"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...' Genesis 1:26God only shares one line of their conversation with us here. However, seeing the depths to which they went to complete their plan, it's easy to imagine the conversation that must have taken place between the Father and the Son:
"Let us make man in our image," suggested the Son.
"Yes, let us, but first let us look at his future," replied the Father.
"O, yes. I can see it. Adam and Eve are walking hand in hand in our presence. Joy overflows, Father."
"The two are happy," the Father beamed. "I enjoy being with them."
"Yes, Father. They are my delight. But Father, look, the serpent..."
"Aye, Son, the serpent. The deceiver has begun his work, and they have chosen to listen to him."
"Oh, Father, see the selfishness enter into their hearts? Their satisfaction turns to envy. They are no longer satisfied to have everything. They want more."
"Son, If only our love for these two could intervene. But we must allow them freedom of choice."
"But, Father, are they capable of choosing?"
"We have given them sound minds, Son, and we have made them like us. They need our fellowship as much as we need theirs. Yet this fellowship is not by force. We had to let them choose."
"Oh, Father, Eve has tasted the apple, and she shares it with Adam. See, Father, now they are different. Now they have a flaw. No longer are they able to communicate with us. Oh, Father, we have lost them!"
"Yes, Son, I am afraid you are right. Oh, how I love them!
"Let us continue to look ahead, Son. There is little Cain. They do not realize he will grow up to murder their next child. The apple not only changed them, it changed the world. They are imperfect now, and imperfection can never produce perfect children. Now we cannot fellowship with any of them, ever."
"Oh, Father, they cannot reach us, but can we not reach them?"
"Son, we gave them the rules of life. They could do anything they chose, except eat of the fruit of the apple tree. We told them what would happen. They are not like us now. They are in darkness. Light cannot commune with darkness.
"Yet we cannot go back on our word. But if they will turn to us, there is one way. Let us give them ten commandments and see what they will do."
"Father, see what will happen? See their wickedness? But look, there is Noah. Father, I do believe he would keep our commandments if only he could, but the flaw has been passed to him -- the flaw they all inherited from Adam. They can not keep our commandments even when they try. Father, there is no hope."
"Yes, you are right, Son. Let us start again -- but wait! Oh, how I love them. We will give them one more chance. We will destroy all but Noah and his family. I have talked with Noah and promised to help him."
"Father, I see far ahead. I see war. I see famine. I see hurt and unhappiness everywhere. It's all because they did not follow our Plan.
"Look at the end of the age, Father. I see men and women who do not even believe we are real. I see many who have turned to Lucifer for help. Yet many would come to us if only they could. They have no purpose, no future. There is no hope for them.
"They all have the flaw. My heart breaks for them, Father. How I love them! Yet they have no realization of our love."
"You are right, Son, and furthermore, we can never help them. We warned them punishment would come with disobedience. They continue to be deceived by Lucifer.
"Oh that we could save them from the disaster toward which they are headed! I love them so. I have tried so hard to reach them. Even I cannot penetrate the flaw. They have turned against me, every one of them. They will not do the things I say, things that would help them find hope and peace. They race toward futility instead.
"We have made them immortal, Son. When their bodies die, their spirits will live forever. Yet they cannot live with us. They have chosen, rather, to obey Lucifer. Way back in the garden, Eve made that choice, then Adam.
"Man continues to rebel against us. He cannot see us through the flaw. We have no choice. They must go with the one whom they have chosen.
"Indeed, we created the eternal flame for Lucifer and his angels. Now man has kindled my anger with his rebellion. He cannot live forever with us. We will cast all mankind into the flame with the one he has chosen to obey."
"Father, wait! I cannot bear it. I see your anger with them. But behind that anger, Father, I know your magnificent love for them. Father, I want to bring them home.
"Father, make me one of them. I will not be bound by the flaw. I can live the perfect life we require. While I am one of them, you can take all your wrath out on me. Father, I will be punished in their place. I can redeem them. Then they will be free from the curse, and we can change the flaw. We can give them power for conquering the evil nature in this life and we can remove it in the next. Oh, Father, I want to go help them!"
"Son, how I love you. You are the best and dearest of all I have. Yet what you have proposed is the only way to save them. However, you must realize that we cannot force them to accept your redemption. Many of them will continue to follow their own evil selves, and in so doing, they will be following Lucifer, who tempted them to evil."
"Aye, Father, but then they will have a choice. They will no longer be bound by the curse of Adam. They will be able to accept the freedom of Christ. We will call them one by one. We will plead with them. Those who accept our offer will be saved.
"I am looking ahead now. I see the cross where I am separated from you as their curse is imputed to me. Father, I would do it for only one of them. If one lost, lonely, bewildered soul can find our love and joy through the cross, it will be worth it all.
"They cannot be good enough to reach us, but I will be cursed to reach them. Then I will rise again to prove my power over death. All of them will die, but now the grave will have no victory over them. Those who turn to us can live with us forever in our love."
"Son, let us come back to where we started. Shall we make man in our image? The cost to you will be a cross, a crown of thorns. But, oh, that the cross were the only price you had to pay! Son, if we choose this plan I will be forced to pour out my wrath for all the ages upon you in the hour when you need me most. Son..."
"Oh, Father, it is agony to think of spending even one second of mortal time in your wrath. But my Father, I will have it no other way. As a bridegroom longs for his bride, so my heart yearns for these people. I lay down my life for them, Father. Some of them will accept our offer. I can reclaim them, Father. I can get them back!
"Someday, even those who refuse my sacrifice will realize that I was their only hope, but it will be too late for them then, for the book of life will be closed. But Father, for those I bring back home, it will be worth it all!""So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 NIV
He is "...the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world." Revelation 13:8
"Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" Revelation 7:12
This treacherous world is not what God planned. His dream for us was the sweetness of Eden -- a place where we would always be safe in his watch care -- a place where he could provide for his love objects without their ever having to know pain or heartache or loss.
But Adam and Eve chose to step outside the boundaries of God's plan when they ate the forbidden fruit with which the serpent tempted them. This was the second greatest tragedy of the human race. (I'll share the greatest tragedy on another page of this series). Listen to what happened after Adam and Eve gave in to the serpent's temptation:So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all the livestock... And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children...."
To Adam he said,... "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
"It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food." Genesis 3:14-19
But even greater than our loss is the loss that God experienced because of our choices. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit reigned in ivory palaces. Yet something was missing. Can you imagine anything missing in God's life? How awesome! Yet God longed for a family -- someone to lavish His love upon!
God could soar through eons of diamond stars and play with the golden sun. Yet God loved the human race more than anything in His kingdom. Listen to this, a passage that portrays Jesus as the wisdom of the ages:
The Lord made me as the start of his way, the first of his works in the past. From eternal days I was given my place, from the birth of time, before the earth was.
When there was no deep I was given birth, when there were no fountains flowing with water. Before the mountains were put in their places, before the hills was my birth: When he had not made the earth or the fields or the dust of the world.
When he made ready the heavens I was there: when he put an arch over the face of the deep: When he made strong the skies overhead: when the fountains of the deep were fixed: When he put a limit to the sea, so that the waters might not go against his word: when he put in position the bases of the earth:
"Then I was by his side, as a master workman: and I was his delight from day to day, playing before him at all times; playing in his earth; and my delight was with the sons of men." Proverbs 8:22-31
Jesus loved the beauty of the creation He and the other members of the Trinity had formed. Every day He doted in the love of God His Father -- "I was his delight from day to day, playing before him at all times; playing in his earth...."
Jesus lived in a place bedecked with silver, gold, and jewels beyond imagination. The magnificent Milky Way was but a playground for Him. Yet to Him, these things paled in significance to the object of his delight. He said "My delight was with the sons of men!"
God lost a lot when Adam and Eve took things in their own hands. Was God angry because of man's fall?
GOD'S BROKEN HEART
Was God over-reacting in anger when he sentenced mankind to toil and sorrow? No! God was brokenhearted.
God's anger and foremost judgement were directed at "...that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray..." Revelation 12:9. How dare this wily serpent meddle with the object of His devotion! Yet that is exactly what God had to allow. There was no other way to birth a race who would return His love by choice and not by force.
God pronounced the curse upon mankind out of love. God knew that now it would take a world of pain and sorrow, thorns and thistles, to ever again get this race to the place where they could receive the great sacrifice He would make for them. They would have to come to the end of themselves. They would have to die before they could live.
When God forced his precious loved ones from the Garden of Eden, he knew the awful cost He would pay to bring them back home. He said to the serpent, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:15. This is the first promise of a Redeemer. Jesus Himself would intervene to rescue the woman's seed and to crush the serpent's head!
The man and woman were helpless to fix the consequences of their rebellion. God stepped in immediately and made coats of animal skins to clothe them. Then, with tears and love, He drove these dear blighted mortals from the garden he had planted just for them. He could not allow these creatures to partake of the Tree of Life and live forever in their blemished state.
And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life." Genesis 3:21-24 .
God's whole creation was wounded, desperate, hopeless. God could not bring His blighted race home now. Not one of them was worthy to enter the gates of Heaven. Even their eternal spirits had been damaged, so that they could no longer commune with Him on this earth or in the life to come. Rebellion was all they knew now. They were lost.
LOST AND FOUND
"We are lost. We all inherited that blighted nature passed down from Adam and Eve. There is no amount of good that we can do that will fix it:As it is said in the holy Writings, There is not one who does righteousness; Not one who has the knowledge of what is right, not one who is a searcher after God." Romans 3:10-11
"Because by the works of the law no man is able to have righteousness in his eyes, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20
"For all have done wrong and are far from the glory of God." Romans 3:23
"For this reason, as through one man sin came into the world, and death because of sin, and so death came to all men, because all have done evil." Romans 5:12.
We are sentenced to death. The spoiled creation must be destroyed. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. But wait!"For the reward of sin is death; but what God freely gives is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23
"But God has made clear his love to us, in that, when we were still sinners, Christ gave his life for us." Romans 5:8
"For God had such love for the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever has faith in him may not come to destruction but have eternal life." John 3:16
Jesus has stepped in to pay the price! He died that we might live. Death was powerless to hold him. Jesus arose, and He is alive today!"But God gave him back to life, having made him free from the pains of death because it was not possible for him to be overcome by it." Acts 2:25
"Who was put to death for our evil-doing, and came to life again so that we might have righteousness." Romans 4:25
The One who loved us from the beginning has intervened. Love has found a way! With his very own blood He has rescued us!
WHAT MUST I DO?
It's against our nature to admit that we have failed. We want to do something to save ourselves. But God says:"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
What is faith? It is certainly more than just believing in the reality of this story. Faith has three facets: Believing, trusting, and surrendering. They are all portrayed in the following Scripture:"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." Romans 10:9-10
Believing is the first step. But if the belief is not sincere enough to cause us to trust, it is worthless. This passage indicates that salvation requires a faith that trusts in God to justify what we can not fix.
We have just read where God says that we cannot do works good enough to save ourselves. Yet it is a shallow faith indeed that would say, "Yes I believe. Thank you for the gift. I will take it from here."
The faith that God requires says instead, "I believe Jesus is my only hope. I have failed miserably. I cannot be good in myself. I am trusting the righteousness of Jesus to be placed in my stead. I trust him to begin changing me, so that same righteousness will begin to be produced by Him through my life."
This leads to the third facet...that of surrender. No longer do I chose to continue on this path toward destruction. I repent and turn back toward Jesus. From this day forth I will call him my Lord -- for he is indeed the Lord Jesus Christ. I accept Him as my Lord and Savior. To the best of my ability, I will follow His plan for my life.
Once again we have a choice. We don't have to face eternal damnation, for He has rescued us. Jesus, God's son, took our place!
TRAGEDY & TRIUMPH
The greatest tragedy of the human race is that many people have chosen to refuse this second chance, this magnificent sacrifice of love. They have been lost forever, never to know the fellowship of the Savior who died to bring them home."How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?" Hebrews 10:29
But it doesn't have to end that way. Jesus, God's son, is the Lord of all, and His arms are outstretched for you today.
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13
If you would like to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior right now, say this short prayer:
I understand now that I am part of a blighted race, and that I have failed to meet your standards. Even when I try, I can't be good enough to reach you.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you have reached me. You have touched my heart, and I want to be part of your forever family. Thank you that you didn't give up on me, Jesus. Thank you that you loved me so much that you died for me.
Lord Jesus, I can never repay you, and I know that. I have made a mess out of my life, and I have nothing to offer you in return. I come empty-handed, helpless, and hopeless without you.
I repent of the wrong I've done. I accept you as Lord of my life, and ask you to begin changing me even now. I don't want to be like this. I want to be all you created me to be.
Lord Jesus, I give myself to you right now. You lead the way, and I will follow.
Thank you for the change that you are making in my heart even now. Lord, I believe. I trust you to go with me forever. And I surrender my life to you.
Thank you for saving me Jesus. Thank you for this moment that has changed my life forever. From this day forth, I walk with you.
If you have just prayed this prayer, or if you have any questions we can help you with, email us. We would love to hear from you, and will help you in any way we can.
STEPS TO GROWTH1. Write down the date of your decision. If you have a printer, print a copy of these pages. If you begin to doubt whether all this is real, remember back to this date.
Talk to Him in prayer. You can talk to Him just like you talk to your best friend. Tell Him just how you feel. You can be honest with Him. He understands, and He stands ready to help. No one ever loved you like He does. You can read the bible online for free. See How to Establish a Daily Quiet Time for more help in this area.