Bahan Alkitab: The Bible is God’s story of salvation from Genesis to Revelation. God reveals his redemptive plan to save his people through Jesus in both the Old and New Testaments.
Review Genesis to Romans (P5-P6, 30 Aug 2020)
Our history begins with God creating the universe and everything in it. God is the beginning of everything. God existed before anything else. God created everything out of nothing according to his plan. God is the Creator.
Question: How do you understand that God created the universe and everything in it?
Answer: By faith. You can’t see for yourself that God created everything in the beginning but you believe that. Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
God created man and woman as unique beings, gave them a unique task, and established a unique relationship with them. But then man rebelled against God, man sinned against God.
Question: How did sin start?
Answer: sinful behaviour begins with failure to trust God. Yes, there was a temptation from satan, but if Adam and Eve stood firm in their faith and trusted God no matter what others said, they would not sin. They failed to trust God and trusted satan’s word instead.
Question: What’s the impact of sin?
Answer: sin affected our relationship with God, others, and creation. We no longer regard God is our Lord, we no longer regard God as the most important, we no longer live a God-centred life but self-centred life. We no longer have close relationship with God. Instead of worshipping God, we worship other things, we even worship created things. We regard created things as more important than God. We do not care for others and only care about ourselves, again, self-centred live. We do not take care the creation, but we exploit them for our pleasure, for our benefits. Sin affected all aspects of our lives.
When Adam and Eve sinned, God judged them but promised to send a Saviour.
Genesis 3:15 – I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
Man cannot solve the problem of sin by themselves. They cannot save themselves from the wrath of God. Only God has the solution for sin, that is through Jesus Christ, the Saviour.
As descendants of Adam and Eve, we were born with a sinful nature. Throughout the history of mankind, we see clear evidence that man cannot break free from the bondage of sin by their own power, sin continues to escalate since the fall of Adam and Eve.
God is perfectly just and judges wickedness, but that He shows grace and mercy to His people. God chose His people. God chose Noah and his family. God called Abraham and gave him faith to believe His promises. God chose deceitful Jacob to inherit God’s promises and changed his heart. God chose the Israelites to be His people. He redeemed His people, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt. He gave His people His law. God’s law serves as the identity that differentiate God’s people from others.
God’s law shows that God is 100% holy, God is 100% righteous, God is 100% good. As God’s people, He demands us to be holy, to be righteous, to be good. However, with our sinful nature, we can’t live a holy life, we can’t be righteous, we can’t be good, let alone to be 100% righteous and good! So, does that mean we can’t be God’s people because we can’t fulfil God’s law?
But thanks be to God that He has chosen us to be His people. Thanks be to God that He sent Jesus to become a man and the promised Messiah. We belong to God, Jesus bought us back (redemption) with His sacrifice (atonement). He covers our sins and take away our sins (expiation) so we can return to God. The result of Christ’s work of expiation is propitiation – God’s anger is turned away, we are restored into fellowship with Him.
So now we return to God, we are justified before God, we are made righteous before God, however, we are still living in the fallen, sinful world. If we are not careful, we can be pulled into the sinful world. Apostle Paul warned us in Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Do not be conformed to this world means do not follow the way of this world.
Be transformed by the renewal of your mind: how can we be transformed? How can our mind be renewed? Answer: 1. by always remember that Christ bought us back with a high price, that He gave Himself for us. 2. by learning and practising his Word, the Bible. 3. by listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who stays in our heart the moment we believe in Christ.
We will surely go through testing, to refine and purify our faith. Through testing we will learn to follow the will of God, we will learn what is acceptable and perfect to God.
So, the Bible is God’s story of His redemption plan. Since the beginning (that is in Genesis), God had revealed his redemption plan because man will not be able to save themselves from the wrath of God. God showed his mercy by sending a Saviour to redeem a people for himself. 1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
God is faithful to his promises, and God holds us responsible for keeping His covenant.
Application / Group Discussion:
• Sinful behaviour begins with failure to trust God. How do you grow in trusting God?
• How do you resist temptation?
• List down the marks of the true Christian (Romans 12:9-21). Give an example how you would obey these commands by doing things differently from the worldly view.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”