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Home > > First Quarter 2010-Lesson Plans > Bible Studies: Conversations (Young Adult) >
02.13.10: The Fruit-Goodness
Cultural Context

World War I and II brought out a cynical view of humanity that can be seen in the cultural revolutions and the philosophies of the 1960s. This is brought to the forefront when politicians claim goodness of character yet contradictory allegations emerge about them. Is goodness just a perceived front to mask a hidden agenda?

Necessary Background/Further Resources

Steps to Christ, chapter 2
The Desire of Ages, chapter 9


Read the selections listed above and compare the nature of man after sin with the goodness portrayed by Christ.

Point of Contact

• Do you think that the majority of individuals in the world think that humans are inherently good?
• Does our culture have an ingrained sense of what characteristics can be considered good in humans? What are the criteria?
• In what sense is “good” crucial to a stable society? Why?

Points of Conversation

Read Romans 7. Look at the contrast between the law of God and the lack of goodness in humanity. What does this chapter say about human nature and behavior?

• “the law is holy” (verse 12)
• “the law is spiritual” (verse 14)
• “I am carnal sold under sin” (verse 14)
• “for what I want to do I do not do” (verse 15)
• “what I hate I do” (verse 15)
• “the law is good” (verse 16)
• “I know that nothing good lives in me” (verse 18)
• “what a wretched man I am” (verse 24)
• Have you ever experienced the tensions of Roman 7?
• What areas in your life have been a struggle?
• Does conversion mean that there is no more struggle with the carnal nature?
• What happens at conversion?
• Do unbelievers face a certain struggle with the flesh?
• Is there any person—whether believer or unbeliever—who is considered inherently good? Upon what basis can any person be considered “good”?

Read Matthew 8:1-3.
What does this story tell us about the cleansing that Christ offers?

“Of all diseases known in the East the leprosy was most dreaded. Its incurable and contagious character, and its horrible effect upon its victims, filled the bravest with fear. . . . Deep-rooted, ineradicable, deadly, it was looked upon as a symbol of sin. By the ritual law, the leper was pronounced unclean” (The Desire of Ages, p. 262).

• Have you ever had a deep yearning desire for spiritual cleansing for sins that you believed had no remedy?
• What was Christ’s interaction like with the leper? What does this tell about the character of God and Christ’s interaction with the spiritually defiled?
• How does this story illustrate the gospel?

Parting Thought
(Buzz words are bolded.)

Romans 3:12 tells us that “there is no one that does good, not even one.” Even the most upstanding among us have aspects of our consciousness that we would be ashamed to admit. “This same point of recognition also awakened the slumbering spirit of journalist Terry Anderson, who had been held captive by terrorists in Lebanon. Anderson said that during his captivity he saw much in his captors that he hated and despised. The more he saw them and talked to them, the more he was repelled by them. ‘Yet,’ he added, ‘in a strange way there was nothing in them I had not now also seen in myself’” (Ravi Zacharias, www.rzim.org).

No psychological method or educational culture can erase from the soul the moral depravity of man. Christ offers pardon and grace to all. Even as He cleansed the man from the dreaded disease of leprosy so can He cleanse the human heart from the stain of sin. Standing in Christ’s righteousness we are empowered unto good works. 
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