SERIES: God on Race
Week #1: The Rise and Fall of the Human Race
Genesis 1:26-28, 3:1-7, 5:1-5 and Colossians 3:10-11
Life is full of difficult and challenging issues. As followers of Jesus, it’s important that we not shy away from these difficult, real-world issues but seek to bring biblical application to them. This is true when it comes to the difficult issue of race.
Currently, there are a lot of other voices, beyond the scriptures, talking about the issue of race. Before we can even add our voices as Christians to such an important and uniquely divisive issue, we must be what Pastor Brian would call “theologically astute.” For the Christian, understanding the Word of God should form our views, how we influence in the public square, and how we live. Everything from how we think, what we say, and how we act should be molded and directed by the Word of God.
As we begin our series called, “God on Race”, we are going to explore the issue of race from a biblical point-of-view. These three sermons will give us “three legs of a stool” which can provide us with a proper theological foundation on which we can sit, allowing us to think and act biblically on the issue of race. This week, we are going to look at the “Rise and Fall of the Human Race” – seeing how we are:
Universally created in the image of God. Universally fallen. Universally redeemed.
THE UNIVERSALITY OF CREATION (Genesis 1:26-28)
- Every person is created in the image of God himself (Imago Dei). There was no distinction racially. The only distinction seen is that of male and female.
THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE FALL (Genesis 3:1-7, 5:1-3)
- The fall of the human race affects every person and every aspect of humanity.
- The Serpent reverses the created order and Adam and Eve choose to obey him instead of God.
- Sin is reproduced generation to generation.
- Restoration is needed for all people.
THE UNIVERSALITY OF REDEMPTION (Colossians 3:10-11)
- The only way people can be restored is through a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
- Jesus died on the cross for every people group and skin color; giving us a new identity and restoring us to the Imago Dei.
- In Christ, there is not any “skin color” or “race” as we would define it in the world that is superior over another. All of us can have the Holy Spirit inside of us and possess the mind of Christ. We are able to live in Christ as brothers and sisters created in the image of God. We are equally redeemed in Christ.
The Great Commission shows us God’s heart for all people groups.
- Matthew 28:18-20 ESV “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
We are universally created in the image of God. Universally fallen. Universally redeemed.
Begin your session with prayer and use the following questions/discussion to get the conversation started…
Before beginning this new series, take time to share how God worked through the 10 Days of Repentance. Ask your group to share “God moments” that occurred over the past couple of weeks as they spent time focused around repentance and intentional time with God. Give some time for your group to share about how God is at work and what is on their heart in prayer.
Q: What did God do in your life over the past two weeks that can only be attributed to Him?
Q: How did this challenge or encourage your faith?
Q: What specifically are you praying for today when it comes to your relationship with God and how He is at work?
Spend a few minutes in prayer – thanking God for how He is working in your group, praying for the different requests that were shared, and praying for your discussion and study today.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Ask and discuss the following questions.
Q: Do you believe that it is important for followers of Jesus to engage with difficult and challenging real-world topics biblically? Why or why not?
Q: What are the effects of allowing other voices, besides the Bible, to be our influence when it comes to these types of issues?
Q: How can we ensure that the Bible forms our thinking about life issues verses culture or even our own ideas forming our understanding of the Bible? Why is this sometimes challenging to keep the Bible central to how we think?
Q: Read Genesis 1:26-27. What does it mean when Scripture says people are universally made in the “image of God?”
Q: How does this truth affect how we as Christians should view and understand race?
Q: How has “the fall” universally affected all people from then until now? How do we see these affects expressed in our lives and world today?
Q: What does Colossians 15:21-22 teach us about Christ’s redemption? In what ways do people seek redemption and forgiveness apart from Christ? Why are these ways unable to truly redeem and forgive?
Q: Read Colossians 3:10. What does this passage say about the universality of Christ’s redemption and its effects?
Q: How does following Jesus help us see and love all people like He sees and loves all people?
Q: What is your personal “take-away” from this week’s message? What is one specific thing the Lord spoke to you this week?
Q: What is your “action step” this week? How are you planning to apply what God has spoken to you?
Pastor Brian encouraged the church to pray that the Lord will help us see all men and women as Jesus sees all men and women. The reality is that not every voice in our culture or even every person we know may live this way or encourage the same. We may even struggle with this at times. But as “Theologically Astute” followers of Jesus, this is our goal.
As you conclude, encourage and challenge your group members to spend time with the Lord this next week, asking Him to help them see people the way that He does. Pray that we would all grow in our understanding that we are universally made in the image of God, universally fallen, and universally redeemed. Pray that this would direct how we view, love, and treat the people in our world.
SCRIPTURES FROM THIS WEEK’S MESSAGE:
- Genesis 1:26-28, 3:1-7, 5:1-3 // Colossians 3:10-11 //Matthew 28:18-20.
NEXT WEEK’S MESSAGE: God on Race: The Origin of Race and Religion