A fellowship with God? The choice is up to you

Mankind was created for fellowship/intimacy with God. Before sin, everything Adam did was an act of worship. Since the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, man has attempted to come back to a place of worship with God. I want to give you an overall view, a big picture, of worship from Adam in the Garden to Aaron the high priest and the establishment of the tabernacle.

Worship is about surrender from the heart, not about a particular place. God is interested in the temple of the heart. Worship is also an act of adoration and reverence that makes up a formal expression to God.

We were created to worship! Man was created in a context of worship, but sin changed all of that. As a result of the fall, man’s relationship with God had to be rebuilt. It doesn’t take long in the Scriptures to see how man got into some serious problems in his relationship with God. Just three chapters into the Bible in Genesis 3, we see that sin, which is a deliberate choice of man to go his own way independent of God, has left its stain on man’s relationship with God.

Can you imagine how Adam and Eve felt after they sinned? How do we feel when we sin? For the first time in their lives, they were not walking in fellowship with God. For the first time, they tasted guilt, grief and emptiness. For the first time, their hearts knew and experienced fear. The Garden of Eden was shattered by sin, through their own choice/free-will. They offended God, instead of worshiping Him. Their rebellion caused them to not be under God’s authority and care. No longer could they walk with Him in the cool of the day. What could they do? How could they restore their relationship with God? They hid themselves from God. They took fig leaves and covered their nakedness. But God found them: they could not hide. They tried to pass the blame onto each other. They turned on each other. Their worship of God ended! For when we choose to sin, we are worshiping our own will over God’s will.

God would have to act. Man could not close the breach. For man to worship God, sin would have to be dealt with. And it would have to be God’s way, not man’s way.

Before the fall, in Genesis 2:25, they were naked and unashamed. Now, fig leaves could not suffice, cover them or their sin. One of the first consequences of the fall of man was a conscious sense of shame. Adam and Eve’s shame was over their sin, not just over their nakedness. But then God made garments of “skin” and clothed them.

“Skins” in Hebrew refers to “animal hides.” Animals had to die for Adam and Eve to be covered — a sin sacrifice. Later in Scripture, Abel, Adam and Eve’s son, sacrificed an animal, which indicates that man had some understanding of why the animals died. Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.” Life is in the blood! We can’t live without blood! Animal sacrifice may seem cruel, barbaric, but only because we do not appreciate the seriousness of sin. When Abel offered a sacrifice to God, it was acceptable to God at the time. It could cover sin, but it could not take it away. Animal substitutes are a reminder of our own guilt, and they picture the coming substitution of the One who took the supreme sacrifice for our sins, and that is Jesus! It’s no wonder when He hung on the cross that Jesus cried, “It is finished.” Now we can have access to God ourselves! God has provided a way for us to draw near to Him. He desires our fellowship. Now the choice is up to you!

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)

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