Garden of Eden

I am adopted into God’s family

 There is an old fable that goes like this: “From the poor house to king’s house”. That is kind of what the apostle Paul meant when he said, “You are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir” Galatians 4:7).  

Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God’s eternal plan has always been to adopt us into His family. He does this by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that He finds immense pleasure doing this, (Read Ephesians 1:5). That is the reason He sent Jesus to break the Yoke that binds us.

I thank God that I am not desperate, alone, insecure, unwanted and without an identity. I am an heir of God and co-heir with Christ. God has adopted me into His family because He wants me to be a part of His own. He wants me to have the same rights and privileges that belong to a son who has come into His inheritance.

I am not the outsider, the world thinks I am. I am a child of a King who owns everything. I have His love, attention, presence, acceptance, and His name. I own what He owns. His riches are mine, His other children are my brothers and sisters and His home is where I belong.

Walking in Jesus’ footsteps requires total obedience to God’s commands

English: The Ten Commandments, illustration fr...

English: The Ten Commandments, illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For many years, I convince myself that SELF INDULGENCE was the biggest problem a Christian face; then as I grow older and wiser, I realize that I, like all Christians have difficulty obeying God’s commands consistently. The enemy has sown the seed of disobedience in our hearts, which created a struggle between good and evil. Therefore, being obedient to God is the single most difficult thing to do in our Christian lives.

It all started in the Garden of Eden. “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because if you eat from that tree, you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). It did not matter that God told the first family that death is the penalty for breaking the rules; nonetheless, both man and the woman decided to disobey God command anyway and eat from the forbidden tree. Since then, the human race has had a rather difficult time, obeying God rules.Disobeying God commands leads to sin.

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible has a lot to say about obedience. In the story of the Ten Commandments, we see how valuable the concept of obedience is to God. Deuteronomy 11:26–28 sums it up like this: “Behold, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse. A blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command, you today. A curse if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods, which you have, not known”.

Let’s be honest, disobedience runs rampant in the Church. It was a problem before Jesus’ time, and it is a problem today. No one among us can honestly claim that he or she is blameless in this regard. Nevertheless, we must endeavor to achieve total obedience to God if we ever hope to walk in Jesus’ footsteps; but, that can only happen if we surrender our entire beings to Him. A good place to start is to practice what we preach.

Walk in the Spirit and not in the Flesh

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

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As a believer in Jesus Christ, I find it necessary to remind myself daily that it is important that I walk in the Spirit, and not in the flesh. The flesh adopts the old sinful Adamic nature, but the Spirit adopts the nature, and characteristics of Jesus Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:17 states: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”

Walking in the Spirit may sound like a fairy tale or a fantasy, but it is an important characteristic every believer needs to adopt and practice in his or her daily life. The Christian life cannot be manifested through the workings of the flesh. The old Adamic nature– the flesh, failed in the Garden of Eden— rendering itself unreliable.

But there is hope in Jesus. The God I serve designed the perfect escape route—which was activated the moment I had confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord Savior. “And you hath He quickened, (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1). “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

So, I am a believer who is made

alive by the Spirit of God. Therefore, I should allow the Spirit to take over my life and direct my footsteps.

Still, walking in the spirit is not an easy task. It does not matter whether I am a Christian for one week or fifty years. The Apostle Paul, himself, a stalwart and role model of the early church struggled with the flesh. In 1 Corinthians 9:27, he said: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

In a letter to the church in Galatia, Paul admonishes its members to walk in the Spirit: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). He was responding to disturbing news he had received that the disciples in Galatia had returned to their old Adamic ways. In Galatians 1:6 , he writes: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” Paul knew from experience that the Christian life is impossible without  the Holy Spirit‘s guidance.

Like the Apostle Paul, I am aware that the ways of the flesh are sinful.  And I cannot rely on my knowledge of the Word of God to live the Christian life. I need the Spirit of God to indwell me and be with me every day.  Without the Spirit of God I am apt to fall back to my old ways. Hence the reason I remind myself daily that I should walk in the Spirit, and not in the flesh. I protest by your boasting which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily (1 Corinthians 15:31):

Born Again–the Salvation Experience

The Tree of Knowledge, painting by Lucas Crana...

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Salvation begins with an experience of new birth apart from natural birth into the world. According to the Bible, all humanity has descended from Adam and Eve who were created sinless and perfect by God from the dust of the earth (Genesis 1 :26, 27 ; 2:7). Though brought into existence for fellowship with God, they were given the agency of free will to make personal choices in the newly created world.

At some point this faculty was tested by Satan in a temptation to eat fruit from the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil–a temptation that was failed and which changed the nature of humanity forever (Genesis 3:1-20). Because of this failure, the nature of sin was inbred to the offspring of the first family throughout the succeeding generations. This resulted in an innate tendency to rebel against the will of God (Romans 5:12).

In his first letter to the Corinthian Church, the Apostle Paul mentions that the solution to this sin problem, and its penalty is through the remedy of Christ’s sin offering at Calvary and His subsequent resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:21, 22). It is through the death ,burial and resurrection of Christ that fallen humanity rediscovers and experiences the life lost by disobedience of our ancestors in the garden of Eden–a spiritual rebirth.

This born again experience cannot be achieved through an intellectual process, as was clearly explained by Jesus to Nicodemus (John 3:1-18), but through another kind based upon belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and faith in His crucifixion and resurrection as being enough for redemption and confession of personal sin. This Salvation of the soul begins with a decided repentance from sin but is consummated by works of the spirit in the life of the individual–justification and regeneration. being born again depends not only upon faith of the person seeking salvation, but also upon the works of grace in the heart by the Holy Ghost.

The Sanctity Of The Home

This is a figure illustrating the greater rate...

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Long before the Church was purchase by Christ, the home was ordained of God in the Garden of Eden. In the beginning the Creator spoke into existence the heavens, the earth, the fish of the sea and the animals of the fields; yet He concluded the sixth day with the creation of husband and wife charging them with dominion and care of the earth (Genesis 1:27, 28). So concerned was God with the quality of relationship of this first family and others that would follow–that He gave principles for its success.

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2 : 24). Within this scripture are three specific dynamics that are essential to the success of any home, Christian or otherwise: Leaving, cleaving and weaving

For any marriage to succeed, it is incumbent upon both partners that each leave his/her home of childhood and relinquish the priority of those relationships for the sake of establishing one with the new spouse. Far too many young marriages are jeopardized because of former attachments to parents have not been properly readjusted; in fact, mother and father have not been left behind but are along to the marriage where their involvement brings about eventual complications.

Once parents have been decisively left behind the process of cleaving becomes the business at hand. According to the Strong Bible dictionary, the Hebrew word translated into English as cleave is dabaq, which means to” abide. . .cleave (fast together). . . be joined (together) . . . stick.” In essence, it means husband  and wife are to be glued and bonded together in a close intimate relationship designed for a lifetime of experience.

Such a status for the marital relationship is not a once-and for-all achievement, but a constant process of intimacy that comes about only through nourishment and exclusive commitment to each other on the basis of selfless love. The consequence of cleaving is a weaving together of “one flesh” –first as a single entity that absolves itself from independent rights and personal concerns for sake of the marital relationship, and second in the production of an offspring that resembles both partners and concretely represents the single entity of the marriage itself. (See Matthew 19:5, Mark 10 : 7, 8. and Ephesians 5 : 31). Hence the dynamics of leaving, cleaving,and weaving provide the foundation of marriage and contribute to the growth and success of the husband/wife relationship.

In the Scripture, the role of husband , wife and children and their interrelationship, are given in detail. The fact that they are recognized as “family” roles in no way diminishes or discounts the various social definitions of what constitute a family in American society today. Indeed, they are significant numbers of “families” comprised of childless marriage couples, and single parents with children. Nevertheless, for the purpose of  this article, the nuclear family is understood to consist of the basic roles available to that unit; the husband, wife and children