The Bible, God, Man, Sin

Chapter 1: The Bible

We begin our teaching on foundations of our faith with the Bible, as it is the source of our faith.

THE BIBLE

Many people feel as if they have no compass for their lives. They are asking themselves questions. Where am I going? Am I lost? Will I ever find the right way? God has heard our questions and He has already given us a Book to guide our lives. Before searching for the answers, let’s look together at the great Book. We will see how it was written and how it was given to us.

This lesson will help you describe the origin and structure of the Bible and understand how and why the Bible was given to us.

THE ORIGIN AND STRUCTURE OF THE BIBLE

The Holy Bible, made up of 66 books, is like a small library that God has given us. The first part of the Bible (the Old Testament) contains 39 books. The second part (the New Testament) contains 27 books.

Over a period of 1600 years approximately 40 men were involved in writing these books. The Bible tells us that these men were holy men of God. They were kings and peasants, poets and merchants, military and religious leaders. They were from different backgrounds, different cities, and of different interests.

The books of the Bible cover many different subjects, like history, prophecy, and poetry. It has songs and wise sayings called proverbs. It contains stories to interest the young and the old. Yet it all fits together because it has one central theme-the relationship between God and man.

THE PURPOSE OF THE BIBLE

Perhaps you noticed what may seem to be a contra­diction in the first part of this lesson. It says that God gave us the Bible, but it also says that men wrote it. How can this be?

The forty men who wrote the Bible were divinely inspired. This means that the Holy Spirit put in the authors’ minds the thoughts that God wanted them to write. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God.” This verse also tells why the Bible was given for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and giving instruction.

God has given us instructions for right living because He desires our highest good. He knows that when we do not live according to His principles we hurt ourselves. Our minds, our bodies, and especially our spirits suffer. The best way to avoid hurting our­selves is to follow His Word closely. Through it we get to know Him personally; we understand that His ways are best for us.

Like a chart or a guide book, His Word was written for us to turn to for help and strength. How wonderful that we can have His personal instructions to us always at our side!

Quiz Instructions

Test your knowledge by taking this short quiz which covers what you just read on this page.

The Bible consists of ________ books written by ________ men of different backgrounds.

a) 40, 66

b) 60, 46

c) 66, 40

d) 46, 60

The Bible was written over a period of _______ years.

a) 1200

b) 1400

c) 1600

d) 1800

When we say that the Bible is divinely inspired we emphasize that __________.

a) it tells us about God.

b) God gave the authors the thoughts they should write.

b) it contains valuable religious history.

The authors wrote on the same theme and did not contradict each other because _________.

a) God was the real author and they wrote the thoughts He gave them.

b) each one left instructions for the following writers.

Select all of the TRUE reasons why God has given us the Bible.

a) He wants our highest good.

b) He wanted to give instructions for right living.

c) He wanted us to realize that He is too great for us to know Him.

d) He wants to establish His relationship with us.

Chapter 2: God

GOD

Some people fear God and others love Him-depending on what they have been told and what they do about it. You cannot see God, but you can study what He does. In Lesson I we learned that it is the Bible that tells us all about God-about His qualities and how He deals with mankind. In this lesson we will look into the Bible and explore a few of the many things it has to say about God.

This lesson will help you name several attributes of God and explain what your attitude toward God should be.

HIS RELATIONSHIP TO US

Objective 1. Name at least five attributes of God

The Bible says in John 4:24 that God is a Spirit. The dictionary says that a spirit is the vital principle that gives life. Since God is the Creator, this means that He is the supernatural force that gives life to all of His creation. Because He is a Spirit, He cannot be seen unless He chooses to show Himself in some visible form.

He did show Himself through His Son. John 1:14 says, “The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son.”

God has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three Persons which are called the Godhead or Trinity. The three are referred to in many places, one of which is Matthew 28:19: “Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the HolySpirit.”

One good way to learn more about God is by studying His attributes or qualities. God is good, holy, just, all-powerful, all-knowing, and eternal. Let’s look at a series of verses that mention these qualities and others as well.

Exodus 34:6 states, “I, the Lord, am a God who is full of compassion and pity, who is not easily angered and who shows great love and faithfulness.”

Leviticus 11:44 says: “I am the Lord your God, and you must keep yourselves holy. because I am holy.”

The fact that He is all-powerful can be seen in Daniel 4:35. It says. “No one can oppose his will or question what he does.”

God knows everything.

There is nothing that can be hid from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes. And it is to him that we must all give an account of ourselves (Hebrews 4:13).

Revelation 10:6 tells us that God is eternal. An angel “took a vow in the name of God, who lives forever and ever, who created heaven, earth, and the sea, and everything in them.”

The few verses that we have read, verses that give a little description of God, help us to realize how great He is. He is powerful and He is strong-but He is also merciful and kind. And He wants to have a close relationship with us, His creation.

OUR RELATIONSHIP TO HIM

Objective 2. Recognize that your first responsibility is toward God.

In Matthew 22:37 Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

There are various ways of showing God that we love Him. Our worship and praise can put our love into words said directly to Him. But we should also show our love. Now listen to what the Lord your God demands of you:

Have reverence for the Lord and do all that he commands. Love him, serve him with all your heart, and obey all his laws (Deuteronomy 10:12 13).

“But whoever obeys his word is the one whose love for God has really been made perfect” (I John 2:5).

If we want to show our love to God, we will follow the instructions He gives us in His Word.

Another way to show our love to God is by giving and sharing with others. I John 3:17-18 says: If a rich person sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against his brother, how can he claim that he loves God? My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action. The love that is obedient and sharing will be a satisfying and rewarding love.

Jesus says in Luke 10:28 that if we love God above all else we “will live.” Some people think that “real living” is wealth, power, and position. But these things in themselves will never satisfy because we were made in God’s likeness and for His glory. Our spirits must be satisfied with the spiritual. Real living is loving God. Jesus said. “Be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things” (Matthew 6:33).

Don’t limit yourself to the less important things. Love God with all your heart.

Quiz Instructions

You will need to read verses in the Bible to answer most of the questions in this short quiz. Test your knowledge of what you find in the Bible and in the teachings on this page.

1. Read Matthew 6:9-11 and choose the correct words for the following statement: God is likened to a loving _______________ who provides for ___________________ .

a) father, his children

b) employer, their employees

c) king, his servants

2. Read Isaiah 66:13 and choose the correct words for the following statement: God comforts even as a __________ comforts _______________ .

a) father, his children

b) mother, her children

c) grandparent, a grandchild

3. Look up the Scripture 2 Kings 4:42-44. Choose the attribute of God that it most closely suggests to you:

a) merciful

b) forgiving

c) all-powerful

d) holy

e) all-knowing or all-seeing

4. Look up the Scripture Genesis 9:13-17. Choose the attribute of God that it most closely suggests to you:

a) merciful

b) forgiving

c) all-powerful

d) holy

e) all-knowing or all-seeing

5. Look up the Scripture 2 Chronicles 7:13-14. Choose the attribute of God that it most closely suggests to you:

a) merciful

b) forgiving

c) all-powerful

d) holy

e) all-knowing or all-seeing

6. Look up the Scripture Exodus 3:7. Choose the attribute of God that it most closely suggests to you:

a) merciful

b) forgiving

c) all-powerful

d) holy

e) all-knowing or all-seeing

7. Look up the Scripture Psalm 97:10-12. Choose the attribute of God that it most closely suggests to you:

a) merciful

b) forgiving

c) all-powerful

d) holy

e) all-knowing or all-seeing

8. Above all else, you should love

a) power so that you are in control of your life.

b) God, and put that love into practice.

9. Read the Bible verses listed below and click on the ones that tell you what your first responsibility toward God is.

a) Deuteronomy 6:5

b) Deuteronomy 10:12

c) Deuteronomy 13:3

d) Joshua 22:5

e) Mark 12:30

f) Jude 21

Chapter 3: Man

MAN

There is a children’s story about a famous wood carver who one day carved the figure of a little boy. It was a beautiful carving and the man called it Pinocchio. He was proud of his work but there was no way the carving could love him in return.

What would have happened if the carver had put a little talking-machine inside the wooden boy? Maybe he could have made the little figure move and say, “I love you.” Would that have satisfied the carver? Would he have been thrilled and said, “Now I know my carving loves me?” No, because that would not be an expression of love. It would be only a mechanical phrase with no real feeling.

The story says that somehow the wooden boy came alive. He had a mind of his own and when he would say, “I love you,” it did thrill the carver. Why? Because the wooden boy wasn’t forced to say it-he said it with love.

We know the story is just a fable, but it gives us a little picture of how God felt when He made man. He made him beautifully and, most important, with the power to make his own choices.

God made man, but not carved from a block of wood. How did He make him? What qualities did He put in man? In the last lesson we studied some of the qualities of God and our attitude toward Him. Now let’s look at how God made man and the responsibility He gave him.

In this lesson you will study

Man’s Condition at Creation
Man’s Condition Now

This lesson will help you

  • State how and why God made man.
  • Understand the cause of man’s sinful condition.

MAN’S CONDITION AT CREATION

Objective 1. State how man was made and identify a reason for his being created.

God created a beautiful world with trees, flowers, and animals. The Bible says that God was pleased with what He saw. But it wasn’t complete. There were no people to enjoy and share that beauty.

Genesis 1:26-27 tells us:

Then God said, ‘And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us. They will have power over the fish, the birds, and all the animals, domestic and wild, large and small.’ So God created human beings, making them like himself.

Man was different from the animals already created because he was made in God’s likeness. He was a glorious creation, perfect in body, soul, and spirit. Further details of the story are given in Genesis 2 where it tells how God formed man out of the soil of the ground. Then He breathed life-giving breath into man’s nostrils and the man began to live.

With life came responsibility. Man could make his own decisions. He could glorify God in his everyday living. Isaiah 43:7 gives us God’s words, “They are my own people, and I created them to bring me glory.”

The Bible says that in the cool of the evening God would walk and talk with man in the beautiful garden where they lived. God loved those first people, Adam and Eve, and wanted their perfect fellowship to continue forever. But He knew it could not be perfect if it were forced, if Adam and Eve had no choice but to fellowship with Him.

Because God has the freedom to choose and He made man like Himself, He gave man the freedom to decide whether that fellowship should continue as it had – unbroken and beautiful. Perhaps Adam and Eve wanted to keep it that way, but they wanted some other things too. One day they would come to a place of having to decide what they wanted most of all.

MAN’S CONDITION NOW

Objective 2. Recognize the condition of man as a result of man’s fall.

What a joy the heart of God must have felt having communion with His creation. Then Adam and Eve chose to break that precious fellowship with God.

That is how man fell from his perfect state.  He made the wrong choice and became sinful. Romans 5:19 says, “All people were made sinners as the result of the disobedience of one man.”

The justice of God could not ignore sin. God cannot lie and go against His word. He had said that dis­obedience would cause man to become mortal. Adam and Eve had to leave that paradise garden of Eden and be separated from the presence of God.

Man’s condition today is still sinful. Romans 3:23 says, “Everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence.” Man has never lost the ability to choose. Wrong choices still keep people away from God.

Quiz Instructions

Test your knowledge by taking this short quiz which covers what you just read on this page and some Bible verses.

1. Select each TRUE statement.

a) Man was made for God’s glory.

b) God created man out of nothing.

c) God’s breath made man a living soul.

d) Man was created perfect in body, soul, and spirit.

e) Man was created with a freedom to choose.

2. Memorize Revelation 4:11. After you have memorized it, select the words that are ordered properly to fill in the blanks below. Our ……………………………….. and ………………………………….! You are …………………………. to receive……………………………., and………………………………..For you………………………………… all things, and by your will they were given …………………………. ……………………… and, …………………………………………………..

a) Lord, God, worthy, power, created, existence, life, glory, honor

b) Lord, God, worthy, glory, honor, power, created, existence, life

c) Lord, created, God, worthy, glory, honor, power, existence, life.

d) Lord, God, worthy, glory, created, honor, power, existence, life.

e) Lord, God, worthy, glory, honor, power, created, existence, life.

3. Choose the correct completion for the following statement. Man was made to be

a) oppressed and overworked.

b) forced into service to God.

c) a glory to God.

4. Zephaniah 3:17 says that when you are in communion with the Lord He

a) feels it is the least that you can do.

b) sings and is joyful over you.

c) knows man will soon disobey Him again.

d) will give you new life.

5. Job 8:3 says “God never twists justice; he never fails to do what is right.” Because of this God had to be true to His character and

a) man lost the ability to choose right or wrong.

b) carry out His word by punishing sin.

c) Adam and Eve had to leave the garden of Eden.

d) decided Adam and Eve hadn’t really under­ stood His instructions.

6. Man’s condition now is one of

a) separation from God.

b) a sinful nature.

c) no responsibility for his sins.

And BeholdChapter 4: Sin

SIN

Let’s imagine a friend has given you a palace full of beautiful things. It is yours to enjoy. The only request he makes is, “Please don’t jump from the tower because you will die.”

Then an enemy comes to your palace. He says, “Who told you not to jump? Go ahead. You’ll feel wonderful! You will know how it feels to fly. You will be able to see your palace from a different view. Don’t worry about what happens when you hit bottom; just think about all the new things you’ll learn on the way down.”

Would you run to the top of your tower and jump? Of course not. It would be stupid to trust your enemy and do as he says.

Adam and Eve had a similar experience. God put them in a beautiful garden and made them masters over everything. He gave them permission to eat of every tree but one. Along came the enemy, Satan, who told them to eat the fruit of the tree anyway-that it wouldn’t hurt them. They trusted his word instead of God’s. How foolish!

As we studied in the previous lesson, man was made perfect but through disobedience sin entered his life. How would we define sin? Did Adam bring it into the world? What is the punishment for sin? Is there any escape? The Bible verses in this lesson will give us the answers.

This lesson will help you describe the nature and consequences of sin and appreciate the work of Christ in removing man’s sin.

DEFINITION OF SIN

Objective 1. Recognize descriptions of sin.

Sin is disobeying God’s laws. It is saying to God, “I am more important than You. I don’t take Your Word as my final authority.” Sin is rebellion.

“No one has a right to limit me,” you might say. “I’ll do what I please.” The limits God has set for us were made for one reason-our highest good. For instance, God knows that bitterness and hate can cause severe headaches; a desire for revenge can cause ulcers. These attitudes hurt other people too. God showed His love for us by setting certain limits, or laws, as protection. For us to go outside these limits is to sin. First John 3:4 says, “Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God’s law, because sin is a breaking of the law.”

“Is it all right then to do anything that doesn’t hurt me or others?” No, everything is lawful ONLY if it is inside the limits that God has set. We might think that something doesn’t hurt us or others and be mistaken in our belief. For example, there were parents who thought they shouldn’t obey God’s law of correcting their children because that would frustrate or confuse them. Now a recent magazine article informs us, “It’s time to discipline our children.” Man’s opinions change. For a while he thinks one thing won’t hurt us and later he says it will. The only safe conduct for us is obedience to the laws that God has set, whether we understand the reason for them or not.

THE ORIGIN OF SIN

Objective 2. Identify statements showing how sin entered the world.

Satan tempted man to sin, and man yielded to that temptation. First John 3:8 says. “Whoever continues to sin belongs to the Devil, because the Devil has sinned from the very beginning.” It was Satan that brought sin into the world, but this does not free man from blame. Man is responsible too.

Adam did not have to yield to temptation from Satan. We know that temptations do not come from God. James 1:13-14 tells us:

If a person is tempted by such trials, he must not say, “This temptation comes from God.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.

It is not sin to be tempted. Even Jesus was tempted by the devil. But it is sin to yield. How different the world would be if Adam had not yielded.

What happened to man when he sinned? God said that if he disobeyed he would die. He didn’t die immediately as we know death, but he immediately became mortal. Death began to work in his body, soul, and spirit.

Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned (Romans 5:12).

Yes, all people are sinners. “Everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence” (Romans 3:23).

The penalty for sin today is the same penalty that was given to Adam and Eve-death. Romans 5:12 expresses it this way: “Death has spread to the whole human race.” In Romans 6:23 we read: “For sin pays its wage-death.” No. the sinner doesn’t physically die the moment he commits sin. Sometimes it even looks as though he prospers. But death is working there nevertheless, and eventually he will not only die physically but spiritually also. Spiritual death means eternal separation from God.

THE SOLUTION FOR SIN

Objective 3. Explain how a sinner can escape the penalty of sin.

Do you remember the story that I told you at the beginning of this lesson? The person who jumps from the palace tower will surely die. But what if a friend was near and stretched out a strong net just below the window? If the one who jumped caught the net, his life could be saved.

God has given us a way to escape the punishment of sin which is spiritual death and everlasting separation from Him. The way is through accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. In a future lesson we will learn the verses that tell us how to reach out and be saved. For now, it would be good to memorize two verses that show us how to escape the punishment of sin.

God has shown us how much he loves us-it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! (Romans 5:8).

If we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing (1 John 1:9).

Quiz Instructions

Test your knowledge by taking this short quiz which covers what you just read on this page and some Bible verses.

1. Sin is __________ .

a) whatever you feel is wrong.

b) whatever others tell you is wrong.

c) being discovered doing something wrong.

d) rebellion and disobedience to God’s laws.

2. God set limits to man’s conduct because He __________ .

a) wanted to frustrate Adam and Eve.

b) doesn’t want man to enjoy himself or be free.

c) loves man and wants the best for him.

3. To step outside the limits God has set is __________ .

a) all right if no one gets hurt.

b) permissible as long as we are not discovered.

c) sometimes necessary to get us out of trouble.

d) never to be done.

4. Sin entered the world __________ .

a) through Satan who sinned from the beginning.

b) because Adam yielded to Satan’s temptation.

c) when Adam deliberately disobeyed God.

5. Since sin entered the world __________ .

a) Satan no longer has to tempt anyone.

b) everyone is a sinner and can be tempted.

c) there is both physical and spiritual death.

6. Read I John 4:9 and choose the right answer to fill in the blank: God showed how much he loved us by __________ his one and only Son into the world so that we might have __________ through him.

a) sending, eternal life

b) birthing, hope

c) allowing, forgiveness

7. Read I John 4:10 and choose the right answer to fill in the blank: This is __________ – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our __________.

a) truth, mortality

b) hope, doubt

c) real love, sins

8. Complete this statement: a sinner can escape the penalty of sin only by __________ .

a) accepting Jesus Christ as Savior.

b) doing what is right regardless of the circumstances.

c) being baptized by full immersion.

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