Introduction: Before my wife and I had children, I had many
misinformed ideas about the topic. For example, I thought some
couples had children to boost their own standing. That would never
happen to me! Instead, I thought that I had my own reputation and
they would make their own – whatever it might be. How wrong I was!
We don’t have enough space in this introduction for me to explain the
many ways my children have affected both my reputation and my
thinking! In our exploration of the big picture issues, how do we
reflect the nature of God, His thinking and His reputation? Let’s
dive into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn!

  1. The Logic Foundation

    1. Read Mark 10:2-9. We are about to plunge back into Genesis
      to see what clues Adam and Eve give us about God. However,
      there are two fundamental issues we have to first face. Is
      the creation story real? Can we draw lessons from it for
      our lives today? What is Jesus’ understanding of the truth
      of the creation account? (He believed it. He treats it as
      a literal story.)

      1. What is Jesus doing in these verses? (He is basing
        His theology, His understanding of marriage, on the
        creation account.)

    2. Read Mark 10:10-12. Later, we will look in more detail at
      this story in Mark. Are we on solid ground when we
      consider the creation account to formulate conclusions
      about God’s will for us today? (Yes, Jesus did! We are
      entitled to make the same sort of assumptions.)

  2. God’s Royal Children

    1. Read Genesis 1:26-28. What two themes dominate these
      verses? (That we were created to be like God and that we
      were created to be rulers of God’s creation.)

      1. Are those two ideas linked?(God is the Creator and
        the Ruler of the universe. He has made us mini-rulers.)

      2. Has God also made us creators? (Look again at verse
        28. God created male and female copies of Him so that
        we could create!)

      3. What does this teach us about the nature of God? (He
        is generous! He wants to share His power and His
        role with us.)

      4. What does God’s blessings on us and His task for us
        teach us about the nature of God? (He desires what is
        best for us. He is actively involved in our lives.)

    2. Look again at Genesis 1:27. Does God have a feminine side?

      1. Compare Genesis 2:20 with Genesis 1:27. What does
        this teach us about God’s view of women? (Eve was not
        a second-class creation. She was not like one of the
        animals. She was a “suitable helper.” Just like
        Adam, she was created in the image of God.)

    3. Let’s stay with Genesis 1:27. Have you noticed that
      children often look, walk and talk like their parents or
      even grandparents?

      1. Despite the impact of sin, what does this teach us
        about God?

      2. Read Isaiah 55:8-9. What is the limitation on this
        line of thinking?

    4. Look again at Genesis 1:27-28. What does this say about
      the logic of evolution? (Evolutionists cannot deny that
      humans have the power of creation. We see it every day.
      But, they illogically conclude that God did not create

      1. If our observation is that children mirror their
        parents (or grandparents), why should we conclude
        that we can create but God cannot? (One of my
        greatest prejudices against theistic evolution arises
        from the fact that it is illogical. Given my
        assumptions (about the existence and power of God),
        creation is a lot more logical than evolution.
        Evolution attributes more creative power to humans
        than it does to God.)

    5. Recall last week that Eve fell into sin because she
      distrusted and disbelieved God ( Genesis 3:2-6). How does
      this lesson apply to the theory of evolution? (The Bible
      is very clear about our creation. Evolution flatly
      contradicts God’s word on the subject. The continuing
      issue for humans is whether we will distrust and
      disbelieve God.)

    6. Re-read Mark 10:5-9. When I was young, I would hear people
      say, “If God wanted us to smoke He would have created us
      with a chimney.” I thought that was silly. Is it? (Jesus
      bases His theology of marriage on the factual details of
      the creation account.)

      1. What does this teach us about Jesus’ view of the
        current debate in the United States over homosexual
        marriage? (That the creation account properly informs
        our opinion. God created the model for marriage as
        between a man and a woman joined for life.)

  3. God’s Risky Choice

    1. Read Genesis 2:19-20. In the prior section we saw that
      God gave humans power and authority. How extensive is the
      authority given? (God let Adam determine the names of the

      1. What about a mate? Did Adam have authority to choose
        a mate? (It looks like God was in a joint venture
        with Adam to find a mate for him. They jointly
        agreed that no “suitable helper was found.”)

      2. Does this suggest anything about how our children
        should find a spouse?

    2. Read Genesis 3:6. We might have thought that letting Adam
      name the animals was in the same league as letting our
      children name a pet. How serious is this choice?

      1. What does giving Adam naming authority teach us about
        God? (It shows a generous, kind and loving God.)

      2. What does allowing us to choose sin teach us about
        God? (God values freedom, even if it creates grave

      3. Let’s make this issue current. In many things in
        life, there is a balance between freedom and
        security. This is a current debate in the United
        States when it comes to fighting terrorism. How would
        God balance freedom and security?

  4. God’s Reversal

    1. Read Colossians 2:9-12. The fact that God allowed us to
      sin teaches us something about God and His attitude
      towards us. What does Jesus teach us about God? (Jesus was
      Deity in bodily form!)

      1. How did Jesus restore Adam and Eve? How did He fix
        their error? (By giving up His life.)

      2. Why would the God who created the universe resort to
        a battle tactic that looks like a loss? Why agree to
        suffer and die? (This is mind boggling.)

      3. What parallels do you see between the creation
        account and the life and death of Jesus? (In both we
        see God giving to us at His own great expense.)

    2. Read Colossians 2:13-15. How did the cross disarm the
      powers and authorities? (By dying in our place, God took
      away the accusation of Satan and the law that we deserve

    3. Read Colossians 2:20-23. What is the message of the cross
      when it comes to dealing with sin in others? (God could
      have prevented Adam and Eve from sinning. We try to
      prevent our children from sinning. We use authority to
      prevent fellow church members from sinning. This approach
      “lacks any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”)

      1. How do we deal with our children when it comes to
        teaching them? (Just as Jesus “disarmed the powers
        and authorities” ( Colossians 2:15) by the cross, so
        we must triumph over the sin in the lives of our
        children by love and self-sacrifice.)

    4. Read Colossians 3:1-4. What is God teaching us, through
      His relationship with us, about how to deal with sin? (We
      need to set our minds on the nature of God. We need to set
      our minds on what Jesus has done for us. Setting our minds
      (or the minds of our charges) on the rules is a recipe for

    5. Read Colossians 3:5. This is where the rubber meets the
      road. How do we put to death sexual immorality, impurity,
      lust and evil desires? (We would not do it by saying to
      ourselves that an “affair” or sex outside marriage is
      wrong. Instead, we would focus on what the creation
      account teaches us about God’s perfect plan for a life of
      joy. We would focus on how God defeated evil by giving up
      Himself. An affair is selfishness, not selflessness. If
      you focus on pleasing your spouse rather than yourself,
      you are on the road to holiness.)

    6. Friend, we see in the creation account and Jesus’ life on
      earth, a God who gives us great power and authority, while
      unselfishly giving away His power and authority. Will you
      ask the Holy Spirit today to help you to begin a life in
      which you consider the interests of others over your own

  5. Next week: Salvation: The Only Solution.