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1189. The Truth About Man

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
February 17, 2022 7:00 pm

1189. The Truth About Man

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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February 17, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Jim Berg of the BJU seminary faculty continues a doctrinal series entitled, “What Is Man?” from Genesis 2:7

The post 1189. The Truth About Man appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.


Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. We're continuing the study series about the doctrine of man.

Today's message will be preached by seminary professor, Dr. Jim Berg, and the title of his message is The Truth About Man. Well, when you go to a play, when you walk in the building, you're handed a program. And that program kind of sets the stage, so to speak, for what is going to happen on stage.

It may tell you a little bit of the history that goes before the setting, it will introduce you to the characters, it will introduce you to perhaps the conflicts that are going on, the opposition that has to be overcome, or perhaps some human dilemma that the characters have to work through. And in these opening messages on what is man, we're doing just that. You're reading the program.

There are several acts to follow, so don't leave during intermission. There are several acts to follow throughout the semester here, where this drama of redemption and restoration is going to unfold before us. But for now, we're still kind of reading the program.

We're looking at the background. And last week, Dr. Olinger talked to us about the image of God in man, and I want to take up the narrative in Genesis 2 and 3 this morning. And discuss a little bit more about the creation and the fall of man, because our question this morning to answer is, what happened to man that marred him?

And I want to open by looking at Genesis 2, 7, and that verse is on the screen in front of you. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. And this is the origin of all human life. And it is set now against a potential of death in Genesis 2, 16 to 17, where the Lord God said, He commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And this is the promise of death if God's words are rejected. And right off the bat we find these two opposing forces of life and death. And every conflict throughout the scriptures in some way has to do this as people and we choose life or we choose the ways of death.

And I want us to look at some truths about man in extension more of what Dr. Olinger said last week. And the first thing I want us to look at is that man is not self-existent. And we just looked at that in verse 7, where God formed man out of the dust of the ground. And that means that Adam needed the form of his being and his life itself to come from the Creator. Adam was made independent, to be dependent upon God. He was not made to be autonomous or independent from God.

And neither are we. Adam did not have some kind of soulish self-consciousness and decide I need a body and he goes over to a river bed and forms a picture of a being of a man and breathes into it some kind of life. He couldn't do that. He needed a Creator to do that for him. And secondly, man is not only not self-existent but man is not self-sufficient in verses 8 to 15. We don't have time to read that but this is about how God planted a garden and put Adam and Eve in that garden. Adam needed God to provide for him physically and relationally.

And so do we. Adam could not make the plants. He could not bring living plants into being. He could not bring animals into being, although at that time they weren't eating animals. He could not bring the sun into existence or the wind or dry land or water. He needed God to do that for him. And he also needed somebody, he needed God to create relationship for him and Eve. He could not say, you know, I've named all these animals and I don't have one of those and I think I'll make me one. He wasn't able to do that. He needed a Creator to do those things and you and I need the Creator in similar ways. And thirdly, and the one we want to spend the most time on, is that man is not made self-wise. Let me say I've never seen that before.

Maybe you haven't. I made it up for this. He was not made self-wise. He needed instruction from the Creator we find in verses 16 and 17 in chapter 2.

Adam needed to be told his limitations. He needed words from God to tell him, first of all, his roles and responsibilities. He did not come instinctively knowing his role or his responsibilities on the earth and neither do you or I.

We need the words of God to tell us our role on this earth and to tell us our responsibilities. And God's words told him that he was to be in this garden and to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it and work and keep the garden. And he was created to be a co-ruler over the earth to share dominion of it with God. He needed God to tell him that.

That did not come innately in him. And he also needed God to tell him what his restrictions were. He was not to eat of this tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden and he needed God to tell him the penalties if he did. And you and I also need God to tell us what our limitations and what our restrictions are. We need the words of God to inform us of those things. And they also warn us of the kinds of consequences that will come if we ignore the words of God. So these are important things to remember because you and I were made along with Adam to be very dependent creatures. Our world wants to make us independent of everything and be our own person and live our own way and go our own way and we were not created for that.

We need the words of God to tell us our purposes and so forth. Well that sets everything up for the script for the fall. And I want us to look at that and we could say it this way that behind every fall is belief in a lie. A lie in this case is information that contradicts God's words. And Satan in the form of a serpent came and talked with Eve and began to tell her words that contradicted God's words or implied certain things about God. They certainly implied some lies about God that he was not being good. He was not providing them everything they needed. And he told them lies about yourself. In order to really be wise you need to eat of this tree. And he told them lies about the consequences and how God's world works.

He said you will not surely die. And this is very very important for us because every fall in your life and in my life starts with a lie. Something that contradicts the words of God. And that is why we say secondly behind every fall is belief in a lie. And Adam and Eve sat or stood or whatever before that tree, before that serpent and pondered these words from the serpent and compared them to the words of God. And chose which words they were going to give weight to and which words they were going to believe. And Proverbs reminds us in 3.5 trust in the Lord put your confidence in the words of our God and his character with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding.

And Adam and Eve did that. They listened to the words of God and then they listened to the words of the serpent and then they evaluated them and then they chose to reject the words of God and believe the words of the serpent and then they made a decision to fall. Behind every fall is a belief in a lie.

It is a belief in a lie. This is why Jesus at the end of the Sermon on the Mount closes that sermon with these words. He said whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, these words of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man that built his house upon a rock. And the rains descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house and it fell not for it was founded on a rock. But whosoever heareth these sayings, these words of mine and doeth them not, I will liken him unto a foolish man that built his house upon a sand.

And the rains descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house and it fell and great was the fall of it. Our falls have everything to do with what we do with the words of our creator, the words of our God. And we are always believing somebody. We're believing our own evaluations, we're believing the words that the world gives us, we're believing the words that come from the sinful part of our heart, our flesh. The wisdom that is from below as we heard about earlier, or we're listening and believing the words of the living God as he's outlined them for us in his word. And hundreds of years before that sermon on the mount, God said through the prophet Isaiah a very similar thing. He said let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the Lord and he will have mercy unto our God for he will abundantly pardon. And he says for my words, my ways are not your ways, said the Lord, neither are my thoughts your thoughts.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways and your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. And then he points us to his words, he said for as the rain cometh down in the snow from heaven and watereth the earth and maketh it bring forth in bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth. It shall not return unto me void but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. And then he says if you will embrace my words, even in this fallen planet, he said you shall go forth with peace and be led forth with joy.

Did you know that if you put peace and joy in a blender the smoothie tastes like contentment? And he said if you will listen to my words and will do my words it will bring contentment, it will bring satisfaction. He said all the mountains shall break forth before you into singing, right in the Hebrew it says the hills are alive with the sound of music. And God says this is what I want to give you on this fallen broken planet but it comes through his words we must not believe the words of our own flesh or the words of our world.

Proverbs says that a man who trusts in his own heart is a fool. We must go to God for his words and thirdly behind every fall is a belief and a lie. A fall is a sinful choice we make once we reject God's word and believe that our way is best. And instead of listening to the words of God, Adam and Eve as I said evaluated those words against the words of Satan and we do the same thing. And then we choose which one we go and we believe lies, lies like well one more time won't hurt.

If I don't agree with it I don't have to do it, my body is my own I can do with it what I want. It won't hurt anybody, nobody's watching, God isn't doing this thing for me and therefore I may as well go do it for myself. All of these are lies because God's words have said things that contradict all of those lies. And behind every fall is belief in a lie, something that contradicts God and that was the script for the fall and it is a prototype for all of our falls. And it was why we must know the words of our creator, of our redeemer, the words of the living God. Well that fall brought many, many consequences and it introduced sin and suffering to this beautiful creation of God. It brought the physical death of all living things and this is the source of our grief and our sorrow on this planet of our suffering. This profound loss of deterioration and futility permeates the entire creation and then comes death and all of us feel it. All of us sense that deterioration in us and around us and we go on our spiritual journey and we seek the Lord and we find him in his word and he opens his word to us and encourages us and instructs us and then the fallenness of everything creeps in and we begin to deteriorate even in our spiritual lives unless we go back to his words again and reconnect with the living God because we were not created to be independent beings, we were created to be dependent. And the entire creation was subject to vanity as Paul said, this deterioration and this futility. In fact everything we could say on this creation has a taste of death in it, there's a flavor that this won't last.

And this is going to go away and nothing is permanent and that's why we even have to repaint our houses unless you have vinyl siding or aluminum siding. You have to repaint your house and you have to have somebody work on your car and you have to repair your clothes, you have to, everything deteriorates with time. It's part of living on a fallen planet. And everything in the creation leaves us disappointed in some way and everything is so temporary and it was intended to be this way. Because once we fell it would now be the propensity of our fallen nature to turn away from the creator and to find our satisfaction and our fulfillment in something in the creation itself instead of the creator. And to suck life out of some kind of a substance or some kind of an experience or a relationship and to make that what we live for and God has however embedded in all of those things a taste of death. And it ought to remind us that this is perhaps is a wonderful gift from God that he gives us but we must go to the creator of those gifts, the giver of those gifts if we're to have life giving existence. There was a physical death of all living things, this is the ruin of the fall. Secondly, there was also eternal death and hell for the unbelieving. And boy this is not politically correct to talk about today.

Sometimes we hear and sometimes maybe even our own souls say why would a good God send anybody to hell? Well you know, the extent of a penalty has everything to do with the extent of the authority of the person you're defying. An eight year old boy who says to his mom or to his father, you can't make me, may earn some time alone in his room or may earn a couple of whacks with a paddle. But an 18 year old who's just told by a city magistrate that he may not leave the county until his trial comes up next week and that 18 year old says to the judge, you can't make me.

Now that's a more serious offense because of who you said it to and it may earn him some time in the local jail until his trial comes up. And for us to say to the creator God the ultimate authority you can't make me is to bring on ourselves an infinite judgment because we have just defied an infinite being and the penalty is just because of the majesty of the one we have defied. And thankfully as we'll learn in some of the acts to follow in this drama play, this narrative, God made a provision for us. But this death passed upon all men for that all have sinned and the wages of this sin is death. But of course we'll look at later that the gift of eternal life is, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Thirdly, there is a spiritual death while living on this earth for those who reject or ignore God's words and Paul just unfolds this so well in Ephesians chapter 4. And Paul says that the unbelieving are alienated from the life of God and this is what we were like before our conversion and if we are without Christ today this is our state. We're alienated from the life of God, disconnected from the life of God. Having the understanding darkened Paul said because of the ignorance that is in them there's an ignorance in our intellect and he says because of the hardness of their heart. There's a hardness in the will and the emotions and it says who being past feeling there's a callousness and an emptiness in this heart and in the whole being without God. And as a result he said they have given themselves over to lasciviousness, with greediness, over to this unbridled sin without restraint in search for satisfaction from something in the creation.

An experience, a substance, a relationship. And then lastly, and this applies to us as believers, there is the death of hope for those who reject or ignore God's words, even for believers. I think it's important for us as we look at the permeating loss that exists on this fallen planet that we understand that sorrow is the emotion of that loss.

It is that taste of death. When we lose something our spirits groan inside Paul says. We grieve, we sorrow when we suffer, when we lose something. And we sorrow to the extent of how important that thing was. We sorrow differently about losing our car keys than we do about losing a loved one and just having buried a loved one at a funeral.

Because the value is so much different, the sorrow is heavier, it is greater. And although none of us like that negative emotion of sorrow there is nothing sinful about that emotion. Jesus sorrowed in the garden.

He said my soul is exceedingly sorrowful even unto death. Jesus is not despairing, he is experiencing the heaviness as he anticipates the loss he is going to sustain. He is going to become the sin bearer of the whole world and he knows what sin is like. Just from a human standpoint he is going to endure crucifixion. You and I might be able to somewhat imagine maybe what crucifixion is like.

Jesus knew what it was like, he made the human body, he made those nerve endings. And as he anticipated all of this loss in front of him he sorrowed. But he didn't despair, secondly despair is sorrowing over our loss without any hope. And our despair will grow and I'm not saying it's a sinful thing, in fact Peter says in 2 Peter 1 he says we have this living hope reserved for us in the heavens. This inheritance reserved for us in which we greatly rejoice though now if need be we are in heaviness through manifold trials. And God assures us that a living hope and a joy can abide in the same soul that is heavy because of manifold trials. And Paul says we sorrow, in 1 Thessalonians 4, we sorrow but not as those who have no hope. And when we reflect maybe upon our own condition, maybe the enormous losses that some of us have sustained, maybe physically.

Maybe there is serious physical dysfunction and disease or deformity in some way. These are heavy losses or the loss of a relationship that was important to us. Maybe we get word that something tragic is happening in our family and that's an enormous loss and we feel the heaviness of that. Or we watch somebody we love walk away from God and our heart is heavy as we watch that person self-destruct with his choices. Or maybe we're heavy because of something that has happened to us and someone because of their sin has taken away our innocence or because of our own choices we have taken away our purity. And these are heavy losses and there's nothing sinful about the sorrow over our losses. But what we do next can be sinful. And God calls us to himself during those losses as Jesus did.

There's a surrender. He said, Father, if it be thy will, let this cup pass for me. Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done. And because of the joy that was set before him, Hebrews says, he endured that cross and despised the shame.

And he did that for us. But he experienced all of the sorrow of living on this fallen planet. And the believer must always in his times of sorrow and loss must lift his gaze above what we see here to our creator who has words for us in those times. And that is what brings us hope and that's the next point. Hope is a confident expectation of a good outcome because God is involved in all of this. Now that outcome may not be until heaven but men and women there is a good outcome to what is happening in our lives as his children. And that's why Romans 8.28 is true that all things work together for good to those who love God who are the called according to his purpose. Because there's a great God involved in our losses and in the sorrow.

And that's why he says in Isaiah 41.10, he comes to us in our sorrow and in our problems and says, fear thou not. I am with you. Be not dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you.

I will help you. I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. These are his words. As Paul thought about all those things he said in 2 Corinthians 4, for which cause we faint not but though our outward man perish.

You ever feel like that? That your outward man is just about at the end. Though our outward man perish yet our inward man is renewed day by day for this light affliction which is but for a moment. Worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory while we look not at the things which are seen.

But the things which are not seen, the things which are seen are temporal, the things which are not seen are eternal. We must turn our gaze to our God as we live and walk on this broken, ruined, fallen planet with other fallen people around us and a fallen nature within us. Though we have been redeemed by the blood of our Savior. We need God just as much as Adam needed God to provide for us and to sustain us and to instruct us. And he is the source of our hope on a broken planet. God has a plan for giving us hope in all of this sorrow.

All of this suffering and in all of this sin. And the plan is in Romans 14 where Paul says, For whatsoever things were written for, what was given to us in the scriptures were written for our admonition, for our instruction, our learning. That we through patience, that's endurance and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Men and women you will have no hope without your Bible in front of you. You will have no hope without your Bible in front of you and a commitment to remain faithful to God through the trial because God is in the trial and because God is faithful to us. And lastly he says in that same passage, Romans 15, 13, Now the God of hope fill you with all joy, there's joy and peace.

There's that smoothie of contentment again. Now the God of all hope, by the way, if you want hope you have to go to God to get it. He has a monopoly on hope. There are no other sources, there are no other stores that can sell hope. If you want any hope, you have to go to God.

He is the God of all hope and he will fill you with all joy and peace as you believe his words. That you may abound in hope. Do you have more than enough hope for today?

This is a fallen planet. All of us are heavy as a result of it. And by the way, if you do much thinking about your own circumstances and the circumstances of other people and the circumstances of our world, you can't help but have a heavy heart.

That is why people who are more melancholy, who spend a lot of time thinking, often have heavier hearts because they think about all of this stuff that has gone wrong. And if they do not lift their gaze to God and listen to his words about the outcome and about his help and his strength and his purposes, they will despair because they have no hope with all of that heaviness. He said we can abound in hope. Did you know that if you're getting your hope from your God, you have plenty to offer other people? You can say let me tell you what God said to me this morning. Let me tell you what God helped me with in my time when I was betrayed. Let me tell you what God did when I was rejected by somebody.

Let me tell you what God said and you have more than enough hope and you can point people to this hope, our God. Do you feel this brokenness of this planet? Do you experience the losses of your health and relationships and financial reversals and disappointments and betrayals? Do you groan, as Paul says, because of that deterioration and futility that you feel?

And we all do with varying degrees. It's all the result of the fall. This is what ruined us and ruined this world. And you'll have to come back after intermission to see the rest of how this play unfolds and what God does as a result of this. But in the meantime, men and women, in the midst of our losses, there is the God of all hope. And he comforts us in all of our affliction that we may be able to comfort others who are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1, Lord Jesus, help us this day to abound in hope through the power of your spirit and the instruction of your words, we pray in your precious, dear name, because we love you. Amen. We hope you'll join us again tomorrow at this same time as we study God's Word together on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-03 09:14:57 / 2023-06-03 09:25:15 / 10

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