Origins Part 3: Getting Unstuck Study Guide

Thanks for joining us online this weekend! Continuing our study through the Book of Genesis, Pastor Doug Sauder taught from Genesis 42–45. In this message, we saw the power and process of reconciliation play out as the story of Joseph and his brothers came full circle.

Dive deeper into this teaching on your own, with your family, or in your online group! Watch the video below to see a recap of this weekend’s teaching. You can also scroll down to check out expanded notes and summaries from the teaching, small group questions, and get informed on some of the great resources available to you.

To watch the message in its entirety, click here.


Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug’s message:

Forgiveness Takes One, Reconciliation Takes Two (Genesis 42:8–9): Unforgiveness is the currency of hell. When you hold onto unforgiveness, you’ll be in a prison, a solitary cell. Why? Because usually the only one suffering from the bitterness and ugliness of it is you, but there can also be collateral damage inflicted on the people closest to you. Rarely does the person your harboring feelings of unforgiveness toward feel any of it or even know you have these feelings. So, you suffer and rot away internally because you’re holding on, while they’re generally unaffected! So, what’s the point?

Forgiveness takes one. It doesn’t mean you have to become best friends with the person who wronged you—an abuser or someone who betrayed you, bullied you, or abandoned you. But when you let go of the unforgiveness, you’ll begin to experience healing and redemption in your own life.

This doesn’t minimize the fact that you suffered or struggled. But the fact is that if you continue to hold on to all of that bitterness, it becomes utter poison to your soul, all your current and future relationships, and your ability to experience the fullness of God’s grace, peace, love, and hope.

Healthy Reconciliation Requires Time and Testing (Genesis 42:15-17): It’s not wise or healthy to fake forgiveness. When Joseph encountered his brothers, he had no bitterness in his dealings with them. Instead, he wanted to bring them to the place of realization and repentance for their transgressions, for their own healing, to prepare them for true reconciliation to him and to God.

In this, Joseph gives us an image of how Jesus loves us before we even know Him; how He brings us to the place of repentance in order that we may experience salvation and reconciliation.

Now if you notice, in Genesis 42:21-22, the brothers do come to this realization.  They admit “we are guilty.” They don’t pass the blame. They confess their sin. This is the only confession of sin found in the Book of Genesis. Joseph hears this, but he knows confession does not equate to repentance.

If you have a secret sin you have not confessed to God and the people around you, your worship will be hollow. Why? Because when you remain stuck in shame, you cannot receive grace. This is evidenced by the reaction of Joseph’s brothers to the money being in their sacks. They were afraid they’d be accused of stealing, but in reality, Joseph was lavishing them with grace, even though they didn’t deserve it. He had their good in mind all along.

Genuine Repentance Leads to Full Restoration (Genesis 44:16, 45:1–3): When Joseph’s silver cup was found in Benjamin’s sack, the brothers all grieved and feared the worst. And it was in this moment when Judah offers his life, a sign of deep repentance. You see, repentance is sometimes displayed in degrees. From their confession of guilt to this moment of sacrificial love and selflessness, we see how far the brothers had come. And it was at this moment when Joseph, overcome by love, compassion, and the desire for reconciliation, reveals the truth to his brothers!

Joseph weeps so loudly the Egyptians hear it. His kindness mirrors the goodness of God that leads to full restoration.

Quote to Remember: Because we have received mercy, we can dispense that mercy to others.—Pastor Doug Sauder


As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider with your family, your circle of friends, or in your group.

Ice-Breaker: If you were in charge of planning a family or class reunion, what would you do?

Discussion Question 1: How has God used guilt in your life to teach you something? 

Discussion Question 2: Why do you think it’s difficult to forgive?

Discussion Question 3: How could extending forgiveness heal a relationship? How might it heal the other person? How might it heal you?

Discussion Question 4: Read 2 Corinthians 5:11–21 aloud. What are the marks that define Christ’s work of reconciliation? How can you live out His reconciliation in your relationships?


Ponder:  Are you harboring unforgiveness right now?

Practice: Forgiveness takes one. If there is something you’re holding on to, talk with a trusted friend or mentor about how you can begin the process of forgiveness and healing.

Pray: Pray for those suffering through separation and unforgiveness. Pray the Lord would work reconciliation and redemption in these painful areas of their lives.


Parents, here are a few questions to go over with your kids around the dinner table or during dedicated family times.

Ice Breaker: If you could be in charge of your next family vacation, where would you go?

Question 1: Have you ever felt bad, or guilty, for doing something you weren’t supposed to do? What did you learn from that?

Question 2: Has someone ever apologized to you, but you didn’t feel like forgiving them? Why was it hard to forgive them?

Question 3: Can forgiving someone help you be friends with them again? Why do you think that is?

Question 4: 2 Corinthians 5:11–21 talks about the word reconciliation, which means that because of sin we are wrong, but God makes us right again because of Jesus. Because God has forgiven our sins, or made us right again, how can that help us forgive others?


Ponder: When you don’t forgive someone, it makes you mad and impacts your life in a bad way, but most of the time it doesn’t do anything to the other person. Is there something you are holding inside you that you would like to say out loud?

Practice: Tell your mom, dad, brother, or sister if you’re holding some anger or sadness inside of you. Then, you can be brave and forgive someone or ask for forgiveness if you need to!

Pray: Dear God, thank You for forgiving me of my sins. Help me to do the same thing towards other people. And help people who don’t want to forgive those who hurt them. Amen.


Looking to dive deeper into your relationship with Jesus this summer? Want to grow in a specific area, or need some answers to some really difficult questions? We’ve got you covered! Sign up for one of our latest Bible plans! From brand-new plans on studying the Bible and prayer to plans on relationships, sharing the gospel, experiencing peace, overcoming anger, finding fulfillment, or studies through books of the Bible, we have a variety of awesome resources for you, no matter what season of life you’re in, to grow in your faith and study the Bible.

To view our reading plans, click here.


As we continue to track the news and information about COVID-19 and its effects both worldwide and right here in our surrounding cities, this week we will continue to hold services ONLINE.

Join us this Wednesday for part seven of the powerful Alpha class where we discuss how God guides us. Then on the weekend, we’ll continue our study through the Book of Genesis as Pastor Doug Sauder teaches from Genesis 45–48. In this message, we’ll discover why God gives and takes away for His purposes, how He uses adversity to prepare us for prosperity, and how His purposes and plans are always for our ultimate good.

We look forward to spending another awesome week with you!

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About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.