The Brass Tacks Of Religion – The Antithesis Of Christ: Sermon By Bishop Gobanga
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.Genesis 3 (KJV)
Religion is the meritorious demeanour of man to attain to salvation. It is a collection of cultural beliefs with symbols that relate your being as well as spirituality.
True relationship comes from being rooted in Christ and having a personal relationship with Him.
Religious people – just like the Pharisees – are governed by edicts and conforming.
Judaism was an order that was against Christ. It had the spirit of the son of perdition.
Religion has nothing to do with having a relationship with God.
The conversation the serpent had with Eve was the cradle of religion. He was basically saying that she did not need to obey God but apply her own efforts attain godliness.
Eve encouraged her husband to partake of the fruit and their understanding of who God is changed.
Religion will give you other alternatives to become because you are not walking in your identity and understanding of who you are. It cannot in any way capacitate who you are in God.
After the fall, humanity has partaken of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Humanity has created its own religion; that is conformed to their flaws. Anything that is against their flaws is rejected.
The Tree of Good and Evil metaphorically symbolized the law – legalism by which man was to adhere by to be righteous in his own eyes and not as per God’s standard.
Man doesn’t have capacity to obey the laws that he creates because he is living in disobedience and living away from the source of life.
The fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge and Evil is so poisonous it kills they that partake of it. The reason the Lord at Mt. Sinai provided the law on tablets of stone is the same as why He planted the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – to have a free relationship with the Father.
The Tree of Life represents grace and life. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents legalism.
There was grace in the Garden of Eden but Adam and Eve deprived themselves of the opportunity of grace and have a capacity to say no to sin. They would have lived in sanctification.
When you partake of the grace of God you are sanctified and consecrated continuously.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was there to give freedom by providing an opportunity to disobey because man has free will. Obedience is not by compulsion but by revelation that leads to love.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was there to offer the opportunity to worship God in truth and in spirit for He is a God of worship.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is rooted in disobedience. It is enshrined in head knowledge of good and evil. It offers a life view of two alternatives. This tree has external appealing views.
Eve saw it was good to the eyes and good making one wise. It deludes humanity that they can make it without God.
Our goodness is rooted in Christ and him alone. When we are in Christ, we know what is good. We are rooted in righteousness and goodness.
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other’s presence.Genesis 2:25 (AMPC)
The Tree made Adam and Eve realize that they were naked and their eyes were opened to the natural. The reason why Eve and Adam were not ashamed previously is because they had been covered by the glory of God.
The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil showed them they did not need God to cover them. They ceased to rely on God and started to be self-sufficient.
Christ is the source of garments of righteousness not humanistic efforts like in religion.
Being in a relationship with God affords one favour and cover – while religion is all about performance.
In Christ, our identity is secure. Our call is anchored in Him.
God has not called us to works but to bear fruit. He is looking for fruit and not work.
Everything that is self-achieved makes self a god. Self is the root of all religion and idolatry.
We must submit ourselves one to another.
Religious circles denote that rules and regulations have to be followed. Religion causes wrong people to be on position. We need the right people to be in office.
It is in Christ that we are made holy in the inside. God has a key interest in internal configurations – He looks at the heart.
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.2 Chronicles 16:9 (KJV)
Religion has a focus on works and not relationship with the Lord. Christ came to re-introduce us to the Father.
God gave the Old Testament cognizant of the fact that they could not keep the law. They had prepared the New Testament as promulgated in the eternal covenant. The Lamb of God was slain in eternity.
The knowledge of good and evil destroys someone and hinders one from access Christ. This knowledge makes one to be self-reliant and self-gazing instead of gazing on the Lord and the complete work of Christ on the Cross.
When you have an earthly image of yourself and present it to God is the transgression of desolation. God did not call us to stop sinning but to start becoming who He created us to be in His image.
He sent us the Holy Spirit to live in us to conduct us to the Cross as a process to form and shape us into Christ’s image.
The new creation after repentance is not a human being but a spirit being; regenerated after the image and likeness of God.
New creation man does not rely on his effort and ability to manifest the work of God. He understands time and season and manifests per time per season as a son.
Adam was a physical image and Christ is the spirit image of God.
To be born again means we are born from above having a mind of Christ able to test and approve the perfect will of God.
God does not remodel the old man but creates a new man.
We are born of incorruptible seed that cannot grow anything that is perishable. The life in this seed is the life of God. The zoe life of God.
Choices are rooted in a belief that self knows what is best.
Religion doesn’t accept that salvation is by grace and not by works.
Religion ignores the fact that obedience happens in suffering as a prophetic purpose. Suffering is good as it allows one to address character flaws.
Jesus learnt obedience from the things He suffered. We are not exempt from the same. Suffering deals a final blow to the old will.
Religion dwells in counterfeits, rituals and busyness without revelation. Relationship enables one to access the original via revelation. Obedience is then an automatic flow ebbing from relationship with the Lord.
Rituals stunt spiritual growth and make one not accept change and correction.
Religion thrives on formula. Relationship with God grants one access to their identity in God.
Religion institutionalizes festivals and events and not on the commands of God e.g. Easter and Christmas.