There is an increasing misconception of Who God is and what He is capable of doing. There is a parallel delusion of who man is and what a Christian is able to do. Despite a multitude of scriptural verses confirming that I can do nothing of myself, believers have spent 6000 years attempting to please God with their own efforts. The only way to please God is to have faith – faith that I can do all things through Christ – that without Him I am nothing and can do nothing of myself to please the Father.
Scripture tells us the truth of Who God is, what God is and of what God is capable. Scripture exposes the truth of man’s inadequacies and incapacities – and man’s egocentricity. Scripture is the plumb-line that outlines what a believer can and can’t do. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him (through the Lord Jesus Christ), might be saved. How important to reflect on His Word, knowing that His mercy is everlasting, His grace is new every morning and His truth endures from generation to generation.
Adam was made in the image and likeness of God. Adam was made in a state of innocence and Adam walked naked and was not ashamed and in his innocence, Adam knew nothing of evil – for evil was not there to be known. And yet, Adam had no need of conscience – man gained his conscience through the fall. You see, the serpent said: your eyes shall be opened and you shall be as gods knowing good and evil. Gen.3:5. But the serpent omitted some vital truth in this earliest and most malignant lie. The serpent left out the material part of the truth – the shocking, awful truth.. that Adam would know good without the power to do it and that Adam would know evil without the power to avoid it.
The point where man tried to raise himself to the pinnacle of moral existence, was the point man lost the very ground of elevation given to them by God – their innocence. Our first parents became degraded souls – forever separating themselves from a love relationship with God. They became powerless, Satan enslaved – conscience smitten and terrified creatures. The eyes of both were indeed opened – but what a ghastly sight they discovered, for they found they were: wretched and miserable – poor and blind and naked. Yes, they knew they were naked – sad fruit of the tree of knowledge.
But the seed of the woman was to crush the serpent’s head, and later we read that Mary sang: He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. Luke 1:54. Mercy that had its roots in God’s dealings with Adam that fateful day. Adam was filled with shame. He was afraid and hid from the Lord God, and he found himself exposed before the eye of God – his nakedness was revealed. The apron cover which Adam constructed didn’t even satisfy his own conscience. His humiliation caused him to dread the consequences and so he hid: Adam hid himslf – for if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. If our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence before the Lord 1John 3:20
However man’s conscience tries to find repose in religiosity and self-approval, but man’s conscience can’t find approval in self, or self-satisfaction or self-importance. How much less can the holy God.. Whose holy eyes behold the very degraded thoughts and motives of man! Man will therefore turn away and try to hide his own shame: sad, lonely, hurting, shameful, fearful, disobedient man! Adam walked with God in the cool of the evening and yet Adam did not know God.. I wonder, do you? Had Adam truly known God’s perfect love, he would not have been afraid for it is written: there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1John 4:18, and it continues: he that fears is not made perfect in love. 1John 4:18.
Praise God that there is something beyond the conscience of what I am – and praise God there is an unveiled mystery and a revelation of Who God is! God had only partially revealed Himself to Adam in the creation, but He had not as yet revealed the deep secrets of His nature; His character; His grace. Through creation God demonstrated His eternal power and glorious Godhead, and walking with him in the cool of the evening, He started to reveal Himself to Adam. He revealed Himself as a relational God that showed mercy to Abraham and to Israel. Mercy, that began with its roots in the glorious garden – through Adam’s fall. Mercy, that spans the ages of man.. but mercy that began with Satan’s meddling.
Satan’s meddling in God’s creation resulted in his own eternal defeat and confusion. His lie gave occasion for God’s truth to be eternally displayed, for the unsearchable riches of Christ were to be made known to the, principalities and powers in heavenly places. And they were to be made known by the Church – through the manifold wisdom of God.” Eph.6:12. Creation alone would never have brought out the nature and character of God. There was infinitely more than the power and the wisdom reflected in creation… there was love, mercy, patience, tenderness and gentleness. There was holiness, goodness, grace and long-suffering.
But beware – the hissing Edamic serpent has morphed into the roaring lion of this age. Peter tells us he walks up and down, throughout the world, seeking who to devour. His strategies are still wicked and highly refined with the passing of time. He still uses his favourite toys, rooted in pride, to tempt and ensnare. Examine yourself to see if you are a slave to the strategies of Satan, and seek the Holy Spirit’s scrutiny of your inner being. No man or woman is secure from the ravages of pride and ego and self. No one is exempt not even you and certainly not me – so beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. 2Peter3:17
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