Naked And Afraid
Pastor Adam Mallett, Jr.
Adapted from sermon by
Pastor Gary DarDar, Jr.
Our study continues into more details of the fall of man. Last week, we read about the beginning of the fall of man, seeing Eve tempted by the serpent. This week, we read about the confrontation between God and man, and the resolution offered by God. Adam and Eve realize that they are naked as result of eating the fruit. Realizing their nakedness is a physical representation of what they realized spiritually. Suddenly Adam and Eve find themselves in a place of separation from God. They realize that they are sinful and have lost their imperfection. In this story, we can begin to learn a lot about redemption, the love of God, and the depth of sin. I would like to discuss two things that I think are important for us to understand this week.
Ignorance is bliss. You have probably heard someone say that before. As a person who was born into a sin nature, I think we ought to reword that expression. Now that we have sinned, gained the knowledge of good and evil, and dug ourselves into a hole, I think that the expression ought to be: Ignorance was bliss. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they were truly ignorant. Ignorant of anything other than pure, simple obedience to God! They were perfect! They were spotless and good, simply because they were God’s. After sinning, they created a gap between themselves and God, and we must dwell in that gap as humans. Now that we are aware of that gap, we must do something about it! However, we are unable to do anything about it! Only God can close that gap. Thank God that He has! He has made a way for that gap to be closed through salvation and redemption, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t mess it up again and again. Every time I wake up, I gain a new opportunity to widen that gap. In fact, every time I speak, I take a huge chance at widening that gap! So then, we are aware of the gap, but are unable to fix it. What can we do? We are no longer ignorant, but we still have no power over our sinful nature. We must increase the understanding that was gained in eating the forbidden fruit. What was once forbidden is now necessary to pursuing God appropriately. What was once off limits is now an important tool in our sanctification and growth.
That may sound a little confusing, but let me explain. Ignorance would be nice to have, but that was destroyed in the garden. I know what is wrong and what is right, and I now must do something about it! I now have the responsibility to utilize my knowledge for the sake of continuing to honor God. I must be vigilant in my choices and actions, being sure that what I do falls in the category of good, not evil. There are many people all around us that make decisions based on something other than that absolute knowledge of good and evil. Morality is rooted in righteousness! There are countless people in our societies that have been fooled into thinking that their moral center is determined by anything other than the Bible! “Whats true for you is true for you.” I even had a college class years ago in which we discussed, debated, and wrote extensively about various philosophers such as Locke and Kant. We did all that for the purpose of trying to understand where the center of morality could be found. What a foolish endeavor, knowing that God is the center of morality, goodness, and perfection!
I think that the biggest problem is that there are some people who are actively seeking a greater understanding about how to do life, but they are being led astray by the cultures that they are a part of. As Christians, we must be sure that we are being purposeful and determined in our search for an ever-deeper understanding of God, His Word, and His Will. We must pursue Him further, coming to a greater understanding of how to be “good” in the truest sense of the word.
I mentioned that there are people who are searching, but are confused and led astray by the culture that is around them. The same is true of Christians, just to a lesser degree, hopefully. Hopefully, we are not led astray to the degree that lost people are! However, we must be honest and realize that we are led astray all too often. We pick up ideas and habits and directions from the world that we are traveling through, and we allow those things to influence the way we attempt to pursue and understand God. When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from God, but God pursued them. God pursued His children in with the intent of restoring them and giving them the guidance and direction that they needed. And He still does the same for His children! As Pastor Gary says, don’t listen to what I’m not saying. We must pursue God. We must be active and purposeful in seeking the face and heart of God. But we must also understand that whatever we do is flawed, by nature of the fall of man. Too many Christians go wrong when they think that they can study, pray, church, work, serve hard enough to gain a closeness with God. The best way to get to God is to be still before Him. We have the privilege of being able to enter into His presence anywhere, anytime. We are able to simply be with Him now that we are filled with His very Spirit!
When we go searching, everything looks like it might be something we should pick up. Every idea seems like it might be of God. Everywhere we look, we are presented with something that may take the place of God in our minds. Our Enemy is trying desperately to switch out our ideas and understanding of God with something that is of this world. We hear philosophies, watch documentaries, listen to TED talks, and we begin to cobble together an idol that takes precedent in our minds. When this happens, we begin to lose the ability to discern and understand right from wrong. As we already discussed previously in this article, we have lost ignorance and must now do something about it. The catch is that we are either improving or falling further away. There is no neutral ground, no standing still, no fence to ride. When we get distracted and led astray, we are tearing down what God has built up. But, when we are diligent to pursue God, we tear down what the Enemy has built up, and we experience sanctification!
Pursue God this week, seeking a greater understanding of His Will and Word, but remember that your Father is pursuing you! He desires to increase your understanding, as well as your righteousness. He desires what is best for you! If you feel as though you have broken what was good for you, remember that God always has more and better and perfect, and He has already written your name on it!