Friday, September 13, 2013

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary

For Sunday September 15, 2013
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CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES
(Sin damages our relationship with GOD, and, with each other)
(Genesis 3)

In Matthew chapter 4, verses 1-11, JESUS won victory over satan by entering into his house, or domain, and “binding the strongman” with HIS precise knowledge of the Word of HIS FATHER GOD. Here in Genesis 3, satan gained dominion over the earth from man, because Adam and Eve either “did not understand” precisely what GOD commanded, or, “they did not remember, or care” precisely what GOD had commanded in HIS Word. If we are to be victorious in this life, just as CHRIST was, we must do so by understanding, remembering, and doing exactly what GOD commands of us.
In this world, we all eventually come to know we are “naked” and “unprotected” from the subtleness of temptations, and the shrewdness of satan, when we don’t know and adhere to the laws of GOD. It is a relationship that we simply cannot afford to “leave home without”, or live without. Our relationship with GOD must be an “experiential” one.
In Genesis chapter 2, we saw how GOD gave dominion over the earth to HIS greatest creation, man. Now, here in Genesis chapter 3, we see how man ceded it back over to satan, by way of his disobedience to GOD, his CREATOR. At that time, the “serpent” (satan in disguise) proved to be the shrewdest of all the creatures whom the LORD had created, and though he was, at that time, a “subordinate to Adam and Eve”, he quickly pounced upon his first opportunity to take advantage of his “lackadaisical superior” under GOD, and became, himself, “the prince of this world”.
The serpent convinced Eve that her “disobedience” would make her equal to GOD, and Adam, who was there with her at the time, apparently agreed (Vs.1-6). It was at that moment that they both realized just how “vulnerable and naked” they were, because they were now, “totally separated” from the GOD WHO created them in HIS OWN spiritual image. They were now feeling “the sting of guilt” for the very first time.
The position of “innocence and peace” that GOD had placed Adam and Eve in was destroyed by their yielding to temptation from man’s only enemy, satan. And the consequences of that disobedience would affect the entire human race, for all times. Satan’s shrewd enticement of Adam and Eve will forever remind us that we are never forced to sin, but rather, we are always vulnerable to temptation, and must ultimately “choose” to do the “wrong” or “right” thing.
In order to overcome temptation we need to know the Word of GOD accurately, and then be voluntarily willing to trust in HIS judgment that it is the very best thing for us to do. If we believe GOD’s Word, we believe that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”. Satan convinced Eve that “disobedience to GOD” was the beginning of knowledge and wisdom”. Wisdom can never be obtained by disobeying the CREATOR of wisdom, which is GOD. GOD’s Word tells us that, before the world was ever created, wisdom already existed with GOD. In other words, GOD created wisdom first, before HE ever created anything else (Proverbs 8:22).
Following the spiritual fall of Adam and Eve, the spirit of “mistrust” and “alienation” entered into their personal relationship with each other (their marriage), and their personal relationship with GOD. They begin to hide themselves from GOD, and made excuses when they were finally confronted by HIM. They both blamed GOD directly for their sin, instead of accepting responsibility for their own “bad choice”. Adam claimed that it was the fault of “the woman GOD made” (v.12), and Eve claimed it was the fault of “the serpent GOD made” (v.13).
Today we react in the same way that Adam and Eve did when confronted with our sins, but instead, we claim that “it is the “sin nature” that GOD gave us when we were born”. And so, again, we see it as GOD’s fault that we sin, not ours, which is still just as ridiculous as it was when Adam and Eve originally voiced their lame excuses.
We sin because we want to, not because “we can’t help it”, and a 100% human JESUS, proved that with HIS OWN mortal life. For a wide variety of inexcusable reasons (bad teaching, laziness, the desire to do only what we want to do, etc.) most people don’t have an accurate knowledge of, or desire to obey the Holy Scriptures, and this is in spite of it being available to us today, in every language imaginable.
Human beings are not born with “sin nature”, but rather, we are born with “GOD’s nature”. We acquire “sin nature” from satan the moment we first disobey GOD at an age of accountability, just like Adam and Eve did. GOD would not be a “just GOD” if HE started us out with the disadvantage, or “deficit”, of already having sin in us. Instead, what Scripture teaches us is that we are born into a “state of sin”, or, “a world of sin”, a world where sin already exists. The sin is not originally in us, but rather, we are “born into it” (Chuwl) (Psalm 51:5) by way of our sinful parents who sinned before us, starting with Adam and Eve, who were the first to choose to do the wrong thing.
GOD wouldn’t be angry at us for sinning, if HE in fact, “made us” to sin from the beginning, starting us out in a state of helplessness, for that is a ridiculous thought. GOD made everything good, from the beginning, including the human side of HIS creation, the originals, and the reproductions, were, and are, made perfectly good (Genesis 1:31), particularly in the spiritual sense, just like HIMSELF.
Sin brought “physical death” into the world, but we don’t have to fear because JESUS has replaced it, or “covered it” with “spiritual life”, through HIS vicarious sacrifice. Satan crippled mankind with temptation and deception, but JESUS “crushed satan’s head” with HIS “righteousness”, and has now “reclaimed” man from under the dominion of sin and death.
The only way that we can keep our “restored relationship” with GOD, and with each other pure, is by “accepting responsibility for our sins” and bad choices (earnest repent), and then, by relying on the “forgiving love” and “life-giving blood” of CHRIST JESUS to heal the damaging effects that our sin can have on our lives, and, on the lives of others.
GOD banished man from the “ideal setting” of the Garden of Eden for his own good, however, HE did not banish man from HIS heart, and, from the ideal setting of the Kingdom of Heaven, for the same reason. And so, biological death can now be viewed as a “grace gift” from the Almighty GOD. And when we choose the right path, we will be kept from the “punishing consequences” that lie on the road to destruction, and, in the end, we will come to know the absolute full extent of GOD’s redeeming love for mankind, HIS greatest creation.  

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
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