Summary: Man’s greatest problem is separation from God. Because man is separated from God, he does not experience the abundant life found in having a personal relationship with God.
SEPARATED FROM GOD
INTRODUCTION: Life is filled with a great many problems. Often when these problems seemingly become overbearing we hear the question asked, “Where is God?” The truth is that this question points at the very heart of man’s greatest problem – separation from God. God loves you and created you to know Him personally. But because man is separated from God, he does not experience the abundant life found in having a personal relationship with God. Most go through life without ever understanding what this God-shaped vacuum is and what the remedy is.
I. Man was Designed and Created for Fellowship
A. Man was originally created to commune with, to love and adore God, and to have God love him.
B. The purpose of our existence is to praise, worship and commune with God.
C. Genesis 1:26-27 (NKJV) Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
D. Man was originally created perfect, and was placed in the perfect place, Eden, where Adam and Eve could enjoy daily fellowship with their Creator.
E. God and man were in perfect harmony and enjoyed a close relationship with each other.
II. Man is Separated and Estranged from God
A. Ephesians 4:18 tells us that all men are “alienated from the life of God.”
B. Through Adam all men have been separated from God. There is a wall of partition that keeps man from seeing, knowing, understanding, and fellowshipping with God.
C. While man was created to have fellowship with God; because of his own stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken.
D. Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
E. Genesis 2:16-17 the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
F. Death is separation. The very moment Adam and Eve chose to disobey God they experienced the reality of death.
1. They experienced the separation or DEATH OF INNOCENCE AND INTIMACY – Genesis 3:7 “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”
2. They began to experience PHYSICAL DEATH – the separation of life from the body. The moment Adam and Eve chose to do their own thing their bodies began the irreversible process of ageing, the movement towards physical decay and the eventual separation of the soul from the body. – Isaiah 64:6 “We all fade as a leaf.”
3. They experienced SPIRITUAL DEATH. The ability of humanity to enjoy the fellowship of God was shattered forever, and would – unless some miracle could occur – result in eternal separation in an eternal fiery punishment of hell. – Matthew 25:41 describes it as separation into “everlasting fire”.
- Romans 5:12 …as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin
G. Man’s separation from God is caused by Sin; your separation from God is caused by sin.
H. Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
I. Romans 3:23 “… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
J. Center of Sin is Self. Some wrote, "Sin is self-centeredness. Sin is living as though I am the center of the world I see."
K. Sin’s originated with “I” problem – Isaiah 14:13-14 For you have said in your heart: ’I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
L. Man is sinful and separated from God, and cannot know Him personally or experience His love. A wall of partition has been erected by your sin.
M. When you stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon you can hardly believe the view in front of you: a vast chasm one mile down, from four to eighteen miles across, and more than 200 miles long! People at the bottom look like ants. When you stand at the rim, helicopter, airplanes, even jets fly a thousand or more feet below you. Sin produces a chasm between God and man that is deeper and winder than the Grand Canyon -- a chasm so great that no mere man can possibly bridge it to re-establish contact with God.