Tom: Dave in this part of our program, what I would like to talk about today—again the segment’s called Understanding the Scriptures. And the issue that we’re addressing is the gospel of salvation.
Well, salvation why? What went wrong? I mean God created, we know from in Genesis what he created was good and the last thing he says on the sixth day was is that it was VERY good. Things were good. What happened?
Dave: Well, man disobeyed God. You learn a lot from the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden. This is not mythology.
Tom: History, history.
Dave: It’s history. Some people want to make it out to be mythology, but I mean we can prove that it’s history. You see the fruits of it today and these were the very lies that came out from Satan under drugs and yoga, and hypnosis and so forth. But we learn a lot. One of the things we learn is how easy it is to fall into sin. How gracious God is and how he bent over backwards to make it as easy as possible for Adam and Eve not to sin. One commandment he gave them. He only gave them one commandment. By the way, this is why there aren’t any extraterrestrials out there. Because any created beings being less than God would make a less than perfect choice and therefore would fall into sin and Christ would have to redeem them like he redeemed us. But the Bible very clearly says “By one sacrifice he’s perfected forever those who are sanctified.” Okay I’m getting us off the track here, but in the Garden of Eden what did God, what command did he give?
Tom: Genesis:2:17? Is that where you’re going?
Dave: It wasn’t difficult. Look, there’s one tree in the Garden. Probably there were thousands of trees. I can remember as a boy, I could eat my way through an apricot tree or a peach tree, just climb right up in there and go for it. And I think, this could have been any kind of a tree. And there may have been hundreds just like it. I don’t think it was some special tree with magical powers by any means, but God just designated it. Look, you can eat of all the other trees in the Garden, but this one right here, just don’t eat it. Okay? He couldn’t have given them an easier command to keep and yet they didn’t keep it. Which shows how—what a small thing seemingly, seemingly a small thing sin is. That’s why James says you offend in one point of the law, you are guilty of all. You say well I’m not a murderer. I’m not an adulterer. I never stole anything. Well, but did you love the Lord your God with all heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your might? If you didn’t do that, you are a murderer, you are an adulterer, you’re a thief and so forth. Because you’re a rebel against God.
Tom: So the issue is really obedience.
Dave: Right, exactly. So we see how simple sin can be, seemingly a small thing and yet the huge consequences. God can’t tolerate it. He can’t have a bunch of little gods running around all wanting to get their own way. And yet unfortunately, that’s the idea you get even from some of the Christian leaders. That you can command God, you can tell him what to do.
So we learn how simple sin is. We learn how serious the consequences man—
Tom: Well let me talk about the consequences. I mean Genesis:2:17, “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.” Now what does that mean?
Dave: Well, it doesn’t mean that they would die instantly, physically. But they began to die. I believe that man—the Bible says is body, soul and spirit. And I believe that the spirit is really the real life that came from God. And in the spirit of man, the spirit of God dwelt and when God left man, he was just a physical creature and he began to die. He began to age. Prior to that time Adam didn’t age. But he died in his spirit instantly. So that immediately Adam and Eve realized they were naked. They never realized that before. They never had that moral comprehension. They tried to cloth themselves with fig leaves. They have a sense of guilt. They hide from God and God when he comes walking in the cool of the evening as he did, (walking being a figurative term because God is not a man). But he came moving through the Garden and he said, “Adam where are you?”
“Well, I hid myself.” So there was a separation that Adam knew. Something had happened inside of him. He had died inside and he was no longer in communion with God. He was no longer comfortable in God’s presence which was why something has to happen or we couldn’t be in heaven. “God dwells in a light that no man can approach unto, who no man has seen nor can see.” And God can’t just force everybody to go to heaven. That would turn heaven into hell. Because they would be miserably frightened, terrified by the awesome purity and holiness of God.
Tom: So this condition that God laid out for Adam and Eve, as you said it wasn’t a big item, but it really affected, I mean it had to do with obedience and it really was something of the heart. Wasn’t it? It was God testing them, to see if they truly had a heart for him.
Dave: Yes, of course, he knew what the consequences would be. The Bible tells us that Christ was a lamb slain from before the foundation of the earth. That’s not off the topic, Tom, I think it’s on the topic. That is one of the reasons why the doctrine of immaculate conception, the immaculate conception of Mary and her sinless life and bodily assumption into heaven simply isn’t true. It’s not biblical. Because the Bible says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” And if God could make Mary sinless—talk about immaculate conception! I mean Adam and Eve were even conceived. They were created fresh from the hand of God in the perfect environment of the Garden. Then if it’s just a matter of God being able to keep people from sin, surely he could have kept Adam and Eve from sin. And we wouldn’t have had all the evil that we have in the world today. If he could keep Mary, he could keep Adam and Eve. But Mary rejoiced in God her Savior.
So it’s not possible for any human being apart from the grace of God to be kept from sin. Now again we have to understand who else sinned. Well I’m not a big sinner, I haven’t done any big things. Pride is a horrible sin; self will, the desire to have your own way, the desire to use God for your own purposes you know. Like prayer for most people is a religious technique to get their own way. We set our sights on what we want; we spend the sweet hour of prayer trying to talk God into working it out for us. Somebody comes along and offers us a technique, you know like Kenneth Hagin and his booklet How to Write Your Own Ticket with God. Amazing! Who would want to write their own ticket with God? Again it’s the indication that I don’t think God is as smart as I am and I can write a better ticket than he can. The very thought that man would disobey God—that’s horrible! And the consequences are—they have to be severe and now God has a problem. His justice says, “The wages of sin is death.” Separated, man is separated from me forever, but he loves us and he wants to save us. How’s he going to do it? That’s the problem.
Tom: Right. Well in Genesis we’re going to get to that later in Genesis. But let’s go back to the sin. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and the tree desirable to make one wise,”—there’s self isn’t it? “She took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband and he ate.” That’s what sent man into eternal separation from God.
Dave: Now Tom you have to be careful, let’s not be too hard on Eve. You understand she was raised in a dysfunctional home and her parents abused her. Adam as well you know. He didn’t get the toys he should have had and his daddy made him go to Sunday school. See, these are some of the delusions that are formulated today. And anybody that has an explanation for aberrant behavior, if you want to call it that, that doesn’t fit Adam and Eve, it doesn’t work.
I mean here—sin. You think of sin. It began in the heart of the most perfect, well they were perfect. They were beautiful. They were freshly created by God, living in the pristine environment of the Garden. No pollution. And yet that’s where sin began. It’s like in heaven it began in Lucifer’s garden.
Tom: I was going to say, we could back it up to an even more perfect environment.
Dave: In the very presence of God, in Lucifer’s heart, pride. So sin is powerful. It is innate. It’s one of the—well I believe God gave us the power of choice and it’s inevitable that man will make the wrong choice. Now what is God going to do? How is he going to redeem man? That is the big problem that he faces, because he really loves us.
Tom: Well next time, we’re going to talk about Genesis:3:15 which is the first gospel. The first time the gospel is offered.