Dr. Farbishel is from Pennsylvania and also lived in Illinois and Texas before settling in Arizona where he is an instructor in the College of Theology at GCU. He studied and worked in engineering, but later completed his M.Div. and served as a pastor for many years before eventually earning his D.Min. at Covenant Theological Seminary.
The fall of humanity – sounds alarming, and so it should! Genesis 3 tells the story of how our first parents, knowing full well what they were doing, trusted in themselves (with help from Satan) and rebelled against God’s clear command. All other commands seemed reasonable to them – to tend the garden, to multiply, to rule over the earth. But this one to not eat of a particular tree was a command they had to obey simply out of love and respect for their Creator.
Adam and Eve both had an opportunity to obey and they both chose to disobey. But we should not blame them too much, any one of us would have done the same. And in fact we do the same every time we choose to sin, to do something selfish rather than doing what we know will please God.
So this acquired sin nature, a propensity to do our own thing, was passed on to us such that now we might say it is in our genes. Once the fall happened it could not be undone. Just like Humpty Dumpty, mankind “had a great fall,” is now broken and even with others’ help, cannot be put back together again. Only God can do this. And he was not left scratching his head, wondering how these perfect creatures, created in his image, with free will decided not to trust him.
God had a plan, and history is all about his redemption of humanity, through covenant promises, through the message of prophets and ultimately through the person and work of Jesus Christ. His sinless life, death and resurrection accomplished for us what we could never do for ourselves – our salvation.
And like Adam and Eve, we often are not where we should be spiritually. We find ourselves like Adam hiding in the garden, and God calling out “Where are you?” not because he does not know but because we need to face the question. Are we where we should be in our relationship with our Creator?
Life is like boot-camp preparing us for eternity. As circumstances constantly change around us we are faced with choices, with periods of suffering, with trials we wish we didn’t have. But this life of difficulties presents us with a priceless gift – opportunities to grow in love. Learning to love our family members, our friends, our neighbors and most of all God, is much of what life is all about. And it is in this context of sin and sorrows, ours and others, that we learn patience, learn kindness and learn grace – all aspects of love. God demonstrated his love for us in the giving of his son that we may now reflect that love back to him and to others. So keep persevering and looking up!
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