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First Step

Christians understand that God took the first step when at God's command the universe was formed (Hebrews 11:3). This was a majestic command of great importance and one acted on by Jesus Christ (John 1:3) who made everything that was made. Cooperatively God created in epic proportions an amazing place that both spoke of his existence and supported the life of his creation. Man is not without the knowledge that God created life and without his effort to sustain the life of his creation, all life would cease to exist. In other words we exist because God had a purpose for creating mankind.  With this in mind, creating the heavens and the earth that men inhabit may only be the first step to a huge overall plan.

God began with a plan that placed man in the Garden of Eden as a seed to produce a crop he planned to harvest at the end of the age. When we read the bible we learn that God created man and put him in a garden and then commanded them to multiply after his own kind. In the course of time man became corrupted with sin that separated God from his creation.  Adam and Eveís act compelled God to deal with the sin they had become entangled with. He removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and placed them into a more hostile environment where they would be tried and tested while maturing to the condition God wanted.

We may never understand why God drove man out of the Garden of Eden but here is a possible explanation in human terms. Tomatoes produced in a hot house or a managed environment; do not taste as good as those grown on the farm. The difference between the hot house and the farm is that within the limited but managed environment of the hot house, everything required to insure the best possible tomato is tended to. The reason is to make available the best possible growing environment to produce a healthy and appetizing tomato at harvest time.

On the farm tomatoes are subjected to harsh environment where the tomato plant struggles with the weeds to obtain the food they need to mature. Their outward appearance is scarred with rain marks, bugs that had their fill and from lying on the ground Ė rotting. Field tomatoes that have the stamina to survive are a better tasting tomato because they had the Godís help to endure to grow and mature against adversity.

We as men must understand that the earth is the farm where God is growing the crop he expects to harvest. Therefore it is not too hard to understand that God planted man in the Garden of Eden and then transplanted him in the field we know as the world. God did this at the beginning of the human growing season and will do his best to ensure the crop of his field will mature in the condition he desires. Letís also understand that there are weeds in Godís field that his enemy planted with the hopes of destroying Godís crop. Between these two factions the crop God desires is growing in adversity.

God did not initiate the first sin but allowed his enemy to roam the earth. There he found Eve and spoke with her only to discover that Eveís knowledge was in question and uncertain. Adam and Eve had no idea what death really meant or know of Satanís desire to destroy the apple of Godís eye. By the time the conversation was over, Adam and Eve had sinned and was driven from the Garden into a harsh world that separated God from the sin of mankind.  Although Eve understood death was the outcome of disobedience Satan convinced her to eat the forbidden fruit.

Until Cain killed Abel, Adam and Eve never experienced physical death. Through this experience the descendants of Adam and Eve learned that the dead cannot communicate with the living (Ecclesiastes 9:6). In the same way sin causes spiritual death that ends communion and separates man from God. In addition sin is the cause to losing the abundant life found (John 10:10) in Christ.

Death is something a man does not recover from without Godís intervention. While all men have sinned and are dead in Christ nothing is impossible to God. Because God is life, God is able to raise people from the dead and in the same way he is able to restore the dead in Christ Jesus to the abundant life through being born of God.

Godís plan for mankind needed to be salvaged. God devised ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.  According to Old Testament law, the sin of mankind can be atoned through a substitutionary death of an unblemished lamb (Leviticus 17:11). At the same time, those living by agreement with the old covenant were unable to keep the law. However, God grew weary of the animals sacrificed to atone for the sin of man. The blood of lambs and bullocks could not cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death (Hebrews 9:13-14).

God devised a plan to atone for the sins of the world Ė once for all.  Christ became the Lamb of God and appeared among men to do away with sin by the sacrifice of his sinless life. Christ died as our sacrifice to take away our sins and the hope of a new life. We will meet Jesus in the air when he comes again to bring salvation to those who are waiting for his return (Hebrews 9:26-28).  In other words, accepting the death of Jesus as our sacrifice delivers us from the coming wrath of God.

The father and son are in agreement that they do not want anyone to perish and have devised a way for you to escape the coming wrath of God. However, they have done all they are going to do and itís time for you to take the next step of faith. Itís time that you take the next step to make an agreement with God that establishes Jesus as Lord of your life and be adopted as Godís son.

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