Monday, October 14, 2019

A Good, Good Father (Part 2)

Now that God had placed Adam in the garden, gave him authority, specific direction and even a companion, a wife that was comparable, that is, equivalent in quality, we will begin to discover the actual root of the bad things that afflict mankind. We continue, "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'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 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.'" Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 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." (Genesis 3:1-5)

One of the unique attributes that God had given to mankind was the freedom of choice. Adam was a spirit with a soul encased within a body. His spirit was perfect because as we saw, God breathed His Spirit into him. Due to this, his soul and body (flesh) were under full submission to his spirit. We do not know at this point in scripture why Satan chose to whet the appetite of the woman with his deception, but his false truth claims cause her soul to reason between two claims of truth, God's and Satan's. Next, we see her response to Satan's words. "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 its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate." (Genesis 3:6)

Unfortunately for mankind she chose wrong, but that is not the whole of it. Notice that when the woman ate of the forbidden tree she also gave it to her husband "with her" and he ate. Against some popular teaching that says Adam was not around when his wife was being seduced is not an accurate account. In fact he was "with her" and watch the entire deceptive work of Satan unfold and did nothing to prevent it. Remember, he had the authority, not Satan, and did not use it against Satan's attack. Think about it, all he had to do was to speak and Satan would have had to obey. He could have said, "Satan get off the earth and never return" and that would have been the end of it forever. However, he chose to disobey the command of the LORD and by this act of disobedience, forfeited his God given rights and authority to Satan. (Luke 4:5-6) Now instead of Satan being under mans authority man was now under Satan's authority. Man not only gave up his authority but also his connection with God because he was now spiritually dead. God is Spirit and relates to mankind in spirit. (John 4:24)

With Satan in charge of mans affairs, so to speak, let's look at what the Bible reveals as his nature. He is adversary, hater, opponent, enemy, accuser, slanderer, whisperer, enchanter, beguiler, tempter, liar, thief, murderer, do we get the point? His activities are to slander God to man and man to God; oppose God's ministers; pervert the Word of God and hold man captive through oppression, deception, possession, torments, vexing and buffeting. Because man is spiritual dead, Satan manifests these things through the soul (mind, will and emotions) and the body (the flesh). Even though there is much more evidence in the Bible that bad things do not come from God, we could actually stop here and logically conclude that all the bad things on earth are the result of the fall of man, that is, the destructive nature of sin and Satan. Adam's lack of keeping his focus on the Creator and using the authority that he was given, caused him to fall prey to the creation and become a slave to sin and Satan, who was now his new master.

Unfortunately, many believer's today fail in the same way. They have been taught that God let's bad things happen to them which paints a false picture of who God truly is. Christ has restored man and in that restoration has given him authority once again. By faith in Christ, man is no longer a slave to sin and Satan (Romans 6:14) and yet many time believers fall prey by allowing their soul and body, the very place where Satan makes his attack, to rule over them, rather than exercising their recreated spirit where the believer has the power to overcome the soul, body, sin and Satan. Jesus paid the price for man's disobedience (Romans 5:17-21), He defeated Satan (Colossians 2:15) and has given the believer authority over Satan (Matthew 28:18, Mark 16:17-18, Luke 10:19, 24:49). It is a lack of faith and poor teaching concerning God's will, nature, character, purpose and plan that promotes this unbiblical doctrine in the church.

Think about it. If sin and Satan are the product of all evil and Christ has saved humanity from these very things, then why would God still allow bad things to happen to His children? (Romans 8:16-17) He wouldn't! Bad things are still the product of sins destructive nature and the wickedness of Satan as it was in the beginning of man's history. However the good news is, Christ has delivered man from all of these things. (Isaiah 43:25, 53:4-6; Romans 6:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 2:11-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; these are but a few Scripture concerning this) However, we must keep in mind that man still has the right to chose concerning these matters. It comes down to choosing to place faith in the Truth of God's Word, not the false truth claims of faithless teachers and the deceptive lies of Satan.

Remember, Satan came with his claims of truth in the garden that opposed the real Truth of God. His tactics and the destructive nature of sin have not changed. Believers must have an active faith in God's Word. The Apostle Paul tells us, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) It is only through faith in Christ and the integrity of God's Word that believers will truly know that our Heavenly Father is a good, good Father.

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