Saturday, December 4, 2010

Admitting who we are apart from God.

We admit that, before knowing God,
we were unrighteous beings living independently of Him.

But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousness are like filthy rags.  Isaiah 64:6a

As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one” Romans 3:10

True health begins by admitting how unhealthy we really are apart from God. As strange as that may sound, it’s true. Jesus stated this simple truth this way: those who are healthy don’t need a doctor. Most of us would prefer to stay as far away from doctors as we can. We don’t like being sick. Yet, from God’s perspective, a doctor is just what we need. In fact, when we think we are well and managing our lives just fine on our own, we are in the gravest danger. Jesus said he didn’t come to call the healthy. He came for those who know their desperate need.

As we looked at Realizing who God is, we realized we were created by a Holy and Loving God. He is a perfect Being, absolutely Righteous in all His ways. There is no error in Him. We were created to live holy lives in complete dependence upon Him. We were created to love Him and to live for His glory. He commands us to obey Him and to believe His every word, because He is the only Being who is Truthful and Right all the time. In His righteousness, He works together everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He is always working out what is right -- all the time. He never sleeps or rests. He is fully trustworthy. He never acts outside of His character.

When God created the first man, Adam, He placed him in a magnificent garden and gave him authority to care for and rule over all created things. Adam was an innocent being.  He had no awareness of evil.   He lived with child-like faith and trust in His Creator.  Adam was dependent upon God. All of  his needs were met; his labour was meaningful and he existed in close friendship to God.  God formed Eve from Adam’s body because He knew it was not good for Adam to be alone. He needed another being like himself.  Eve was a helper and companion to Adam, a co-ruler of the earth, and, soon, the mother to his children.  Both were naked and unashamed, living dependent upon God.

Adam and Eve could eat of any tree in the garden, but one. God gave Adam only one rule: you must not eat of this one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of it, God said, you will surely die. Adam and Eve now had to choose. Would they choose life or death? Death, in the Bible, means independence from Life. There is the physical death of our bodies and spiritual death of being disconnected or independent from God. God says to choose Life, because He alone is Life. Outside of Him is Death. This independent existence is called Sin.

When the serpent entered the garden, he directly contradicted the Word of God, tempting humans to disbelieve their Maker. They now had to choose whether they would walk by faith in God or choose to put their faith in the serpent who challenged the Truth of God’s word. They gave way to temptation and chose to believe the lie. They ate of the forbidden fruit and were cast into death.

The Bible says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” The consequence of their unbelief was immediate and lasting. God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden and out of His presence. They died a spiritual death instantly, followed years later by the physical death of their bodies.

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