Weeks Two and Three – The Fall and the Patriarchal Period

To begin with, I want us to discuss the Holiness of God. How do you view the Holiness of God? Is it difficult to admit that God has the right to punish sin, or do you respond with awe and respect to His Holiness? How can we reframe the way we think about God’s Holy right to punish sin, and how can we help others understand why God punishes sin? (Use verses to support your answer).

Second, as time allows, I want us to list and discuss some of the promises that God makes us in the New Testament. How do these promises help us cultivate faith in God? How does this relate to the Patriarchal Period?

Thank you for joining tonight! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to share!

35 Comments

  1. Good evening Rebekah! First I just wanted to compliment you on the layout of the study. In week 2 you talked about Temptation & things we might not want to talk about as much. But then you contrasted that by talking about faith& blessings & promises: Things that make us feel good in week 3. Also, in Week two you asked us to say things we could do a better job with; and then in Week 3 you asked us to say things we did a good job with. I think you really knew what we needed and that sometimes we need to see what we’re doing wrong, but also sometimes we need to see what we’re doing right as an encouragement. I know you’ll probably fuss at me for talking good about you, but you are such a wonderful person & example & I personally look up to you.

    1. Kaitlyn that is very sweet! I won’t fuss–because you are doing a great job at encouraging me! 😉
      It is so important to keep ourselves in balance, and I hope that this book helps us to do that. It is essential to the Christian life to be HUMBLE, and to know that we are nothing compared to God. We are sinful humans who could never deserve a relationship with God. However, we have to keep that in balance with understanding that God has assigned worth to us through giving us His image at creation, and giving us His Son at the cross. We have value assigned to us by God. Viewing ourselves as worthless just won’t do, because God has given us value. However, seeing ourselves as deserving–or good by ourselves–also won’t do, because we have been rebellious and sinful. I hope that this encourages us to remember that balance.

  2. I view his holiness as a gift to us , through he holiness he can show us how to be holy to him. And yes it isn’t as hard for me to admit that God can punish us! i mean we did the sin that he doesn’t want us to do and we go against him. He is our father and we should not disobey him , when we go against our parents we get punished for what we did and it the same for him. I hope that kinda made sense.

    1. That does make sense. What a wonderful view of God’s Holiness–it is a gift! All too often we view it as oppressive, or as our least favorite characteristic. However, the Holiness of God IS a gift, as it teaches us how to live in a way that brings about true satisfaction. The verses that comes to my mind are 1 Peter 1:14-19 – “14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”

      We are called to be holy as God is holy, so that we can respect the previous blood of Christ. That blood is the greatest gift we could ever receive.

      1. Also, a proper view of God’s holiness makes it easy for us to understand why He punishes those who do not access and respect the blood of Christ. Thank you for sharing!

  3. The Holiness of God ~ God is Holy for many reasons: I mean only He can judge what is Holy because He is ALL-Knowing! We are what was created by Him! He is so great that He spoke we complex human beings (not to mention the whole universe which not even man can explore all of) into existence in an instance, He does not sin which makes Him pure and Holy! He cares for us even though sometimes we forsake Him, He loves us! He has always been and always will be; in Exodus 3:14 God tells Moses that,” I AM who I AM”
    God most definitely has the right to punish our sin as much as a parent has the right to punish his disobedient child; obviously no one WANTS to be punished, but God is just, so we should trust Him that He is doing it because He loves us, and Knows what is best for us. And He is trying to shape us into better Christians. If we tell others about how Jesus DIED and went through TERRIBLE PAIN for OUR sin, then being punished for our own sin, we may have the understanding that it is nothing to what Christ went through, and that HE DIDN’T deserve it like WE DO.
    Revelation 4:8 * Psalms 47:8 * Psalm 60:6 * Psalm 108:7

    1. Wonderful!! Thanks so much for bringing this up–God is the one who determines holiness. Like you said, it is partially because He is all knowing. However, it is also because His character determines holiness. God Himself is the one who determines all morality, based on His character. He does not randomly determine what is holy based on a whim, but His sinless character determine such.

      Also, thank you for bringing up a way in which we can help people understand the holiness of God. The pain that was suffered to rid us of sin–to make us holy–is a physical display of the ugliness of sin. Ephesians 1:3-4 says: “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” We are blessed with the ability to be holy and blameless through the predetermined plan of sending Jesus Christ. What an undeserved gift!

  4. I think that the holiness of God can be something we don’t like because He has the right to punish us for our sins, but like it, or not; it’s reality. I feel like we can look at it with more appreciation if we look at why He owns us. ( Any of you that are doing Cindy Colley’s ” Digging Deep Study ” on Authority you will get where I’m going with this, and any of you that aren’t I strongly suggest that you do it. I know from experience that you will get something out of it and it is not too late to start.) He owns us a) because he created us. ( Genesis 1: 26-27) and b) because He paid (died) for us. (Romans 6:10).

    I found multiple promises in the New Testament & I know that I could have found many more if I had more room! 🙂 We will be called children of God. ( I John 3:1), Our joy may be full. ( I John 1:4) ,God will make a way of escape. ( I Cor. 10:13), We are no longer a slave, but a son. ( Gal. 4:7), We will get rest. ( II Thess. 1:7), We can do all things. (Php. 4:13), We have been set free from sin. (Rom.6:18), All things work together for good. ( Rom. 8:28).

    1. Yes–the “why” behind God’s authority is essential to understand. He owns us twofold! When we understand this ownership, it helps us in submission to His holiness. It makes us want to be like Him in holiness. Hebrews 12:14 is an excellent reminder that we will not see the Lord without being holy–we must form ourselves to our maker if we want to live with Him.

      SO many! I love that you brought up our adoption. We are no longer slaves but sons (or daughters!). God offers us a sense of belonging, and helps us find an identity. It’s hard for me to imagine who I would be without identity in Jesus Christ, and that motivates me to share with others! We all need family.

      1. Some of those verses are some of my favorite verses in the Bible Romans 8:28 and I Corinthians 10:13. Isn’t it encouraging to know that EVERYTHING will work out and that we can ALWAYS escape temptation?!

  5. some of the promises God give us are ~2 Peter 1:4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. And Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
    He promises that when we are down we can come to him at anytime of the day and he will be there to listen to us and are promises!

    1. Isn’t the blessing of answered prayer incredible? Any time of day, as you said, the Maker of heaven and earth will stop and listen to us. What is everyone’s favorite verse on prayer? I think mine is Philippians 4:6-7 – “6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

      1. There are so many verses on prayer. I like those because we can be comforted by them. I don’t know of a specific verse for this right off the top of my head, but I like that we can pray for forgiveness of sins. James 5:13 tells us to pray for the sick, Hebrews tells that Jesus is our mediator. I also really like Matthew 7:7-8.

  6. In Week 3 React 1 I only put good things God was going to do for Abraham, ( excluding that his descendants would be slaves in a foreign land etc.) and I still had NO room when I was done. Well, I had some off the lines, but I did have to go off the lines.

    1. Isn’t that amazing? God made SO many promises to Abraham, and through those promises we are blessed today! We are talking in this chatroom right now because of the promises God made to Abraham.

      Even though slavery itself was a negative promise, it brought about an incredible blessing! Because of the slavery God was able to demonstrate His power to Israel, creating faith and leading them to the promised land. This will be covered over the next few weeks! It’s funny that you mentioned this, because Caleb and I were just talking tonight about how even negative events bring about blessings. When we consider Romans 8:28, we realize that EVERY negative event brings about some good, even if it is not recognized until heaven.

  7. In answer to the second question, THE BIGGEST promise HE makes us is the promise of HEAVEN and ETERNAL LIFE free from tears and sadness, death and sin, and all the ugliness in this world!! We can have faith that He keeps His promises, because He has kept them all and he will keep the one I mentioned which has yet to be fulfilled! During the Patriarchal period God promised the Patriarchs that he would give them a Promised Land where He would make them a great nation and through their descendants send His very own Son!!

    1. Yes! God makes us a lot of promises about our life on earth–answered prayer (James 5:16), a family through the church (Matthew 19:29), the meeting of our physical needs (Matthew 6:32) etc., but the GREATEST of all is eternal life in heaven. Yes, the Patriarchal period represents numerous promises of God. The first one that comes to mind is God promising never to destroy the earth with a flood again! Even though many of these people didn’t live long enough to see whether or not God would fulfill the promises, they had faith that they would receive their reward (see Hebrews 11).

  8. I view the Holiness of God as perfect! We need it in our lives! It is majestic! (Exodus 15:11) We should strive to be holy as God is Holy! ( Leviticus 19:2) We should respond to His holiness with respect and awe! However, sometimes it is hard to accept the fact that God has the right to punish us! We have to accept this because he created us and has the ultimate authority over us!( Matthew 28:18, Jude 25) We should realize that God punishes our sin because it is wrong! We all have been punished or will be at some point! Just as the parent punished the child because he loves the child(Proverbs 13:24) God punishes us because he loves us! Because Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, we can be forgiven of them and grow closer to God. We can help others understand that God only punishes us because we are the sinners! If Adam and Eve had not sinned in the Garden of Eden, they would have been able to continue walking with God and living in harmony with Him! We can help others understand that when God punishes us, we can be molded and shaped into better Christians!

    1. Excellent comments, Kayla. We certainly endure the discipline of the Lord. That discipline is given out of love, in order to make us holy as He is holy (Hebrews 12:10). However, if we cast our sin on Jesus, we ultimately escape the punishment of our sin. Understanding the holiness of God helps us understand discipline and punishment. Without discipline, we could not become sanctified. Without ultimate punishment of sin, God could not uphold His holiness. Habakkuk 1:13 tells us that God cannot look upon evil–He is too holy to be in the presence of evil. If God allowed evil to be in His presence, He could not be holy. This certainly helps us understand why God punishes evil…though in our human minds, it can still be hard to accept.

      Dwelling on the holiness of God helps us hate sin. Can anyone think of any practical ways in which we can learn to hate sin?

      1. We can learn to hate sin by seeing the negative effects that it has on other people! We can see how other people’s sin has destroyed their family, their relationships, their life and their relationships with God! When we witness this, it really makes us think about what sin does, and we will not want that in our lives, therefore we can establish hate for sin! We can also realize that sin can tear us away from God!

      2. Just looking at the filthiness, the sadness, the shame, the disappointment that comes with sin can make anyone hate it! Sin rips up families, friends, relationships, and every aspect of one’s life: it destroys!!
        Because we are Christians if we strive to be like God we are going to hat sin like him.

  9. Personally, my favorite promise from God is the promise of eternal life in Heaven! It is such a wonderful thought that one day we will be with our creator! We will be in a place where there will be no more sadness, death or tears! We will be free from the trials that we face on this Earth! He promised that one day Christ will return again and that the world and time will come to an end! He promises that he will bring justice upon sinners and eternal life to those that have obeyed His perfect Will!

    God promised Abraham that his descendants would be like the stars! He promised the Israelites that the Messiah would come through their lineage! Because we have seen these promises be fulfilled, we can have Faith that one day our promises from God will also be fulfilled! We can find great joy in knowing that one day we will live in happiness with our loving Creator and worship Him for eternity!

    1. THANK YOU for making that point! I believe the most important thing we will learn from studying the Old Testament (specifically the scheme of redemption) is about the character of God. Because we read about the fulfilled promises that He gave to the Patriarchs, we can rest assured in knowing that He will fulfill the promises He made to us. What an encouraging thing to think about tonight. I can’t wait for the promise of an eternal home in God’s house to be fulfilled (John 14:12).

  10. I just wanted to say before I got off how much I appreciate this class !! It is helping understand things in a better view and grow closer to God. I really loved everyone’s comments . Hope y’all have and good evening !!!

  11. Tonight’s discussion was so encouraging to me! Feel free to add to this discussion, I will moderate throughout the week if you have anything to add. I want us to end the night by considering the link between the holiness of God and the fact that God ALWAYS keeps His promises. If God were not holy, then how could we count on Him to flawlessly keep every promise He makes? Because He is perfectly sinless, God is able to keep those promises. Next time you feel that sin isn’t a big deal, or that you don’t need to be quite as holy as God is…remember that the whole scheme of redemption rests upon the holiness of God. LOVE you all! Thankful for your deep thoughts and sweet hearts.

    1. Thanks and love you Rebekah and ladies. As always I will keep you in my prayers and I hope you all continue to study God’s Word. I really enjoy these discussions. Thank you Rebekah for setting them up and for being a part of them. Love y’all and goodnight.

    2. Thank you so much for doing this study! So far, it has greatly benefited me and I know it will continue to! Love you Rebekah! Have a great night!

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