Summary: In this sermon we examine the perfect state in which man lived prior to the fall in order to lead to the gospel.
If I knew then what I know now,
I thought I did you somehow.
If I could have the time again,
I’d take the sunshine leave the rain.
No I don’t believe in if anymore,
If’s an illusion, if’s an illusion.
No I don’t believe in if anymore.
If is for children, if is for children.
(I Don’t Believe in If Anymore; by Roger Whittaker)
The passage that we want to look at this morning really invites us to ask the question "What if?"
Normally I don’t encourage people to spend a great deal of time on that question, but here I think it is part of the purpose of the passage. What was humanity’s condition before sin marred the fall? What if we could live in that kind of situation?
A. The context
Chapter one - creation story
God is the hero. It is about God - first and foremost.
Chapters 2-4 are a unit. Intro is 2:4
earth and the heavens - chapter one from heaven’s perspective
chapters 2-4 from earth’s perspective.
B. Man’s original condition 2:5-25
1. God’s provision of a garden 2:5-14
God puts the man in a garden with all that he could possibly need. Think of how former slaves in Egypt sitting in the Sinai desert would see this description.
2. God’s provision of a purpose 2:15-17
This part might not go along with our usual concept of paradise. Paradise is not a place for feet up with nothing to do forever. Even before the fall of man, man is designed to work. Particularly he is to do the work God assigns him. Man is built for service and obedience to God.
3. God’s provision of a partner 2:18-25
a. God’s plan 18
b. God’s leading 19-20
c. God’s provision 21-25
WHAT IF? What if we could go back to the garden? The reality of sin prevents that in this world, but the rest of Scripture does indeed show us the path back to the Garden.
NIV 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
NIV Revelation 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
NIV Revelation 22:2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
NIV Revelation 22:14 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.