Who Defines Us?
There is not a human being that has ever lived without struggles with other human beings. Sin has affected our relationship with God, and as a result our relationships with His image bearers has been negatively affected.
So often our immediate reaction to other people, when we perceive that we have been wronged in some way, is not to look at ourselves but we look to place the blame for our anger at the feet of others. Have you ever considered that the cause of our struggle with other people is not other people, or the situations in which we find ourselves? Have you ever considered that our struggles with other people is the “heart” that we bring into our relationships and the subsequent circumstances?
We must be willing and ready to examine what the ruling desires of our hearts are as we seek to engage others in a righteous and holy way. We must stop playing the blame game and come to a biblical understanding of who we are, and what we must do when it comes to honoring God in all things, including in our relationships. If we are going to be effective servants of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, if we are going to be able to help anyone at all, we must look to who God created and who He says that we are.
When we look to the creation account of Genesis, we see in chapter one that as God created each part of Creation, he said let it be, it was, and He saw that it was good. But when we come to the creation of man, there is something that happens in the account that is amazing. In Gen 1:26-30 we find that God creates man and woman. He doesn’t immediately say that they are good but He begins to communicate to them. This is completely different to any other part of His creative work. God, who by the power of His word has created all things, defines man’s identity and purpose in creation.
Adam and Eve needed help. They were created dependent. They didn’t need this help because they were already sinners, they needed help because they were human. There are three reason that are abundantly evident as to why Adam and Eve needed God to reveal to them their identity and purpose. Human beings were created to be revelation receivers, interpreters, and worshipers.
Mankind has been created to receive the revealed word of God. What we have throughout the Scriptures is God revealing Himself at the appropriate times and in the appropriate ways to mankind as He brings about His perfect purpose. The entirety of Scripture is God’s communication to us. The Scripture is not just a helpful book, it meets the created need of man to receive the revelation of God Himself.
The plants of the field need no revelation from God. We do not engage the birds in doctrinal conversation. The rest of creation is created with an innate ability to glorify God outside of special revelation. However, mankind, in order that they might bring glory to God, needs His revelation to direct their paths. This is made evident throughout Scripture, including:
Psalm119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
Psalm 119:169 Let my cry come before You, O LORD; Give me understanding according to Your word.
Our need for the word of God predates man’s fall into sin. We were created to be dependent on God’s revelation to us. If Adam had never of fallen in sin, we would have still needed the most high God.
God gave Adam and Eve the unique ability to think, process thought, and to reason. We are always gathering, organizing, and processing information which leads us to interpret and communicate. We do not live our lives based on facts alone, but we live our lives based on the interpretation of those facts. God gave Adam and Eve the unique ability to think, but it was only the words of God that interpret for them the world in which they had been created.
What we see even in our own culture, is a refusal to accept the word of God as truth through which we are to interpret our world and our existence. As a result, our interpretation of the facts sinfully affects our emotions, wrongly defines our identities, and leads us to damnable solutions for our problems. We, as God’s creation, need a model in order that we might generate proper interpretations that help us to respond to God, others, and our situations properly. Only the word of God can give us the paradigm through which we can respond with holy emotion, find our God glorifying identity, and come to righteous solutions.
Our created nature is for worship. Originally created to worship God alone in this life, the fall does not mean that men no longer worship. Everyone worships, it is just a matter of what or whom it is that we worship.
God intended His glory and our worship of Him to be the core motivation for our hearts and lives. Because God’s design is for us to be worshipers, everything that we think, say, and do is a form of worship. Man’s sinful assumption is that he is worthy of service and worship. His desire to serve his own purpose and desire in life. Man has become worship thieves.
Thinking back to Adam and Eve, they needed God to reveal to them His word and help them to interpret who they were and their position in the world so that they could fulfill their created purpose, to worship and glorify God. Our need for help is how our wise and powerful Creator made us, and for a time, Adam and Eve lived in perfect harmony with God, with each other, and with the rest of Creation. This was the case until another counselor entered the garden. Genesis 3:1-7
When the serpent spoke to Eve, this is the first time in Human history that another voice is heard that contradicts the perfect word of God to man. Satan never denies the facts, but gives Eve a different interpretation from what God gives. The interpretation that Satan gives is one of independence from the wisdom of the Creator, self-dependence, autonomous wisdom, No need for help from God. No Need of God at all. No longer will man require God, the message of Satan to Eve is that She and Adam will be able to rely on their own thinking to interpret, understand, and apply the truths they come to outside of God’s revelation to them.
Adam and Eve fell, and from that point on, mankind has sought to find truth outside of God’s word. We have sought to be the originators of our own truth as we seek to serve sin and self. Adam and Eve were created for a certain kind of existence and they could not live successfully outside of their design. We were created for a certain kind of existence and we cannot live successfully outside of our design.
Our attempt at helping ourselves, rejecting the word of God and His design has led to every sorrowful struggle that man endures. Divorce, adultery, spousal abuse, abuse of children, theft, loss, lying, murder, war, it all is a result of our attempt to find our own truth outside of God and won’t you notice how everyone of these things are relational.
We live in a world in which we receive information, interpret that information, all in an attempt to worship something or someone other than God. Fallen mankind live as fools who have denied God and in doing so denied our created design. Wisdom is something that we all seek, and most would agree that to have wisdom one must have truth.
The psalmist often wrote of such things, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever. (Psalm 11:10)” Of course we find such admonition in the writings of the wisest man who ever lived in Proverbs 9:10, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
The Lord Jesus prayed in John 17:17, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” The wisdom that God intends for His creation can only come through the truth of His revealed word to us.
The New Testament reveals to us that wisdom is a person. Christ said of Himself in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Paul wrote that we will only fulfill our created design and experience our created purpose in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no hope in the wisdom of man. We find in Colossians 2:8-10, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”
Why is this important to us? Why are these things important to individuals who are so committed to the Lord Jesus Christ that they even show up for mid-week prayer service? Because while we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, we still struggle.
So often, we as Christians respond to others poorly, struggle in our marriages, struggle to be godly parents, fight with fellow believers, and struggle to even have the desire to read God’s word. How many times have we heard of Christians divorcing, falling in issues of morality, and forsaking the church? Why is this? Because they are believing that old lie that was first told by the Serpent.
We often think of ourselves as the best counselors. At times we think that we can find truth outside of God’s word. We even try to justify sin based on our own interpretation of facts. The motivation of our heart is so often revealed to be anything other than the glory of God. If we understand that the whole of our lives is to be the worship of our Creator, what and whom did we worship today other than the one truly worthy of our worship? How are we justifying our actions to ourselves even now?
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "TODAY," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, (15) while it is said: "TODAY, IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS IN THE REBELLION (Hebrews 3:12-15)."