Summary: “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13)
The favourite song of many Sunday school children is “Jesus loves me, this I know, For the Bible tells me so”. Unfortunately, many adult Christians act as if they have forgotten these precious words and those who remember them act as if they are not convinced of just how great that love is. God’s love is illustrated throughout the pages of Holy Scripture. It is illustrated in Creation when God spent 6 days creating all that man would ever need before creating man and resting on the 7th day. We see the extent of God’s love when He took dust, formed it and breathed into man His Spirit. We see His love when man in His image and likeness was given authority and dominion to rule over the earth. What reason could ever make man doubt God’s love? Even God’s command that man could feely eat of all the fruit of the trees in the garden except of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was out of love. Love is a choice and God respected the authority and free will He had given man. Man was not a robot and had the choice to decide whether to love and obey God and depend on Him or to disobey God and not depend on Him. Unfortunately, man was deceived only to realise that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death”. (Proverbs 14:12)
Step One: The Fall of man
a) Satan creates doubt in God’s Word
Satan fell from heaven when he wanted to be like God and directed his hate towards man who bore God’s image and likeness. He knew that man had authority over him and that the only way to make him sin would be through deception. Satan began his deception by creating doubt about what God had said about eating the fruit of the one tree that was forbidden by asking “Has God indeed said?”
b) Satan changes what God had said
Once the devil had succeeded in creating doubt about what God had said, he proceeded to change the word of God. God had told Adam “you shall surely die” and the devil changed it to “you shall not surely die”. According to Dr. Warren Wiersbe, when we change the Word of God, we change the God of the message and that is idolatry.
c) Satan questions God’s motive
Once Satan had succeeded in changing the Word of God, he went further to question God’s motive. He implied that God was withholding the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil from them because He did not love them enough and did not want them to become like Him.
Adam and Eve were exposed to all the beauty of Creation in a world without sin and naturally would have loved and worshipped their Creator. Satan, who before his fall was in God’s presence in heaven as an archangel, knew the value God placed on holiness, thanksgiving, praise and worship. Satan hated God and since he was in no position to fight God, he directed his hate to man who bore His image and likeness and was the focus of His love. He deceived man to disobey God in order to destroy the relationship that existed between them for “The wages of sin is death”. (Rom 6:23) When Adam sinned, we all inherited his sinful nature for in Adam “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Sin stripped Adam and Eve of their holy covering and knowing that they could not appear before God naked, hid from His presence. God knew what they had done and immediately began to work toward their salvation. He removed the fig leaves they had covered themselves with and covered them with the skin of a sacrificed animal still dripping with blood. The blood of animals could only cover sin and pointed to the eternal blood of the Lamb of God that would take away the sin of the world without compromising God’s righteousness and justice.
Jesus Christ met God’s requirements for a perfect sin offering and through His sacrifice has made available God’s gift of eternal life to all believers. (Rom 6:23) How can we still have any doubts about God’s love?
Step Two: The salvation of man
a) Christ shed His blood
God’s love was not only illustrated in man’s creation but also in his salvation. Jesus Christ, born without a sin nature, tempted in all ways as we were yet without sin, met God’s righteous requirements, and shed His blood for the forgiveness of sin.
b) Christ’s body was broken
Salvation means to be made whole. Christ shed His blood for the forgiveness of sin and His body was broken to heal every sickness and disease and make our body whole.