the first two chapters of Genesis, one of the revealing things is that the ‘state
of affairs’ is nice and dandy. It is the perfect Triune God speaking His
creation into being, perfectly. Then the door opens on chapter three. The title
its self is telling: ‘The Fall.’
3 is the apex of the human problem. Man and his wife rebel against the one who
made them and whom they owe not just their breath but also their being. On the
surface, it’s just a simple act of disobedience. “God will understand”, some
will say. But most times things are never what they look like. This is one of
from the tree of knowledge of good and evil does not give you the ‘knowledge of
good and evil’. Ask Adam and Eve. And it doesn’t make one a god either, maybe a
little ‘unhappy god’ who lacks even the dimmest of powers such as to conjure a
smile to light up his ever frowned face.
Old Testament theologian and author Alec Motyer has remarked that the knowledge
of good and evil is not just knowing what is good or bad, but is to the best
part deciding what is good or bad. This
is where our problems begin. We all want to be right, yet we cannot because we
have all developed little mental pictures of what right is based on dwarf ideas
of religion, class, caste, tribe, political affiliation, profession and many
other of those man-made ideas.
have a man who, instead of depending on God, loves his independence as he loves
himself. See how this came into play almost instantly:
And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be
with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the
woman, what is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent
beguiled me, and I did eat (Gen 3:12-13, KJV).
is pushing the blame to his wife, and the wife does the same by also pushing
the blame further towards the serpent. Doesn’t this describe all of us? We crave
credit but at the same time dread blame. Rebellion has brought man this far
from God and into himself. He is now the ‘center of it all’. What at first was ‘man
in the image of God’ is now ‘god in the image of man.’ Man is now his own
self-made god. According to one author, man is now ‘using God-created faculties
in an anti-God mode.’
in Romans chapter three puts this problem into perspective:
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not
There is none that understandeth, there is none that
seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together
become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues
they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes (Romans
is told of a drunk who was staggering home late on a rainy night. As he was
passing through the cemetery, he fell into a freshly dug grave. He tried to climb
out but to no avail as the walls were slippery. Then another drunk who was
taking the same route fell into the same grave. Now there are two drunken guys
in one grave.
second guy tried to get himself out as the guy who fell in first gave him some
attention. He quickly opened his mouth and said: “You can’t get out man!” How
is that for motivation?
is where all of us find ourselves—in the middle of a freshly dug grave called
sin. Getting out is impossible until someone will come and pull us out from the
outside. But the truth is some of us still enjoy the grave, while others don’t know
how they got into the grave in the first place.
judgment, there comes good news. “And I will put enmity between thee and the
woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it
shall bruise thy head […] (Genesis 3:15).” God’s rescue of sinners comes
amidst judgment. God is so overflowing with love and compassion. He loves
rebels even in their rebellion. “[Love her] as the Lord loves the Israelites,
though they turn to other gods and love sacred raisin cakes (Hosea 3:1b, NIV).”
Good News of the gospel is that God saves sinners—real sinners—not nominal
ones. For a sinner out there, this is not just music to the ears but good music
to the ears that have neglected their responsibility of hearing.
in chapter sixty-one foretells the day of the Lord’s favour, when the Messiah
promised in Genesis 3:15 will come and what He will do. He is coming to; Isaiah
writes in verse one, “bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the
captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”
salvation of the Lord comes from outside, for you and me. It’s a gift to
everyone. And He surely accomplishes what He comes to do. “With men this is
impossible; but with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26).”
is why Christmas is such good news. It is not just a fulfillment of the promise
by God but also the ushering in of liberty and redemption. Christmas is the Father’s
“I love you” to our “we don’t need You.” God comes, climbs down into the grave
and gets the drunks out without them doing anything to merit the rescue, or tip
the rescuer. Christmas is God getting us out and winning us to Himself.