MPGC27- WHAT MAN ORIGINALLY HAD AND LOST
For many of us, perhaps most of us, life is limited and local. We rise daily to mundane tasks, either at home or work and then do it all again the next day and the next. Every once in awhile a small diversion comes along that lifts us from the ordinary and reignites our sense of adventure and longing for a life different from what we have.
Every man and woman born begins with a sense that they were created for a purpose. We were given special talents and skills so life could be developed and made better. We all have dreams, hopes and aspirations of things we will be and do when we grow up.
But then we do grow up. We make decisions and like a row of dominoes, one decision pushes the next one until we find ourselves in a life far from where we ever wanted to be. Then, like a river's current, life takes on a momentum of its own. It carries us faster and faster to a waterfall drop off. We certainly don't want to fall onto the rocks below. But swimming against the tide takes all our energy and we soon grow tired -- very tired. We finally give up and become resigned that this is how life is. I better just enjoy it while I drift towards the edge. It's inevitable that all of us will drop off and that will be it.
But how can we make sense of the feelings that we were made for greatness -- or at least something special as we live on this earth? Why do we feel that life as we know it was not the way it was supposed to be? If these are some of your own questions then it's time for this study. To make sense of this world, your life and the entrance of God's Son Jesus to this world we need to know.....
What Man Originally Had and What He Lost
Day 1- Before we get to man's part in Creation's story we must start back in eternity. In an ancient past long before our world was in existence there was fellowship in Heaven. God has never been alone. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He has always been part of the Trinity -- a fellowship of love.
John 1:1-3 / John 17: 5,24
Day 2- Out of the love of the Trinity family God desired to have many sons and daughters. He longed to shower us with His love. Jesus was to be the first born of many sons and daughters.
Romans 8:29 / Galatians 4:4-7 / Ephesians 1:4-5
(Is this not why a newly married couple longs to have a family? In their children they can shower their love and affection as well as see their family continue on.)
Day 3- The creation of the earth was part of God's plan to share his love with man (his many sons and daughters). His intent was to extend His heavenly government over the earth through the establishment of "a colony of Heaven". Genesis gives us the colonial charter.
Genesis 1: 26-28
Day 4- By creative right the earth is Heaven's "crown land" -- the personal property of the king.
God owns it all.
But it pleased God to give it to man to manage and care for.
This isn't the same as ownership. There is no private property in a kingdom by its citizens. God can take it back at any time. We have been given earth as a sacred trust.
1 Corinthians 4:2
Day 5- God created the earth first so that man would have something to rule over.
Our presence on earth was a colonial decision made by our king. We own nothing but we have access to everything.
Day 6- Man was the only part of creation made in the image AND likeness of God.
IMAGE is from a Hebrew word selem and refers to a representation of the deity. We are the pattern or model of the image of God on earth.
LIKENESS is from the Hebrew word demut and means "something that looks like or resembles something else." It is only in Genesis 1:26 that both of these words are used together.
Therefore man -- you and I-- were created to be the visible representation of God on earth. We are literally God's ambassadors to this earth. Paul used this term in his letter to the Corinthian church.
2 Corinthians 5:20
Day 7- God did something for man that he didn't do with anything else he created.
Genesis 2:7 (especially 7b)
We are the only part of creation that has the breath of God's own life in us and therefore we hold a higher position then the rest of creation.
Day 8- The triune God imparted to man a triune nature -- body, soul and spirit. He first gave us our bodies which he formed from the dust of the earth.
Genesis 2:7a / Genesis 3:19 / Job 10:9 / Psalm 103:14
With our bodies we can relate to the things of this world. Our five senses enable us to interact with all that is around us. The body also houses our spirit and soul.
Day 9- In day seven above we read that God breathed into man's earthly shell the "breath of life" (or the Holy Spirit) . This enabled man to have a spirit life in which he could relate to God. It is through the spirit that God speaks with us. Without the spirit part of man we are just a "bag of bones". Read this remarkable passage that the prophet Ezekiel writes about and take special note of verses 5,6,9,10.
It is when God puts His Holy Spirit within our spirits that we come alive to God and can begin to know Him for ourselves.
Day 10- With the body man could have a physical life. With the spirit man could have a spiritual life. But God gave us a soul as well. Notice how Paul prays for the Thessalonian church and mentions all three parts of man -- spirit, soul and body.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
It's our soul that allows us to have an intellectual and emotional life. The soul is comprised of our minds, our wills and our emotions. It allows for "self-consciousness" and is a bridge between the physical and the spiritual. The body and soul are meant to work together under the direction of the spirit. With these three parts, man became perfectly suited to live on this earth while still being able to relate to God as King and Lord of all.
Day 11- At this point in the creation of man only one thing was lacking. Adam did not have a suitable helper -- someone made like him with a spirit, soul and body.
And so God created that special partner for Adam.
Notice that woman was made from a rib taken "of man". She is not inferior but rather perfectly suited to form a partnership with man for ruling their portion of the earth.
In the Garden of Eden man was morally sinless and enjoyed a closeness with the Lord. But God does not want robots that HAVE to love him. He wants our love because we have chosen His love and fellowship. Therefore God gave to man free will or the power to choose. This was unlike any other creation that live by instinct. Without free will there is no real love.
Day 12- This "free will" test of obedience came through a "must not" command from God. Everything was open to man except for one thing.
WHY THIS PARTICULAR TEST?
Day 13- We must remember that evil already existed in the Heavenly realms. God had made the angels as spirit beings who would be His ministering servants. They too had free will. One of the leaders of the host of angels was Lucifer (angel of light). He was created "the model of perfection". NIV
Day 14- But notice Ezekiel 28:15b --"till wickedness was found in you." What was this wickedness?
Ezekiel 28:17a / Isaiah 14:13-14
The first sin in the universe was pride that led to rebellion against God. By a choice of will Lucifer decided that he would make himself equal with God. Reread Isaiah 14:13-14 and write down the five "I wills".
Day 15- Lucifer was not content to be "the model of perfection". He wanted God's place. To achieve this he worked to get other angels on his side and he did this by persistent, plotting and slander. That's what the word trade means in this verse. "In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence and you sinned."
Day 16- When Lucifer was cast out of Heaven he did not stop rebelling. He continued by setting up a kingdom of his own in opposition to God's kingdom. In these verses Jesus reveals that Satan has a kingdom of his own.
Side note: The Bible suggests that under the name "Heaven" there are actually three parts expressing different locations. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 that he was caught up to the third heaven indicating that there are at least three areas one above the other. The top level is where God dwells. In Revelation 14:6 and 19:17 we read about heaven as a large expanse with beings coming and going. The Greek word for Heaven here is actually mid-heaven (mesourenema) or second heaven. Finally there is a visible heaven that we can see with our eyes or the first heaven. Lucifer and his rebels were cast out of the third heaven but they seem to have free reign in the first and second parts of it. You get this picture in Job 1:6-7.
Satan is called the "prince of the power of the air" in Ephesians 2:2. The Greek word for air here is "aer" which denotes the air immediately surrounding the earth. This means that Satan claims dominion over the entire surface of the planet. (There is another Greek word -- aither -- which denotes a higher atmosphere than air).
"It is important to realize that the creation of Adam (the Hebrew word adamah means earth) and the Adamic race was part of God's response to Satan's rebellion. In a certain sense this new race was designed to fulfill the destiny from which Satan had fallen and even to go beyond it. This is one main reason why Satan opposes our race with such intense hatred. He sees us as those who will supplant him and enter into a destiny that he failed to achieve." Derek Prince, War in Heaven, page 70.
So why did God give this particular "must not command" to Adam? Evil was not yet upon the earth and it didn't have to be. God knew that once man ate from the "tree of the knowledge of good AND evil" that it would unleash all of the possibilities of evil upon the earth.
If they ate from it God promised man death -- not immediate physical death but spiritual death. They would no longer have access to God's fellowship, his love or his guidance. In essence they would be "on their own".
Day 17- It is now history that Adam and Eve failed the one test God gave them. Most probably they were happy in the garden and weren't even thinking of disobeying this command. Therefore if satan was to be successful in getting them to fail it would have to be by deception (a misleading falsehood). Here is the account of how Satan deceived Eve.
Notice the progressive steps Satan took.
1. He puts in our mind a question about a settled issue. "Did God really say?"
2. Then the facts get twisted a little. Eve repeats what God said but adds to it that "they must not touch it."
3. Satan then gets us to question what God says will be the consequences. "You will not surely die." This questioning on our part makes God out to be a liar.
4. Satan gets us thinking that maybe God isn't so good and has ulterior motives. "For God knows....you will be like God knowing good and evil."
5. Now he's got us thinking. Eve, who wasn't thinking about eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil starts looking and thinking....."When the woman saw that the fruit from the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye..."
6. Then we rationalize why the behavior would be good to do.... "and desirable for gaining wisdom."
7. When we become convinced, then we act. "She took some and ate it."
8. Unfortunately sinners love company. "She also gave some to her husband."
9. Sadly when the people we love and respect sanction doing something, it's all the easier for us to go along with them......"and he (Adam) ate it."
From the time of Adam and Eve until now, Satan has waged against man a relentless battle of deception. What is the temptation? It's that we can be like God. We can determine what is right and wrong for ourselves (no absolute truth). We can control life ourselves even while still enjoying a little bit of God. We know best how to live and thus God's word isn't infallible.
This Satanic deception causes people to believe they can live lives independent of God and still have eternal life.
THE EFFECTS OF REBELLION
Adam and Eve as God created them were in a natural state unsullied by sin or moral wrong. They lacked any knowledge of evil. But with their sin they unleashed a number of effects that occurred immediately.
Day 18- What was the first result?
Man lost their innocence and now suddenly felt that they had to try and cover it up.
Sin always results in hiding -- hiding from God, hiding from others and even from ourselves.
In their naivety a sinner feels if he can hide it who will know the difference?
But we can never hide from God. Adam and Eve had enjoyed sweet fellowship with God, now they hid from him out of fear of what might happen.
Day 19- Guilty fear is the second result of sin. In these verses write down how men and women act when they are filled with guilty fear.
Psalm 53:5a / Isaiah 2:19 / Isaiah 33:14 / Isaiah 66:4 / Daniel 5:6
Day 20- God calls for accountability and this is the third result. He gives us a chance to confess the truth.
Genesis 3: 11, 13a
Day 21- The usual fourth result of sin is the flow of excuses and blame on someone else.
Genesis 3:12, 13b
Day 22- The fifth result of sin are the consequences. Consequences are laid out clearly for each guilty party.
A. What are the consequences for Satan?
B. What are the consequences for Eve?
Besides the pain in bearing children there would be a new kind of submission to husbands who would "rule over" their wife -- not an equal partnership anymore but a ruling relationship.
C. What are the consequences for Adam?
Adam, as senior member of the human race, should have known better than to listen and go along with Eve. His penalty is thus more severe. Through his complicity and guilt he also causes all of nature to be under a curse. This is what Paul talks about in his letter to the Romans.
Day 23- Notice in the midst of these consequences and curses that God released a plan of redemption.
It might sound a little cryptic here but in essence God is saying there will be a man born through a woman that will destroy the power of Satan. While Satan will "bruise his heel", the man from God (Jesus) will "crush your head." When a snakes head is crushed he is stopped.
Day 24- The sixth result of sin was perhaps the saddest of all for it affected God as well as man. God who longed to have a big, loving family of sons and daughters had to drive out his own children from the home he had made for them. The close fellowship was over that they had once enjoyed.
Day 25- There was a good and loving reason that God had to get Adam and Eve out of Eden.
Now that Adam and Eve had unleashed sin upon the world, God saw a big danger. Remember that there were two trees in the middle of the garden. There was the tree of "the knowledge of good and evil" and there was "the tree of life". If they now ate from the tree of life they would live forever on earth in an evil state with no hope of anything better -- no hope of being reunited with God -- no hope of eternal life. God had already a plan in mind to redeem man but this could not happen if they were to live forever on earth. At all costs this must not happen! Therefore God in his loving kindness literally drove man out of the garden and set up sentries of angels to make sure that they never got even close to the tree of life again.
Day 26- But before ending this sad episode, God expresses his love to Adam and Eve in a tangible way.
This is a little like a mother packing a suitcase and lunch bucket for her son that is going to run away from home. In clothing Adam and Eve an animal had to be sacrificed. It would be the first sacrifice God would make for his children and a foretaste of the last sacrifice God would make of His Son Jesus.
Day 27- One act of disobedience resulted in the "law of sin and death" on the ENTIRE human race. This means that Adam's rebellion opened the door for all of us to be born with a sinful nature. This sinful nature is different in each one of us but in essence it's an inbred desire to go our own way and do our own thing without consideration of God and what He might want for our lives.
Romans 7: 21-24 / Romans 8:5-8
MAN TURNS INSIDE OUT
Day 28- We were meant to depend upon God for everything in life -- this includes our significance, our happiness, our daily needs and our security. From these verses write out the truths shared about man's way in life.
Jeremiah 10:23 / John 15:5 / 2 Corinthians 3:5
Day 29- Jesus taught us to pray for the things we need when he taught us the prayer that's now called "The Lord's Prayer".
NOTE: It's easy to see in this prayer our asking about daily needs and security. But our significance comes when we are rightly related to the Father. When we pray "Our Father who art in Heaven...", we are recognizing that He is our Father and we are his children whom he loves and cares for. Then when we pray "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven", we can be happy because wherever the Kingdom of God is there is a loving king caring for his children, leaving us to live a life free from worry and care --- and that is great security.
Day 30 - God's plan was that he would provide for us and we in turn would use our mind, our will and our emotions to help benefit the world. Remember the original mandate for mankind?
For example: God would provide wind. Man would learn to harness the wind so that it could be converted to energy. With the energy, man would learn to use it to turn a huge grinding wheel that could crush raw grain into flour so that it could be used to make bread and thus feed and sustain our lives. In this way man would "subdue the earth".
Day 31- After man's rebellion he was cut off from the life and provision of God.
Man's spirit died which meant he had no more communion with God. This fulfilled God's promise to man if they disobeyed him.
Without a relationship with God man was on his own to fend for himself. He now started to try and get what he used to get from God from the earth and other men.
Day 32- And what has man gained in trying to work for all the things that he should have been freely receiving from God?
Ecclesiastes 2:11 / Ecclesiastes 4:7-8
Here is a simple diagram to illustrate:
Just so that we are very clear as to what man once had and subsequently lost let us summarize it. We lost:
1- our righteousness - our right standing with God
2- our relationship with God
3- our rights as His children
4- our rulership over the earth.
First man lost his righteousness or right standing with God. We still had the image of God but we lost our likeness to Him for man would now do evil as well as good. We lost our innocence and now found the need to cover our sins. With the loss of righteousness we lost the ability to have children that were morally sinless. Instead, while the earth exists, man will be born with a sin nature -- one bent on sinning and rebelling against God. A nature that wants independence from God.
The loss of right standing with God led to our second great loss. We lost our relationship with Him. The part of us that can communicate with God -- our spirit -- died, just as God promised. We still have our soul and body but man's spirit is dead until he is "born again". Man therefore became darkened in his understanding so that the things of the spirit are often foolishness to him. Our one on one relationship with God officially ended when he drove Adam and Eve from his presence. Men have been hiding from God ever since. Without a relationship with God man had to get what he needed from the earth and from other men instead of from God. Therefore our personalities turned from receiving and giving to grabbing and hoarding because we were now on our own to care for ourselves.
With our loss of relationship we lost our rights as God's children. Children that are members of a family have rights that outsiders don't have. We were now outside the family of God. We lost God's blessing and even earth was under a curse. We went from being totally dependent upon God to care and provide for us, to living a life of hard and constant toil with little time left to enjoy its fruits. As God's children we were totally free inside and out -- without worry or fear. But now we became filled with guilty fears that led to excuses and blame. Sin would now be our master. While we were meant to live in a safe place protected by God, we lost our rights of protection and security. Soon man became subject to evil from other men and the forces around us.
Man's final loss was his kingdom. We lost our rulership over the world to Satan. Instead, we became slaves to Satan and his demonic forces. Instead of ruling the earth, it now controls us. Man was meant to be God's ambassador to earth. We were to represent the Kingdom of God here on earth. But sinful man would no longer represent a holy God. With our loss of partnership with God to rule, men and women would partner together. Instead of the equal partnership we were meant to have, men would now rule over women and women would look to their husbands to do so. Thus began the struggle for power and control between men and women that exists in our societies today.
You have just been given all the bad news first. You may be feeling overwhelmed, as I did, when I realized all that I had lost which should have been mine by legal right. At this point Satan would want us to remember, "I am the god of this world --- don't you forget it!"
In the light of what we lost it is not hard to see why only someone that was God AND man could rescue and restore mankind. God the Father alone could not do it without violating the free will he gave to man. A man alone could not do it because he was in the same boat with the rest of men -- ruled by Satan, sin and his old sinful nature. Therefore he was without power and authority.
This is why Jesus is truly the only way back to God. As a man he could relate to us on our level but as God he had the power and authority to defeat the forces holding us captive. And that is why He died on the cross.
Now it's time to remember what happened at the cross, all that it would mean for man and how we can appropriate it so our life can be restored. You have the bad news and now it's time for the good news. The rest of these course studies will truly be good news.
Next Study: MPGC#28
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