Read: Gen. 1-3; Mt 4:1-2; 1 Pet. 1:13-16; Rm 5; 6:1-16
Lord of Our Desires. Last week on Probe we focused on Jesus as Lord of our thoughts. This week the focus is more intense, namely, on desires. Does following Jesus heighten, diminish, or simply focus our natural desires?
- A good creation gone bad: Genesis 1-3 / Romans 5. From a biblical perspective, how did the Fall affect our natural appetites and desires? Romans 5 seems to point more in the direction of something like inherited evil desires. To what extent are the results noted in Romans 5, a step beyond the results described in Genesis 3?
- Jesus as example: Matthew 4:1-2. Jesus spent 40 days fasting at the beginning of his ministry. To what extent was that necessary as part of his special mission and to what extent is that a model for the rest of us, that is, for “normal” Christians?
- A dramatic change: 1 Peter 1:16. Peter challenges the Christian to holy living. To what extent does the shift to “holiness” take place immediately? Can a Christian measure progress in the holy life? To what extent can one be consciously grateful for progress? Or does that move in the direction of sinful arrogance?
- Crucifying the old: Romans 6:1-6. Paul seems to suggest that a dramatic change takes place when we are crucified and buried with Christ. What does it mean to be no longer “enslaved” to sin? Have the old desires gone completely dead or are they simply pushed into the background by our conscious choice to focus on the good?