Lesson 3 of 13 in the Dear God Series
We’ve all heard it numerous times: “Why does God allow bad things happen to good people?” This is one of the most difficult questions in all of theology. God is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Why should human beings (not eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent) expect to be able to fully understand God’s plan? Many in the church today seem to see their sin as not very bad. Most Christians would say they are good people and don’t deserve the things that are happening to them in life. “God is the source off all being, and being is good in itself, and no goodness exists outside of God.” Rejecting God therefore creates a hole in the human soul, and whatever fills that emptiness is the residue of corrupted being.”
How it was supposed to be.
God is the Creator: Simple enough for the youngest child to understand and yet sufficiently profound to inspire the greatest thinkers to ponder its ramifications, Genesis 1:1 is certainly one of the most beloved and consequential sentences ever written. We often pass over this text quickly, so accustomed are we to the fundamental idea of the Christian worldview — that God is the Creator and we are His creatures. Yet we must pause to consider this verse lest we miss its enormous implications.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Man was Made in His Image: “We are created in the image of God” says something awesome about God in His creative purposes. It also says something wonderful about the uniqueness of humans in God’s grand design. But what does it mean? The theological challenge in Imago Dei is the fact that the Bible does not define explicitly what it means that humanity is made in the image of God.
Man was Made for Perfect Fellowship: Man was designed to walk and talk and fellowship daily with God, to have personal interaction with God to learn and grow with Him.
Everything was Good: God created this world good – perfectly good. The scripture tells us “and the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” The world was so safe and so perfect that humanity could live naked and unashamed.
How did we get Here?
Man Fell into Sin: Adam and Eve fell for the serpent’s lies. They doubted the goodness of God and determined to pursue knowledge of evil. They committed the very first sin by eating the forbidden fruit. It was a simple act, but one that represented the greatest tyranny.
Genesis 3:6-7 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Man’s Relationship From God Was Severed: Isaiah 59:2 shows that sin creates division between God and us because of the breach of trust. Sin is a breaking of the terms of the covenant agreed on by both God and us.
Man and the Earth Now Lived Under a Curse: The earth did not escape the judgment of the Fall. The original condition of nature, which was perfect, began to degenerate after the Fall. Thorns and thistles will now come from the ground that was formerly good. The Bible says that the thorn, like the serpent, is the natural enemy of humanity.
How do we get out of this?
God sent Jesus as our Representative: For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
Jesus Died and Rose from Death: That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day.
We are Redeemed Through Christ’s Birth, Death and Resurrection: God was grieved with man, but He was not done with man. God did not give up on humanity. Before God had even created the world, He had already had a plan to bring humanity back to a relationship with Him.
- If God knew we were going to sin why did He create humans?
- Are we really created in the image of God? How? In what ways do we share His Image?
- How is God good? How has He acted in your Life that you considered to be “good”? Has He acted in ways that you didn’t realize were “good” until later?
- How am I good? Discuss the goodness in the creation of Man?
- Discuss the fall of man in Genesis 3:6-7. What happened? How did man’s relationship with God change? How did man’s relationship with man change?
- Discuss how that goodness is recovered when a person is redeemed by Christ.
- Review Ephesians 1:7. Have I been Redeemed by Christ? Share your defining moment with someone. Or, share a redeeming experience from your own story.
- Did anything stand out in your reading today that you could share with someone else?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation. (What will you do about it?)