Mature Class Study, teacher Leslie Crain.
God formed us as spiritual beings who carry around a human body with its emotions, frailties, and inadequacies.
II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
God knew we were going to walk in our humanness while we’re spiritually connected to him and still have the burden of our flesh. The French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are not humans having a spiritual experience, But we are a spiritual being having a human experience.” God made a way for us to have victory. Are we busy with our humanness while we just take a few minutes of our day for our spiritual part. Or are we always striving for connection with God despite our humanness? We are both human and spiritual – a house of clay and a soul. Before salvation and conviction, we were walking in our humanness without a spiritual experience. After salvation all things became new. With sanctification or consecration we’re guided by God’s Spirit into all truth and it brings a completeness before God.
John 14:26-27 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
We’ve all experienced the daily battle to keep the human part of us under control with its frailties, emotions, and proneness to listen to the enemy of souls. Man was made complete before God – a living soul that was clean and pure.
Genesis 2:7 And 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 soul.
Have you ever wondered what Adam and Eve’s every day life was like? Adam’s job was to keep the garden. God told him to name the animals, gave him a wife, and gave one rule to keep.
Genesis 2:15-17 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded…Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
By the time Cain killed Adam, there were other people. Cain was afraid they would kill him when his punishment was to be a vagabond. God wanted a people to serve, trust, and praise him. Adam and Eve had a shelter, food, and beds. They had dressing, planting, and weeding, etc. They had every day things to do like we do.
Genesis 4:14…I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond…and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
Leslie asked Google what Adam’s job was. The Christian and Jewish communities both had a lot to say about it. The Israel Bible Weekly said that according most English translations Genesis 2:15 says God put the human in the garden to cultivate and keep it. Another translation said “cultivate and keep” would be “worship and obey.” So Adam had 2 jobs: to cultivate and keep the garden AND to worship and obey God. Based on the two translations, we see God put Adam in the garden to maintain it but to also maintain a worshipful and obedient attitude toward God. As an act of service, Adam not only cultivated the garden but he also enriched his relationship with God. After the fall, God made Adam’s work harder but in the garden it was a pleasure and Adam could see the benefit of keeping the garden neat. Adam had a clean and pure relationship with his wife. As they walked in the evening with God, they communed with God and shared with each other. The enemy of our souls is just the same today. He didn’t say to Eve, you’ve had all these other fruits so try this one. The enemy works over time, little by little – a whispered word, a doubt, a what if, or a maybe it isn’t quite as bad as God said. Adam and Eve partook of the fruit. At first it might have been exciting and pleasurable. Maybe they said, Oh this is good. Why didn’t we try it before? The Bible says there’s pleasure in sin (Hebrews 11:25). After a while, fear came and they tried to hide from God like every sinner does. They couldn’t stand in God’s presence and he sent them out of the garden. Before they sinned, they had a habit of meeting God in the evening. Adam had an experience with God that is not like ours because he had never sinned. He had no guilt, shame, heartache, or reaping. He had no remembrance of sins but had a communion of sweetly walking with God. We won’t remember any of this life’s sin when we’re in heaven.
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
God’s perfect plan for Adam and Eve was to have daily work to benefit and prosper their lives AND to have daily close communion with dependence on God. How often we read, “come to me, cling to me, cleave to me.”
I Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Even in the old testament God wanted man to cleave to him and be close, like a toddler who runs to Daddy and wraps himself tightly around his dad’s legs. We have been placed in our own figurative garden to fulfill God’s purpose.
Deuteronomy 13:4 Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
Three ways God wants us to fulfill his purpose:
- We take care of things God has given us at home and on the job. God wants us to be good stewards every day.
We recently talked about how Joseph could have joy in his hardship. One reason he had joy was he was a good steward in every position he was given. In Potiphar’s house, God was with Joseph. God was with him every step of the way from his father’s house to Egypt. He walked close to God and turned his burdens over to God. The Lord was with Joseph and he was a prosperous man. He tended his garden in Potiphar’s house the best way he could.
Genesis 39:2-4 And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
It was a hard place to have a good attitude when Joseph was in prison but Joseph prospered. When Joseph was brought before the king and gave him the interpretation of the king’s dreams, God blessed him and gave him success. We’ll prosper too if we take care of the things God has given in our garden.
Genesis 41:38-40 And Pharaoh said…Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?…Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
- Take care of our families, people on the job, store clerks, people we do business with, and others.
We have opportunities every day to show diligence and respect. We have opportunity to show God’s love by patience, longsuffering, and kindness. People will be able to tell the difference between us and other people. If we ask God to help us be a light, he will be faithful to do so.
John 15:12-13 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
- Help expand the kingdom.
Jesus said his followers were to be salt and light. Salt preserves and light dispels darkness. Jesus said the people will see our works and glorify God. We’re to stand out as examples of purity, integrity, and love. As we let our light shine and God draws people, they will see the light and want to follow. When Jesus called the disciples, they knew him, lived near him, or went to church and school with him. People will see our good works and want to follow because it’s attractive when we interact with friends, neighbors, and others. Let’s work our garden to help it grow around us in our circle of influence.
Matthew 5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.