Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Fall Of Man

Genesis 3:1-6 "Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field that the lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, you shall not eat from any tree of the garden?" The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die." The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from it's fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate."

This is the verse in theology that describes the fall of man. It is in this chapter that the devil pulls out his craftiness and turns the whole order of things upside down. Now this is not to say that God made it happen, just that he allowed it to happen for it would fulfill His will and mankind's future.

We all know this story from our youth, but let's really look deeper into all the lessons contained in this chapter. First thing we notice is that the devil comes as a serpent, a talking snake. It's funny how the devil never comes as he truly is, instead always disguised as something else. Whether it be a false prophet, false religion, a loved one appearing to you in an occult seance, or in this case a snake. I do find it ironic that a serpent is a very close description of himself considering how the devil is crafty and slithers around the world in search of things to devour. So beware, for the devil can come at you in so many ways, forms, shapes and symbols. The devil and his minions love to present themselves as good and pure. The devil isn't going to get his work done parading around telling everyone to come to a bottomless, painful, wretched burning place with him. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15 No wonder, for even satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, who's end will be according to his deeds."

The next thing to notice is that the devil comes to Eve and addresses her. Where's Adam? What's he doing that the devil comes to the woman? We are not given this info in the text, just that Eve took, ate and gave some to Adam to eat after the serpent deceived her into believing she surely would not die and actually would become like God. One could almost come to believe that Adam was beside her the whole time while the snake was conversing with her and if this is true, why didn't he speak up?

The main point of this blog is to look at how the devil/snake talked her into eating of the fruit. The first thing out of his mouth (verse 1) is said in a way to bring about doubt or distrust. I can almost hear the manipulating tone, "did God reeeeeally say you could not eat of any tree of the garden?" Just how he asks it makes one think that God is this big unfair entity with so many rules, when in reality it's one rule. Don't eat from that one tree. Enjoy this vast garden and all it's riches just don't eat from the one tree.

Look at Eve's response. She states the fact that they can eat of all the trees of the garden except for the one in the middle. But she goes on to say that of the one in the middle, God said do not eat from it or touch it or you will die. Now if you look back at the giving of this command by God in chapter 2 verse 17, you will see that two things stand out. Number 1 is that Eve was not even created at the time of this command. So I'm sure Adam passed it on to her. The second point is that God says not to eat from it, but he never says anything about touching it like she told the serpent. So either Adam told her not to touch it for her protection or she is lying to the devil going along with the doubt and "restrictive character" that the devil is trying to paint in her mind of God. It's something to ponder because this is the only time "not touch it" is mentioned.

Now look at the devil's response. He tells her she most surely will not die. But instead will become like God, knowing good and evil. So Eve saw that it looked good and was desirable to make one wise and ate of it. And gave some to Adam who listening to the woman rather than God's command, ate it. And it should be noted, Adam wasn't tricked or manipulated like Eve. This is the fall of man. The first sin against the only command God gave them, and they couldn't follow it. In the next few verses God comes calling them to find out they have not obeyed his one command. Look what Adam says in verse 12 "The woman who you gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree and I ate." This is just like modern day. He blames her and God! God gave him the gift of a partner and he's blaming God! And Eve was deceived, tricked, manipulated! And even though that's no excuse to break a command of God it's better than just eating when Eve gave him the fruit! Adam is doing exactly what so many of us still do to this day, start playing the blame game. Well I did this because...... Or I didn't stop this for..... Or blah blah blah... It's funny and sad that in the beginning with the first humans Adam didn't take responsibility for his actions like so many of us still don't. This is a big lesson I hope to get across in this post.

However, this is yet another just as important lesson to learn from this story in God's word. The devil told them they would not die. In reality they ate the fruit and they didn't die...right then. Instead they died spiritually in the aspect of being separated from their one on one interaction in the presence of God. Death in the physical sense would come, just not instantly right then. The greatest thing the devil did here and what we need to constantly be on the guard against is he put doubt into Eve's mind about God's word. That goes on so much these days. Just look around. Even religious groups and organizations now a days are stating there is no absolute truth. Well if that's the case, what's the Bible? I always thought it was God's absolute word and truth. Right? Yet so many evangelical Christians will argue with me on that fact.

Sorry this blog got so long. I just wanted to make the few points clearly so we might better understand God's word and how it's truth is so relevant even today. Remember beware for the enemy will come in many forms. Definitely as an angel of light. Never let anyone teach you anything that goes against the word of God. And please, let's take responsibility for our actions when we do sin, making no excuses, rather confessing and repenting to God as the gospel message teaches.

My prayer is that we keep our eyes and ears on the Spirit, that we may discern when trials and temptations from the devil arise. That we take a stand against anyone and everyone who denies Gods word and or character. That we follow Gods law cheerfully and without burden to bring Him the glory and praise that He desires and Deserves.

With love and prayers always


Thursday, August 13, 2009


Well if you are a christian you know the teachings of Jesus about not doing your deeds in front of others. This is a true statement. And let's see what God's word says about it. I intend to show that what it comes down to is motives.

Matthew 6:1
"Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven." These words of our Lord go on to say don't sound your trumpet when you give and don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. I want to concentrate on this first verse in chapter 6. Because many say it contradicts a few other verses in the Bible. The Bible when understood as God shows us NEVER contradicts itself. It is inerrant in all it's fullness.

There are several verses that tell us to be lights of the world. Just one chapter before this we see our Lord saying, Matthew 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

Now wait, Jesus tells us to be lights that shine good works for men to see. And then in the same sermon tells us not to do our works for men to see them. Are you starting to see what the Lord is doing here? In 5:16 at the end of the verse it's saying to do our good works that they may glorify the Father. In chapter 6:1 it says not to do it for men to see. In other words for the glory of how great we are. We are to act like christians to glorify God, not ourselves. It's all about motives and the condition of the heart. We are not called to be monks for our solitude and quietness would not glorify God. Our pure conduct and walk in the true christian life of pureness, righteousness and love is what glorifies God to others around us. I think the Westminster catechism got it right in their first question, Q. What is the chief and highest end of man? A. Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God and fully to enjoy him forever.

Jesus in chapter 6 has seen the pharisees follow the law to the T outwardly. But inwardly, they were full of dead mans bones. We are called to live Godly lives outwardly as well as inwardly. Show people you care, show people you love them, show people you're not afraid to give to those in need, whether it be lending a hand or monetarily. I encourage any and all christians to do that. In Matthew 7:19- 20 Jesus tells us the false prophets will be known by their fruit. Well let us be known by our fruit as well, being good fruit. So that the name of the true God can be glorified.

That's the key though. If you do your works so that so and so sees you doing something good, as Jesus said, you will have no reward with your father in heaven for that. It is merely outwardly and you glorify yourself rather than God. This is a tough topic and I advise we pray for discernment in these matters because there are going to be many times that your doing or giving should be done just for God to see. Notice in 6:1 Jesus said beware. He doesn't say don't, he says beware. Because it is so easy to get caught up in pride and self gratification/glorification. The truth is the treasure in heaven you store up for yourself by doing good deeds and bearing good fruit is so much more grand than gaining the praise of men. Do your deeds to be noticed by God because you love Him and are dedicated to Him. Let's finish with one of my favorite verses, Phillipians 2:14 - 15. "Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights of the world"

Jesus said in Luke 11:33 "No one after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar, nor under a basket, but on a nightstand so that those who enter may see the light."

My prayer for us is that we show the world the light of Christ through us. That we have the right intentions and motives to show the world what makes us Christians, who we are, and most importantly, whom we serve. Let the world draw close to God through our actions and love that the Spirit pours upon us. Let people know what us Christians are not only by what we confess, but by what we do. May the Lord bless you all.

With love and prayers always,