Eastside Baptist Church
  • Created to Draw Near: Our Life as God’s Royal Priests by Edward T. Welch

    “Discernment Lost” (Chapter 6)

    Genesis 3:22 NIV
    22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
    Humanity Downgraded
    Humanity suffered a loss of status after the Fall.
    The created order was inverted: serpent -> woman -> man.
    Like God, Knowing Good & Evil?
    How did Adam & Eve become “like God”?
    How did Adam & Eve “know good & evil”?
    An experiential knowledge vs. a theoretical knowledge?
    Did “know good & evil” before the Fall but then lost it?
    Self-gained knowledge sought by human autonomy rather than by submission to divine revelation.
    Knowledge by Revelation or by Autonomy?
    Seeking our own knowledge and wisdom makes us “like God” in one sense in terms of our own autonomy and self-determination, but it makes us less “like God” in every other sense.
    Disregarding God’s revelation actually makes us less “like God” and makes us “less human.”
    In order to be full-functioning priests we need a steely, moral discernment. To lose it is to become less noble and honorable. It is to become less human. - Edward Welch
    Yet the Lord has determined that nothing will interfere with his priestly call on our lives, so he will do it. He will set us on a course of wisdom and discernment that will culminate in the Spirit of wisdom being poured out on all of us. That wisdom and discernment will be essential for our closeness to God, which is our destiny. - Edward Welch
    Deuteronomy 4:5–6 NIV
    5 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”
    1 Kings 3:9–10 NIV
    9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.
    Isaiah 5:20 NIV
    20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
    Jeremiah 4:22 NIV
    22 “My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.”
    Jeremiah 31:33 NIV
    33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
    Hebrews 5:14 NIV
    14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
    Obedience to Christ is not a burden to bear. Instead it points the way to being truly human—an unfettered conscience, an unhindered nearness to him, and the pleasure of his hospitality and protection. - Edward Welch

    “Life outside the Most Holy Place” (Chapter 7)

    The March of Death
    Physical Death
    Spiritual Death
    Breach in relationship with God
    Breach in relationship with one another
    Blind to personal wrongdoing
    Magnifying the wrongs of others
    Genesis 3:11–13 NIV
    11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
    Point and Accuse
    Excusing ourselves and passing blame is our default setting.
    Proverbs 14:12 NIV
    12 There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
    Pointing and accusing is our means of covering up our own sins.
    The accusations start flying when we want to cover up certain behaviors. So when you blame, consider what you are trying to hide. - Edward Welch
    Nakedness and Shame
    Rebellion brought guilt, which brought shame, which revealed our nakedness.
    God clothed Adam and Eve.
    Covering of Atonement
    Reminder of Atonement
    Among our many spiritual disabilities is that we so quickly forget reality. As a way to jostle a dull memory, the Lord clothed humanity with animal skins. For the ancient Hebrew the message was clear: if you follow an animal, you will look like an animal; if you forsake the path of life, you will wear death… Being draped with a dead animal was no reason for boasting. It was a statement of spiritual need. - Edward Welch
    Inside Out
    Humanity’s search for independence and autonomy only brought separation.
    Adam’s original role was to work and protect the garden (Gen. 2:15).
    Now the Garden would be protected from Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:24).
    Genesis 3:24 NIV
    24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
    In Our Place
    A substitute could stand in our place.
    The blood of an animal for the blood of humanity
    This became a key insight for God’s priests: God will, in fact, accept substitutes in our place. - Edward Welch
    An imperfect system: an animal cannot truly stand in the place of a human being
    Grounded in the mercy of God
    Farther from God’s Presence
    Self-justification, others’ condemnation
    Jealousy, envy, hatred, and murder
    Blame is a form of judgment: “I am right; you are wrong.” It is a kind of curse: “May you be damned [rather than me].” We want the best for ourselves and punishment to fall on another. Murder was inevitable. - Edward Welch
    Cain ventured farther and farther from Eden, farther from the presence of God.
    Humanity was farther from God’s inner room. Yet nothing had changed. God created us to be a priesthood and to live at the meeting place of heaven and earth, and he would do it. - Edward Welch
      • Genesis 3:22NIV2011

      • Deuteronomy 4:5–6NIV2011

      • 1 Kings 3:9–10NIV2011

      • Isaiah 5:20NIV2011

      • Jeremiah 4:22NIV2011

      • Jeremiah 31:33NIV2011

      • Hebrews 5:14NIV2011

      • Genesis 3:11–13NIV2011

      • Proverbs 14:12NIV2011

      • Genesis 3:24NIV2011

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