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The Wide And Narrow Gates

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The Condition Of Man

In the first two chapters of Genesis we read about how God created the world and all that is in it. When he created everything, he simply spoke it into existance. But when he made man, he formed man with his own hands from the dust of the earth, and breathed life into him with his own mouth. He wanted a supreme being on the earth to be in dominion (in control) over everything. So he made Adam.

When he saw that Adam had named all the creatures of the earth, he saw that all the creatures had male and female of the species. But for man there was no suitable mate. So he caused Adam to fall into deep sleep, took a rib from him and formed woman (Eve).

In the third chapter of Genesis, we read about the "Fall of Man." This is the story of the serpent (the devil) who tempted Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; the very tree God had said, "Do not eat of it, for when you do, you will surely die." Notice he did not say "if," but "when". God made man with free will, and God set boundaries of what man could do. The boundaries were simple: "You may eat of any tree, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, nor from the tree of life."

So it was permissible for Adam and Eve to eat from all but two trees. There certainly was no shortage of food for them. But Eve was tempted by the craftiness of the devil, and she ate from the forbidden tree, found the fruit to be very good, and gave some to her huband.

Suddenly they understood the difference between right and wrong. God confronted them about it, and from that time on, all mankind has been guilty of sin from birth. Yet through the sin of disobedience, the desire to become like God, the blaming of each other and the serpent, and whatever other sin was committed by them, God still promised that he would provide a way out for all mankind in the first prophecy about Jesus:

Genesis 3
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,

"Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 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."

Jesus is the one who crushed the serpent's head by his perfect, sinless life, and his death on the cross, and his resurrection.

But man was also cursed, and banished from Eden. As we continue reading throughout the Old Testament, we find one story after another where even the most holy of people have fallen into temptation and sin.

Abraham deceived many kings by claiming his wife Sarah was his sister in order to help God fulfill his promise of a son by Sarah. Isaac also did the same with his wife Rebekkah. Jacob deceived his brother Esau and his father-in-law Laban, all for the purpose of helping God fulfill his promises. Yet God doesn't need help.

Moses was told to speak to the rock at Meribah (Numbers 20) to bring forth water, but instead he said to the Israelites, "Must I strike this rock to bring forth water?" Then he struck the rock twice. God was angry with Moses and Aaron for not totally trusting him and he kept them from physically entering the promised land.

Even the greatest of the kings, David, from whom Jesus was descended, sent Uriah off to certain death because David had fallen in love with and impregnated Uriah's wife, Bathsheba. Before David sent Uriah to battle, he tried to get him to sleep with his own wife to make it look like Bathsheba was made pregnant by her husband, not by the king.

We can read through the old testament from Genesis through Job and find the most righteous of men and women turning to sin. We are the same way. I know in my life, I had always been in and out of a willfully sinful lifestyle. It seem when things are going good for us, we tend to forget about God, and begin to rely on ourselves. This is pride, and as it says in Proverbs, "Pride come before destruction."

This is all the result of our 'natural sin', which is the sin we are born with. This leads us the next step along this trail, "Why We Need Jesus As Our Savior".

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