Author: Pastor Paul A. Bartz
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
1.What does it mean for us to be a creature of God today?
New Agers do not have the God of the Bible in mind when they teach that god is in us. New Age religion teaches us to think of ourselves as continuing our evolution from animals toward godhood.
Neither are they accurate in their description of who and what we are. God’s own Word gives us a very different, and much more accurate, picture.
2.We must begin by looking at who and what God is to understand what it means to be a creature of God. The only trustworthy place to go for that information is the Bible. What does Romans 1:20 tell us about God?
What basic knowledge about Him can be known from nature?
What are some examples of how we see the invisible attributes of God in the creation?
In what things is His power evident? Is this power limited or unlimited?
How does God’s power contrast with man’s? How is His Godhead seen in the creation?
3.Has man been able to build evidence of his own attributes into the creation? (Hint: see Romans 8:22. But we can only take credit for causing this, not doing it, as verses 20 and 21 point out.)
Is the knowledge of salvation in Jesus Christ listed in Romans 1:20 as knowledge about God that can be learned from the creation?
4.Another section of Scripture that illustrates Romans 1:20 is Job 38-40:2. Who is speaking in this section? Why is He saying these things?
Job 40:2-4 sums up the entire section. How do these verses refute the New Age claim about Who and What God is?
Notice Job’s reaction to dealing with Almighty God face to face in verses 4 and 5. Remember that the recognition of both Job’s sinful state, and the fact that he is a creature, influences his answer to God. In which words of these two verses are each of those facts recognized?
5.Compare Job’s reaction to God’s lecture with Abram’s prayer on behalf of Sodom in Genesis 18:20-33, especially verse 27. What similarities are there?
What differences can you find between the two men?
Does Abram or Job show the more mature faith?
What of “self worth”?
6.The Idea of “self worth” is important to New Age thinking. Often it is through the concept of “self worth” that New Age teaching starts entering a Christian’s thinking. Look at Genesis 18:27 again. By today’s standards would Abram be considered to have a healthy sense of “self worth”?
7.Beneath the Christian-sounding words, the idea of “self-worth” is closely linked to the idea that we are all part of a pantheistic god force. But now consider the Bible. Does Scripture seem a bit negative about man?
Does Scripture’s stress on man’s creaturehood tear down a person’s self image?
Is Scripture’s talk about sin, and how it separates us from God, designed to make people think less of themselves?
What need in us is this Scriptural stress designed to show us?
8.Preachers like Robert Schuler, who teach New Age ideas using Christian words, say that it is a great mistake for Christians to talk about sin. Is it possible to lead someone to see his true need for the Savior without being confronted by his true condition?
Can teachers who tell us to replace talk about sin with words which will build “self-image” be called “preachers of the Gospel”?
9.Let’s use an example to illustrate the difference between the biblical and the New Age approach to man.
Suppose that you have just moved to a new town. You don’t know anyone at all. Your first day in town you meet two people. The first immediately tries to build a relationship with you based on flattery. You hear things about yourself that you will never deny, but which you know are really not true. The second person simply wants to be friends. No flattery is offered – just good conversation and a genuine show of concern for you.
Which relationship holds the potential for more depth?
On which basis is the bond between friends likely to continue despite difficulties?
Therefore which relationship provides the stronger basis for real meaning?
10.Scripture is clear in teaching that we are creatures of dust and ashes and sinful. However, it makes clear that God seeks the sinful. Scripture goes on to tell us that God makes us new creatures in Christ because of His love and despite our “worth.” Take another look at the personal depth of this relationship in Genesis 18:16-20. Why did the Lord confer with Abram about His plans?
Is this the image of a God who seeks to hold us to Himself with threats of punishment?
Who begins this relationship and upon what is it based?
11.Turn to Hebrews 2:10-17. This is one of the best sections of Scripture explaining the depth of the relationship which God desires with all men and has made with believers. Take a few moments to consider the depth of this relationship which God desires with you.
How would all of this be different if your relationship with God was based on your “self worth”?
How is “self worth” Christianity a very different faith than biblical Christianity?
12.Scripture tells us that God desires an intimate relationship with each of us that is not based on any worth within us. Rather, God’s desire for a relationship with us is based on God’s love for us.
This love led Him to devise a plan of salvation based on the worthiness of Jesus Christ.
The worthiness, which is given us from Christ, is not based on any goodness within us. It is a result of His love for us, not a cause of His love for us.
You may wish to close this Bible study with the reading of Psalm 6 and a prayer thanking God for His undeserved love for you and the excellency of the relationship He desires to have with you.
Copyright © 1986 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329 800-422-4253 www.creationmoments.com