Summary: This is a foundation series that examines the first 3 chapters to learn why we need a savior including a somewhat detailed look at the serpent.
Why we need a savior
I grew up in a small country church. All of us were either family or friends who were so close that we may as well been family. We loved the Lord and we loved each other. I couldn’t have asked for a church family who loved the Lord more. They taught me, by how they lived, what it means to be a Christian.
I was never asked to “join the church” – to become a Christian. That was simply the expectation. You dressed up in your Sunday best because you were going to worship your savior. That’s the way I was raised. I’ve always loved Jesus and I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to serve Him.
My Mom and Dad made sure we went to Sunday school, where the teacher would take the quarterly and read the lesson for the day. I thoroughly enjoyed that. I would always read the lessons and the scriptures a head of time.
But you know something? No one ever explained to me why I needed Jesus as my lord and savior. Honestly, I can’t remember my Mom or my Dad telling me either. We were a Christian family and we loved Jesus. Maybe that’s all that mattered. Trust me. I am not complaining.
I knew that Jesus died for my sins and if I accepted Him as my personal lord and savior, I would go to heaven. But have you ever wondered why Jesus had to die for you in the first place? Did you do something wrong?
We’re going to see from scripture, very briefly – just enough to whet your appetite – why we need what Jesus is offering.
What was God’s original plan?
From the very beginning God wanted a family. In Genesis 1:26 God says “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ...” Ten powerful words. God originally made man to be exactly like Him. God gave man His DNA. Simply, that is what the word “image” means. And the “likeness” – we look like our Father! Let the magnitude of that sink in.
God also says in verse 26: “... and let them have dominion ...” Man was to rule in creation in the same way God rules in heaven. I hope you see this – I mean really see this.In verse 27 the Bible says “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” The word “image” is used three times in two verses. God is driving home the point that man had His DNA, His image, His life. All that He is, man was, except deity. Man had a beginning. God did not.
In verse 28 we read “And God blessed them (male and female) and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion ...” After giving man His DNA – His image, His life – God says reproduce yourself. God wanted a family and He essentially told man “Make it happen!”
From these three verses we see God’s original plan for the husband and wife, the male and female: produce a race of people with His DNA, who would rule in His creation just like He rules in Heaven.
Adam changed God’s original plan.
God put Adam “in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15, 16) and gave him one commandment: “... Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; (Genesis 2:16b, 17a).Why the prohibition? “... for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”(Genesis 17b) Adam understood the concept of death. God, His father, had explained it to him in great depth. He loved Adam too much not to.
But Adam was hard-headed.
In Genesis 3 we see Adam disobeying His Father because of what he saw. For Adam, what he saw disagreed with the truth that God had spoken. Adam believed what he saw and not the word he had received from God. (I’m being redundant to drive the point home.)
Adam watched as Eve bit into the fruit and didn’t die. Get the picture. He didn’t try to stop his wife – who was “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh” – as she committed spiritual suicide. He watched her do it! And then he committed spiritual suicide too. What does that tell us?
Adam didn’t believe that what God had said was really true.
That sounds so much like many in the Body of Christ today. We have the Bible, which was spoken by God (2 Timothy 3:16) and given to men to record (2 Peter 1:21). But we don’t treat God’s Word to us as if it really came from God. We don’t treat the Bible as if it’s really true. We don’t treat the Bible as if it is life. Tragic.