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The Garden and the Gospel

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PREFACE

 

 

Without a doubt, the two greatest events that have most affected mankind were the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ upon Mount Calvary. The first event plunged man into the darkness and horrors of sin that have plagued this earth since that time; the second has restored to many of Adamís race freedom from that darkness. In the Garden man lost his innocence, lost fellowship with his Creator, and lost Paradise. On the hill of Calvary the way was opened for manís sin and guilt to be abolished, fellowship with God to be restored, and a future Paradise to be obtained. Because of one tree, man became a fallen creature with a new master, was brought into the bondage of sin, and was condemned to die. Because of the tree of Calvary, many have been made a new creature with a new Lord, have been set free from the slavery to sin, and have the gift of eternal life.

The mysterious events that took place in the Garden of Eden have, for the most part, been delegated to that of a simple Bible story. Most people, I have found, have never gone beyond what they learned about Adam and Eve as young children. To them, the account is about the first man and the first woman being tempted by the serpent, eating the forbidden fruit, and thereby disobeying God. Because of their sin of disobedience they were condemned to die and were expelled from the Garden. However, as we shall learn, the symbolism and meaning of what happened there goes much deeper; the truths we can glean from that account have a much greater impact upon our lives than most people imagine; and the understanding of those truths will greatly affect the course of our lives.

Furthermore, the significance of the event that took place on Calvaryís hill has never been understood by most people. Many will acknowledge a belief about a man called Jesus who died on the cross, and somehow, by His suffering and death, paid the penalty for our sins. Millions of professing Christian believers find comfort in this story and cling to the hope thatóbecause they believe in Jesus they are going to Heaven. However, as we shall discover, what most people believe about Jesus is very superficial, is ineffectual in changing their lives, and offers them no real hope of Heaven or eternal life. Even for those who have truly embraced the Gospel message and have the assurance of being saved, their limited understanding of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus has made them spiritual dwarfs.

The spiritual significance of these two events have life changing and eternal repercussions. What we understand and believe about the Garden and the Gospel will forever determine our course in this life and in eternity. Therefore, it is our hope and prayer that what we will present in the following lessons will open the spiritual eyes of many who have never seen the truthóthat they might truly come to know Christ; and that those who are the true children of God may discover the foundations of their faith, and grow in the grace and knowledge of all that Jesus has accomplished for them. As always, we present the Biblical authority for all we teach, and hope that the reader will prayerfully meditate upon the truth of Godís Word.

 

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