Term 4 2020

Creation Reconciled

The Apostle Paul described God’s work in his Son Jesus in these terms: “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things … by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1: 19-20). God’s purposes have always encompassed his entire creation. As we lead up to Christmas we look at the Bible’s big picture of the reconciliation of Creation through the work of Jesus, the creative word made flesh.

Creation Frustrated   Genesis 3   6th December

  1. Why was it so bad for the woman and man to eat fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden (v6)?
  2. Compare the state of creation in Genesis 1 & 2 with that of Genesis 3:17-19.
  3. What is the root cause of bushfires, drought and corona virus?
  4. If original sin caused all the problems in the world, does that mean I’m not to blame? Why?
  5. What is our relationship to Adam – how like Adam are we? See Romans 3:9-12.
  6. What are some practical steps we can take to resume our rightful role as stewards of God’s creation? (You might like to return to this question at the end of your discussion.)
  7. How optimistic can we be about the likely success of our efforts to be stewards? Why?
  8. What evangelistic opportunities are presented when people express sorrow and frustration with the bad state of the world? Brainstorm some possible ways to respond.
  9. This passage is not all doom and gloom. What else do you notice? What do those things mean for us today?

Creation   Genesis 1:1 – 2:3   29th November

  1. Read this account carefully and discuss the features that indicate it has a poetic form. What key words, themes and actions are repeated?
  2. Your friend says she “doesn’t believe in an interventionist God” (quoting Nick Cave) – technically that makes her a deist. How does Genesis 1 undermine that position?
  3. Your other friend has embraced a pantheistic world view of the modern environment movement – he believes that the cosmos is divine. How does Genesis 1 rule this option out?
  4. What can you tell of the character of God from Genesis 1:1 – 2:3?
  5. Carefully examine the parallel structure of Genesis 1:27. What does this tell us about the dignity and status of men and women? Can you think of areas where our society and our denomination fail to honour this? What implications, if any, does this have for gender imbalance in government (eg Federal Parliament), business (eg the boardroom), the teaching and health care professions and single sex schools? What critique does it give of the gender pay gap in Australia and for male only ministry teams in local churches?
  6. Imagine your Connect Group is the pre-selection panel for the Liberal Party in the Bennelong electorate and you are assessing candidates for pre-selection. As part of the process you decide to draft some principles from Genesis 1:1 – 2:3 to assess each candidate’s environmental credentials. What would you include?