An Uncluttered View of Paradise

October 10, 2021

Pastor John Hering

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7, 18-25

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7, 18-25

26 God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that crawls on the earth.” 27 God created the man in his own image. In the image of God he created him.
Male and female he created them.  28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is a suitable partner for him.” 19 Out of the soil the Lord God had formed every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that became its name. 20 The man gave names to all the livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal, but for Adam no helper was found who was a suitable partner for him. 21 The Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. As the man slept, the Lord God took a rib and closed up the flesh where it had been. 22 The Lord God built a woman from the rib that he had taken from the man and brought her to the man.

23 The man said, “Now this one is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She will be called “woman,” because she was taken out of man.”  24 For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will remain united with his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 They were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.

It’s not hard to understand what God says in the Bible about marriage. God set down the principles to bless husbands and wives in the holy estate of marriage he created.  The challenge comes with all the clutter that comes from living in a world that is less and less aware of God’s intent for marriage.  We can talk about love between husband and wife but since the fall into sin love has been corrupted so that historically men have abused women in general and their wives in particular.  How do we explain the roles God has given to men and women in a world where most confuse the roles of men and women with the equal rights of men and women?  How do we talk with friends and family who are convinced they were born with a sexual attraction of people of the same sex?  How do we talk about the sanctity of marriage when statistically most couples live together before they get married? How can we speak to people who want the good life, but are not convinced that you can have the good life and children at the same time?  How can we speak to parents when a college degree and a good paying job seem to have replaced heaven as the ultimate dream parents should have for their family?

I’ve made my point without even talking about the clutter that fills your family personally. The devil has filled our homes and lives with so many sins that even Christians get confused about what God’s Word says regarding a godly marriage and family life.  Today God’s Word takes us back to the 6th day when God created the first couple. There we get to view

An Uncluttered View of Paradise

For A Happy Home

God created everything in the universe in six twenty-four days.  On day 6 God created all the animals and also the first people. 26 God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that crawls on the earth. 27 God created the man in his own image. In the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them.  28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth. God created the crown of his universe when he created Adam and Eve.  They were different from anything else God created because they would be like God.  They were made in God’s image, that is, they were holy.  They were made in God’s likeness, that is, they were in perfect harmony with God.  God created human beings with the ability to deliberate and decide, to reason and react, to articulate and to communicate.  Along with these special blessings God gave to Adam and Eve, he also gave them the right and responsibility to enjoy and manage his whole creation.  This was God’s plan in the beginning as he created people. The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.  We note something different here.  Up to this point God created everything by simply using his Word. And God said is the most repeated phrase in Genesis 1.  Just as God had created the animals from the dust of the ground, now he molded Adam from the dust of the earth.  Unlike the animals, when God spoke life into them, now God breathed life into Adam. With that breath of God came life and a soul that would live forever.  Adam was the crown of God’s creation living in an uncluttered Paradise.

You would think it couldn’t get any better, but it does! 18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is a suitable partner for him.  God created males and females in the animal kingdom and he intended to do the same with his human creatures. The female helper God planned to create would fit perfectly with the male intellectually, emotionally and physically she would be exactly what Adam needed her to be. God wanted to impress upon the man just how unique she would be.  So he did this: 19 Out of the soil the Lord God had formed every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that became its name. 20 The man gave names to all the livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal, but for Adam no helper was found who was a suitable partner for him.  God used this exercise for Adam to realize there was not a perfect partner for him yet.  So, 21 The Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. As the man slept, the Lord God took a rib and closed up the flesh where it had been. 22 The Lord God built a woman from the rib that he had taken from the man and brought her to the man.  God divinely molded Eve just he had molded Adam.  But, he didn’t use dirt as when he made man (Hebrew = Ish), but he used Adam’s rib to make woman (Hebrew = Ish-ah!).  Poets and writers have commented on this arrangement.  God didn’t take a toe as though woman was to be under his feet; he didn’t take a bone out of his head as though he was to rule over her.  God used a rib from next to Adam’s heart as if to say, “Feel her heart beat as you feel your heart beat.  Love her as you love no one and nothing else.” Ahhh!  The Bible says when Adam (in God’s image and likeness) awoke, he knew just how magnificent this woman was.  Adam said, Now this one is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She will be called “woman,” because she was taken out of man.  God created man with the servant-leader role and woman with the servant-helper role.  None more superior than the another.  None more important than the other.  But, each with their roles to play.  The Holy Spirit inspired Moses to add this commentary on the first marriage: 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will remain united with his wife, and they will become one flesh. They were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.  God brought the woman to the man and in his divinely ordained estate of holy marriage it begins when a husband and a wife leave their childhood homes and start a new family.  When they do this, as God created it to be, they would enjoy A Happy Home with the blessings of companionship, chastity and children. 

27 God created the man in his own image. In the image of God he created him.
Male and female he created them.  28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
  God created the perfect husband and the perfect wife and brought them together to do what he created them to do—to have children.  These children would also have souls that would never die.  They would all be children of the heavenly Father made in God’s image and likeness.  God also blessed them with everything in creation at their disposal.  God provided everything they needed for a Happy and Successful Home in this Uncluttered View of Paradise!

Renewed By The Gospel

Hearing this account of creation can fill our hearts with thanksgiving for the blessings God intends for us to have as families.  However, we recognize that whether married or single, there is a lot of clutter that clouds the View of Paradise and my leave us feeling empty.  How do we deal with the clutter?  How do we deal with the sins that have ruined God’s plan for families?  How do we sift through the defective attitudes, disgusting actions and displaced assumptions of the world around us, and in our own hearts and lives?  That’s why we’re here today.  That is why you’ve called a pastor to proclaim to you the only solution to clutter of life.  It is only the Gospel of Jesus Christ that can clean out the clutter.

It is always an interesting exercise with couples planning to get married, or couples wanting to make their good marriages better, to talk about what marriage is.  There are all sorts of answers from respect and love to understanding and romance.  It is easy for people to make up all sorts of rules for marriage.  Actually, we all come up with countless ideas and rules of what marriage, family, life, relationships, and living life should all be like.  But, what we want and what God wants and has shared in his Word will no doubt butt heads.  All to often we want to figure things out without God.  The worst example is the clutter of sin.  There is no way for us to take care of the clutter of sin without God.  If we had to go to bed at night and think about our sins without God, we’d have a horrible time sleeping.  But, God gave us something we can’t get without him.  Jesus forgave all our sins.  God declares us not guilty of our sins because Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins when he died on the cross.  Jesus rose from the dead to prove that his forgiveness was complete and promises to take us to be with him in the uncluttered Paradise of Heaven forever. What God teaches us in Genesis about marriage applies to our whole life, single or married—God wants us to rejoice in his solution through faith in Jesus Christ.  For faith receives what God has to offer in Christ—forgiveness of sins, eternal life in heaven and deliverance from the power of the devil.   That’s what I want.  That’s what you want, too!

So, dear friends in Christ, follow Jesus.  Having had the image of God restored to you in your baptism, put on the new life in Christ and with thankful hearts follow Jesus, obey Jesus and live for Jesus.  Clean out the clutter as we return to God’s Word and remember what God says for our lives.  Then we can compare what we hear and see in this life to God’s Word and sift through the clutter as we hold tight to God’s plan for us.

When I write and preach on Genesis 1 and 2 I can’t help thinking about the sins of my past.  I would guess you do, too.  We can’t change what we’ve done in the past against God’s gift of marriage.  But, these sins were paid for my Jesus.  Jesus forgives us all.  But, a part of trusting in Jesus’ forgiveness is also trusting that we’ll change our thoughts, words and actions in the future.  It is no secret that family life today is on the rocks because the basis for a good and solid society is God’s good gift of marriage and the family is under attack.  As with any sin against God’s Word and his holy will, God will not stand for lame excuses from people who know better.  Today we repent of the sins that have cluttered our lives, trust in Jesus’ forgiveness and pray for strength to live according to God’s design in all aspects of our life.

Whether you are single or married, today we have seen an Uncluttered View of Paradise.  Sadly, we aren’t living in Paradise anymore.  Love is overrun with abuse, God-pleasing roles for men and women are replace with “my rights.”  Godly sexual relations in marriage are replaced with sexual relations outside of marriage as it was intended and created by God.  The sanctity of marriage is so often overlooked by couples living together before marriage.  The goals of a family are college degrees and high paying jobs without a thought about the ultimate goal of all living with God in heaven.  But, in Jesus Christ and his love reflected in our lives, we can see through the clutter of this life as we anticipate the glorious uncluttered life that is awaiting us in heaven.  God’s Word instructs us. Jesus’ love empowers us.  Live in Christ until the day that you are living in the Uncluttered Paradise in Heaven.  Amen.

Recent Sermons

woman-sitting-on-brown-bench-while-reading-book-and-praying

With Faith in the Lord, Pray!

Running

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Bible Study Group

Listen Where God Speaks!