Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
This message was preached by Donald D'costa at Word of Grace Church on October 22nd, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
I’ve been going through the book of Genesis for the last two years. I want to speak this morning on choices. We will look at Chapter 3 where Satan comes to speak with eve and the choices she makes. We can learn a lot from that conversation.
1. God made us special, made in His image and likeness. We need to remember that. Secondly, God alone planned it all, initiates all creation, above all creation and he is sovereign. His will is free and no one can cross it. He alone can decide the purpose for His creation and we cannot question it. He alone can choose the destiny and future of all creation. By virtue of being our creator, we can rest in the assurance that he loves us. He created everything good and only good can be expected from him, not evil. Therefore, God’s choices are good and meant to bless- not harm or curse. In Jeremiah he says, I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil.
2. By being made in the image of God, we can choose to love back too. The purpose of love is to be loved. He does not look at us as slaves who do not have a choice. He gives us a choice to reciprocate. In Gen 2:18- 20 he let man name every animal and have dominion. We see here a freedom that no slave is given.
Further we see God’s heart to work out love in a covenant relationship. So he makes woman who is a suitable helper. If God has made us as a regent here to ensure the reign of man, he has to give us a choice. Love must always find a free and willing responder.
God knew the risks of creating a being who had the choice to love him, because that means that being could also reject him. So this being can cause God much pain. Love endures pain and continues to love. God has not given up on mankind. This is a good relational tool for us as well.
All our relationship must reflect the Kingdom of God. the very garden still exists on earth, but the environment has gone and so Eden is gone. We now bring Eden in the boundaries we exist in. The boundaries are physical, but there is a relational, work and spiritual boundaries. Gen 3:1- 7 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Adam and eve were created by God in His image, without sin as beings of choice give freewill to reciprocate to his love. This freewill also meant they could choose to obey God.
As Christians, we have the same choice. Therefore, the Bible talks about a time of accounting. You choose to love him by obeying him or choose to disobey him. in his intention we want to obey God but they have made the wrong choices. They fall into temptation and then into sin. This is nothing new.
There are threats to the choices we make for God. the threat comes in the form of temptation. In this story, something comes to Eve outside of herself, but our own inner desires and longings give in to them.
If you think you can recognise the devil, you need to think again. Paul says, He can appear as an angel of light. Jesus said while addressing Peter “Get behind me Satan”. It is what the person says that is from Satan. Eve is having a conversation with someone who is cool, crafty and sensible. What the person is saying to her is not cool. He is getting her to question her choices. Anyone who brings into question the choices you have made in God is unhealthy.
Some of the examples:
1. angry people are loving people
2. money makes the world go round
3. Sex is clean and normal and natural
4. I never forget an injury and I never forgive an insult
5. God helps those who helps themselves
6. Do not judge me dude, you don’t know what the **** I’ve been through
Q. What are these phrases doing to your thinking?
They are subtle. People are so gullible that they believe anything the media says. Today the church has become a Mimosa plant- Touch-me-nots. We are not called to be a touch-me-not and curl up as soon as the world touches us, but to touch the world and take to the world what we have.
2 things the voice of evil will do:
1. Call into question what God has said. When we are not sure, go back to God’s word. Hosea 4:6- “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” However personal your leadings of God are with you, they will never contradict the scripture. God will not ask you to commit sin no matter what the circumstances are.
2. Satan addresses desire- He speaks to Eve about something she desires, something she wants to do- to eat. Our needs are valid and need to be discussed with God and not with Satan. All the evil one needs to know is that God knows what we need and He will provide.
Eve responds to the temptation with her own understanding. Her response shows that she wasn’t relying on God’s word. The tree had a name- the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil. And she adds- neither shall you touch it. This attitude leads to making rules that are not called for. When we do this, we go beyond the realm of what is permissible. Some Christians make rules about wearing only white clothes and no make-up or jewellery. The word of God only calls for modest dressing and not all of this. Many men and women in these Christian groups have fallen despite these rules. So, Eve is not thinking straight.
The temptation from the outside manipulates the desires that are inside. We need to base our choices and decision on what God says.
Gen 3: 4-6-
· “You will not surely die”- once we enter into the discussion with Satan, there is a clear negation of the Word of God. He made God seem like a spiteful person who wants to withhold power from us. Secondly, to overlook an offence, we use this line- that God will understand.
· “Your eyes will be opened”- We tempt God with evil. We are called to relate with unbelievers, not to give them company. We are like God but we will never be God. So, what are we trying to achieve? We want to be something- only if certain desires are fulfilled we will serve God. Don’t test God. If you know good, you don’t need to know the evil.
Our acts of disobedience to God only lead us astray and the many who follow us. We make wrong choices, and the wrong choices don’t take away the value God has placed in us. God has not given up on us. Our wrong choices give us a chance to change and repent. God will say, get up. He has a plan and destiny for our lives.