Tips for Teaching This Week’s Session of The Gospel Project for Adults
Every week, Aaron Armstrong and other adult ministry leaders offer guidance to help leaders prepare to lead and teach each session of The Gospel Project for Adults.
This week’s training notes:
This week, your group will be studying Unit 2, Session 3, A World Purged, which focuses on God’s judgment of human sin in a global flood. Here are your three things to know, read, and do as you prepare for this week’s session:
Something to know
This passage involves a point of difficulty for many English readers in Genesis 6:6, which says that the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth and He was deeply grieved. As is mentioned in the session commentary, there are differences in how this is translated: some say repented or that the Lord was sorry, rather than that He regretted. But regardless of translation questions, there’s an issue with what it actually means: does God change His mind. Is He fallible in some way? Is He capable of error?
And the answer is no, of course. Scripture makes it clear that God does not change His mind, He is not fallible in any way. He never makes a mistake, but always does exactly what He intends to. What we have in this verse is an example of anthropropathism; this is a technical word which means to assign human feelings to a non-human being. Because God is not a human being, He doesn’t have feelings the same way that we do. It’s not wrong to talk about God feeling one way or another, of course; in fact, Scripture does this in other places. But what we need to know is that this is what might be called a condescension; it is something that is done for our benefit, to help us understand God to the degree that we are able, within the limits of our language.
So that’s something to know and something you really want to help your group members understand in this session.
Something to read
As for something to read, there is a terrific article in the additional resources by Brandon Smith called The Better Version of Noah’s Ark. What Brandon does in this article is explore how this event foreshadows Christ’s saving work on our behalf, reminding us not just of the personal but the cosmic scope of the gospel. One line I particularly love is this: “Creation won’t groan in chaos and be at odds with humanity. It will be restored, and a new Adam will lead a redeemed humanity to rule over it.” So do check that out. It will add some additional flavor that will help you as you prepare to teach this week.
Something to do
Finally, something I would recommend just for your own benefit as you prepare, is to listen to the sermon by Ronnie Martin found in the Additional Resources for this volume called Noah, the Flood, and the Outpouring of God’s Grace. This sermon will do your heart a tremendous amount of good as it reminds you of the good news of God’s grace that we see in this passage of Scripture. And as you do, I hope that that good news is what you’re able to communicate effectively to your group, even as you explore a powerful example of God’s judgment.