Fleshly Death: Living in this Dark World
1.Rejecting Faith in the Lord God for Self-Rule.
Genesis 3:1-6. Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing (that is, determining for yourself) good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Genesis 2:16-17, And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat[d] of it you shall surely die.”
Romans 8:5-8. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Isaiah 40:4-5. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
2.Rejecting Spiritual Life in God for Spiritually Dead Flesh Enslaved to Sin and Satan.
Genesis 3:7-13. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked (i.e. flesh uncovered without spiritual life). And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord
James 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. John 6:63a. It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.
John 8:34-35. Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever
Ephesians 2:1-3. And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our (naked) flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
3.Rejecting God’s Blessed World of Rest for Satan’s Dark and Lifeless World
4 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Matthew 4:16. the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”
Q1. Why do the man and woman reject the Lord God to be their own Lords when they choose to sin and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
How did they know what was “good” and “evil” before they ate of the tree?
Why would people rather follow Self as Lord rather than the Lord God? What is the downside of following one’s Self as Lord and rejecting God as Lord?
How does Eve expect the tree (and the fleshly world) to improve her life? What will it do for her?
Q2. In what way did the man and the woman “die” when they sinned and rejected the Lord?
What is life like lived entirely in the “flesh,” uncovered (naked) of the Spirit’s life?
Relating to God (Read Rom. 8:7-8):
Hungering with lust (Read Eph. 2:3):
Habits: (Read Gal. 5:19-21):
Why does being “naked” flesh without Spiritual life make us afraid and ashamed?
Q3. What is life like in this dark world without the provision of God’s blessing?
Spiritual Darkness and Death: (See Matthew 4:16):
Ruled by Satan (Read Ephesians 2:1-2):
Trouble: (Read John 16:33):
Hunger (Read 1 John 2:15-17):
QA. Which do you prefer—fleshly Self-Rule in a world of spiritual death and darkness, or Spirit-born Faith in the Lord God in His realm of blessing and rest?
Knowing that we have chosen to live in this world of spiritual death and darkness,
[ ] Will you still cling to this death and darkness? Insisting that you rule over your own life, living as sinful flesh in this dark world?
[ ] Or, will you repent of your old life of Self-Rule, worldly attachment, and fleshly works to take hold of God’s new spiritual life?
As humans, we live in two worlds: material and spiritual, or earth and heaven. The spiritual realm is organized into “kingdom”—the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of Darkness. A Kingdom is a realm in which a great authority “rules” for either the good or harm of its subject. (Parable of Joe’s coconut farm & the coming test).
God has all authority in heaven over all things, but there are “dark powers” currently in rebellion against God in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12) led by Satan.
When humans sinned against God and died spiritually, they lost all rights to the Earth. So, the earth is now ruled by Satan’s Kingdom of darkness in a realm of spiritual death (Matt. 4:8-9, 16).
However, Jesus established the Kingdom of God, ruling in the lives of those who repent and are subject to His Lordship. To his servants, Jesus gives his authority to bring the Kingdom’s rule and covering to this world (Rom. 5:17).
So, to be “subject” to Jesus as Lord is to come under His protection and rule, to obey His Word, and to serve and follow him in a spiritual kingdom as sons of the King on earth. Waiting for the day Jesus rules over heaven and earth in His coming Kingdom:
1. Self-Rule vs. Faith (Read Matt. 7:21-27)
Self-as-Lord: Self-Rule: Living with your Self as the Lord and Focus of your life. Jesus as Lord: Subjected by Faith: Letting God and Jesus be Lord and living by faith in them.
Q1. Self-Rule: Can you think of a specific example from your life of letting your “Self” be the Lord and Focus of your life? mark if this was:
[ ] An Isolated instance
[ ] Several times occurrence
[ ] A repeated Habit
2. Flesh vs. Spirit (Read Gal. 5:16-23)
Worldly Flesh: Seeks life and control in a Godless world of spiritual darkness and death. Worshipping Spirit: Seeks life in spiritual Word and Will of God in spiritual Kingdom of heaven.
Q2. Worldly, Dead Flesh: What is a specific example of doing something that everyone in the world is doing, in order to please your Self apart from what God desires? To crave what is sinful, controlling, or self-centered? mark if this was:
[ ] An Isolated instance
[ ] Several times occurrence
[ ] A repeated Habit
3. Godless World vs. Kingdom of God (Read 1 John 2:15-17)
Godless, Dead World: Not simply “earth,” the Godless world is the spiritually dead world which is chaotic and ruined by sinful darkness, which Satan uses to addict, ensnare, deny knowing and honoring God. It is life ignoring God and treating him as irrelevant. Kingdom of God: The spiritual realm where Jesus Mashiach rules to restore life and blessing to God’s people, who are born into this spiritual life and God’s family to live in this realm by faith.
Q3. Have you ever relied or depended on this Godless, dead world to meet any of your needs, setting your heart on earthly things and not heavenly things to make you happy, secure, or fulfilled? mark if this was:
[ ] An Isolated instance
[ ] Several times occurrence
[ ] A repeated Habit [ ] Do you want to live with Self as your Lord, in your dead flesh, and attached to this Godless, dead world?
[ ] Or, will you repent of living with your Self as Lord to submit to Jesus as Lord by faith, rejecting your old life of living by your dead flesh in this spiritually Godless world?
I.3. Genesis 3. Life without God.
Overview: So far, we have seen that God exists in a family fellowship as Father, Son, and Spirit. And, he wants us to share in this fellowship by bringing us into the family of His Son, His Mashiach and Heir of all things. In Genesis 2, we saw the good life he wants for us—to live with him in peace and grace by faith. However, he know shows us in Genesis 3 how we have lost this good life in his fellowship. Why?
God tells you have you have fallen that you might “repent”—to turn from this “old life” we are accustomed to so you might receive His “new life.”
Repentance requires that you take responsibility for your past and current life. For, if you say “everything is fine,” you will not need God’s new life.
Repentance has 3 parts. In the new testament, the word is “meta-noia”—changing your mind about your situation. So, are you willing to:
Will you admit that you have lived in the old life of the flesh in this world?
Will you show regret for the ways that you have sinned against God?
Reverse your Direction:
Are you willing to commit to think, act, and live differently in God’s new life?
1. Self-Rule to Seek Life apart from God.
Q1. What are some reasons Eve decided to ignore God’s command and take control of her life? What are some ways that you decide to take control of your life and leave God out? What are some ways that you have lived a Self-focused life as your own “Lord” apart from God?
Choose all that apply. Give examples of what one or more of these looks like in your life.
[ ] Self-satisfying: I have looked for satisfaction in this world apart from God.
[ ] Self-honoring: I have honored myself or things of this world.
[ ] Self-willed: I have stubbornly insisted on my own way.
[ ] Self-led: I have done whatever I want or felt was right.
[ ] Self-centered: I have been selfish and focused on my own needs and interests.
[ ] Other:
Check all boxes that you agree with:
[ ] I am sorry for living this Godless way, distancing myself from God.
[ ] I turn from being my own “Lord” and trying to control my life. If you want to reverse your direction, how do you plan to live?
[ ] I want to live by faith in the Lord by:
2. Fleshly Living in your own way, wisdom, and strength. (Review Galations 5:19-21)
Q2. How would you describe life in the “flesh”—being uncovered without any spiritual life but relying on our own strength, smarts, and ability? In your experience, what does the “flesh” desire? How does it relate to others (sinful passions) and to God (self-righteous religion)?
I have experienced fleshly:
__ desires; __ control; __ religion;
__ behaviours; __ indulgence; __ actions
I want to:
[ ] Resist fleshly temptations
Living by God's Word and Spirit...
will result in this kind of life: __________
3. Worldly Attachment to death and darkness: (Review Matthew 4:16)
Q3. How can this “world” rule by spiritual darkness and death pull your heart away from God?
[ ] I have been worldly by...
[ ] I want to set. my heart with God and his life of spiritual reality.
[ ] I seek God's kingdom by...