Jan 10, 2021 |Knockoff gods


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01.10.21 | Knockoff gods


Noel Heikkinen

Genesis 1-3

There are lots of good things in our lives, but sometimes we place so much time, energy, and focus on them that they become our rulers. What or who is sitting on the throne of your life? Pastor Noel Jesse Heikkinen starts our new series by challenging us to give up the throne in our lives, because it’s not ours anyway. Our idols usually start as good things, but we place them at the center of our lives: a place that should be occupied by God alone.

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They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.
Romans 1:25

An idol is anything in our lives that occupies the place that should be occupied by God alone. Anything that...holds such a controlling position in my life that...it moves and rouses and attracts so much of my time and attention, my energy and money.
-Martin Lloyd Jones

Autonomy is freedom from external control or influence; independence.

αυτός = self

νόμος = law

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed.
Genesis 1:31

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
Genesis 2:16-17

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Genesis 3:1

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’”

“No! You will certainly not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:2-5

In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.

What, then, are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
Romans 8:26-31

What is an idol? What are some examples of “good” things that make awful gods? Is there something in your own life (other than God) that holds such a controlling position, that if an objective person looked at the way you use your time, attention, energy, and money, it would be obvious what your idol is?

What is autonomy? (consider the word origin…”autos” = self, “nomos” = law). What are some specific areas where you struggle with the desire to rule your own life rather than acknowledging that God is in control?

Read Genesis 3:1-5. What was the specific way the devil tempted Eve? In what ways are you tempted to “be like God”?

What are some specific ways you can push back against the temptation toward autonomy? Is there a way for you to sacrificially serve others? Is there sin to confess? An attitude to cultivate? A Scripture passage to remember? Consider Philippians 2:1-11 and John 13:1-17.