Friday, November 01, 2013

Atonement: Purification Offering

A Sabbath School resource from the Victorian Conference of the Adventist Church in Australia

Last week, while visiting at MASDAC Church in Melbourne, the Sabbath School Super mentioned that she missed my “Head, Heart, Hands, Horizon” lesson approach from 2012.  After coming back to work after 6 months on sick leave and in my creative approach to life, ministry and all things, I forgot the old ways and started doing the discussion guides with less structure. So, what I will do is put some symbols next to certain questions that are intentionally directed at the Head, Heart, Hands and Horizon. 

God - Sin, Selfishness & Separation

Which comes first, sin or selfishness? 
Would sin exist if our first parents had not desired selfishly?
Would we ever sin if we did not put our desire for our own pleasure before our desire for God’s pleasure?

So, which is truly to blame for our separation from God - Sin or Selfishness?
When we focus  on sin - and the avoidance of sin - as our main aim in holiness, we leave doors wide open for selfishness to run rampant. “Look how great I am! I haven’t sinned for weeks!” Focusing on eradicating sin in our lives is like swatting flames with a flyswatter to put out a bush fire. It may make us feel like we are working very hard to solve the problem, but we are only tiring ourselves out. And we can feel very proud of ourselves for working so hard!

Read Hebrews 12
Where should our focus be?
How do we succeed in living Godly lives? 
How do we maintain a balance between humble obedience and selfish sin-swatting?

Wages VS Gifts

Sunday’s lesson, in reflection on 2 Samuel 14:9, says "the woman and David understood that if the king would decide to let the murderer go free, then the king himself would acquire the guilt of the murderer.” Really? Does any earthly legal system work this way? (We need to be careful not to insert a desired doctrine into our reading of the Bible.) Have you ever heard of any court requiring a judge to go to jail or the gallows as the natural course for declaring someone innocent? How is God’s Mercy and Justice different than ours?

Read Romans 6:15 - 7:6 
What view does this paint of wages vs gifts? 
What is the difference between Mercy and Justice?
Is “forgiveness of sin” Mercy and Justice or both? Explain.


God’s gift of Jesus, His son, on the cross makes “all things right.” Discuss. 
How? Why? When? Where? Between whom? What things? 

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