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Lesson 11: The Restorer *

Introduction: Humans fell into sin, but it was not like accidentally tripping on a root and falling. Adam and Eve made some important choices in their "adventure" into sin. Thankfully, our God did not, in disgust, abandon us. Instead, His desire then and His desire now is to bring us out of sin. This week our study is how we got into sin and what the Holy Spirit is doing to help us out of sin and to help us prepare for eternal life. Let's dive into the Bible and learn more!

  1. Sin


    1. Read Genesis 3:1. The text tells us that the snake was the smartest animal around. This obviously was a very smart snake to be talking. Is this just a snake? (No. Read Revelation 20:2. This is Satan taking the form of a snake.)


      1. It seems that Eve should have run away from a talking snake. Why do you guess she did not? (First we are told that snakes were very smart - thus, she might have thought this was unusual, but not impossible. Sort of like you finding a talking dolphin. Second, humans had dominion over all of the animals (Genesis 1:28), thus Eve was "in charge" of this snake and she might have felt confident for that reason.)


    2. Read Genesis 3:2-5. What attitude does the snake suggest towards God? (God cannot be trusted. He is trying to take advantage of Eve. He wants to keep Eve in the dark. God does not want Eve to be equal to Him.)


      1. What tools did Eve have to resist this temptation? (She had been around God enough for her to be able to trust God.)


      2. What tools was Eve missing to resist this temptation? (Eve did not know what God knew. She could not be certain that Satan had his facts wrong. Perhaps this was a special tree with special powers introduced by a special snake with special powers.)


      3. How does Eve's temptation compare to most of your temptations? (In most of our temptations we have a pretty good idea of whether Satan has his facts wrong. We have seen the results of sin. Likely, we have seen the results of the very sin into which Satan is currently tempting us.)


        1. How are your temptations like Eve's temptation? (Satan was asking Eve to do two things. First, not trust God. Second, to exercise her own judgment over the specific command of God.)


        2. How common a temptation is it to trust our own judgment instead of God's judgment? (Any time that we say we will disregard the Bible because we know better or because we are more sophisticated, we are trusting our wisdom and judgment over the command of God.)


  2. Anti-sin


    1. Read Romans 4:1-3. What is the "anti-sin?" (Abraham "believed God." Faith in God's word. Faith in God. This was counted as righteousness in Abraham.)


    2. Let's read a little bit of the background for this. Read Genesis 15:2-6. Compare for me Eve's situation with that of Abraham? (They both had a desire for something they did not presently have. One believed God and the other did not.)


      1. How believable was God in each situation?


      2. On what could Eve base her faith?


      3. On what could Abraham base his faith?


      4. What contrary evidence did each have?


      5. Is your situation more like Abraham's or more like Eve's?


    3. Let's continue with Romans 4. Read Romans 4:4-5. Who does God justify? The jobless wicked who trust Him?


    4. There is a common saying that I hear: "God saves you from your sins, not in your sins." How does that compare with what we just read in Romans 4:4-5?


      1. Read Romans 4:6-8. How does this little saying compare with what David says?


        1. Does David talk about our sins being "covered" (as opposed to eliminated) because he is an "obvious sinner?" (Obvious sinners should more clearly recognize what God has done for them.)


    5. Read Romans 6:1. What does this question suggest about the logical answer to whether the wicked are saved by faith? (This question makes it that much clearer - the obvious conclusion is that sinners are saved by faith. They are saved "in" their sins. The logical extension of this is "Let's keep sinning so that God's grace can cover more of our sins.")


      1. What is God's will about us and sin? (Read Romans 6:2-4. (Grace saves sinners in their sin. But, God tells us that just as Jesus was raised to new life, so we need to die to our sins and "live a new life.")


      2. Read Romans 6:15-18. What do you think about the words, "you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted?" What does this mean? (These people worked with all their heart to obey God.)


        1. How would those words apply to the reaction of Eve and Abraham that we studied above?


        2. How would those words fit Romans 4:5 "the man who does not work but trusts God [is righteous]?" (Works are disconnected from salvation. But, when we choose God and choose grace we choose obedience.)


        3. How would those words now apply to the phrase "you have been saved from your sins, not in your sins?" (God saves sinners. But, God's goal is for us to get out of sin and leave our sins behind.)


  3. Holy Spirit and Faith


    1. Read Romans 5:1-2. On what basis do we have access to peace and grace? (Faith in Jesus.)


      1. We decided earlier that "Satan was asking Eve to do two things. First, not trust God. Second, to exercise her own judgment over the specific command of God." Is this still Satan's approach to us even today? (Yes. This is why faith, trusting in Jesus, is so very important.)


    2. Let's skip down and read Romans 5:18-19. What did you do to be stuck with the sins of Eve and Adam?


      1. What did you do to merit the obedience of Jesus? (This is an excellent way for us to look at how our "works" save us. We had as much to do with Adam and Eve's sin as we had to do with Jesus' victory over sin. We cannot claim credit.)


    3. Read Romans 5:1-5. I wanted us to read verses one and two again so that we could see how they all work together. What does verse 2 say is the basis for our rejoicing? (Hope in the glory of God.)


      1. How do we get to hope? (Here is a tip-off that the life of the Christian will not always be easy. Hope is the result of a series of transformations which begin with suffering!)


      2. How much of a role do you think our sinful nature plays in our sufferings? (In Romans 7 Paul talks about his personal struggle with sin. I believe that this "suffering" includes our battle against sin. We do not like the fact that we still have a sin problem, but we can have peace about it because we will be able to see the transformation from perseverance, to character development, to hope for a better future.)


      3. What role does the Holy Spirit play in this series of transformations? (The Holy Spirit pours God's love into our heart - thus giving substance to our hope.)


    4. Read Romans 5:6-8. We just said that in the battle against sin, the Holy Spirit pours God's love into our hearts. What does that mean, as a practical matter? How do these verses explain this? (God's greatest love for us was shown in Jesus' crucifixion for our sins. He died for you. The work of the Holy Spirit is to remind us that Jesus has paid the penalty for our sins. That we are saved by faith, not any works of our own. This knowledge of what Jesus has lovingly done on our behalf to defeat sin and death causes us to want to choose and trust Him over sin. In addition, the Holy Spirit pours love into our hearts to help us to fulfill our hope of walking more closely with God. To help us more fully reflect God's character.)


    5. Read 2 Peter 1:2-4. What does the power of the Holy Spirit help us to do? ("Escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.")


    6. Friend, will you trust Jesus and choose Him today?


  4. Next week: The Sin Against the Holy Spirit.
* Copr. 2006, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2017 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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