Saturday, January 25, 2014

P2-SFS - The Origin of the Search

The Search For Significance –
Seeing your true worth through God's eyes”
Robert S. McGee

Chapter 2- The Origin of the Search

  • Last week we looked at some of our emotional battles
  • These issues make us ask the question: has God always had solutions for our emotional struggles, or did he have to wait for psycholgists to come up with the answers?
  • The Old Testament tells us about the original incident of sin, and the “fall of man”
  • Gen 3:6-7
  • The first man lived in close relationship with God
  • He was made complete and perfect, in the image of God (Gen 1:26-28)
  • His purpose was to demonstrate God's holiness (Psa 99:3-5).
  • God's major attribute is love
  • So man's purpose included expressing love and patience (1 Cor 13:4), wisdom (James 3:13, 17), comfort (2 Cor 1:3-4), forgiveness (Heb 10:17), faithfulness (Ps 89:1-2, 5, 8) and grace (Ps 111:4)
  • Man was to be the showcase of God's glorious character. He was a very important creation, to God
  • God created a woman to fill man's need for companionship and understanding, and gave her to Adam as his wife
  • God placed them in the setting of a perfect environment, a beautiful garden where God supplied their physical needs
  • They had the responsibility of supervising this paradise
  • And God filled their spiritual needs by visiting them and talking with them personally
  • Adam and Eeve were perfect in body mind and spirit.
  • Isa 14:12-15
  • Like Adam and Eve, Satan was created in perfection
  • When created, his name was Lucifer, which means “morning star” or “light-bearer”
  • He was to be the highest rank of angel, created to glorify God
  • He was created as a beautiful and powwerful being, and served in God's presence
  • He allowed all this to go to his head and rebelled against God
  • He was thrown out of heaven, with the third of the angels who had followed him
  • He then appeared to Adam and Eve in the form of a snake, more crafty than any other beast of the field
  • Adam had been given authority over the earth, just as Lucifer had been given a position in heaven
  • But if, like Lucifer, man rebelled against God, he would lose his authority and perfection
  • Man would become a slave to Satan and to sin (Rom 6:17), and become subject to God's wrath or punishment (Eph 2:3)
  • Satan wanted to destroy man's destiny, so that Satan could reign on earth
  • His method was to deceive Eve, who fell to the temptation to disobey God and eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
  • Eve thought doing so would make her wise and like God
  • Adam was not deceived though, he deliberately chose to sin, and thus leave the love and security he had with God (1 Tim 2:14)
  • Man now lost his closeness with God, he abdicated his position of rulership over the earth and gave it to Satan
  • In other words, man lost his whole reason for being
  • God had a solution in mind to restore the original order of things
  • As the supreme evidence of God's love for us, he sent Jesus to die, so our sins could be forgiven
  • Jesus became our substitute and we are offered a complete pardon for our sins
  • If we accept this forgiveness, the penalty is paid, and our relationship with God is now restored.
  • Man is not lost forever!
  • We can be restored to the security and significance for which we were created
  • This forgiveness is a gift, undeserved.
  • Are you trusting in your own abilities to earn God's acceptance?
  • On a scale of 0 to 100, how sure are you that you would spend eternity with Jesus, if you died today?
  • If your answer is less than 100, you are trusting in part on yourself
  • The fact is, that Jesus did it all. He restored our relationship with God
  • Titus 3:4-5
  • We have probably heard about Jesus and the cross. This is of no value to us, unless we accept the gift God is offerning, for ourselves, and commit ourselves to walking with Him, living His way
  • All your sins are forgiven (Col 2:13-14)
  • You are now a child of God (John 1:12, Rom 8:15)
  • You receive eternal life (John 5:24)
  • You are rescued from Satan's domain, and transferred into the kingdom of Christ (Col 1:13)
  • Jesus comes to dwell within you (Col 1:27, Rev 3:20)
  • You are now a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)
  • You have now been declared righteous by God (2 Cor 5:21)
  • You now have a loving relationship with God (1 John 4:9-11)
  • You are accepted by God (Col 1:19-22)
  • Satan would like you to believe that man is supreme, and the center of intelligence
  • He would like you to think you don't need God.
  • He would also like you to think that Jesus' sacrifice on your behalf is not sufficient, that you need to do all kinds of things to still earn God's acceptance.
  • He would like you to depend on your own efforts to earn your significance or self-worth
  • Becauser of his separation from God, mankind believes this
  • Satan's lie is this formula:
  • Self-worth = Performance + Others' Opinions
  • This means we become dependent on others' opinions before realizing our self-worth
  • We become dependent on having to do certain thing in order to feel good about ourselves
  • Our beliefs → thoughts → emotions → actions
  • But Jesus gave us our significance as an undeserved gift

Discussion Questions

  • What do you think it means for man to be c reated in God's image?
  • What are two responsibilities God gave to Adam?
  • How do you think this made man feel about himself?
  • How did the Fall affect man's desire for significance?
  • If you died tonight, hopw sure are you that God would let you into heaven?
  • How do you feel about others' opinions about you? Do they shape how you see yourself?
  • How do your beliefs about yourself affect your actions?