Teaching Series Introduction:
People are complex. You and I are complex. How do we understand ourselves and each other? How do we move toward one another in God-honouring ways? How do we love wisely in the context of everyday relationships?
One of the most memorable songs in recent years is the song ‘Human’ by Rag ‘N’ Bone man. It’s an honest reflection on the complexity of human relationships, with the line ‘I’m only human after all. Don’t put your blame on me.’ It’s something we’ve all felt at times – I’m just human, don’t expect perfection! The word ‘human’ originally means ‘of the earth’. It’s where we get our word humours from – dust, from the ground, from the earth.
During 2020, we’ve had a glimpse of some of the limits of our humanity, but also some of the best of us humans. And, as we begin to emerge out of this pandemic, it’s worth getting back to basics to remember some foundations of what it means to be human. When we know who we are, we can rebuild for what’s ahead.
Our guide will be the very opening words of the Bible. Yes, the first few chapters of Genesis provide is with rock-solid foundations to be able to navigate uncharted times. We’ll be thinking about our purpose, our relationships, our sexuality, our identity, and how we live in changing times. We’ll be grappling with some pretty big questions that we all face in life.
And as we do so, we’ll discover the freedom in being neither dust nor divine. Yes, join us at Riverside to find the freedom in being able to say “I’m only human after all!”
Title: Human – Session 1: Whose Story Am I Living?
By: Tim Chilvers
Date: 17 January 2021
Bible Passage: Genesis (Chapter 1, verses 1 to 25)
Our story only makes sense as part of the big story. The Genesis account of creation is about God. All the questions we have about it all falter under the misunderstanding that it is about us. Only when we discover this, do we build foundations that make sense.
Resources are sent out to all parents each week. If you are not receiving these emails or would like to know about how you can get connect with our youth please contact: email@example.com
- Author Nicky Gumbel says the following: ‘There are over 25,000 varieties of orchids. The orchid is just one of 270,000 species of flowers…In our galaxy there are over 100 billion stars like our sun. Our galaxy is one of over 100 billion galaxies. It is thought that for every grain of sand there are a million stars.’ Where do you think it all comes from? Why?
- Read Genesis 1:1-25. In his talk on Sunday, Tim mentioned that this chapter is more about the ‘Who’ rather than the ‘How’. It is saying something about God as much as it is about the universe. Do you agree? Why/why not?
- In verse 1, we discover some key things about God. What are they?
- Look through the passage. What strikes you about it? What patterns, repeated phrases and ideas are there? What is this trying to tell us?
- In the hit TV show The Simpsons, Lisa Simpson says the following brilliant line, “I’m no theologian. I don’t know who or what God is. All I know is he’s more powerful than Mom and Dad put together.” What difference would it make to human existence if there is, or isn’t, a God?
- Throughout Genesis 1, one repeated phrase is that God saw that it was ‘good’. Why difference does this make to how we we the world around us?
- Take some time to pray, asking God to help you see your part in His story and to change how you see the world around you.
FURTHER SERIES LINKS
BOOK – ‘Dominion‘ by Tom Holland. An award-winning book, by a secular historian, that reminds us that our 21st Century world has surprisingly Christian foundations that we can easily take for granted.
BOOK ON GENESIS – ‘Genesis‘ by Bruce Waltke
BOOK ON GENESIS – ‘How to Read Genesis‘ by Tremper Longman III
VIDEO – A brilliant video series ‘Reset’ by SpeakLife – https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4zD5797LHdfMAdMokPT9wtUl5TxJ5_np
FURTHER STUDY – an online study guide going through the entire book of Genesis called ‘Knowing the Bible: Genesis’ – https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/course/knowing-bible-genesis/#week-1-overview
FURTHER STUDY LINKS – SESSION 1
BOOK – ‘Seven Days that Divide the World’ by John Lennox
VIDEO – Does the Bible teach that God created the universe in 7 days? https://www.publicchristianity.org/7-days-that-divide-the-world/
BLOG POSTS – A series of helpful blog posts on Creation and Science – https://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/series-creation-and-science
VIDEO & ARTICLES – How should we read Genesis 1? – https://www.publicchristianity.org/reading-the-genesis-creation-accounts-part-1/ and https://www.publicchristianity.org/reading-the-genesis-creation-accounts-part-2/
ARTICLE – Does Science contradict Religion? https://www.bethinking.org/does-science-disprove-god/does-science-contradict-religion