If God allowed Satan in the garden, did he want Adam and Eve to fall? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
2673. And if you get our voicemail, feel free to leave us your message. And we try to review our voicemails once a day. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts. And you can always email us your question at questions at COREChristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Mike calling in from Edmonton, Canada. Mike, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi, Pastor Adriel and Bill, God bless you. This is my first time calling.
So I hope I don't sound too nervous. But I was reading John. And in chapter one, it talks about the essence of Christ, Him being the Word of God. And then if you go down to verse 14, it talks about, it talks about the John, he says that we beheld Him, the only begotten from the Father, full of grace.
And truth. And then if you go down to verse 17, it says, for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. Now, in my time in the Word of God, I'm coming to understand that grace is not unmerited. Actually, it is merited for Christ Himself won the grace of the Father for us so that through faith in Christ, we have earned through Christ, not that we have earned through Christ.
Not that we have earned it, sorry, but Christ has earned it for us, the grace of God. My question to you is, is the grace of God only effective on those who place their faith in Christ? And how does God appropriate His grace into the lives of people, Christian, non-Christian, and how to how do those who place their faith in the work of Christ on our behalf?
How do we appropriate God's grace in our lives? A lot there. I love that you're digging into the scriptures and great questions, Mike. Thank you for calling. Always good to get new first-time callers first. With regard to what you were quoting from the Gospel of John, and especially what he says in verse 17, the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Really interesting there. John seems to be echoing the language that's used throughout the Old Testament to refer to God's steadfast love and faithfulness, His covenant love, the Hebrew word chesed. What John is emphasizing here is that in Jesus we see the manifestation, if you will, of God's covenant love, the word made flesh incarnate for us, for our salvation. If you think about grace specifically, and it sounds to me like some of your question is just thinking about the definition of grace, grace throughout the New Testament in particular is something that God gives to people who have not earned it. In fact, I've heard some people describe grace as God's demerited favor because what we deserve as a result of our sins is death, is God's judgment and curse. Instead of giving us what we do deserve, that is what we have merited, Mike, death and judgment, God gives us grace in His son, Jesus. The way in which the grace of God is appropriated in our lives is through Christ, through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ accomplished for us and then applied to us in time by the Holy Spirit.
How does God apply it to us in time by the Holy Spirit? Through the proclamation of the gospel, through the preaching of the word of God, faithful preaching of the word of God, through the ordinances that Jesus gave, we sometimes refer to these as means of grace, baptism and the Lord's Supper, places where the Lord is powerfully working by His spirit to apply the benefits of what Jesus did to us for us. I appreciate the way you were saying, it's not that we merit God's grace, it's that we receive essentially what Christ has won. Sometimes the way in which people have talked about this is referring to the obedience of Jesus, the active obedience of Jesus, that is, His fulfilling the law of God perfectly in our place. Obeying the Father at every turn, perfectly loving the Father, perfectly loving His neighbor, as it were, and yet still coming under our curse, our judgment because of our sins. We receive the perfect righteous life of Jesus, the merit of Jesus, if you will, in our justification. It's imputed to us, Christ's righteousness is given to us. Again, it's by grace because we don't deserve that.
That's the way I would articulate those things. There's some really good stuff there. It is effective for those who believe. Sometimes we talk about God's common grace, that is, this idea that God is just good. He gives good gifts to everybody. When we're talking about redemption and the application of Christ's redemption to an individual, it's for the believer.
It's effective by the grace of the Holy Spirit for those who trust in Christ. God bless. Thanks so much for your question, Mike.
Excellent one. Thanks for digging into God's word. We always appreciate that when our listeners take the time to really ask those questions about Scripture and then give us a call. In fact, if you'd like to give us a call, you can call us anytime and leave us a voicemail at 833-843-2673.
That's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Jerry in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Jerry, what's your question for Adriel?
Yes. I'd like to know why Jesus had to heal a blind man twice. Jerry, you are referring to that scene in the Gospel of Mark in Mark 8, beginning in verse 22, I believe.
I'm just going to read it. They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. And when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, Do you see anything? And he looked up and said, I see people, but they look like trees walking. In other words, he doesn't see too clearly. Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again, and he opened his eyes and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home saying, Do not even enter the village. Okay, what's going on here? By the way, when I take off my glasses, people do kind of look like trees walking around.
I can sympathize with this guy. But what's going on? Did Jesus just not have enough power the first time to heal this guy? Well, no, I don't think that's the case. Throughout the Gospels, it's absolutely clear that Jesus can just speak and an individual is healed. And so there's something here.
There's a lesson to be learned. Some people have pointed, Jerry, to the idea that maybe the healing was in proportion to this individual's faith. There are places in the Gospels where Jesus says, According to your faith, may it be done to you. And so some have said, Well, maybe this guy just didn't have enough faith the first time, and then his faith was bolstered the second time, that kind of a thing.
I don't know that that's the best way of looking at this. I think that what you have here is something that really took place, but it's also a sort of parable of sorts for the disciples' own lack of clear vision. Their lack of seeing Jesus clearly for who he is. It seems like throughout the Gospels, they have a hard time understanding.
In fact, right before this, Jesus has to help them out. Verse 18, he says, Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear, and do you not remember. And then he talks about these two miracles that he did, sort of interesting parallel there, like the two healings right here in verses 22 and following. And then Jesus was just talking about these two miracles that he did with feeding multiple people. He says, When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up? They said to him, Twelve. And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?
And they said to him, Seven. And he said to them, Do you not yet understand? So it seems like at this stage in the Gospel of Mark, the disciples, they're not clearly seeing things. They're not clearly understanding who Jesus is.
It's blurred vision, if you will. And many of us, many people today can have that sort of blurred vision when it comes to Jesus. But Jesus is leading his disciples into a clearer understanding.
And in fact, right after this, what do you have? You have Peter in verses 27 and following, confessing Jesus as the Christ. So again, I think what's happening here is that this healing in one sense is a picture of the lack of understanding, the blindness the disciples have and had at that point. But they're being led into more clarity. And so it's certainly not that Jesus just wasn't able to, because we know throughout the Gospels, he doesn't need any help. And so he's trying to teach us and he's trying to teach his disciples there something.
And so that's what I would say about this text. God bless, Jerry. Thanks, Jerry. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We want to take a moment to say thank you to a very special group of people.
We call them our inner core. These are folks that really believe in this ministry and what we do, and so much so that they're willing to make a donation every month to keep us on the air. We don't receive money from a particular church or denomination.
We don't play commercials on this program. We count on people just like you to make donations to keep us doing what we're doing. And Adriel is particularly thankful for every member of the inner core. Yeah, each and every one of you.
I mean, I truly am. Thank you so much for your prayers and for your support. It's a huge encouragement to our team. And I want to speak to those of you who might be interested in joining the inner core. Really, if you've been encouraged by the work that we do, if you listen to Core Christianity and you're helped in your walk with the Lord, as you think about some of these questions and maybe how you would even answer these questions for your own friends and loved ones, as you've been blessed, would you consider partnering with us to continue to get the word out? The inner core is a monthly donation of $25 or more.
It really isn't much, but it goes a long way for us. And so would you consider joining our team, becoming a part of the inner core? When you do, we'll send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, which is an excellent book. We'll help you continue to grow in your understanding of the core doctrines of the Christian faith.
And we like to send you things throughout the year as well to continue to encourage you in your walk with the Lord and to say thank you for being a part of the inner core. I was thinking my daughter spends about $25 a month at Starbucks, so maybe I can get her to... Yeah, yeah. That's it, Bill?
$25? I mean, that's... What, is she just getting, you know, black coffee? I don't know. Gotta give her to give up those mochas and make a contribution to the inner core. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And the way to join the inner core is you go to our website corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. That's corechristianity.com slash inner core. And learn more about joining that wonderful group of people that we are so thankful for. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in earlier this week.
This is Joy. If God is all-knowing, omnipotent, all-powerful, didn't he know what was going to happen with Adam and Eve when he allowed or he sent Satan to pressure them? It appears to me that God would know that Adam and Eve would fall and that they would not be able to withstand. They might have been obedient for millions of years.
There's no telling. It were not that God wanted them to fall and so he allowed Satan to come and pressure them like that? I question, did God then want all the rest of the world to be in sin? It seems they were obedient up until God allowed Satan to do what he did. He is in full control. Why would he want this to happen to his creation?
Thank you. Joy, thank you for that question and a question that I think a lot of people ask. My children have asked this question, you know, why did God let Satan do what he did? Did God, if he knew that mankind was going to fall into sin, did God want that to happen? Why did God allow that to happen? A couple of times you use the language of God wanting this. Maybe God wants us to be in sin or wanted Adam and Eve to fall as though he took pleasure in it, as though this was a good part of his plan, that kind of a thing.
I think we have to distinguish here. The prophet Ezekiel said that God does not delight or take pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn and repent. The Psalmist in the book of Psalms in Psalm chapter 5 says that God is not a God who delights in wickedness. Psalm chapter 5 verse 4, you are not a God who delights in wickedness, evil may not dwell with you.
We have to understand first and foremost who our God is. He's not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, in evil, in sin. We know that he's sovereign and that he allowed Adam and Eve to fall, but that doesn't mean that God was coercing them or that he was putting the serpent in the garden as a stumbling block. God called them to keep, to tend, to guard the garden if you will, and they chose to disobey God's word. They could have obeyed according to the commandment of God, but they made a decision left to the freedom of their wills to sin. As a result, sin entered the world. I don't think sin, again according to what the scripture says, is something that God delights in or rejoices in. It's something that grieves him. Our sins as believers grieve the Holy Spirit.
How do we make sense of this? God is all-knowing and yet he allowed this to happen. Typically, what we say is God did not permit anything to take place in his good world that he had not already determined to fix, to solve, to bring healing. While God allowed mankind to do this, God is always in control and God is always in the business of bringing about redemption, restoration, healing. That's precisely what he did there in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.
In particular, you have the promise in Genesis 3 verse 15 that the seed of the woman, Jesus Christ, is going to crush the head of the serpent. That God was going to send his very son so that our sins might be forgiven because God does not delight in sin. He delights in goodness, in righteousness. It's what he calls us to. God didn't want it in the sense that he took pleasure in it, but he did allow it according to his sovereign purposes.
He also purposed to bring about redemption through it. That's what we can experience. That's what you can experience by placing your trust in Jesus Christ and experiencing the forgiveness of your sins. Thank you for calling.
Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have a YouTube channel if you want to check us out on YouTube. In fact, you can watch our program live every day at 11 30 a.m. Pacific time, which translates into 12 30 Mountain, 1 30 Central or 2 30 Eastern time. Just check out our YouTube channel and you can send us a message through the YouTube channel as well.
In fact, we received this message from one of our YouTube listeners or viewers. What is the difference between speaking in tongues and praying in tongues? Well, so there's a lot to this question.
There is essentially one just taking a step back. We know that these gifts the gift of tongues gifts like the gift of prophecy were very clearly a part of the apostolic age. You see them, you know practice in places like the Book of Acts and the Book of First Corinthians. And so there's a debate in the church today about whether or not these gifts have an ordinary place in the life of the church local churches. Now personally my view which I think is based upon what the scriptures teaches that these gifts ordinarily are not a part of the life of the church that they were given for a time, especially as a confirmation to the proclamation of the gospel. I think there's evidence of this in the book of Hebrews chapter 2 verse 4 and that ordinarily God is not doing this so that we have you know prophets walking around the church and people speaking in tongues and prophesying.
But I recognize that there are Christians who love and believe in Jesus who differ with me on this. With regard to what the gift of tongues was or is and the difference between praying in tongues and speaking in tongues. I don't think based on what Paul said in First Corinthians 14 and even what we see in Acts chapter 2 that the gift of tongues. I don't think that there's any difference between praying or speaking in tongues because I think when an individual was speaking in tongues it was speech directed to God. Even in the book of Acts what the people heard were the people declaring the wonderful works of God. In other words it was almost as if they were praising God in these other languages. The disciples were praising God in these other languages which in turn led the people to begin to ask questions and Peter was able to preach the gospel there on the day of Pentecost. In Acts it was prayer or praise to God and I think that fits what we see in First Corinthians chapter 14 where the Apostle Paul talks about the gift of tongues as these prayers offered up to the Lord in an unknown language.
I think the legitimate gift of tongues is always or was always directed toward God and so in that sense there wouldn't be a difference. Thank you for that question. Again the passages that you're going to want to look at and especially dig in deeper First Corinthians chapter 14. That's where Paul has his extended discussion or teaching on the gift of tongues and also the gift of prophecy. God bless.
Thanks for that Adriel. By the way we just want to mention we have an opportunity for you today to join our inner core, those folks that support this program on a regular basis because they believe in what we are doing on a daily basis. We are presenting the core answers to those core questions that people have about the Bible and the Christian life. You can learn more about joining the inner core by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core.
Well here's an email that came in. By the way if you have an email question you can send it to us at questions at corechristianity.com and Tom asks this question Adriel. He says I've been reading about Noah in my studies and one of the phrases noted comes from Matthew 24 verses 36 to 39. Marriage is brought up in the text and marriage is something God smiles on and blesses but why would that be something to be pointed out in Noah's day? Yeah, what exactly is Jesus doing here in Matthew 24?
Let me just read the text so we can get the context here. Verse 36 of Matthew 24. Concerning that day and hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Now what's being emphasized here, this is not a comment in particular on the goodness of marriage if you will because you're absolutely right Tom.
What marriage is is a good gift that God gives, something that should be honored by all. The author of the Hebrews says this in Hebrews chapter 13. And so this is not Jesus minimizing marriage or downplaying. He's making a specific note about how the people living in Noah's day prior to the coming of the flood simply were not expecting the judgment that was coming.
They were going about their lives like everything was normal, fine. They were getting married, getting engaged, taking trips, so on and so forth, and they weren't aware of the fact that God's judgment was coming. And Jesus says in the same way, when the judgment comes on the last day, it's going to be like that. They're going to be people who were just sort of going about their lives, marrying and giving in marriage, not aware at all of what God is doing or the calls to repentance that they should have heeded. And so in that sense, Tom, this is why Jesus is bringing this up.
It's not, again, as a way of saying the people were bad in that day, they were getting married and marriage is a bad thing, it's they were clueless. And the sad reality is today there are many people who are clueless, who live their lives completely irrespective of God, his grace, his work in the world. We breathe the air that God gives us. We enjoy the common grace gifts that God bestows upon us, life, breath, good food, health that we can give thanks to God for. But the sad reality is that so often we don't give thanks to God for those things. And there is coming a day when each and every one of us will stand before the true and the living God and give an account to him. And Jesus is talking about that day there in Matthew 24. And we are called, friends, you are called to receive his grace now, to experience his mercy in your life, to trust in him for the forgiveness of your sins. And when you do, you experience that grace and you're united to Jesus by faith. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
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