Final Harvest Church
Christian Foundations : Understanding the Creation order
Three main concerns of this class.
1) Understanding God’s created order.
2) Realizing the consequences of the fall of man and,
3) Understanding the reality of what the cross of Christ made available
I. Understanding created order
A. When God does something, He doesn't use trial and error like a scientist does.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
1. God always does things perfectly the first time, just like He wants them.
a. At the end of verses 10, 12, 18, 21, 25 God says that it is good. It is just the way He wanted it.
b. He is creating the order and systems that He wants. It is perfect in every way.
B. Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness: . .”
1. Image =Heb. tseh-lem – from a root word meaning “to shade” - an imprecise representation.
a. Man was created like a shadow of God, similar in almost all respects, but on a much lower level (i.e. Man has a mind and God has a mind. However, God's faculties operate on a level of perfection that so far exceeds man's so that man's resemblance of God is likened to a shadow.)
b. The main aspect in view is the glory of God. God made man in His own image so that man might reflect His glory. A shadow has no glory of itself. God's design in making man was that man would take joy in his relationship with God and desire to imitate His glorious nature. When this occurs, man begins to glorify God.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;
c. Sin diminishes our ability to glorify God. In order to glorify God, it is a necessity to have a clear knowledge of who God is and what He expects from those He has created. The image of God in our minds must be accurate according to how He has revealed Himself to us in His Word so that we may glorify Him.
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;
a. We must compare the image of God we have in our minds with what is revealed in God's Word. Then we must pull down the strongholds (lies that detract from God's glory) and bring our minds captive to the obedience of Christ. This applies to the perverted prevailing ways of the world, as well as the old belief systems and carnal thought processes in our own minds.
2. Likeness = Heb. dem-ooth - likeness, similitude – we are also similar to God in our appearance.
C. What things do we learn about man from Genesis 1:26?
1. Man was created originally with nature, faculties, abilities and appearance similar to God's. Man was created with the ability and for the purpose of becoming more like God; to be able to grow and mature into God's image & likeness more perfectly. The ultimate purpose is to reflect God's glory.
2. Man was given authority over all the earth and all the living creatures in the air, in the seas, and on the earth. God’s purpose in giving man this authority was to have His order and glory fill the earth.
Numbers 14:21 But truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
3. The word “glory” emphasizes the value or worth of something. It implies that God will be honored, praised and worshipped throughout the earth for who He really is – the creator of all. It is proper for the created to hold their creator as the most valuable person in existence. Their utmost esteem, honor and love are due Him. Whatever He tells us about anything should hold the highest place of esteem in our minds – far above anyone else's word or opinion, including our own, for it is the knowledge of God. (Again, consider II Corinthians 10:5)
D. Genesis 1:28-31 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
1. God says "It is very good." God created everything, including man, just as He wanted them to be. There were no mistakes or incomplete works.
2. God’s creation mandate - take authority over all the earth and its other created life forms, be blessed, fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. If man remained in God’s order, in obedience to God, then as man filled the earth, so would the order and glory of God.
• Earth was made for man to rule and to reflect God's glory.
II. Man is created as a three-part being
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Spirit, soul and body:
A. Created order was God directing and guiding the spirit of man, man's spirit ruling over his soul and his soul over his body.
1. The spirit of man is the breath or spirit from God which gives the body life. It has faculties similar to God's. It has emotions, memory and will. Some say that these attributes pertain to the soul, but man's parts are so interrelated that it is difficult to say. However, the Bible speaks of the spirit being emotional. It's main purpose is to fellowship with God. If it leaves the body, the body dies.
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
2. The soul comes into existence at the moment the spirit is united with the body. At that moment, man becomes a living soul. The soul has such aspects as intellect, memory, emotions and desires (will). It is the part of us that directly responds and reacts emotionally to information taken in by our five physical senses.
3. The body is the part of us that exists and partakes of the realities in the physical realm. It is the tent or container for our spirit to dwell in, enabling the spirit to enjoy the blessings of God's creation. It has 5 natural senses which enable us to take in information from the natural realm. It is subject to the natural laws that God set up during creation, unless God intervenes supernaturally.
a. The scriptures call this body a soulish body subject to influence by the elements and environment.
Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.
b. The word for “life” is actually the Hebrew word for “soul.” It might more accurately be translated "the blood is the soulish life of the flesh." Flesh, in this case, refers to the elements of the body.
c. If the blood is removed from the body, it is incapable of sustaining life in the physical realm. Meaning the body will die, causing the spirit to go to its assigned place after death.
Genesis 2:8-9 8 The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
III. God puts man in the garden.
A. God singled out two trees to Adam:
1. The tree of life
2. And the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
Genesis 2:16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
B. God’s commandment - indicating man had the ability to choose.
1. There were only two possibilities laid out in the commandment:
a. Obey and live
b. Disobey and die
2. If Adam obeyed God, creation order and the dominion of man would spread from him.
a. If Adam disobeyed, he would disrupt godly order in the created world, which would bring corruption into the world through sin. Once corruption begins, it cannot be stopped through natural means.
Everything in the natural realm will be affected, because man has been given dominion over it by God.
A corrupted king will corrupt His entire domain.
If with the present knowledge of sin and difficulties – God supernaturally takes you and puts you in the Garden of Eden.. will you eat the forbidden fruit? If No.. then why are you afraid? The choice to obey or disobey is still the same. Eve had the same choice and we have the same.
3. One might ask, "If God didn't want Adam eating of that tree, why did He put it in the garden?
• God put it there to test Adam's obedience.
4. This tree pertaining to the commandment had a mixture of fruit on it.
a. Once good and evil knowledge are mixed, the fruit may appear pleasing to the sight, but confusion will result and righteous discernment will be necessary to separate the good knowledge from the evil in the mind of man.
b. Good and bad together always result in corruption. Once corruption begins, it cannot be stopped by natural means. Look at a beautiful apple. If you keep it for a while, a rotten spot will appear on it. You can do things to slow down the rotting process, but you cannot stop it entirely. Eventually the apple will fully decay.
5. If the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil enters into man's mind, it will corrupt his perception and understanding of everything. Fruit comes from applying this mixture to one's thinking patterns and then practicing it. Once this happens, man is incapable of separating good and evil without God's help.
6. Desire for control has its roots in partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good & evil.
7. This mixture of good and evil knowledge in one tree is the way Satan has operated throughout history. It can only produce bad or evil fruit.
Genesis 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
C. God created man to care for and have dominion over his creation
Genesis 2:18-25 18 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable. 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
D. God provided Adam with a help partner – a mate – a companion, because it was not good for him to be alone – God made man for relationships --they were covered with the glory of God because they reflected creation order.
1. Original created order was a man and women in intimate marriage
relationship – any other combination is out of order, unnatural, immoral
and ungodly – man with man, woman with woman, multiple partners, etc.
III. Chapter 3
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
A. Beast of the field – Satan poses the question! Satan is a salesman. What is he selling? The lie that "God is not to be trusted, so we must rebel!"
Genesis 3:2-3 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
B. Response by Eve – doubt entered – she considered his question and opened up her thoughts to consider his lies.
Genesis 3:4-6 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of the fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
– The lies are accepted and deception occurs - rebellion against God's commandment takes place quickly.
1. All rebellion against God's authority is based on lies.
2. In verse six, the word “saw” could be translated as "considered" - her contemplation of the words of the devil caused her to decide to rebel. The first step on the road to rebellion is to allow yourself to meditate on the words of satan—the father of lies.
3. Instead of bringing her thoughts captive to obey God, she let her thoughts run wit satan's message of deception.
4. This resulted in sin and devastation for humanity.
5. Rebellion against God's authority doesn't just involve throwing off God's, our parent's or a husband's authority. There is a complimentary action that takes place. It is also the decision to take control yourself. This steals God's glory from Him and glorifies you. You
make yourself more valuable than God. You worship the thing or person you consider to be the most valuable. Most likely, without ever realizing it, Eve began to believe the lie that she was more valuable than God, that her thoughts and desires were more important than the words of God.
Once one rebel and takes control, a totally new spirit realm is opened up to that person—a realm full of darkness, pain and frustration—a realm of self-centeredness and fear of losing control.
Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves coverings.
C. The glory of God left them and they began to be led by their soulish thoughts, feelings and desires – (I think, I feel, I want) - shame entered in - no shame until sin – suddenly they realized that they were naked. This reveals the truth that unless we are clothed with the glory of God, we are completely naked spiritually.
• Up until this time, they were God-conscious. Now, for the first time in their lives, they were self-conscious.
Genesis 3:8-10 8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
D. Fear entered their hearts – in the presence of the one they knew was supposed to have authority over them, they cowered and hid.
• Before they sinned, God's presence caused them joy as they beheld His glory. They were now afraid of the presence of God.
Genesis 3:11-12 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” 12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.“
A. Since Eve was the first to sin, why did God go to Adam first? Because Adam was the one in authority in their relationship!
1. God asked Adam two questions.
a. Who told you that you were naked?
b. Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?
2. Did Adam answer the first question? No!
a. How did Adam answer the second question? By putting blame first on God for giving him Eve and then on Eve.
b. What was he doing? Trying to escape responsibility for his sin. He didn't deny committing the sin, but he shifted the blame.
c. Adam directed God's attention to Eve. Eve was guilty as charged, but that
did not relieve Adam of the sin of using his own sovereign will to choose to obey His wife's voice instead of God's.
Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
F. The Lord asked Eve one question:
1. What is this you have done?
• How did she answer God? In a manner similar to the way Adam answered God, by putting blame of someone else, the Serpent.
Genesis 3:14-15 14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; On you belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
B. God confronts the Serpent. The serpent was guilty as charged by Eve, but that did not relieve Eve of the responsibility of using her own sovereign will to choose to rebel.
• He responds to the Serpent by pronouncing a curse on him and then a prophesy against him.
Genesis 3:16-19 16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” 17 TThen to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded to the voice of you wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it”: “Cursed is the ground for you sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of you life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
C. Curses on man and woman and iniquity in the marriage:
1. The curse on women:
a. I will greatly multiply your sorrow (pain) and your conception.
b. In sorrow (pain) you shall bring forth children.
• God didn't change His mandate to multiply and fill the earth. He still wanted it carried out. But the pain of childbirth offset the pleasure of the sexual intercourse that brought pregnancy. This was part of the consequences of Eve's own sin.
2. And your desire will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.- I believe that this means that the consequences of Eve's sin will manifest itself through perverse tendencies of men and women that will cause a constant struggle in the marriage. • And your desire will be for your husband.
3. The Hebrew word for “desire” is used only 3 times in the texts. The second usage is in Genesis 4:7.
Genesis 4:7 “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
4. Its desire, referring to sin personified having desire, is to rule over you. God is instructing Cain concerning his fallen nature. Sin wants to dominate you Cain, and you must learn to rule over it. If you don't, it will take control.
5. This usage in Genesis 4:7 implies a struggle with sin as a motivating force of its own accord. Sin can become a dominating force if we allow it to.
6. Look at these two sections of scripture together:
Genesis 3:16 And your desire will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.
Genesis 4:7 And its (sin’s) desire is for you, but you should rule over it.
7. This phrase informs Eve that she will now have a perverse tendency to oppose her husband, and to assert her leadership over him. This perverse tendency can become a dominating force and thus a perverted characteristic if a woman allows it to.
8. The outworking of this, if allowed to run its course, can be a dysfunctional marriage and family where the husband's authority is totally usurped and the children are rebellious. Sometimes this results in marriage failure (sometimes over and over again).
9. And he shall rule over you
• The Hebrew word for “rule” means “to dominate like a king.” Because of the perverse tendency of the wife, the husband will have a perverted tendency to respond by ruling through domination instead of leading by example in love. This too can become a dominating force and thus a perverted characteristic of the man's lifestyle in the marriage relationship if he allows it to.
• This can lead to many kinds of abuse of the wife and children – verbal, physical or sexual.
10. The curses because of Adam's sin: Reason for the curse: Because you have heeded to the voice of you wife.
11. First curse is on the ground—cursed is the ground for your sake—Adam had dominion over the entire earth at this time. This curse affected the entire earth. The results:
a. In sorrow (painful toil) you shall eat of it all the days of your life.
b. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb (plants) of the field.
c. Man will have to work much harder to grow food. Not only that, the ground will produce what we call weeds that must be pulled up in order for the crops to properly grow.
d. This curse also carries implications concerning the irritations and hindrances in all areas of life that sin has opened the door to.
e. Second curse –physical death of man— In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground.
• When we look closely at these curses, we realize that Adam's sin caused the entirety of man's dominion, the entire earth and its atmosphere, to become
corrupted, with the result that man will now have to struggle to maintain life and health.
Genesis 3:20-21 20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
I. Out of mercy, the Lord provides temporary redemption – in order for the Lord to get the skins, He had to kill the animals that the skins belonged to and shed their innocent blood. Blood was required for the atonement of their sins.
Genesis 3:22-24 22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man is become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” – 23 therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and He placed cheribum at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
J. The final curse for rebellion – death = separation from God.
1. The first curses on Eve (women) and Adam (mankind) were direct results of their personal sin (action from choice).
2. This curse is a result of the change in their nature that took place in them because of their sin.
a. Irreversible corruption set into their entire beings, opening them up to the domination of sin, selfishness and the influence of the serpent (satan).
b. There was degradation of their inner nature and character resulting in the corruption of their spirits, souls and bodies.
c. The result of Adam's sin is that all men would fall short of the glory of God because of their sinful nature.
Father God, please help me understand your created order. In Jesus' name.
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