Growing in the Lord

Awana lesson 1.1 “Sin”

(This is the first part of a blog series following the high-school Awana Journey curriculum of 2016 available from Awana.org )

God is complete and sufficient in Himself – He is good, and light, and life, and love.

Fallen humanity is broken in and of ourselves – we are wicked. Darkened. Dying. Hateful.

Jesus prayed, “This is eternal life, to know you [the Father] and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” By virtue of being fully God and fully human, Jesus is the link between the triune God and humanity. He is the source of all life, and thus true life is necessarily found in Him (and only Him). 

Fallen humanity is like plucked flowers: we may look good on the outside for now, but when people are estranged from the Source they will ultimately die. When Adam and Eve tried to be like God (without God and outside of God’s love), they severed themselves from their connection to His life and they surrendered themselves to the guidance of the Serpent of lies. 

And now all humanity finds themselves born into this natural alienation from God. 

Every one of us seeks to fill the gaping void in our soul left by this alienation from God, but we don’t naturally turn to God to do it. We naturally look “at the things that are seen.” Like Adam and Eve, we secretly think that God is holding out on us, that to be truly fulfilled and happy we need to ignore God’s guidance and do it our way. And like Adam and Eve, we keep finding that this ultimately leaves us feeling emptier and more broken. 

People want the intimacy of relationship with our beautiful God, but they turn to lustful fantasies in an empty attempt to satisfy this need.

People want to be good, but instead of pursuing the goodness found in Jesus, people raised in church may try to use the sin of judgmentalism to condemn others, thanking God that they are not as bad as other people and enjoying the feeling of being ‘better’ than others. 

All this sin enslaves us and traps us. Like Adam and Eve, we hide from each other and from God, putting up facades, making excuses, and blaming others to deflect attention from the guilty fruit sitting in our stomach. 

Some blame Adam and Eve – “I wouldn’t be such a sinner if it weren’t for my sin nature.” No. Your body and so-called “sin nature” do not compelling you to neglect God’s grace. 

Some may even turn and blame God Himself for making us the way we are – “God controls everything, even my sin.” No. God always “provides a way of escape” (1 Cor. 10:13).

The only thing that will resolve our issue of being separated from God isn’t a thing at all. It’s a Person. God Himself – in the person of the eternal Logos (the Word of God – see John 1:1) – took humanity into Himself and became man. He brought Himself to us. Just like God came searching out Adam and Eve in the garden, He comes to seek out you. He goes to find the lost sheep. He even gives His life for the sheep.

Jesus entered into our darkness and mortality and sickness. When we hated God and railed against Him, He became man and let Himself be the victim of our hatred. In the midst of all this wickedness and death and hatred His power and life and love was more powerful, and shattered it from the inside out.

Our rescue from sin and death is only found by being united to Jesus in faith and love.

Next week: Holiness.

(If you found anything here thought-provoking or helpful to use in discussion, make it your own and just use it. You can add thoughts in the comments below or in the FB post. Please encourage your friends to check us out at YieldToGod.org or YieldToJesus.com . Thanks!)

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