Introduction: God is under attack! His integrity and His authority as
Creator, Designer and Redeemer have been undermined by Satan from the
beginning. The attack continues today. The question for every human
is “What role do you play in the contest between good and evil?” Our
study of the Bible this week helps us to better understand the
issues. Let’s dig in and learn more!

  1. Losing God’s Image

    1. Read Genesis 1:26-27. Assume that you had never read these
      verses before. What would you learn from this? (We exist
      because God created us. God created humans as rulers over
      the rest of creation and He created humans in His image.
      God created humans as male and female – and that reflects
      His image.)

      1. Since our lesson is about “restoration,” how much of
        the information that you learned from these verses
        has been blurred, if not destroyed, by Satan? (A
        popular idea is that humans evolved, they were not
        created. They did not begin with an “image,” much
        less an image of God. A popular idea is that humans
        serve the creation and not the other way around. A
        popular idea is that male and female identity is not

      2. Decades ago it occurred to me that I should do a
        “self-test,” to evaluate my influence. I didn’t like
        the result. How would you come out on a self-test
        concerning God’s original plan? Is your influence
        cast on the side of those who are tearing down God’s
        original plan?

    2. Read Genesis 3:1-5. What is the essence of Eve’s
      temptation? (To disbelieve God.)

      1. Consider those who accept evolution, radical
        environmentalism, and same-sex marriage. How do they
        compare to Eve? (They obviously do not believe God or
        they think that God’s plan is unimportant.)

      2. Re-read Genesis 1:27. Are these issues irrelevant
        today? (God says these issues reflect His image.
        Erasing the image of God from the earth is the
        opposite of what the Christian is supposed to be

    3. Re-read Genesis 3:4-5. We believe that God does not
      change, is this also true for Satan? Does Satan employ
      the same tactics today as he did against Eve – to
      disbelieve God?

      1. What should you and I do about it? Should we be

        1. If you were present when the serpent was
          tempting Eve, would you have been silent?

    4. Read Genesis 3:22-24 and 1 John 2:1-2. How did God treat
      those who disbelieved Him? (God drove them out of Eden so
      that they could not eat from the Tree of Life. But, God
      also put into operation His plan of salvation for those
      who sinned by disbelieving Him.)

  2. Gaining God’s Image

    1. Read Galatians 3:6-7. What is essential to righteousness?
      (Believing God. Eve disbelieved God.)

    2. Read Galatians 3:10-12. Against what were the Galatians
      warned? (Against relying on the law for their salvation.)

      1. Read Leviticus 18:5. Notice that Paul quotes this
        verse in Leviticus. What does it mean? (The law does
        a lot of good things. Obeying the law helps us to
        live more enjoyable lives. Obeying the law brings
        honor to God and to us. But, obeying the law does not
        save us.)

    3. Read Galatians 3:13-14. What does redeem us from the curse
      of the law? What does give us salvation? (Jesus. Faith in
      Jesus’ life, death and resurrection on our behalf.)

    4. Read Galatians 3:21-25. What is the relationship between
      the law and faith in Jesus? (The law is good, it directs
      us to a better life. However, we are sinners, and
      attempting to obey the law teaches us that we cannot
      perfectly obey it. Faith in Jesus is the only way to

    5. Let’s contemplate this a minute. How would you compare
      Eve’s sin with the sin of the Galatians? (These are two
      extremes that we find in the church today. There are so-called followers of Christ who do not believe what God
      says about creation, our relationship to the creation, and
      gender roles in human sexuality. On the opposite extreme
      are so-called Christians who don’t understand that the
      role of the law is to improve our life, not prove our
      entitlement to salvation. Both groups fail to put Jesus
      in His proper place in our life.)

  3. The Role of the Church in Restoration

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-13. We have discussed the two
      extremes – disbelieving God and relying on the law for
      salvation. What protection do we have from these errors?
      (Being a part of the body of Christ – which is the

      1. Why is that a protection against error? (Read 1
        Corinthians 12:7-10. Just as it is error to believe
        that we can save ourselves by our works, so it is
        error to believe that we can do the work of God on
        our own.)

    2. Read 1 Corinthians 12:11. What is the unifying factor in
      the church? (The Holy Spirit. Once again we come back to
      the issue of believing God. Jesus told us that God would
      send the Holy Spirit to guide us ( John 14:26).)

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 12:14-20. How does the Holy Spirit
      choose to have the church operate? (Each of us
      individually is a co-operating part in the greater church
      body. This is a group effort, not an individual effort.)

      1. Have you noticed that people who are off on some
        extreme are generally working by themselves or with a
        small group? (The benefit of a larger group is that
        it helps avoid error.)

  4. A Group Effort

    1. Read Mark 2:1-3. How many men did it take to carry the
      paralyzed guy?

    2. Read Mark 2:4. How many men did it take to decide to carry
      the paralyzed guy to the roof and dig a hole in it to get
      close to Jesus?

    3. Read Mark 2:5. Who is the “their” in “When Jesus saw their
      faith?” (Apparently, the five men.)

    4. Let’s contemplate the part of the story we have read so
      far. How would you react if you were Jesus trying to
      teach a group and a group of guys are digging a hole in
      the roof above you? (I would have been very annoyed at the
      distraction, but Jesus sees through that and calls it

      1. Could the paralyzed guy have done this on his own?
        (Obviously, not.)

      2. What would you think would be the minimum number to
        accomplish getting this fellow in front of Jesus? Is
        this a calculation we need to make when we have some
        mission goal?

    5. Read Mark 2:5. Do you think this is what the five wanted
      to hear?

      1. If you were one of the five and recounting your day,
        would you say it was filled with frustration? First
        the crowd, then climbing the roof, then digging a big
        hole, then getting Jesus to help. After all that,
        Jesus says the wrong thing!

    6. Read Mark 2:6-7. Let’s assume that these five are
      representative of the coordinated work of the church. Do
      things always work out as the church group has in mind?

      1. Why does Jesus not immediately say the obvious, “Get
        up and walk?” (Jesus has the big picture in mind.
        This is not just about the paralyzed guy. This is
        about the religious leaders and all who are

    7. Read Mark 2:8-12. What has been accomplished by this
      mission of faith by the group of five men? (First, their
      paralyzed guy is healed. Second, his sins are forgiven.
      Third, Jesus demonstrates to the assembled group that He
      is God, and He has authority to forgive sin and heal! It
      has been a great day!)

    8. Friend, did you decide that your influence is not what it
      should be? If so, why not determine today to trust God and
      with the guidance of the Holy Spirit find a group to
      advance the Kingdom of God?

  5. Next week: Restoring Dominion.