< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Separated from God

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Separated from God

Genesis 3:20-24 20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
There are three lines of promise running through the Old Testament that have their source in this chapter. Genesis 3 recounts the history of the fall, but it also records the beginning of God’s redemption that culminates in Christ. The promise of Genesis 3:15 was made to the woman through whom sin entered the world. God’s grace ordained that through her offspring or seed salvation should be brought to fallen humanity. This seed of the woman is the first promise of Christ born of a virgin.
Isaiah 7:14 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Galatians 4:4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law.
The prophecy that the serpent will strike his heel refers to Christ’s suffering when He was stricken by God for our sins. The other half of the prophecy that the woman’s seed “will crush your head’ spoken to the devil, refers to the victory of the Cross, including the Resurrection. To bruise a serpent’s head is to destroy it and its power to harm.
Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—
The Old Testament prophecies all move toward the ultimate fulfillment of the promise of man’s redemption through the Messiah Jesus. Women back then all hoped the promised one would come from her or at least her line. That’s why genealogy was so important in the Bible. They were carefully preserved to prove the direct line of the seed of the woman to Christ.

The next line of promise has to do with sacrifices. Something to note about God clothing Adam and Eve in animal skins was: something had to die to get those skins. Animals were first killed on man’s behalf to cover their nakedness caused by sin. And of course there were animal sacrifices right up to The Lamb of God.

The third line of promise is eternal life. When God shut man out of Eden, it was in mercy and with a view to his future restoration. If he had stayed there and eaten from the tree of life he would have lived eternally in a state of sinfulness. Eternal life was to be kept safely in store for man when he should be redeemed and cleansed from sin by Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, faith in the promises of God, which would be fulfilled in Christ, led to eternal life. In the New Testament we learn that faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the cross is the only way to have eternal life.

The cherubim here was a heavenly being mentioned throughout Scripture. God commanded that their likeness should be embroidered upon the most holy veil and carved above the most Holy Ark representing God’s presence in the temple. Ezekiel saw them in his vision of God. John saw them in his. Whether they are intended to be symbolical or actual fact, the Bible portrays them as living beings, appearing in winged-animal form with faces of lion, ox, man and eagle. Here he is guarding Paradise with a revolving sword-like flame. Fire is often used to symbolize the holiness (as separate from sin) of God.

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