Free will. Two simple words when reading them on paper (or on screen), but when we act it out in real life they become powerful, life altering, impacting, and at times destructive. We all have free will built into us. You and I wake up every morning and exercise our free will to choose how our day is going to play out. Some more than others use free will and others view it as a treat when they find free time allotted in their busy schedules. Regardless of our use of free will, we all have it, and we all choose to use it.
Let's take a second and revisit how free will becomes powerful, life altering, impacting, and at time destructive. While free will seems like a good thing, we have to remember we live in a sinful world. While our Biblical view of the world teaches us to see it through His eyes, we have to keep in mind that there are people who want to exercise their free will to control people, things, and money. This is called destructive free will. Inside of the destruction, there are people that want to exercise their free will to impact their environments. This falls into the powerful, life altering, and impacting sections aka redemption part of free will.
Last week we started unpacking the topic of creation (Genesis 1 - Genesis 2:3). This week we're continuing to unpack creation and taking a look at the creation of man and the beginning of distortion (or Sin - a natural opposition to God's will).
Before we begin talking about distortion or sin let us say:
The topic of sin is woven throughout the divine narrative and interwoven throughout the Fully Packed Biblical Foundations coursework. It is important to note that the distortion caused by sins continues to be present in the lives even of those who have been restored through the work of Christ. This means that while the sins of those who have placed their faith in Christ are forgiven, the ongoing process of sanctification is the struggle to remove sin from our daily lives.
Let's get started!
Take a second and think of sin according to:
1. Sins of commission - Things God tells humans NOT to do, but we do anyway.
2. Sins of omission - Things God tell humans TO DO, we do not do.
Now let's unpack the creation of mankind!
Genesis 2:4-25 tells how and why God created man and woman. Matt Allen describes this best in Fully Packed Adventure Ministries Biblical Foundation material:
The creation of Adam, translated as ‘man,' began an ongoing narrative of God’s love and redemption of humankind, not seen with any other member of the animal kingdom that God created. Adam, and his counterpart, Eve, would be used to propagate the newly created human race. Through Adam and Eve, all people have been given their natural birth. This natural birth is common to all people but is contrasted with the spiritual birth, which is not possible through the first Adam, but rather the second Adam, who is the Creator who would come thousands of years later in both natural and spiritual form. Stay tuned for lots more information about Adam.
Recommended Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:44-46
Genesis 2 highlights God's creation of man and the bringing together of man with woman (Genesis 2:21-25).
Genesis 3 tells how mankind choose to exercise their own free will. Their use of free will lead them to go against God's instructions (Sin):
All creation is at your disposal, EXCEPT you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. - Genesis 2:16-17; 3:3.
When Adam and Eve exercised their own free will - disobeying God's command and eating from the tree of life - they caused a lasting implication for the entire human race.
*their own is italicized and underlined to emphasize that it was their own choice and not a choice in harmony with God's will/command.
Remember at the beginning of this post we talked about how exercising our own free will can bring about powerful, life altering, impacting, and at times destructive changes. Their decision was powerful, life altering, and impacting in a destructive way all wrapped in one.
Matt Allen goes on, to sum up, Distortion:
But Adam and Eve found intrigue and desire in tasting the forbidden. They willfully disobeyed the will of God, and immediately found themselves experiencing the full weight of having done so. They felt shame in their nakedness and sought to put distance between themselves and God (Genesis 3:1-13). We do the same thing when we violate God’s will. We stop praying. We run. We hide.
When we choose our own free will versus the will of God for our lives, we become destructive. Some times only to ourselves, but in situations, it affects others just like Adam and Eve.
With this willful disobedience, God labeled it ‘sin.' And He established a dichotomy of The Blessing and of The Curse. These two concepts serve as a key to understanding God’s interaction with the human race throughout the Biblical narrative.
Concept 1 The Blessing - displays God’s love and pleasure for His creation.
Concept 2 The Curse - expresses God’s displeasure and desire to correct His creation for rebelling against His instructions.
We will hit on The Blessing and The Curse next week. We wanted to highlight this to:
1. Let you meditate on your own choices of free will and how do they harmonize with God or don't and the implications that come from you acting on your own free will.
2. Begin thinking about The Blessing and The Curse - how do we live in God's blessing and work hard to stay away from God being displeased with us.
As you meditate on these concepts, remember that for those who don't have a Biblical worldview Sin is one of the most difficult concepts for Christ-followers to share with them. The idea of sin is foreign, and even in some churches, it is an undesirable topic not addressed in the regular teaching. The only remedy for this distortion, or sin, is through the restoration made to the relationship between God and man through Christ Jesus, the perfect mediator.
We must embody Christ and create a relationship, with those that don't have a Biblical worldview, to help them understand the presence of Sin in our lives and how to remedy it. Christ Followers must have a working knowledge of God, creation, mankind, distortion, and how God's restoration/reconciliation show His power and steadfast love by breaking the curse and restoring His holy, intimate relationship with His creation. If we don't understand it how can we expect others to understand it too?!
Recommended Reading for next weeks blog: Romans 3
Thanks and God Bless!