Sep 16th, 2018
Hello and welcome to episode ninety-one of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we’re going to take a look at the basics.
You know, every once and a while you have to go back to the beginning, run down the basics, and take another look. For Christians that’s John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.” Then we get to Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.” God goes on to create: light and darkness, the sun, the moon, stars and galaxies, dry land, the seas, and vegetation, living creatures in the water, the birds of the air, land animals, and Adam.
When God made Adam He made him almost perfect. Almost because, as God put it in Genesis 2:18, it wasn’t good for man to be alone. If Adam was perfect he wouldn’t have needed anyone. So God created Eve for Adam as an ay’-zer neh’-ghed, his help meet. Someone to help him, a counterpart, a mate. Someone who wants to go left when Adam wants to go right, who is strong where Adam is weak, and who is weak where Adam is strong. Adam and Eve live this innocent idyllic spiritual life of blissful ignorance tending to The Garden and hanging out with God everyday as His children with only one rule. Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Then God does the unexpected, the unthinkable. He gives authority over the Earth and everything in it to Adam, Eve, and their descendents to do with it as they please. So one day Eve gets “tricked” into eating from the ONE tree they aren’t supposed to eat from and she gives some to Adam, who was right there with her, and he eats some too. In this one action they become aware of shame, corruption enters their bodies, and physical death becomes a thing. Adam and Eve are removed from the Garden to keep them from eating of the tree of life and becoming immortal in their corrupted state.
From that point for the next one thousand six hundred and fifty six years mankind just got worse, and worse, and worse. There was one man found who was righteous, but the rest of the world had become lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, and their thoughts were evil continually. The whole face of the world had become corrupted because of mankind and God regretted ever having created us. God resolved that He would wipe the slate clean. He would kill off the whole lot of everything that lived on and above the dry land with a flood, except for Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives. As well as seven pairs of every clean animal and bird, and one pair of every unclean animal.
It’s about four hundred and thirty years before God finds another righteous man whom He names Abraham. God promises to bless Abraham and his descendents; to fight for them against their enemies and to bless the world through them. Four hundred and thirty years later the law is given to the descendants of Abraham through Moses. The law demonstrated the futility of trying to get back the spiritual innocence that Adam and Eve enjoyed through acts of the flesh. Not that God didn’t want Abraham’s descendents to follow the law, He did. Following the law gave God avenue to move in their lives and bless them. Another four hundred and thirty years pass and the descendants of Abraham who have been living as twelve separate tribes ban together and crown David as their king. David sees through the words of the law and teaches that God is more interested in the embrace of the spirit of the law in our hearts than our physically carrying out every line as written. God promises that the blessing to the world from the descendants of Abraham will be a direct descendant of king David.
About a thousand years pass and a young virgin maiden, a descendant of David, is moved upon by the Holy Spirit and becomes pregnant. This brings us up to John 1:14a, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” We call Him Jesus. He is the light of the world. Jesus was in the world, and the world was created through Him, and yet the world did not recognize Him. Jesus came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who do receive Jesus He gave them the right to be children of God. That is, to those who confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Jesus from the dead are children of God.
To sum all that up Romans 5:12-21 says, “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned. In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a type of the Coming One. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift which comes through the grace of the one man Jesus Christ overflowed to the many. And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification. Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone. For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
So now we have three things that remain; our faith in Christ, the hope of salvation, and our duty to love God and our neighbor. The greatest of these is love. To love God with all your spirit, soul, and body. To love your neighbor as you would yourself.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”