Understanding God’s Love and the Sin that Changed the World
ATTENTION: You are reading the epilogue in a blog to book series about Genesis (God in the Garden). I recommend starting with the introduction if you haven’t read it yet. If you are interested in learning when the book will be released or discussing anything said in these posts, please reach out through the contact page.
So, this is the end of the book. As I said from the beginning, I’m not a theologian or scholar. If you go by the job, I had the longest I am actually nothing more than a wedding videographer. There’s nothing particularly extraordinary about me. I’m just a below middle-class guy who made some poor choices with his college degree, lives in a fixer-upper and drives a 2005 Toyota Matrix that his dad gave him. So if you found any wisdom in this, it shows what God can do with very little to work with. If you found nothing of value in this, then that makes sense based on the previous description. So, feel free to close this book and move on.
Nevertheless, I hope you found something of value and pray that God can use it to bring about some realization of his incredible love. God loves you and cares about you. We can assume the struggles and trials that we go through in life mean that he doesn’t (we’ve all been there). We can also assume that all the suffering in the world means he doesn’t as well. We can assume a lot of different things, but that doesn’t make it the truth. That only makes it our assumption. God loves you beyond anything you can ever imagine. Whatever pain we might experience can become a blessing when it aids in us seeking God’s eternal mindset over our temporal mindset. A painful life in service to God (his peace and joy in our hearts) is a far greater blessing than a painless and self-indulgent life (without that peace and joy).
But still, you might wonder if God is so loving, then why not have multiple ways to seek him? It would mean more people would come to him after all. Wouldn’t it? Well, not exactly. God doesn’t offer one way because he wants to make things difficult. He provides one way because he wants to make things simple for us.
Most of all, faith is necessary for our salvation, and to give more than one way would destroy that. It would bring our selfish will into play. We would be the deciders of which way is best. Two ways would become four, would become eight, and so on and so on. It would once again be about us following our will, negating the whole purpose of salvation. There would be no heart change. Salvation can’t exist without faith (trust in God), and faith can only happen when we are willing to let go of our own will. It doesn’t come by us choosing one of many different flavors of salvation. That’s not how it works. Faith is so important because we can’t die to ourselves without it, and if that never happens, then the Holy Spirit can never live in us. A thousand ways to God is just as good as zero ways to God because there is no salvation in either.
This short book covered a lot. Very likely I may have come off as a crackpot at times. Whatever your view of me, do you honestly still see Genesis the same? Do you see any of it differently? Do you see God’s love where it might’ve seemed absent? If you do, I want you to know that the rest of the Bible is the same. It is not a contradiction. God’s love is evident throughout it if we are willing to look for it. Each time we delve into his word and spend time in prayer, there is an opportunity to discover something new (even if we’ve read it before).
God’s wisdom is endless. That doesn’t mean that it’s all contained in this one book, but there’s more here than any other book. There’s more here than we can ever comprehend fully in our lifetime. God wasn’t one way in the Old Testament and another way in the New Testament. He is an unchanging God, but in our ever-shifting understanding, it can seem that he changes (because we are constantly changing). So we must start from the awareness that his ways are higher than ours and that we are not the ultimate arbiters of truth. Then, as we delve into his word, our eyes will be opened to truth that is both exciting and applicable to our lives.
Absolute Proof Vs. Faith
I’m not sure where you stand, but I’ve met some people who said they would believe in God if he physically revealed himself. There is no doubt that would be nice, but it’s not necessary and ultimately is just an excuse to try to get to God on our terms. Why would he reveal himself if all we need for a relationship with God is there in the Bible?
We might demand more and say the Bible or others’ testimony isn’t enough. We might want proof from our own eyes and ears before we believe. It seems logical, but that’s largely not how he works. Seeing an apparition of Jesus is not commonplace. If it were, then it would require no faith on our end. It would become as trivial as all other aspects of our day, and maybe that’s why it isn’t God’s preferred method of outreach. God also already did that before in Eden.
He was present in the garden with them, and we all know how that turned out. It didn’t lead to life. The only thing that leads to life is when we seek him. God has placed us in a time when we have more access to his word than ever before, and if this is not enough for us, then his physical presence would make no difference either. If we aren’t seeking and worshiping him in faith, any seeking without it wouldn’t be foundational. It would be an empty, superficial pledge. God requires more than that because he wants to change our hearts. If our hearts are unchanged, then that does nothing for our eternal relationship with him.
Knowing all of this, is there any other choice? Can anyone really believe their will is best? If you haven’t already, I invite you to accept Christ into your heart. Can you tell me this failed, and flawed experiment (called self-will) is worth carrying on? Or are you ready to be transformed by the Holy Spirit into something completely new? If you make that choice, there will be no more glorious day in your life than this day. Don’t put it off as I did. Not simply because you could die, but because you could lose sight of the truth and never come back to it (life gets busy). Something more important will come up. I was lucky that didn’t happen to me, but I was close. There is no better time than now. God is transformative. His grace overcomes your sins, defeats them, and puts them in the grave.
Whether you have or haven’t invited Christ into your life, I also want to ask you to seek the truth. Read and pour over the Bible (a study Bible is even better) on a daily basis. Make it a habit to rise early each morning before your day starts. True wisdom and understanding of God can only come by immersing ourselves in the word, prayer, and community. It’s only then that real growth can happen.
Once again, I’m not smart or wise, but I hope something in this book speaks to your heart. If it does, it is a testament of what God can do with a know-nothing, nobody. I pray that this is a testament to his power and wisdom. I pray that it’s a bestseller. Not because I want that, but because it would be more proof of his power to a world in denial of it. Without God, I am nothing. God is the sole source and provider of all that I do.
Also, please forgive my repetitive nature and sometimes strange writing style. I hope it doesn’t hinder you from recognizing the truths that God has laid on my heart. Yes, this could’ve probably been written better by someone else. I’m not the best writer in the world. I’m far from it. But don’t reject something in here that spoke to your heart because of that.
Lastly, there are a lot of self-help books out there. They are the dominant form of non-fiction in our culture (even in Christian books). So many tell you how to have a better marriage or be a better person. I’m not knocking them, but if Christ isn’t first in our life, then they are worthless (okay, maybe I’m knocking them a little). The only way to true and powerful transformation is through Christ. If there is only one thing you come away with, I hope it’s that there is power in Christ, a power that can turn our lives upside down.
His yoke is light, but that doesn’t mean walking with Jesus is a cakewalk either. God will do far more through us than we ever could on our own, and we need to be prepared for the consequences of that. A life of ease is tempting but empty compared to a life of meaning (one that glorifies and serves God). Strong, courageous, and loving people don’t live boring self-involved lives. God writes a far better story than we ever could. When we trust in him, the boundaries of our world are enlarged. They are no longer based on our limits but his, and he has no limits!
- A painful life that glorifies God (with his peace and joy in our hearts) is a far greater blessing than a painless and self-indulgent life (without that peace).
- A thousand ways to God is just as good as zero ways to God because there is no salvation in either.
- Do you see God’s love in Genesis where you hadn’t before? The rest of the Bible is just like that. God’s love is evident throughout it if we are willing to seek it.
- The entire Bible is also applicable to our lives if we are willing to search for that wisdom.
- Would you believe if you could see God with your own eyes or hear him with your ears? Adam and Eve had that, but it didn’t work out so well, did it? God wants to be more than an experience for us. He wants to live in our hearts, which can only take place through faith.
- Invite Jesus into your heart if you haven’t already. It will transform you. Go into your bathroom and get down on your knees if you need privacy. Repent and accept his grace. Let it flood over you.
- Also, seek the truth. Invest in a real bible (study Bible if possible) and find a church. Plants need water, sunlight, and dirt to grow. Our relationship with God is similar. We need his word (Bible), prayer, and fellowship (church/relationship with other Christians). If you neglect to water your plants, they will whither, and the same is true of your relationship with God. Don’t let that happen! Don’t stop at God’s grace. Run headfirst into that new relationship and never stop growing in it. Experience the eternal joy of knowing and glorifying God.
- There is power in Christ, and we should be prepared for the consequences of following him. It will change our lives in ways we can never predict.
- When we trust in God, the boundaries of our world are no longer our limits but his, and he has no limits!