Pastor Greg starts a new 4-part Easter-themed series this week called “THE WHOLE STORY.” He will show us how one, consistent story of redemption, starring Jesus at the center of it, is woven throughout the entire Bible from the first verse of Genesis to the very last verse of Revelation.
This first week starts at the very beginning and outlines God’s original plans and intents for humanity.
It’s called ONCE UPON A TIME.
Have you ever experienced a perfect moment?
Have you ever experienced a perfect day?
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. ~ Genesis 1:1-6
Tob (HEBREW) ~ Good (ENGLISH)
pleasant, good or agreeable
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. ~ Psalm 19:1
Kabowd (HEBREW) ~ Glory (ENGLISH)
honor, splendor, glory, abundance, reputation, character, nature
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. ~ Genesis 1:26-27
Elohim (HEBREW) ~ God (ENGLISH)
Elohim is the plural form of Eloah which also means God. So, this is a plural word used to describe a singular God who refers to Himself as Us, multiple persons.
Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west. I will say to the north, “Give them up!” And to the south, “Do not hold them back. Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” ~ Isaiah 43:5-7
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. ~ Genesis 1:31a
Meod (HEBREW) ~ Very (ENGLISH)
muchness, in force or abundance, overwhelming, total, complete
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants You have established a stronghold against Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of Your hands; You put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! ~ Psalm 8:1-9
But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim Your name to My brethren, In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.” And again, “I will put My trust in Him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.” ~ Hebrews 2:9-13
O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth
O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth
O Lord, we praise Your name, O Lord, we magnify Your name
Prince of peace, mighty God, O Lord, God Almighty ~ Michael W. Smith
Sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; ~ Psalm 96:1-4
A SIMPLE, THREE-PRONGED PLAN TO EXPERIENCE PERFECT MOMENTS
1) You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. ~ Deuteronomy 6:5
2) The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Matthew 22:39
To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. ~ 1 Peter 3:8-9
3) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10
Poiéma (GREEK) ~ Workmanship (ENGLISH)
A good thing God has made. God’s workmanship, God’s masterpiece, God’s craftsmanship, God’s newest art work, God’s new poem, God’s new song.
WHY DON’T WE EXPERIENCE MORE PERFECT MOMENTS/PERFECT DAYS?
1) We don’t always love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
2) We don’t always love our neighbors as ourselves.
3) We don’t always make all our decisions based upon our intended purpose of being God’s workmanship, focusing on the good works He has prepared for us and called us to accomplish.
In short, it is because of SIN. More on that next week in part two: The Whole Story: We Need A Hero.
PRIVATE BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR ALOHA GROUP
READ: Genesis 1:1-6
1) In theological circles there is something called “The Gap Theory” which allows for billions of years to take place between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. What do you think about this idea? Would it bring Creationism and Evolution closer together or is it unnecessary? Do you think the six days of Creation refer to literal days, are metaphors for other long lengths of time or some combination? Why?
2) Pastor Greg referred to evidence of the Trinity in this passage. Do you see it and agree? Why or why not?
READ: Psalm 19:1 and Genesis 1:26-27, Isaiah 43:5-7 and Genesis 1:31
1) We are fortunate to have a beautiful view of the heavens on most nights here on the Big Island. When you take the time to star gaze can you relate to the emotions being described by the psalmist in this passage? How do you feel when you contemplate the size and beauty of the universe and your place within it? Does it make you feel small and unimportant? Or does it make you feel significant, like it was all created for you, to bring you closer to God? Explain your answer.
2) How does it make you feel when you read God’s words about you in Isaiah 43? How do you feel about the idea that you were “made for God’s glory?” Do you feel like you are “very good.” Why or why not? If not, what can you do to correct that feeling and bring it in line with how God refers to His entire creation, including you?
READ: Psalm 8:1-9 and Hebrews 2:9-13
1) Why does the Psalmist seem surprised that God would care so deeply about human beings? Do you ever feel that way? Why or why not?
2) What does it mean that God made human beings “a little lower than the angels?” How have we been “crowned with glory and honor?”
3) What does it mean that Jesus was made “for a little while lower than the angels?” Was He originally higher than the angels?
4) How and when and why did He become lower than the angels? Is He back to being higher than the angels now? How do you know?
5) How did all that come about? What was the purpose in Him becoming lower than the angels for a time?
READ: Psalm 96:1-4
1) Pastor Greg mentioned in his announcement time about the shift to a 9:00am and 10:30am worship schedule that there was going to be an even stronger emphasis on singing “new songs” of worship and praise at 9:00am and he gave several reasons for this. He mentioned that God commands us in Scripture to “sing a new song” on nine separate occasions. Pastor Greg said “If we aren’t singing new songs to God we are directly disobeying His commands in Scripture. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
2) Why do you think “new songs” are so important to God? Why weren’t the original songs of David and others recorded in the Psalms enough for all generations?
3) Why were the hymns of the 1,400’s, 1,500’s, 1.600’s, 1,700’s necessary? Why were the hymns and songs of the 1,800’s, 1,900’s and 2,000’s necessary?
READ: Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:39 and Ephesians 2:10
1) Pastor Greg called this the “three-pronged plan to experience perfect moments in life.” Do you agree or disagree? How could living the truth of these three Scriptures fully every day lead to feelings of perfect moments and perfect days? How would it be like a “return to Eden” before sin caused the Fall?
2) How does not living the truth of these three Scriptures fully every day lead to sin and feelings of separation from God and other obstacles to a sensation of a perfect moment or a perfect day? How can we be better about living these truths more consistently?
READ: 1 Peter 3:8-9
1) Is this, perhaps part of the answer to the last question in the section above? Why or why not? How would you restate this passage in your own words to someone who was not yet a Christian? What are some specific ways you would live this out in your day-to-day life?