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The Test



"For what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.'” Romans 4:3 What was the first sin? Most would say, "Eating the fruit from the forbidden tree." But no, eating the forbidden fruit was not the first sin. Believing the lie was the first sin. God had told Adam and Eve that from all the trees they may eat, EXCEPT from a certain one. He warned that if they ate from that tree they would die. Satan was watching from behind a tree in the garden. Then he came along and said to Eve, "Did God really say you would surely die? No, you will NOT surely die." He was calling God a liar. He was saying that the Word of God is not true. (Genesis 3:1-4) "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate." Genesis 3:6 This was the first sin, believing the lie. Satan denied the Word God spoke, said it is NOT true, and showed how good that fruit looked, how desirable it was, how pleasant to look at, and that it would actually be good for her. Eve fell by believing the lie. This is the same method that Satan uses to everyone everywhere: "Did God really say....? No, that isn't true." We are judged by our response to the Word of God, the Bible, the Scriptures. Many times and in many places in the Scriptures there are things written which are hard to understand and seem impossible. That, brothers and sisters, is the test. Will we choose to believe the Word of almighty God only insofar as it makes sense to us? Or will we bow before this great God in humility, believing that what God has said is the truth whether we understand it or not. It's the Word of Almighty God. Satan will forever tell you that this passage or that passage is not true. He will whisper to you to take all that appears good to you, pleasant to the eyes, all that is desirable - and whatever appears good, go for it. He'll tell you that the rest "isn't true." He'll say that this is the modern age, those old things don't apply anymore, we've grown beyond that... It is absolutely essential that we NOT believe Satan when he casts aspersions against the Word of God. Here's a poignant example of this: "Then Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." John 6:53 Can you imagine being there and hearing that? How shocking! How stunning! It makes no sense to the carnal mind. And ...many left him because of that saying: vs 66: "From that time many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more." They didn't understand it, so they left him. Notice here - and this is vitally important: Jesus didn't run after them saying, "wait, don't leave, let me explain it further." No. HE LET THEM GO. This is one of the saddest passages in the Scriptures. HE LET THEM GO. Then ...he offered even his twelve apostles the opportunity to leave him at this point if they wished: vs 67: "Then Jesus said to the twelve, 'Do you also want to go away?'” Then Peter made the ageless statement: vs 68-69: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The twelve had heard the same incomprehensible statement that Jesus made, for which most left him. It was no clearer to the twelve than it was to the others. The difference was the choice they made. Though they certainly didn't understand, they knew who Jesus was and they chose to stay with him even when they didn't understand. The Word of God is not something we look through and decide to keep what we understand, or what meets our standards or our approval. Almighty God reserves the rights to his Word whether or not it meets our standards, whether or not it's timely in our evaluation, whether or not we understand it. He is almighty God. Our fate is determined by what we do with it. Jesus said we must become as little children. “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3 What did he mean by that? A little child absolutely believes what his father says regardless whether he understands it or not. How have you reacted when you've seen something in God's Word that you did not understand? Do you reject it? Or -- big question -- will you TRUST him? Will you believe in the INTEGRITY of God?