Not by choice but in Christ Jesus

“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 to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he  ate.” Genesis 3:6. “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden… and they hid themselves from the presence of the LORD.” Genesis 3:8.

When we study the creation account and the story of the fall (Where Adam and Eve listened to the serpent and ate the forbidden fruit), we come away with several important and fundamental truths. First, we are not independent creatures. We are not self created. We are created by God and are sustained by His hand. Second, we are not free agents. We never have been. We do not “decide” whether to be God’s people or not. Adam and Eve were never asked by God if they wanted to be created or if they wanted to be His. No, we are created beings – created by a loving, powerful, passionate, and wise God. We are made to be God’s people. Just as newborn babies enter the world and are rightfully claimed by their parents, so we enter the world as God’s. We are made to be God’s people.

But in the Garden Satan offers to Adam and Eve something they were never given. He gives them a choice. He turns a prohibition into a possibility.“You will not die” the serpent says, “But when you eat of it you will be like God knowing good and evil.”

Now, to be clear God had given Adam and Eve freedom. They were free to be God’s people. They could worship freely. They could pray freely. They could freely come into God’s presence. They could freely enjoy all that God had given them. And consider what God had given. God has given them each other. He had given them the joy of His presence. He had given them every fruit bearing tree and stewardship over all of the earth. And God had set in their midst the tree of life from which they were free to eat.

But Satan suggests to Eve that it is not enough. – “Eat the fruit – Satan hissed, “when you do you will be like God knowing God and evil.” In the Garden Satan encourages Eve to do what she wants, to make her own decisions, to do things her own way. And the disastrous results were sin, death, and severed relationships. Eve leads Adam into sin. Adam accuses Eve of sin. He blames God for His sin by stating “the woman you gave me gave me the fruit.” When God took his daily stroll in the Garden that evening He did not find His loving, trusting children – no, he found Adam and Eve hiding in fear, guilt and shame.

Yet God has not abandoned the people He has made. When God found Adam and Eve, He promised in their presence that one day a child of the women would bruise the head of the serpent and that the serpent would bruise the heel of this Savior. Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden away from the tree of life – but not before they were given the promise of one who would defeat the serpent who had deceived them.

This child who would crush the head of the serpent is none other than Jesus Christ who in our stead would unswervingly trust His Heavenly Father. It is Jesus Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary, who suffered under Pontius Pilate, who was crucified, who died and was buried. Adam and Eve plunged all of humanity into sin and death by doing things their own way, but Jesus has come to redeem all of humanity raising us out of death and into eternal life through His own death and resurrection in accordance with the plan and promise of God the Father. Whereas our will, believing the lies of the devil, has led our whole race into death and decay, God’s will, revealed to us in Holy Scripture, leads to eternal life to all those who trust in Christ Jesus. The choice of Adam results only in death. The person and work of Jesus Christ means freedom and life for you.

This summer, at Park River Bible Camp, and at many other places, God has continued to walk into the lives of His people. He has continued to find those who were lost in sin. He has continued to speak His promise of salvation through His Son. He has continued to create faith in the hearts of His people and to increase the faith of those whose trust is in Him. He has done this through His Word, His Holy Spirit and His people like you who pray for and support the work that God is doing.

 

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