Lesson 5: The SIN Problem
We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.
READY: Using a highlighter- “highlight” or underline any of this week’s reading that stands out to you, that catches your attention, or that brings up questions. Have this ready for group time. LINK: Read before Lesson 5: SIN Begins!. You may also print hardcopies of the reading. Click: Lesson 5-Reading Handout
LEADER: Bring a basketful of items (or print pictures of these items from the internet) such as the following, for discussion:
Can of spray paint, toilet paper, disposable diaper and plastic silverware, coffee (beans, or ground), a luxury item, and a product from foreign source.
Pass around the basket or the individual items. Ask why these items might cause pain, support sin, or overtly sin against the planet? Come up with your own answers…this should get people thinking about “the Sin Problem”.
I once was blind, but now I see. Redemption stories.
Lesson 5: SIN Begins!
If we have merely evolved – If we are random products of chance, then the whole concept of sin or a need for salvation makes no sense. If we are not supernaturally designed then it seems ludicrous to even imagine that we would need a Savior to save us from acts that are nothing more than animal or survival instincts. But 17 times we are told in Genesis; “God created”. He commanded and it came about. We came about.
The very fact that we have the ability to reach back to God to connect and relate; making our own individual choices about reflecting His holy character after we become “new creations” shows how deeply our “image of God” runs. (imago deo). We have incredibly unique personalities with the capacity for reflecting Him through our reasoning, our emotions, and our choices. We choose…or not!
The original man and woman chose. They chose poorly. They chose deliberately to act against God’s command. They acted selfishly. It was not a mistake, or an accident, but a sin in which both parties participated. No one was innocent on that day, in the Garden. Temptation started as a desire that drew them in, that “danced in their thought life” until they acted upon it. But they chose. The result was a world altered forever. Guilt, shame, a distorted self-image, pain, diseases, suffering, and death; all dark consequences entering this now-broken world for which “they” were never created to be a part of. (Genesis 2:15-17; -all of ch. 3; Romans 5:12-21; Romans 8:20).
Suffering- was never meant to be. That is a powerful truth.
While sin began with Adam and Eve, we are each born into this fallen, changed world where the human race has lost that originally designed “face to face”, complete relationship with God. SIN can be defined as knowingly choosing to do that which goes against the perfect holiness of God. (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 5:12) 1 John 3:4; Romans 3:23). Sin was passed on from Adam and Eve through countless generations to our grandparents, parents and finally to you and I; but there is no human left untouched… We each stand guilty on our own.
Separated by sin from the kind of relationship with God we were created to have. We are incomplete. Guilty.
I want to share an illustration with you that begins with a basket of fresh vegetables, brought straight in from the garden; washed, sliced and simmered over a medium flame in a good sized stock pot. To the broth the chef added spices, a little heat and time; resulting in the most beautiful crock of homemade Vegetable Soup you’d ever dreamed of. Absolute perfection! This gourmet soup was fit for royalty certainly! And then, in that moment just before serving it-the chef added salt. Just a bit at first, and then he reasoned that if a little salt added flavor, he should add a full cup.
He raised a spoon to his lips for a final taste test and was HORRIFIED! What have I done? How, in the world could he rescue what was absolute perfection? He googled “removing salt”, checked his Pinterest files, checked all the finest chef’s “salt-removal” remedies… but there was no way to remedy what was ruined forever. The only possible rescue was a “re-do”… the salt could not be eradicated. It had permeated everything in the pot.
The illustration is imperfect and yet it gives us a visual that we can almost taste. Sin has permeated every human’s spiritual-DNA. We are no longer fit to stand in the presence of the King of all Righteousness and Justice. The only possible rescue is an eradication of our sin possible only by the sacrifice of One who had never sinned.
The King’s Son, Jesus, obedient to his father’s plan to restore us, came and lived among us. Jesus knows what it is to be human. To hurt, to cry, to be misunderstood, to have so much compassion that it tears one apart, and yet to know that one closest to you will betray you. His death brings us life, and makes right what went wrong so long ago…we stand guiltless and thoroughly connected in spirit and relationship to the very one who loved us enough to send his only Son to rescue us.
The Bible then, becomes God’s revealing of himself from the beginning as he creates, leads his people and sets up systems in which they can catch glimpses of his character. This is a God who loves, who requires obedience, who pleads and calls, who delivers, and rescues, who hears the cries of his people. This is the God who set about on rescuing you as he saw you through the eyes of eternity. And out of sheer love He made himself known to you- calling you and tugging at your heart to respond back to him.
I pray that you have fully reached back to him, accepting his forgiveness and restoration to newness. We have a new beginning as we reconnect with what it truly means to be re-made in His image (imago deo).
(Romans 1:26; 1:28; 7:20; Ephesians 2:3; Revelation 20:11-15; 1 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:21-3; 1 John 1:7 & 9; John 3:16)
GROUP Questions: “So Many SINS”…
Discuss: What do you think about-
Sins of omission…things we do not do, or do not say?
Sins against ourselves:
Sins against our world / or our environment?
>If Sin is defined as * knowingly choosing to do that which goes against the perfect holiness of God how does this change your thinking about the sins listed above, or does it?
FYI / CK IT OUT this week:
The Salvation Army met needs- as they counseled on the front lines, wrote letters for the troops, gave out stamps, cards, socks, writing pens…and made donuts; knowing that what they were truly giving away was “Jesus’s love”; reflecting Him in the midst of war. Without pointing out sin, their presence directed other to salvation.
Boots on the Ground:
LEADER: God forgives us completely…thoroughly. WE are justified- It is “just as if” we had never sinned in the sight of God. We often have a harder time forgiving ourselves. *ASK: Has there been a sin that keeps coming back-keeps condemning you and leaving you defeated? Can you let it go today? Can you accept the forgiveness which Christ died to give you? Let it go. Pray for one another, (sharing ONLY as each feel safe and comfortable to do so). Pray in a circle holding hands- asking God to speak to you this week about anything that he wants you to let go-or forgive.
*This may be a very powerful God-moment, so be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading.
End with the Lord’s Prayer.
*If there is one who is seeking salvation-What does Salvation Mean (LINK)
DOWNLOAD YOUR LESSON 5 POWERPOINT WITH LEADER’S NOTES, VIDEOS LINKED FROM INSIDE THE PRESENTATION: Doctrine 5 Sin Begins Presenter PPT
DOWNLOAD LESSON 5 IN HARDCOPY WITH LEADER’S AND STUDENTS HANDOUTS (if applicable). Doctrine 5 SIN BEGINS Leader Hardcopy Lesson
DOWNLOAD Handout: “What Does Salvation Mean?” What does Salvation Mean
DOWNLOAD LESSON 5 READING AS A PDF: Lesson 5-Reading Handout