Archive for the ‘Genesis’ tag
The text for this lesson is Genesis 12:1-9
- God chose Abram (Abraham) and his descendants in order to carry out His plan of salvation. Christ fulfilled God’s plan for us and all people.
- Law: I am sinful and deserve only eternal death and damnation.
- Gospel: God provided my Savior from sin, Jesus, through Abram (Abraham) and his offspring.
- Think about what pictures form in your mind when you hear the name Abraham. Which events in Abraham’s life stand out?
- Read Joshua 24:2–4. What do we learn about Abram and his faith prior to Genesis 12? In which commandment do we hear about “other gods”? How does the fact that Abram served other gods affect the way we view his calling from God in Genesis 12?
- Read Genesis 11. Who are Abram’s descendants? Many more notable figures who did not forsake the worship of the Lord still lived at the time of Abram’s calling. Were there more suitable people for God to make such a gracious covenant with? Read Matthew 3:9. Since Abram was an offspring of faithful believers, what does Abram’s apostasy speak about the reliance on family ties to church membership? Does our upbringing guarantee that we will remain Christians, or is there another source for our salvation?
- As you read Genesis 12, consider the character of God. He chose one who had forsaken Him and chased after false gods. What one word might sum up the attitude of God toward Abram? How is God’s character seen in Christ, the fulfillment of this promise made to Abram?
- Blessings and curses abound in God’s speech to Abram. Who is responsible for the curses? Who is responsible for the blessings? The answers to these two questions differ. How does this fact affect how we view the faith of Abram? Abram was under the curse of Adam. What part does God’s Word, His promise of blessing in the death and resurrection of His only-begotten Son, play in Abram’s conversion?
- God promised to make Abram a great nation. How would this be received by one who is childless? Abram had one son of promise, Isaac. Isaac had one son of promise, Jacob. Is it a simple thing to believe that out of such meager roots would sprout a great nation? Further, how great a faith is required to believe that the scanty sapling of this great nation would endure through all of the trials of the Old Testament, eventually culminating in the Root of Jesse?
- Further, God promises to bless Abram. Read Luke 2:32. Who did Simeon, a man waiting for the consolation of Israel, declare to be the blessing, or glory, of Israel? Read John 8:56. How did Abram understand the fulfillment of this prophecy? By believing in Christ, the very incarnate Curse crucified for our sin, how did Abram escape the condemnation of his past idolatry and receive blessing instead of curse? What does this mean for us who are the Church, the very offspring of Abram?
- What is the scope of God’s promise to Abram? Abram shall be a blessing. In him, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Read Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10. God blesses all families by His Word. What blessings are given to those who hear this Gospel promise of God to Abram and believe? How does this same Word make good on the promise in the Church today?
- In light of the curse of sin and idolatry in our lives, define despair.
- How do you think Abram felt about the prospect of leaving his family, livelihood, and home to journey to an unknown location?
- God speaks to Abram through His Word, and God turns Abram from his sinful ways. He instills in Abram faith. This faith trusts God’s promises even if they do not seem to be the most rational course of action. Was it easy or difficult for Abram to have faith in the promises of God?
The text for this lesson is Genesis 6:1-9:17
- In the flood, God destroyed sinful people. Jesus, His Son, destroyed sin, once and for all, in His death and resurrection, giving life to sinful people.
- Law: God demands obedience to His Law.
- Gospel: God sent His Son to obey the Law perfectly for me.
- Law: God used water in a flood to drown sinful humankind.
- Gospel: In Baptism, God uses water to drown my sins, granting me eternal life through Jesus, His Son.
- In December 2004, a tsunami killed hundreds of thousands of people in Southeast Asia. In late August 2005, Hurricane Katrina left New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast underwater. What images of these disasters come to mind? How would they compare to the universal flood that God sent in Noah’s day?
- “I just don’t believe that Noah could have built that ark with the primitive technology they had then. And how could a flood cover the entire earth?” How would you respond to a friend who said such things?
- “It seems so cruel that God would destroy all those people and animals in the flood. How could He choose to save only eight people and still be a good and gracious God?” How would you respond to a friend who said this?
- Read Genesis 6:5–7. What was the condition of the human heart at the time of Noah? Read Genesis 6:11–13. What kind of behavior resulted from the condition of the human heart? Was humanity any better off after the flood? See Genesis 8:21. Are we any better off today?
- Read Genesis 6:8–9; 7:1. What motivated God to save Noah? Why was Noah called “righteous”? Note that Genesis 9:18–29 indicates that Noah was not without sin.
Read Hebrews 11:7. How was Noah’s faith demonstrated?
- Once Noah and his family and the animals had entered the ark, Genesis 7:16 says that God shut Noah in. Could Noah have done this himself? What does this lead us to conclude about the nature of salvation, that is, rescue from harm and danger?
- Read Genesis 8:20–21. Why did Noah offer sacrifices to the Lord? How did the Lord receive the sacrifices? What kind of sacrifices are we to offer to the Lord today? See Romans 12:1.
- Read Genesis 9:8–11. What might the fact that animals are part of the covenant indicate?
- Read Matthew 24:37–39. What were the wicked, faithless people doing when the flood came? How do the wicked live in our own generation? Should Christians be involved in the same deeds as unbelievers?
- Read Genesis 9:12–17. How is the rainbow a more effective sign of God’s promise than words alone? What visible signs of His promise does God give to the Church?
- It says in 1 Peter 3:20b–21, “In [the ark] a few people, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you . . . through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” What images does this verse bring to mind about the salvation we receive in Baptism?
- In Genesis 9:4, God tells Noah, “You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” This verse is the first of many in the Bible that prohibit the consumption of blood (Leviticus 3:17; Deuteronomy 12:15–16; Acts 15:29; and others). Here, and elsewhere in the Old Testament, blood is equated with the life of the living being. How does this fact about blood help us understand the significance of the true presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper?
The text for this lesson is Genesis 3:1-24; John 3:16
- Through Adam, sin spreads to all people. Through Christ, God offers forgiveness to all people.
- Law: I sin when I blame others for my sins.
- Gospel: Jesus, who was sinless, took the blame for the sin of the world upon Himself, making me blameless.
- Are we sinners because we commit sins, or do we commit sins because we are sinners? After discussing this question, see Psalm 51:5 for insight into this question.
- Have you ever tried to eradicate the sin from your life? If so, did you have any success? What is the solution to this sin problem?
- What are some examples of sins that we commit that affect our relationships with each other? What are some examples of sins that affect the health of our bodies?
- In our relationship with God, is it more harmful that we commit sins (actual sin) or that we are born dead in a sinful condition (original sin)? How far does sin separate us from God? See Isaiah 59:2. Why is it so important that God forgives all our sin for Christ’s sake?
- To set the stage for Genesis 3, we must review Genesis 2:8–9, 15–17. To whom did God directly give the command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Why might God give such a command? What made the fruit deadly to those who ate it?
- Read Genesis 3:1–3. What did the serpent throw into question in his temptation of Eve? Did she accurately quote God’s original command? In Genesis 3:6, we find that Adam was with Eve. As head of his household and recipient of God’s original command, what should he have done to prevent this disaster?
- After the fall, God could have simply destroyed the creation and started over from scratch. Yet He had created the world “very good,” and He would not give up on it. Read Genesis 3:15 and John 3:16. Why did God not destroy the world? How far was He willing to go to redeem His creation?
- In Genesis 3, Satan casts doubt on God’s Word in order to tempt Eve. Read 1 Peter 5:8–9. Whom is Satan most interested in tempting? What is Satan’s ultimate goal? What is our best defense against Satan?
- Genesis 3:7 explains that immediately after Adam and Eve sinned, they recognized their nakedness and covered themselves out of shame. How does our culture show that it no longer sees shame in nakedness? How do these things tempt people to sin and destroy lives? How can we help friends and family members who struggle with these temptations?
- In Genesis 3:22–24, we see that if Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of life after the fall, they would have lived forever in their sinful condition. When God banished them from the garden, how was this an act not only of wrath, but also of grace? How does God’s Law function to show us both God’s wrath toward sin and also His love for our well-being?
- Adam and Eve were righteous before they sinned, that is, they were free from the guilt of sin. Read Genesis 3:10–13. How did Adam and Eve try to justify themselves, that is, declare themselves righteous before God? What are some ways that we try to justify ourselves before one another and before God when we know we are guilty? How is it that Paul can say that we are justified, or declared righteous, in God’s sight? See Romans 5:18–19.
The text for this lesson is Genesis 1:26-2:25
- God made us in His image, provided all things for our good, and made us rulers over the earth and everything in it.
- Law: God expects me to wisely rule His creation for His glory and the good of others.
- Gospel: God in Christ offers me forgiveness when I exploit, waste, or spoil His creation, and He mercifully grants all that I need in body and spirit.
- Law: I sin when I view the creation to be more important than humankind.
- Gospel: God created all things for my good and in Christ forgives me when I place the creation higher than humanity.
- Law: I sin when I worship the creation and not the Creator.
- Gospel: God in Christ forgives my sins of self-idolatry and offers me eternal life with Him.
- Of your many earthly gifts from God, which are the most important to you? How does the creation account demonstrate which of His creatures should be most important?
- “Do you think that many people today believe that God instituted marriage? In light of the creation account, should same-sex marriage ever be recognized by the Christian Church?
- The creation myths of ancient Babylon teach that humans were created to serve God’s needs. Is this view compatible with Genesis? Why did God create humankind?
- One aspect of the image of God is righteousness, that is, being without sin. Just as God is without sin, so humankind was created sinless and righteous. When Adam and
Eve sinned, did they completely lose the righteousness that they originally had from being created in the image of God? Instead of original righteousness, what is each of us born with? How does God restore us to righteousness and His image? See Colossians 1:15–20 and 1 Corinthians 1:30.
- A second aspect of the image of God is dominion, that is, control and rule or lordship. Read Genesis 1:26 carefully. What is the connection between humankind being created in God’s image and God’s command for us to rule over the world? How does a good ruler or lord treat his subjects? How, then, should people rule over the world? How has the fall affected our understanding of dominion? How does our Lord Jesus Christ rule us? See Matthew 20:25–28.
- A third aspect of the image of God is that we have the breath of life from God. We confess in the Nicene Creed that the Holy Spirit is “the Lord and giver of life.” Read Genesis 2:7. How does the Spirit give us life? What does the word inspiration mean in Christian theology? Read John 6:63. Whose words are inspired? Read John 20:19–23. How does God breathe new life into people who are dead in sin?
- God created the first man and woman in His image to share in a perfect relationship of love. Love is expressed in community. An aspect of the image of God is community. Read Genesis 2:18. Why was it not good for Adam to be alone? Why did he need a suitable helper? How does God dispel loneliness and provide community through the institution of marriage? Read Ephesians 5:22–33. How does Christian marriage provide a picture of Christ’s love for His Church and of the Church’s love for Christ?
- As Christians, we believe that Genesis 1–2 describes God’s intentional and loving creation of humankind. How does what we believe about creation affect our view of the dignity of every living person? How does what we believe about Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice affect our view of each other? See John 3:16.
- Read Genesis 2:16–17. By giving this command, God was telling Adam that he was to trust and believe in Him only. What kinds of created things or people do we make into gods? Ultimately, what becomes of us if we create our own gods? See Isaiah 44:9–10.
- Read Genesis 2:15. Was the need to work part of God’s perfect creation or the result of sin? Why is work sometimes such a difficult and joyless thing? Why would a life of idleness not be God-pleasing? How does our work serve God?
- Read Genesis 1:28. When God says, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth,” what is He telling Adam and Eve to do? Read Psalm 127:3–5. What does God’s Word tell us about children? How do these verses contrast with many people’s views of marriage and childbearing today?
The text for this lesson is Genesis 1:1-2:3
- God made the world in six days by the power of His Word. All of creation is God’s blessing to us.
- Law: Do not worry about anything. Trust the Lord for all things.
- Gospel: God richly and daily provides me with all things for this body and life, including the gift of His Son, who died for all my sins.
- Law: God requires that I believe that He is the only true God, the Creator and Sustainer of the world.
- Gospel: God in Christ gives me faith to believe that He created the earth and heavens and sustains them by His wisdom and power.
- What is a “genesis”? Why is important for us to study Genesis 1–3 carefully?
- “I just can’t believe that God could create the world in six twenty-four-hour days! How could that be possible? The Genesis story simply couldn’t be true.” How would you respond to a friend who said that?
- Compare Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1–4. Was “the Word” in existence at the time of creation? Who is “the Word” that John refers to (see John 1:14)? In Genesis 1:3, we learn that God said, “Let there be light,” and there was. Who spoke those words? Read John 8:12. What kind of light was given through Him (see John 1:4)?
- In Genesis 2:2, we learn that God rested from His work, setting apart the seventh day of the week as a Sabbath, a day of rest. Does this mean that God’s participation in the goings-on of creation ceased (see Genesis 2:3)? Read John 5:17–18. In what ways does God continue to work in the creation to this very day? How could Jesus violate the Sabbath requirements without breaking God’s Law?
- In Genesis 1:29–30, God gives seed-bearing plants and fruit to humans to eat, and He gives every green plant to the animals to eat. What clearly was not to be eaten? Why not? When did God give permission for humankind to change their diet? See Genesis 9:3.
- Moses tells us five times that what God made was “good.” In Genesis 1:31, the whole creation is described as “very good.” What does “very good” mean? What must life in the unspoiled creation have been like? Read Revelation 21:1–5. When will Christians be restored to the “very good” life?
- When we say that someone is “creative,” what do we usually mean? Is creativity necessarily a good thing? Think about how you use the creativity God has given you. Do you always use it in a God-pleasing way?
- The Hebrew word used in Genesis for “create” is used only when referring to God. It means “to make out of nothing.” What is the difference between humankind’s creativity and God’s? Read Romans 4:17. How does God express His creativity to us?
- Luther says in the Small Catechism that God “richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.” How, then, do we account for the times in our lives when it doesn’t feel like we have everything that we need? Read Matthew 6:8.
- The doctrine of vocation teaches us that God provides for us through various callings, or work, of our neighbors, both those known and unknown by us. How does God work through your vocation (work) to provide for your neighbor’s needs?