Summary: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1Co 1:18)
Our theme for today’s sermon is “understanding God’s purpose”. There is always a purpose behind everything that is invented or created. There is a purpose for inventing electricity. There is a purpose for inventing the printing press and there is a purpose for creating the mobile phone, the computer and the internet. We were created in the image and likeness of God and if there is a purpose behind everything that man creates there must definitely be a purpose behind everything that God creates. The Scriptures are from the beginning to the end about the purpose of God for creating man. The Psalmist wonders and asks “what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4) God cared so much that when Satan deceived man and made him lose his crown of glory and honour God Himself paid the price for his redemption so that man could fulfil God’s divine purpose. God’s divine purpose for creating man is clearly revealed in the marriage supper of the Lamb where man becomes a member of God’s family, a family made up of the Creator Himself, His only begotten son Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and all those who have become joint heirs with Christ. God’s purpose can be delayed and was delayed but it will always be fulfilled. Satan delayed God’s purpose when he deceived Adam to sin by disobeying God but through Christ God’s purpose could be fulfilled when He paid the price for man’s redemption.
Step One: Satan delays the fulfilment of God’s purpose – The Fall
a) The wages of sin is death
The Scriptures describe how Satan sought to prevent the fulfilment of God’s purpose. Man had been given authority and dominion over all creation and was to rule over the earth as a member of God’s family. This meant that man was to also rule over Satan. Satan tried to prevent this and the only way was to deceive man to disobey God. He knew what God had said that to eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would lead to death. When Adam yielded to sin, he became separated from his source of life “For the wages of sin is death”. (Rom 6:23)
b) All have sinned
When Adam sinned, he lost God’s image and likeness, his authority and dominion and his right to rule and fulfil God’s purpose. All of us have inherited Adams sinful nature for in Adam “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).
c) Satan became the god of this world
When Adam lost his authority and dominion, Satan became the god of this world and illegally began to exercise the authority and dominion that had been given to man.
Satan is a deceiver and continues to deceive man today. When he spoke with Eve he cleverly appeared to be ignorant of what God had said and asks to be instructed. His question was to make Eve doubt the goodness of God and suggest that God did not love them unconditionally and was hiding something from them. God had clearly told Adam that if he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he will surely die. Once doubt had been planted in her mind Eve added her own words to what God had said. Satan immediately seized the opportunity to tell Eve the exact opposite of what God had said that they will not surely die. Eve believed Satan’s lie, ate of the fruit and gave it to Adam to eat and they came under Satan’s control. The same thing appears to be happening in the world today. How else can we explain how so many so-called Church leaders can manipulate their followers to perform unimaginable and degrading acts that do not glorify God. They use enticing words to deceive their followers and bring them under Satan’s control.
There are many people in the world today who should rightly be called snakes, trying to change the way we think about God. They cleverly add to the Word of God, then change it and finally convince us to deny its truth. The moment we believe their lie we come under their control and that is the same as coming under Satan’s control.
Step Two: God reveals His provision to deal with sin - the Law
a) The Law was given to reveal sin
God loves us and went to great lengths to free us from the control of Satan. The awareness of sin is the first step in dealing with it and God chose Abraham and His descendants to reveal sin and His provision to deal with it. He gave them the Law on Mount Sinai through Moses to reveal sin.