The Reason for God Study Guide Chapter 12

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 12

The (True) Story of the Cross

Interpretation Questions

  • 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?

Study Guide:

Why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn’t He just forgive us?

The First Reason: Real Forgiveness is Costly Suffering.

Economic Terms: Illustration of a car being damaged and a gate is destroyed.

  • Either you pay the price for the accident, or the owner pays the price for the accident. But the debt does not vanish in thin air.

Most wrongs done to us cannot be assessed in purely economic terms. If you have been wronged there are two things to do.

  1. Seek ways to make the perpetrators suffer for what they have done.
    1. There are problems doing this. You can be damaged by the process of getting justice.
    2. You can forgive.
      1. This means refusing to make them pay for what they did.
      2. But you have to suffer for this to happen, you have to absorb the debt.
      3. This death leads to resurrection instead of lifelong living death of bitterness and cynicism.
      4. Forgiveness must be granted before it can be felt.
      5. Forgiveness is the only way to stop the spread of evil.
      6. Forgiveness makes you free.

The Forgiveness of God

God had to pay the debt for us. God did not inflict the pain on anyone else but took it on himself.

The Second Reason: Real Love is a Personal Exchange.

If you take away the Cross you don’t have a God of love.

  • To help others you must give of yourself.
    • To help emotionally drained people you must be drained emotionally
    • To have children thrive you must sacrifice.

The Great Reversal

God identifies with the weak because of his sacrifice. He understands the pain of his people.

Why did Jesus have to die?  US!

The Story of the Cross

The story is the greatest story of redemption. It is also really personal. It is a true story about us!

The fact that Jesus had to die humbles us out of our pride. The fact that Jesus was glad to die for me assured me out of my fear.

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