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Is Work a Result of the Fall?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 22, 2021 6:30 am

Is Work a Result of the Fall?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 22, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 798 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. My question is about your previous statements about the once and for all sacrifice in Hebrews 10. Did you mean that you cannot ask for forgiveness after you have received the knowledge of Jesus Christ?

2. I am struggling consistently following God and praying and reading my Bible. What should I do?

3. In Genesis 3:17, it says that, “the ground is cursed because of you.” What does that and the rest of this passage mean? Is this the reason we have to work our entire lives?

4. Should we refrain from working and do any kind of recreational activities on the Sabbath?

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CAN I LOSE MY SALVATION?

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Is work a result of the fall? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adrian Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites.

In fact, you can watch Adriel live in the studio right now on our YouTube channel and message us that way. Of course, you can always email us your question at questions at corechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our listeners named Gordon. Gordon, thanks for listening to the broadcast and for following up on a question that we answered earlier from Hebrews chapter 10. This is a chapter, by the way, folks.

It gets a lot of people upset because they struggle to understand it. Is the author of the Hebrews here saying that we can lose our salvation, that if I continue in a pattern of sin, I'm lost forever? I know sincere Christians who really, really struggle with this because they think, man, I haven't perfectly repented.

Maybe this is me. Verse 26, Hebrews chapter 10, if we go on sinning deliberately, after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. But a fearful expectation of judgment and fury of fire that will consume the adversaries, anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on evidence of two or three witnesses.

How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified? Scary words from the author to the Hebrews here, and so people think, okay, if I go on sinning willfully, deliberately, does that mean there's no more hope for me? And the answer is we got to understand the context of the book of Hebrews. Hebrews was written to a group of people who had embraced the apostolic gospel, the preaching of the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ.

At least it seemed like they did, but then all of a sudden, after the preaching of the disciples, they began to go back to the types and shadows, the ceremonies of the old covenant, the Old Testament. And that's why throughout the book of Hebrews, the constant refrain is Christ is better. He's better than the angels. He's better than Moses. He's better than the Levitical priesthood.

Don't go back to those things. Go to Christ. And so for people who abandon the gospel, who flee from Christ, who don't believe in him, there is no hope because there's no other sacrifice for sins apart from Jesus. And that's why just a little bit earlier in verse 19, he said, Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus.

The point is this. If you're trusting in anything besides the blood of Jesus Christ to justify you before God, you're hopeless. And what the people in the Hebrew church were being tempted to do is to go back to trusting in the blood of bulls and goats and the ceremonial system of the old covenant. The author of the Hebrews says if you do that, you're trampling Jesus underfoot. You're counting his blood as a common thing, as though it were worthless.

And if you do that, you're in big trouble. And so this is actually an encouragement to us to cling to nothing but the cross of Jesus Christ, the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. And that's what the author of the Hebrews is trying to get across here in chapter 10 and throughout this book. Thank you for that question. Great question and great response, Adriel.

Thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we would love to hear from you. And by the way, feel free to let your friends from church know about this program.

They have a question and maybe even know some people who struggle with their faith or have questions about the Christian faith. Adriel will be glad to take those calls as well. So give them this number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Michelle in Cincinnati, Ohio. Michelle, what's your question for Adriel? Hello?

Hi, Michelle. What's your question? Okay. Yeah, it's kind of a two-fold question. What does it mean to work out your salvation with fear and trembling?

Is that work-based? And two, I've given my life to Christ multiple times, but I seem to do really bad with my walk with God. Like I'll do well for a week, but then I feel like I abandoned him for like two or three weeks and then I come back and it's just this inconsistency in prayer and even in talking to him and reading my Bible and I feel like I'm not a Christian because I don't feel like Christians leave God for like a month and then come back and repeat the cycle all over again. And I don't know.

And how do you know if you're being genuine or just going through emotions? Yeah, Michelle, thank you so much for that question. So with regard to the first part of your question, you're quoting from Philippians 2, verse 12 and 13. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now not only is in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. He really is calling them to pursue the Lord faithfully, to love the Lord. And this is another verse that causes a lot of questions, especially when you stop at verse 12, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. You think, okay, is this works-based? Does this mean that I have to save myself and that it's just this weight, this burden that I have to carry?

Well, that wouldn't be good news. That wouldn't be gospel, would it, Michelle? The gospel is what God has done for us, for you in Jesus, in the perfect life that Jesus Christ lived for you on your behalf, in his suffering and death for you, for the forgiveness of all your sins, for the forgiveness, dear sister, of all the times that you turn your back on him.

And you do well for a week and then you struggle for two weeks, that kind of a thing. There is grace sufficient for you. And we got to go to verse 13 as well. For it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. And so that obedience, that call to pursue the Lord in holiness, even the desire, the will to do that and those works, those are things that the Lord places in our hearts.

It's God who is working in you by the grace of his Holy Spirit. Now with regard to the struggle that you mentioned, one, let me just say, if you're a Christian, you're going to struggle. The sign of the fact that we're Christians is not that we don't struggle. Just read Romans chapter seven or Galatians chapter five. There is this battle with the flesh and if we are not diligent, well, it's really easy to drift. I was just quoting from the book of Hebrews where there's this thread of drifting, of drifting away from the gospel and of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so we are called to pursue the Lord diligently in holiness, but the reality is, sister, we don't do that perfectly and so we have to continually go back to the cross. And the reality is we're not Christians because we do our devotions every single day or because we are faithful to the Lord for three weeks without any failures, that kind of a thing.

No, we're Christians because we believe in Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins for people who don't deserve it. Now, one follow-up question that I have for you, Michelle, and I think that this is really important in terms of just the everyday Christian life and growing in grace, is are you a part of a good church? Are you a member of a local church somewhere where you live? Yes, I am.

Okay. And do you feel like you have community there, people around you that can encourage you in your walk with the Lord? I mean, do you have these kinds of conversations with your pastor, with some sisters in the faith who can encourage you? I do talk to my pastor quite a bit about if I'm a Christian or not. He says I'll probably always struggle with this because I am bipolar and it's a mental illness. I don't really keep commitments that well. So he said I may always struggle, but I don't want to be a Christian and name only or go through religious deeds or be one of the people Jesus says, just depart from me.

I never knew you. You thought you were saved. And that's why I was asking, how do you know if you're being genuine and God's really called you or you're going through the motions? Yeah.

Really, really good questions there. And thank you for some of that clarification, sister. So let me point to another passage of scripture that I think could be encouraging for you. It's in Hebrews chapter 6. And here the author of the Hebrews is encouraging this church to cling to the objective hope of what Christ has done for them. And he says in verse 17, when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise, the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath. So that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

When you struggle with these feelings, as we do at times, the temptation is to look within and to say, boy, I'm just not that faithful. You know, there are times where I feel like I'm really walking with Jesus well, and then the next week I'm struggling, that kind of a thing. And when we look in, we see indwelling sin still, and we can become despairing. Here's what you need to do, Michelle.

You need to look up. You need to set your eyes continually on Christ and on his gospel. The anchor of your soul is not how well you do this week or next week. The anchor of your soul is Jesus Christ and what he's done for you. And we struggle to see that, to embrace it, to lay hold of it, especially when we feel like we're caught up in a pattern of sin. But again, the answer is looking away from yourself to something secure, to an anchor, to something stable. And that stable anchor is Jesus, his love for you as exhibited at the cross. And so I just want to encourage you continually to fix your eyes there, to continue to press into your Christian community. I'm so grateful to hear that your pastor spends time with you and talks with you. And just know that you're not alone in feeling these things, that faithful Christians can really struggle with the sense of assurance. But instead of looking to yourself and how well you're doing, look to Christ and to what he's done for you, even when you fail.

And lay hold of that. And as you lay hold of that, continue to turn toward him and away from those patterns of sin that you feel like get you weighed down. And so may the Lord bless you. And I just want to pray for you really quickly, Michelle.

Father, I thank you for Michelle. I thank you, Lord God, that she wants to know that she's genuine, that her faith is genuine, that she's forgiven. And so I pray, Lord God, that you would help her by the grace of your Holy Spirit. And through your pure gospel, Lord, forgiveness for sinners, that she would know that that's for her. And that she would experience a sense of peace, joy, Lord, in knowing your love and the love of your son, Jesus. And I pray that knowing that, Lord, day by day, she might walk with you, draw near to you.

And when she struggles, when she falls or fails, she would lift her eyes up to you once again and to Christ and to the cross and receive the grace that is there for her. Would you bless Michelle in Jesus' name? Amen. Amen. Michelle, thanks so much for your call, for listening to Core Christianity. And, you know, Adriel, I'm just struck.

Michelle's, as you said, not alone. We get so many calls from people who are basing their faith on what they feel at the time or their circumstances at the time. And you keep coming back to this because it's so key. It's the objective work of Jesus Christ on the cross, the finished work, not how we feel on a given day.

Absolutely. Because there are going to be mornings where you wake up and you feel very spiritual, like, boy, I just want to read my Bible and pray and it's wonderful. And then there are going to be mornings where you wake up and you don't feel any of those things and you think to yourself, boy, did the Holy Spirit leave? Am I really even a Christian? That's why we have to base everything not on our feelings, but on that anchor that we have in Jesus Christ.

He really did die and rise again from the dead. That's true. That's history.

That's objective. That's where we get our comfort from. And so continually going back to that message is so important for us.

Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. You might want to make a note of that for future reference.

833-THE-CORE. Now, one of the things we often receive questions about on this program is the topic of repentance. What does it mean to be truly repentant, to truly turn from your sin? And we actually have a wonderful free resource on that topic we'd like to make available to you.

Yes. Seven things everyone should know about repentance. It's a free download at corechristianity.com that describes repentance. And this is a biblical word. It's something we're called to as people and as Christians every day to turn to the Lord, away from our sins and to Christ and to His grace. And so get a hold of this resource, this free resource, Seven Things Everyone Should Know About Repentance. You can find it on our website.

It's a free download. Just go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Look for Seven Things Everyone Should Know About Repentance. We have a voicemail we wanted to listen to from one of our listeners.

This is Anna, who called in earlier this week. My question is about Genesis 3, actually, starting with line 17. It says, since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. I want to know what that means. I was just wondering if you could break it down for me because I had a couple thoughts about it.

Like one being, you know, is that the reason why we have to work our whole life up until we die? I just wanted to clearly understand this. So thank you. Yeah, thank you for that question, Anna.

I appreciate your voicemail. So, Genesis 3, 17 to Adam, he said, because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I command you, you shall not eat of it. Cursed is the ground because of you. In pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you.

You shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken, for you are dust, and to dust you shall return. And so there is this curse on man's labor. Now, it sounds like the question is, does this mean that work, labor, is the result of the fall? The answer to that question is no, because earlier in Genesis chapter 2 when God placed man in the garden, verse 15 says, the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work and to keep it. Adam and Eve had a duty there in the garden to cultivate it. Now, the difference between what was happening there and then what took place after the fall is after the fall, now the ground yields thorns and thistles. Now, the work, instead of being a joy, is this laborious, painful task. Sometimes you're going to plant things and the stuff that's going to grow isn't going to be so good. I imagine that prior to the fall, you know, they could have planted avocado trees and they would have just sprung up like that with perfectly ripe avocados. Not a lot of work. That's at least what I like to think. But the reality is work is not... Guacamole for everyone.

Yes, guacamole for everyone. That's the garden of Eden. But no, so work is not a part of the fall, but painful labor, that toil, the thorns and thistles, that is a part of the fall. I imagine that in the new creation, we're going to be working, serving the Lord, worshipping the Lord, but it's not going to be painful labor, toilsome.

It's going to be pure joy, and so we do work right now, and oftentimes work is not easy. It's hard. It's painful. It's difficult, and yet that's because it's been corrupted, if you will, or cursed due to sin in the world. That's the problem.

It's sin, and the solution is Christ and his gospel. Thank you for that question, Anna. Great question, Anna. Thanks for calling in.

We appreciate that. Let's go to JT in Suffolk, Virginia. JT, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes, I had a question about the Sabbath.

I've been listening to other episodes. I had a question about are we not allowed to do any recreation, or do you need chores, or whatnot on Sundays? JT, thank you for that question. The Sabbath was instituted by God as a day of rest following the pattern that you see in creation where God rested on the seventh day, which is ultimately a picture of eternity, that seventh day of eternal rest. That's something that many of the ancient rabbis would talk about. Then you have this very clear command in Exodus 20, verse 8. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.

On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male servant or your female servant or your livestock or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. There's the Sabbath command given to the people of God under the old covenant. It's really interesting because there were all sorts of Sabbath controversies in the Gospels. Jesus was often criticized by the religious leaders for things that he would do on the Sabbath. I bring this up because I think it helps to illuminate a proper understanding of the Sabbath.

Let me just give you one example from the Gospel of Mark. In Mark chapter 2, verse 23, it says, One Sabbath he was going through the grain fields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain, and the Pharisees were saying to him, Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath? And he said to them, Have you never read what David did when he was in need and was hungry?

He and those who were with him, how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the presents, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him. And he said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. There's a very strong claim to the divinity of Jesus Christ. He says, I'm the Lord of the Sabbath.

But there's something else that he says that's really interesting. He says, The Sabbath was made for man. In other words, JT, this is a gift given to people. It's the gift of rest.

And ultimately that gift is found first and foremost by faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus said at the end of Matthew chapter 11, Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you what? I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart. In Jesus Christ, we find that true Sabbath rest that we need.

And friends, in a world that's just everything seems like it's going 100 miles an hour, and we're all so busy and occupied, boy, doesn't that sound wonderful. It's the deep soul rest, rest from sin, rest from evil, rest from the fall, if you will. That's what we find in Jesus Christ. And so I think that's key in this discussion is recognizing that it's a gift, and ultimately the Sabbath, JT, was about worship. It was about worship, drawing near to the Lord, doing good. Often in those Sabbath controversies in the Gospels, Jesus says, You guys won't even do good on the Sabbath.

Which one of you, if one of your animals falls into a ditch on the Sabbath, wouldn't you go down and rescue it? Jesus frequently would heal people on the Sabbath. He would do good on the Sabbath, and he was often criticized for that. So think about the Sabbath in this way. The day of worship, let's call it the day of worship, the Lord's day, resting together with the people of God. It's about resting in the grace of Jesus Christ. It's a gift that God gives to you, JT, and we're called to do good, to love one another on the Sabbath day. Now I would say if you brought up this question of recreation, well look, if recreating means avoiding the people of God, not worshipping and not doing good, well then yeah. And I think sadly a lot of times people today think, I need rest from church. That's why I'm not going to go. I need a Sabbath from the Sabbath, if you will.

And that's just crazy. The Sabbath was this picture of coming into God's presence and resting in what he had done for his people and enjoying his presence. That's what we do when we gather together for church. And ultimately we gather on what day? The first day of the week. Sunday.

Why? Because it's on that day that Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. And so every time when we gather together, brothers and sisters, for worship, for rest, we are resting in the work of Jesus Christ, that he lived the life of perfect obedience that we could never live.

We struggle. But he lived the perfect life of obedience, then suffered. Suffered for our sake, for your sake, so that your sins might be forgiven, rose again from the dead conquering death. And so we gather together to worship him and to rest in him. Join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-20 07:13:48 / 2023-08-20 07:23:40 / 10

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