January 21: Life, Love, and Liberty

We’ve said a lot about what it means to be alive using the first couple chapters of Genesis. To be alive is to image God, to have his breath in us, to have impact and intimacy, to be a living soul full of desire.

Of course Genesis 3 will show us how we as human kind will lose this life. But before we tackle that fun topic, let’s set the stage a bit more.

Genesis 2:9. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

For there to be life, real life, not just biological life, but the life of God, there must be two things that characterize the setting: liberty and love. God himself lives from liberty and love. He is perfectly free and he is perfect love.

2 Corinthians 3:17. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 

1 John 4:8. God is love.

God had to place man in an environment that was not only perfect (like the Garden of Eden) but that also provided both love and liberty for the man and woman.

 

Genesis 2:15-17. The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

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Why would God allow mankind to make such a choice? Hasn’t this question plagued us for centuries? Maybe it’s plagued you. The problem of evil and suffering is quite possibly the biggest stumbling block to trusting God.

But if God made us to image him, to worship him, and become like him, wouldn’t it make sense that he would have to allow man to freely choose, and to freely choose to love?  We are not puppets that he manipulates in order to force us to love him. There were no robots in his creation.

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The trees in the center of the garden offered man a choice. A very serious choice- life or death. And this is the same choice being offered to us today.

To live is Christ. That’s the choice being offered today. Not fruit on a tree, but a person. A perfect life that will unite to your imperfect life and bring a changed soul that will always choose God over knowledge. But wait, we’re starting to get into Genesis chapter 3.

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