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by Jimmy Swaggart
The CrossThe reason for the failure is because of not knowing and understanding the Message of the Cross.
Paul said, “For the preaching of the Cross is to them who perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18 KJV).
The Greek word here translated “preaching” is logos. It should have been translated “word” or “message.” It would then have read: “For the message of the Cross is to them …”
Regrettably and sadly, very few Christians know the Message of the Cross. They don’t know it simply because it’s not being preached and taught behind their pulpits.
Considering that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,” if the Word of God is not taught in this capacity, then the person can have no faith in that which he does not know (Rom. 10:17 KJV).
For one to properly understand the Word of God, one must understand the word of the Cross. In fact, the story of the Bible is the story of the Cross simply because it’s the story of man’s redemption. So, to try and understand the Bible apart from the Cross simply will not work.
That’s why Paul also said, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2 KJV).
I am sure that every believer knows and understands that faith is the currency, so to speak, that spends in God’s economy. In fact, it’s the only currency that He will accept, but let the reader understand the following: When Paul spoke of faith, which he did constantly in one way or the other, without exception, he was always speaking of faith in Christ and what Christ did at the Cross.
In fact, he even referred to this great Christian experience as “the faith” (Gal. 2:20 KJV).
However, if the faith of which we speak is not faith in Christ and Him crucified, then it’s the faith that God will not recognize. Regrettably, as it pertains to the Lord, most Christians presently have faith in about everything except the Cross.
They claim to have faith in the Word, but they fail to understand that if it’s not faith in the Cross, then it’s not faith in the Word.
The two—faith and the Word—are synonymous.
The Word Became Flesh
Listen to this: John said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1 KJV).
This tells us that Jesus was the living Word.
He then said, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14 KJV). The Lord became flesh in order to be the last Adam and, thereby, to go to the Cross.
When John introduced Christ, he then said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29 KJV).
We now know why the Word became flesh. It was that He might go to the Cross, which was demanded, that is if man, was to be redeemed.
So, if we claim to understand the Word or to have our faith based on the Word, which is certainly correct, that is if we know what we’re talking about, then we must understand that the Cross must ever be the object of our faith.
Then the Word will begin to come into sharp focus.
Now, let me make this statement; I know it’s controversial, but it needs to be said: If the believer doesn’t properly understand the Message of the Cross, then in some way, everything he thinks he understands about the Word of God will be more or less perverted.
Genesis 2:17 KJV reads, “For in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die,” and refers to spiritual death, which is separation from God.
In other words, at the moment that Adam partook of that particular fruit, whatever it was, he died, i.e., was separated from God.
Regrettably and sadly, spiritual death brought on physical death. Unless one turns to Christ, the concluding result will be “the second death,” which is the lake of fire, forever and forever (Rev. 20:14 ESV).
We know, as we shall see, that Adam had an amazing intelligence.
In fact, I think that no man since has had the intelligence level of Adam, at least that which he had before the fall. But yet, I’m not sure if he fully understood what the word die actually meant.
Considering that he was created to live forever by virtue of the Tree of Life, death, as it is presently, was not in his thinking or understanding.
Even though the Bible doesn’t exactly say, I do believe that God explained to him what all of this meant, even as he gave him the command not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Knowing the detailed account of the creation and the meticulous way in which God does things, I must believe that He meticulously explained all of this to our first parent. Regrettably, as we shall see, Adam chose to disobey.
“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18 KJV).
As we shall see, these statements are not meant to imply that the creation of woman was an afterthought. There is no plan of God that is incomplete!
The phrase, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone,” was not an idea that suddenly presented itself to the Lord.
God is omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing), meaning that there are no surprises with God or any situation that presents itself of which He doesn’t have full knowledge.
From the time that the Godhead had made the decision to create man, whenever that may have been in eternity past, the creation of woman was planned as well.
The phrase, “I will make him an help meet for him,” proclaims the fact that the Lord did exactly that. He made a helpmate for Adam and made it possible for all men who would follow thereafter to have the same. What a blessing!
All that Adam’s nature demanded for its completion—physically, intellectually, and socially—was to be included in this one who was soon to stand by his side.
Thus, in man’s need, and woman’s power to satisfy that need, is laid the foundation for the divine institution of marriage, which was afterwards prescribed not for the first pair alone, but for all their posterity.
I remind the reader that it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.
Brought Them Unto Adam
“And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” (Gen. 2:19 KJV).
Out of dust; the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air. Adam gave names to all of these creatures. In the name he gave to each creature, we find the entirety of the characteristics of that particular animal or fowl.
This proves that this man was brilliant beyond compare.
The phrase, “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam,” pertains to specimens.
We must understand that this chapter is not intended to be a chronology of creation. The narrative runs according to what is being done at the moment.
The phrase, “To see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof,” presents two things:
1. As we have already stated, the name that Adam gave to each one of these creatures presents the characteristics of that particular animal or fowl. Let the reader understand that the name hasn’t changed from then until now.
2. Before the fall, Adam walked with God every day in the cool of the day, which gave him an education of unparallel proportions (Gen. 3:8-9 KJV).
This proclaims to us the fact that Adam was of such intelligence as to defy all description. What type of intelligence does it take for one to know all the characteristics of these creatures!
So, I think it should be overly obvious that we aren’t speaking here of a dolt or an animal-crawling primate, as suggested by some.
To do all of this, Adam had to have a distinct knowledge of speech, the meaning of all words, and the capacity for attaching words to ideas.
Why not? Adam had the greatest teacher that man has ever had—the LORD God.
“And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him”(Gen. 2:20 KJV).
Verse 20 proclaims the amazing degree of intelligence possessed by earth’s first man. When we understand that these names incorporate every characteristic of each particular creature and that these names come down to us unto this very hour, then we are forced to recognize the amazing intelligence possessed by Adam.
If man had not fallen, the world would have been a far different place, which is actually a gross understatement. In fact, there’s really no way that we can even remotely comprehend what would have been.
We get some idea from the prophets as they spoke of the coming kingdom age; however, even then, there will still be sin in the world, despite the fact that Jesus will be personally ruling from Jerusalem.
But yet, at that particular time, the world will come close to that which God originally intended.
Man has repeatedly attempted to rebuild this Paradise himself. He has done so with socialism, communism, dictatorships, etc. That which points in the right direction is biblical democracy, one might say.
However, let it quickly be understood that a true democracy cannot be built and cannot be brought into being without the Bible being its foundation.
America spent a trillion dollars and wasted over 4,000 lives in the quagmire of Iraq, trying to build a democratic nation without addressing the religion of Islam. It cannot be done.
As one man said, “Democracy and Islam aren’t even on the same planet.”
Now, when I say that democracy must be built upon the Bible, this is not an advocating of a state church. It is far from such!
The separation of church and state is biblical, but that doesn’t mean the separation of God and state as is being carried on in America presently.
Unless it’s changed, it will be the ruin of this nation. It is still, “In God we trust.”
Man’s problem is that he tries to do it without the Tree of Life, which, incidentally, is the Lord Jesus Christ. Such simply cannot be done without Christ.
The hearts of men are far too wicked, and, incidentally, they are hearts that can only be changed by Christ.
Even then, He had to pay a terrible price by the giving of Himself in sacrifice on the Cross in order that this terrible problem of sin might be properly addressed.
Regrettably, the world refuses to understand the terrible malady of sin, although it fills the earth with hatred, murder, and mayhem.
The Cross Of Christ
Even the church, I think, doesn’t fully realize the terrible horror of sin, and I’ll tell you why I say that: If the church fully understood the malady of sin as they should, they wouldn’t keep advocating foolish things as its cure rather than the Cross.
The Cross of Christ is the only answer to sin.
That refers to the sinner being saved or the Christian attempting to walk holy before the Lord. If we look to, anything else, our looking is in vain! There is no help in any other direction.
This is why Paul said, “We preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23 KJV).
He didn’t say merely, “We preach Christ,” but rather, “We preach Christ crucified.”
The problem with the church is that it preaches Christ but in many and varied ways other than the Cross.
Many preach Him as a great example; others preach Him as the healer, and others preach Him as the great prosperity-giver.
In fact, the list is almost endless.
However, unless Christ is preached as the Saviour, and the Saviour by virtue of what He did at the Cross, lives will never be changed. That’s why Paul said what he did.
Original Source: November 2018 Evangelist
(This message was derived from the book by Jimmy Swaggart, “The Fall of Man”.)
Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart.