Friday, May 16, 2014

Comments from the Church (men of past generations)

This comment is from C. S. Lewis:

God made us, invented us as a man invents a machine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human race to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.

That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there, there is no such thing.

These comments were made by John Flavel on "True Christianity"

True Christianity is an all out commitment to Jesus Christ. Nothing less than unconditional surrender could ever be a fitting response to calvary.

"Heart-work is hard work indeed, to shuffle over religious duties with a loose and careless spirit, will cost no great difficulties; but to set yourself before the Lord, and to tie up your loose and vain thoughts to a constant and serious attendance upon Him; this will cost you something."

These comments are from Andrew Murray:

"Many Christians backslide...they are unable to stand against the temptations of the world, or of the their own nature. They strive to do their best to fight against sin, and to serve God, but they have no strength. They have never really grasped the secret: the Lord Jesus will every day from heaven continue His work in me. But on one condition - the soul must give Him time each day to impart His love and His grace. Time alone with the Lord Jesus each day is the indispensable condition of growth and power."

From Archibald Alexander

" They learn to be in the fear of the Lord all the day long, and to distrust entirely their own wisdom and strength, and to rely for all needed aid on the grace of Jesus Christ."

God's enabling Grace be with us each and every day, leading us to the grand realization that our best good is in bringing Him glory!  Grace and Peace to you in and through Jesus Christ.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Everyone experiences God's grace now

A biblical doctrine of enormous beauty is the grace of God. God's character is gracious. When God wanted to ensure Moses really understood who He was; when He passed by Moses, after Moses had asked Him "let me see your glory," and also to make sure Moses got it right when he went to God's people in Egypt. God said "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.." That's Exodus 34:6.

Everything that we receive from God is through His free grace, meaning there is nothing outside of Himself, that would require Him to be gracious to sinners. He freely chooses to be gracious. When we understand that principle, humility rises and pride diminishes. God owes no one anything, He created the universe, in spite of what you may have seen on television last night on the new "cosmos." He can do with His creation as He see's fit. When we understand that principle, we become even more humble, and we tremble at times at His Word, yet we also, rejoice in the salvation He has brought to pass by the gracious Lamb of God, Our Great Savior and God, Jesus Christ.

I want to focus on another verse in this study, we have looked at grace many times before, and we will continue to look at it even more, because this is what the Bible is all about, Grace. Of course, God's grace is shown most perfectly in the Lord Jesus Christ. The picture I have at the top of the page states that blessings flow through grace, that is true and equally true is that, blessings flow to us through Jesus Christ, because of Jesus Christ. Without Jesus Christ we have no blessings. (Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3)

This leads me to the verse of focus for this study. Matthew 5:45 - "in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (NASB)

This verse is from the bigger context of Christ's sermon on the Mount, the greatest sermon ever preached. Christ is instructing His disciples then and for every generation that was to follow in the doctrines of the kingdom of God. This is specifically saying that God's disciples should be like him, treat all people the same, just as God does.

The point I want to place before you today is that everybody is a beneficiary of God's goodness, isn't that what that verse is saying, evil people receive God's goodness, good people receive God's goodness. God does not bless the world with rain, sunshine, water, air, and everything else that keeps us alive, in a way that it just comes to people who are saved. Every human being on the face of the earth receives good from the hand of God. Of course, most do not acknowledge that, but, it's the fact of God's Word.

We need to see this in light of the last Day, the day of judgment. On that day God's grace, which some theologians call "common" grace, not that it is a common thing, but that it is as we have said, something that everyone experiences. On the last day, the grace that every human being experiences from the day of their birth until the day of their death, stops! When we die, before the last day, of course, common grace is still being expereinced by those who are still alive. But on the last day, no more common grace for those outside the family of God.

Let's go back to Exodus to continue the description that God gives of Himself to Moses in Exodus 34, verse 7 which says:" who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the quilty unpunished, visiting the inquity of fatherrs on the children and on the grabdchildren to the third and fourth generations."

To understand this principle is to tremble before the Word of God.  God's wrath is not a play thing, and I have learned to write about it with humility, prayerfully, pleadingly so, and I plead if anyone who may read this, who is not saved, I plead with you, just as if Christ were right here with us, which He is, that you would run to the cross,without delay, confess your sins and repent, praying for God to bring about true confession and repentance and be washed in the everlasting blood of the Lamb, accept Jesus Christ today, why would you delay? "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28  All that the Father gives me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37  Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. John 6:47.

 God's mercy and grace has placed us not just under His common grace, but His covenantal grace, His familial grace. Genesis 15 explains the covenant God makes with Abraham. Galatians 3:29 says "And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring heirs according to promise." 

Ephesians 1:5 states: "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will." Did you hear that, the kind intention of His will.(NASB) It was His kindness that put us in the Family of God. It was His kindness to us, that send Jesus to the cross, for us. So that we can become members of the family of God.

This verse (Matthew 5:45) is telling us in a sense, this world will be as close to heaven as some people get, and for God's family it will be as close to hell as we get. Can you see that? There is only grace now, in the land of the living, at death, if you are outside the family of God, God will send you to hell, and there is no grace there, that part of God's character will not be there, the only part of God's character that will be in hell, is His terrible wrath.

 We see why the saints in heaven cast their crowns at the feet of the One who sits on the Throne, and why the four living creatures, day and night do not cease to say, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, IS THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME." (Revelation 4:8) We should join in every now and than with that heavenly chorus and add our praises with those of the heavenly host, for God has done great things for us!! He has saved you and your family!!! He is due our worship!!

It's a good thing that the Word of God causes us to tremble at times, God is an awesome God, beyond our comprehension, yet He has condescended to give us His Word, His Spirit, His Son, and everything else we need in this life and the one to come.

Let us pray that God would use us to speak a Word of Grace to someone who is experiencing God's common grace but not His covenantal grace. To all of us who claim to be in the family of God let us seek to please the Lord in all that we do, for let us remember that the Lord will judge His people and it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:30-31)

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Friday, March 7, 2014

God's Light

The English Standard Version of the Bible renders Psalms 118:27 this way: The LORD is God and He has made His light to shine upon us.

When We talk about God's Light, we are primarily talking about His Word, the Bible. It is the Light of God that we have as a gift from God. Whenever we want to know what God thinks we can read the Bible. Also, whenever we want to know what God commands us to do, all we have to do, is read the Bible. It is a light for us, it directs our paths, and it directs our life.

Psalms 118:27 reminds me of Elijah, at least the first part of the verse: The LORD is God.  1 Kings 18 tells us the story of Elijah going to the people of Israel and asking them "How long would they continue in two different opinions, would they serve Baal or the LORD." He challenges the 450 Baal priests to a contest to show who the real God is. Elijah tells the priests to build an altar and place an offering on it and call to Baal. The priests call upon Baal from morning to noon and they get no response. Elijah mocks them and says "Cry louder, maybe he is using the bathroom, or maybe he is asleep. They continue to call until 3 pm. 1 Kings 18:29 says they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation (3 pm - The Reformation Study Bible) but, there was no voice, no one answered, no one paid attention.

When it was Elijah's time, he also built an altar using twelve stones, he also dug a trench around the altar, he had water poured over the altar and sacrifice until the trench was filled with water, then he called "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God of Israel..." Then fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering, the stones, the dirt, and licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it they fell on their face and said, "The LORD, he is God, "The LORD, he is God." Yes, indeed, the LORD is God. He is the true God. All other so-called gods are idols. You can call out to them all day long and you will not be heard. There is only one God, and He is the God described in the Bible.

The second part of the verse: "He has made His light to shine upon us" is a strong statement of the sovereign grace of God. When we describe the God of the Bible, we do well to list the description that we find in the Bible, because there is where God describes Himself, and one of the biggest character traits of God is His graciousness. He is a God of Grace, it was His grace that led Him to create, His grace led Him to save some from the ruin of their fallen, sinful condition.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.   Isaiah 9:2

The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death on them a light has dawned.    Matthew 4:16

The light of the grace of God is best displayed in His Son, Jesus Christ, He gave Jesus up for us. He offered Christ up as a sacrifice for us.

Again Jesus spoke to them saying I am the light of the world.  John 8:12

The Bible even calls those who His light has shined on, light also. Matthew 5:14

We are born into spiritual darkness cut off from the things of God - there is no desire on our part to even consider God. Yet when God makes His light shine upon us, we can not resist it. It's important also, that we see, that God made His light to shine on us. We are indifferent to God in our natural state, as I said we have no desire for the things of God, or God Himself, if God does not intervene, we remain lost.

The Shorter Catechism question 26 asks: How doth Christ execute the office of king? The answer: Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.

Bible references used:
Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.
Isaiah 33:22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king, he will save us.
1 Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

God has to come and subdue us in order for us to be saved. He has to shine that powerfully strong light of Holy Grace into our dead, dark, evil, indifferent souls in order that we might live!

He comes to us to save us, to remove the scales off of our eyes, so that we see the truth once and for all. His light comes and when His light comes, His Son comes, His Spirit comes, and His Light will not dwell with darkness, darkness must flee! Our souls are given new life in Christ and we want more and we like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation - if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3

If we have tasted that the Lord is good - we bow in submission and offer to God the glory and honor He deserves: we proclaim as Israel did in Elijah's time: "The Lord, He is God" "The Lord, He is God."

The question for us is Has the light of God's Grace shone into our soul? Either way we find out about the light of God in the Word of God.

Blessings in Jesus Christ, the Beloved, True God and Savior of men's souls!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Our identity is now in Christ

I believe most of us would agree with what the Larger Catechism proclaims in it's question number 3.

Q. 3. What is the Word of God?
A. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience.

The Bible is the Word of God, it gives the Christian the commandments of God, which are to serve as the only rule of our faith and our obedience.

 One overriding doctrine throughout the New Testament is:  what Jesus Christ's accomplished with His obedient life, His death on the cross, His burial, His ascension, has been credited to us by God the Father.

One thing needs to said about Christ coming down from heaven to provide our only way of rescue from the wrath of God. The Shorter Catechism says that many of these things were an humiliation for Christ. You have to understand that Jesus Christ is GOD! for Him to take on a human nature was an humiliation, for the Majestic Lord of Glory to be put in this low condition was humiliation, For The One who holds all life in His hand to be placed under the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross, in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time, was humiliation. Yet Jesus did it for us. He knew it is our only hope. He did it willingly.

Do you not marvel sometimes at the wondrously love God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit has for us!! We are created, God made us from the dirt, He has wondrously made us, and in spite of our continued rebellion against Him, His eternal plans and purposes for us will not be thwarted. The Day of the Lord could be any time, and with each new day, we should thank Him. For it seems amazing that God has allowed history to continue for as long as it has. It is Longsuffering.

Our identity is in Jesus Christ, this doctrine, when meditated on, when you read the Scriptures that tell you who we are in Christ, and you pray for the Holy Spirit to work these eternal truths into your life, there is freedom, and joy.

Example: And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

In the preceding verses Paul was teaching the Christians at Corinth don't fool yourself people who practice sexual sin are not going to inherit the kingdom of God. But he tells them that some of you guys were like this, involved in sexual sins, and some of you are still involved in sexual sin. Paul wants them to identify with who they are now, in Christ, not what they were.

Paul tells them you have been washed, you were sanctified, justified in the name of Jesus Christ by the Spirit of God. They did not wash themselves, they did not sanctify themselves, and they did not justify themselves. The Spirit did the Work!

It's the same for us, the Holy Spirit is working a process in our lives, it is a process of character transformation. He is doing it because of the work of Jesus Christ. If we have trusted in what the Word of God tells us about Christ, the Holy Spirit is working in us. Just so we understand the mystery of that, the Bible tells us this: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God Ephesians 2:8. We exercised faith in Christ when we were saved, we thought we did it, but not so, God did it! He worked faith in us to trust and believe in Jesus Christ. The glorious thing is that God is working the whole of our Christian life in the same manner. The Holy Spirit is working in our lives Christlikeness. As we use the means of grace: reading the Word, and prayer, mainly, the Holy Spirit uses them to develop our character. He is working!!

When we show God that we count His Word as glorious and worthy, we show Him that we count Jesus Christ as glorious and worthy. Romans 1 tells us what God thinks of those who have His Word, have some understanding of the worth of it, yet reason in their hearts that they do not see fit to acknowledge God. What God is saying there is that if you know there is a God, the only place we can find out more about Him, is in the Bible, we don't see fit to acknowledge Him by picking up and reading about Him, He turns us over. He stands against us. That's the condition we were all in before God gave us the gift of faith, such were all of us. But, thank God for His longsuffering grace and mercy toward us. When sin comes, when Satan come, and when the World comes, we must stand against them in our new identity in Christ, we will find the Holy Spirit is working and He is Mightier by far than all our enemies combined. We must exercise the faith that God has given us: So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17. We can not continue to hold the Word of God in contempt, God counts it as contempt for Christ after His humiliation for us and His exaltation by the Father for what He did, we need to hold Him in High Honor and Glory, don't you think that that is the proper attitude for us?

Here are some scriptures that shows us our identify in Christ:
Hebrews 13:21              Ephesians 1:2-9
Galatians 1:3-5              Ephesians 1:19-23
Galatians 2:16               Ephesians 2:13
Galatians 3:14               1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 
Galatians 3:26-29          Philippians 1:10-11
Philippians 3:14            Philippians 3:20
Philippians 4:7              Colossians 3:1-4

All our blessings, peace, joy are found in Jesus Christ!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Glory


The Glory of God is a doctrine I have looked at before, and it is one that we do well to keep before our hearts often.

In this study, I want to narrow our scope of the Glory of God down to this aspect found in Ephesians 1:18 which says that we are the glorious inheritance of God.

In verse 17, Paul calls God the Father of Glory. These two verses are part of what Paul says fills his prayers, when he prays for the Christians at Ephesus.  The Glory of God is a spiritual thing, although it was associated in the Old Testament with a cloud, it states that the Glory filled the Tent of meeting/Tabernacle.

"Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle." Exodus 40:34-35

The point I want to make here is that the Glory of God is a Holy Thing. The Word states when the leaders in the Church despise God by not correcting error and allow sinful actions to continue in the church, the Glory leaves. 1 Samuel 2

The Glory leaves the Temple because of the sins of the people in Ezekiel 10.

The tent of meeting, The Tabernacle, and the Temple are no more. The high privilege of housing the Holy Spirit of God has been given to creatures The Almighty God has made from dirt.

"Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature." Genesis 2:7

The farest thing from our mind, is that we are made from dirt. We can do so many marvelous things, we are higher than dirt. We should ponder, How many of those things does God count as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, how much of the activities that we made be involved in would God's Word count as evil? Also, the fact of the matter is, when, what God breathed into us leaves us, we fall down dead and in time we return to dirt.

The wonderful opportunity we have is, that we can seek eternal life in Jesus Christ and get a new heart. That is the inheritance of those that God saves.

We were created for God's Glory, when God saves a human being, God receives Glory, when a Christian sins, and the Holy Spirit convicts the Christian and the Christian comes to the end of themselves, and pleads for forgiveness, God gets Glory. When the Christian is given a glimpse of the face of Glory in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and denies self, and pursue Jesus Christ with their whole heart, God gets Glory.  When the Christian starts to lose fear of evil men, and stand ready to speak the Truth of the Gospel, God gets Glory. When the Glory of God is counted as the reason for our being, God gets Glory.

The wonder of it all is that God promises to change us.

"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit".
2 Corinthians 2:18

This is a promise that we need to remind God of constantly, Father you promised to transform me into the same image as your glory, God will do it, as we trust Him, He is not a man that He should lie.

To help with that promise another Scripture we need to constantly remind God of is:

"For sin will have no dominion over you... Romans 6:14

God saved us for His Glory, He saved us for His Holiness, He saved us through Jesus Christ and He has placed us on that narrow road that is a road of pursuit, we are to pursue His Glory, His Holiness, His Son, Jesus Christ. We are to count everything that comes our way, pain, grief, anguish, sorrow included, as things that do hurt us, make us sad, but there is a greater Glory that waits for us, there is a greater Glory in the midst of our suffering, that only the Lord Jesus can bring to us.

The things of God can not be worked up by us, we have no power in spiritual things, repentance, salvation, sanctification and final glorification are all supernatural works of God's grace in the lives of His people, who were created for His Glory.

Turn to Him,  trust Him, ask for the grace to trust Him, He is willing to do it, it gives Him Glory, Look to Jesus Christ and give Him the Glory that He and He alone is worthy of.

To God be the Glory!!!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Babies are being murdered

As you can tell from the image and the title this study is going to look at the issue of Abortion. If you have not looked at the film associated with this sign please look at it. It does not show graphic images of dead babies. All of us who have seen those images should certainly see why the people who made this film believe that we as a culture have been to insensitive to what is really going on, it is murder and it needs to be called murder.

If you look at some of the issues present in the history of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion (murder). It was the time of the feminist movement, and one idea that was prevalent at that time was, it was unfair for women who were competing for promotions up the corporate ladder, it was unfair for them, because men do not get pregnant and have to take time off from work. A women should have the right to abortion so the playing field would be more even. In other words, let's agree that women should murder their babies if they feel it would be a hindrance to their advancement or for her personal convenience. You look at that and you think what in the world were we thinking.

Well, this issue along with homosexuality, has become issues that we can't talk about. No one wants to talk about abortion. Christians are labeled as intolerant if we say that God's Word states that murder is a sin and that homosexuality is an abomination, like all sins, not covered by the blood of Christ, grant you access to hell.

Let's look at the Word of God:

Behold, the children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward
Psalm 127:3

So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went into her, and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.       Ruth 4:13

And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.    Genesis 25:21

For the LORD had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.
Genesis 20:18

And Sarai said to Abram behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children...
Genesis 16:2

But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.
1 Samuel 1:4-5

When you send forth your Spirit, they are created and you renew the face of the ground.
Psalm 104:30

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.    Jeremiah 1:5

Your hands fashioned and made me, and now you have destroyed me altogether.  Job 10:8

The Spirit of God has made me and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.  Job 33:4

The Word of God is clear. God gives conception, you get pregnant because God allows you too, God knows each baby in the womb. A man and a woman in a sexual relation do not create a spirit or a soul, it's a physical act, God must make the spirit/soul.

The sixth commandment states you shall not murder. One of the reason for that command is because every human being is created in the image of God, including a baby in it's mother's womb.

Since 1973 and the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision there have been 35 million babies murdered in this nation. That breaks down to 3,300+ abortions per day, 137+ per hour, about one every thirty seconds.

The number of children aborted each year nearly equals the number of American deaths in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf combined.

Statistics from the National Right to Life Fund shows that black women made up 13.7% of the U.S. population of women of child-bearing age in 2000 but accounted for 31.7% off all abortions performed that year in America.

What is my purpose of presenting this on a Bible study page. Because the purpose of our Bible study is to know God, to study and learn his character. This is his character.

Keep far from a a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked.  Exodus 23:7

So you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD. Deuteronomy 21:9

Many people say that God is going to judge America. He will just as he will judge every human being not just America. I have read that abortion is much higher in other nations, and that is tragic.
America has been blessed by God, it has by God's grace been raised up to be the most powerful nation, the richest nation, this nation has helped rebuilt other nations and from it the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has gone forth and the Glory of God has been displayed in the conversion of countless people all over the world. Yet, like Israel of old, America has become complacency from ease, it thinks it has brought all this greatness by it's own, and God has nothing to do with it. It has turned it's back on God, and when you turn your back on God, he turns his face of favor from you. I spoke about the character of God before, and we see another aspect of our Lord's character and that is his longsuffering. Even as he judges he extents opportunity to repent and receive grace. God's hand of judgment is raised against this nation and against all the nations as well. America has been busy murdering babies since 1973, it has made laws to attempt to curtail God, laws against prayer, laws for abortion and homosexuality.

And it seems to me that God in displaying our guilt so he can judge us, increases our guilt before him, by electing a president who is a advocate for abortion and homosexuality, you are a nation that condones killing babies and you are for the gay lifestyle, you now have the kind of leader you are becoming.e.

It is a time for pleading to God. We need to stop killing babies, we need to pray, to stand outside abortion clinics and say stop the murder, we can not just go through our days conducting business as normal, as in the days of Noah, just before the flood came. LORD God intervene and help us, we have lost our way and we need your loving grace to help us. As Deuteronomy 21:9 states when we do what is right in the sight of the LORD, we can purge the guilt of innocent blood from our midst. Stop killing babies!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Fall

The next principle we will look at from the Reformation Study Bible is the Fall. The Reformation Study Bible says that the Fall is the original human lapse from God and godliness into sin and lostness. It is explained, from the perspective that the Apostle Paul give in Romans; where he states that all of mankind is naturally under the guilt and power of sin, the reign of death, and the inescapable wrath of God (Romans 1:18-19; 5:17-21, 1 Cor. 15:22). Paul traces this back to the sin of the one man Adam, whom he describes as our common ancestor (Acts 17:26; Rom. 5:12-14).

Some of Paul's points made about the Fall as recorded in Genesis 3 are:

* God made the first man the representative of all his posterity, just as He was to make  Jesus Christ the representative of all God's elect (Rom. 5:15-19, 8:29-30, 9::22-26).

* God placed Adam in a state of happiness and promised permanently to establish him and his posterity in it if he showed fidelity by obeying God's command not to eat from a tree described as "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:17). Apparently the issue was whether Adam would let God determine what was good and bad, or would seek to decide that for himself, in disregard of what God had said.

*** John Calvin, the 16th century French Reformer, comments on this: "A law is imposed upon him in token of his subjection; for it would have made no difference to God, if he had eaten indiscriminately of any fruit he pleased. Therefore, the prohibition of one tree was a test of was necessary that man, adorned and enriched with so many excellent gifts, should be held under restraint, lest he should break forth into licentiousness...Therefore, abstinence from the fruit of one tree was a kind of first lesson in obedience, that man might know he had a Director and Lord of his life, on whose will he ought to depend, and in whose commands he ought to acquiesce.

* Adam, led by Eve who was herself led by the serpent (Satan in disguise, 2 Cor. 11:3, 14; Rev. 12:9), defied God by eating the forbidden fruit. As a result, first of all, the anti-God, self-aggrandizing mindset expressed in Adam's sin became part of him. and of the moral nature that he passed on to his descendants (Gen. 6:5; Rom. 3:9-20)

I would like to make a comment about this point: This mindset which we all inherited from Adam and Eve when they sin, can be clearly seen throughout history, and it points to the fatal dilemma of sin that we are under. What I mean is this, until God in His mercy speaks grace to us - we have no idea the condition we are in. The fall into sin doomed the whole of humanity to hell. When God comes to Adam and Eve after they had sinned and were hiding from God in fear, they did not repent of their sin, the darkness was already in them, they blamed each other, they did not bow to God and plea for forgiveness, their hearts were harden in sin. This is a warning to us. Sin places us outside the Garden of Eden, we follow Satan and place ourselves as like God.  Our culture and the entire world lives as if there is no God, the consequences of Adam's sin. Thank God, that He through Adam.s fall makes the promise of One who was to come and crush Satan. Thank God for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which break through the darkness, the Satanic deception, and placed God's own on the road to the New Heaven and New Earth, the Heavenly Jerusalem!!

There are many who believe that Adam was not a historical figure, there are many who call themselves Christians do not think we should believe that Adam is a true, historical person, but Adam is linked to the patriarchs and through them to the rest of the human race by genealogy (chs. 5:10;11) making him as much a part of history as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The doctrine of original sin seems an offense to reason, but once accepted it makes total sense of the human condition. (Pascal)

It is the same thing with the Fall narrative. We should be careful when we question the Word of God. It is not to say we should not reason through what the Word presents to us, The Word of God has depth we will never fathom, so when we speak as if we know more than the Word of God, remember the nature we all have from Adam which is anti-God and self-aggrandizing,  and the only escape from that mindset is the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Let us humble ourselves before the Word of God and what it declares.