Monday, April 10, 2017

Who Is Lord? Me or God?

In the Garden of Eden, one basic temptation was given by Satan, leading to the Fall of Adam and Eve: "God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5). Satan convinced the first couple that eating the forbidden fruit would enable them to exercise divine autonomy, deciding for themselves what would constitute good and evil. God, the devil claimed, hid this from them, because He wanted a monopoly on moral truth. As usual, the temptation contained a mixture of truth and falsehood. That was certainly the intent of God, because He claims singular sovereignty over all things, including the choices of men. However, Satan also gave an illusory promise in claiming that eating the fruit would free men from that sovereignty.

God never gives up His deity, no matter what men or devils imagine: "I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other" (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11).

God's sovereignty is the very basis of all morality: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:2-3). This is the First Commandment, God's declaration of His exclusive deity, the foundation for the other nine. And it excludes even a man's efforts to set himself up as god of his own life, as Adam attempted in Genesis.

In our modern age, it has become a secular orthodoxy that every man or woman has the right to choose his own values, his goals, his standards of right or wrong. We assume the right to judge truth. Right and wrong are determined according to our feelings. These are all forms of autonomy, of sovereignty of each over his life. Yet, no one, even among professing Christians, hears the echo in those cultural assumptions of the words of Satan quoted above.

If a person's words are a quote of Satan, is that not a warning that he is on a destructive path? We know that Adam was.

"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:12-17).

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