Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We’re Not In Eden Anymore

“Made For Each Other” was rooted in Genesis 1 and 2, but now we’re going to look at Genesis 3 where everything changes.

Gensis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?” The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die’.” “You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Let’s look at the nature of creation, pre-fall.

1. Well-being was achieved. There was only one “not good” in all of creation, but God created Eve and now creation is good. There was the vertical relationship with God and now there was the horizontal relationship with Eve and there was indeed well-being.

2. Freedom was maintained. Freedom is so important to us, but do we really know what it is? In the pre-fall state humans were free to be anything and do anything that they wished. All of creation was good and under the charge of humanity. The boundary of the tree that humans were not supposed to eat from was not a limitation of that freedom, but a guarantor of the freedom. Well designed Godly imperatives never limit freedom, they guarantee it.

3. Justice. All was just, all was fair. There was order and all was as God intended.

4. God was in charge and all things were as they should be. God’s relationship to humanity in the pre-fall state was vertical. He was the King, the Caretaker, the Father. This was the correct order.

Now, let’s look as the serpent, the representative Satan, enters the arena. This is the nature of the fall and of sin contrasted to the nature of creation presented above. Relationships are totally redefined here by the serpent. It’s worth looking at just how compelling this dialogue is because it’s the one we operate in every day.

1. “You will not surely die.” This is the serpent’s first lie. You’ll be just fine, you don’t need him, you’re better off by yourselves...without Him. But remember, in the creation design aloneness was the only not good, whether with each other or with God. This is the anti-design of God’s creation.

2. “Your eyes will be opened.” Lie number 2. God knows you’ll truly be free. Free from Him and his silly boundary about the tree. Go for it, you don’t need Him. God’s boundary is enslaving, it’s limiting, break free! That’s the same dialogue we have all the time with the world. It too is the anti-design of God’s creation.

3. “You will be like God.” After all, it’s only fair that you be like God. That is truly just. Run your own life yourself, don’t worry about Him. Again, it’s the anti-design of creation.

4. “You will know good and evil.” Finally, the nature of creation becomes the nature of the fall. And now everything shifts and it is no longer God’s design that matters. The ethics of life and relationships are fully up for grabs. The anti-God arena’s of your life speak to YOU, you decide what’s right, you decide what’s good, you decide what’s bad. You decide, make your own decisions. Don’t worry about God’s rules. Don’t worry about His boundaries, they will only limit you. You redefine the entire creation. And that has brought chaos like never before.

The content from the serpent is so compelling that Adam and Eve bought it. And you and I buy into it every day. Here’s the secret: this content from the serpent is the same content we get every day and we make the same decisions all the time – to sabotage our well-being, to cut from our freedom, to deny justice, and to redefine God’s design. It can be helpful to know that each day you’ll be facing these compelling conversations and dialogues to leave behind God’s design and seek your own, to help you not to do it.

So we have some ethical consequences of the fall.

1. Well-being has been destroyed. We have been banished from the garden. Our fight is to bring back the garden.

2. Freedom is lost. It is not possible to not sin.

3. Justice is corrupted. Don’t blame me, blame her. Justice exists only for me, everyone else needs to get in line.

4. Brokenness. We are isolated from fellowship with God. We are alienated from each other. We are alienated from creation. We have the issue of servanthood of the woman to the man (this is a description of the fall, not the prescription of God’s creation).

God calls to Adam and Eve in the garden, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9) But he doesn’t ask because he doesn’t know where we are. He asks because WE don’t know where we are. Our purpose according to the serpent is to get lost, stay lost, and hide from God. But God’s purpose is radically different. The purpose of this hide-and-seek game is not to be hidden, but to be found. He seeks you as you hide!

And here in Genesis 3:15 everything changes, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." The change is the introduction of Jesus Christ. The battle lines are drawn. But Jesus, the offspring of the woman, will crush the head of the serpent, the instrument of Satan. But everything about the fall changes when Jesus enters the fallen world. He brings healthy healing and salvation. Our well-bring, our freedom, our justice, and the nature of our salvation is wrapped up in Jesus Christ once and for all.

Romans 5:6, 8-10 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

Do you know whom you belong to, do you know who you are, and do you know where you stand against the compelling serpent that will bite and squeeze you and whisper in your ear, "Go this way, not His way"? Your defenses are found in knowing the Truth.

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