Summary: When man fell, how did God limit himself?

God’s Limitation

Genesis 2:16-17


When we think of God, we think of Him as all-powerful. We think He can do anything anytime He wants to. God flung a million stars in the sky. They fell into place, and they shine just as He planned. He created planets beyond our wildest imagination and set them in motion in galaxies that reach beyond our loftiest thoughts and telescopes. They rotate and interact with one another just as He planned. Yet He limited Himself...

1. How Did God Limit Himself? (vs. 16)

A. God crafted humanity with a very different quality from the rest of His creation.

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature

So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, And, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth." God created human beings; he created them godlike, Reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female.” Gen. 1:26-27, The Message

1. He gave us life, movement, and a purpose as He did the rest of creation.

2. But He also gave us a very important tool for both good and evil. We call it free will.

P.J. O’Rourke, an American political satirist, had the following to say about free will, “One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it’s remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver’s license.”

B. God knew our free will came with a risk. We could freely choose to love Him and obey Him, or we could freely choose to reject Him and break His heart.

1. God took that risk because the reward of genuine love and obedience was so great.

2. God took His hands away and hoped we would choose to walk in a morally straight line. It was a test.

2. How Did God Test Humankind? (vs. 16&17)

A. How humankind met the test is recorded 3:1-13(read): Free will was exercised; God’s word was disobeyed; blame was passed.

B. Given the option of self-sovereignty or surrender of self-preference to the Creator’s will, we chose self-sovereignty.

C. With that choice came the knowledge of good and evil and an awareness of disobeying God. Innocence was gone; we freely rejected God.

D. This choice created a change in the hearts of Adam and Eve and in the hearts of all their children.

3. The Test Results (3:7)

A. With their choice came moral knowledge of right and wrong.

1. They were awakened to their disobedience.

2. Divine fellowship ended.

B. Innocence vanished in the shadow of selfish choice; with innocence went holiness. Deprived of God’s presence, the human heart became depraved.

C. Little has changed in the human heart.

1. We are still born with a bent toward self-preference.

2. We are still deprived of God’s immediate presence.

3. We still have depraved heats.

4. We are still spiritually needy.


Read today’s newspaper. Read story after story of parents abusing children, of children killing children, of lying and stealing, of murders and mass killings, of drugs and gang crimes. It is heartbreaking. It is the result of humankind’s free choice. Only choosing God’s will can change it.

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