered the ripple effects of sin?
- How do I feel about Matt Chandler’s suggestion that severe weather is an example of the far reaching implications of sin? Do I agree or disagree and why?
- What do I feel is the root of sin?
- Do I really believe that all types of sin are a big deal and deserving of hell? Why or why not?
- Why did Jesus have to die for the sins of humankind?
- Why is the gospel a message of wholeness?
- What practical actions can I take today that look to eternity?
Awesome job this week! Keep up the good work — we’re almost halfway through our study!
Start the lessons of Week 3.