The Gospel in the Garden

This morning, in my personal devotions, I read again the first three chapters of Genesis. In doing so, I was reminded of the sovereign majesty of the Lord. With effortless ease, the Eternal Creator perfectly sculpted the heavens and the earth.

I was then reminded of the gracious nature of the Lord. He perfectly ordered the universe, the skies, the planet, and the garden. He stocked the air with birds, the woods with creatures, and the ponds with fish. Then, when his spherical masterpiece was completed, he created man in his own image, placed him in the midst of paradise, and proclaimed him to be lord of the manor. Finally, to top it off, God provide the perfect spouse for his image-bearer; she completed him. Together they were to enjoy God, enjoy one another, enjoy the planet, and make disciples. Together, they were to expand God’s church from pole to pole.

Then I was reminded of man’s folly and rebellion. Adam led poorly while Eve learned poorly. Somehow they over-valued the wisdom of a serpent. Somehow they over-valued their own ability to think logically and make decisions. Tragically they under-valued the truth-filled revelation given them by the Sovereign Lord. They considered whether or not to obey. They partook of the one forbidden tree. Horribly, the first couple joined themselves to Lucifer’s rebellious cult, and the consequences were terrible. Immediately, Adam and Eve experienced spiritual death. Perpetually, all they could produce were children of the devil. In addition, physical and eternal death were promised right around the corner.

Then I saw it afresh — the merciful nature of the Lord. It was fantastically beautiful. Adam and Eve ran. They self-clothed themselves. They hid from their “former” Friend, or so they thought. However, God would not leave them be. He sought them out. He, who gave them his Law, determined to give them his undeserved forgiveness and love. He who promised them death, purposed to die on their behalf, because he who walked with them in the cool of the day, was not interested on walking without them forever and ever. Therefore, God came near. He called out their names and clothed them. Sure, he promised some ongoing discipline; their sin would have consequences. However, from this time forth, they were to go forth, glorify and enjoy him, steward the planet, teach their sinful children and neighbors the Gospel, and spread his church across the globe.

Then I was reminded of the holy judgment and damnation of the Lord. The fantastic and undeserved mercy extended toward them, this mercy was not extended to Lucifer and his accompanying angels. No mercy and grace was provided and offered to them. No divine covering came their way. Like Adam and Eve, they knew God. Like Adam and Eve, they were consumed with self-glorification, and they spurned his Law. Like Adam and Eve, they were promised eternal death. However, unlike Adam and Eve, no sacrificial atonement and familial reunion was over the horizon. Forever, these created and sinful creatures would remain separated from their Sovereign Master who created them for his glory.

Do you know your condition?  It is not good. All of you are sinful. All reading this post are guilty. All have proven to be members of Satan’s team interested in self-glorification. Consequently, every single individual reading this blog — and all those who are not — deserve to be cast from the presence of the Lord forever. There is no one righteous, not your father, not your mother, not the person in the remotest village, not the infant in your crib. There is none righteous, no not one.

Do you know there is hope?  God has not determined to treat all men as they deserve. While he has decreed to grant earned judgment to some, God has also decreed to grant unearned mercy to others. Yes, many reading this blog have their names penned in unalterable ink in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Yes, according to God’s divine revelation, many alive today are the foreknown, foreloved, chosen, predestined or the elect.

Who can receive such undeserved blessings?  Scripture gives this answer as well, “Whosoever will may come.” You want Jesus; he wants you! As a matter of fact, the only reason you want Jesus is because he is or has sovereignly enticed your soul. Just do what you want! If you want Jesus, he stands ready to save. He has already paid for your sins. He has already provided your righteousness. Respond with faith. Be clothed by your Savior. Repent of your sins and seek his assistance in walking and worshiping aright.

Then what ought you to do?  Walk out of the garden, glorify and enjoy your Lord, use your gifts, steward his stuff, love your neighbors, make disciples, build his church, endure the consequences of sin, and wait for the family reunion. The Garden is coming back again — better than ever. To read of this, you might want to read the last three chapters of God’s Book.





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