INTRODUCTORY BIBLE COURSE - LESSON 1

ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR GOD?

LESSON 1

GOD AND MAN'S REBELLION


CONTENTS
  • God's Qualities
  • The Evidence of God
  • God Tells Us About Himself
  • Man's Problem -- SIN!
  • Sin is Universal
  • The Cause of Sin
  • The Cure for Sin
  • Student Instructions

  • Nothing, absolutely nothing! No seas, no skies, no plains, no mountains, no sun or moon or stars. nothing! Yes, there was no time, no days, no weeks, no years. Nothing, except God!

    All of this universe, and all of the earth, and all of what we call space is the work of God. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).

    Who is God? He is the self-existent, completely perfect and totally good Being, Who created all and Who preserves all things that have existence.

    That includes people, all people of all races out of all nations . . . you and me. "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:27).

    How can we describe God? How can we understand Him? God's nature and being are beyond our grasp in so many ways. It is difficult to describe God in human words. Though we cannot fully understand Him, there are some things we can know of Him. God has revealed things about Himself: His perfection, His existence, His presence,these can be partially understood through observing His creation, and reading His Word, the Bible.

    We can begin to understand God by some of His characteristics. These are pointed out to us in God's Word, your Bible.

    God's Qualities

    God is eternal. "Before the mountains were brought forth, Or even You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God" (Psalm 90:2). God does not live in the past or in the future, actually He lives in the now. God is always.

    God is all-powerful. God's power is shown by His speaking the earth into existence. God said, "Let there be light; and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). God's might, His genius, His ability to set all things in total harmony is seen throughout our universe. Our flights into space are possible because we depend on the accuracy of God to direct the stars in the heavens.

    God is good. Our English words "God" and "good" are related. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

    God is near. He is close. "for in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). "...He is not far from each one of us" (Acts 17:27).

    "God is love" (I John 4:8). Love gives, and "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

    God is holy. He is absolutely perfect and sinless. God makes no mistakes.

    The Evidence for God

    How tragic that God is so often ignored in the political, scientific, and educational realms of our lives. Evidence for God is so certain that the Psalmist said: "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

    Many want to escape God's authority, and so they try to convince themselves that science has explained God and His creation of all things. Some think that they answer only to themselves; so they reject God or place Him in an impersonal role in their lives.

    Yet the heart of the scientific method, is Cause and Effect. Simply put, every cause must have an adequate effect: "From nothing, comes nothing!" There has to be a Cause of all creation. The cause great enough to produce our universe is called God.

    God's creation tells something of his character. God has intelligence, because our universe has intelligent order, and intelligent beings.

    Emotions and feelings are present in our world, so God must have emotional characteristics. We would agree that the noblest, highest emotion is love, and therefore God must be One Who possesses love to the highest degree. It is no wonder the Bible declares: "...God is love" (I John 4:8).

    In our universe are great stores of energy and power beyond our knowledge. God is the source of this power, and the force behind the energy.

    In fact, our universe has within it moral rules. These are not self-produced. Even bad people recognize good and evil, and say that "good" is better than "bad" and that "right" is better than "wrong." We have a sense of morality. How can this be explained without God, Who has great moral consciousness?

    God is eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-at-the-same-time, possessed of will, capable of great love, and always good. God is a Being Who has created all, Who preserves all, and to Whom we shall answer for our deeds -- whether good or bad -- on Judgement Day.

    God Tells Us About Himself

    Those who reject God or ignore God do so, not because science or reason requires it, but because they want to do so! "They did not like to retain God in their knowledge" (Romans 1:28), and so "Professing to be wise, they became fools," (Romans 1:22).

    For those who really want to know God, He has revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, Who came to live with us as God in the flesh (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Matthew 1:23). Jesus showed us God's will for our lives, died for us on the cross, was buried, and arose from the dead on the third day (I Corinthians 15:1-7)! He gives spiritual life to those who receive Him in faith and obey His Word.

    Man's Problem -- SIN!

    Something is radically wrong with the human race. They hurt each other and themselves. They rob and rape. They swear and steal. They murder and molest. Nations oppose nations, and there are always wars and rumors of wars.

    The trouble with man is sin. Our greatest enemy is not ignorance or inflation, debt or deflation, disease or death. Our greatest enemy is sin in the hearts of people. The confusion, suffering and sorrow in the world comes because of sin.

    Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). Nothing else can separate us from God, but sin has great power over us. But what is sin? What are its results in human life? Is there any way of escape from its consequences?

    Sin is Universal

    First, we see that sin is universal. All people have sinned. "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23). "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us...If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us" (I John 1:8,10). The fact that "everybody does it" will not excuse us. No race, no tribe, no nation is immune from sin. We are all guilty because sin is universal, found in every century and in every culture!

    Because of sin in human life, man's relationship to God is described as being "ungodliness" (Romans 1:18). To be ungodly is to be anti-God. Sin is therefore living without God, or leaving God out, or living in rebellion against God. It is living contrary to God's law for our life.

    Sin is an offense against God, but it also has human consequences. When we revolt against God, we do not treat our fellowman right. Paul wrote: "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like;" (Galatians 5:19-21).

    The Cause of Sin

    The cause of sin is selfishness -- self-love. Those who revolt against God become filled with pride. The love of money, the sin of drunkenness, and the perversion of sex come out of self-love, and a disregard of others.

    What is the ultimate result of sin? Having chosen sin, we are in desperate circumstances. We are separated from God in this life (James 1:13-15). The result is separation from God forever.

    The Cure for Sin

    Yet God has given His Son as a sacrifice for our sins so that through Him we might receive release from guilt and sin. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:17, 18).

    Those who believe in Christ are commanded to "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;" (Acts 2:38). Those who gladly receive the way of salvation in Christ shall be saved -- saved from the guilt and final consequence of sin.

    Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). You cannot do away with sin and its results in your life, but Jesus can! Believe in Him and take Him as your Lord and Savior by obeying Him. If you do, He promises to save you in heaven.

    Student Instructions
    1. Study the lesson text carefully till you understand its meaning. Then answer the Questions to this lesson.
    2. Submit your answers to us through the Internet. Your graded answers will be returned to you through your e-mail address.
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    Courtesy of Sycamore Church of Christ, Cookeville, Tennessee, U.S.A.


    Questions
    Please answer the following questions by typing your answers into the spaces provided or, where a choice of answers is given, click against the button for the correct answer.

    You will find answers to the questions in the lesson material as well as the Scripture references that are cited.

    When you have completed all the required answers and information, simply click "Submit Form" and your answers will automatically be sent to us.



    I. Select TRUE or FALSE for the following statements. Example: TRUE In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

    1. The Bible says that God created man in His own image.

    2. God is eternal.

    3. There are some people, some nations, and some races whom God does not love.

    4. No effect can be greater than its cause.

    5. The God of the Bible is revealed to us as a Person; He has Personality.

    6. The problems that exist in the world have come as the result of sin.

    7. We are all sinners, but we are not responsible for our sins.

    8. Sin is rebellion against God.

    9. Sin does not separate us from God; He does not care about sin.

    10. Jesus Christ is the only Way home to God.


    II. Use your Bible and write the missing words in the blank spaces. Example: In the beginning [GOD] created the [HEAVENS] and the [EARTH].

    11. "Then God said, 'Let there be and there was " (Genesis 1:3).

    12. "Then God said, 'Let Us make in Our according to Our likeness; let them have over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth"' (Genesis 1:26).

    13. "Before the were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the and the , Even from to everlasting, You are "(Psalms 90:2).

    14. "Every gift and every perfect is from and comes down from the of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

    15."For so the that He His only begotten , that whoever in Him should not but have everlasting " (John 3:16).

    16. "So then of us shall give account of to " (Romans 14:12).

    17. "Whoever commits commits lawlessness, and sin is " (I John 3:4).

    18. "And He said, 'What comes of a man, that a man"' (Mark 7:20).

    19. "Then Peter said unto them,' and let every one of you be in the of for the of sins; and you shall receive the of the Holy Spirit'" (Acts 2:38).

    20. "You see then that a man is justified by and not by " (James 2:24).

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    Your answers will be graded and returned to you through your e-mail address. Thank you for your interest in God's Book. May He bless you in the study of His Word.

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