Summary: This is the final part of a two part series. We survey the stories of Genesis 1-22 with power point slides and then share this lesson. God wants us back! He calls us. We will answer to God one day. His desire is that we come to Him and receive grace.
Closer to God, Closer to One Another
Survey the stories of Genesis 1-22 focusing on God's call and man's response.
These two things are the theme of all of scripture. They are the greatest of all human quests. Love God and love your neighbor are not only the highest and best we can do, they are the greatest commandments and they are the summation of all of the word of God.
Sadly, the human race seems to do everything possible to find meaning elsewhere!
Let’s answer some questions and the lesson is yours.
First, what do we learn about closer to God and closer to one another from Genesis 1-22?
The next questions help us explore this: 2. What’s the tendency? What do most people do as regards growing closer to God and one another? We all grow. We develop. We form. We all have a natural tendency.
I used to believe that left alone, a human being, born with a clean slate would develop into a decent person with character and qualities that are honorable. I no longer believe that. No, we are as Ephesians 2 says, “We are by nature objects of wrath.” Or as God said after the flood, “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.” From what? From childhood. Every inclination of his heart is only what? Evil. From when? From childhood. Woah!
It seems from these scriptures that wickedness gets a jump start in our lives. Kids are born naturally self-centered, foolish, stingy, selfish, impatient and sometimes mean. As Joe Beam once observed, “Two year olds may not be sinners, but it’s not from lack of trying.”
Left to ourselves, we would not naturally grow up to be disciplined, honest, humble, obedient, and loving individuals. These things are trained into us, or NOT. Human beings are the most dangerous creatures on planet earth. Made in God’s own image and likeness, we carry with us a lot of potential power. But that power must be submitted to God and shaped and disciplined by His word or it will express itself in destructive and evil ways.
A cursory reading of Genesis 1-22 reveals that. We have fallen short of God’s glory into sin. We need desperately to grow closer to God and be restored by His grace.
That answers the next question too. How does sin affect us? It separates us from God first. Then it begins to destroy our relationships with one another. That’s exactly what we see in Genesis 1-22. When we are trapped in sin we will want others to join us. The end of Romans chapter 1 says this:
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
They what? They approve of those who practice them. Practice what? Things that deserve death!
Romans 1 is clear about another thing. When people continue to reject God and embrace sin, God will reject them and give them over to deeper and darker conditions. Verse 21 puts it succinctly, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God, nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Question number 3. Why does God call us?
First of all, we need to realize and thank God that He does indeed call us! God calls all men everywhere to repent! God’s call to all is the gospel of Jesus Christ! Just like Adam in the garden, God calls us today!
Where are you?
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, CALLED to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—
Romans 1:6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are CALLED to belong to Jesus Christ.
Romans 1:7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and CALLED to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:28 God works all things together for good of those who love him, who have been CALLED according to His purpose.