Why understanding the fall is so important.
Imagine a world without death and all things associated with it; broken relationships, pain, depression, hatred, apathy, fear and anxiety. This is what Adam and Eve had in the garden. They enjoyed eternal life. They knew and walked with God and His life filled them. It was all they knew. When Adam and Eve sinned death came upon the earth for the first time. Adam and Eve quickly felt the pain of broken relationship and fear; they hid themselves from the presence of God. Let’s briefly cover three things that are vital to understand about the fall of man.
1. Understanding the fall helps you to understand the purpose of Jesus Christ. One of the major travesties of the modern church is the preaching that Jesus came simply to bring people to heaven. At best this waters down the truth and at worst creates an atmosphere for believers to be apathetic to those suffering around them allowing them to do and be exactly opposite of what Christ wants them to be. Jesus came to bring life, period. He tells us exactly what eternal life is. It is the very life of God. He came to put in us a spring, a fountain of life. Grumpy, cold believers are a complete oxymoron to the the truth. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. His life was never meant to be understood as something to be enjoyed in the sweet by and by, only, but He came to give us life now. The very life of God that Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden, He came to restore in us. Plain and simply Jesus came to restore what was lost in the garden. This is a process that began 2,000 years ago and will culminate with His return, but we have a deposit of His life here and now. He tells us that in this world we will have tribulations but He has overcome the world. He is alive and we can partake of His life now.
2. Insecurity and inferiority are results of the fall. When Eve was tempted in the garden the first thing the serpent tempted her with was testing her security. Her security was based in what her Father had said of her. When the serpent said to her, you shall surely not die, he was planting doubt in her about what God had said. This temptation is still very strong today. Did God really say? Or truly even better yet, how can you believe in something so archaic as in a god? Billions and billions of people are insecure today because they do not know what the Father has said about them. He loves you. You are a treasure to Him. He has a purpose and plan for your life. You are precious to Him simply because of who you are not because of what you can do. You can do everything that He puts in your heart to do. You are more than a conqueror! After the serpent tempted her to doubt what the Father said about her, he then tempts her to feel less than what she is. You shall be like God… what she had already forgot was that she was created in His image and was already like God! How many people are caught up in destructive patterns because they don’t know what the Father has said about them and because they want to be more than what they are because they truly do not know how awesome they already are. Eve was a princess of God; royalty and yet she began to see herself as less. Eve didn’t know evil. The serpent was right, but that didn’t make her less of God’s daughter. It simply meant she had not experienced what evil was. She had not known what pain and death was. God knew because before the foundations of the earth were laid, Jesus was already chosen to suffer death for us. God even said that Adam and Eve were now like Him knowing good and evil but this didn’t mean that Adam was any less like God earlier; it simply meant that Adam had not had the horrible privilege of knowing what death felt like. In Jesus our inferiority and insecurity is healed. He makes us royalty and restores our relationship. When you know what God says about you, purpose and security flood your life.
3. Dominion was lost. Man was created to rule. We were made in the God class. We do not belong to the animal class. We were created in the image of God. What is man that you would give him the works of Your hands? Men have always tried to control, manipulate and dominate others. This was never the domination that God had planned for us. Rather He created us to have dominion in love. He told them in the garden to be fruitful, to multiply and to have dominion. Adam and Eve fell from that place but in Jesus and through God’s kingdom it is restored. Nope, I am not talking about holy war and using natural weapons to force people into a feigned obedience. I am talking about the kingdom of love ruling our lives. Jesus told us to pray, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What does this look like? Jesus’ second command to us is to love our neighbor. This is what it is to look like. Instead of the church being a bastion of judgment, it is to be a fountain of life and love. The world has truly yet to see the power of Christ’s love flowing to the nations through His church. I can preach on this for three days straight. I will spare you. It suffices to say that I have a holy anger toward those things that keep the church from being the dominant kingdom of love Jesus created it to be. After resurrecting from the grave He told His followers to go into all the world and make disciples. Disciples with only two laws written on their heart, love the Lord your God with all your heart and love one another as you would love yourself. I pray He helps the church to be what He has called it to be. In Jesus everything lost in the garden is restored. This is worth believing in; this is worth living for.
Why understanding the fall is so important.