The gospel reminds us that God, who has no limits, does indeed love us. So much, in fact, that Jesus died for us. And that through Jesus, we can be reconciled to God and find our perfect acceptance and validation in Him. This is really the only way that we can live within our limits, isn’t it? Isn’t it when we don’t have the compulsive need to prove our own worth and validate our own existence through our work or our kids or our own achievements?
The story is familiar, even if a person doesn’t happen to be a Christian.
There was nothing at all, except for God in the beginning. And then in the beginning, God created…
Everything else. Ex nihilo. Everything from nothing at all. God spoke it all into existence, all of creation born from his divine creativity, including human beings. These first human beings, placed in a perfect garden, free from any of the marks of guilt and shame so pervasive in us today, in perfect fellowship with each other and with Him.
Harmony. Peace. Productivity. Simplicity. All was very good.
But then came the snake. The temptation. The great fall, and that perfect creation was turned upside down.
Again, a familiar story. But I wonder if we might for a moment just zoom out a bit, and not focus on the kind of fruit or the specific nature of the temptation or even the immediate and far-reaching effects of that choice. When you zoom out a bit, here are a few bullet points about the situation:
- There is a loving Creator who knows what is right and best.
- There are created human beings who, though made in the image of that Creator, are far inferior in knowledge, wisdom, and power.
- In His love and in His authority, God gave His creation limits.
- The rebellion, then, was a refusal to trust in those limits and follow them.
Those four bullet points provide a number of friction points with modern society. There is, of course, the issue of a Creator at all. Despite the clear evidence of design threaded throughout creation, it’s certainly not a given that there is a Creator to begin with. And if there is a Creator, there are plenty who would argue with the character of that Creator. If you begin with a fundamental questioning of the Word of God, which is meant primarily to reveal to us who God is and what He is like, then we are left to imagine the nature and character of this Creator on our own.