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Paradise Restored

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
October 17, 2021 8:00 am

Paradise Restored

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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October 17, 2021 8:00 am

Dr. Tony Evans says a confused man is the beginning of a confused family. But in this lesson, he explains that if you want to bring your family into focus, you need to start by getting some clear direction from the Lord.


A confused man makes a confused family. Dr. Tony Evans talks about how a man's leadership, or lack of it, shapes his family's life. How a man responds to the authority of God in his life has tremendous repercussions for how you're going to make out in the marriage. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative.

They say it takes two to tango, but Dr. Evans says a successful marriage takes three. He explains today in one of his classic sermons drawn from the archives of 40 years of ministry. He begins by setting the stage for the origin of this particular lesson with these words about his own family. As our kids were growing up, we would often have this chaos. Sometimes it would be just them fighting each other, and sometimes them fighting us. And we had to restore order to the discord that had erupted in our home. That's what God wants to do with our lives.

The same thing we had to do with our family, with our children. He wants to do with his children, restore order where chaos has set in. And with that in mind, let's get started with his lesson titled Paradise Restored. God did not create the universe because he had a need to create the universe. God has no needs outside of himself. One of the doctrines of God is his own self-sufficiency. He does not need something exterior to himself to help himself. Now, you know, we need that.

We need compliments and support and people to encourage us and relationships. God does not need any of those things. He is totally self-sufficient and self-regenerating. God then comes and, wanting to put his stamp on creation in a unique way, creates man. And when he creates man, he does so in a way that is very interesting. Verse 26 of chapter 1, let us make man in our image according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, and in the image of God, he created him. Male and female, he created them.

And he blessed them, and he said to them, be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and have dominion over the earth, the sea, and over the birds of the air, and every beast that moves on the earth. So man is created. Man is created to have dominion over the universe or the earth, more specifically, to be in charge of or to be the chief manager of God's creation, whose job it is to run his creation. So he not only creates man, he gives him managerial responsibilities in history. Now, chapter 1 is explaining how man came to be. God wanted to make somebody in his own image. Chapter 2 explains the process of man coming to be.

Why? Because the coming to be of man was different than the coming to be of animals. First of all, God creates for man a perfect environment. We call it the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden is man's house, but it is not the sum total of his responsibility, because you remember, in chapter 1, his responsibility is to have dominion over what?

The whole earth. So all the garden is is home for Adam and Eve, and at home, they were supposed to learn how to live when they left home to attack the rest of the world. Now, up to this point, God fixes up everything. He fixes up man, verse 7, breathes into his nostrils the breath of life, gives him a garden east of Eden, verse 8, and he puts man in it, and out of the ground, the Lord formed every tree. It's shady, it's good for food, and it's aesthetic.

It's nice to look at. We've got a lot of trees in the garden, but there are two key trees. There is a tree of life, and there is a tree of the knowledge of good and evil, verse 15. Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend it and keep it.

Now, let me pause right there, men, because Eve is not on the scene yet. He told Adam, you are going to live in my house, but you've got to learn that you must have a job. Ladies, what you need to know is before God gave Adam a wife, he gave Adam a job. Good job, perfect job, and the theology of work, boy, there's so much I want to share, but the theology of work is very simply this. Work is supposed to be enjoyable. So if you're doing something that you do not like, you're not fulfilling God's ordained commandment regarding work.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, verse 16, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die. Adam, you are going through a probation period. In that probation period, the question on the floor, men, is this. Will I obey God or will I not? That is also happening before he gets a wife.

Why? Because his decision regarding that statement would have long-term repercussions about how well the wife fared. You see, how a man responds to what he's going to do regarding the authority of God in his life has tremendous repercussions for how you're going to make out in the marriage, lady, because if he decides to rebel against God, you bear that repercussion. Men, it is important that you understand Adam knew his calling. Verse 19, out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, bird of the air, brought them to Adam to see what he would call them, and whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. Now, you're talking about a scholarly job. That's a scholarly job. To name every animal or every species of animal is a scholarly job. And doesn't it seem like every name fits the animal it's called? I mean, can you think of a concept of calling an elephant a squirrel?

I mean, it doesn't gel. So if you want to know how brilliant man was before the fall, that's how brilliant he was, that Adam was able to name every species of animal and every animal's name fit the nature of the animal. So Adam is a brilliant man.

Now, catch this, guys. God does not give Adam a wife until Adam does what he's been told to do. He can't get on his knees and say, Lord, I need me a woman. God says, my agenda is naming the animals. It is only after naming the animals that he gets a blessing.

He had to have his priorities straight, and his priorities were to obey the Word of God. Now, he's still in the probation period. He can still eat whatever he wants to eat. So he's eating, and it's available to him, but he's eating neither. He's neutral right now. He's not eating the tree of life, nor is he eating the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He's on probation, and now it's just up to him.

He's in neutral ground. Well then, Adam gave names, verse 20, to all the animals and everything, but there was not found a helper comparable to him. So Adam knows now after naming the animals that something is missing, because for every Mr. Crocodile there's a Mrs. Crocodile, no Mr. Bird there's a Mrs. Bird, Mr. Elephant, Mrs.

Elephant, Mr. Zebra, Mrs. Zebra, but there's no Mrs. Adam around, and none of those that he had named would work. So something was missing. Now, what this also says, men, is that it's not wrong to need a woman, because there is no sin, and this man needs a woman. So it's not that big boys don't need women.

It's that the maturer you get, the more you see, the more you can't do it by yourself, and that's why you need a helpmate. A man is a fool who does not use the expertise of his wife to help him accomplish God's calling on his life. That man is a fool. God is not asking women to give up their knowledge, intellect, abilities and skills, but He is asking them to use their skills to merge into another calling. She cannot use her skills for her own individualistic calling anymore. She has got to merge those skills, abilities and gifts that God has given her into now God's calling on that man. Now that's the difference. You don't give up the skill, but you do merge it.

You are willing to place it under a new hierarchical system. And as you know, to make a long story short, Eve is created in verse 21 out of Adam. So Adam is only half the man he used to be, because you see, he loses one side. So he's half a man now, okay? So in order for him to become a whole man, he's got to get his rib back. But his rib is now located in somebody else. He can't take the rib out of somebody else in order to put it in himself. So in order for him to get his rib back, he's got to take a hold of this somebody else and make that somebody else part of his life. To get the rib back, he lost. But to get the rib back that he lost, taking the rib back means he gets another half he didn't count on. Because he not only gets his rib, he gets her rib too. So what marriage does is bring back what you lost with a bonus.

It brings back something that you originally had that now has something that you did not have. So that's why husbands say, she's different than I am. Of course she's different. If both of you were the same, one of you would be unnecessary. The whole point is that what you get when you marry is part of what you are, but some of what you are not. But ladies, that also means that if you're going to understand your rib, you've got to understand Adam, because half of your ribs belong to him. So in order for you to understand who you are in the marriage relationship, you need to understand who he is, because half of what makes you you is part of what makes him him. So in order for both of you to become, or both of you were meant to be, both of you have to merge in each other, so both of you use your ribs and each other's ribs to form the original rib that got lost in the first place. And so that is how the interconnectors are to work to bring together part of what you originally are and new nuances that are not part of what you originally are to make you all that God wants you to be.

So if you do not take from your mate the strengths of your mate, you do not become all you were created to be. Dr. Evans will tell us about a key part of the Garden of Eden story most of us miss when he returns in a moment. But first, he shares this reflection about how God kept him going through some of life's difficult challenges. There were times when I was overwhelmed with the burdens of life, when I didn't know that I could keep going, and yet God would bring someone or something to speak words of encouragement to me during difficult times. Of course, 2019 was one of those times when I lost my wife of over 49 years.

And how do you keep going during that season? One month after I'd lost my father. And yet God provided the strength that I needed to keep proclaiming His Word during those difficult days. And I'm very grateful that for 40 years we've seen His kind hand of favor on this ministry.

Especially when you consider the challenges and difficulties along the way, the expansion and growth we've experienced here is nothing short of a miracle. And none of it would be possible without the faithful contributions of people like you. Right now, when you make a donation to help keep this ministry going, we'll say thanks by sending you a copy of Volumes 3 and 4 of Tony Evans' Top 40. The classic messages contained in this set, available on CD or by digital download, cover some of the most important topics in the Christian faith.

You'll get 20 full-length messages on Volumes 3 and 4 of this four-volume set, including material we don't have time to present on the air. Just make your contribution online at today, or call our Resource Center at 1-800-800-3222 and make the arrangements to get this classic collection of sermons, spending 40 years of ministry. I'll repeat that information for you after Part 2 of today's message and this. We were at the Garden Tomb and we had communion, and we talked about the resurrection. Dr. Tony Evans recalls what happened when he led a group of first-timers on a trip to the Holy Land.

People began to weep as they understood afresh the crucifixion, and that's one of the things that I think comes out of going there is a fresh encounter, so that if things have gotten dull or stale, it has a way of injecting new life and new reality into your experience. Now you can have that experience yourself, thanks to Tony's new movie coming out this November, Journey with Jesus. What I'm hoping is that through this experience and with that movie, I will be there with you and you will be there with me. Journey with Jesus, November 15th, 16th, and 17th, in a theater near you. I look forward to the fellowship we're going to have together through the film. For locations, showtimes, and more, visit And now back to our message.

Here's Dr. Evans. So, Adam now performs his own marriage ceremony, so to speak. God took the rear broader to Adam. Adam says, notice verse 23, This is now. He doesn't say she is now. He says this is now, meaning this new relationship. He's talking about marriage.

This is now. This relationship is bone of my bone. He's talking about the relationship. Flesh of my flesh, so her flesh is also my flesh. She shall be called woman. Now, he names her. His name in Hebrew is Ish. Guess what the Hebrew word for woman is? Isha. So, in order for her to be married, she takes his name.

Okay? So, all she knows when she is created is that she's there. She doesn't know who she fully is until she receives his name. And that's why in marriage, there's always a transfer of names. From the woman's name, last name, to the man's last name, because she has now merged into another agenda. That includes part of her agenda, but it's not wholly her agenda anymore.

Okay? So, now by the way, before she was married, ladies, she wasn't upset, she wasn't frustrated. She didn't open her eyes and say, God, where's the man?

No. When she was created, all she knew was where God was. And so, if you've got to wait for a man, you've got to know where God is, because if you don't know where your man is and you don't know where God is, you don't know where you are. Because every woman was created to be with some male, either a man or God until a man. But God has never asked a woman to be without a male supervisor. That is directly God or God's vice president, man, until God transfers you to man, God wants you transferred to him. That's why the Bible says in 1 Timothy, chapter 5, if you have a widow, she has to do one of two things. She has to seek marriage or commit herself to God for the rest of her life, because she must be under some male patterned authority in order for her to achieve all of God's purposes for her. Okay? It's getting quiet in here again.

All right. So God, listen to this, hands over the bride. You know, we say in the marriage, who gives her a way to be married? In this first marriage, God said, I do. See, another man, male in that sense, hands her to Adam and says, you may have her. And Adam takes responsibility for her directly.

And Adam says, this is now, this is it. Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother, nothing about her leaving her father and mother. Why? Because a woman transfers security.

That's why. When I hand over one of my daughters to be married, I'm transferring security. Therefore, I must transfer her to someone who will at least give her as much security as I will. It doesn't say anything about the woman leaving her father and mother, because she's not supposed to leave her father and mother until there's somebody as secure as her father and mother that she leaves for.

Okay? So man shall leave his father and mother, because he begins the new block of security, cleave unto his wife, making a new base for security, and then harmony. They become one flesh. It says at the end of that that they were both naked and were not ashamed. They were not naked because they were sinless. They were naked because they were children. They were naked because they were brand new on the scene. I mean, the Bible does not relate lack of clothes to sin. The Bible says God has a robe, but He's perfect. So sin and clothes don't necessarily go together. They were simply naked because as far as creation was concerned, they were children. The man has gotten married.

The woman has gotten married. But a decision still hasn't been made about these two trees. It goes back up to the commandment. Eat of every tree.

Don't eat of this tree. And God says, I'll wait till you decide. There is a great danger in delaying obedience, because when God says do something and you don't do it, it's going to get harder to do it.

And what you do is what the New Testament calls create an opportunity for the devil. Kids, when you don't obey your parents immediately, you set yourself down on a road where disobedience becomes easier until it's time to pray the price tag, which could be catastrophic. Because there's a promise that goes with obedience to parents or lack of obedience to parents that could determine the rest of your life. Well, parents, there's a promise that goes with obedience to God. What Adam should have done is that that day he got married, he says, we're going to have our honeymoon dinner.

You come with me, darling, sweet thing you are, and let's mosey on over to the tree of life, bite this pear or apple or whatever it is, and seal this baby for the rest of our life. Is that what he did? No. Let me tell you what he did. He let the woman run the home.

Listen to me there, mister. Man said, I got to go to work. You run the home. The cowboys are playing. You run the home. The mavericks are on. You run the home.

Whatever you say, fine with me. All the devil needed. Devil, in chapter 3, verse 1, slithered on up to Eve and said, I'd like to talk to you. I'd like to talk to you about trees.

I want to have a horticultural discussion. I want to talk to you about what God told you about trees. He never mentioned the tree of life. All he wanted to talk about was how stingy God was on the tree of good and evil.

But you know the worst part, man? Adam was listening to the conversation. See, most folks think Adam was off somewhere.

Adam wasn't off nowhere because when you get to chapter 3, verse 6, it says, and the woman ate and gave. There is a flow from him to her. There's not a time flow.

It's only a movement flow. So the leader of the house sit down and let the devil rap to his wife. He let the devil tell her how to run his family. Let the devil tell her what the agenda would be. And the issue on the floor was whose word will win. That's always the issue in the family. Will the devil run it or will God run it?

There is no such thing as neutral running it. You always face that question. And one of the great tragedies that we are facing today is role reversals, where the woman is running the family, the woman is taking the lead, the woman is setting the pace, and all dad can say is, Ask your mother. They never got around to the tree of life. And you know what that meant? Once they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, probation was over, death failed, no biting the tree of life. They were put out because Adam refused to run things like God wanted them to run. God comes walking and says, Adam, Adam, I don't see you, Adam. Adam, where are you? I mean, he should have come looking for Eve. He should have said, Eve, where are you? You shouldn't have been talking to that devil.

No, no, no, no, no, no. When the family breaks down, the issue is always Adam. Adam.

Yeah, but it's the woman. Excuse me, Adam. Adam. Adam, I made you and told you, you are in charge.

The buck stops with you. She may have been wrong as all get out, but I'm looking for Adam. Adam, doesn't mean Eve was right, but you supposed to be controlling your family. Just like Eve shouldn't follow Adam, if Adam is leading a wrong, Adam shouldn't follow Eve. Adam was supposed to say, Eve, you don't talk to another man about my family. I mean, I don't recall when we had devotions last night, me inviting the snake in to get in a discussion of my business. I mean, this is my family. In fact, what he should have said is, excuse me, serpent, but I didn't invite you to my dinner table. I don't need no other brother rapping in to my wife, get up out of my house. That's what he should have said, but he had become sissified, feminized.

What he wanted to do is sit back and watch his wife be happy. He wasn't a leader. What we need today are some men who want to take over. Because of sin, women are not that readily to give leadership back. It's tough. Some of the guys asked me a few weeks ago when I preached that sermon, how are you going to take the lead with these kind of women?

He was upset too. He says, man, do you know what women are like today? They ain't going to let no man lead them.

You're a chump for believing it. That's like saying, that's like you're in a basketball game and you're getting ready to shoot and you say, but coach, every time I go up, they keep getting in my face. They won't let me shoot.

Well, I'm sure they're not going to let you shoot. Now you show me how good you are. That's the whole idea. So it's going to be some work and some hard work, and it's not just brutal, false work. It's the hard work of love. It's the hard work of convincing her, let me love you is better than you trying to lead me. It's the hard work of saying, you wind up better off with me in charge. It's the hard work of demonstrating, you go 10 steps ahead when I lead the show. It's that hard work.

That's the work. And ladies, when Eve took the lead, what she should have said was, excuse me, let me get my husband into this conversation. What she basically said was, I don't need no man. I can talk for myself. You know how those ladies do it, I can talk for myself. I can talk for myself. I don't need no man telling me what to say. I can talk for myself. But what she should have said was, Adam, Adam, I need you.

Because Adam had told Eve what God said. And what you're going to find out is paradise lost. We want to get back to paradise.

You know what that's going to take? That's going to take some men who've got the guts to run their home according to their boss's instructions. And your boss, mister, is God, for the head of every man is Christ. First Corinthians 11. And your leader, lady, is your husband.

And he is a leader by position, even if he's not a leader by function. Now, to rebuild some of these homes is going to take a totally different orientation of life. They delayed obeying, and they wound up eating a long tree.

And it cost them their family. Dr. Tony Evans, talking about what it takes to rebuild your relationship according to God's design. Before we go for today, let me quickly remind you about our current special offer, volumes 3 and 4 of Tony Evans' Top 40, packed with 20 of Tony's most popular messages, including the one you heard today, Paradise Restored. This special collection is yours as our thank you gift when you support Tony's work here on the radio, on television, and with pastors, families, and churches around the world. Make the arrangements today before time runs out by visiting, or call our 24-hour resource center at 1-800-800-3222.

The number again, 1-800-800-3222. It's easy to proclaim praise God when we see His hand at work and everything's going well. But how do we respond in the quiet times when the miraculous isn't front and center and not much seems to be happening besides everyday, ordinary, day-to-day life? Well, next week, Dr. Evans addresses this as we turn back the hands of time and present a powerful message preached during the era of bell-bottoms, disco, and vinyl albums. I hope you'll join us for this classic, yet ever-relevant message from 40 years of ministry. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-07 23:19:38 / 2023-08-07 23:31:06 / 11

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