The first book of the Bible, Genesis, gives us God’s blueprint for creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1 ESV).” He created everything! The Bible also tells us that God’s favored creation was man, which he designed in his own image. The first man, Adam lived in a garden with his wife Eve.
Adam and Eve lived in this garden which contained every type of plant and animal on earth! God told Adam that they could eat of every tree in the garden except for one because eating it would cause them to die. What great odds they had!! Just think of it. How many poisonous plants are there on earth right now? Any of them could cause us great harm, including death. But for Adam and Eve, they only had to avoid one tree. That’s great odds!
Unfortunately, life often seems to happen much like a theatrical comedy. In steps the villain, the serpent played by Satan himself. Satan convinces man that if all they have experienced is good then this tree’s fruit must be good for them too, right? Wrong, but unfortunately for our ancestors, they fell into the trap. Man chose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, exposing man to evil for all that was known before was good. Then, Adam and Eve covered their differences and hid their inadequacies from God. They chose to separate themselves from God. This separation from God is the purest form of death. God never told Adam or Eve that they must leave his presence. He never told them that they must live life apart from him. Man chose this death.
Even moments after man chose to hide himself, God came looking for man in the garden and God never turned his heart away from man. Throughout history, God continued to come back to man and attempt to restore their relationship. Next, God gave man the Law to show man all the places where they were messing up and hurting themselves and him in hopes that this would help man to see that there is still a hope of an eternal life with God. Then, knowing that these laws could never erase the effects of sin, God chose to come to this world in the form of man to live a life without sin and to die the death that Adam should have died when he disobeyed God. Jesus died on a cross taking on the sins of the world, and then rose from the grave conquering sin and creating a bridge to life with God.
Pastor Bill Johnson, of Bethel Church in Redding, CA conducted an in depth study of Jesus’ model prayer in Matthew 6. Here is what he records in his book When Heaven Invades Earth concerning the word evil in verse 13:
The word evil represents the entire curse of sin upon man. Poneros, the Greek word [that’s the original language of the Bible] for evil, came from the word ponos, meaning pain. And that word came from the root word penes, meaning poor. Look at it: evil-sin, pain-sickness, and poor-poverty. Jesus destroyed the power of sin, sickness, and poverty through His redemptive work on the cross. In Adam and Eve’s commission to subdue the earth, they were without sickness, poverty, and sin. Now that we are restored to His original purpose, should we expect anything less?
What Pastor Bill is saying and it has a lot of value. If Adam and Eve lived a life with God in which there was no suffering, lack, or any other effects of sin because it didn’t exist on this earth and Jesus came to restore man back to that kind of relationship to God, we cannot settle to allow any of the remnants or repercussions of sin to keep a stronghold within our life. Jesus said “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. (Matthew 11:28b MSG).”
Choose Jesus and receive an eternal life with God and the power to overcome the effects of sin upon the earth.
Pastor Zac Breckenridge