Creation 2.0: Questions for the lesson October 21, 2012

UCC members: The materials these questions relate to will be emailed to you immediately after the October 21, 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. Paul wrote,

(Col 1:15 ESV) 15 [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

(2Co 4:4 ESV)  4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

When Paul refers to Jesus as the “image” of God, what does he mean?

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2. Paul wrote,

(1Co 15:49 ESV)  49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Who is the “man of dust”? Who is the “man of heaven”? What does is mean for us to “bear the image of the man of heaven”?

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3. Consider –

(Luk 9:21-24 ESV)  21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,  22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”  23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

In context, what did Jesus mean by “deny himself and take up his cross daily”?

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4. Jesus taught,

(Luk 6:35-36 ESV)  35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.  36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Why does Jesus hold up God himself as our standard? Isn’t it much easier for God to be kind to the ungrateful and the evil? Can he seriously expect us to be this way?

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5. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet –

(John 13:3-4 ESV)  3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God,  4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.

Why does John begin the narrative with “knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands”? What is it about become all-powerful that would prompt Jesus to wash the feet of his disciples?

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6. John adds,

(John 13:10-11 ESV)  10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”  11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

Why didn’t Jesus wait until Judas had left? Would you have washed Judas’s feet?

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7. Jesus concludes the lesson by saying,

(John 13:12-17 ESV)  12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?  13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.  14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.  16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

We like to debate whether it’s essential to actually wash feet. We conclude that this is symbolic only and the real lesson is to figuratively wash feet. Do we? What would church be like if we washed each other’s feet in the symbolic sense? (Do NOT answer how someone might serve you. That’d be too easy and cheap. Answer how you’d serve someone else in a way that’s equivalent to Jesus’ washing the feet of Judas. (No one said that becoming like God would easy, you know.))

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8. Carefully read,

(Phi 2:1-11 ESV) So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,  2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  9

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What is the path to theosis?

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9. What do you suppose Paul meant in v. 7 by “emptied himself”? Some translations say “made himself nothing” or “poured himself out.” (The Greek is kenosis.)

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10. What would it mean for each of us to pour ourselves out, making ourselves nothing, for the sake of those who don’t deserve it? How would that change the church? Would it be better? (Again, do not answer in terms of how you might be served. This is not about demanding that others empty themselves for you!)

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About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
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