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I would like to suggest that the gospel of Jesus Christ should be something that is so engrained into us that, just as the Prophet Jeremiah, we should not be able to keep the word of God within us.
We need to make the gospel a part of us.
It needs to be the driving force of our lives.
It is such a simple message that we all can share with the lost, and we need to let our love for the Lord and our desire to be like Him to compel us to not allow fear or any other excuse to get into the way of us showing our love and faith to the Lord and sharing it with the lost.
There are many ways of sharing the simple message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I would like to this afternoon share with you at least one way of remembering what the message of the gospel is all about.
I would like to suggest that the gospel is a message of 3 trees that we see in the bible!
The Tree of Knowledgeà Sin and its consequences The Tree of Calvaryà Mercy is offered to us by God The Tree of Lifeà the faithful will be rewarded
The Garden-
God created everything in 6 days, including man.
After all of His work, He made the pronouncement that everything that He had made was very good, including Adam and Eve.
He was fully pleased with His creation.
God formed man from the dust of the ground (v8) and breathed life into him.
Then in v9 God put man (Adam) into a garden that He planted in Eden where he was given dominion over God’s creation, he was given a wife (Eve), but the most important part of all, they were in fellowship with God.
We see in 3:8 that God was in the garden with them.
How amazing that must have been being in the very presence of God! God was walking in the garden among them
We are introduced to 2 of our 3 trees in the Garden of Eden.
“And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.
The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” ().
God told Adam and Eve that they could eat of the tree of life, but the same is not true of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
The Tree of Knowledge
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die."
They could eat of the tree of life and be given life (), but if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would receive death.
So I’m sure that they did not disobey this command not to eat of the tree of knowledge, right?
Well, all appears well until the serpent arrives on the scene.
The serpent comes onto the scene.
He is described as being craftier than any beast of the field which the Lord had made (v1).
He lies to Eve, trying to get her to doubt what God had said
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.
She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” ().
Adam and Eve sin because of their disobeying of God’s command not to eat of the tree.
Consequences of their sin
There were quite a few consequences of their sin...
· Adam and Eve lost their home in the garden of Eden,
· They were separated from the tree of life!
They would physically die.
· But worst of all……..They were separated from God by their sin!
(Spiritual Death)
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
()” The scriptures refer to this separation as spiritual death ().
Why does this separation due to sin occur?
Because God is holy!
God desires His people to be holy, just as He is holy ().
That is the only way that Adam and Eve could have remained in fellowship with God.
When they sinned, they were separated from God. God is Holy.
He is perfect in every way.
He is pure and righteous and good.
“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” ().
He will not do any evil.
“For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You” ().
No evil; no darkness can dwell with God.
Because of this, He could not be in the presence of Adam and Eve the way He was before they sinned.
Our Sin Problem
This is the position sin put Adam and Eve in, but the scriptures teach us that this was not just a huge problem for them, but for all men, including you and me.
Just as Adam and Eve sinned, we all have sinned against God.
We all have disobeyed His commands.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”().
“Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins” ().
Because of sin, we all die spiritually; we all are separated from God.
Have you broken God’s laws?
But you may be one of those people that looks at yourself and says, “I’m a pretty good person.
I haven’t really done anything that bad against God.”
What would you consider eating a piece of fruit off of a tree?
It doesn’t matter what the sin is, no matter how big or small, it brings these consequences on us.
But I think after honestly examining ourselves, we can see that we are not as “good” as we think.
For instance, let’s compare the lives we have lived with the standard that God gave the Jewish people in the 10 Commandments:
ü You shall have no other gods before me
ü Have you ever put anything before God, even family?
ü Covetousness is idolatry ()
ü You shall not take the name of the lord your god in vain
ü Have you ever used God’s name disrespectfully?
ü Euphemisms?
ü This is called Blasphemy
ü Honor your father and your mother
ü Have you ever in your life disobeyed or disrespected your parents?
ü You shall not kill
ü Have you murdered someone?
ü Jesus says hate is murder in the heart!
(; jn 3:15)
ü You shall not commit adultery
ü Jesus says lust is adultery in the heart ()
ü You shall not steal
ü Have you done this’ even something small?
ü You shall not lie
ü Even a “little white lie”!
ü If you believe you have no sin (, )
If we have broken any of these laws just once we have separated ourselves from the Lord, and we will be judged for doing so! Are you going to stand before God as an idolater, a blasphemer, a rebellious child, a murderer at heart, an adulterer at heart, a thief, or a liar?
We could go on looking at more of God’s laws that we have broken, but i think these suffice in showing that we just aren’t as “good” as we think we truly are.
There is no reason why we should feel self-righteous!
The Price?
As we stand before the Lord in judgment, we should never expect that the Lord would just let us off for our breaking His laws.
No just judge would let a murderer get off for their breaking of the law.
God will not either.
You have sinned, and God has showed us in His word what price we will have to pay already for our sin.
In He says “the wages of sin is death.”
We have a death sentence on our heads for disobeying God.
God declares that life is required as a payment for sin.
You and I deserve to die for our sins as says, “The person who sins will die.”
If we remember, this is exactly the pronouncement that God gave to Adam and Eve in the garden.
He told them that the day in which they eat the forbidden fruit; the punishment will be that they would die.
God takes sin seriously!
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