Food For Thought (WITH INSIGHTS)
For the week of January 17, 2021
(Questions and Scriptures for further study & discussion)
⇨Men’s Bible Study Wednesday Mornings, In Person
Join us starting this Wednesday for our Men’s Bible Study – Titus by Chip Ingram, 6:45-7:45am weekly
⇨Discover STF January 24th 9:45-11:45am, In Person or Zoom
DiscoverSTF meets onsite at our Ballast Point Campus and virtually on Zoom. You can choose either option. Our desire is for everyone (especially if you are new) to join! If you are interested in becoming a member of our church, this class is required. Click the register button below.
⇨Community Group Kickoff! In Person, Online, Hybrid
Community Groups will kick off again the week of January 24. Study God’s word with one another! If you’d like to join a group or just learn more about Groups at STF, click the button below.
⇨Women’s Bible Study, Jan 25/26, in person or zoom
Join us for Beth Moore’s “Children of the Day,” an in-depth study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians.
1. Read Genesis 1:1-2. What do these verses reveal about God and creation?
(Our first instinct might be to approach creation with questions of ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘where’, or ‘when’. The Bible does not primarily speak into these intriguing questions. Rather, the Bible speaks to the questions of “who” and “so what”. Who is responsible for the world? And why does it matter? The answer is God and it matters because if God made everything, including you and me, that means we are accountable to Him. Because no human being was present when God created the world, we should approach theories and questions about creation with humility and grace. From these two verses, we learn God is self-existent. God is self-sufficient. God is eternal.)
2. What most intrigues you in these verses?
3. The Westminister Shorter Catechism teaches that the ultimate purpose for people is “to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” How do you glorify God?
(Acknowledging our Creator God is vital to understand the world’s purpose and our own. At a time in history almost like no other, people are eager to preserve the earth’s beauty and resources from further damage. God agrees. God remains responsible to care for, restore and ultimately reveal perfection through His work in our natural world. We honor God when we preserve and steward well His beautiful earth.
The Creator of the universe became a man who walked on this earth. He died to redeem all people who believe in Him by grace through faith. These realities about God cannot be ignored. Ultimately, either as Savior or as Judge, “every tongue [will] acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”7 Let us worship the God of creation!
God’s purposeful design indicates wisdom and intelligence far beyond the limits of human minds. Why did the self-existent God create? Why is His creation so intricately beautiful? God created all things purposefully to display His glory. Creation offers indisputable evidence of God, the Creator. The Bible explains even more. We are responsible to know and worship the one triune God. We are accountable to our Creator to respond to the grace He gives as we live for our appointed time in this world.)
4. Read Genesis 3:1-13. How do temptations cause people to question God’s character? What role do our desires play into temptation?
(Eve’s temptation teaches us important lessons. Eve knew God personally as her Creator, the One who walked with her in the garden. Surely Eve did not stop loving God, but she let Satan cast enough doubt on what she knew that her view and understanding of God shifted and became distorted. Her security and confidence in His love eroded. This opened the door for sin.
Temptation itself is not sin. The devil asked Jesus similar questions when He tempted Him in the wilderness. Jesus stood firm on what was true about His Father. He did not yield to the full force of Satan’s temptation. The Bible warns about temptation but also promises the Holy Spirit’s power to overcome sin. God never tempts us to sin. However, God may use trials or hard things in life as loving tests so we can grow in dependence on Him and experience His faithfulness.
Satan’s ploys have not changed since Eve and the garden. He asks us the same questions. “Is God really good?” “Will He really provide?” “Is God holding out on you, giving you less than you deserve?” Have you wrestled with some version of these questions? Temptation to sin escalates when our view of God shifts, perhaps even slightly. Recognize the subtle ways this world and the enemy downgrade God and dismiss what He has declared true.)
5. What immediate effects occurred for Adam and Eve personally and in their relationship with God? What died?
(The issue is not their relationship, the wily serpent or the appealing fruit. Adam and Eve first devalued their relationship with God, then disobeyed His Word. That choice changed the course of humanity. Adam knew God personally, like no one since except Jesus, the God-Man. He understood God’s Word, yet he chose sin. He ate. Satan disguised death to make it look desirable. Sin involves choosing a temporary, counterfeit pleasure instead of the lasting reality offered by God.
Sin entered the world and immediately destroyed the original peace and harmony of God’s creation. It set off a devastating chain reaction. Sin distorts our view of self and others. Sin kills innocence and freedom. Suddenly, Adam and Eve felt naked as they realized something deeply wrong within themselves. Their focus now shifted from innocence and freedom to self which created painful self-awareness. Their realization does not reflect a lack of beauty in the bodies God fashioned but an acute awareness of the guilt and shame they feebly try to hide. They fashioned clothes from fig leaves in a human attempt to feel right and whole, which always comes up short.
The damage inflicted by sin cannot be overstated.
Sin brought sorrow and death into what God had designed for joy and life. The sin in the garden infected every gene of every human and every relationship in every age. Every realm of creation suffers because sin tainted what God set apart for His glory. The man and woman, created to walk with God and rule the earth, are reduced to hiding. Rebellion against God brings much more than judgment. In choosing sin, people throw away something wonderful. The tragedy of sin, for the whole history of humanity and our everyday lives, echoes loudly and sorrowfully.
The brokenness of people and society reflects the loss suffered in Eden. Praise God that Genesis 3 is not the end of the story. Sin never gets the final word. God has the final word. This chapter ends with and the Bible expands on the story of God’s love, grace, mercy and hope overcoming sin.
Only God can define what is wrong with humanity – sin. The door to God’s presence, once closed by sin, now stands open to all who trust the perfect sacrifice of Jesus in their place. Sin offends God, destroys all and is inescapable without a Savior. God’s promise of
the woman’s offspring who would crush the serpent’s head began the unfolding drama of God’s gift of eternal life. Jesus Christ bore the price of our sin for all who believe in Him. Only Jesus can restore what sin cost and lost. God covers our sin with Jesus’ perfection. When God looks at a believer, He sees only the righteousness of His own Son. We are great sinners, but we have a great Savior!)