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 9: Why is everything broken?
By: sarah auger
Date: 28 march 2021
Bible Passage: Genesis (chapter 3, verses 1 – 19)
Adam & Eve are a snapshot of the devastating truth that everything is fractured. Their relationships with each other, with themselves, with the world around them and ultimately with God are all broken. Left to our own devices, things go devastatingly wrong. Maybe it’s a good job we’re not left to our devices!
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- A journalist in The Spectator recently wrote the following, ‘I am not religious, so it is not my place to dictate to Christians what they should and should not believe. Still, if someone has a faith worth following, I feel that their beliefs should make me feel uncomfortable for not doing so. If they share 90 percent of my lifestyle and values, then there is nothing especially inspiring about them. Instead of making me want to become more like them, it looks very much as if they want to become more like me.’ What do you make of this?
- Read Genesis 3. What do you notice about the various consequences of Eve and Adam eating the fruit?
- Notice the split in the relationship between God and humanity in v8-11. Why do you think they hid? What have they discovered about themselves? What might that represent?
- In verses 12-14, we see a classic example of ‘passing the buck’, as they each blame someone, or something, else for what has happened. In what ways do we see this in our society – and in our lives – today?
- Where do we catch glimpses of grace and hope in these verses? What do you think those verses might point towards?
- In our society today, we don’t tend to like thinking of our own sin and its consequences, or the problem of suffering in our world. And yet, we easily understand it when we are sinned against, and when we experience suffering and sadness ourselves. Why is the truth revealed in Genesis 3 such good news for us?
- Take some time to pray. Ask that God would help you discover, believe and share the hope of grace in the middle of darkness.
FURTHER STUDY RESOURCES
VIDEO: A helpful reflection on suffering, death and Genesis 3 https://youtu.be/sKRLD7dKI2M
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