“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22, NIV).
[Thought questions for Creation and the Gospel March 20, 2013]
1. All in Christ. If only God hadn’t made Adam and Eve free to sin. Wouldn’t it be a better world if we were not even tempted to do wrong? Have you ever met someone with that idea? What’s wrong with the concept that getting rid of sin at any cost is the essence of the gospel? Have you ever seen a home bristling with rules of conduct but lacking in love and acceptance? Has your home ever been like that? Why does God place such a high value on freedom? Is there more we can learn about the concept of freedom in Jesus?
2. Grace in the Garden. Do you agree that Eve did not choose sin but sinned because she was deceived while Adam made a deliberate choice to sin? What did God do immediately after Adam and Eve disobeyed Him? Since He knew what had happened, and Adam and Eve knew that He knew, why did God ask the new sinners questions about what they had done? What tone of voice can you imagine He used? Where is the gospel story in Genesis 3? Why did the pair feel suddenly naked and embarrassed to be without a covering over their bodies? The lesson doesn’t mention the tunic that Eve received. Do you think both Adam and Eve were clothed with animal skins?
3. Sin and death. Do we humans feel or look like dust while we’re alive? After we die we feel nothing, but God says we return to our original state–dirt, mud, dust. How can sin change our appearance and composition in such a dramatic way? Even more exciting, what will it be like to be revived from death and doom into a state of rejoicing and eternal praise to God? Scientists continue to look for the “God particle” that would explain the very origin of life, but what do you and I as Christians look for instead? Do you think that at the time of their sin Adam and Eve may have noticed discomfort of some kind as they lost their protection? Do you think they were thrilled with the opportunity they had to walk with God even after they sinned?
4. We don’t understand. Are there bits and pieces of sin that we don’t understand? Do we ever shrug and say, “I don’t think that matters” and conclude that therefore it’s not sin? From Genesis through the last words of the book of Revelation, what does the Bible reveal to us about the consequences of sin and the rewards of following Jesus? Is there a continuing revelation of a righteous life in us? Can there be? Have you ever been unworthy of God’s salvation? Have you ever felt as if you were? Can you and I ever fully understand the love and mercy of God? Since we can’t understand it, how much effort should we spend studying and learning more about the everlasting love of God?
5. Guilty as charged. Does our guilt make us deserving of eternal death? Why does God offer us guilty humans eternal life instead? At what cost to Him did Jesus enable sinners like us to walk into the kingdom of heaven unscathed by sin? Or will we bear the scars of sin forever? When the “seed of the woman” bruises the serpent’s head, what happens to the serpent? Who is the woman? What is the seed? How does this promise describe the gospel story? Did Adam and Eve understand it? Even if they didn’t understand completely, did this promise give them hope? How does the cross assure us that we can rely on Christ’s sacrifice to atone for our sins?
6. A new creation. Can we suffer for Christ’s sake as much as He has suffered for us? In what ways does the theory of evolution fail to explain concepts such as the resurrection of the dead? Which is the greater miracle–being healed from a terrible disease? Or giving your heart fully to God? Are you grateful that you are able to accept a mighty, all-powerful creative God in charge of the universe? Do you and I experience the act of creation in any way in our lives? What about the birth of a new baby? What about the promise of life with Jesus forever? What are some ways we can remind ourselves of the Creator God who loves us as we live our lives from day to day?
7. Science can’t. There are two aspects of science. We could call one of them “operational science.” From this type of science emerge supersonic aircraft, medical breakthroughs and other fields of exploration, discovery, and engineering. Then there’s the type of science that seeks to explain our origins, find life elsewhere, and explain the geology of our planet. Which of these two branches of science causes the most problems to Christians? Why? Can we as Christians contribute to operational science without getting buried in the “science of origins”? Should we?