Last time we considered God’s provision for us despite our desire and ability to sin. This realisation gives us a building block to re-programme the understanding we have of ourselves and of God. So far we have considered:-
- Ultimately God is our Father in Heaven who created all things, we are his created children designed to be in relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; who also unites us together as church.
- Our lives are fashioned to be the image of God therefore our lives need to reflect His glory not our own.
- Mankind have inherited a sinful nature, after the devil deceived Adam and Eve, therefore being born seperated from God.
- Jesus death and resurrection gives mankind a choice either to continue to live without God and keep ourselves on the throne of our lives or submit our lives to the Father who created us acknowledging he has the right to rule.
- God provides us with the redemptive work of Jesus so that we can have the choice to live in the light with Him forever or we can choose to live in the eternal darkness of our sin.
Next we consider that through Jesus we are given a new inheritance, a new destiny, a life that takes us further into the light and life of Christ. Let us learn together how these truths impact on our every day lives; how does trusting in Jesus affect our daily choices?
Trust and Obey
I love the old hymn ‘Trust and Obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey’. Trust in our Father must come first, it is from this trust that we then desire to obey, this is the beauty of a submitted life to our God; no longer do we make demands but we seek God’s guidance in all we do.
We see from Genesis in the original sin of mankind that Eve considered what the devil was presenting and made the decision that what was being offered was good. The devil offered her the ability to be self sufficient and make her own decisions however she had no idea this also meant seperation from God. Eve”s mistake is she didn’t trust God enough, if she had then she would have been obedient to God’s command rather than the devil’s temptations. Eve always had the choice to say no or refer the matter to her husband, after all he received the command direct from God. Eve had freewill to choose to follow God or follow our own desires.
Adam in turn had a choice to make, his wife had already eaten the fruit would he choose to be obedient to God’s commands or follow his wife into sin.
Satan had done what he had set out to do, to destroy the relationship between God and man, but God would have the last word.
We learn from Adam and Eve that in that moment of knowing sin, they felt guilt, and in their guilt, they chose to hide away from Him. From God, their Father who had only brought them good gifts, given them everything their needed, offered them the ability to fellowship with him and one another. God entrusted his kingdom to them and in return they helped Satan bring darkness into his world.
In their mistaken place of authority, they hadn’t realised that God has the power to forgive them and make them right before him again. They didn’t trust that God the Father would forgive them or use his power to do anything other than destroy them; they didn’t trust him so they couldn’t be obedient.
Then we see the effects of a sinful heart, when Adam and Eve were confronted about their sin, what did they do? They blamed each other; then they blamed the serpent, the deceiver. Here we see God as judge; a judge who is just and assesses the situation fairly.
God curses the serpent for his deception and lies, Satan was condemned to eternal damnation without any means of redemption and he is promised that one will come who will carry out his eternal destruction. Satan will never be known of again and his tools against mankind, sin and death, will also be destroyed. Satan knows that he will never gain the glory he had always been seeking; until that day of his eternal destruction he will attempt to deceive as many as he can so that he can rob others of God’s redemptive work through Jesus.
Satan’s sin was particularly grievous because he led God’s children away from him. If you are a parent you get a glimpse into how God felt; when others try to hurt our children, our instinct is to jealously protect them, we will do everything we can to ensure their safety. It is and always will be God’s plan to create relationships and jealously protect them and Satan’s plan is to destroy them to undermine God’s authority over his creation.
God had already warned Adam that the consequences of sin was death, which is separation from God therefore destroying the relationship. However, the serpent had persuaded Eve that God had lied, that he was keeping some knowledge from them because he was worried they would become like him, unknown to Adam and Eve their sin had far reaching and grievous consequences.
Both Adam and Eve had choosen to entrust their lives to another turning their back on God.
Sin entered the garden
The eternal consequences for Adam and Eve were beyond their comprehension they knew that their sin would result in death so they ran away to protect themselves, they were ashamed and hid from God. However, they had no idea that the consequences of their sin would affect the whole of creation and all of God’s children from generation to generation. Here we come face to face with the death and destructive power of sin, we begin to see that our sin is so deadly. God gives us the opportunity to come to the realisation that we have no idea of who or what is affected in the future by the choices we make. Only God knows the full extent of our sinful choices. What we can be certain of is, our sin affects God’s overall plans for all of his creation.
Therefore, our only hope comes from our willingness to trust our Creator God that he alone brings ‘all things together in perfect unity’ Col 3:12-14 (NIV). If we are willing to trust then He will give us the strength and the ability to obey.
The immediate consequences for Adam and Eve was that the ground was cursed affecting Adam’s call from God to work the land, this made his work a chore instead of an act of worship and fellowship with God. Secondly Eve’s ability to produce children was cursed and a promise of hard labour for her too. Their relationship with one another was cursed, from now on Eve would try and control her husband rather than the perfect submission relationship God had created which was a picture; a representation of the relationship between God and mankind.
Adam and Eve’s bodies instead of reflecting God’s image would always reflect the sinful choice of turning away from God, their bodies would age and decay, they would return to the dust they had come from. Here we see the law of God’s collaboration between all that he has created, just like an orchestra, everything works together to create perfect harmony but we also see how each area of God’s blessing ended up being cursed because of the actions of Adam and Eve.
Because sin had come into Gods perfect creation all things will experience a physical death including the animals, plants etc., but it means for human beings; that for each of us our death will also be an eternal separation from God and it was this death that Satan wanted to achieve. Satan wanted to separate Adam and Eve from God’s love through their sin because it would result in future generations being eternal damned.
In the garden, there were two trees one was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the other was the tree of life. Adam and Eve now had knowledge of good and evil because of the fruit they had eaten, however this didn’t have the desired effect of being like God instead it made them aware of their inadequacies and gave them a realisation that their hearts were sinful and unholy in comparison to God. God made it clear to them that eating from these trees would result in their death but this death would be both physical and spiritual. If in their fallen state, they had eaten from the tree of life then they would be eternally condemned without any means of redemption.
By banishing Adam and Eve from the garden God was protecting them from the eternal damnation that their spiritual death would have brought.
We then witness a miracle, we see God provide redemption for Adam and Eve’s spiritual death. God clothes them using the death of an animal, a sacrifice to pay for the debt of their sin. Romans 6:23 ‘for the wages of sin is death’. I love God our Father for his honesty, God always says how it is; he warns us of the consequences of our choices but in his love, he gives us opportunities to demonstrate our willingness to trust.
Don’t we love it when our own children put their trust in us; when they willingly follow our instructions, it fills us with even more love towards them, how much more does our trust in God bring joy to his heart.
So much destruction, so many consequences that were not fully understood by the participants, this is the power that sin has. Only God himself knows the power of sin in our lives, he alone knows of the full consequences of our sins that not only have an impact on our lives but on the lives of others, from generation to generation. God alone sees creation and its fullness, he can look from the beginning and the end of time as the same moment. God is the ‘I am’ nothing came before Him and nothing is beyond Him.
We attempt to live independently of God but we were created to be our best only when we have a submissive relationship with God. Just as the world must comply with the natural laws of gravity we too must comply with the law of God’s love. So why curse what you love and provide for, why did creation have to be cursed?
God can never compromise his holiness for without his standards then we are all eternally doomed no one will ever be able to escape the clutches of sin or death. We need to understand that ‘curse’ isn’t God’s means to persecute but is the consequence of sinful choices however we see even in the moment of curse God still provided for the survival of mankind, in that moment he was preparing the world to receive the kingdom he had promised, in the moment of judgement God provided redemption. However, the animal sacrifice could only pay for the debt of Adam and Eve’s death it wasn’t possible to accept an animal to pay for all future sins but this didn’t stop God from making our redemption possible.
When we sin, we have no concept of who or what will be affected, all we focus on is the impact that (we think) it will have on us and how to run away from the consequences. If we choose to put our trust in God and his redemption for all mankind, then just maybe we begin to see that God is holding all things together in perfect unity, to bring all that he has created into the light of his goodness and provision. Maybe then we begin to desire to be part of God’s kingdom, then maybe we begin to believe that we can choose Him only because we have woken up to the realisation that he has already chosen us.
Then and only then can we learn to trust God, as we put our trust in Jesus redemptive work we can then begin the journey of the most amazing discovery possible. A loving, growing relationship with God the Father through Jesus the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Are you willing to believe?