Creation 2.0: Questions for the lesson October 7, 2012

UCC members: The materials these questions relate to will be emailed to you immediately after the October 7, 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. Few Christians struggle with the notion that God is king of the universe. Much more difficult, however, is the idea that Christians are to become kings like God – not equivalent to or on the same level as God, of course, but like God. Perhaps the reason is that we don’t really understand the nature of God’s kingship.

Consider –

(Mat 5:43-48 ESV) 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

(Psa 145:9 NAS)  9 The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.

According to these passages, if we were to become kings like God, how would we act?

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2. Jesus holds himself up as example of how to be a “ruler” as a Christian –

(Mat 20:25-28 ESV) 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,  27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,  28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

If we were to be leaders like Jesus, how would we act? (It’s easier to answer in terms of what we wouldn’t do, but more helpful to think about what we should do.)

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3. Do these instructions apply solely in church affairs?

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4. When the tabernacle was made, God gave his Spirit to artisans to help them create beauty appropriate to a place dedicated to the worship of God.

(Exo 31:2-5 ESV)  2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,  3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship,  4 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze,  5 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.”

Does God still give creative gifts to his people to be used to honor him?

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5. Why do you suppose that so many Protestants have a strong preference for plain, simple church buildings, with little, if any, artistic expression? Is there something about the creative arts that is un-Christian or that detracts from the worship of God?

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6. How should the church respond to an artist who wishes to use his or her gifts to honor God?

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7. Paul wrote,

(Eph 5:1-2 ESV) Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

How on earth can we expect to imitate God?

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8. Is there a difference between imitating God (v. 1) and walking in love (v. 2)? Is imitating Jesus the same as imitating God?

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9. According to the text, what must we do to imitate Jesus?

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10. Do we really do this? When people see us — individually and as a congregation and as the Kingdom — do they think they see God in us?

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11. Assuming you answered “no,” what’s missing? What is it that Paul says (or implies) in Eph 5:1-2 that we mess up so badly that we obscure the very image of God in the midst of his temple?

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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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