Biblical Authority and the Garden of Eden

by Richard Mansel, managing editor
holdingbible55.jpgWe must feed our minds on the Word of God if we will make sound spiritual decisions. We remain focused on the boundaries within Scripture and understand the implications of Biblical authority in our lives.
We illustrate this with an examination of the Garden of Eden. God put Adam and Eve into a place of exhilarating beauty (Genesis 2:8-9,15). The world was new and pristine and they had everything they needed.
Satan arrives and tempts Eve into eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. She shares the fruit with Adam and they realize they have wronged God (Genesis 3:1-7).
God finds them hiding in the Garden and confronts them with their sin. They rationalize their behavior and God ignores their excuses and expels them from the Garden (Genesis 3:9-24).
We consider lessons that are crucial to our understanding of Biblical authority.
First, God was undoubtedly the absolute authority in the Garden. Likewise, in our lives, he should be the supreme authority. His is the only voice that matters.
Jesus said, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48, NKJV). Scripture is inspired and strong enough to empower us down the road to heaven (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 1:19).
Second, God was immune to rationalizations. Adam and Eve rationalized that they should not be responsible for their disobedience because of special circumstances. However, God completely ignored them. Their disobedience brought consequences and man’s pleadings had absolutely no bearing on God’s reality.
God’s Word was “settled” long before humanity even existed (Psalm 119:89). Therefore, nothing created since then, including culture, has any effect on God’s will. He never changes and neither does his Word (Hebrews 13:8).
Third, context did not matter to God. With God there are never extenuating circumstances. God presents his Word and we either obey or disobey. There will be no negotiations or any discussions. We sin and suffer the consequences (Ezekiel 18:24).
God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) and cleansing blood (1 John 1:7) are the only recourses we have. We cannot outsmart God (Galatians 6:7). We have nothing within us that can supersede the authority of God. We can take our chances that this is not true, but hell is an eternal gamble.

2 thoughts on “Biblical Authority and the Garden of Eden

  1. Thanks for this one! I’m preaching for the first time outside my home congregation this coming Sunday.
    I’m trying to make a strong point that God means what he tells us about adhering to His will. Ignore him at our peril!
    The Garden of Eden story, with appropriate modification for my opening remarks is better than what I had used previously.

  2. Situation ethics surely dates back all the way to the Garden, doesn’t it?
    Very good work, Richard. Great job!

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