WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE IN THIS LIFE?
God requires our obedience because He is the Creator of all things. In Genesis the Bible tells us that God created mankind. Genesis 1:26 -- "Let US (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;...". We know that the Son is Jesus. He is the Word of the Father that came forth from the Father.
John1:1-3 -- "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." ;...".
John 1:14 -- "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.";...".
Colosians 1:16 -- "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -- all things have been created by Him and for Him.";...".
As the Creator He is Master or Lord or King over His creation. All things were made "by Him" and "FOR HIM". The very essence of being the "created one" is to submit to the will of the Creator or simply to obey His commands because the Creator is always the one who is most knowledgeable and wants the greatest good for His creation. Our Creator actually made us to be "like Him" and "in His image". As our Creator He takes on the role of being our Father for He was the One who "begat" us and gave us LIFE. By becoming our Father and making us in His likeness and image, that made mankind totally different from all other "created" beings because they were not made in His "likeness and image". Man is unique in the universe; the only creation of its kind. This reality makes it clear that God's greatest purpose for our creation was in order to have an intimate relationship with each of His created humans. The way a Father teaches His children is by demonstration and commands.
When God placed His humans in the garden He gave them four commands to follow:
Genesis 2:9-- "And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the TREE OF LIFE also in the midst of the garden, and the TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL".
Genesis 2:16-17 -- "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'From any tree in the garden you may eat freely; 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."
Also read Genesis 3:1-6.
Genesis 1:12 -- "And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good."
It is a scientific fact that everything only reproduces after its own kind. The type of life that is in the root of the tree is what will be in the seeds that the tree produces for reproduction and will be in the fruit that the particular trees produces. Orange trees only produce oranges, apple trees only produce apples, banana trees only produce bananas, etc.
When God created the garden He placed two trees in the center of that garden: The tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Both were located in the center of the garden. I believe that the Tree of Life was filled with the life and nature of God that had been breathed into God's human creations because we see Jesus saying that He came to give us Life and that more abundantly. We also see Him saying that if anyone "eats" of Him he will have "life". But I believe the Tree of Knowledge of "Good and "Evil" was a tree filled with poison that when the fruit of that tree was eaten it caused the humans to lose their fellowship with their Creator. The poison that was in the roots of this tree is called SIN.
Satan did not tempt Eve with the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge just because of God's prohibition. He tempted her with it because he knew that the source of his power was rooted in it. The Lord God did not implement this restriction just to test Adam and Eve. He prohibited the eating of the fruit of that tree because He knew it was poison and He was protecting His human family from it. He was acting as a Father does in order to protect his children from danger and harm. God did not say to Adam, "If you eat from that tree I am going to kill you", but "On the day you eat from it you will die". It was not just man's disobedience that brought death into the world; IT WAS THE FRUIT FROM THIS TREE.
Romans 5:12 -- Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all have sinned --..."
Romans 6:23 -- For the wages of sin is death, ..."
We could say that the poison from that fruit changed the structure of Man's DNA, the material that is the foundation of our individual human life, and he became SELF-aware. His eyes now became open to the fact that he was naked. This was something that they had not been aware of until now. They instantly put some covering on to cover their nakedness because they now sensed something was wrong with their condition. They now were afraid of talking with God, their Creator, because they were now experiencing fear which they had not known until now. They now began to "pass the buck" and accuse each other of being the one who did this deed. They began to protect their "SELF". When God heard them trying to protect themself, He knew they had eaten the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Mankind could now no longer simply abandon himself to obey the commands of his Creator because now he could longer trust God with his life because "what if" God would lie to him just to maintain "control" over him. Man now had to lookout for and protect himSELF. He was now becoming separated from his fellowship with God and the opportunity to have that life was now lost. He was now forbidden from eating from the tree of life in this fallen condition because if allowed to do this man would live forever in this condition and could never be restored to the fellowship of a holy God.
In this condition man became aware of everything going on around him and had to choose what was good and what was evil in his own opinion. He now had to make choices between what he considered to be good and what he considered to be evil. He was now responsible for determining what he considered to be "good for him" and what he considered to "evil for him". Man now had become self-centered, self-aware, self-determining, etc. He was in charge of "himSELF. He had become a god unto himSELF. This is the essence of SIN -- refusing to allow our Creator God the right to rule in our lives as His creation. In this condition he was longer living in God's light and in the absence of this light his mind became blinded to what to do now. He was like a man trying to find his way in a thick forest at night with no light. This became his life in the kingdom of darkness with Satan as his new owner and Lord. Man is now Satan's slave because according to Romans 6:16 - "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience you are the slaves to the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death,...". Adam and Eve, our original parents from the beginning, chose to disobey their Creator's command and obey Satan by eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The knowledge of good and evil that mankind gained by eating the fruit from that tree is distracting us from the One who is the source of all life: The Tree of Life -- Jesus. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil causes us to focus our attention on OURSELVES and make choices as to what we consider to be good for ME or bad for ME, or what is right and what is wrong in OUR opinion. The great tragedy that comes from eating THAT fruit is that it causes us to become SELF-centered instead of GOD-centered and that is the real poison that comes from the fruit of that tree of knowledge.
The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil became the trees of choice for all humanity. They still are today. We were all born into the kingdom of darkness as slaves of Satan, but when Jesus dies He gave us a way to be removed from that slavery. Jesus declared to us that He again gave us a choice of which kingdom we want to live in.
Jeremiah 21:8 -- "You shall also say to this people, 'Thus says the Lord, Behold I set before you the way of life and the way of death."
Because our original parents, Adam and Eve, ate the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of God and Evil and thereby were poisoned with sin, that corrupted nature in slavery to Satan was passed onto the entire human family. We all reproduce the fruit of that tree in our lives until we die to it by dying to the kingdom of darkness and being born again into the kingdom of God. And even after we have said a "sinners prayer" and said that Jesus is your Lord you can still be in the darkness until you truly have an encounter with Jesus in which you DIE TO SELF and are REBORN. We can actually be an active church member and still be producing the fruit of the wrong tree if that fruit is produced by the roots from the wrong tree. Have you actually laid the axe to the roots of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in your own life?
1 Corinthians 15:56 -- The power of sin is the law."
We often think of the Old Testament as the Law and the New Testament as Grace, but this is not necessarily true. The Old Testament is the Letter; the New Testament is the Spirit. If we read the New Testament with an Old Covenant heart it will just be law to us. We'll have dead religion with a righteousness that is based upon compliance with written commandments instead of a living relationship with our God through the Spirit.
The Lord Jesus said He was going to send His Spirit to lead us into all truth. All truth is in Jesus, of whom the Spirit was sent to testify. Ephesians 4:21 and John 14:16-17 & 26. The Bible is definitely a precious and wonderful gift from the Lord to His people, but the Bible was never meant to take the place of the Lord Himself, nor the Holy Spirit whom He sent to us. The Bible is a means, not an end. Knowing the Book of the Lord is not our goal; our goal is to know the Lord of the Book. The Bible is intended to be a tool the Holy Spirit uses to help reveal Jesus to us, not to take His place.
What makes true Christianity different than all other religions is that all truly born again followers of Jesus have the living God in us through the person of the Holy Spirit who is the same power from God that empowered Jesus when He physically walked on this earth. Jesus only lived His life by the written words of scripture until He was filled with the Holy Spirit at His baptism in water. After that, He was led by the Holy Spirit as indicated by Matthew 4:1. He said many times in the gospel of John that He could do nothing on His own initiative, but only what He was instructed by the Father. He was our example, our model, of how we are to live as covenant partners with Him. When we live in covenant with Jesus we are living in obedience to His command to us and are thereby living by the fruit of the Tree of Life.
When we proclaim ourselves to be followers of Jesus and that He is our Lord and yet we live our lives choosing to do, say, or think whatever we want to do we are manifesting the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We have chosen to set OURSELVES up as the determiner of what is good or evil, right or wrong, beneficial to ME or not beneficial to Me. We mostly don't even ask the Lord what He would have us do in any given situation -- we just do whatever WE WANT TO DO. That, my friends, is the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Notice it is not the Tree of Evil only. It is also called the Tree of Good. The fruit of that tree makes us SELF-centered so that we make the decisions of what is either evil or good. And we can choose to do "good" things and still be doing them as a fruit from the Tree that brings "death". Remember, the "good" can be the worst enemy of the "best". The "best" being obedience to the voice of our Shepherd and Lord, King Jesus. Living by the "LETTER" brings death; living by the "SPIRIT" brings life.
The two trees in the garden were the source of two spiritual lineages or "family trees". The entire Bible is a history of these two lineages. The fruit from these two families what family we really belong to.
Luke 6:43-44 -- For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit; nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its fruit."
Matthew 7:20-23 -- "So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness (iniquity)."
That last phrase "you who practice lawlessness" can also be translated to say "YOU WHO DO YOUR OWN THING MAKING SELF-DETERMINATIONS AS TO WHAT TO GOOD AND WHAT IS EVIL".
Our congregations are filled with people who have gone through some religious rituals and believe they are Christians and are going to Heaven no matter what they do because they have been taught they can do this because they are "under grace". But we need to truly understand what God says about issues like redemption, restoration, grace, lordship, sin, etc. Are you actually willing to trust your eternity to what someone has told you about these subjects, or are you willing to do your due diligence and study the scriptures to find the truth with the help of the Holy Spirit. Remember, Jesus is Lord and Master over all creation including you and you were created "BY HIM AND FOR HIM" to do His will, not your own will.
Matthew 7:13-16 -- "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life (zoe - the God kind of life), and few are those who find it. Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits."
2 Timothy 4:3-4 -- "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; and wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths."
Our goal as followers of Jesus is to develop a relationship, friendship, and partnership with Him, not waste our time and energy doing religious things. He who does the will of My Father who is in heaven ( Matthew 7:21) is the person who is in the kingdom of God. Remember, a kingdom is a place of the “king’s – dominion”. A sphere of influence where Jesus is Lord and King and is to be obeyed.
Where did we humans ever get the idea that we can be in a “kingdom” and not have to be obedient to its “king”?
Anyone outside the kingdom of God is in the kingdom of darkness ruled by Satan.
Romans 6:16 - "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience you are the slaves to the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?"
Our duty as the “created ones” is to obey the instructions of our Master, the “Lord” Jesus.
Your ultimate duty in your life is to simply hear what He says and then simply to obey these instructions.
Romans 12:1-2 -- “I urge you therefore brethren by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, nut be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Jesus is Lord and King over His kingdom and our purpose is to HEAR AND OBEY what He tells us to do as His co-laborers to bring about the advancement of His kingdom and bring honor and glory to Him as the most amazing person in the universe.
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"Declaring the New Covenant and that the kingdom of God is at hand"
Rob Board Ministries
Christiansburg, Virginia 24073