Summary: A CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE Pastor’s message on Adam and Eve. They had only one real decision to ever make: Obey God or not. Today, we make decisions all of the time. God’s people need to be reminded that there are evil influences in their decision-making.
"Decisions and Obeying God"
Author: Dr. Neal Gray
Passage: Genesis 3:1-13, KJV
Purpose: Adam and Eve had only one real decision to ever make: Obey God or not. Today, we make decisions all of the time. God’s people need to be reminded that there are evil influences in their decision-making.
My Motive for Ministry
Before I begin with the sermon message, I want to make sure that you know my motives for ministry (MMFM).
I find it from the Word, which is where I always go for guidance in this spiritual life we have been called into. Let me read for you from Colossians 1:9-12, namely...
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." (Colossians 1:9-12; cf. 2 Peter 3:17-18)
==> Our goal is to grow: spiritually, individually, and as a church. Amen.
Now, let’s take a few minutes to think about this life we lead.
In your everyday life, you face decisions constantly. It’s amazing how many decisions you must make, most of them small, some of them with large consequences. You should know that there are influences out there trying to convince you to make the wrong decision.
Today, let God warn you about the INFLUENCES that are present in your decision-making.
Turn with me to the third chapter in Genesis, verses 3:1-13), to see the decision that Adam and Eve had to make, and the influences that were there. (also see Genesis 1:26-31; 2:15-17)
THEY HAD ONLY ONE DECISION TO MAKE
Obey God or Not
Adam and Eve had easy decisions to make--really only one.
* Their decision was always very clear.
* They had no doubt about God’s will in their decision making process.
* Adam and Eve knew perfectly and completely the Lord’s will for them.
Adam and Eve’s only real decision about HOW THEY SHOULD BEHAVE centered around either one of two clear choices, namely...
1. Live happily and prosperously--forever--in the Garden of Eden. There they could walk with God, and He blessed them to...
* Rule over everything on the earth
* Multiply themselves, i.e., have children
* Eat very well, and,
* Live comfortably, for God declared, "It is very good."
OR THEY COULD...
2. Bring death upon themselves by doing the one and only thing which God told them not to do, i.e., eat from the forbidden tree.
You Have Less Clear Decisions to Make
But, your decisions are much "tougher" than that. Because of the sinful condition we are born into, your daily life in this hard world is much more complex.
Sometimes you have what looks like two, or several, equally good options to take. So which do you do? Here is what you do...
* Pray for wisdom
* Search the Scriptures
* Pray for God’s will
* Ask humbly of Christian elders
* Pray for restraint from rash and quick actions
* Wait for God’s timing
==> And, remember, every decision you make moves you either closer to Christ, or farther away from Him. Follow--or, rebel.
There are many evil influences which want to bring you down. You need to be aware of these influences; they affect your decision making powers. I’ll speak about 4 of those influences.
The first influence is that of JUSTIFYING YOURSELF. It started from the beginning, when the man said to God, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat," (Genesis 3:12). It was as if Adam was blaming God! After all, it was God who gave Adam "the woman."
But that woman also sought to justify herself, "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat," (Genesis 3:13).
==> They both had EXCUSES for their behavior.
Our calling today is not to have excuses, but rather to have repentance when we fail, to seek God’s mercy openly.
The spiritual man, the spiritual woman, realizes that we have not justified our own selves!
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, "The just shall live by faith." Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Galatians 3:11, 24; 5:4)