Session 5: The Creator Destroys and Redeems

noahs-ark-1bI am going to type up a little intro for this video and then I am going home for the evening. Wait. First I am going to grab some artwork from the internet in order to insert a picture here in the text and then I will go home and save the typing for tomorrow. Hold on. I think I should just head home and wait until tomorrow to do it all. Actually, if I can finish it all now then I will be able to other things tomorrow.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

We all struggle with decisions and we often look back and regret some of the choices we made. Sometimes these are small regrets, while other times we would almost give anything to go back and make some changes. At least we know that God never changes his mind…or does he?

This week we will be learning about the Flood from Genesis 6. One of the most difficult issues in the text comes in verse 6 where it reads, “And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.”

He was sorry. Some translations say that he regretted making man. Did God mess this one up? Did he make a bad decision? Does he change his mind?

I hope to give you some guidance in this video as to how to approach this question theologically. I don’t know if your lesson will deal much with his verse or if anyone in your class will really press this issue. I want you to be ready to give an answer, though.

Study well. Pray much. Teach like you believe what is written in the book. Rest in grace.

Additional Resources:

Here is an article from Christianity today that gives a good perspective on how to see the love of God even in the midst of what looks like a harsh response to human activity.

When we consider the issue of God changing his mind, Exodus 32 comes to mind. This is the text that tells us that while God was ready to wipe out his people, at Moses’ pleading he relented. IMB president David Platt preached a great message on this text last year at a “Together for the Gospel” conference in Louisville, KY. You can watch a video of that message here.

I copied a few pages from Wayne Grudem’s, Systematic Theology regarding the unchangeableness, or immutability, of God. This is a good resource to help you think through some of the things that I bring up in the video. Grudem says it better than me, for sure.

God’s Immutability_Grudem

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Session 4: The Spread of Sin

cain-slaying-abel-jacopo-palma-1590As I write this post we are trying to diagnose and fix a water leak on the church property. A water main that runs under the parking lot has a leak that is causing a washout to occur, leaving a hollowed out portion of earth hidden from plain sight.

This situation reminds me of the way sin works. Desires that churn under the surface leave a gaping hole in our hearts that often goes undetected for some time. Eventually, we see the washout, or the manifestation of that sin before us. We all know that by the time we see the evidence of sinful actions, our sinful desires have already been running rampant.

This week we are studying the story of Cain and Abel as it is recorded in Genesis 4. We will learn all about how sin spreads. The spread of sin begins with evil desires, results in condemnable actions against others, and is overcome only by God’s mercy and promise.

I am praying for you as you teach this critical lesson.

Session 3: Human Rebellion

genesis-3-serpent-adam-eve-angel-flame-sword-bigWhy do bad things happen to good people?

Wait…let’s rephrase that.

Why do bad things happen?

That is a more appropriate question since bad things seem to happen to good people, bad people, and everyone in between.

We can’t get away from the reality that the world is messed up. And if we have such a good God, why are the messed up parts even allowed to be here? Many people will look at the evils in our world and use their presence as an argument against the existence of God. As the church, we can’t shy away from engaging people who struggle in this area. And let’s be honest. We have probably all struggled to make sense of a good and loving God governing a broken and hurting world.

In this week’s lesson, we will learn the biblical answer to the question, “Why do bad things happen?” Paul wrote in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…” According to Paul, the brokenness of our world is caused by sin in the world. This week we will see the entrance of sin into God’s good creation.

Sin ruptures the relationship we have with God, one another, and the world. Keep this main point in mind as you teach through Genesis 3.

Session 2: In God’s Image

selfie-in-text-picYou’ve seen them everywhere. Everyone does it. Young, old, rich, and poor. All places, all activities, and all sorts of faces. It is the selfie.

When cameras were inserted into our phones and our phones became a necessary addition to our everyday lives, we had the opportunity to take pictures of anything at any time…or better put…pictures of us with various backgrounds behind us at any time.

The selfie is an interesting oddity. We take posed pictures of ourselves so that others might think something about us when they view our duck-faced self portraits on facebook or twitter. (Not everyone duck-faces, I realize. But I like to pick on those that do.)

In essence, we want others to think something is true about us based on the picture we take of ourselves. We desire that our image will communicate a message to the viewer.

In this week’s lesson, we are dealing with the creation of man in Genesis 1 and 2. The theological term that we are learning is, “The image of God.” The super smart people who use Latin phrases as they take their selfies would say, “The Imago Dei.”

IMG_2109
My duck-faced selfie. The “imago dei” in me is cringing.

The main point of this lesson is that when God created us in his image, he made us to communicate something about himself. So while we are not God, much like our selfies are not really us, what we are reflects something true about God. So the next time you sit at dinner and take that selfie of you and your hamburger, or the next time you put your arm around your loved one and want to “selfifie” the moment, think of what the picture is doing. It is your image making something known about you.

And then put your phone down and look at the other people around the table, or turn your face toward that loved one you just had your arm around, and see that what they are and who they are communicates something true about God, who made them in his image.

I hope you find this video helpful as you seek to faithfully teach God’s word this week.