Category: Separated from God

Nine – Our Purpose, pt. 2 – p. 333

1 Understanding our purpose 2 Rule of God

February 22

A Creator’s Cause

The Scriptures declare that Our Lord Jesus is the Creator of all things:

creation verses

It was the eternal Son Who performed the actual work of creating all that there is, in accord with the Father’s vision, design, and purpose. The world He created was perfectly reflective of The Father’s design and desire – and also of His “invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature.” (Romans 1:20) It was pure and beautiful, it was peaceful and full of life. It was harmonious and benevolently interactive. There was no death, decay, disease, corruption, war, hunger, or injustice. “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) His creation was “good” according to His Own perfect standard of goodness.

eden

Into this harmonious environment, God formed and placed His special representatives. Adam and Eve were given the extraordinary task of caretaker of this world – to maintain and uphold the Creator’s vision and design. They were given the stewardship of ruling, and the authority to rule, over all that was created. Their authority flowed from their purpose, given by God, to be His physical emissaries of His rule on this earth. Originally, everything was just exactly as God envisioned it to be.

banished from edenBut everything changed in one ominous moment. When Adam and Eve chose to disregard the Creator-King’s one law, the vision and purpose of the Creator-King fell into disarray within them. Genesis 3:6-19 reveals that, with just one act of rebellion against the command of the Creator-King, there came a veritable landslide of devastating changes to everything. With one choice, humanity opened the doorway for self-consciousness, shame, cover-up and hiding, fear, blame-shifting, the removal of God’s blessing, enmity, conflict, strife, pain and suffering, exhausting labor, and, the ultimate demise of physical death.

But the worst occurrence, on that fateful day, was that humanity became separated from God (this is the primary meaning of “you will surely die.” [Genesis 2:17]). The Spirit to spirit connection was broken. The Heart to heart link was severed. This condition precipitated two adverse and awful results…

Three – Understanding Salvation – pg. 85

March 27

It is from the contemptible condition of spiritual death that humanity needed a Savior.

The New Testament Scriptures declare that we were all “dead” in our transgressions and sins, following the “ways of this world,” gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. We were all, by nature, deserving objects of God’s wrath – enemies of God, powerless to help ourselves, and opposed to Him and His purposes (see Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 5:6-10).

God, fully knowing our sinful condition, did an utterly amazing thing: He sent us the glorious gift of His Son. We are made painfully aware that the only solution to death was death. The judgment for sin is a death sentence, and that sentence had to be carried out.

death sentence

The great problem was that no earthly human being could possibly pay that price because every human being was already “dead.” The only One Who could pay the penalty was One Who was alive – One Who was living in unbroken fellowship and harmony with God; One Who was sinless and faultless; One Who was capable of laying down His pure and perfect life so the price could be paid.

Jesus came to this earth to be The One to stand in the place of all human beings (who had ever lived) and pay the terrible price that our sins deserved. So effective was this Savior that the Bible declares that: 

2cor 5 19 21

This facet of salvation comes to us from the heart of a giving God. Death was entirely deserved, but Jesus paid the death penalty for us. Jesus took God’s wrathful judgment on our behalf! His sacrifice is applied to our lives when we turn our hearts to receive Him and what He has done for us. When we receive the Savior, we are immediately restored back to a state of unbroken fellowship and harmony with God. We are literally brought from death to life:

resurrected

In receiving Jesus, and what He has done for us, our time of darkness in separation from God is ended and we are immediately ushered into the light of God’s Kingdom. “The Father… has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves…” (from Colossians 1:12-13). Not only this… but also restored is the sense of God’s Presence in our lives and the significance of God’s purpose for our lives. All these things accompany what we call “faith in Jesus.” He is our Savior, and He has come to pay, and remove, the penalty of death for our sin.

1Pet 2 24

Three – Understanding Salvation – pg. 84

March 26

separated

The real tragedy of this chasm of sin-separation is the fact that humanity could no longer fulfill what they were specifically designed to do. Sin separated people from God’s true purpose. That purpose was to be the embodiment of God’s will and objectives here in this physical world. After sin had come, people could still partially perceive God’s Presence (even limited communication with God was still possible) and all human beings possessed a remnant of the embedded sense of God’s great purpose within them, but the whole relationship with God had become corrupted, confused, and distorted. Guilt and shame drove people into hiding, and into assessing and deflecting blame and to fend for themselves. People tossed aside their innate sense of reliance upon fellowship with God, and for the fulfillment of God’s purpose, and replaced it with a passion for self-reliance, and for the pursuit and fulfillment of self-serving purposes.

Human beings were originally created to have unbroken fellowship with God, but when that fellowship became utterly broken, human beings turned to themselves to shape and manipulate their world after their own ways, will, and desires. This self-serving condition became the very nature of all human beings – to live life by promoting and taking care of one’s self, first and foremost.

all about me

We are brought to the ultimate conclusion that the very essence of sin is selfishness – and as the sense of the brokenness of fellowship with God grew, so did mankind’s “need” to please the selfish animal nature. The downward spiral of sin led humanity to deeper and deeper depths of self-serving desires and appetites. The more selfish that people became, the more also did their desires for self-recognition, self-importance, self-indulgence, and self-gratification.

With the abundance of sin, God began to be willfully pushed out of the picture – replaced by the escalating emphasis upon what humanity thinks, feels, and reasons. Without the guidance of The One Who is Truth, the ensuing consequences reveal a telling testimony of the miserable “best” that humanity can offer. All the evils of mankind trace their source back to the loss of the sense of God’s Presence and the loss of the significance of God’s purpose. This is the wages of sin in full flower. This is the very nature and demeanor of spiritual death.

spiritual-death

Three – Understanding Salvation – pg. 83

March 25

Saved from the penalty of sin

This aspect is the one that probably receives the most attention when we talk about salvation through Jesus. We are going to briefly emphasize a few aspects.

Scripture teaches us a clear theme concerning the penalty for our sin: It is death. “After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:15) And, “Just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin… in this way death came to all men, because all sinned…” (Romans 5:12) And also the succinct summary, “the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23) Even in the very beginning of all things, the penalty for sin was clearly stated by The Creator Himself: “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17)

Chained-to-Sin

From the least to the greatest, one penalty awaits all people – it is God’s punishment for anyone who sins. That penalty is death.

The term “death” in the Scriptures does not mean, “to cease to exist.” Scripture clearly teaches that all souls live on for all eternity, after their physical bodies cease to function. This is affirmed in Scriptures such as the following: “Then He (Christ, the King) will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” And, “God ‘will give to each person according to what he has done.’ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger (i.e. eternal death).” (from Matthew 25:41, 46; Romans 2:6-8)

What the Scriptures mean, when speaking of “death,” carries the idea of “separation.” When a person breathes their last breath, death occurs – the soul is separated from the body and continues to live on for all eternity. God, the Great Judge of all souls, determines the final destination of that soul, but Scripture teaches us that the soul, itself, remains a living entity forever.

immortal soul

If we apply the understanding of separation to the word “death,” we discover what God intends for us to comprehend. Human beings were created to live in unbroken fellowship and harmony with their Creator. This connection of Spirit to spirit was the centerpiece of God’s purpose when He created humanity. When sin entered into the scenario, mankind merited just what God said would happen: mankind was separated from that unbroken fellowship with God. The complete connection was broken. The harmony of fellowship with God, and our crucial connection with God’s purpose for humanity was lost.

As has often been illustrated, sin produced a vast spiritual chasm between people and their Creator. This chasm not only brought separation but also became an impassable breach.

sin-and-god

Once this special fellowship with God was broken, it could not be humanly restored – no matter how hard humanity might try to bridge the great gap. Sin brought a status of separation between God and people, and this separation rendered human beings to be just like those who had ceased to live.