Series: Beginnings in Eden
Sun am 23rd January 2011 – Kobus Swart
1 Cor. 2:14; Matt. 5:6; Job 32:8; Gen. 2:25; Gen. 3:6-10; James 4:10; Prov. 16:18; Gal. 5:17; Rom. 8:14; Matt. 5:8; Matt. 10:34; Gen. 3:21; James 3:17-18
Many Christian believers, with the Holy Spirit inside of them do not show a constant hunger to know more of God. Knowing more about God comes as a response to our hunger and thirst after more of God. (“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” Matt. 5:6). By being just a good Christian we are often backsliding without knowing it. You either move forward or backward, there is no standing still spiritually in this walk with God.
In this Word we want to expose the foolishness of hiding from God! Religion has offered thousands of self-righteous excuses which are used by man to cover himself.
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed (Gen 2:25). If we say the Old Testament contains types and shadows, why would we still take certain things literally, such as the physical “nakedness” of Adam and Eve? There is something deeper here we have to see. After Fall we read: Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings (Gen 3:7). For the first time, sin consciousness slipped into their frame of mind.
Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself” (Gen.3: 9-10). From that time man has tried to hide from God ever since, because of a sin consciousness. When God said, “Where are you?” He did not mean physically. God knew where they were. His question went deeper. Adam and Eve represent mankind – all of us. Do you know where you are? Where are you in your relationship with God? The word “naked” goes beyond nudity; they were nude and yet not ashamed. God wants to bring this transparency back into the family of God where we stand transparent before God and one another.
The real meaning of the word nakedness is the following; they were uncovered; their inner nature revealed and made bare. Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves (referring to empty, bankrupt religion, or self-righteousness) together and made a girdle or apron to cover them. This was the birth of religion. When the New Testament talks about “flesh”, it refers to a nature, your ego and rebellion.
I would like for us to realize and make peace with the fact that we are transparent before God and that it makes no sense to put our religious excuses as a front. I would like for a basic honesty to come into the house. We can become more honest and transparent. If we have a wrong attitude toward someone, let it hang out to be dealt with because if you hide it, it festers. The longer you hide and suppress the wrong attitude, the worse it gets. For example, can you say, “I am sorry, I was wrong”?
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. (Jas. 4:10). Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling (Prov. 16:18).
There is a war on the inside of us – the flesh against the spirit. This inner conflict must be resolved. What is in your spirit is what you infect people with. People are affected by the war in our spirit. How often do we lose it and put a fig leaf on? “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matt. 5:9).
To be a peacemaker you would first have to overcome the war in your own spirit, the war between the spirit and the flesh. Jesus was referred to as “the Prince of peace” but He showed no mercy for the religious self-righteous pharisaical attitudes of the religious order of His day. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword (Matt. 10:34). So, first Jesus destroyed false religious “peace”, and then He brought HIS peace. “My peace I will give unto you…”.
When God laid the foundations of the earth, His complete plan for the redemption and full salvation of man was already in place! The Lamb of God was slain from the foundations of the earth. He knew what was going to happen in the garden of Eden and He had made provision in the Lamb. As a type, God came and made garments of skin, and clothed them (Gen 3:21).
Let us remove all religious, artificial, self-righteous “aprons”, and put on Christ! Put away the fig leaves and make no provision for the flesh.
The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (Jas 3:17,18)