I am posting a study guide for Tim Keller’s The Reason for God that I created to lead my small group through. I hope it is a blessing.
Reason for God Chapter 10 The Problem of Sin
- What was your favorite part of this chapter?
- What made you struggle in this chapter?
- What did you learn about God in this chapter?
- What did you learn about yourself in this chapter?
The world is fundamentally flawed. Christians call this sin.
Most of us do not understand what Christians mean by the term of sin.
- Why is talking about sin important?
Sin and Human Hope
Many of us have the impression that the Christian doctrine of sin is bleak and pessimistic about human nature. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
- What is the legal model of explaining sin?
- What is the medical model of explaining sin?
How are both broken models?
The essence of sin is a wrecked relationship with God, one another and the whole created order.
- Sins are attempts to fill voids. We fill the void of right relationship with God with other things.
How do you achieve “low self esteem?” Why is this important? What does achieving low self esteem mean?
- You are free when you lose the right to make others the reason why you are a mess.
The Meaning of Sin
Soren Kierkegaard: Sin is: in despair not wanting to be oneself before God…. Faith is: that the self in being itself and wanting to be itself is grounded transparently in God.
- Sin is the despairing refusal to find your deepest identity in your relationship and service to God. Sin is seeking to become oneself, to get an identity apart from hi.
What does this mean?
- Everyone gets an identity from somewhere or something.
So sin is not just breaking rules but making good things into ultimate things.
Our need for worth is so powerful that whatever we base our identify and value on we essentially “deify.” We will worship it in the same way and passion that we worship God, even if you are non religious.
- In what ways do you see this as true?
- How do you see this as true in your life?
The Personal Consequences of Sin
How does sin destroy us personally?
- If we put our value in anything but God that is a fundamentally unstable position.
- What if you are a bad parent, or you lose your job?
- An identity not based on God leads to deep forms of addiction.
- We become slaves to what we use as god. They control our hearts and actions.
- We are in denial to the degree which we are controlled by our god –substitutes.
- One has only the choice between God and idolatry.
- A life not centered on God leads to emptiness.
- What happens if you do get the desires of your heart?
- You climb the mountain and realize there is nothing there. You are still unfulfilled and flawed.
The Social Consequences of Sin
Sin does not only have an internal impact on us but a devastating effect on the social fabric.
- Jonathan Edwards: Society is deeply fragmented when anything but God is our highest love.
- If our highest aim is the good for our own nation or tribe or family then we put our own interests above that of others.
- When God is our ultimate good and life center, we will find our heart drawn to not only people that we like and that are like us but to everyone of all types and to the world.
- If we get our identity by our politics or social nationalism we are prone to despise and demonize the opposition.
- If you get your identity from being very moral or good you look down at people who are not as good.
The Cosmic Consequences of Sin
The Bible is unique in the way it depicts creation. It isn’t a result of a battle or violence, it is lovingly made and crafted by God. God made the world at peace. Sin destroys that peace. WE have warped the world from the way it began.
What can put it right Again?
We need to find our identity in Jesus. We need to find our entire identity in Jesus. God wants us, not our achievements, status or things.
- We need to realize we are sinners who need a savior.
- We need to trust God and his plan.
- Allow Jesus to be our center.
Everyone has to live for something. Whatever that something is become “Lord of your Life,” whether you think of it that way or not.
Jesus is the only Lord who if you receive him, with fulfill you completely, and if you fail him, will forgive you eternally.
Download Week 1:
Download Week 2:
Download Week 3 here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1370227/Reason%20for%20God/Reason%20for%20God%20%E2%80%93%20Week%203.doc
Download Week 4:
Download Week 5: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1370227/Reason%20for%20God/Chapter%205%20%20Reason%20for%20God.doc
Download Week 6:
Download Week 7
Download the Intermission:
Download Week 8:
Download Week 9:
Download Week 10: