Sermon Transcript: Day 6

9/27/2020 Jeff Schwarzentraub 45 min read

- Well, welcome. Thank you so much for choosing to worship with us today. Would you welcome our online campus, our Broomfield campus is worshiping along with us? It's so great to have you. I also wanna offer my word of thanks for all that participated in our 24-hour national day of prayer and repentance. It was awesome. I got to be part of the group that started at midnight on Friday for an hour, and that's a little past my bedtime. I don't drink caffeine. But I thought, hey, I need a little caffeine. I need to be involved. And it wasn't really working, and then at, like, three in the morning I'm like, hey, this stuff really works. So, thank you so much for participating. It's great to be at a church that seeks the face of God and trusts him to be lord over his church. Amen? Amen.

As we get ready today to read Genesis Chapter Two, let's go before the lord and continue our heart of worship as we pray for the lord to speak directly to us. Lord, we love you so much and we praise God for who you are, and Lord, all that you're teaching us from your word. Lord, the more I study Genesis One, Two and Three, the more I see how foundational they are to the gospel, the more I see how awesome you are, the more I love you, and the more I see how much you love us. Lord, today be helpful to me as I preach that your word would be loud and clear, Lord, and understandable and accurate. Lord, would you do a work in and through us that only you can do because, Lord, we believe that every time your word is accurately proclaimed you speak directly to us. So, our prayer is, Lord speak. And now for all those who are gathered, who are listening, we pray that whatever the lord would show you, you by faith would believe and would put into practice for his great name and for his great glory. And all that believe that for his glory and praise, would you agree with me this morning by very loudly saying the word, Amen. Amen.

Oftentimes, when we go on vacation or we have a day that's super-special, at the end of the day sometimes my kids will say something like this, "Dad, that was the best day ever." And what they mean by that is it's not the best day ever, but that they were so jam-packed with so many memorable events that they speak like that. Perhaps for you as you think about, hey, what's the best day you ever spent? Maybe you'd talk about the day you got married. Or maybe when you held your first child, or subsequent children that you had. Or maybe it would be a special memory you have with a family member. Maybe you got to go to Superbowl 50, or something. At the end of the day, you would say, "That was a great, great day." In Genesis Chapter One, we learn that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and he created the entire universe in six, literal, 24-hour consecutive days, just the way that his word said.

In Genesis Chapter Two, picking up in Verse Four, what we're gonna see is God highlighting day six for us, because you see, when you have one of those days that's the best day ever, normally what you have involved in that is picture taking, or videography. Why? Because you wanna go back and you wanna see just how great that day was. In Genesis Chapter Two, starting in Verse Four, we're getting a picture from God with more insight into what took place on day six when humankind was created because it was such a special day in his creation that we get to see God for all that he is. So, I'm gonna invite you to open up your Bibles to Genesis Chapter Two, we're gonna begin at Verse Four this morning, we're gonna work our way through the chapter, and we're really gonna highlight three elements that God designed and established for us that are imperative that we understand if we're gonna continue to understand the gospel and walk with the lord, Jesus Christ.

Notice Genesis Chapter Two, Verse Four, it says, "This is the account, or the generations, of the heavens and the earth when they were created in the day that the lord God made earth and heaven. Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the ground and water the whole surface of the ground. Then the lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And man became a living being." Wow, I mean, is that incredible or what? You don't know how incredible it is that's why we're gonna study it today, because it's incredible what God was doing. And really, what we see here early on, and the first thing that God did, the lord God created and designed the earth. He created and designed the earth to be inhabited by his image-bearers who had exercised dominion. He created the earth to be inhabited by his image-bearers who would exercise dominion.

Here's what we said, in Genesis One, we talked about the fact that in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. It doesn't say he created, it doesn't mean he didn't create Mars or Venus or Saturn, it just means that the Earth was significant to everything that God was creating. That out of all of the universe, this planet Earth is different than all of the others. And we looked at Isaiah, Chapter 45 and Verse 28, I even showed you a short two-minute video on it, but I wanna repeat this just so you can have this in your mind, Isaiah, Chapter 45, Verse 18, I meant Verse 18. Verse 18 says this, "For thus says the lord who created the heavens, he is the God who formed the Earth and made it. He established it and did not create it a waste place but formed it to be inhabited. I am the Lord and there is none else." He created the Earth to be inhabited. He created the Earth unlike any other planet. He created the Earth with all of the right make-ups so that human beings could be on planet Earth. There seems to be such a fascination in science about is there life on other planets? Is there extraterrestrials? Are there other aliens? Personally, I don't think so, but if there is, here's what's unique about Earth. Earth was created different than all the other planets. Earth was created on purpose to be inhabited with what God placed on the Earth. And last week we took time to read through all of Chapter One, we even cheered at the end for all God did, and all God created, and all God put on the planet.

Now, notice this. This is the account of the heavens and the Earth when they were created. Notice this, in the day that the Lord God made Earth and heaven, now remember what we talked about? The word day. What does day mean? A day means whatever it means based upon context. In Genesis, Chapter One, when God is working, so part of the day he's working, then there's evening and morning and then it's a first day, and it's giving the number, it's crystal clear that he's talking about a 24-hour day, okay? In this context, in Genesis early on, we talked about the day being the light, it's crystal clear he's talking about the daytime. Here when he says in the day that the Lord made the heavens and the Earth, he's talking about that timeframe, creation week, that seven days. That's the day he's talking about. When we get to the Book of Revelation, and we talk about the day of the Lord, the day of the Lord's not a day, the day of the Lord is a period of time. So, here what he's talking about is during creation week when the Lord made the heavens and the Earth and now what's going to happen is he's going to take a telescope and focus on day six for what specifically happened because out of all the days, day six had significance unlike any other day. Notice Verse Five, "No shrub of the field was yet in the Earth, and no plant of the Earth had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the Earth and there was no man to cultivate the ground."

First of all, let's talk about this word. It says the Lord God made heaven and Earth, and in Verse Five it says, the Lord God had not sent rain. Up until now what we've seen is the name God. We've seen the name Elohim. The strong, powerful God. In Genesis 2:4, we're introduced to another name of God, the Lord God. In your Bible, it may be capitalized. Capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D. Any time you see that it's referring to the name Yahweh. Sometimes transliterated as Jehovah. Jehovah is God's personal name. It's how he reveals himself. It's his personal name. It shows his covenant-keeping character, and it also shows his relationship with everything that he's created. You see, God is more than just a big, strong, powerful god that stands off in the distance and has nothing to do with us, God is a personal covenant-keeping relational god who is very involved with everyone and everything that he has created which shows great love for us. So, when we see the word Lord, we're seeing the word Yahweh, or Jehovah, that's what it means. As a matter of fact, all throughout the Old Testament you'll see words like Jehovah-jireh, the Lord our provider, or Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our healer, or Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our peace, or Jehovah-nissi, the Lord our banner. It's the Lord, it's the Lord, it's the Lord. It's how he reveals himself. The best picture of this is in Exodus where Moses is standing at the burning bush and he says, "If I go see these people and they ask who sent me, what do I tell them?" He says, "I am who I am." That's his personal name. Jesus in the New Testament said, "Before Abraham was, I am." I mean, Jesus was testifying that he's this personal, covenant-keeping relational God, and so what we're seeing in Genesis day six, is we're seeing, not only is God a strong, powerful god, but he's a relational god, he's a covenant-keeping god, and he loves all and who he's created. Very important that we get that.

Now, when we get to Genesis Chapter Two, Verse Five, this is one of the reasons people will say, "See, look at all the errors in the Bible," because when I read Genesis 2:5, when there's no shrub of the field yet on the Earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, hey, didn't we talk about that back in Genesis 11, Genesis Chapter One, Verse 11, on day three? Didn't God make all the vegetation? Didn't we just cheer for that last week? And now, we're looking here and it is, no shrub in the field and there's no plant that had yet sprouted. What the heck? All the contradictions in the Bible. If you study this closely you'll understand that the word used for vegetation in Genesis one through 11 is talking about a general vegetation that is all throughout the Earth, and God created it all. In Genesis Chapter Two, in Verse Five, the words for vegetation are used of that which is a vegetation that needs a farmer or some sort of agricultural care in order for it to become everything that it was intended to do.

So, what are we learning about in Genesis Chapter Two? What is being set up here? He's saying God created all the plants. God created, it's all there, but we need a farmer. We need somebody to tend this thing. The world's not done until God can put someone on the Earth that can fulfill what he wanted to get done. That's what the text is starting to hint at. The text is starting to say that the Earth needs to be inhabited by his image-bearers. 'Cause notice what he says. There's no shrub in the field, there's no plants of the field that are yet sprouted, for what the Lord God had not sent rain upon the Earth. So, it hasn't rained yet, so it's not nourishing the plants through rain. And there was no man to cultivate the ground.

Now, the very next verse, in Verse Six, tells us but a mist used to rise from the Earth and water the whole surface of the Earth. So while it hadn't rained God wants to make very clear but don't worry about that 'cause mist was coming up from the Earth, that's why the plants are still alive, and the sun's out, so they're going. But, I want you to know that the plants aren't growing the way they need to grow and becoming the food they need to be until I put someone in there that can tend to the plants that I have created. And God makes clear there was no man yet there yet. That doesn't even make sense. There was no man there, right? That's what he's saying. And so, as he's saying this, it's hinting that God's gonna do something that's never been done before and that's where we get into Verse Seven. It says, "Then the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being." That's the second time you've heard that text this morning and you don't even react to that? I mean, when you read this, there's no life of humans anywhere at all and it says that. I mean, when you read this, I mean, you should have some response like, whoa, you've gotta be kidding me. So, help me out 'cause I don't wanna read it a fourth time. It says, "Then the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being." Man, you were taking time to consider that? I mean, God created all.

God created human life. See, we think we're sometimes the creators and we think sometimes that we can make things happen, and we don't need God. It reminds me of the story of the scientist that one time went to God and they said, "God, we really don't need you anymore, we can sustain ourselves, we can provide food, we know how to control climate, we know how to do different things, so if you just stay away." And God said, "Well, do you think you could create a human being?" And they said, "With all the cloning technology that we have, and all the DNA stuff, absolutely, we could." He goes, "Do you think you can make a man from dirt?" They said, "Yes." God said, "Go ahead." And the man reached down and grabbed some dirt and God said, "Uh-uh-uh, you get your own dirt." When we talk about human life, we're talking about God creating from nothing. God's creating from, God's creating everything out of nothing. That's who God is. That's why we say, "Whoa, look at that, it's different than anything else." And notice what God wants us to understand, that the Lord God created and designed the Earth to be inhabited by his image-bearers who would exercise dominion.

Go back one chapter in your Bible to Genesis One, 26 and 27, God had already made the beasts of the Earth, and now into Genesis One, 26, it says, "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.'" You see the polarity hinting at the trinity that we'll learn about later, "And let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every cattle and over all the Earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the Earth. God created man in his own image. In the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them." So, God not only created us, he created us different than everything he created in all creation. We stood to our feet and cheered for all that God created last week at the end of our message and said, he's awesome, he's worthy, he's great. But, when he created human beings, he created human beings different than anyone else, you know why? Because he created us in his image. He created us in his image and that's really hard to define, and you can read a lot of books, and you can read a lot of scholars, and you can read a lot of people talk about what does that actually mean? It's really difficult to define. Like, what does that mean? We don't look like God. God is spirit. We don't look like him, but what does it mean?

So, I wanna give you some words or some ideas that you can understand what it means that you were created in the image of God. Let me tell you one that you are. First you were created eternal. You were created eternal. Ecclesiastes 3:11, says that God set eternity in the heart of man. It means why from the time that you're young, you always seem to know there's something more than there is to just this life. Who put that there? God did. Why did human beings ask questions like, is there a God? And do I know if there's a God? And if there is a God, how do I get to know him? Because God set eternity in your hearts. You will live forever somewhere. You will either live with the Lord Jesus Christ under his reign and rule and all glory and bliss, or you will live separated from Christ in a place of eternal punishment called hell. 'Cause you're eternal. That's why human beings ask those questions. Animals don't ask those questions. A frog on a lily pad's not asking, "Man, eternity, I just don't know why I'm here, why I'm on this lily pad. How come I'm in the water sometimes? How come I'm on the land? I don't get it." Cats don't ask those questions. Human beings ask those questions. 'Cause God set eternity in your heart. Being created in the image of God, God set eternity in your heart. And even as a believer who believes that Jesus Christ is God's one and only son who died for all your sin and rose from the dead, and you have life in his name, and you know you're gonna experience eternal life, you have a hint of what it is even though you've never experienced it, you can't define what that's like. I can't define what that's like. But, we know in our hearts it's real. Why? Because you were created in the image of God. You were created eternal.

How else were you created? You were created relational. Notice these words in Genesis Chapter One. God said, "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness." Right, us, our, our. What do you have as a picture of God, as you get to know God throughout biblical revelation? You have one God and three persons, father, son and holy spirit. The father has never been the son or the spirit. The son has never been the father or the spirit. And the spirit has never been the father or the son. They've all been one essence and three distinct persons at all times, from eternity past. So, what do we get in the trinity? They've all been relating to one another. They have relationship. You're a relational being. When it comes to faith in God, that's why religion will never cut it. Doing the right things, not doing the wrong things, rote, ritual, routine, standing, sitting, singing, it doesn't cut it because somewhere deep in you heart you wanna relate to that God of the universe. You wanna have relationship with him. And even if you don't have that, your life bears witness to the fact that you want relationship with other human beings. We want people when we're sad to be able to relate to us in our sadness. Or when we're angry, to be able to help us and understand why we're angry. Or when we have a great day and we're trying to rejoice, we want somebody who can come alongside and celebrate with us. We crave relationship. You know why? 'Cause you're created in the image of God. And God is a relational god. So, God is saying and showing us Genesis Chapter Two, not only am I the strong, powerful creator God, but I created you with eternity in your heart, and I created you to be relational, not only with others, but so that you could be relational with me. That's who you are. That's why even the person furthest from God, deep down in their soul, wants to know, I really wish I knew if God really existed. I really wish I knew how to call upon him. And I really wish I knew. And if that's you here today, his name's Jesus Christ, he reveals himself, and he loves you, and he died for you and rose for you, and he wants relationship with you. And then, he made you eternal, he made you relational.

He also made you moral. God is a moral being. God has a standard and code of ethics with which he operates by. God is always truthful. God is always righteous. God is always just. You were created to be moral agents, 'cause you're created in his image. You think about your morality. It's why from the time that you're young when you're told don't do this, and you do it, and you cross the line, even if nobody else finds out about it, there's this thing inside your heart that's like guilt. I feel guilty, I don't like that guilt. Where did that come from? It came from the fact that you were created in the image of God and you're a moral being which means if you don't live morally, it's not gonna sit well with you. God created you to be moral. We're God's moral agents on this planet.

Furthermore, not only are you eternal, relational and moral, but notice what God says in Genesis Chapter One. He says in Verse 28, "God blessed them and said, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth, and subdue it and rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves upon the Earth.'" God gives a command for those who are married to multiply this image over the planet, but also how to do it, to rule over it, to subdue it. It means you have dominion over it. Which means out of all of God's creation, God chose Earth to be inhabited. And out of everything that he created on Earth, human beings are the crown of his creation. You were designed to have dominion over the world. You were designed to rule and lead on God's behalf as a relational, moral, eternal agent for him. Nothing changes when we get to the New Testament and we learn that we're ambassadors for Christ. Nothing changes when we pray the Lord's Prayer. Our father who art in heaven, hallow would be thy name. What? Let your kingdom come, let your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. See those words, Earth and heaven? What's he saying? God, when we pray, here's what we're praying for, because we're your eternal, moral agents who represent you on this planet, let us live out what you want on this Earth so that we reflect what you would do if you were the one living here in and through us.

This is all the way back in Genesis Two. This is foundational for our belief, which tells me this, if I'm eternal, relational and a moral representative of God, and I'm his ambassador here, it tells me this, we talk about the image of God, here's what I want you to know. You're significant. You're significant. Now, where does your significance come from? It comes from God who created you. Let me give you an earthly example. I've three children. I was able to hold all three of my children right after they came out of my wife's womb, and I remember holding my oldest child, my daughter, within seconds after she was born, and holding her, and having thoughts I'd never had before go through my head, heart and mind as I'm looking at her. And I started to think, wow, incredible, I love her. I would die for her. I would defend her. I mean, whatever. She's incredible. And why did I say that? It had nothing to do with what she did. She didn't come out and say, "Dad, I'm gonna be awesome at calculus, I'm really articulate and you're gonna like me. And as soon as I do good, you're gonna really." No, she just was. Because God created her and she has significance. Why is this important? Let me tell you why it's important you understand this, 'cause if you don't find your significance in who you are in God, you will try and find your significance somewhere else, and any other place that you try to find significance will never measure up. You can't find significance in your job that's lasting, that's eternal, that's moral, that's satisfactory. You can't find it. You can't find your satisfaction in a relationship. You can't find your satisfaction in wealth. You can't find your satisfaction in friendships. You can't find your satisfaction in goals. You can't find your satisfaction in the accumulation of things. The only place that you can truly find satisfaction is when you know, and take ownership of the fact, that you are significant because God created you significantly, and even if you did nothing, he thinks you're something. See this is why God wants us to pause in Chapter Two and say, it's not just that I created you in my image, let me tell you what that is. I mean, you're awfully, awfully, awfully special. Which means if you know who you are in Christ, then you can do tasks. We're gonna see that God put Adam on the Earth to do tasks. There's nothing wrong with working for the Lord. There's nothing wrong with serving. There's nothing wrong with having a career. Nothing wrong with that. It's just that's not where my significance comes from. That's not where your significance comes from. My significance comes from the Lord. The maker of the heaven and Earth.

Why do you think you're so special? Because the God of the universe that created all things that you see, created me uniquely and created me greater than anything else that you see. You think about it, for some of you that are into nature and you go to the Rocky Mountains and you see it and you're like, . Or you go to the Grand Canyon, you're like, whoa. Or you go to the ocean and you dip your toe in the ocean and you're like, it's massive, wow. Or you see pictures of all those things, you're like, that's incredible. When God looks down at the Earth, he already said that's incredible 'cause he made it, he said it's very good, but when he's looking down at the Earth, he's looking at you and he's saying, no, whoa, you're incredible 'cause I'm the one that purposed you and fashioned you and made you. That's how special you are. And God wants you to know that's how special you are, that's why he put it in his word that you're created in his image, and no one else, other than human beings, were created in his image. And you were created as image-bearers to exercise dominion. It means you're more important than any part of God's creation. More important than any other part. You're more important than the trees, the sun, the moon, the stars, the animals, you are human beings, and innately in you is wired the image of God, unlike anything else he ever created. Amen.

He goes on to say, not only did the Lord God create and design the Earth, but the Lord God created and designed the human race with two genders who each have a unique purpose. So, as God made man a living being, I'm back in Genesis, Chapter Two, Verse Eight now, he's gonna give us some history of what took place. It says that the Lord God planted a garden toward the east in Eden, and there he placed the man whom he had formed. We'll come back to that. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight, and good for food. Now, pause here for a second 'cause we'll revisit this text next week, I want you to see this. When God made everything for man, notice what he says about the trees and the fruit, it was pleasing to the sight and good for food. Why? Because when God provides, he makes it pleasing to the sight and good. God made what he provided for man good. Don't miss that, we'll come back to it next week. He also said, "The tree of life in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now, a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided and became four rivers." You're gonna be familiar with two of the four. It says, "The name of the first is Pishon, it flows around the whole land of Havilah where there is gold. The gold of that land is good, bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon, it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris, it flows east over Syria. And the fourth river is Euphrates." Now, you may ask a couple of questions. How come we don't know about the other two rivers? And where are they now? And hey, where was the Garden of Eden? And let's locate it 'cause if it's Tigris and Euphrates, we can probably position it. We're gonna read about something else that happened in human history about 4,400 years ago, when we get to Genesis Chapter Six, called a global worldwide flood. When that happened it changed everything. The reason you don't know about those other two rivers, we don't know where they are. We don't know what happened to them, right? And, things shifted on the planet. So, are the Tigris and Euphrates in the exact same place? We don't know. We'll talk about all that. All I want you to see now is that God is providing water and nourishment and notice what Verse 15 says, "Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it." He basically says the same thing he says in Verse Eight. He needed human kind to tend to the garden, so when he created man, guess where he put him? In the garden.

So, what is the first requirement of man? Eve has not been made yet. Eve was not created. We're gonna read about her in a minute. Adam was created, God put him on the Earth, and what does he ask Adam to do? Work. Work. There's nothing unbiblical about work. Now, post-fall work got hard. It would've been easy to think about gardening. I don't know what gardening was like before the fall, but I think Adam probably went up and said, "Okay, here's a spade, let's do this." And everything just went vroom. No weeds, no thorns, no nothing. He probably just walked around and scooped it a little bit, it all just went great. After the fall, work became hard, okay? Men, I wanna make a couple of comments to you. Number one, there's nothing wrong with work, and there are seasons of your life you may have to work in positions that you don't like. Fair? I mean, there may come a season in my life I don't get to do this, but it's not beneath me to work at Pizza Hut or McDonald's to provide for my family. Work is noble. It's always noble to work. But let me say this to you, men, especially guys my age or older that absolutely hate going to work. You hate work, you hate it, okay? Pick a different job. Just pick a different job. Well, it doesn't pay as much. Pick a different job. God didn't put you on this Earth so you would hate every moment of your life, right? And quit blaming everybody else, just work, okay? That's one.

Number two, and I don't mean this to be harsh, ladies, just give me a chance. Men, listen to me. You weren't created to live at your parent's home until you're 40 in the basement playing video games. All of us are called to the same mission to glorify God and serve others, that's what we're all called to, male or female. God gives us each a ministry. Ministry does not mean pastor or worship leader, ministry can be dentist, physician, school teacher, garbage man, anything that's gonna bring glory to God in a skillset that's he's given you to have, that you find fulfillment in giving God glory in whatever you do. But sitting and doing nothing is unbiblical. So, men, work. Work. And the reason a lot of the girls are cheering right now is because we have a lot of young girls that come to our church that love Jesus and are waiting for a man who would actually get a job, pick a theology and have a direction so they could marry you. I'm just trying to help you out. Go in a direction. All right, enough of that. So, work is noble, it's good.

It says, "And the Lord commanded the man saying," now notice this, is it good that God commands us? 'Cause we think of command, we think of don't do this, but notice what God commanded the man. "God commanded the man saying, 'From any tree of the garden, you may eat freely.'" What's the command? Enjoy everything I've given to you. Enjoy everything I've created. Every good thing and perfect gift comes from me, so enjoy it. Christians, listen to me. Never apologize for your blessings. Never apologize for the things that you get to enjoy. Sometimes when we come together in Christian community, if we had something really good happen to us, we start to posture it like, I don't know if I can say that 'cause I think they had a bad week and I don't know, and I don't wanna make it sound like. If God's blessed you, enjoy it. For heaven's sakes, enjoy it. It's okay that you enjoy the things that God provides. Don't make them an idol. Don't make them the reason you're happy. But enjoy the blessings that God gives. God commands him and says, "Eat freely of anything." But, he does give a warning. "But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it, you will surely die." We'll go over this next week. He goes you will die, dying. I mean, you're gonna die-die. And we're gonna see next week what that actually means, and what it means. God's giving a warning. Is it pretty clear from God's word, enjoy everything except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Is it pretty clear that he says don't eat it? And that's the only command he gives? It's clear. I mean, just get that in your brain, 'cause when we get to Genesis Chapter Three, we need to know, hey God said don't eat off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That's the only warning he's given. Everything else is good. All the trees are good for sight. All the trees are good for food, except that one.

Then, the Lord God said something in Genesis 2:18, which shifts everything. Because all throughout Genesis One, we see God create, we see God make, we see God do, and at the end of the day, God says, what? It is very good. It's good, it's good, it's good, it's good, it's good. It's very good. Everything's good. So, we get to Genesis 2:18. "Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him.'" Okay, this isn't good, God says. It's not good for man to be alone. I'll make a suitable helper for him. Women, listen to me. Suitable helper is the same word used as deliverer or savior. Psalm 46, Verse One, says the Lord is an ever-present help in time of trouble. He's a deliverer. It means this, ladies, the men need you. Man's not good by himself. That's what God was trying to say. It's not good for man to be alone. I'll make a suitable helper for him. I'll make someone that can complement him. I'll make someone that can come alongside and make him better, that together they'll be better than they were individually. That's what God says. So, it's really important that we understand that. We'll come back to that in a minute.

So, notice what it says. Verse 19, this is another verse where people say, see this is why the Bible's not true. We'll talk about two things about this verse. It says, "Out of the ground, the Lord god formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle and all the birds of the sky, and every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not a suitable helper for him." Two things about that passage. First of all, if you read through your Bible carefully and critically, you'll notice in Genesis, Chapter One, that the land animals were made before man. Here, it appears, that out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, so seemingly it came after man, so it can't be true. In Genesis Two, what you have is just a picture of what happened on that day. That word formed is in the perfect tense. It can be used in the perfect tense, or it can be used in what's called the pluperfect tense which is using had formed. And that is not changing the Bible. That is not twisting the text. That's just saying the way the verb could be mentioned. And so, the way I would read Verse 19, "Out of the ground, the Lord God had formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the sky" and then he brings them to the man. God had already done this, he's bringing them to Adam.

Here comes controversy number two. How in the world could Adam name all of the animals on day six? Have you looked around? Do you know how many animals there are? I mean, how long would it take you to name all the animals? But God didn't tell him to name all the animals, does he? What does he bring to him? He brings to him the beasts of the field, the birds of the sky, and he brought them to man to see what he would call them names. So, I did a little research this week. So, bear with me. There are over two million known species. No way Adam can name two million species, but do a little more study. 98% of those are invertebrates, meaning they don't have a back bone, like sponges or jellyfish or worms. He didn't name those. So, now we're down to 40,000 species. He also didn't have to name marine vertebrates, so like fish and all the marine creatures, so now we're down another 25,000 from that. And he also didn't have to name the amphibians, like the frogs and all those kind of things, so now we've got another 4,000 of those. So, we're down to 11,000 vertebrates that Adam would have had to have named. Now, if you get into specialties and varieties, you understand, assuming that everything continued to grow, so at the time, you had male dog, female dog. You didn't have golden doodle and sheep-poo. You had dog, right? So, if you take that into account, you've got about 2,500 species that Adam needs to name. I read an article from "Answers in Genesis" this week and they propose that if there were 2,500 names for Adam to name, and he named one every five seconds, taking a five-minute break at the top of the hour, he could have been done in three hours and 45-minutes. Could he have done that on day six? Absolutely. You have a man that has no sin. He's got a perfect relationship with God, and he can sit there and spit them out.

Now, here's the bigger question, why did God have him name all those animals? It's not because he wanted Adam to be a veterinarian. It's not because he wanted him to be a biologist. He was having him name the animals because he's just gotten done saying, you're so unique to everything that I've created and I'm gonna have all these animals pass by you and I want you to name them because every one that you name, you're greater than. And you have significance unlike what they have. You know, one of them that he would have named would have been serpent? Very important that we understand why God was having him do that. He was having him do it, number one, so he would understand he was above them. And number two, so that he would understand this. There's no one like me. I see Mister Dog and Missus Dog. I see Mister Cat and Missus Cat. I see me and I don't see Missus me. God was letting him know what he was about ready to do, so he was showing Adam his own poverty from what he didn't have by having them name them.

And isn't that perfect about our God? I mean, just think about some of the things that we've read so far about this Lord God, about our covenant-keeping, relational, personal God that loves us. He creates, Psalm 139, Verses 13 and 14, says that we were created in our mother's womb and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. That life begins at conception and God is the one who creates life, amen. He's the creator. And every life that is created is an image-bearer of God and to stop that life goes against God 100% of the time. Amen. He's a provider, he provides. Did he provide for Adam? He provided all the nourishment he'd ever need. He provided what he was gonna need to tend to the garden. He provided everything. Does God still provide? Yeah, Phillippians 4:19 says "And my God will meet all of your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." How about this one? He assigned Adam, like, for some of us, we're like, if I had a specific task, Pastor Jeff, if I knew I was supposed to be a pastor, if I was Adam and God put me in a garden and told me to garden, I'd get it. I just don't know what I'm supposed to do. Anybody ever feel like that? You know, he still assigns you? Listen to this in Chapter 17, Verse 26, and following where Paul's talking to the people in Corinth about the one true God. He says, "And he made from one man, every nation of mankind."

Now, check this out. So, Paul's gone back to the creation account in Genesis One and Two, and he's saying, I'm telling you, all the population comes out of one man, Adam. Do you really believe that? Yeah, I totally believe it 'cause it's in the Bible. Everyone comes from Adam, okay? So, he made one man from every nation. He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the Earth, having determined their appointed times and their boundaries, that they would seek God if perhaps they might grope for him, and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. Why did he assign you the parents he assigned you? Why were you born in the city that you were born in? Why are you in this church right now? Why does... Because God assigns your days and your positions. Why did God give you the talents and skills he gave you? Why did God give you the weaknesses he gave you? Because you are assigned here for a purpose to give glory to God with whatever you have in your life. All your strengths, all your weaknesses, given from God. Does he still do that? Absolutely. Does he still command us? Yeah, he does. I mean, even when Jesus was given the great commission in Matthew 28 and following, he says, "And teach them to what? Obey all that I have commanded you." Jesus spent time commanding his disciples how to live, how to do everything in life. And then he says, "Now, you go teach other people the same things I commanded you."

Does he warn us? Yeah, Exodus Chapter 20, Verses One to 17, and Deuteronomy Five, Six to 21, we get the Ten Commandments and we see those repeated throughout the Old and New Testament. And when we go against the teachings of what God says, there's always pain in that. When God says, "You shall have no other God before me." And we say, "No, I'm gonna put this as an idol in my life, and I'm going after success, or I'm going after money, or I'm going after relationships, I'm putting that first, God." There's always pain that comes from that. When God says that sexuality is only to be in the container of marriage between a husband and wife, and we're like, "No, that doesn't work for me. I'll do it a different way." Anybody that's ever experienced sex consensually or against your will outside of the covenant of marriage, there's always pain 100% of the time. God warns us because he loves us enough that he wants us to live rightly. Parents, if you love your kids and they're real little and they're trying to reach up and touch a hot stove, what do you tell them? Don't do that. Is it because you hate your kids? No, you just don't wanna see them get burned. You don't wanna take 20-minutes out of your day to have to put band-aids and maybe even go to the ER or urgent care to take care. You know it's bad for them so you warn them. Does God still empower and prepare us? Absolutely.

God is always at work accomplishing his purposes. Even in John Chapter 14, Jesus told his disciples, "Truly I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also and greater works than these will he do because I go to the father whatever you ask in my name, that I will do so that the father may be glorified in the son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it." What does God say? No, you're still my agents, you're still my ambassadors. I put you on this planet to seek me and let my word abide in you and ask for whatever you wish so that I can do that for you. Does God show incredible love in Genesis One and Two for his creation? Yeah. Does he still show incredible love? Yeah. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him would not perish, but would have eternal life." Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord." We're gonna read that even though God created this perfect, we're the ones that messed it up, and even though we messed it up, God still had a plan of sending his son who would die on a cross for all of our sins, be buried and raised from the dead. That by believing in him, he would restore in us what we originally were intended to do. Is that good news, or what? Has God changed? When I hear people talk about Genesis One and Two, it doesn't mean anything. Everybody can have their own opinion. For me, it means everything. This is the start of the gospel. This is telling me about who my God is. Why would I wanna twist and turn the words? I wanna believe what God has to say. He not only created the Earth to be inhabited by his image-bearers who would exercise dominion, but he created the human race with two genders who each have a unique purpose.

Now, let me tell you what I'm talking about. Notice how he created them in Verse, Chapter One in Verse 27, God created man in his own image, and the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. How many genders are there according to the Bible? There's two. It's not a trick question. If you ask how many genders are there according to the world, you'll get a different answer. God says, "I made two." Whatever you were in utero, that's what you are. Even if you say I'm gonna change that, God doesn't change what he made you. If you're formed as a little girl in utero, you're a girl becoming a woman. If you were formed as a little boy in utero, you're a boy becoming a man. That's what the Bible teaches. It's not rocket science. It just goes against our culture, so it sounds like hate speech but I'm not trying to be hateful, I'm just trying to tell you and proclaim what Jesus Christ says. Amen. Now notice, this is important. This is important because he's already had Adam name, and now we're gonna see the third element of Genesis Chapter Three. "The Lord God created and designed the institution of marriage to reflect his glory." He created and designed the institution of marriage to reflect his glory. Now, this is really important. Since God is the one who created the entire universe, and God's the one that created the Earth significantly and specially so that it can be inhabited, and God created human beings to reflect him image, and God created those human beings to have, to be two different genders, then God can speak to how he designed marriage 'cause he's the one that designed it. And he's the one that created it. So, I'm not talking about traditional marriage here, I'm talking about biblical marriage here.

Okay, this is God's authoritative word. So, it says this, "So, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man and he slept. Then he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which he had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. Best nap ever in the history of the world. Everything's good except one thing's not good, no woman for me. And guess what? God calls him to sleep and where does he fashion the woman from? His rib, his side. Now, I've read this in a couple of different places, this is not original, but I think it bears repeating. Did he not create woman from his head because she was not designed to dominate him? And he did not create woman from his man's feet because man was designed to trample over her. He created woman from his side because she is his equal. And he took from a rib which was under his arm because man was called to protect her. And he took a rib which was close to his heart because man was called to love her.

Now, I want you to understand about gender. We don't have a lot of time to get into it, but when it comes to male and female, how many know that men and women are different? Okay. If you don't, let me just explain something to you. Most people think we're different because of our genitalia and that's why we're different. That may be the most similar thing that we have. On the inside, women are 100% different than men are on the inside. From the time they come out of their mothers, they are different. Men are designed to conquer and challenge and go for things and be about things and all this. Women, now this is what the Bible teaches, so this is not a put-down because you're gonna see how men and women are completely equal, we're both the same, but man was not created for woman, but woman was created for man. That's in First Corinthians Chapter 11. Why? Because women, you have a nurturing characteristic that men don't have. You were designed to come along and help. You were designed to make things better. You were designed to be cherished. You were designed to be loved. You were designed to be protected. So, there's nothing wrong with you desiring those things in your life, it's how God made you. The feminist movement has put that down and said, "Be like a man." It's the worst thing you can be. You can't be one. Be the best woman you can ever be. And cherish who you are as a woman. Okay? So, notice what God says. I mean, think about this, Moses wakes up from his nap, and the man said, that's Adam, I said Moses, I meant Adam. I'm getting ahead of myself. Moses was excited about this text too. That's what I meant. He says, "This is not bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man." Now, if you hear this in church, sometimes we're like, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman." That is not what would happen if he woke up from his nap and saw a naked woman standing right next to him that was destined for him. He would be like, "Whoa, man, this is like bone of my bones and flesh of my, woman, come on." I mean, he loved her. That's how God designed it.

And notice what it says next. It says, "For this reason." But what reason? The reason that we have a strong, powerful creative God that's a covenant-keeping God that's personal and relational that loves us unconditionally, that created two genders for his glory, that has a purpose, for that reason, "a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh." If my wife, Kim, and I spent time with you in pre-marital counseling, this is the verse we're gonna start with. If my wife and I spent time with you, if you've been married for 30 years, this is the verse we're gonna start with. You get this first, you get everything. You miss this first, you miss everything. Marriage is about leaving and cleaving. When you get married, I'm actually doing, I'm officiating a wedding this afternoon. I'm gonna read this verse, I'm gonna teach this. So, when the bride comes down the aisle, walking with her Dad, which she will do today, and in this situation she's really close to her Dad, Dad's really close to her, they love each other. When I say, "Who gives this woman to be with this man?" And her Dad says, "Her mother and I" and he goes and sits down, his day is over. Do you know why? Because what's about ready to take place is God is gonna take those two individuals, he's gonna make them one, and guess what happened? They just became family. Guess what Dad is now? He's extended family 'cause they're leaving and cleaving. Men, listen to me. I love my Mom, I love her. Men, you should love your Mom. I love my Dad. You should love your Dad. They're not your family anymore. Your wife is your family. You make decisions based upon what's best for your family. We're family. Kim and I are family. I love my extended family. I love my mother and father, they're sitting right here. They're great. My wife's family. They're extended family.

See, when you understand oneness, you realize where the marriage problem comes from. Most people that come see me for biblical counseling, when it comes to their marriages, is like, we have financial problems, we have communication problems, we have problems in the bedroom, we have problems with the kids, we have problems parenting, we have problems in our neighborhood. That's not your problem. Those are the problems that are gonna be there no matter what. If you're one and you have financial problems, you don't have a marriage problem, you just have a financial problem. You guys'll figure it out. If you're one and you have problems with one of your kids, you don't have a marriage problem, you just have a problem with one of your kids, you need to figure it out. If you have a community problem, and you're one, it doesn't mean that you have a marriage problem, you just have a problem you've gotta figure out together. But what happens is, and I tell young people this all the time, for those of you that are single, you know what it's like? Satan lies to you all the time and says, "Hey, just live as one, be as one, shack up, be one, be one." As soon as you get married, what's Satan say? "Live as individuals, live as individuals, live as individuals." Right? So what happens is if you're acting like this, even though you are one and you have a financial problem, then you think it's the other person's problem. If you're not fighting for oneness and you have a problem with your kid, then you're mad about how the other one's parenting. If you have a problem with career and who's gonna make a decision and you're not living as one, you've got a marriage problem. It's always about oneness. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two will become one flesh. One flesh, you're one flesh. So, that couple that I'm marrying this afternoon, they'll come in as individuals, they'll leave as one. God sees them as one.

Now, understand this, because when we get to Genesis Three, it's gonna be important when they sin, God doesn't just see Eve, and God doesn't just see Adam, he sees Eve and Adam as a couple, you're one. When you become one at your wedding, you're as one as you'll ever be and then you'll spend the rest of your lives learning about what it means to become one. You know why? Because no matter who you marry, you're nothing like that other person. You're nothing like them. So God called me here and then I get married to Kim but she may have different desires, so the question is not, well you're wrong, or I'm wrong. The question is what is God now doing with us together? And what do I need to sacrifice? And what does she need to sacrifice so that we together are better than we were individually? See, if you understand oneness and you get to the New Testament of Ephesians Chapter Five, that the husbands are the head of the wife, that's not a problem. And the wives are called to submit to their husbands in everything. That's not a problem. If you're acting as individuals, it's a big problem. "I'm not submitting to him." "Man, she's tough to lead." Right? But if you're together, hey, I'm trying to do this for God and you're, and I'm trying to support you, and boy, this is hard, and I didn't think it'd be like, but you're fighting for this, God uses that. So, it's not about my gifts, it's about our gifts. It's not about my weaknesses, it's about our weaknesses. What's God doing in and through us? It's oneness. And that's why God makes it so clear, for this reason, a man, male, shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, female, and they shall become one flesh.

Now, why is Genesis One and Two so important? Well, Paul in Ephresians Five, when he quotes, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh." He's quoting Genesis Two, but check out Jesus. When Jesus is being asked about marriage and divorce, he's asked by the Pharisees, "Can we get divorced for any reason at all? Is there anything my wife could ever do where I could just send her away?" What does Jesus do? He says, Matthew 19, Four and Five, "Have you not read?" Read what? Of the Bible, okay? "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female." Well, where in the world did Jesus get that? Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:26 and 27. He's quoting Genesis One. And said, quote, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh." Where'd he get that? Genesis 2:24 and 25. What did Jesus think about Genesis? That it was the literal word of God, and Genesis One and Genesis Two, that was the foundation for all marriage. Now, listen to me, which means any sexuality outside the container of a man and a woman joined together by God forever is sinful. Everything. See, God's either the authority moral agent, or he's not. I'm not gonna fight people that say, "Well, it could be this or could it be that. It could be two men, it could be two women. It could be me and an animal. It could be me and this." No, it's a man and a woman. That's what God says. It's not traditional marriage, it's biblical marriage. It's the authority of God's word. He doesn't recognize any other kind. Am I being clear? It's God's answer to immorality. That's why he says, "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord."

Now, think about this. Verse 25, great verse, so now they're married, "And a man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." It's awesome. That's not talking about just physical nakedness, it's talking about complete vulnerability about everything. Husbands and wives, you cannot have secrets in your marriage and have intimacy, and have oneness, you can't. And it's hard to learn to trust each other. With pains and hurts and heartaches and disappointment. I mean, picture Adam on their first date. I mean, they're gonna get married like a minute after they meet. You know, "Eve, where you from?" "I don't know, I just woke up from a nap like two minutes ago and God brought me here." "Good, sounds like we were made for each other." But I'm talking about in a marriage, it's pretty easy to get secretive or invulnerable or to hide or to do something because sin has marred our relationships and God wants us to go back and say, "No, no, there's no shame in marriage." Men are not called to shame their wives, and wives are not called to shame their husbands, we're called to live as one. And to honor the other as their own body. That's biblical marriage. That's what we're called to do and we all struggle to get better and better at that. But think about this, God took woman and made her from the side. Where did Adam get his bride? From the side. Think about Jesus on the cross. Remember they speared him in the side? And where did he get his bride? From blood and water that flowed. Marriage is a picture, marriage is a picture of the gospel. Marriage is not about you. Marriage is not for your happiness. Marriage is for God's holiness. And for those of you that are here, like, I'm not even married, this makes me feel depressed, what am I? Go back to point one, you're totally significant. And if you're not married, it's a gift either for a season or a lifetime to serve the Lord and not have to be concerned with anybody else. You're valuable. But if you choose to be married, it's value in the context of the marriage. Amen.

And this is why it's so important that we understand this foundation because all marriage centers on oneness and our relationship to one another reflects our relationship to God, and as we spend time with God and we spend time with each other, and recognize that God made this unit to glorify him on planet Earth, things begin to change. The more I've gotten to know my wife and gotten to see gifts in her that I don't have, the more I tell her, hey, I need more of that in my life. Not being around somebody that prays quite like my wife, or has gifts of intersection like that, or has gifts of discernment. Husbands, let me tell you something about your wife, God gave her to you 'cause you need her help. I mean, women, it's a good place for an amen. God gave your wife to you because he needs your help. See, early on in the marriage, my wife would say something and I'd say, "How did you learn that? How could you even know that? I mean, I'm not listening to you." And then six months later, I'm like, should've listened to that. How'd she know that? God gave women intuition, and I'm not talking about completion, like you have all these gifts, and they have all these gifts, and they totally complement. I'm not talking about Jerry Maguire, you had me at hello, tear. I'm not doing it. I'm talking about biblically, when you come together under the Lordship of Christ, he's formed an entity and a unity that's unlike any other. He created the Earth to be inhabited by you and to let you have dominion over it. He created you as either male or he created you as female with a unique purpose for his glory. And he created marriage as an institution, if you should choose to go down that way, to reflect his glory as well. Amen.

And that all comes all the way back in Genesis Chapter Two taking a look at day six, a literal day that took place in creation to show us the awesome glory of our God. Amen. Amen. Would you stand with me? Lord, you are worthy of all of our praise, all of our glory, and all of our honor. We love you, God. And Lord, we thank you that you're a god who because of who you are, and because of how you relate, Lord, that we would worship you. Or that you created us greater than the angels. You created us as the crown of your creation and we worship and celebrate you this day. In Jesus' name, amen. Can we give God some praise this morning?

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