The Creation of the Man and Woman-pt.5

We have been looking at the realities indicated in Genesis 1-3. We have been considering that God created the universe, as well as the man and woman, with specific purposes which ultimately were to radiate His glory. The fact that mankind does not radiate that glory is the very definition of sin itself (Romans 3:23). However, it is also sets the stage for One who would bear His image perfectly and thus radiate His glory, His own Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus Christ, His eternal Son, would fulfill the purposes for which He, the Father, created the universe and all that it contains. 

Now, we who are in Christ by the grace of God through faith, bear His (Christ’s) image (2 Corinthians 3:18) and we do so by faith. This image is the same image of the Father, but since we cannot attain to it having fallen from it, we have to rely upon another to accomplish that and He did (Romans 8:3). So, that is why we simply can only believe in Him and His Words. Through that faith, we are sanctified, so that little by little we might be able to bear that image we could never do otherwise (John 17:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:4; 10:17). This issue of image-bearing is crucial to a proper understanding of Jesus Christ and God’s plans for history. 

However, although this truth is profound and magnificent, my question is what does it matter in the day to day? That is, how is this truth implemented in my heart and thus my life? That is a fair question and one that we should ask ourselves. 

First of all, nothing of this sort can be done outside of Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ, the Father is glorified as we bear fruit for Him. God works in us and prunes us so that we might bear more fruit. If we abide in Christ, He will sanctify us and thus cause us to bear fruit, i.e. works of righteousness. The result of abiding in Christ, which is described as obedience to His Word is joy-eternal joy hear and now (John 15:1-11; Ezekiel 36:27; Ephesians 5:18; Philippians 2:13). 

Second, bearing the image of God and thus obeying His original mandate and purposes for creating us, is only done with diligence and effort. By that I mean, the results of effort and toil as it relates to obedience to the Scripture will produce in us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comprehension as a result of our toil in the things of God (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). Jesus said that in keeping His Word we will abide in His love. It is not true for us to think that we can simply go along in our own ways and efforts and plans and dreams, which oftentimes contradict Scripture, and think that God loves us and everything is alright. Simply put, unless we persist in the Word of God in our hearts, minds, and behavior, we are outside of the love of God to that degree. Jude wrote, “But you, beloved, while building yourselves up on your most holy faith, while praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, while waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” (my translation; Jude 20-21). The main mandate here is to “keep yourselves in the love of God” and the path to doing that is threefold: be in His truth, be in prayer, and be in constant expectation of Christ’s return (which refers to accountability and joy). 

It is the first aspect, “building ourselves up on our most holy faith”, that I want to refer to now as it relates to Genesis 1-3. The issues involved in this passage are easy to consider as simply interesting information and facts of creation. However, as we will see, they are much more than that. As propositional truth, they are the bedrock for our faith, as faith comes from hearing the Word of God. All Scripture is meant to expose wrong thinking in us and replace it with correct thinking that God then uses to transform us into His image (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Thus, our minds are renewed which, simply put, renews God’s glory in everything we do. For example, if a husband began to grow in his love for his wife how would that transform their marriage and homelife? If he loved her with the love that God expressed in Christ to the world, would that have any kind of effect on her heart towards him as well as the children’s heart towards him? Absolutely! Therefore, the key to that relationship, then, is not magical formulas and ‘projects’ that seek to demonstrate externally his love for her. The key to the relationship is the man’s heart being transformed to actually love his wife with the love of Christ! There is no substitute for that.

Let’s look at Genesis 1-2 with all of that as backdrop. The main theme that interests me here is the realities of the rulership of man over God’s creation as that relates to a man’s home. 

There is an expectation by God toward Adam to manage well the things God has given him (1 Timothy 3:4). Defining ‘well’ refers to managing according to the original intention which is identified as managing things the way God would manage them were He a man. Another way to understand this is, for a man to understand his leadership as an expression of God’s leadership in the home. When our wives and children see us, they should see the Lord, so to speak, in the way we behave and think. Our hearts should resonate with the truth s of Scripture so that we walk with God in the ‘cool of the day’. Our children should see in us a man who walks with God and keeps himself in the love of God. And this is nowhere else evident than it is in the way that we use authority. The way a man wields authority will tell everyone what that man thinks of God. 

In order to keep this post from becoming a book, there are a few simple principles that I would like to bring out along these lines.

-Authority/ruling is the governing and defining reality in the home.

  • Ruling defines a marriage-1 Corinthians 7:4; 11:3-9; Ephesians 5:23-24.
    • If we understand authority as the expression of God’s own kind of authority, which of necessity, is defined as good, loving and holy, then we have no problem with the fact that a man has authority over his wife. This kind of authority is indisputable and welcome by the woman of God as well as the children. Just as Christ was a deliverer to the church and just as He sought to cleanse her in order to present her to Himself as holy, free from defilement, so also the husband bears this responsibility in his relationship to his wife. For example, what kind of movies would a husband and wife watch? Is it something that Christ would display in front of His church, whom He loves (and love seeks purity-1 Corinthians 13:5-6)?
    • Or, what kind of friends does a husband and wife have? Do these friends promote godliness and holiness?
    • Or, does a man refuse to ‘rule’, i.e. bear the responsibility of rulership, by failing to provide leadership, provision and decision-making with God’s intentions in mind?
    • Does the wife demonstrate submission to this man’s authority with joy? Is it her pleasure to seek to submit to God’s authority given to him? Or, does she seek to take from him the exercise of that leadership assuming she can do it better?
  • Ruling defines parenting:
    • Parents are accountable to God for the condition of their children. That is, the training of the children is to be according to God’s purposes and means which are revealed in Scripture.
    • Children are accountable to God for their obedience to their parents. That is, children are to be obedient to their parents in every way, in the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-3).
    • The training relationship of parents to children extends up to the point when the son leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife (Genesis 2:24). And, to the point that a young man receives a young lady from her parents and cleaves to her. Up to that point, the child is progressing toward a greater and greater level of responsibility and maturity which ultimately is demonstrated in his own home-life. For example, I would not expect my 3-year-old to be able to change a tire, but I would expect my 15-year-old to. I would not expect my 3-year-old to be able to discern between good and evil to the degree that my 15-year-old would. Further, I would not expect my 15-year-old to be as discerning and wise as I am at 39 years old. Nor do I have the level of wisdom that a 60-year-old man would who has been walking with Christ all his life.
  • Ruling defines the condition of the home as the expression of rulership-that of function and glory.
    • Just like Eden was Adam and Eve’s home, so we too have homes provided by God. It may be an apartment, a rental, or a million-dollar mansion. Whatever it is, it is from God and for our good. However, primarily a home is not the location but the people in it. God’s household is made up of saints (1 Timothy 3:15). So too, our households are made up of people as well. Understanding the organization of responsibility is crucial to the relationships within the home. Rebellion is understood as rejecting or fighting against authority. Thus, a home in rebellion is that which is fighting against God’s authority exercised by the Word of God.
    • There should be a clear understanding of authority in the home and who has it. This is why one of the commandments to Israel was to “honor your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12). This kind of honor includes respect, obedience and love. It is no honor to parents if a child does what his parents say, but does not love them (incidentally, their lack of love for their parents, because of their sin-nature, could be used of the Lord to demonstrate to them that they are a sinner and need the righteousness of Jesus Christ).
    • Within the home, a home in which Jesus Christ is Lord and His Word governs all the functions of it, is peace and pleasure and purpose. This does not mean that there is no sin to be rooted out, or problems to deal with or even extreme pressure at times that forces parents to cry out to God for help. However, what it does mean is the overall direction of the home, including asking for forgiveness for sins done to one another, is toward Christ and His glory. In fact, redemption is the act of taking one out of slavery to sin and submitting oneself to the lordship of Christ. That is in fact to be happening all the time in the home. James writes it this way, “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” -James 5:19-20. When a wife, or child or husband strays from the truth, the work of the others in the family is to bring him back by working with his heart through patience, kindness, goodness and prayer. This is the wisdom that James was talking about in chapter 3:17-18. The seed of peace is sown by those who make peace, i.e. making peace sows the seed, and the result (fruit) is righteousness.
  • Ruling defines the relationship of the home to the rest of the world-that of glory to God.
    • Jesus taught, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). Jesus Christ is the light of the glory of the gospel and that light thus shines in the life of the one who believes Him (2 Corinthians 4:6). Therefore, when others see the works that one does and they praise the man for his works, they are, in actuality, praising God, who performed those works in the person (John 3:21).
    • Thus, the home then becomes a ‘bright-spot’ on an otherwise dark planet. The light of the knowledge of Jesus Christ is evident in the home of the believer because He is there, He is working and His Word fills the place.
    • All of this is the fruit of recognizing the proper authority structures that exist in the home. The supreme Lord over it all, of course, is Jesus Christ. 

-None of this, however, is accomplished apart from faith in Jesus Christ which is demonstrated in obedience to His Word.

  • This presupposes we love Jesus Christ.
  • This presupposes we know His Word.
  • This presupposes we want to honor Him in our homes.
  • This presupposes we see to glorify Him in all that we do (1 Corinthians 10:31).