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 5: HIM/HER
By: TIM CHILVERS
Date: 28 February 2021
Bible Passage: Genesis (chapter 2, verses 18-25)
In a confused world, the biblical foundations of Adam and Eve lay out a pathway ahead. It’s when we discover the dignity and equality of Adam and Eve, we realise the radical power of the biblical framework that we rely on today.
Resources are sent out to all parents each week via e-mail. If you are not receiving these emails or would like to know about how you can get connected with our youth groups please contact us, we would love to hear from you.
- What does God think about you? What difference does this make to your life?
- Jesus refers to the the two ‘greatest commandments’ in Matthew 22:35-39. What aspects of this do we find most difficult? Why?
- In Genesis 2:18-25, we catch a glimpse of how God sees men and women. What aspects strike you?
- In Hebrew (the original language that Genesis was written in), the name ‘Adam’ means ‘Human’ and the name ‘Eve’ means ‘Life’. How does this radical equality and necessity give a dignity to both men and women?
- What is the unique freedom in discovering that our identity is in what God says about us, rather than any cultural expectations, norms or rights? For the follower of Jesus, what impact does 2 Corinthians 5:17 have?
- As we’ll see in the coming weeks, Genesis 3 shatters everything. Author Andy Crouch says, ‘Every one of us is a member of the coalition of human beings who feel out of place in our bodies east of Eden. And every one of us has fallen far short of honoring God and other human beings with our bodies.’ How does the broken, sinful reality of everything after Genesis 3 change how we see ourselves, other people and God? What kind of church then, are we called to build?
- Take some time to pray – asking that God would help you to believe what he says about you and other people. Pray that we would be able to model a different way as a church family, in which we extend radical grace, love and acceptance to those around us – the same radical grace, love and acceptance that Christ has shown us regardless of how we, or they, see themselves.
FURTHER STUDY RESOURCES
BOOK: ‘Embodied’ by Preston Sprinkle
ARTICLE: A thought-provoking article (written in 2013 in a US context, and so some of the terminology and themes may seem a bit outdated) in which Andy Crouch outlines how everything about us (mind, body, spirit etc) matters. http://andy-crouch.com/articles/sex_without_bodies
For PARENTS: ‘7 tips for talking about sexuality with your children’ https://christian-sexuality.com/parents-resource-download/
ARTICLE: ‘A biblical conversation about transgender identities’ by The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender (you may have to register your email address to access this helpful free resource) https://centerforfaith.com/sites/default/files/cfsg_pastoral_papers_12.pdf
YOUTUBE: the podcast ‘Theology in the Raw’ has some fascinating engagement with many issues surrounding gender, identity and relationships. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0n1IZ7la_YUMRB8kdSqTgqhFtlmTW6Xr
RESOURCES: ‘Transformed’ – a series of free online resources provided by the Evangelical Alliance: https://www.eauk.org/resources/what-we-offer/reports/transformed-understanding-transgender-in-a-changing-culture
Watch Online: YouTube
Listen Online: Podcast