Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our Identity in Christ, part 2

As I said in my last post on this subject, I’ve started a study with some people in our congregation about our identity in Christ.

Read Part 1

Here is part two of the study; as you can see, we’re moving through Scripture in order; we will skip ahead after a while-- the study isn’t going to go chapter by chapter through the whole Bible! (Though that would be a good, and quite thorough, study.)

Genesis 2

Read Genesis chapter 2, then consider the following questions:
  1. Verse 18 is the first time in creation when God says that something is NOT good. What is NOT good in this "pre-fallen" creation? What is God's solution to that which is NOT good? What does this verse tell us about our built-in needs for relationships?
  2. Verses 19 and 20 describe Adam's search for a companion in creation. As wonderful as animals are, do you think that they can be adequate companions for people-- that they can offer "enough" companionship? Do you think that these verses support your thoughts on that? In light of these two verses (and what is to come next), do you think it is fair to say that there is nothing in all of creation, apart from God and other people, that can satisfy our built-in needs for relationships?
  3. Verses 21-24 describe the creation of woman, who God created as the perfect companion to the man. With an understanding (from verses 18-20) that all of mankind-- even before sin and the fall-- had and have a built-in need for relationships, how do you think we should understand marriage in light of verses 21-24?
  4. Verse 25 gives us a picture of the intimacy and vulnerable nature of this first marriage. In what ways is that kind of intimacy missing in the relationships that you have? How is it present in your marriage? How is it missing in your marriage?
  5. Genesis 1 and 2 give us two key ideas about who we are: we bear the image of God, and we have a built-in need for relationships. Are these two related? Think about the way that we speak of God as "Trinity" and that there are three persons of that Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Does God exist in a sort of community? Do you think that our need for relationships-- especially a relationship with God-- is a part of the way that we bear God's image?

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