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Genesis 2:15-18 1
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” 18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

snapshot178Background

It is not known who wrote the Book of Genesis or when it was written. There is an ancient tradition that Moses was the author. Modern studies have introduced many other ideas. But we can see that Genesis is by itself a very old book. Even the oldest books in the Bible refer to it (for example, Exodus 3:15; Job 28:25-29).

The author was not merely collecting ancient stories or recording ancient history. In fact, Genesis is a very careful account, which teaches the main principles in the Bible. The author describes the nature of God and God’s plan for a perfect world. The author also describes sin and sacrifice. He speaks about God’s promise to forgive sin and he speaks about God’s promise to send Jesus.

Biblical Truths 2

Verse 15 – God took care of Adam. And God took Adam to the garden that God had prepared for him. God gave work for Adam to do. Adam’s work was to look after the garden. A better word than ‘garden’ here might be ‘farm’. The garden was not just a pretty place with flowers and trees. But it was important for food also.

Verse 17 – God gave Adam an important command. So Adam was responsible to God. As we shall see in chapter 3, Adam did not obey God’s command. In the garden, Adam had the freedom to be a friend of God. But Adam did not want this freedom. Instead, he wanted the freedom to do whatever things he wanted to do. He wanted to live his own life, without God’s friendship. So Adam chose to do evil things, although God had warned him about the results of such a decision. Death was not part of God’s original plan for men and women. God wanted them to live always and to be his friends. But when men and women began to do evil things, the result was death. Their bodies did not die immediately. But their spirits were dead, because they were not still friends of God. And so they could not go to be with God in heaven when their bodies died.

Verse 18[re]http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=2[/ref]– While power over the creatures was given to man, man was limited to the lord of the creatures. Unfortunately, nothing yet in this new world was a help meet for man himself. We must remember that from God are all our helpers. If we rest in God, he will work all for good. So God caused deep sleep to fall on Adam; while he knows no sin, God will take care that he shall feel no pain. God, as her Father, brought the woman to the man, as his second self, and a help for man. That wife, who is of God’s making by special grace, and of God’s bringing by special providence, is likely to be a help for a man but what is needed is, both prudence and prayer in the choice of this relationship because it is to be done for life. Our first parents needed no clothes for covering against cold or heat, for nothing could hurt them: they needed nothing for ornament. Thus living an easy and happy life, was man in his state of innocence.

Items for Discussion

  • If Genesis teaches us the nature of God and His plan for this world, what can you find in these verses to help you learn about God’s nature and His plans?
  • Why do you think that God gave Adam virtually everything but one, the one that would cause his downfall?
  • What can we learn about loneliness from God’s perspective?
  • What does it mean to a Christian to have “dominion” over the earth?
  • What are mankind’s responsibilities with earth?
  • What does it mean to “work” in the garden?
  • What does it mean to be able to eat from any tree?

 

Ephesians 4:22-25
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

Background 3

This letter was written when St. Paul was a prisoner at Rome. The design appears to be to strengthen the Ephesians in the faith of Christ, and to give exalted views of the love of God, and of the dignity and excellence of Christ, fortifying their minds against the scandal of the cross. He shows that they were saved by grace, and that however wretched they once were, they now had equal privileges with the Jews. He encourages them to persevere in their Christian calling, and urges them to walk in a manner becoming their profession, faithfully discharging the general and common duties of religion, and the special duties of particular relations.

Bible Truths 4

The corrupt nature is called a man; like the human body, it is of diverse parts, supporting and strengthening one another. Sinful desires are deceitful lusts; they promise men happiness, but render them more miserable; and bring them to destruction, if not subdued and mortified. These therefore must be put off, as an old garment, a filthy garment; they must be subdued and mortified. But it is not enough to shake off corrupt principles; we must have gracious ones. By the new man, is meant the new nature, the new creature, directed by a new principle, even regenerating grace, enabling a man to lead a new life of righteousness and holiness. This is created, or brought forth by God’s almighty power.

Notice the particulars wherewith we should adorn our Christian profession. Take heed of everything contrary to truth. No longer flatter or deceive others. God’s people are children who will not lie, who dare not lie, who hate and abhor lying.

Items for Discussion

  • How can you tell if you are a good Christian? In other words, what would your behaviors, attitudes, actions look like in modern day society?
  • We are being called to replace sin with something else, to be professional Christians – What does that mean to you?
  • Is there ever a reason to lie?
  • How is flattery a poor reflection on Christianity?
  • How do Christians deceive others?

Discussion Challenge

  • How can the “body” of the Church help people overcome their corrupt nature and become the “professional Christian” that Paul talks about?

 

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