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John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my father I have made known to you.
This culminates the story from Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden to fully trained disciples, who are now friends of God. In a previous study we questioned why God would create the circumstances whereby Adam would succumb to the serpent’s temptation to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and whether or not God intended it to happen. The scripture above, I believe, is the reason why man was destined, through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, to embark on the perilous journey that has led him to finally become a friend of God. However, this still poses questions, how come there are those who are acceptable to God and those who are not? Romans 9:21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? I don’t believe that there are people who are unacceptable to God, but there are people created for different purposes. Scripture speaks of ‘The Elect’, people set aside for a special purpose, people set aside to be schooled in wisdom. There are scriptures that differentiate between the elect and the non-elected; The wheat and the chaff, the sheep and the goats etc.. Take, for instance, a carpenter, he will select wood to make furniture, to make bowls to eat from and he will also select wood for the fire to cook the food that fills the bowls, there is no wasted wood, it all has a purpose. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and yet he allowed himself to be reduced to a common criminal because of his love for man, he had no pride. Before Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil there was no good and evil in Adam’s life, he relied completely on God. God was the source of his whole understanding, he knew nothing else, God was everything to him. After he ate the fruit however, his eyes were opened and he became like God knowing good and evil. Before that, only God knew good and evil, that’s why he is God, he has the wisdom to utilise that knowledge. We received the knowledge, but not the wisdom to utilise it, instead, it separated man and caused strife. The first sign of this was when Cain and Abel presented their sacrifices to God, and God accepted Abel’s gift but rejected Cain's. Cain was so jealous he committed an evil act, he murdered Abel. When Adam ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that was not the only thing he did; by disobeying God he obeyed the serpent, and, by that act of obedience, he switched his allegiance. Before he switched he was under the authority of God, afterwards, he was under the authority of Satan; (that serpent of old, who is the devil. Revelation 20:2) Because of this, God put Adam out of his presence by removing him from the garden and separating him from the tree of life. After that, the only access to God that Adam, or indeed any man had, was when God came to them. However, because Adam obeyed a temptation from Satan, by that obedience, Satan became the god, or as Jesus said, “the prince of this world”. God had given Adam dominion over the earth, but because Adam obeyed Satan it gave Satan authority over Adam and as such, control over Adams dominion. Luke 4:6 And he (Satan) said to him (Jesus),”I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me and I can give it to anyone I want to. Before we continue, we should understand a little more about Satan; Isaiah 14:12-14, How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds I will make myself like the Most High.” Satan hates God, he is full of jealousy, and as we are made in God’s image he hates us also, and his intention is to cause us as much pain and suffering as he can, knowing our suffering hurts God, who loves us.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life Satan causes us pain, by pitting us against one another, manipulating the knowledge of good and evil, and our own self righteousness to blind us to anyone else's point of view. But the answer to our suffering is in the scripture; “that he gave his one and only son”. What does this mean? Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, made it inevitable that man would sin against God. This upsets the kilter of creation, setting it on a course to destruction. It makes man the only imperfect element of creation, everything else works perfectly, in accordance to God’s will, only man is in rebellion. God, however, didn’t create man for the world, he created the world for man. He gave it as a gift to Adam and gave Adam dominion over it.
Today in 2020, man laments the changes in the world, the fury of weather systems, the destructive power of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and the heartless genocide from wars. And they believe that the answer is to change the behaviour of man. The problem is, man does not have the propensity to change, he is still under the power of his sinful nature, and the fruits of that nature cannot be controlled. Because of the direction man was heading, to escape the wide highway to hell, God gave Moses the law and the means to appease God through sacrifice. So now, as well as the wide, easy, highway to hell, there was a narrow, harder path to heaven. Man could now seek God for the grace to obey the law, and when he broke it, there was the facility of sacrifice to appease the Father. Although there was now a way to appease God through sacrifice, there was no way of forming a relationship with a God who was so remote. Knowing this, God, through the prophets, promised a saviour; one that would come and save his people. This brings us back to, John 3:16 For God so loved the world etc.
His son is here in 2020 and millions believe in him and have eternal life. This life is revealed to them by the Spirit, who lives within them and speaks to them. The world can’t see this and still blindly believe they can heal the world by changing the way they live their lives. Unfortunately, They are still living by the knowledge of good and evil, and they are still disagreeing because their goods and evils differ. The Christians die to the knowledge of good and evil.
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Where did Jesus go when he hung on his cross? To his death. When Christians are born again in the Spirit of God, they leave their old lives behind, they die to it, they no longer live by the knowledge of good and evil, but now live in obedience to the Spirit of God who lives within them, and, through his Spirit, become friends with God, and delight in the obedience that they are privileged to accept and that fills them with such inexpressible joy, that all previous things of importance to them fall away as so much dross, allowing them to move into a deeper expression of worship.