Summary: God will not allow this earthly experience to be wasted
[IN GOD’S IMAGE – 12 – EVIL, A NECESSARY PATH TO GLORY]
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
Last time we talked about an additional quality to “love” and “faith” God will not compromise with in regard to developing a holy people in His image even if it means tolerating evil for a time.
• That third quality is “holiness”.
• We then looked at five important spiritual lessons humanity had to experience in preparation for how God Himself is going to develop holiness in us.
• They were: 1) Maturity, 2) It brings us to our senses, 3) Reconciliation, 4) Accepting God’s claim on our lives, and 5) God’s gift of grace
• As we saw, these spiritual lessons could only come about of having tasted of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
• These lessons are designed to prepare us for the next step of developing holiness in His people.
• Holiness is not something God is leaving up to us. The pursuit of one’s own holiness without reliance on God would lead to us making the same mistake as Adam and Eve.
• True creatures of God recognize they are not gods and surrender their will to their Creator and Father.
• It’s more a preparation of mind or an attitude that focuses on the restored relationship with our Creator and Father.
• He has something very special planned on how He is going to make us HIs holy people who truly reflect the holy nature and character of the triune God.
So far as mentioned we have looked at five spiritual lessons that are the result of humanity having experienced both good and evil represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
• But there is one more very important lesson we need to examine
• When we evaluate the progression of events in the Garden, a prohibition not to eat of the tree, the serpent allowed to speak to the woman, and a naiveté about evil and death on the part of Adam and Eve, which together lead them into sin, can we draw any other conclusion other than, was this the outcome God expected?
• And if it was, then the follow-up question is, “Is it possible for man to rise to his destiny of become ‘in the image of God’ without first partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?”
• So far there has not been a very good track record of God’s created beings saying, “yes” to Him.
• So the question is, “Is there a better chance of man saying ‘yes’ to God before or after experiencing evil?”
• This is an important question as up to this point, Satan and one-third of the angels have rejected God’s overtures of love, allowing self-interest and a lust for power to drive their decisions.
• Circumstances could not have been better for them to say “yes” to God.
• They were experiencing heaven, they were sharing in the life and love of God and yet they said “no” to Him.
• As mentioned before, this would have been an enormous affront to God.
• And perhaps, this is the reason why there is no hope of redemption for Satan and his demons as they made their choice after having experienced the love and majesty of God within the framework of the heavenly realm.
• Now in the garden, we see Adam and Eve also saying “no” to God, not in heaven, but nevertheless, in a “very good” environment.
• And perhaps we can speculate this is the reason why there is the need for this four-dimensional physical universe as this way; God can maintain an arm’s length relationship between Himself and humanity, so there is the possibility of redemption.
• The presence of the tree of life in the garden would seem to support this scenario and why they were denied access to it after they sinned.