God's Mission to Us

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(Genesis 3 & 27, Matthew 1, John 1, 3 & 14)
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 1

God’s Mission to Us

(Genesis 3 & 27, Matthew 1, John 1, 3 & 14)

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: http://www.GoBible.org. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: Have you met someone who you thought was, “All talk and no action?” Or as they say in Texas, “All hat and no cattle?” No doubt we have all met people like that. The challenge in our Christian walk is to not be that person. We want to engage the culture for Christ and not just talk about it. Consider your current situation. Hopefully you are part of the discussion during the Bible study time on Sabbath. You attend church and listen to sermons that bring the challenges of Christian living to your mind. But after all that talk do you actually do something to advance the Kingdom of God? Our series of Bible studies in the coming quarter are on how we move from talking to acting. Let’s jump into our study of the Bible to begin our journey to action!

  1. Understanding God’s Desire to Come Close
    1. Read Genesis 3:1-5. What was Satan’s strategy when he said to Eve, “Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God?” (Satan wanted Eve to believe that God did not have Eve’s best interest in mind. She needed to take things into her own hands to protect her interests.)
      1. Was there any truth to that implied charge? (History shows us that life went downhill instead of uphill for Adam and Eve after she ate the fruit.)
    2. Read Genesis 3:8-9. Adam and Eve have now both sinned. If you were God is that how you would start the conversation? (I would have started with, “Do you realize how much trouble you have started? How could you be so foolish? When did I ever give you any reason to distrust Me?”)
      1. Why do you think God said what He did? (He is asking to meet with Adam and Eve. He wants to connect with the two who had so substantially harmed His plans for the future.)
      2. Didn’t God know where they were located? Why would He ask “where?” (God wanted Adam and Eve to explain their terrible deviation from His plan.)
      3. If you were in God’s place, would you have left Adam and Eve alone for a while to stew in their worry about their current situation?
      4. What does this teach us about our relationship with God? What does it teach us about God’s care for us?(God’s first impulse is not to punish or to accuse. Rather, His first impulse is to come close to humans to discuss what they have done.)
  2. God and Our Stench of Sin
    1. Read Genesis 27:17-19. Do you know the back story to these verses? (God had a special relationship with Jacob’s father and grandfather. God’s promise to them was to work His will through that family - and that they would be God’s people. Jacob’s father intended to give the birthright, as was the practice, to his eldest son Esau. But Jacob, with the help of his mother, decided to take the birthright for himself by deceiving his father, Isaac, as to his identity.)
    2. Read Genesis 27:20. Why do you think Isaac asked this question? (Doubt arose in his mind about whether this was his eldest son or someone else.)
      1. Whose name does Jacob invoke to explain his quick success? (God’s name.)
        1. How should God view using His name as part of a fraud against Isaac?
    3. Read Genesis 27:21-24. Isaac still has doubts about the identity of the person in front of him. Should Isaac have called someone else to come to confirm that this was his eldest son?
    4. Read Genesis 27:28-29. Isaac blesses Jacob. The fraud works. Read Genesis 27:42-44. What is the consequence of the fraud? (Jacob has to run away from home so that his elder brother will not kill him.)
      1. Put yourself in the place of God. How would you view Jacob? Should God go along with the fraud and continue His work through Jacob?
      2. Would you work with Jacob? Would you make him your business partner?
    5. Read Genesis 28:10-13. How does God react to Jacob’s fraud? (He decides to continue to work through Jacob.)
      1. Why? What does this tell us about our God? (We have skipped over information that tells us that the elder brother would not be a very good fit for God’s work. But that does not change the fact that Jacob and his mother committed fraud. The good news about our God is that He was willing to follow through on His promise by working with the flawed Jacob. That tells us that God works with flawed people like us.)
  3. God and the Rescue Mission
    1. Read Matthew 1:18-21. Have you ever had a “needy” friend (one who constantly needs help)?
      1. How do you react to friends like that? Do you drop them as friends?
    2. Read John 1:14. Think about what the neediest of your friends required of you, and then compare that to what Jesus did for us. Think not only about becoming a poor human, but also about His tortured death.
      1. What does that teach us about God’s attitude towards us?
    3. Read John 1:16-18. When verse 17 tells us that “truth” came through Jesus Christ, what truth was that?
      1. “Truth” seems to be compared to the law. If I’m correct, what truth is missing from the law? (God’s grace. God’s love. The way that God would interact with us.)
      2. Verse 18 explains that Jesus made God the Father known. Have you thought that the Old Testament presents a much different picture of God than the New Testament? If you answer, “Yes,” how does this tell us we should reconcile the different pictures? (We need to go with the Jesus’ picture. It is Jesus who has made God “known.”)
      3. Why do you think we even have the Old Testament picture of God? (Grace. God’s holy standards drive us to righteousness by faith and reveal, if we are honest, that our works fall far short of God’s standard.)
    4. Read John 3:16. What does this text tell us about a correct picture of God the Father? (This focuses on the love of the Father. He loves us so much that He gave His Son to be humiliated and tortured so that we can live.)
      1. Would you have done that if you were in God’s place?
      2. What does that teach us about the degree of God’s love for us?
    5. Read John 14:16-17. What other gift has God given to us? (I think we fail to fully understand the extraordinary effort that God is making on our behalf. Jesus came to live, die, and be resurrected on our behalf. After that, God made a permanent assignment of the Holy Spirit who “dwells with you and will be in you.”)
      1. How important is the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life? (This morning I read yet another article about the rising level of anxiety of the people in the United States. I’m in my 48th year of litigation. I often found myself arguing in unfamiliar, hostile courts. This is not simply public speaking, add in fielding tough questions, and responding to debate. The Holy Spirit has been key to dealing with my times of stress.)
    6. Read John 14:1-3. What is God’s ultimate goal for us? (To live with us in a world made perfect again! We will have a condominium in that massive condominium city/building (see Revelation 21:16) called the New Jerusalem.)
    1. Friend, the first step to taking action is being convinced of the extraordinary love of God for us. Since God loves us that much, will you take the first step to loving someone else by asking the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind someone for whom you should pray?
  1. Next week: God’s Mission to Us. +