What does it mean to be created by God? In our culture, we don’t often view ourselves as created beings. Instead, personal choice, autonomy, and individualism are ingrained in our identities. Yet the Scripture speaks a deeper, more hopeful truth. As created beings, we are dependent on God for life, purpose, identity, and direction. God not only created us in his image, he also recreated us through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. We hope you will join us in this new series as we explore what it means for us as believers to put our feet on the solid ground of biblical truth in an ever-shifting world.
WEEK 1: Creation
January 10 Genesis 1:26-29
WEEK 2: Fallen
January 17 Genesis 3:4-7
WEEK 3: Reborn
January 24 1 Peter 1:3-9
WEEK 4: Set Apart
January 31 Isaiah 6:1-7
Great and Mighty King | Elevation Worship | Apple Music
Psalm 47:6-8 • Revelation 5:11-14 • Isaiah 6:1-3
All Creatures of Our God and King | David Crowder Band | Apple Music
Psalm 66:1 • Psalm 148 • Revelation 5:13
God of Creation | Grace Church Worship | Apple Music
Genesis 1-2 • Romans 5 • Hebrews 4:13
God You Are My God | Vertical Worship | Apple Music
Zechariah 14:9 • Isaiah 2:2 • 1 Peter 1:18-20
Behold | Grace Church Worship | Apple Music
Philippians 2:6-11 • 1 Peter 3:18 • Isaiah 53:3-5 • Revelation 19:11-16
All Things New | Brett Younker | Apple Music
2 Corinthians 5:17 • 2 Corinthians 5:21 • Isaiah 61:3 • Romans 3:25-26
The One Who Saves | Hillsong Worship | Apple Music
1 Chronicles 16:31-35 • Ezra 3:11 • Jeremiah 33:11
More Grace | Grace Church Worship | Apple Music
What a Savior | Hillsong Worship |Apple Music
John 9:35-39 • Psalm 71:14 • Psalm 149:4
There Is a Fountain | Grace Church Worship | Apple Music
Zechariah 13:1 • John 1:29 • Hebrews 9:12-14
Galatians 2:20 • 1 Corinthians 15:10 • Philippians 2:13
Christ Our Savior | Grace Church Worship | Apple Music
Lamentations 3:21-26 • Ephesians 2:8-9 • Titus 3:5-6
Not Anymore | Grace Church Worship | Apple Music
O Praise the Name | Hillsong Worship | Apple Music
Matthew 27-28 • 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 • Revelation 7:9-12 • Hebrews 9:28
Matthew 7:24-27 • Colossians 2:6-8 • Psalm 145:3
Endless Surrender | Grace Church Worship | Apple Music
Hebrews 4:12 • Philippians 3:8-11 • Titus 3:3-8
Yet Not I but Through Christ in Me | CityAlight | Apple Music
Galatians 2:20 • 1 Corinthians 15:10 • Philippians 2:13
O God of Our Salvation | Grace Church Worship | Apple Music
1 Chronicles 16:29
Psalm 98 • Psalm 66:4 • John 1:3-4 • Genesis 2:7
Psalm 34:1-3 • Romans 6:3-5 • Revelation 5:11-13
Romans 12:1 • Ephesians 4:16 • Ephesians 3:20
Greater Than All Our Words | Grace Church Worship | Click here to listen Coming Spring 2021
Psalm 19:1 • Romans 12:1 • Job 40:4
Mark 4:39 • Revelation 19:6-8
The Lord is Great and Mighty | Grace Church Worship | Coming Spring 2021
1 Peter 2:9-10 • John 8:36 • Romans 8:14-17
Psalm 96 • Isaiah 49:13 • Psalm 19:1-4
Come Alive | Red Rocks Worship | Grace Church Worship | Apple Music | Spotify
Matthew 11:28 • Psalm 46 • Ezekiel 37
King of Kings | Hillsong Worship | Grace Church Worship | Apple Music | Spotify
John 16:33 • Psalm 107:13-15 • Mark 13: 24-26 • 1 John 5:4-5 • Philippians 1:20-21
These daily readings will help prepare you for the upcoming teaching you will hear this weekend at Grace Church. These passages will create some context for the sermon by showing you Scriptures the author might be quoting and some passages that contain related ideas. Our hope is that as you follow this reading plan, it will help you become more defined and directed by Scripture.
Both our sinful nature and our modern culture instill within us feelings of personal sovereignty. What would it look like for you to release control over things that you are not in charge of? In which areas of your life do you struggle to release control to God? Why?
We often abandon our identity as God’s people and shop around for other identities (parent, businessman, athlete, American, etc.). With what roles in your life do you tend to over-identify?
Our desires to self-actualize and “fulfill our potential” are a form of idolatry. How can you change your thought patterns around this idea and realize that you are a small player in God’s much larger story?
God’s plans are often different from our own, but they are always better. Was there a time in the past when you experienced this truth? Can you receive direction from God—particularly when it is different from your plans?
There are some things we receive from God, and there are some things we are responsible for. How can you grow in discernment between these things and focus on being faithful and honoring God in the areas where you are actually in charge?
In our advanced society, there is an embedded cultural arrogance. This natural independence has instilled in us a sense of personal sovereignty. We must reject this notion and come under God’s authority as his creation.
We have a tendency to abandon God, distance ourselves from him, and try to create and adopt new identities for ourselves.
Scripture tells us that we are created by God, in his image, and for his purposes and glory. We must give ourselves back to God because we are his.
There are some things we determine in life, and there are some things we receive from God. However, our small level of responsibility often feeds our sense of sovereignty and power. This is when we mistakenly claim responsibility for our life and abandon our position as created beings.
In the grand scheme of the universe, we are small players. It is a privilege to be a small part of this much bigger story of God’s love for his Son, his grace towards us, and Jesus’ honoring of the Father through our redemption.
Our culture’s message is to “believe in yourself.” While we may not verbally affirm this mantra, many of us live this way. How have you seen this way of thinking evidenced in your own life? Where is self-confidence apparent in your choices, planning, and problem solving?
When we see so much sin in the world around us, it’s easy to make ourselves the standard of justice. Has there ever been a time in the past when you justified your own sin because it “wasn’t as bad” as someone else? Why is that thinking faulty?
Read Romans 8:18-25. Living in a world that is “cursed” may seem dark and discouraging. How can this truth actually bring us hope? Instead of being frustrated in difficult circumstances, how should we view the brokenness in the world around us?
Read Isaiah 64:5-6. If we don’t understand the reality of our fallen condition, we won’t look to Jesus for hope. Can you think of a time when you were faced with your own corrupt nature? How can you “own” your fallenness and let it move you toward Christ?
There is nothing more important for us than to understand the distinction between God as our Creator and ourselves as created beings. Clarity or confusion around our identity will have lasting effects for generations to come.
Through Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden, we have been condemned and are objectively guilty before God. However, God’s plan for redemption and restoration was already in place from the beginning.
Another result of the fall is the curse of death. God put death into place in order to limit evil in the world and to instill in us a desire for a better world.
Each one of us is corrupt from within—even our good deeds are not worthy to be compared to God’s holiness. But we can take hope in that fact that our fallen nature drives us towards the merciful redemption found in Christ.
While the world tells us to “believe in ourselves,” we must embrace our limitations as created beings, be humbled by our fallen nature, and look to our Creator for hope of a better world.
Being recreated is a reorientation—to a new family, a new culture, a new way of life. What did this reorientation look like for you when you became a believer? In what ways do you still struggle to orient yourself to your identity as God’s child?
What do you dream about? What excites you? What upsets you? What do the answers to these questions reveal what you truly value? Are your hope and life expectations in alignment with God’s plan and purpose for you as his child?
Part of being a believer is living in expectation of the future God has for us. How much personal bandwidth do you invest in thinking about eternity? Or, are you looking for transcendence elsewhere? If so, consider the genuineness of your faith or the possibility that you have been dulled by the world.
1 Peter tells us that we will surely face trials here on earth, but that they are meant for our growth. How has God used trials in your life to squeeze out your reliance on yourself and hope in worldly things? How can our future inheritance from God strengthen our faith and give us hope in the midst of trials?
We must own our createdness and our fallenness in order to experience what it means to be recreated.
Being recreated by God is a reorientation—to his family, his culture, and his plans for the future. When we struggle to come under his authority, it raises questions about our understanding of our position as created beings.
When we are reborn, the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life within us, and we can live in expectation of a priceless inheritance in eternity.
We are all looking for a sense of transcendence, often in worldly things like power, influence, and earthly relationships. However, our future with God should not only provide us with that transcendence, it should orient our entire lives.
Just as intense heat can remove the impurities from gold, so also can trials in our lives purify our souls and draw us closer to God. We should not waste our trials, but embrace them as God’s tool for growth.
Whether we struggle with crippling guilt and shame over our sin or self-righteousness in comparison to others, we must all humble ourselves to receive God’s mercy.
What does it look like for you to be captivated by God’s holiness? What habits in your life need to change in order for you to pursue knowing God fully through his Word?
Have you had an Isaiah moment? If so, what prompted you to realize that you were a sinful creature who needed God to do a work in your life? How did your Isaiah moment change the way you viewed God and yourself?
When we become too rooted in the world, we abandon our identities as creatures and try to manage our own sin. When did you last confess sin to God? To someone else? How can you make that a normal part of your Christian experience?
What does it look like for you to pursue an uncommon life? What areas of your life is God convicting you to move in so that you can live in such a way that appears utterly distinct and different from the world?
We were created and recreated to be holy—set apart by God. However, many of us think of holiness merely as the absence of sin. Rather, holiness is the presence of something uncommon, distinctive, and utterly unique.
God is radically distinct from us as creatures. He is the uncreated One in a category all his own. This is why we worship him and not ourselves.
When we get a glimpse of who God really is, it brings stability to our souls. We realize his sovereignty over the universe and can rest in his control.
Isaiah’s encounter with God transformed how he viewed himself. He realized that he was both a creature and sinner. We must likewise seek to encounter God so he can orient us to reality.
Part of growing in holiness is regular confession of sin—this should be part of the Christian experience.
Our pursuit of holiness is a response to the fact that we’ve been made objectively holy. It is not a performance to earn holiness—it is an outpouring of a grateful heart.
Discipleship is the act of helping people follow Christ. Who in your life has discipled you in a compelling way? What specifically made their discipleship effective?
Believers typically struggle to share the gospel for two reasons—fear of man or a focus on self. Which of these is more of a barrier for you when it comes to sharing your faith? What step can you take to begin breaking down that barrier?
We all have opportunities to point people towards Christ. Who are one or two people that God is directing you toward around this idea of discipleship? What would it look like for you to move towards them, share your story, and share the gospel?
Read Matthew 28:18-20 again. What is something that God has taught you either through sharing the gospel or investing in someone to teach them to obey God’s Word?
When we are recreated by God, we must come underneath his authority and release control of our lives to him. Our new lives will look different, and God may call us to do things that we wouldn’t have chosen ourselves.
All throughout Scripture, God has sent his people to reach and bless others. Ultimately, God sent Jesus to redeem us and the Holy Spirit to sustain us. Now, we are the sent ones.
God sends because he is kind, benevolent, and generous. We cannot simply follow some rules or a formula around the mission of being sent. We must allow God to instill his kindness deep within our hearts
Making disciples involves going, baptizing, and teaching. This means we must be in personal space with people, explaining who God is, and calling them to live in accordance with his Word.
Ironically, we as Gentiles were originally outsiders—we are not God’s chosen nation. However, God in his mercy has extended the gospel to us, and we now live in a place and time where we feel like insiders. We must remember our status and strive to reach those outside the faith with the gospel.
We all have opportunities to connect with others and share our faith. We must be willing to take the relational risk, verbalize the gospel to those around us, and call for a decision.
Part of being in God’s family means we have an inheritance that gives us freedom and security. How much time and energy do you spend worrying about finances or the future? Are you concerned about policy changes in our country right now? What steps do you need to take in order to gain some freedom in these areas?
When you encounter a problem in life, what is your first reaction? Do you take your concerns to the Father with boldness and confidence? How can the idea of “confident access” change the way you live?
Consider the idea of God’s discipline. Have you ever had a moment when you realized that God was entitled to do his will in your life, even if it meant loss or sorrow for you? How did that experience affect you?
When God does “squeeze” you through difficult times, do you have a reflex to cry out to your Father? How can you view these hardships as a gateway to intimacy with God?
When God called Abram to leave his familiar home and family, he packed his belongings and followed God. For us, determining our position in God’s family can be more difficult. Did the sermon this weekend resonate with your soul and reorient your identity? Or did it raise questions for you? If so, whom do you need to talk to in order to get some answers and direction?
God’s call to Abram was extreme. However, he also extended a promise of comfort and blessing. We must likewise be willing to answer God’s call at great personal cost, for this is how God will bless others through us.
When we become followers of Christ, we gain the right to be in God’s family. We also receive a new birth that will begin to restore and reshape us into who God wants us to be.
There will be many who believe they are in God’s family but have not truly answered the call to follow Jesus. We must carefully examine our souls and consider whether we are true members of God’s family.
Knowing that we have an inheritance from God should bring us a sense of security, freedom and peace.
As believers, we are also privileged to have confident access to the throne room of our gracious God
Submitting to God’s discipline through trials and as a result of our sin is a formative element of our family identity. Because of God’s discipline, we know that we are his children.
When we are squeezed by the brokenness of the world, we have such intimacy with God that we can cry out to him as our Father.
Our emotions often act as a check-engine light. What facets of your life can make you fearful or angry when things don’t go well (work, parenting, politics, etc.)? How have you over-invested in or over-identified with those areas?
1 Peter directs us to submit to authority even when it is corrupt, wrong, or simply inefficient. When have you had to do this? How did it affect you? How can you move towards trusting God with the authority he has placed over you?
God calls us to live credible lives that are above reproach so that we may expand his kingdom. Whom has God placed in your life that you are responsible for? How can you build credibility with them?
We live in a culture that equates freedom with personal sovereignty. How has this idea influenced your life? Are you able to submit to the idea that God has authority to both direct and assign purpose to your life? Where do you need to release your own desires for the furtherance of God’s kingdom?
God makes it clear that we are “temporary residents and foreigners” in this world. However, we very easily forget who we are and where we come from—we over-identify with and over-invest in this world.
God calls us to live solid, credible lives that are above reproach. In this way, even when we are accused of wrongdoing, people around us will see how we honor God.
While human authority is often corrupt, we must submit to it, believing and trusting that God is sovereign over all things.
We are born slaves to sin. However, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are made free from the power of sin. This does not give us personal sovereignty—as believers, we are slaves to our benevolent, compassionate Father.
There are many good and noble things that God gives us here on earth. But, we must guard our affections and not become overly attached to these things.
Just as Jesus suffered for all mankind, we must suffer for those around us. This is how we expand God’s kingdom.