Creation 2.0: Questions for the lesson October 14, 2012

UCC members: The materials these questions relate to will be emailed to you immediately after the October 14, 2012 class. Please reflect on the passages cited and try to answer the questions on your own.

Other readers: See the Creation 2.0 page to find the materials these questions relate to.

1.  Consider –

(Rom 8:29-30 ESV) 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Is it appropriate to think of sin as failing to be fully conformed to the image of Jesus? If it was God’s purpose that we be conformed to that image, then is “missing the mark” failing to attain to that standard?

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2. If anything less than Jesus misses the mark, then just what does it mean to be conformed to the image of Jesus?

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3. Consider –

(2Co 3:18 ESV) 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

What does Paul mean when he says that “we all” are being transformed into the image of Christ, a transformation that comes from the Spirit?

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4. What does Paul mean by –

(Col 3:9-10 ESV)  9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices  10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

– when he says that we’ve “put on the new self … being renewed … after the image of its creator”? How does that happen? What does it look like?

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5. And what does Jesus mean by –

(John 17:20-23 ESV)  20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,  21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,  23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

We often pray for unity with one another (which is certainly also part of Jesus’ prayer!), but do we ever pray for unity with God? What would that be like? What would it mean for the church to be in God and Jesus “just as” God is in Jesus and Jesus is in God?

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6. Why are these ideas so rarely discussed in church? Are these uncomfortable? Unpleasant? Or are these teachings — as difficult as they are – blessings and encouragements?

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7. Reflect on –

(Eph 2:4-7 NAS)  4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Paul speaks as though this has already happened — that we’ve already been been seated with Christ in heaven!

Where does Jesus “sit” in heaven? What does it mean for us to be seated “with Him”?

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8. Let’s borrow a Greek word to mean “become like God” in the sense of these passages, the Sermon on the Mount, and Eph 5:1-2: theosis. What is the path to theosis?

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