Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Eve the Legalist

Before Eve succumbed to the temptation to eat the forbidden fruit, she succumbed to the temptation of legalism. When the serpent tempted Eve regarding the Lord's prohibition, she replied:

"But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." (Genesis 3: 3)

The Lord did not give such a prohibition to Adam:

"But of 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."" (Genesis 2: 17)

Just do not eat of the tree. God said nothing about touching the fruit.

Also, Eve referenced the tree as in the midst of the garden. Not so the Lord:

"And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." (Genesis 2: 9)

God places the tree of life in the midst of the garden, but Eve became fixed on the forbidden tree. She was also wrong regarding the consequence of eating from the tree. "Lest ye die," when the Lord has said "thou shalt surely die." To partake of the forbidden tree would end the life of God's creation both physically and spiritually, for spiritual death is to be cut off from God.

Even the serpent inadvertently corrected Eve, then went about tempting her to eat from the tree:

"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3: 4-5)

The original text reads "Elohim" for "gods", which means "God" -- when in fact Adam and Eve were already like God:

"For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor."  (Psalm 8: 5)

Young's Literal Translation reads:

"And causest him to lack a little of Godhead, And with honour and majesty compassest him."

We have already been made a little lower than God, yet for the believer in Christ, we now sit in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2: 6), at the right hand of the Father, under no condemnation, infused with the same righteousness as Christ Jesus!

Satan tempts us to ignore or to forget who we are in Christ,  yet we assist Satan in his efforts when we make more rules for ourselves, as if being more cautious will enable us to stay safe and sound. Just as Eve added a prohibition to God's warning about the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, so do believers today create rules, procedures, and traditions for themselves, as if these rules will safeguard and maintain their right standing before God.

The Bible is clear regarding such attempts:

"For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Galatians 5: 3-4)

So, rather than depending on our law-keeping, we are called to rest in the Spirit:

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

"But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." (Galatians 5:" 16-18)

And the Holy Spirit within us produces fruit of righteousness, not our own efforts.

Let us stop focusing on right and wrong, let us focus on Christ, the Tree of Life, who also feeds us the Way to live and the Truth to live by! We do not need more rules, or even to live by the rules, but rather let us allow the Ruler of us all to Rule within us!

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