Today we take a look at the account of creation and the entrance of sin into the world. Gene asks if we are ready to take our Christian "black belt" off and learn the rest of the story.
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good morning if you are new here among us my function here at c3 church is lead pastor my title is gene if you've been here for a while you know what i'm getting at so this is one for you husbands and wives you married couples out there have you ever had a disagreement with your spouse if we're being honest maybe an argument where you thought that you were completely right that the facts were indeed on your side you had all the facts until you're listening maybe to your spouse's arguments slowly but surely you realize that you're not right maybe even wrong if we can go that far but instead of saying i'm sorry i was wrong have you ever doubled down do we double down when we know we're wrong i've always said about marriage you can be right or you can be happy that's your choice ah the year was 1993 ish when i saw the ultimate fighting championship for the first time i was amazed as i watched a slender hoist gracie defeat all of his opponents from other martial arts styles he was a brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner and he fought all kinds of different styles of martial arts karate guys kung fu guys everything some of whom were much much bigger than him but he dispensed of them in less than two minutes each unbelievable this is because in brazil they had been refining the art of jiu-jitsu for 80-ish or so years through no holds barred competitions while we in america had resigned ourselves to commercialism black belt clubs breaking boards making people feel good about themselves instead of actually getting on the mat and fighting what it's all supposed to be about we'd resigned ourselves to hollywood myths about martial arts instead of actually really doing it the brazilians noticed this so they cleverly invented the ultimate fighting championship to prove that their martial art was the best and it worked at the time i was a black belt here in america in a more traditional style of martial arts so i figured i'm going to go test my skills out against these brazilians and this jiu jitsu thing they're doing it was hard to find a school at the time there weren't many around because it was a brand new thing so i had to drive real far i found one and i went in there and i noticed something unusual there were no black belts there okay so the only belt i saw with any color on it was a blue belt so i approached him and i said where's the sensei using titles and he said well don't call me sensei but i'm the teacher here you got the wrong color belt on friend well he explained to me there are five belts if you count white white blue purple brown and black so you're like the first belt and you're teaching people how can you do that well he explained to me sometimes just to get to this first belt it can take several years really long time okay and by the way black belt just forget about that idea most people just don't get it because we don't give them out to kids you have to be an adult plus you have to be able to beat good black belts to get it and that's really hard to do whatever i was a little insulted when he put me with a white belt i thought well come on man i'm a black belt let's go you see they lacked the formalities of traditional martial arts there wasn't any bowing no titles no nothing like that it was just all about fighting so i was like all right let's go really informal i figure you know what i'm just going to plow through this white belt and get to the instructor so i slapped hands with the guy real informal fist bump and here we go if i'm being honest it took all of about 20 seconds before i was tapping out before he was choking me out well i fixed my black belt which i was wearing and said i wasn't ready all right good attitude let's go again if i'm being honest it was all about 20 seconds before i was tapping out again and this cycle kept repeating itself over and over and over again all the while this white belt assuring me i can do whatever i want no holds barred do whatever you bite eye gouge no excuses he was taking all the excuses away oh yeah you did that back then now it's kind of a sport back then it was not watch the original ones brutal bite eye gouge whatever will not change the results and it did not change the result i went home kind of bruised and battered discouraged and there was another problem at the time i was running a martial arts school so i had to deal with this what do i do well first i thought well let's implement some of their techniques and that kind of didn't work because there's a system to everything you have to apply to the system basically easy way of putting it so it didn't really work plus people were getting confused they would come in and they were like are you a black belt in brazilian jiu-jitsu what are you doing here so i wasn't honest so i had a choice i could double down insist that i was right even though i knew i was wrong or i could take the black belt off eventually i did i had to start from the beginning and today we are going to start from the beginning of our bibles where we'll be taking a look at what we too might not have known about the rest of the story now quick note for everyone if you didn't see last week's message if you're new or you had something else to do whatever go back and watch it i would also recommend watching bible study there's a lot in there we covered a lot the bible study i had a sore throat from it there's a lot of talking but it is a lot of information it's a lot to cover there's a lot which a lot of christians don't understand about the bible and how it works so it'll make the rest of the series a lot easier to understand but today we're going to talk about genesis one through three we're going to cover the story most people know then we're going to take a look at the rest of the story regarding genesis 1 here's what most people know god created everything right the heavens the earth then he creates things in a series of days all right the sky the sea the plants the birds the fish the animals and then man that is genesis 1. maybe you know he rests when we get to two but let's not get ahead of ourselves now here's something interesting many christians think that the holy spirit arrived on pentecost in the new testament but what if i told you that he's in the second verse of the bible genesis 1 1 in the beginning god created the heavens and the earth the earth was formless and empty or void and darkness covered the deep waters and the spirit of god was hovering over the surface of the waters might not know that the trinity appears in the very first chapter of the bible you can see god the father and god the spirit here in the first two lines of genesis then when we look at the full counsel of god's word we see the son from the beginning genesis 1 3 then god said let there be light and there was light before the sun s-u-n we have to use the new testament as a commentary on the old testament it helps interpret it for us so in john it tells us what happened in the beginning in the beginning the word that is jesus already existed the word was with god and the word was god he existed in the beginning with god god created everything through him and nothing was created except through him the word gave life to everything that was created and his life brought light to everyone the light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it in the genesis narrative god refers to himself in the plural as us genesis 1 26 then god said let us make human beings in our image to be like us on genesis 1 we arrive at the very first divisive issue in the christian community the genesis 1 account describes god creating everything in a series of days light and dark day one sea and sky day two plants fertile earth day three sun and moon day four fish and birds day five then animals day six finally us mankind or man here we arrive at a subject that perhaps many christians are stuck on which may be hindering them from getting the point of the story they will divide over whether it is literal or not here's what haley's bible handbook says whether the seven days were days of 24 hours or long successive periods we do not no the word day has variable meanings in one five it is used as a term for light in 1 8 and 113 it seems to mean a day of 24 hours in 114 and 116 are you guys checking this stuff it seems to refer to a 12-hour day in 2-4 it seems to cover the whole period of creation in passages such as joel 3 18 acts 2 20 and john 16 23 that day seems to mean the whole christian era in passages such as second timothy 1 12 the expression seems to refer to an era beyond the lord's second coming and in psalm 94 and ii peter 3 8 with the lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like one day we do this in english too i see back in the day or we say today meaning this day same thing now each viewpoint has its points it's merits but but it's not good to argue or fight over it this is not gospel and we must remain open-minded about that which cannot really be understood so here's what should be obvious and why those who think these are literal days should remain open-minded genesis 1 is the story most christians know genesis 2 gives us the rest of the story or the other story if we're reading very carefully it gives us a different order of creation in chapter one as i told you man is created last on the sixth day in chapter two man is created first dish genesis 2 4 this is the account of create the creation of the heavens and the earth when the lord god made the earth and the heavens neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth for the lord god had not yet sent rain to water the earth and there were no people to cultivate the soil instead springs came up from the ground and watered all the land then the lord god formed the man from the dust of the ground he breathed breath into of life into the man's nostrils and the man became a living person it specifically says there were no wild plants yet and man was created before them which is different than the first account so when we see things that are different from one another we have to explore other options it is important to be open-minded and kind to others who hold different beliefs about this because this is not a science book it doesn't give us all the measurements for the earth like it does for other things like the ark or the tabernacle for example the exact procedure about those things can be known but creation cannot a few weeks we're going to go over job i'm going to take a look at that and i'll explain to you why that happens a little earlier on than some of you know the bible might think but here's the deal you know about job right he goes through a lot of bad stuff and then his friends show up and they begin kind of like having basically like a courtroom scene about why this is happening to job basically they're trying to figure god out that's what they're doing so god finally shows up it says this job 38 1 then the lord answered job from the whirlwind who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words brace yourself like a man because i have some questions for you and you must answer them where were you when i laid the foundations of the earth tell me if you know so much who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line what supports its foundations and who laid its corner stone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy we shouldn't miss the point the point is that god is all present all powerful that he is with us he created everything he is god and we are not that's the point that we learn when we keep reading and the irony about this about this argument over creation is that it's an attempt to know what simply can't be understood it's often a prideful stance but isn't that the very sin of adam and eve that we might be committing in our arrogance are we missing the very point of the story now we keep reading and we get to the story of the first married couple did you know that this is what is said of them genesis 2 18 then the lord god said it is not good for the man to be alone i will make a helper who is just right for him how many married couples would agree with that today don't answer gene do not answer we get to the story of the fall so here is the story most christians know you might know there's a tree some fruit on it god's like yo adam don't eat that you can have all the other fruit just don't nope eve comes along and most christians will say christian man will say it's her fault serpent deceives her so she takes the fruit adam eats it too no bueno and they get expelled from the garden i think i got it right here are some interesting points it's not an apple we don't know there are two trees there is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil then there's a tree of life kind of interesting when they eat from the tree of knowledge first thing they realize is that they're naked kind of funny so they get some fig leaves and cover themselves up what else ignorance is bliss i guess but god replaced the fig leaves with animal skins he made them it says kind of interesting so perhaps god initiates the first animal sacrifice before their son abel kind of interesting but before he expels them he says let's get rid of them out of the garden because they might eat from the tree of life and really become like us and live forever now here's a funny point when they get caught adam knows he's wrong god had already told him before eve even got on the scene don't eat from the fruit and he knows he knows he's wrong but he doubles down and if we're reading it right it's kind of a little funny he blames eve and god genesis 3 12 the man replied it was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit and i ate it men have been doubling down from the very beginning the real issue here is pride when he did it when we do it it was a lack of humility that caused them to think they could achieve equality with god serpent says this genesis 3 5 god knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it and that you will be like god knowing both good and evil they wanted to be god so they tried to rob that equality from him do we do that today do we think we know everything or claim to know everything do some christians do this about the creation account i know exactly how god created the whole universe okay do we need to listen to what god told job regarding that in what ways do we try to play god it is the sin of pride control and lack of humility that leads us to attempt robbery from god but now we have christ romans 5 starting at verse 12 when adam sinned sin entered the world adam's sin brought death so death spread to everyone for everyone sinned yes people stand even before the law was given but it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break still everyone died from the time of adam to the time of moses even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of god as adam did now adam is a symbol a representation of christ who was yet to come but there is a great difference between adam's sin and god's gracious gift for the sin of this one man adam brought death to many but even greater is god's wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man jesus christ and the result of god's gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man's sin for adam's sin led to condemnation but god's free gift leads to our being made right with god even though we are guilty of many sins for the sin of this one man adam caused death to rule over many but even greater is god's wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man jesus christ yes adam's one sin brings condemnation for everyone but christ one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with god and new life for everyone because one person disobeyed god many became sinners but because one other person jesus obeyed god many will be made righteous that is beautiful and so is this what you're looking at there is the lord of the rings edition of scrabble that's what that is but then about like that last week we talked about the greek well reminder the bible of the early church was all in greek even the old testament that surprises some people but think about it the new testament is being written in greek so they're reading a greek old testament go back and watch the bible study last week's message for more info on that what you're looking at there is philippians 2 5-11 in greek these are my favorite verses of scripture i don't have like a life verse i kind of think that's a little silly but anyway we'll get to that in another day these are my favorite verses i don't have just one this is a gospel poem called the carmen christie in the early church you've got to have a pretty good bible to figure some of this stuff out because a lot of times it will bracket it it'll formulate these things so that you know it's kind of like a hymn or a poem and that's what this is sometimes paul will say things like this is a trustworthy saying that's a clue right there so this tells us about the nature of jesus christ as god and what he did very very important early biblical truths probably sung in the early church and it's not quite the same in greek as it is in english remember the christopher columbus rhyme we tried that out in bible study i had alicia there who can speak both english and spanish and i said translate this for me in 1492 christopher columbus sailed the ocean blue so she did it and something was noted dos and azul don't rhyme right like two and blue do so what did she get right she got the basic facts completely right totally right that christopher columbus in 1492 sailed the ocean blue yeah she got that it was the same in spanish the basic ideas but it was missing the rhyme kind of the point of why you do it so you'll get the facts but not the rhyme now there are also rhymes and wordplays in the bible that get lost in translation this is how it is in greek sometimes for example a lot of people are surprised to find out that the lord's prayer we say all the time it actually has a little rhyme and pattern to it it's kind of cool we get the facts right when we say it and that's what's important but you miss the poetry of it that pattern in poetry and some of the beauty of scripture gets lost in translation quite often same thing with john 1 it has a kind of pattern it's poetry there's a rhythm to it get it a little bit in english but it gets lost it gets the point across but it's not the same so i want to reassure you don't expect you all to learn greek and that most widely accepted generally accepted english bible translations get the facts right you're okay you're getting the gospel facts but like the 1492 thing you're missing some of the beauty of scripture so i want to share that with you the more greek that i learn the less snobbish and snooty i get about english translations a lot of people are surprised like oh you know some greek why do you use an nlt on sunday mornings right so we used to get snooty about that those early pastors before you learn greek well you learn things about translating and you learn that you're forced at a certain point in even the most literal translations to paraphrase and so i want to use a translation that everybody can understand no matter what your reading level is i want you to learn this stuff so it's important to remember so in this passage of philippians which i'm going to translate for you the words have a very deep and rich meaning and i want to share it with you there's a connection here you'll see where i'm going that isn't so obvious in english but it is in greek so here what it's saying is froniti so think like make your own attitude versions will say like christ jesus who existing in the form of god did not regard equality with god as something to be exploited or taken advantage of we'll go back there instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a slave taking on the likeness of man and when he had come as a man in his external form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death even to death on a cross for this reason god highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name so that at the name of jesus every knee would bend of those who are in heaven on earth and below the earth and every tongue should confess that jesus christ is lord to the glory of god the father now the header shapes are not the same as they are in english so if you're trying to read along you probably got a little lost for example a p is like an r sound but this contains a lot of words that you probably actually understand words like anthropom anthropology man that's the word for man let's see here another one you might know fanato like thanos from he's not even paying attention isn't that his name right from the avengers thing right so that's death what do you do there you go glossar tongues or languages uh you wouldn't know venos curios no lord doxa doxology doxa glory patros father the point obedience unlike adam who robbed from god jesus humbled himself in obedience unlike adam and eve you see the contrast here there's more so let's look at that first romans 5 19 because one person disobeyed god many became sinners but because one other person jesus obeyed god many became righteous now there's a word i want to cover that you probably don't know if you say you do i'm going to be really suspicious because it's a weird word it appears in the bible only once i want to show you three english translations of how they deal with that word our pogman it's interesting i'll show you where it is so who being in the form of god thought it not robbery to be equal with god yes v who though he was in the form of god to admit it did not count equality with god as something to be grasped so that's where our thing to be grasped that's where our pokemon is a thing to be grasped robbery philippians though he was god he did not think of equality with god as our pogma something to cling to now it's plain to see that they're all different none of these gets it completely wrong basic point is the same but it would take all of them to get it completely right it's probably best translated the way i read it like the nlt does makes it easy to understand but it's more than just a thing to cling to paul probably has something else in mind a greek friend of mine translated this as to snatch snatch which is why the king james version says robbery the way someone might snatch fruit from a tree that didn't belong to them it's really a combination and when you look at the greek along with the full counsel of god's word that is philippians 2 romans 5 genesis 3. you get a richness a depth in the text that paints a beautiful picture of a stunning reversal of the fall of man reversal of adam and eve's sin of snatching from god to be like god jesus did not take advantage of his equality with god like adam and eve tried to took advantage robbed from god to become like god jesus became like us so he could pay the price for our theft by placing himself on the tree so that we can live forever amen amen adam lacked the humility of christ he lacked the obedience of christ he blamed god and if he doubled down in his error unlike christ who displayed the ultimate humility and obedience the black belt thing prepared me for what would happen to me in ministry later i thought i knew a lot and then i got smacked in the face with some realities this happens to a lot of pastors if they're paying attention the reality was as i spoke about last week the greek there was more to it than i thought i knew the bible of the early church being quite different than the protestant bible i thought i knew everything from there was the rest of the story there was the fact that i was saying and teaching things that weren't quite right i didn't really know the rest of the story and i had a choice i could double down ignore it or i could take the black belt off again and start from the beginning proverbs has taught me that humility leads to wisdom and insight pride leads to foolishness and destruction do we double down in our error or do we have the humility of christ do we take the black belt off even if we have a lot invested in it could it be that we've invested in an education that wasn't so good as we thought it was or is just fueling our pride are we all about the titles or really serving one another how can any of us even assign ourselves the title of christian if we're not acting like christ who was humble to the point of death pastors i get it the education it costs you a lot of time and maybe some money but are we willing to go beyond the scope of our schooling which if we're being honest is restrictive are we going to double down on a denomination or are we going to humble ourselves with the humility of christ husbands how can we ask our wives to display humility if we ourselves are not humble remember christ washed feet as a father i've learned it's okay to say i don't know your kids will actually respect you for it instead of fumbling with the technology as a husband i've learned to say i'm sorry i was wrong try it it's good for your marriage as a pastor i've learned to say i could be wrong because sometimes i am and i was which is why years ago i started over again from the beginning i took the time to really read and research so i could share with you the rest of the story