The Text

Genesis 2:4-25 (CSB) These are the records of the heavens and the earth, concerning their creation. At the time that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, no shrub of the field had yet grown on the land, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not made it rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground. But mist would come up from the earth and water all the ground. Then the LORD God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.

The LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he placed the man he had formed. The LORD God caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden, as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

A river went out from Eden to water the garden. From there it divided and became the source of four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon, which flows through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. Gold from that land is pure; bdellium and onyx are also there. The name of the second river is Gihon, which flows through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris, which runs east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.” The LORD God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found corresponding to him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the LORD God made the rib he had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. And the man said:

This one, at last, is bone of my bone
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called “woman,”
for she was taken from man.

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame.

The Support

Psalms 1:2-3 (CSB) Instead, his delight is in the LORD’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams
that bears its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

Where do you see God in the text? What does the text say about God?

God

God is our forever righteousness.

The way God designed, loved, and created all of mankind, his own creation, his own image, and Adam and Eve, his originally created son and daughter was in righteousness–that is, right-standing with him forever and ever.

The fall of mankind is not God’s fault. Sin is high treason and rebellion against our great God. And by birth and by choice, we are continue to rebel against this great and holy God.

Don’t you see? There is nothing that you or I can do to make ourselves right with him. God must do all the work because God is the source of all righteousness. Because we have fallen away, we have no ounce of righteousness to make our way to God.

And attributes like righteousness, holiness, and just–just because mankind can be a little bit of those things, not so with God. Either God is perfectly righteous or not at all. God is perfectly holy or not at all. God is fully merciful or not at all. This perfection of everything that the Bible says about God can be summed up in one word: glory. But that is for a whole other series.

In other words, God is the standard of living and of life. He is the moral and ethic standard. We are the ones that are far from Him, not the other way around.

Looking at Creation and specifically in Creation in how it relates to mankind: Adam, the imagebearer, the right-standing son of God (Luke 3:38)

God is righteous in our life

Life does not come from sin. Only death comes from sin. God is righteous–God is perfect and without sin. From that righteousness, God literally breathes life into us.

4 These are the records of the heavens and the earth, concerning their creation. At the time that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, no shrub of the field had yet grown on the land, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not made it rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground. But mist would come up from the earth and water all the ground. Then the LORD God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.

John 1:1-5 (CSB) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.

God is righteous in our provision

If God, who is righteous, gives literal life, God is righteous in the provision of sustaining that life.

8 The LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he placed the man he had formed. The LORD God caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden, as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Psalms 16:5-6 (CSB) LORD, you are my portion
and my cup of blessing;
you hold my future.
The boundary lines have fallen for me
in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

Matthew 6:31-34 (CSB) So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God is righteous despite the sin in the world

In other words, God is right standing and free from sin despite the brokenness of the entire material creation.

10 A river went out from Eden to water the garden. From there it divided and became the source of four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon, which flows through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. Gold from that land is pure; bdellium and onyx are also there. The name of the second river is Gihon, which flows through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris, which runs east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

The psalmist describes creation and righteousness in this way:

Psalms 1 (CSB) How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!
Instead, his delight is in the LORD’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams
that bears its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
The wicked are not like this;
instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand up in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

That should sound familiar based on what John the Baptist said about Christ:

Matthew 3:11-12 (CSB) “I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing shovel is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn. But the chaff he will burn with fire that never goes out.”

Here’s Paul explaining it all the way home:

Romans 8:5-8 (CSB) For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. Now the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Spirit is life and peace. The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

God is righteous in our vocation, calling, and work

We were not simply made to exist and merely survive. No, God has given us a purpose–to worship him in everything that we do.

15 The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.

Sin changed all of that. We must still work. We must still respond to the calling of God but God promises that it would be difficult.

Genesis 3:17-19 (CSB) And he said to the man, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’:
The ground is cursed because of you.
You will eat from it by means of painful labor
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow
until you return to the ground,
since you were taken from it.
For you are dust,
and you will return to dust.”

God in Genesis 3 calls it “toil” and “painful labor”. Look how Jesus describes his calling and purpose upon us:

Acts 9:13-16 (CSB) “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

Jesus still calls. He always calls. And it really looks different from person to person–from believer to believer. We will suffer for his name sake.

God is righteous in our obedience

God is free from sin. God is righteous. From that righteousness, God sets our boundaries and limitations with His holy law. That started in verse 16:

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”

2 Timothy 2:11-13 (CSB) This saying is trustworthy:
For if we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny himself.

God is righteous in our community, friends, marriages, and family

From the perfection and sin-free standard of the Triune God, who is eternally in community as Father, Son, and Spirit, God has called us to one another.

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.” The LORD God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found corresponding to him.

The ringing fulfilled declaration of the Lord God is this:

They will be my people, and I will be their God.

Not “I have saved you. Now we are going hunker down by ourselves until my Son comes back.” That’s not Christianity. That is not even God.

God is righteous in our intimacy and closeness

I almost wanted to call this “vulnerability”. But invulnerability didn’t exist in this creation because his children did not know of bondage of sin and enjoyed the freedom of the glory of God because they were his children (Romans 8:18-24)

20 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the LORD God made the rib he had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man.

Let me put it in another way:

Song of Songs 1:2-4 (CSB)
Oh, that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your caresses are more delightful than wine.
The fragrance of your perfume is intoxicating;
your name is perfume poured out.
No wonder young women adore you.
Take me with you—let’s hurry.
Oh, that the king would bring me to his chambers.

God is righteous in our connection

That connection that a husband and wife feels, from sibling to sibling, to friend to friend, from Christian to Christian, was always there from the start:

23 And the man said:
This one, at last, is bone of my bone
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called “woman,”
for she was taken from man.

In other words:

Ezekiel 11:19 (CSB) I will give them integrity of heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh,

Why do you think Eve was taken from the rib of Adam? What is closest to the heart without ripping the heart out.

But what does God do for his people? Rips there sin-filled hearts and puts his righteous, soft, loving heart in each of us.

God is righteous in our freedom

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame.

Matthew 19:1-8 (CSB) When Jesus had finished saying these things, he departed from Galilee and went to the region of Judea across the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. Some Pharisees approached him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?”

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that he who created them in the beginning made them male and female, and he also said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

“Why then,” they asked him, “did Moses command us to give divorce papers and to send her away?”

He told them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts, but it was not like that from the beginning.

The world wants to say that Jesus never talks about marriage nor does Jesus even suggest marriage is between a man and a woman. What did I just read? And even though he could say something completely original and it be the word of God, Jesus quotes the Moses in the Genesis 2 to describe marriage and the fact it is between a man and woman.

And the way that God designed marriage, romance, love, and sex is freedom. Freedom to be and grow as a person in worship to God and by God’s grace alone, do so with another person as they grow and be and worship God.

The Gospel

The hard truth: we don’t have this. None of it. Not intrinsically. Not automatically. Not inherently. Not by birth.

But here is the good news:

2 Corinthians 5:21 (CSB) He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Spell this out: The Father made Jesus, who did not know sin, to be sin for us so that in Christ, we might become the righteousness of God.

Self-righteousness is deceptive. Isn’t it. Because you think you are doing something good but you are just damning yourself to hell unless you repent now.

Jesus' righteousness comes from a place so completely alien to us. Jesus is righteous because not only did he not sin but he knew no sin. None us cannot claim that. All of us know sin. God knows no sin. Yet, he died so we could have that exact same righteousness forever. Because of that death and because of that righteousness for self-righteousness exchange, we can now be with God–like it was always designed in the beginning–forever.

Our Responsibility

We have got to stop thinking that we, within ourselves, with the work of our hands, the thoughts in our heads, the voices we are listening to and the world at large is the standard for life.

Nothing outside of God is the standard for nothing. We are not progressing away from God. We are not even trying to get back to the way it once was. We came from God, created by God, loved by God, called by God, saved by God, adopted by God, justified by God, sanctified (I said what I said) by God and glorified by God. Therefore, we have to get to God.

But we are weak, crippled, wicked, desperate, sick, fallen, separated, lost, orphaned, widowed, and divorced from God. We are filled to the brim with sin.

Fortunately, God is the Almighty. God is whole and healing, God is our relief. God is the cure. God is high and lifted up, God has drawn closer than a whisper, God the Spirit chases us down bears witness that God is our Father. And Jesus Christ is the way, truth, and the life and He is our forever Bridegroom that will never leave us nor forsake us because He will forever perfectly love us.

We are His people and He is forever our great God all because of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Christ is our Righteousness!

What are we to do?

Believe in, trust, and obey the one who is True and Right and has, is, and will make all things right with Him–Jesus Christ.

Revelation 22:8-21 (CSB) I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you, your brothers the prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”

Then he said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let the unrighteous go on in unrighteousness; let the filthy still be filthy; let the righteous go on in righteousness; let the holy still be holy.”

“Look, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to repay each person according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the Root and descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let anyone who hears, say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who desires take the water of life freely.

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, which are written about in this book.

He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with everyone. Amen.

Pray

Lord Jesus
 

You have said, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

The Spirit says, “Come!”

We, your bride, say, “Come!”

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

Give us your grace so that we can make it home.

Media

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