From Guilt to Grace

Wish the Father a Good Morning! With Mandisa

Sing/Pray: Open the Eyes of my Heart

Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10:18

Yesterday I shared with you about a piece that I wrote from the edge of my bed that was my first real encounter with The Light. This is that piece. Re-reading it again I now understand why it brought me so much excitement… and I also understand why the Enemy snatched it away from me and filled me with the fear of condemnation so that I wouldn’t publish it!!! It’s the Truth like I’ve never heard it before!!! God made us and we are soooooo beautiful in His sight! My dear friends, feast your eyes on the Light that Satan has, even today, desperately been trying to hide from our eyes.


In the beginning God created them to love and to be loved. It’s impossible to love when you don’t have an object, a recipient, of your love. And we are precisely that for God.

God is love… but without us He had no one to direct that love toward. And for this purpose we were created. This was God’s original plan. Create an object to direct His affections towards. In the garden before the original sin took place, Adam and Eve were exactly the way we are right now… minus one thing, the knowledge of good and evil. In my reading this morning God brought me to the garden filled with trees that are pleasant to look at and good for food; the Tree of Life in the middle of the garden and also the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. (Genesis 2:9) Now God has taught me that trees in the Bible are a symbol of men. Which makes me wonder, when reading this passage symbolically the Tree of Life would be a person and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil would be another person. So, who is the Tree of Life? Well… God breathed the breath of life into Adam giving him life. Perhaps, seeing as how the Greek word used for Holy Spirit can also be translated as “breath” I think it’s safe to assume that the breath of life is the Holy Spirit. Now if the breath of life is the Holy Spirit I don’t feel it’s too much of a jump to conclude that the Tree of Life would be Jesus considering also how many times the scriptures refer to the cross as a tree. And Jesus tells us that He came to bring us abundant life.

So, if Jesus is the Tree of Life, then who is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Well, as I meditated upon that quandary I thought back to the fruit of both trees. They both have fruit. If Jesus is the Tree of Life then its fruit is grace, and eating that fruit would be hearing His words of grace, chewing on them briefly and then swallowing them down like the best chocolate on earth allowing them to become part of who we are. Now, if that’s what the process for eating the fruit of the tree is, then the same would be true of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. You see knowledge is power. The more we know generally the more powerful we are. The fruit of this tree looks powerful and appealing, but in reality its end result is dissatisfaction and death. While Adam and Eve were standing before the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, with whom were they speaking? Yes, the serpent of old, the Enemy himself, Satan. This is incredibly shocking information for me to have learned – so counter to much of my Christian upbringing, but think about it! Before their conversation with the serpent, Adam and Eve were innocent and blissfully unaware of their sinfulness. They were naked and unashamed, human – just like us, sinful tendencies -just like us, but had not acted on those tendencies because of their intimate relationship with God the creator!

In the beginning He gave them one rule “of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, thou shalt not eat of it for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt die.” Or, in other words, “Don’t believe Satan! He lies about Me!” It wasn’t the talking to him, it wasn’t even the taking a bite and chewing on the lies, it was the EATING the swallowing, the accepting of his lies, believing them as the truth, THAT was the sin – the disobedience, the fall from grace. That one disobedience from that one rule ended in centuries of new rules being written and enforced. Creating the Law and with it death. Think about it, if there’s only one law – then there’s only one sin – one way to die. But the more laws there are it increases the opportunity to sin and therefore more ways to seemingly fall out of relationship with God! But oh! How great is the love of our God Yaweh?!? So great that it was killing Him to watch us attempt to figure things out on our own. He gave us the Ten Commandments to show us just how futile living on our own power of knowledge was! It was impossible to keep the Law. Period. End of story. And it still is. So, what did God do? He said “OK kids, now let Me show you how this is done!” And He took off His robe, got up from His throne and came to earth as a completely helpless baby; the perfect example of humility and trust. An infant knows nothing of this world, and honestly, they don’t care either. All they care about is being fed, clean, warm and most importantly loved.

That infant is totally and completely taken care of every single second of the day, every single thing they could need or want is provided for them. And this is how God intended for our life with Him to be. He originally placed humanity smack in the middle of a garden with all the food (both spiritual and physical) that we could ever need. And we didn’t have clothing because we had no need for clothes or shame! Those only came along with the belief of the false truth that the Enemy fed our father and mother. It’s a false truth that we’ve been feasting on ever since!

That the knowledge of good and evil does not lead to death. LIE! When we were children we didn’t know what was right or what was wrong. We didn’t know what was good or what was bad, nor honestly, did we care. That is how Adam and Eve were before they ate fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They didn’t know they were sinful creatures with sinful unholy and ungodly tendencies, nor did they care. They were naked (= sinful) and UNASHAMED.

I want to take a look at a story of Abraham for a minute to illustrate a point here. In Genesis twenty Abraham and his wife Sarah are traveling and Abraham is afraid that the men will desire his beautiful wife and kill him to get her. So he tells her to say that she is his sister in order to save his own life. This results in Sarah being taken as one of Abimelech’s wives. Surprise, surprise. But before he even touches her God gives him a dream and lets him know that the plagues of barrenness are all because of this prophet’s wife being in his possession, and that if he knows what’s really good for him and his country, he will send her back to her husband! Well, of course he does just that and more! He sends the happy couple off so heavily laden with gold and physical riches that they can barely carry them all!

Now, what does this passage have to do with Adam and Eve and innocence? Everything! Abraham is known, above all else as being a man of faith. He LOVED God and he followed Him. Abraham was long dead before the Ten Commandments were given, so he had never heard of “thou shalt not bear false witness” or “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” or even “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. All he had heard was “Follow Me and I will bless you and you will bless others.”

In this story of Abraham stretching the truth to protect his own skin and giving his wife up to be a new concubine for some guy, we also see that God didn’t punish him for ANY of that. Nope. He SAVED him from all of it. And not just Abraham but Sarah and Abimelech too!!! Abimelech was completely innocent in the whole thing. He had no way of knowing she was really Abraham’s wife; and said as much to God in the dream. But God kept him from touching Sarah! God looked right past Abraham’s half-truths and his attempts to save himself and pulled him out of the mess he had been in AND sent him away richer than he came in!

We were created as sinful creatures. Plain and simple. God MADE us that way – so do you think that that’s going to keep Him from loving us? Of course not! Nothing can separate us from the love that is in Christ Jesus! The only thing that happens is it keeps us from accepting His love for us. It keeps us from living in it. Just my love for my kids makes me want to be a better mom and my love for my husband makes me want to be a better wife. My love for God makes me want to be more like the way He sees me… the way He made me to be, His precious bride. It makes me want to be a better person. Make better choices, to do the right thing. But, what IS the right thing? And how do I know if I’m doing it or not? Well, Jesus tells us that the single most important commandment is to love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your mind and all your soul. Second is this to love your neighbor as yourself. With these two all the Laws of the Prophets are included.

If I’m doing something to another one of God’s children that is not showing them that I love them because He loves them, then I am not loving God and therefore I am not obeying God. Because of Christ’s sacrifice of the cross we can come full circle in our relationship with Him. We started with one rule “Believe Me, not Satan”. We chose to disobey that rule in turn eventually we received hundreds more! But Jesus came to fulfill the Law and on that cross with His dying breath He said “It is finished” and fulfilled every rule that had ever been written before. And replaced them with “Love one Another as I have loved you.” Yes, God is a wrath-filled God, but that wrath was written into the Law and the Law is fulfilled and FINISHED, once and for all, period! All that’s left is grace and accepting it (eating from the Tree of Life)!

Have we sinned? Of course! All day every day! But so did Adam and Eve even before they ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Remember, they were naked and unashamed, after they ate they were still naked the only thing that changed was that they were aware and ashamed of their nakedness. They weren’t ashamed of their nakedness until AFTER they’d eaten the fruit! They didn’t feel guilty until they listened to the Enemy – the deceiver himself! Guilt is from Evil – Grace is from God. We now have the knowledge of the two, and can choose which one we will believe; the fruit of Life – grace; or the fruit of death – guilt.

Jesus, the Tree of Life, died to SHOW you once and for all that you are forgiven. Today He LIVES to remind you that you have been freed from the prison of guilt and shame forever. Now go and live in that freedom, you are free from condemnation, you are free to be whomever GOD made you to be. Uniquely YOU!

Categories: 2 Corinthians, Writing Through the Bible in a Year

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