Did God Really Say
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Did God really say?2012 LLC Summer Services Youth Discussion Adapted by Eric Jurmu from presentations by Keijo Nissila; The mystery of faith- 1994 Hath God said- 2012
Did God really say?From where did this question come?Why was this question asked?People generally ask when they want to know about something.But it is possible to ask for other purposes.A question can raise doubt.The evil one asked of Eve: Did God truly say?What does this question mean? Or imply?
Man In the image of God, and his companion. In the beginning God created heaven and the earth.
God created everything with His word, and saw that it was good.
God created man in his image and as a companion.
The snake a picture of the enemy of the soul and the enemy of GodThe serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made (Gen3:1)First, the serpent is a symbol of understanding, wisdom and cunning.Secondly, the serpent is connected to death. A serpent is dangerous. It is poisonous. A snake bite can lead to death.
The serpent begins the discussion
It opened the discussion with Did God actually say? What was the intent of the question?The serpents word is set against Gods wordDid God say ye cannot eat of every tree of the garden?A small hook catches big fish
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. Gen 3:3Eve did not contradict what God had said; she said more than God had said.How should have Eve replied?
The serpent debates or disputes Gods word
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: Gen 3:4
But that you would rather become as gods
The voice of reason led to doubts
The fall into all falls - The fall into sinThe conversation with the serpent concludes and Eve is left in her own thoughts.She is tempted to go from thoughts and words, to action.And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Gen 3:6
The consequences of the fall into sinAnd the eyes of them both were opened... Gen 3:7 not as gods but to shame.
God asks 2 questions:
Who told you that you were naked?
Have you eaten from that tree which I commanded you not to eat?
The forbidden fruit of the forbidden tree is a picture of the mystery of faith. It was a trial of obedience. Faith is obedience. Obedience, on its part, is part of the fellowship into which God created man. Obedience is hearing what God speaks and following it in faith. The fall began with man allowing himself to listen to the sermon of Gods Adversary. At the same time man ceased hearing and following Gods will.
The temptation in paradise was to be able to enjoy the good and beautiful fruit and to come to know and understand all things like God. Thus reason guided man and the pleasures of his senses tempted him. After the fall into sin, each person is susceptible to the sermon of Gods Adversary, which appeals to reason and enjoyment of the senses. Man wasnt able to honor the mystery of faith. Honoring the mystery of faith is the road of self-denial. The voice of reason lead away from the place of an obedient child. Man wanted to satisfy his own will more than Gods will.
The relationship between faith and reason was distorted by the fall into sin. Faith was a condition of the unity of fellowship between God and Man. Reason was given to man so that he could cultivate and care for paradise.
Faith and ReasonFaithFaith is spiritual.The Bible is not a textbook of natural science, geography, medical science or history. The Bible is the textbook of one matter alone, which is faith.Reason Reason is carnal. Reason is prone to turn against the written word of God. The Bible is often expected to answer questions which come from reason.
What Faith Is
The Bible, generally speaking, does not describe faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Heb. 11:1,3)
Faith is hope.
Faith reaches what is ahead of us, and what we otherwise would not be able to experience. With faith the future is present immediately. In faith, the object of hope affects here and now, even though the matter in question is in the future, not yet experienced. But faith believes that it will happen and lives in accord with it and receives strength for life from it.
Abrahams faith was obedience to Gods call and trust upon Gods guidance. Abrahams faith was hope. Faith leads from this day unto tomorrow.
Faith is directed towards that which we cant see. Thus faith is the evidence of things not seen. Faith functions like a telescope.
NoahNoahs faith was the evidence of things not seen.Noahs faith was contrary to reason and to peoples general opinion.Noahs faith upon things not seen caused people to ridicule him.
One Mystery of Faith TodayThe foundation of the family is marriage.Before marriage there is a time of courtship and engagement.After marriage the mystery of man and woman is unlocked."Has God truly said so?"
Faith is Gods GiftThe Bible states that all cant believe, as faith isnt for every man. (2 Thess. 3:2) The gospel is the mystery of God, which is hidden from the world, but is manifested and revealed to believers.The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. (Rom. 1:16)
The highest example of faith is the Lord Jesus Christ: For future heavenly joy, He endured the worlds ridicule and suffering on the cross, and now sits on the right hand of Gods throne. Hebrews encourages, For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (Heb. 12:3)
Discussion QuestionsIn which matters does faith help us to see, understand, and hope?In which questions of life do we experience the mystery of faith?How do we care for the gift of faith in a good conscience?How is the mystery of faith revealed in courtship and marriage?Is there reason to remember our brother and sisters in faith today?
God created man in his image and as a companion. Invisible God made of himself a visible picture: man. He created them man and woman. God created man for his own purpose. He did not create man for the reason that man would prove himself or would himself be fulfilled. God made man to fulfill his desire, that man would renew and protect the earth that he had created. God created man to be a companion. In this human companionship, man and woman, is the picture of God. They are united by love to God as well as to one another. To man was given the ability to hear Gods speech and to speak to God, their creator. This companionship was Gods prerequisite to be observed.
*The serpent was the lowliest of all the animals in paradise. It slithers along the ground full length on its belly. In paradise, it greatly elevated its own profile when it sought to converse with man. It set itself in the place of God when it set about to converse with man, who was the image of God, and created to be Gods companion. Gods enemy raised himself into the place of God. It was created to slither along the ground, but in paradise it climbed up into the tree branches as a companion equal to man and in the discussion wriggled even higher than that.*The serpents question was bold. Eve noticed this and began to defend God. The serpents question also touched indirectly on man. It tugged at mans mind. It caused one to ponder things: Could such a denial [ban] be Gods word?How could God, who had created such a wonderful paradise for man, have created one individual tree to destroy man and cause his death? Is there any sense to such a denial? Has God truly said thus? The serpent questioned Gods word.
*In its cunning the serpent gave Eve the chance to explain the matter correctly and to support God. It gave Eve the chance to show herself as a true or correct believer and supporter of God. This opportunity Eve used well and correctly. But at the same time, something else happened. The serpents sly plot succeeded. It got Eve onto its hook. It was able to continue the discussion about Gods word and to direct or lead man. Eve was fully carried away [drawn] into this discussion.*Now begins a debate that leads to death. The serpent allows, yes, that God has said thus, but argues that it was not the truth. The serpent draws man in, he to whom death is the most negative, terrible and fearful thing. By denying the danger of death the serpent frees man from the fear of opposition and punishment. The discussion is conflicting: the serpent denies death, yet leads to an act which God had already determined would mean a punishment of death to man.
*Martin Luther describes the process of the fall into sin: When the process of sin is underway, Satan does not think or suppose anything, does not frighten, does not bite, but merely flatters and charms. To the nature of sin belongs just this, that up to a certain point one is not even aware of it. But when later the law reveals it as sin, it begins to more and more severely bother or oppress a person. Before this revelation occurs and action is still in process, Eves eyes did not open: in this case, she had already died before she had even touched the apple. Because her eyes were not yet opened and doubt remained strong [in control], so also remained in her the forbidden fruits charm, as well as the enthusiasm and the hope of gaining wisdom, even though it was denied. Dear Eve was drawn into both spiritual and temporal doubt in such a way that she did not see that she had done wrong.*The fall into sin spoiled the condition of innocence. When their eyes were opened, they opened to see their nakedness. Instead of becoming all-knowing, feelings of shame overpowered them. Adam - The woman you gave to me as a companion gave to me the fruit of that tree, and I ate. Eve also defends herself. She turns the blame onto the serpent: The serpent beguiled me and I ate.This then led to the explanation of sin by defending themselves. And from this then came their turning [or blaming] the sin onto God. The Devils tricky scheme was thus so well that God got onto himself the blame for this, that he was the one who introduced sin and the beginner and the root of all bad he, who created all in the beginning and all was good.*Questions that rise from reason are more or less wise, often quibbling. A certain quibbling question is, Where did Cain get his wife from? Another similar question is, How did Jonah manage to get into the whales stomach, when nothing bigger than a herring fits down its throat? Or, How can the Bibles portrayal of the earth being the center of the universe be explained, according to which the sun circles the earth? Recently doubts have been raised regarding Biblical miracles, for example, the crossing of the Red Sea, Jesus being born to a virgin, Jesus walking on the water, rising from the dead and appearing resurrected. The voice of reason leads away from the place of an obedient child.*Abraham heard Gods call. He followed it, left from the midst of his land and family towards that land which God had promised to him for an inheritance. Abraham left although he didnt know where he was going. Abraham left because he believed. Abrahams faith was obedience to Gods call and trust upon Gods guidance. Abrahams faith was hope. When Abraham believed, he had hope and in that hope he had the future and the meaning of life with him immediately. Abrahams faith is especially a model to the youth, whose life is ahead of them. Faith in God is hope and in that hope is the future and the meaning of life. Faith leads from this day unto tomorrow.
*Through a telescope we see those celestial bodies, which we cant see with our eyes. With our eyes we see this temporal life. Through faith we see farther: a new heaven and a new earth and eternal life.
*God revealed to Noah of the coming destruction of the world and told Noah to build an ark to save his family. Noah was obedient and built it, even though he couldnt see any sign at all of the ending of the world. Thus Noahs faith was the evidence of things not seen. Noahs faith was contrary to reason and to peoples general opinion. Noahs faith upon things not seen caused people to ridicule him. (Heb. 11:4)
*The foundation of the family is marriage. Before marriage there is a time of courtship and engagement. There is the mystery of faith also in this matter. In many ways it can be compared to the mystery of faith in paradise. Many youth in the world have listened to the serpents question, Has God truly said so? In the modern tongue, this matter is stated thus, Why do we need the minister's amen in this? This mystery of faith is not honoured in the world, rather a person wants to know everything and experience everything. The desire for enjoyment has become the gauge of truth. With the world tolerating all lifestyles outside of marriage, in the discussion questions or presentation it might be good to remind and encourage our young that this, too, is a mystery, yet God's will, that the intimate life of man and woman and procreation belong to the marriage union, which is then the foundation of family.*God has revealed the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. Thus the mystery of Gods kingdom can be spoken. It actually must be made known to all people and to all nations. But all things from this mystery cant be spoken and cant be explained. Gods kingdom is hidden from the world. Thats why Jesus spoke of Gods kingdom in parables. *