The Wages of Sin…Is Death

Genesis 3.

“Why do bad things happen to good people…in other words, How did we get into this mess?” God created a perfect world. All that God had made was good, including the man and his wife. It’s paradise…heaven on earth. What happened? It’s difficult to describe the catastrophic results of our first parents’ single act of rebellion. Welcome to life as we know it. Every instance of violence, every natural disaster, every awful thing that has happened since is a direct result.

What was the sin of the garden? It was rebellion. It was pride in its purest form. The Image-bearers were not satisfied with merely bearing the Image…they wanted to be the image. Instead of trusting their loving Creator who had so “fearfully and wonderfully” made them, who had entrusted them with imaging Him to His creation, who had made them king and queen on planet earth, they rejected Him and spurned His love. They sought to oust Him and take His place. They wanted a shot at the title.

As readers of the story, we want to shout, “No! Don’t do it! You don’t know what you are doing!” But lest we too quickly fault our first parents, we see that same act of rebellion repeated legion in our own lives. If man and woman in a perfect environment fail to follow God on their own, what hope would the Israelites have being surrounded by peoples who only sought their ruin. What hope do we have? Our only hope is God. Only He can give us the desire and the follow-through to follow Him. I love that the LORD God (Yahweh Elohim) shows up.

That’s why I love Genesis 3.15…what we couldn’t do for ourselves, God will do, when He sends His Son as the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman. Whose dying words, will be, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do!” It’s the key to the entire Bible, the proto-evangelium, the first gospel, the beginning for the search for Messiah. The OT chronicles the search for the Seed and Israel’s failure in following God. The NT tells of us coming and the implications thereof for those who would follow God.

But what about you? Do you find yourself asking like Job, why is this happening to me? Why do bad things happen to good people, and why do good things happen to bad people? Our expectation from the garden is suffering. Those of us who have trusted in Jesus…the seed of the woman…are at war with the seed of the serpent. Guess what side the culture is on? Adam gave up not only his innocence in the fall, but also his right to rule. He gave that to the serpent…“the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”  So those who follow God suffer both the effects of a fallen world, and the attacks of the enemy who is hell-bent on destroying us. But hope is possible because the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman has come and has defeated the Adversary. And now we wait with all of creation for the time when He will come back to set all things right…for the new heavens and the new earth.

My prayer for us this week is that we would recognize the amazing love of God who didn’t give up on us even in our rebellion, but who has pursued us and did what we could not do, provide the way back to Himself through Jesus, the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

In the Image of God

Genesis 2.4-25

As I reflected on this passage and especially how it relates to Genesis 1.26-28, I kept coming back to the question, “How do my beliefs about creation impact my view of life?” As Moses drills down on the image of God in man and the implications thereof, it has a huge impact on my relationship with God, my relationship with myself, and my relationship with others.

Far from being an accident, God is intentional about His creation. We are more than the product of time and chance…we are not a cosmic accident. We were created, we were fashioned to have a relationship with the Creator. Unlike the gods of the Egyptians, who were distant and impersonal, the God of Israel is both personal and powerful, imminent and transcendent. He is Yahweh Elohim (LORD God). When the Hebrews that the LORD was concerned with them and that He had seen their affliction, that revelation caused them to worship…it should cause us to do the same.

But that should also impact the way we see others. C.S. Lewis once said, “You have never met an ordinary person…everyone you meet is immortal.” Everyone you meet is immortal. From the homeless man on the street to the guy who cut you off in traffic to those who have blown up their lives making bad choices to those who have “done everything right”. As image-bearers of Creator-God, of the King, each and every person is of infinite value…God does not create throw-aways.

But what about you? How do your beliefs about creation impact your view of life? How does it impact the way you view yourself? Others? The environment? For four hundred years, the Israelites had been told that they were an accident and that their value was determined by the number of bricks they could produce…their contribution to society. And for over two hundred years we have been told the same thing. We have been told by some very intelligent people that we are an accident…the product of time and chance and that our value is based on our contribution to society. So the homeless person is somehow less than the guy in the oval office; the janitor than the CEO; the physically or mentally challenged than those who are “normal” whatever that means. But Genesis presents an alternate view. This isn’t it. We are not an accident. You are not an accident. God has created us for so much more. And though the image is marred, we are still image bearers of the King. And that image is restored in Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God and the perfect Man. The One who came to rescue us and provide the way back to Creator-God.

My prayer for us this week is that we would realize our infinite worth in God’s eyes, and that we would begin to see others in the same way.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

In the Beginning…

Genesis 1.1 – 2.3

As I reflected on this passage, I was struck by the disparity between what the world says about the origins of life and what God says, and the implications for the question of purpose. Whether it’s the Egyptians view of a battle between the gods, or the atheistic evolutionary view that we are a cosmic accident…the result of time and chance, the resulting impact on the way we view ourselves, each other and planet earth is the same…negligible, forgettable, expendable.

I shared a tweet this past week, “Genesis presents a better, higher view of the world we live in…a world that reflects the creative genius of its benevolent Creator.” Several years ago, there was a movie that came out called “Contact”. Jodie Foster is the main character. As a little girl, looking through her first telescope, she was blown away by the enormity of the universe and came to the conclusion that there must be other intelligent beings out there…with billions of stars, surely the conditions that allowed for the cosmic accident that is life on planet earth was repeated elsewhere, because if not, what a waste. Looking at planet earth from a non-biblical perspective can easily lead you to that conclusion. The earth is an average planet with an average sun in an average solar system within an average galaxy…but from a biblical perspective, as Moses tells God’s story, the sun moon and stars, the universe itself is created for the benefit of earth-dwellers. My God is a big God who does big things. He does nothing halfway. And though some might consider the earth ordinary, God delights to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. He brings order from chaos, life from death, where sin abounds, grace superabounds…

Paul says in Romans 1 that there is sufficient evidence of God’s existence. His fingerprints are all over His creation. But when we deny that He exists, when we ignore that evidence, then become fools and worship creation rather than the Creator. Whether that worship takes the form of idols carved from wood, animals or celestial beings, or our own intellect…taking the God out of the equation always leads to idolatry.

The Israelites were an average people…not the most numerous, or most powerful, or smartest, or best looking…but God would use them as a conduit of blessing for the world. Paul, writing to the Corinthians says, “God has chosen the weak things of the world to profound the strong…” He’s chosen us, called us, rescued us…for extraordinary purposes. My God is a big God who delights to do big things, to take the average, the ordinary and make it extraordinary.

But what about you? How do your beliefs about the origins of life, the creation of the world impact your worldview? How does it impact the way you view yourself? Others? The environment? The Israelites were a people submerged in a hostile culture that offered a competing worldview…a worldview that was diametrically opposed to a biblical worldview. And like them, we too are submerged in a hostile culture that offers a competing worldview that opposes a biblical worldview. And like the Israelites we have a choice to follow God or be overwhelmed, taken in and deceived by a culture whose conclusion about life is that it’s meaningless.

Take the time this week to look up at the stars…creation should point us to the Creator. The result is always worship…of one or the other. My prayer for us this week is that we would be absolutely blown away by the lavishness of God who spared no expense to have a relationship with us…from the extravagance of creation to the superabundance of His grace. And may we with the psalmist proclaim, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!”

G.K. Chesterton, “The most important thought you will think today will be your thought about God.”

Until next time…stay salty.

This week we started our new Genesis series. Listen online at:, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster