26 Apr Discussion Guide: Purple Book | Sin and Salvation
Take the first few minutes of your time together to listen to what God is doing in one another’s lives and pray for any specific needs people in your group may have.
“If Christianity is really true, then it involves the whole man, including his intellect and creativeness. Christianity is not just “dogmatically” true or “doctrinally” true. Rather, it is true to what is there, true in the whole area of the whole man in all of life.”- Francis Schaeffer
As we begin this journey through the Purple Book it is important to remember these wise words of Francis Schaeffer. Our desire is not to simply grow in our knowledge of Scripture or to become more informed in doctrine. As great as a knowledge of Scripture and doctrine is, just having knowledge of something has never really changed anyone. Our goal through this study is to realize how the Truth of Jesus and His Gospel bears weight on every aspect of our lives. Every decision, every conversation, every moment. And, in light of that reality, for us to continue to build our lives on the foundation of God’s Word, not just by knowing, but by living in obedience to His will.
This will be a long journey. It will be a challenging journey. But, it will be a journey that is well worth the time and energy invested as we travel this road together and seek to become a more passionate and impactful people for the glory of God.
Sin & Salvation
Why did Edison invent the light bulb? Why did Ford invent the Model-T? Why did Steve Jobs (and his team at Apple) invent the iPhone? Why does anyone invent anything?
Edison wanted a form of light that would not require gas or flame, thus making it safer and more affordable. Ford wanted to build a car for the masses, one that everyone could afford. Jobs wanted to produce a mobile device that would replace all your other devices combined. The point being, these inventions, and everything that has ever been invented or made, has had a purpose behind it’s being invented or made.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.
What was God’s purpose in creating all things, including you and me?
God did not need to create anything. He already, eternally existed in perfect relationship and glory within His Triune Self. God chose to create the universe, and specifically us, for the purpose of His glory and of making His glory known.
What does it mean to glorify God?
The word glory literally means “weightiness or heaviness. In other words, God desires to be the heaviest thing in our lives. Everything He created is meant to lean towards Him, to be a reflection of His goodness and perfection. To glorify God is to live life in such a way that others can see His character and attributes in and through our lives. It is to obey His Word and trust in Him alone to know how our lives were meant to be lived. Glorifying God is seeking His pleasure, His reputation, His desires above our own. It is making Him uppermost in our affections and desires. It is seeking to represent Him to the best of our abilities.
How have you seen God’s glory through the lives of others?
And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
If God is good and loving and perfect, why did He place this tree in the garden in the first place?
To glorify something is to love it more than anything else. You cannot have glory without love. To love something is to make a sacrificial choice to put the needs of that thing, or person, above your own. You cannot love without choice. So, you see, if God’s desire was for Adam and Eve to glorify Him and love Him above all, He had to also create the opportunity for Adam and Eve to not love Him above all. That is what the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents. A choice. The command to not eat of this tree was the opportunity Adam and Eve needed in order to truly love and glorify God. In the same way Adam could not reflect the image of a Triune God as an isolated individual, and so God made Eve, so Adam and Eve could not fulfill the purpose of glorifying God unless God also introduced the choice of choosing someone, or something else before God.
“When we inquire why a sin was committed we can be assured it is because one has loved that which is inferior to that which is superior.”
With that in mind, how would you define sin in your own words?
The essence of sin is not just about what you do or don’t do, which rules you keep and don’t keep. The essence of sin is in the reason behind why you do or don’t do something. Sin is when we make anything, or anyone, a higher priority in our lives that God. You can be the most religious person on the planet, but if the motivation behind your religion is that you might gain a better reputation then your religion is just a more disciplined version of idolatry.
The Consequence of Sin
Why do you think the first thing Adam and Eve did after eating the fruit was to cover their nakedness? Why is this significant for us today?
Before eating the fruit, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. There was no fear, no insecurity. They trusted one another completely. They were vulnerable with one another in their nakedness and they were ok with that. Eve knew she needn’t fear Adam abusing or misusing her because she knew he loved God and sought to glorify God in their relationship. Adam knew he had no reason to doubt Eve’s intentions or devotion to him because he knew she also sought to glorify God in their relationship. But, when the ate the fruit their eyes were open to more then just their physical state of nakedness. For the first time since the beginning Adam and Eve looked at each other and realized God’s glory was no longer the pursuit of their hearts. In a moment, fear, insecurity and shame flooded their hearts and minds. Now, Eve had good reason to doubt Adam’s trustworthiness. Adam had reason to doubt Eve’s intentions. So what do they do? The same thing you and I do everyday. They put up walls in the form of fig leaves. They shut each other out. They put up their guard for fear of being hurt, rejected and abused by one another. Sin not only destroyed their relationship with God, it destroyed their relationship with one another as well. And this is what sin has been doing in relationships all over the world ever since.
How has sin impacted our world? Your family? Your life?
If you were God, how would you have responded to the sin of humanity? Why?
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.
God’s Answer To Our Sin
What does it mean to substitute?
To substitute means to trade places with another. A substitute teacher takes the place of the full-time teacher in the classroom so the full-time teacher can take the place of the substitute teacher at home. The player on the sideline trades places with the player on the field. A substitute takes the place of another.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
How does this word, “substitute” apply to what Jesus has done for us? What are the implications of this reality?
The theological term is Substitutionary Atonement and it points to the fact that Jesus, who was seated at the right hand of the Father in perfect relationship willingly went through the separation from, and wrath of, the Father in our place, so that we who deserved separation and wrath might experience perfect relationship and right standing with God. He became our sin that we could become His righteousness. He didn’t just enable us to have forgiveness for our sin, he defeated the power of sin in our lives so that we could be free from sin and walk in righteousness.
What do you find amazing about this Gospel?
Receiving God’s Gift…A New Heart
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
What does it mean to be a slave to something? Give an example.
To be a slave to something or someone means it/they own you. It means you do what you are told to do. You may have some freedom within slavery, like what you think or the words you use or what you do with your down time, but ultimately you have to do what your master commands you to do.
What’s the only way to truly and legally come out of slavery?
The only way a person can truly and legally come out of slavery is someone has to buy his freedom. Someone has to pay a price to take possession from the slave master. The point being that if we are slaves to sin, and under the control of a sin nature, then someone has to pay the price to free us from sin.
Who paid the price to free us from our master, sin?
Jesus paid the price. His perfect life of obedience was the equity, the cash in His wallet if you will, and His death was cashing in that equity, delivering the payment on our behalf to buy us back from sin. His resurrection was proof that the transaction was now complete and we were free to walk out of death alongside our new Master.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing: it is the gift of God not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
How do you take possession of a gift? How do we take possession of the gift of God’s grace?
By grace through faith. Meaning God, in His grace, gives you the gift of faith to trust in the finished work of Christ for salvation. Faith is more than jus a mental belief in something. Faith is the complete trust in something. You can believe a chair exists. You can believe that in should hold up your weight when you sit in it. But you demonstrate trust, or faith, in the chair when you actually take a seat in it. Faith in Christ is putting the weight of your eternity solely on His shoulders as they hung upon a cross, and on His back as He walked out of the tomb.
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
How does this quote relate to your understanding of the Gospel?