SYNOPSIS OF THE SERMON
This week Pastor Rich began a new sermon series entitled, “Amazing Grace.” In Romans 8:1, Paul asserts that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” In the lives of Adam, Abraham, Moses, and David, God gives us a picture of what is required for us to live in covenant agreement with Him. Covenant is the organizing principle of the Bible. When a covenant is broken, a penalty must be paid. However, God has made provision so that we can live with Him, even when we violate His covenant. Christians will never again be under the condemnation and penalty of sin because of the gracious gift of Jesus Christ. He has paid the penalty. This is why we can live with “No Condemnation.”
GETTING THE CONVERSATION STARTED
These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.
1. If you had siblings growing up, can you recall a time when you blamed one another for doing something that upset your parents? Describe the situation. What caused you to blame one another rather than accepting responsibility?
2. Have you noticed a tendency to blame others in your life? If so, what impact has this had upon any relationships in your sphere of influence?
3. Has anyone in your family or any of your friends ever been convicted of a crime (please keep their identity anonymous)? Without detailing the crime, how has that person responded (e.g. shame, withdrawal, hiding, blaming others, etc…)
INTERACTING WITH THE SERMON
1. In 5 minutes or less, briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Explain.
2. Read Genesis 3: 7 – 24 (TNIV)
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” 20 Adam named his wife Eve because she would become the mother of all the living. 21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove them out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
• In preparation for Small Group time, leaders are encouraged to read Genesis 2:15 – 3:6.
• What happened as a result of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit? (v.7). Why do you think they covered themselves? Are there examples of persons and/or society continuing to cover their sins today? Discuss.
• Did Adam and Eve recognize God in the garden (v. 8)? How do you know? What was Adam and Eve’s response when they heard God’s presence? (vv. 8 – 10) What was his observation about himself? (v. 10) What was Adam’s action? Did Adam know he was naked before? How do you know? What did God tie this self awareness to? (v.11)
• How did Adam answer when God asked him if he ate from the forbidden tree? What did Eve answer when God asked her why she gave the fruit to Adam?? (v) When was the last time you blamed another for your fault? How can we change such irresponsible behavior?
• Did God exempt anyone from the penalty of sin? What was the penalty for each of them? (vv. 14 – 19). How does this underscore how serious sin is to God? Why should this even matter to us?
• What does “enmity” mean? Describe what this first prophecy found in the Bible, spoken by God Himself, is predicting.
• After giving the penalty for each of them, what did God do next? (v. 21) Why do you think this was necessary? What does this say about God’s love?
• Adam and Eve were banished from the garden and not given access to the tree of life. What significance, if any, is the garden of Eden in the first place? Or the tree of life? Is there any other significance that trees have in the Bible? (Galatians 3:13ff) What does this say about how God deals with the penalty of sin?
3. In the sermon, Pastor Rich shares that in the cases of Adam, Abraham, and Moses God is giving us a picture of what is required to live with Him; trust, love and obedience. When we don’t do this God takes the penalty…
• If there are areas of your life that you’re hiding from God, out of fear, ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to begin to trust in his grace.
• Do you feel like you’re living under a “curse?” Do you feel like you can not escape your past? Consider praying for forgiveness, healing, and freedom. As you pray, know that trusting in Christ, and placing your confidence in what Christ has done for you in living a perfect life enables you to forever live outside the ream of God’s condemnation, and that nothing shall separate you from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus our Lord.