Lesson # 8 Here I Am

This is the next lesson we will discuss on April 20th.  Take a listen and read through the text.  As we start looking towards summer, I will continue to post.  We have options to meet periodically or we can have online discussions through this site about the text and recordings.

Lesson #8 Here I Am

Just as a freebee, here is a photo of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  We should have the opportunity to visit there on the BEMA trip.  The Temple is long gone, all the remains is this section of the wall that had surrounded the Temple.  Many Jewish people make a pilgrimage here to pray, even bringing written prayers and placing them in the cracks of the wall.

the-western-wall

Thoughts on Tov Meod in Genesis 1

Last week at our table discussion we spent a good bit of time discussing the concept that when God saw all that he created it was no longer good, it was tov mood or very good. This is before Adam has done anything or produced anything.

Genesis 1:26-27, 31
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.”

31 “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

Excerpt From: Crossway Bibles. “ESV Study Bible.” iBooks. 

In the discussion, I made a comment about being tired of hearing well meaning Christians constantly refer to us as being horrible wretches etc.

For me this comes out of a couple different places.  One is that there are many who seem to get hung up on the fall of man in Genesis 3 as if the accounts of Genesis 1 and 2 don’t exist.  They are, in my humble opinion, some of the most important parts of Scripture.  It shows the love, and the creative beauty of God in it’s purest form.  The very first phrase… In the beginning God created  is a key belief to the rest of Scripture.

A question has been asked “If our fundamental posture toward God isn’t one of unworthiness and sinfulness, why to we need to be restored?”

To clarify what is running around in my brain, we are created to be very good.  God has placed his image in his, we are his living likeness.  His love is not dependent upon us, he loves us because he created us.  But because Genesis 3 happened, we do need to be restored.  Anyone who accepts the love and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and raised from the dead are restored by His blood.  I think that is why I get irritated with a constant barrage of “we are such wretches and horrible people.”

In Galatians 3:26 Paul says that through faith in Jesus Christ we are all sons of God.  Heirs of Jesus Christ, and sons of God, not because we are worthy of our own accord but because we are restored by the blood of Christ.  As soon as sin entered the world, God set plans in place to redeem creation.  I bristle at self deprecation because we are restored once and for all as long as we place our faith in Him and don’t walk away.  Paul calls the believers Saints in almost all of his letters, not because they were perfect and sinless but because they were restored by the blood.

1 Peter 2:9-10
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

Excerpt From: Crossway Bibles. “ESV Study Bible.” iBooks. 

I wanted to clarify that I wasn’t meaning that we didn’t need to be restored or saved by the blood of Jesus.  In face, as we will look later at Old Testament practices, we will see that only the high priests had access to God in the tabernacle and later the temple to offer sacrifices on behalf of the people.  Once this was accomplished on the cross, all who place their faith and belief in Jesus have that access.  The idea of unworthiness and royal priesthood don’t mesh together.  There will always be those times we sin against God but humility before God, repenting and asking for forgiveness isn’t the same as spiritual self deprecation.

It’s kind of like being a parent, when my kids do wrong things, fight with each other or say horrible things like kids sometimes do, they are not any less worthy of my love.  Even though they sometimes have to apologize and ask for forgiveness.  Hopefully this clarifies my thought process and doesn’t muddy the waters!