Understanding His story helps us to understand that His-Story is our Story!
By: Michael Anderson
All scriptures are NASB unless stated otherwise.
In our Connections Chronological Bible Studies, we will begin each lesson/sermon with an overview of where we have been in previous lessons. This is our first week and we are beginning at the - beginning! So there is not an overview for us yet. So let us explain our process of study a little further.
We are going to divide the scriptures into fourteen eras and study the big picture that way. We first learned these eras from Dr. Stan May and his wife, Iva May. They are:
1. Creation Era
2. Patriarch Era
3. Exodus Era
4. Conquest Era
5. Judges Era
6. Kingdom Era
7. Divided Kingdom Era
8. Captivity Era
9. Return Era
10. Silent Era
11. Gospel Era
12. Church Era
13. Missions Era
14. End Times Era
We are embarking on a quest for Biblical knowledge. We will call it Bible Literacy! Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials. The National Council of Teachers of English states that, “At its simplest, literacy is the way that we interact with the world around us, how we shape it and are shaped by it. It is how we communicate with others…” If we restate that for our purposes we could say, “At its simplest, (BIBLE) literacy is the way that we interact with the world around us, how we shape it and are shaped by it. It is how we communicate with others…”
That hits the nail right on the head! We are endeavoring to become more and more literate in God’s Word in order to interact with and shape the world around us. We will do this knowing that it will shape us as we learn. That’s what God’s Word does! It changes people. The better we know God’s Word, the better we know God and through Him we are changed in the process.
So, let’s begin with the beginning...
Students should come to a better understanding of what God made us to be - The Image of God! Students should come to an understanding of the consequences of sin in that sin caused man to lose the glory that God clothed Adam and Eve with. They also will come to understand that as believers in Christ we have become the image bearers and our calling is to show that image to everyone and lead them toward salvation through Jesus Christ.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Gen. 1:1-3). What do you need to create a Universe? First, you would have to start time and then you would have to have a place to put it? Something to make it out of? And then you need to organize it! All matter is organized with energy.
In Genesis 1, God creates the four things that are required to have a Universe. The beginning is the beginning of time. The heavens are the space in which to put everything. The Earth (erets) - means dirt - literally “STUFF” - matter... And then God said! God's Word carries power! And then God said let there be light which is energy!
1. Made in the Image of God - Genesis 1:26
Jesus came because of us. He died because of us! Jesus is the central figure in the scriptures and we can literally find Him on every page! He wants us to know His story (History!) He wants us to understand why He came and gave His life for us and it all started with Adam and Eve. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’” (Gen. 1:26). What does that mean? Make man in our image? First of all “Our image” makes better sense since we now realize that the Trinity is present in verse 1 at the beginning! So when He says let us make man in Our image, man is made in the image of God! The Trinity! That makes man different from all of the rest of creation.
As we study, it will become clear that God created us as three in one and one in three! The scriptures will make it clear that we are made up of body, soul and spirit. Three in one. We are the image of the Trinity! Remember that for later...
Man has many of the same needs, wants and desires that God has. Man wants to be loved. Man wants to create. Man wants to express his innermost being (or his heart). Man desires companionship. Man enjoys beautiful things. Man desires to plan for the long-term future. Man thinks about where he has been and where he is going. And, as Satan well knew, man desires wisdom and knowledge.
2. The Sin of Pride - Gen. 3:1
Satan knew exactly how to approach Adam and Eve. He had fallen from Heaven and lost a great war against God and two thirds of the angels of Heaven. His pride was his downfall. Now he would use pride to bring down God’s crowning glory of creation! Mankind! So, he approached Eve and offered her a way to gain wisdom and knowledge. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’” (Gen. 3:1)?
Satan begins with a question… Has God really said that you should not eat from any tree? Eve thought about it and replied, “The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die’” (Gen. 3:2-3).
Let’s go back and see if God really told her that? Gen. 2:15-17 says, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.’”
So here is the comparison of the two statements:
God told Adam (Eve had not yet been formed), “‘but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.’”
And here is what Eve said, “‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”
God spoke the commandment to Adam and Adam was to teach that to Eve. God did not say it to her. Adam heard directly from God on this subject, not Eve. But she restates it incorrectly. Had Adam not taught it to her correctly? Did she add her own words to it? We just can’t know. But we can know a little more as to why she eats the fruit.
“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings” (Gen. 3:6-7).
Why did Eve do it?
The way this reads, it looks like the first two temptations were not enough to cause her to disobey God and her husband. It took the third temptation to draw her into sin. She wanted what God had! She wanted the same thing Satan wanted when he fell! She wants to be like God! Her sin was not just eating a piece of fruit! It was not a magical piece of fruit. Her sin was pride! And when you get right down to it, pride is the root of all sin? Pride! As in I want it! I will have it! I will feel like that! I will be recognized as great! I will do as I please and I will be like God! That is where all sin comes from!
A point to be made here is that the curse did not fall on them until Adam, the one who had been commanded directly by God, ate the fruit. As soon as Adam ate the fruit, “They knew they were naked”!
3. They Knew They Were Naked - Isaiah 61:10
There had never been any such thing as clothing in any part of creation. It's very unlikely they realized they didn't have any clothes since clothes had not been invented. It's much more likely that being created in the image of God had something to do with it. When they were created in the image of God, I believe it is very likely that they not only thought differently than the animals of creation but that they looked different from the rest of creation as well.They were made and God clothed them with something. It may be that the Glory of God clothed them! If so then they shined with the Glory of God. All of the creation could see that they were the image of God. They were clothed in righteousness. Isaiah paints a similar picture for God’s people in whom God will cause righteousness to spring up once again… “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isa. 61:10).
There was something seeable that was different about Adam and Eve. Could it be that when they sinned and they looked at each other, and realized that they now looked so different that God was sure to notice? And He was coming! They heard him as he approached… (Gen. 3:8). They needed to figure out what to do. So they tried sewing leaves together to cover themselves. Maybe God wouldn't notice? But it didn't take long to realize that wasn't going to work. If you heard God approaching you, what kind of changes would you make? What would you do? They ran and hid in the bushes! They didn't hide because they were ashamed of God seeing their bodies that He had created! They hid because of the shame of the sin that they had committed which now meant the Glory of God was gone from them. For more on the idea of the Glory of God shining from them, you can look at Moses when He came down from God’s presence on Mt Sinai (see Ex. 34:29-35). Later on, Moses and Elijah appear, shining with Glory of God when they talk with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (see Luke 9:30-32).
When God approached them, He called out and said, “Where are you?” The God who knows everything, certainly knew where they were. That is not why He was asking the question. He was asking the question for them to answer for themselves. They would now have to admit where they really were. Living in sin, ashamed and afraid and hiding in the bushes. So God kills the first sacrifice and sheds the blood of an innocent animal in order to make clothing to cover the shame of what they had done. The glorious bodies of the Image of God, the created ones that God had breathed life into, were now nothing more than flesh and bone like the rest of the animals of creation? Falling into sin and owing a debt they could never pay! Their righteousness was gone! But God... had a plan!
Application and the Gospel - Finding Jesus on Every Page
He announces the plan when He curses Satan (see Gen. 3:13-16). There would be One who would come! One who would reverse and undo what Satan had done. One who would come to clothe man in righteousness once again. Rom. 5:17-18 says, “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.” If we believe in Christ Jesus, we have been given the seal of eternal life through Christ when we received the Holy Spirit into our hearts. We are now the Image bearers. We do not shine with the Glory of God physically yet. But we do bear the Glory of the Righteousness of God! That is what we are called to do. To live out our lives as the Image of God and tell others about what He has done for us. Adam and Eve were Image bearers. But when sin was allowed into their lives the image changed. We must be careful not to allow sin into our lives or it will cause others to be unable to see the image of God!
We are made to bring Glory to God. We are made to reflect the Glory of God. It is a good thing for us if once in a while we stop and ask ourselves, “What am I doing that is bringing Glory to God?” Or, how about, “What am I doing that causes others to see the Glory of God?” Those are two great questions.
God speaks and gives the couple a promise of redemption whereby they may walk by faith and abound in hope.
God acts by providing the couple with a picture of redemption when He slays an animal to cover their nakedness, so that they will understand that God Himself absorbs the cost of redemption.
God reveals that He accepts and justifies those who trust His promise of redemption and live in light of its fulfillment.
Daily Bible Readings
Monday GENESIS 1:1-2:4a
Tuesday GENESIS 2:4b-3:24
Wednesday GENESIS 4:1-26
Thursday GENESIS 5:1-32, 1 CHRONICLES 1:1-4, GENESIS 6:1-22
Friday. GENESIS 7:1-10:1
Saturday GENESIS 10:2-5, 1 CHRONICLES 1:5-7, GENESIS 10:6-20, 1 CHRONICLES 1:8-16, GENESIS 10:21-30, 1 CHRONICLES 1:17-23, GENESIS 10:31-32
Sunday GENESIS 11:1-26, 1 CHRONICLES 1:24-27, GENESIS 11:27-31, GENESIS 12:1-20
Copyright © 2018 Michael & Angela Anderson - Prodigalmike.com, Connections Bible Study - Connecting God's Word From Cover To Cover - Finding Jesus on Every Page! "We receive no compensation from any websites listed in this site or from any part of this website. We just love Jesus and want to spread his Word! All opinions in the website are my own! Always check the things we say against what the Bible says and decide for yourself." - Mike & Angie - All Rights Reserved.
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