Monday nights have officially become my favorite part of the week. For two hours each Monday I get to sit around a long table with high school girls from different schools, different churches and different walks of life who are all hungry for a deeper understanding of Scripture, an intimate relationship with Christ and friendships founded on substantial conversation.
We are kicking things off with a study I highly recommend to anyone and everyone, Essentials: A Guide to the Foundational Beliefs and Practices of the Christian Faith produced by Grace Bible Church in College Station, TX. You can download it for free at http://www.grace-bible.org/resources/bible-studies-and-publications/essentials
Last night we covered the third session, How Can I Be Saved? Finding Reconciliation Through the Gospel. There is something powerful about 10 teenage girls sitting in a busy coffee shop, speaking boldly about the reality of our sin and our need for a Savior.
Church people throw the word “gospel” around left and right these days, but oftentimes when asked, “What is the gospel?” people are frequently at a loss for words.
“Well, uh – it’s the gospel,” is a common response I get to the question.
The study clearly lays out the four main points of the gospel for us:
- You are a sinner.
- The penalty for sin is death.
- Christ died for you and then rose from the dead.
- You can be saved through faith in Christ.
One thing the girls and I agreed on at the very beginning of last night was we have never dug so deep into “the gospel” before. I told the girls it’s like we have been playing in the kiddy pool this whole time and this week we’re diving into the Pacific.
As we dove deeper and deeper into the gospel truth together last night, we all felt our hearts and minds going crazy as we stumbled upon greater understandings.
I felt compelled to share with you one of those understandings through this blog today. As the study had us dig deeper into the subject of sin, it encouraged us to read Genesis 1:26-31; 2:15-17 and 3:1-7 to process through a few thought-provoking questions:
- For what purpose did God originally create humanity?
- How does sin affect this purpose?
- What is the origin of human sin?
When I read Genesis 1:26, Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.” I cannot ignore the blinding truth that our triune God originally created humanity to be like him.
How does sin affect humanity’s purpose to be like God? Sin distracts us from our purpose and keeps us from looking like God, since God is completely holy and totally without sin.
As I read Genesis 3:1-7 seeking to find the origin of human sin, I cannot ignore Satan’s well-crafted lie he tempts Eve with to get her to eat the forbidden fruit and break God’s sole commandment.
In Genesis 3:5 Satan says to Eve, “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
Do you see what just happened? Satan just tempted Eve into sin by getting her to believe the lie that she was in need of what God had already given her!
From the beginning, God created humanity to be like him, but out of a desire to be like God, Eve and Adam fell into temptation and brought sin into the world. That makes no sense! Yet, I fall for the same lie time and time again.
What is Satan tempting you with? What lies are you believing that make you long for something God has already given you?
Here’s the truth: if you belong to Jesus, you have everything you need. By his Holy Spirit, we, as God’s children, are longing for nothing.
It breaks my heart that Satan temporarily wins faith battles every day by making Christians believe we must sin to obtain something our Heavenly Father has already given us.
I pray we defeat Satan’s ridiculous tactics today as we cling to Christ and all we have in him.