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Paradise Lost

By Joe Boot/ March 8, 2015

Series  Genesis 1-11: Creation, Covenant and Culture

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Theology

Scripture  Genesis 3:22-24; Exodus 25:10-22

Outside of Christ we remain people who are driven from the presence of God, covenantally separated from God and alienated from one another.

Scripture:  Genesis 3:22-24

Sermon Notes:

  1. In the Fall our first parents forfeit life and fellowship.
  2. The history of modern western thought says the Fall is a positive movement to a mature, self-determining man.
  3. Adam’s autonomous choice, far from discovering fulfillment and freedom, brought shame and guilt in man’s relationship with God and one another.
  4. The human condition now displays man’s tireless effort to cover up his guilt and to make self-atonement.
  5. To live in terms of God's word and instruction meant dependence and responsibility, but it also meant health and joy and peace.
  6. The tempter was offering a work-free world where man could give definition to the world for himself.
  7. Adam and Eve were thrown out literally. God threw them out and divorced them covenantally.
  8. Outside of Christ we are wretched and condemned and alienated from promise and without hope and without God in the world (Eph 2:1-10; John 3:36).
  9. The urge to paradise is in our created nature. But that urge is now governed by sin and the desire to define good and evil autonomously.
  10. Augustine wrote that this lust for sovereignty disturbs and consumes human race with frightful ills. All of sinful man's life and dreams are coloured by this perspective.
  11. To follow the lie that we can obtain paradise through politics is not to return to paradise at all, but to create a living hell on earth.
  12. The results are more suppression, conflict and misery and that just intensifies man's hunger for paradise.
  13. All we see in social life is an expression of the Fall; there are historical consequences from clothes to social order that come out of man’s fall from paradise.
  14. God makes it clear there is no way back to paradise on man's terms. There is only wrath and judgment.
  15. Hell is man in total isolation, alienation from God and others. It is a place without community, communication, or meaning where man is his own God.
  16. The biblical answer is that the urge to paradise is to be expressed in obedience (Hebrews 10:7).
  17. The new Adam opens the way to paradise by the atonement of His blood; and it is possible not by outward coercion but only by inward regeneration by God’s grace.
  18. Christ, the second Adam, the only true priest in the order of Melchizedek, sprinkles His own blood on the mercy seat and He makes atonement for our sins.
  19. As He dies the temple curtain is torn in two separating the outer and inner courts and access is made available to the very presence of God, bringing us into new relationship with God and each other.
  20. By Christ alone then we no longer face the flaming sword barring us from the presence of God. Our shame is removed and the arms of the Father embrace us as a new created family.

Application Questions:

  1. What was lost in the Fall and what is man’s condition?
  2. How does fallen man attempt to regain paradise?
  3. What is the essence of hell?
  4. By what means does Christ restore us to paradise?