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Date: March 21, 2021
The Nature of Sin
The Point: We are sinners, and on our own, we can do nothing about it.
Get Into the Study
Use the following to introduce today’s session.
Beyond Meat, the plant-based meat alternative company, has announced a three-year partnership with McDonald’s to become the “preferred supplier for the patty in the McPlant.” Beyond Meat also announced an agreement with Yum Brands for creating “craveable and innovative plant-based protein menu items that can only be found at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell over the next several years.”
Bill Gates is also bringing attention to plant-based meat alternatives, suggesting that “all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef” as part of the fight against climate change. Gates added, “You can get used to the taste difference.”
We can “get used to” many things when we forgo the original. A McPlant may taste a lot like a hamburger, but once you take a bite of an all-beef McDonald’s Quarter Pounder, the difference becomes clear. Whether you agree that giving up beef for the sake of climate change is a reasonable decision, it is hard to deny that beef is the taste-standard for hamburgers.
We often measure our actions and decisions against others, whom we think are setting the standard for behavior. Our mistakes and poor decisions don’t seem that bad when we compare them to the scandals in the news. However, politicians, celebrities, and our neighbors aren’t the standard for our behavior; God is. When we stop looking to God, we can “get used to” a lot of sins. But once we turn our focus back to God, the difference becomes clear, and we fail to measure up.
Get Into the Study [Option from Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a short video about the importance of being punished for doing wrong. The video can be either serious or silly to get people talking. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible
Share the following story as you discuss Isaiah 59:9-11. Then ask Question #5.
Many people have had difficulty signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine. In particular, those senior adults who do not have as much experience with internet sign-ups are struggling with the mostly online systems. Benjamin Kagan, a Chicago high schooler, helped his grandparents sign up for their vaccines and then set-up an online database where he is now helping hundreds of other senior adults secure vaccine spots. Kagan saw that others needed help in their own fights against COVID-19 and stepped up to assist.
We are all in our own battles against sin. But God has not left us to fight the battle by ourselves. We have the Holy Spirit and fellow believers to fight with us.
Follow up by asking Question #5.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. Having returned to Tennessee with her husband, she is now thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom and writer.
- What’s happened lately to remind you we live in a broken world with broken people?
- When have you been given a task you knew you wouldn’t be able to complete on your own?
- When’s the last time you tried to do something but ended up failing miserably?
- Where do see the list of sins in verses 3-4 in our society today?
- Why would sin cause God to hide His face from the people He created in His image?
- How have you experienced separation from God because of sin?
- How do people try to take care of their own sin problem? Why do they fall short in their attempts?
- How does sin lead to a lack of peace?
- What can we learn from the imagery in these verses?
- What phrase(s) from this passage best conveys to you the root of all sin?
- What are some of the ways that Isaiah 59:9-11 describes the effect of unforgiven sin on our lives?
- What do you do when you feel overwhelmed by your sin nature?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
Here’s a link to the book mentioned in the podcast: Building a Disciple-making Ministry.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- HomeLife – Fresh Mercies