Community Bible Chapel
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
A place to grow.... where everybody is somebody and Jesus Christ is Lord.
 1/17/16  Grasping After The Love of God In The Fall
 

Before I trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of my sins, I thought religion was just

a crutch for people who were weak,.

-Now, after trusting in Jesus, I see that I desperately need that crutch.

-And I agree with the hymn writer, who said  “I was blind, but now I see.”

Perspective changes everything.

          -Look at these two lost guys.

          -Talk about the grass being greener?

 

I found this little poster on the internet.

          “I like to take a step back and see the big picture – Me”

          -This guy obviously has no clue that he/she is not that bright spot

                   in the center of this picture.

 

Now, there are many false perspectives in this world.

-As followers of Jesus, we have to consistently step back and see the events of

 our lives from the perspective of God’s Word.

          -Otherwise, we would fall to one of these false worldviews.

          -God’s Word is the only place we can grasp hold of the big picture

and see what God is doing.

          -And God’s Word is the only place where we can see the full spectrum of

God’s character.

                   -OT and NT both show the fullness of God’s character, but we also

 understand that as God progressively revealed Himself, some aspects

                                    of His character are more prominent in some parts than others.

                   -If we read only certain parts of the OT, we might determine that

every bad thing that happens to us is God’s punishing us for some sin.

-Or we might zero in on other passages and determine that God will overlook

our sin and never judge us because he is a big marshmallow in the sky.

          -So we need to work hard to develop a Theology of who God is based on all His

revelation and not just a portion of it.

-Which is one reason that we are working through the OT accounts to help us learn how

to glean God’s love out of those fields.
 

We started last week by looking at Eph 3:17-19, which sent us on a course to

 “grasp the width, length, height, and depth of the love of Christ”.

          -Grasping after it by both comprehending His love and apprehending it.

                   -Both understanding the concepts and integrating those concepts

into our thinking and actions of life.

          -Then we began to grasp God’s love in Genesis 1-2 and the creation account,

                   which wasn’t so hard to grasp until we realized that the tree of the

 knowledge of good and evil was planted there by God.

          -We grasped that we have a personal Creator who intimately formed us and blew

the “breath of life” into us.

          -Created by a personal God who calls us into a personal relationship with Himself.

          -That was the easy part, but then we dug into the harder stuff.

-And we talked about why God put “the tree of the knowledge of good

and evil” in the garden in the first place.

                 3 reasons

1.  The tree reveals the nature of love – love by nature has to include

a choice to love the other person or love self.

2.  The tree revealed our fallen love.

3.  And the tree revealed God’s perfect unfailing love.

-And these three reasons God placed the tree in the garden is not only important

 for us to grasp, but are also necessary if we are going to answer our

friends who will ask us the same question of

why evil exists if God is loving.

          -Those three reasons are a large part of the answer to that question.

 

Today, we turn to Genesis 3 and work to Grasp God’s love in the fall.

          -And we will again have some deep questions about God that come from this

passage that we will begin to answer, but a fuller answer is ascertained as   

we step back and look at God’s full program.

READ Genesis 3:1-7

Now the first question that comes to my mind is similar to where we ended up last week.

X  Who is in Control?
-Isn’t God all knowing?

          -If God is all powerful and good, why did God let Satan in the garden anyway?

          -Is God really sovereign?
          -And where was He anyway? 

-Maybe He was too busy thinking up what kind of fruit to make next that He

 didn’t notice that Satan was hanging around talking to Eve?

           -And for the same reasons that we talked about last week, we have to accept that

God allowed this to take place.

                   X  1.  The nature of love has to allow a choice.

                             -Yes, God could have programmed them to do the right

thing without fail.

                             -But the nature of love does not allow that.

                   X 2.  The choice was allowed to reveal a love that failed.

                             -Instead of taking Paul’s words to heart by grasping how high, wide,

                                      long, and deep the love of God is, and live in the joy of that love.

-Adam and Eve were grasping after something else.

-Through Satan’s clever marketing campaign, their desire was

inflamed by the low, narrow, short, and shallow.

-That guy is always twisting what God created as good.

                             -And we see that in this deceit of Eve.

                             -Satan caused Eve to doubt – “Did God really say?”

                             -Satan appealed to Eve’s flesh – “she saw that the fruit was good for

 food and pleasing to the eye.”

                             -Satan appealed to Eve’s pride – “God knows that if you eat from it,

                                                                                       you will be like Him”.

                             -God is holding out on you Eve!

                             X -The marketing campaign in our culture today calls it

 “Self actualization” “self fulfillment” “self esteem”

                                   or any other term that might fit for what the Bible calls “selfish”

                             -And by eating the fruit they would “find themselves”

and really know that life is all about.

                             -That triad of the world, the flesh and Satan, constitute the struggle

                                      of every person trying to learn how to love God.

                    X 3.  (and this is where we step back and see the big picture)

-The choice was allowed to reveal God’s unfailing love that would be

       shown to them in the wake of their rebellion and rejection of God’s love.

-From our limited perspective – self actualized perspective, that doesn’t

          make any sense.

                             -We might even doubt God’s sovereignty and God’s love.

          -In our thinking, we would expect God to swoop in and slaying the snake on the

 spot, like any good father would do for their children.  (right)

-But God has a different perspective, He was able to look down through the history

 of His creation and see a better way to demonstrate His great love that

 would benefit His children much more than slaying the snake in the garden.

                    -He knew that He was going to come to this broken world as a man, and He

 would be the perfect demonstration of what true love is: 

giving His life for us --- doing what is best for the other person,

no matter the cost.

-In the present, it must have pained God to watch Eve eat that fruit,    

           knowing the loss of relationship that would result, but weighing that

 against the joy of eternal relationship with His children, would make

 it worth the temporary pain.
 

          -Only God could have that kind of foresight, strength, and wisdom to

                   make the right decision for His holy and perfect ends.

                    -Adam’s perspective was short sighted and he traded the infinite love of

 God for a bite of fruit.

-While God had an eternal view and traded a temporary separation for an

 eternal permanent relationship.

                   -You tell me which was the better choice?

       -Now, when trouble comes to our lives, we are more prone to question God’s goodness

and love where we should be resting in it and questioning ours.

-That difficulty is the grace of God to reveal the grand demonstration

 of His great love in our lives.

                   -That impossible husband is there by God’s grace so we might learn how to

 love God in the midst of a difficult relationship.

                   -A loss of work has been allowed to happen by God’s grace so we might learn

 about what trusting our loving Father for our daily provision is like.

          -God has the foresight, strength and wisdom for every event in your life.

                   -He is in control in your life as He was in Adam’s, even when we can’t

see what He is doing or how He is using it.

                   -That is what Romans 8:28-29 are all about.

          “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him . . .

 . . . . to conform them into the image of His Son.”

          -God is using the “all things” of our lives to make us more like His Son.

-That is a concept that plays out in Genesis 3 and in our lives today.

         
READ V. 8-13
X  God’s unfailing love in Relationship
          X -First notice that God comes to them in the garden.

                   -That has implications for Jesus coming to us.

                   -Adam was unable to come to God because of his sin and you and I are unable

to come to God because of our sin.

                   -So God came to us.
          X -Second, notice how God comes to Adam.

          -He already knows they sinned and are hiding in the bushes.

                   -No thunderbolts, no yelling, no guilt trip.

                   -Just a gentle “Where are you?”

          -That kind of approach gives Adam and Eve the opportunity to come

to God and fess up to what God already knows they did and seek forgiveness.

-That approach reveals God’s love and opens the door for Adam to come.

          -But sin doesn’t allow that and Adam blames Eve for the sin and ultimately

blames God for giving him this woman.

          -Then Eve blames the serpent.

          -Both head off in the direction that leads away from God’s love and grace.

                  
READ v. 16-19
X  God’s Love in Discipline
-First let me get this out of the way.
-No questions for Satan – God saw the whole thing.
                   -He knew what happened.

                   -And more than that, He knew that Satan is the father of lies – a murderer.

                   -And so God simply pronounces judgment on him.

                             -No love given.

                   -A judgment that included no hope for the future as the

“offspring of the woman will crush his head”.

          -But God’s approach to Adam and Eve is much different.

          -We might question this discipline of the Lord, but God’s discipline is loving.

          -Both Adam and Eve and all people that would ever come from them would have

a constant reminder of their need for God.

                   -This was not punitive discipline that brings separation.

                             -That’s what Satan received.

-But Adam and Eve received  restorative discipline that restored the

 relationship.

                   -Adam and Eve broke the relationship in their rebellion.

-They hid from God, and then blamed each other and Him for their sin.

                   -Just the fact that God is still speaking with them shows his love and

                             that He had their best interests at heart.

          -The discipline was targeted at their individual roles and their relationship.

                   -Child bearing and working the ground would provide a consistent reminder

                             of their deep need for God’s provision.

                   -And sin would be engrained into their relationship as husband and wife

and cause conflict to their respective God given roles.

          -Now, for our purposes here today, I want to speak to God’s discipline as

                   a demonstration of His love.

          -Hebrews 12 reorients out thinking around the truth of God’s Word.

                   -Left to our own thinking, we might view discipline as unloving

or as punishment meant to harm us.

    READ Hebrews 12:5-11

          -Verse 5 tells us God disciplines those “He loves” and in verse 10, God disciplines

“us for our good, that we might share in His holiness”.

          -The choice we have to make in the face of hardship, is how we will view God.

 

                   -We have the options of listening to Satan and believing that God is

simply punishing us because He doesn’t love us.

                   -Or we can listen to God’s Word and believe that the very reason that we

 undergo hardship is because God does love us.

                   -Verse 11 tells us that we have some responsibility in the discipline.

-We have to view it as good and look to God to teach us.

-If we rebel against it, God will remediate you again.

-And my experience is that the next lesson will be

more difficult.

                   -But if we believe the truth about God’s love for us, then the discipline will

                             work in our lives in such a way as we will be changed.

-We will grow in the righteousness of Jesus and the peace of God.

              -In our counseling, I am constantly working to move people away from

the horizontal to include the vertical.

               -We tend to ask the wrong question in hardship:

 Where is God?  Why doesn’t he fix this problem?

                   -The right question however is: 

How is God trying to grow me through this?

                   -Is there a Jesus like character trait that I need to learn how to

                                      put on in this circumstance?

                             -Is there a Theological truth that I have misunderstood and God is

                                      trying to point out?

                             -Is there a way that I need to grow in my trust of God by doing

                                      things His way and leave the results in His hands?

                    -This might be a surprise to some, and for others should help you re-think

 how you parent your children, but in God’s economy,

restorative discipline is the most loving expression toward a rebel.

          -So we look at this passage and understand that this hardship is meant to lead

them to perfect love of God found through the death of Jesus Christ.

 
READ v. 20-24
X  Love Provides Ongoing Relationship

          -The end of this passage shows the love of God in restoring this relationship

                   that is now different because of sin.

          -It would be permanently restored through faith in the death of Jesus on the

 cross, but in the mean time, God provided Adam and all those that

would come from him, with a way to be in relationship with Him.

          -Eating the fruit opened Adam’s eyes and he recognized that he was naked.

                   -He tried to cover his nakedness with fig leaves and by hiding in the bushes.

 

                   -But that was not sufficient to cover his sin, so, God killed an animal

and made proper coverings for them.

                   -Hebrews 9:22 says “without the shedding of blood,

there is no forgiveness of sin.”

                   -Eventually, Jesus would shed his blood as the perfect and final sacrifice,

                             and all who place their faith in Him will have their sins forgiven.

                   -But between Adam’s sin and Jesus paying for it, animals would be

sacrificed to cover over sin.

                   -And God sets the pattern for Adam to follow, and that was passed on to

his children and for all generations until Jesus paid it permanently.

 

          -So, even though the way to the tree of life was cut off, God still provided

the way for Adam to secure the way to it eternally.

          -So, when we see this event in the context of God’s entire redemptive story,

we can clearly see His love shining from it.

         
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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