I Could Do A Better Job Than That!

We can not avoid in the news today yet another disaster. Another killing. Another case of child abduction or abuse. This can and does put people off the idea of God. It is easy when you see these things to wonder “if there is a God, why is he idly  watching by? letting these things happen?”

The answer to this is Sin.

The effect of sin is bigger than the damage it has on humans, but also its impact on creation. We live in a fallen world. A world which could be perfect but because of sin is marred.

So where did this all start then, well in Genesis 3.

 

Genesis 3: 17-19

17And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

In this passage then the key verses are 17-18. Because of the sin of taking from the tree of knowledge which God told Adam and Eve to not take from, God cuts them off from all the potential knowledge and power of the tree but also because of their sin informs them that certain things will not work in creation as well as they had done before “The Fall”. When God created the world he declared it good having made it perfect. But now, “Post Fall” the world is not so good, the word used in verse 17 “Cursed” meant the ground was now not considered good but instead fallen, broken.

The way to imagine all this is that now the world is sick from sin. It needs to be given a cure to the disease of sin.

Sin is the cause of all the pain and suffering, all the natural disasters, Pre-fall there is no sign of hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis and suffering and death. It is only after sin entered the world that the world becomes broken, becomes fallen and imperfect. Soon following the first sin is the first murder, so powerful is influence of sin.

So the reason for all the shocking things that we see on the news are because of the fallen world we live in, because of the sin of our first parents Adam and Eve.

But does this mean God has done nothing about it?

No… Quite the opposite.

 

 

Romans 8: 18-23

18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

 

God had a plan. A rescue plan for creation and for us. One in which he would give his only son up for us and creation.  God saw the effect and damage that sin had on the world. To tackle the infection of Sin, God sent his only son to be a sacrifice for our sins. He came to make us and the world right with him. Jesus came to take away the power of sin by dying on our behalf.

Jesus came to make us and creation righteous. Righteous meaning right with God.

In the passage above we see that as we look and long for the return of Christ, the one who has taken the punishment for our sins, so does creation, it “waits with eager longing”. Creation looks for a release from the bondage of sin just as much as we do.

Does all this mean then that as soon as you become a Christian there is no suffering in your life and in the world around you. Well no. Until Christ returns again there will be death, and there will be natural disasters and famine. But when Christ comes again and we are taken to Heaven we will be in a place of no more tears and no more sorrow. 

 

 

Revelation 21:1-4

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

This glorious picture of what life will be like when Christ returns, shows us that there is hope. There is hope and an end to suffering. We know that through Christ and only through Christ can the world be healed more importantly only through Christ can we be forgiven “healed” of our sin.

God bless.

G.

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Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: Is it out dated?

Over the past 30 years or so, there has been an increase in radical feminism that has grown out of an outrageous time of male chauvinism, this changed with more women choosing to concentrate on their work life, getting higher up the ladder, and one influence of this in England was with Margaret Thatcher being elected Prime Minister. We now seem to have reached a stage in culture where men are trying to one up women and women one up the men. It seems to be the agenda of the day is more I have to prove I am better than that of the opposite sex. This is not helped with programs like loose women on ITV where a group of women moan about life and their husbands, which is not the best place in which to do that.

The sad thing about all of this is that the biblical view of Manhood and Womanhood is seen as ancient, oppressive and almost like slavery especially in the context of marriage.

I believe this to be an incredible shame. I hope in this post to go through why we should return to these ways, a way which many Christians seem to drift from. Sadly.

So to begin we are going to look at where it all began, where Manhood and Womanhood where first found in The Bible. Genesis.

Genesis 2: 15-18

15The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

This is a fantastic passage before God creates Eve, where he realises that Adam the first Man, needs a partner, God says “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” We were created to love, out of love from God. God did not need our love, but we needed something to love. God notices Adam will need someone with him. Now the word God uses is “helper.” DO NOT BE PUT OF BY THIS! It does not mean God created Eve to be Adam’s slave, but someone to aid Adam in his task which God has given him to do, which is to tend the Garden of Eden. So the role of the woman is to help the man in his tasks.

So a woman should seek to support and help the man in her life, she should seek to be his helper. For those who are single should seek in a man someone she should feel she can help and support. All of this desire to help and support should spring out of love.

Genesis 2: 23-25

23Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called Woman,

because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

This is shortly after Eve has been created, this is Adam’s reaction to the blessing of Eve’s creation. He rejoices at the fact they came from one. One became two. This fantastic way of creation that God chooses to do, is symbolically put back together in verse 24-25. These verses are marriage based, this shows firstly Marriage is between a man and a woman. But that marriage means more than is sometimes seen in the 21st century. Marriage is the reconnection of a man and a woman together as one.

This is the way men and women were meant to be.

But then the fall…

This is the moment where sin entered the world, it infected it and made everything fallen, as in no longer perfect and how it was created and meant to be.

Genesis 3:16

16To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;

in pain you shall bring forth children.

Your desire shall be for your husband,

and he shall rule over you.”

Verse 16 of Genesis, just after the snake has got Eve, then later Adam, to eat of the tree they were not to eat of, Eve is told that she will desire to be for her husband. This means it will be to dominate and try to overpower his rule. To outdo him. This sounds familiar to the state that we find the world in now. Man and woman trying to one up or overpower the other. This is not how Biblical manhood and womanhood should look like.

In the context of a Christian couple trying to live in this way, as with all things it should point people to Jesus. Always to Jesus. The reason why they should choose to live as a couple according to how the Bible says, is so that in that people see Jesus. In a previous post called Marriage is not for me: it’s for Jesus, I gave the argument from Ephesians 5 for the way a Christian marriage should be with a wife showing biblical submission out of Love and the husband loving self sacrificially. The reason why they do that. Well as it says wife submit like the church does for Christ, and husband love your wife as Christ loved the church. If both parties which in marriage are one work together like this, Jesus will be seen in how you live.

As for all Christians even down to the topic of Biblical manhood and womanhood, which yes may not be like preaching or street evangelism is still an effective tool to help people find Christ, because people watch and see how Christians behave and act with God and with each other and through that they could see Christ, and find salvation through him.

To summarize Biblical manhood and womanhood is not outdated, it should not be cast to the side as “the old ways of doing things” but instead should be seen as a glorious way we can point and show people to Jesus. How people can come to know of his love and his grace through the way we are with each other, people can come to know the love of Christ through our love for each other.

God bless,

Gareth.

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