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DSCF0004_SnapseedIt’s been called a spiritual law: man is sinful and separated from God. The resulting word picture is a deep, uncrossable chasm between a holy Creator and the sinner.

What seems worth thinking about together, though, is how this separation looks in the unfolding story of the Bible.

Let’s back up and think about what happened after that telling moment when our first parents did the one thing  they were warned not to do. What did God do at that point? Did he act as if he were suddenly on the other side of a great gorge of separation?

We need to go slowly here. There’s no question that something tragic and immediate happened. Our first parents would never be the same again, and the legacy of their loss would be read in the story of every child born to them and their descendants.

But does the image of a chasm separating us from God do justice to the resulting relational interaction between God and our first parents?

And what I’m also wondering is how we would compare the response of the God of Genesis— to the actions of One who would later be rudely characterized as “the friend of sinners”?

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68 Responses to “Separated”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    The story of the Bible; the moral of the Bible; the summation of the Bible; learning about our Creator; learning about our Savior.

    I sometimes wonder what is more important, learning about all we can of the above, or just being able to believe and so live a simple quiet life of offending no one and friend to everyone, not trying to figure out God or life.

    In reading the Bible in the OT it seems that God is *only* interacting with the people mentioned there. This being a written record of the creation of man and then more specifically the Israelite people and their struggles with God.

    The OT seems then to use the Israelite story as a means of speaking to the whole of the world, though through them about us all.

    With the NT Jesus spoke to crowds of people not *only* one on one, but to whole groups of people. This of itself is a departure from the OT. The only recorded time of God speaking to more than one person at a time being when He spoke to the people Israel as a group and they were so frightened that they ask that He only speak to them through Moses.

    When I think of the miserable unhappiness and suffering of so many in the world it seems to me that the punishment given Adam and Eve doesn’t fit the crime.

    As written they committed *one* seemingly small infraction of God’s rules. Yet look at the horror their descendants have had to endure as a result. Life outside of Paradise.

    When I look at the story in the Garden, I wonder why did God put this *tree* there in the first place. When I consider that this same God was willing to take on the eternal punishment for Adam’s sin in place of Adam, I wonder why He didn’t prevent Adam’s fall in the first place.

    Oh I know we make up convenient answers to such question for our own peace of mind, but such answers don’t alleviate the suffering and unhappiness of millions around the world and in our own homes.

    In the OT it appears that God observed all that went on with mankind, but only communicated with one person at a time. The NT Jesus spoke to crowds as well as one on one, but when He sent the Holy Spirit we all then are able to have a conversation with God, all of us.

    It seems to me that though very long and drawn out, God never separated Himself from us, His creation, only allowed for *us* to, or think we were.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    As I consider the sameness and the contrast between the God of the OT and the God of the NT – I am enjoying the black and white photo of the Grand Canyon (I believe it is the Grand Canyon). The canyon in the picture is a big, beautiful ditch – not a broad, ugly ditch.

    The vast separation between humankind and God since the fall from grace has been called big and ugly from time to time.

    Is it possible to say that Jesus is the bridge across the vast separation between God and God’s creation, especially human beings? I ask because he willingly laid down his earthly life as a proof that God the Holy Spirit could raise him to New Life – and all who believe in him forever after, annulling the “contract with death” signed at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    Isn’t God’s ultimate intention to keep his covenant of Life mentioned in the OT? I am thinking of Isaiah 50:1. It seems to me Isaiah 50:4, 5, 6 sounds like the Servant who will come to Israel in due time. There is separation, but there is also magnificent reconnection in the New Testament God, Jesus.


  3. poohpity says:

    I can see how that picture completely negates what happened in the garden. It seems there was not a chasm between God and man. There was man hiding from God and God seeking him. (Gen 3:8-10 NKJV) Pride caused man to hide from God because rather than just wanting a relationship with the Creator man wanted to be like the Creator rather than who he was, God’s very good creation. So the chasm does not do justice to what happened in the garden quite the contrary.

    I see the same response by the One who came to earth to seek and save the lost. It would seem that God’s greatest desire is to have a wonderful relationship with His children. (Luke 19:10)

  4. street says:

    My kingdom for a Horse.
    Sounds like a familiar refrain for this discussion. My kingdom or cities of destruction are places we find ourselves when we discover sin and death’s fast approach. Sin being this personal ever present evil within me deserving of God’s Holy wrath and my personal condemnation. Yes! I need a horse to carry me swiftly from this body of death! Weather it is a horse, bridge, boat, or man-made anything it only changes geography not the person or the ever present evil. Paul is right to say in Romans that we all are in this predicament and the distance is vast and inhuman. This only cure for this is death of the transgressor, but I get ahead of myself. We are looking at the problem from our own perspective. Much like being trapped at the Red Sea! Where will you turn? To what you can see? Surrender to Pharaoh or swim for it? How blind are we? Blindness and deafness come from a human perspective when we do not thank God for bread and fish and then argue about not having bread later on in His very presents. Faith is the rare and special commodity that Jesus was looking for and He found it in some strange and distant places. To the world faith is very strange indeed, but the world does not live by God’s perspective. Nor does it understand how close He really is. Thank you God for your Holy Spirit and your Word.

  5. quietgrace says:

    God sought me out and I refused His call several times before He proved Himself by His love. My ‘testimony’ never really jived with a lot of the Evangelical teachings I’ve had, but that never deterred me from growing in my faith and love for God and others.
    Probably I was searching for Something, I just didn’t know what or who He was. But He knew me all the time, and that’s what is important to me.
    Although the first family’s disobedience have had lasting and dire consequences, I marvel at God’s first act of mercy-seeking them out and covering their shame with warm clothing. And now we have Jesus to cover our shame.

  6. quietgrace says:

    Our shame of being disconnected from God, our loving creator.

  7. street says:

    Dear Steve,
    Yes the horror of evil is huge, like the Grand Canyon. You obviously see how bad it is from what you have seen and heard. There are a few points that need to be brought up. Do you remember the parable of leaven? How quickly it can work through a lump of dough? Or of a mustard seed starts out small and grows to epic proportions in a single season? The verse about a time for planting and a time for up-rooting comes to mind. Jesus warns that sin is so bad, that if it where possible to enter Heaven with-out a hand or foot, that would be better then entering whole into Hell. He also said that it is what comes out of the heart that defiles the man not what goes into the stomach, not the hand or foot. People build on ideas and teachings from others and that can lead to disaster. Paul said the law came to teach us about sin and that it was utterly sinful. No good what so ever. The law also teaches that God is Righteous and able to make a sinner Righteous. Yes, He let sin increase, but Grace abounded all the more. Follow the Gospel in Romans to it’s conclusion, Jesus the Author and perfecter of faith, Hebrews 12:2
    Steve keep asking questions….For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:8 He is a Great, Gentle, Compassionate God. Also a God that judges and punishes sin.

    One other thought, Christians teach the cross is the “bridge”, Romans 8, that gets us to the other side I find myself in the here and now. Paul address here and now in Romans too.

    two books I love “Pilgrim’s Progress” and another that deals with Questions called “I’m Glad You Asked” by Ken Boa & Larry Moody. Both books deal with here and now.

  8. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All –

    Mart, you ask about God’s action when Adam and Eve broke the law God had laid down in the garden, in the matter of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil:

    “Did he (God) act as if he were suddenly on the other side of a great gorge of separation?”

    God sacrificed animals and gave the man and woman the skins to cover themselves. God gave provision for Adam to become a farmer, so there was plenty. And, the first family was established when their sons, Cain and Abel, were born. It seems to me that banishment from Eden did not mean God disowned his children. Rather, people began to acknowledge the Creator God (Gen 4:26)

    Through the millennia, we human beings still bear the image of God, as Adam did. There has been rejection of God’s grace, but that grace has never stopped flowing. If humanity has turned away from God, God still has not turned away from us, it seems to me, on the basis of the Bible story. Messiah was always present with the Father. Didn’t Jesus show up at just the right time in God’s plan?


  9. poohpity says:

    Maru, so then do you think that the depiction of a great gorge separating God and man is an accurate representation of what really happened in the garden or what was characterized by Jesus?

  10. poohpity says:

    I think the only chasm that God seems to have established is keeping our inheritance separated from the change and decay that mankind tends to corrupt. 1 Peter 1:3-5 NLT

  11. remarutho says:

    Hi Pooh —

    Many people perceive a big, ugly ditch between God and humankind. It seems to me God has never stopped seeking out and blessing human beings. Man and woman were removed from the garden, and they made their way in a world where they would have sweat and pain to make a living.

    Only God in the flesh is able make a way through sin to establish God’s kingdom here. It seems to me that the character and intention of Jesus is to lie down across the separation between humanity and God — to be the Way, the Truth and the Life — by the ultimate sacrifice.

    It is hard to accept that he said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:51) And, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.” (John 6:54-55)

    Abiding in Jesus, as Jesus abides in the Father, we receive the life he gives us. Could reconciliation with God be more complete than that offered by Messiah?


  12. street says:

    I do not think God acted like He was on the other side of the canyon. He was on the other side of a bush. Sort of like Abraham and the burning bush. God was also veiled in Christ till the transfiguration that left Peter,James, and John besides themselves. Jesus is said to be a tree of life in the garden. I believe He was there. Two angles guard Him. Same two at the tomb? Remember the verse no one can look on God and live? God never put Himself in a position where by he would have to destroy that which He wanted to save. All things are possible. Think of Jesus butchering animals for a better covering knowing He would die in like manner, for a more permanent solution. I think sometimes people would think God would not give us the time of day, where did we get that idea? Not from Him. I think people distance themselves by anxious looking about with their eyes. Trials and testing will come, look to God of the Bible and no where else. There is always good, better, and best. Oh for child like faith. I wonder if the disciples had prayed to Jesus in the boat during the storm whether He would have woke up and hushed the storm or if He would have kept sleeping and hushed the storm? Have we been trained to remain in peace?

  13. street says:

    I think sometimes people would think God would not give us the time of day, where did we get that idea?

    I need to think further on this one, John’s Baptism was to prepare the way for the Christ by repentance. Sin definitely separates us from God. Even when Adam and Eve where found naked God still speaks. Are we listening?

  14. poohpity says:

    I did not think we were going any further than thinking about “a deep, uncrossable chasm between a holy Creator and the sinner” that is portrayed by those old pamphlets that had the 4 spiritual laws and what actually is taught in scripture. Of course I get confused often.

  15. remarutho says:

    Dear All —

    The question about the comparison of God of Genesis and the “friend of sinners” who is Jesus, is put forward in the face of what some have called a “spiritual law.” (as in the 4 spiritual laws)

    Mart, you wrote:

    “It’s been called a spiritual law: man is sinful and separated from God. The resulting word picture is a deep, uncrossable chasm between a holy Creator and the sinner.”

    In the pamphlet you mention, Pooh, the law referenced is #2. I’m old enough to have taken the Billy Graham Crusade training for altar ministers, where we learned the 4 spiritual laws. Have not used that information in a long, long time. There are alternatives to such an approach, which are gentler, it seems to me. Not sure any proposition concerning Jesus is truly fruitful.

    It seems to me, followers of Jesus might be beach-combers watching and waiting to find and befriend those washed up by the storms and shipwrecks of life. Just a suggestion…


  16. poohpity says:

    But does the chasm really represent what happened in the garden between God and man and the fact that Jesus came not with a great chasm between Himself and sinners but as a friend to sinners?

  17. remarutho says:

    Would a true friend lie down to be a bridge for you or me? It could be that is what he meant when he said:

    “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.”

    Do you think it could be?

  18. quietgrace says:

    Maru I like the bridge analogy you have presented. My further thought on that is what if we became the bridge for our enemies? What would that look like, and what would it cost us?

  19. cbrown says:

    The 4 spiritual laws: 1. God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. 2.Man is sinful and separated from God. 3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.Through Him you can Know and experience God’s love and plan for your life 4.We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. Maru, I still use the 4 spiritual laws when lead by the Holy Spirit

  20. remarutho says:

    Somewhere I still have the little picture of the cross of Christ laying across the chasm labeled “sinful humanity” on one cliff and “God” on the other.

    I recently drew the picture on the dry erase board at our children’s Bible class. Some of these kids can teach the four spiritual laws. We were actually teaching the part of Genesis about Adam and Eve and the serpent at the tree. (We have been teaching Genesis this past semester.)

    I will be using the Roman Road this Sunday:

    1)”For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”Romans 3:23
    2)”…The wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23a

    3)”…But the gift of God is
    eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23b

    4)”God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!” Romans 5:8

    5)”Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!” Romans 10:13

    6)”…If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:9,10

    I am praying the blessed Holy Spirit will do the transforming work if I show up and remain faithful!


  21. cbrown says:

    Maru,Blessings. Chris

  22. lovely says:

    When I think of the separation and weigh it on my human thinking scale, it would seem unfair and I am not able to reason why has God allow this to happened. But when I look at how Holy our God is who cannot stand the presence of evil ness. If Adam & Eve are still in the garden, they could eat the fruits they will have lived forever. Death came when sin entered. Lord told them the day they ate the fruit they will die. And they died spiritually and only physically 900 years later. Since then Human has become vulnerable. To sickness.. etc.(emptiness , lost of direction) what the bible call spiritually dead. Also authority of this world has been given to Satan. Who is deceiving the world even right now. 1 John 5:19. When The cross happened Jesus won and gave that authority to us .In this spiritual war, the enemy will attack us first because only we , the believers has the power & authority to trample on snake and scorpion. From the past till presence he still uses deception that can only be recognize if we read the word.Just as the snake deceived Eve by making her think that God is withholding His goodness from her. He uses the same deception today Genesis 3:1
    All Human being still find ourselves the need to worship something .., Our heart reaching and finding for something to fill that spirit life , trying to find it by doing good works, being successful etc. Not knowing that only God can fill that. We’re all created to worship and fellowship with HIm.

  23. lovely says:

    2 Corinthians 4:16,1 John 3:8

  24. SFDBWV says:

    Not that it matters, but I for one am enjoying the conversation from everyone.

    Long ago I ordered an assortment of those little pamphlets from Billy Graham Ministries as something to hand out when I witnessed to another, and yes at the end of the little message was a prayer for salvation and the picture mentioned by Pooh and Maru whereby God’s on one side of a gap and man on the other with the cross as a bridge.

    I’ve always joked when trying to explain something to someone that you have to be a coal miner to understand that drawing a picture is part of conversation, but I am sure others also have a tough time making themselves clear, so draw a picture in an attempt to be understood.

    Actually an architect makes a living doing just that.

    Not wanting to make Mart and RBC feel left out, I also pass along the little pamphlets we get from them as well.

    I also agree with Lovely in that many of us still today believe God withholds something good from us, the same deception Satan used to make Eve doubt God’s motives.

    I think that the concept of the picture of a gulf between God and man is meant more of a representation of man having sin come between him and God and so falling out of fellowship with Him.

    The action of the cross by Jesus bridges the gulf, and restores the fellowship between God and man.

    The idea being that without the cross there is no fellowship, fellowship being a relationship between partners, not just a one sided affair.

    God in my understanding of *this* matter has always carried on a one sided affair with mankind and has made an offering to make up and reestablish a two sided relationship by way of the cross of Jesus.

    Friend Street, not to worry I will always ask questions from God as well as from people in an attempt to communicate, both my needs as well as my point.

    57 degrees and rain this morning, thunderstorms yesterday and last evening.


  25. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    It seems pretty wonderful to me than so many here have that picture of the cross of Christ connecting humanity to God through Jesus’ firm and loving intention to give himself to the work of reconciliation! God is good.

    Believing this morning that the Father is at this moment making (unseen) moves to draw all humankind into the kingdom of Christ. That “Separated” condition you describe, Mart, is not God’s perfect will. I say this on the evidence of the amazing saga put forth in the Bible.

    My questions often have to do with keeping faithful to our Lord, who is completely faithful. It is heart-breaking to find those who have become discouraged and have given up — on the body of Christ — on Bible study — and even on believing God’s promises.

    Do you think it is important to answer God’s faithfulness with your own persistence in following him? Spoke with a man named Dave early this week who has been wounded by another in his church. Now, he is staying away in anger and fear of being hurt again. Can any Jesus-follower “fix” such separation? How to bear such a sad dynamic?


    PS 50 deg. F and wet this morning in the Pacific NW — rain forecast, with afternoon clearing.

  26. remarutho says:

    Blessings on your prison ministry, Chris! :o) Maru

  27. t4sc says:

    This is described as the turning point or Creation and Fall. As a missionary, I’ve been asked why would the Creator set up the man and woman for a fall? He didn’t! I’ve come to use the terms Creation and Attack. They did not fall until they were attacked. The results of Satan’s attack were different. The woman was deceived. Jesus called Satan the Father of Lies and a Murderer from the beginning. The man rebelled along with Satan. He was not deceived. The two rebels drew the two curses – on the serpent and on the soil.

  28. poohpity says:

    It was not God who separated Himself from man, it was man who walked away from God because of sin. It seems amazing to me how something can be so indoctrinated into our thinking one is not willing to give thought to anything else.

  29. cbrown says:

    Maru,re your post of 8:16,the third paragraph, Elisa Morgan’s book “The Beauty of Broken” addresses how to minister to those who are wandering in the wilderness. I am on chapter 9 and would recommend it. It is helping me to see life’s difficulties in a different Light.

  30. quietgrace says:

    Maru, I, though no longer a church-going Christian am part of the Kingdom of God and still do believe the promises of God. And, I have never felt closer to God than I do today.
    I still read my Bible everyday, along with various theologians both progressive and evangelical to learn different viewpoints on scripture interpretation. I’m sure there are many more like me, as I do actually have a couple close friends who share the same life-style.

    I remember the joys of fellowship in a building with all like-minded people, but, my style of worship and fellowship have changed over time. And now, my joy is found in a 1:1 discussion about God, the scriptures, prayer and lots of time in solitude with our Lord.

    Blessings, Grace

  31. poohpity says:

    Mart you asked, “And what I’m also wondering is how we would compare the response of the God of Genesis— to the actions of One who would later be rudely characterized as “the friend of sinners”? To me it is one in the same. The importance of realizing although many say they believe God is the same yesterday, today and forever but really separate the God of the OT from the NT. God seems to pursue, never giving up and the importance in that for me is no matter how far I seem to go from Him, God is never far from me. That is how very important we are to Him. When I turn He is there. It is not dependent on my behavior it is because of God’s character.

    How can we understand God’s faithfulness unless we understand it is not God who walks away, it is our shame and guilt that causes us to think we are hiding from God? Look at all the times and the great lengths God has gone through to show us that He does not want us to separate ourselves from Him.

    We have no need for those little pamphlets to hand out if we made it a point to personally talk to people and pursue relationships just like God pursued us. The only tool that would be needed is what comes from our heart and the Words that God so amply provides when we are in a situation to share the “Good News”.

    Showing how God pursued our first parent in the garden is the same thing I see in God becoming man to pursue us as far as a devastating, horrible death on the Cross. Jesus did not separate Himself from sinners He ate with them, touched them, talked with them and even uses them to spread His message.

  32. remarutho says:


    Thanks for the title, “The Beauty of Broken.” Am still pursuing “Humble Inquiry.” :o) Maru

  33. cbrown says:

    Pooh, there are several advantages to using a pamphlet. It can be used as a guide to look up scriptures referred to in the pamphlet (in their Bible if they have one). When sharing you can ask the person you are sharing with to read a particular portion themselves.It can be left with them. Also, they can be encouraged to share it with someone else.

  34. poohpity says:

    Chris, I understand your position. What if like this topic is eluding to we present a spiritual law that is not true like the chasm of separation analogy? Wouldn’t it be more meaningful to look at it the way the Bible states. (Genesis 3:9-10)

  35. poohpity says:

    1 John 4:10 NIV

  36. poohpity says:

    Thar does not sound like a chasm of separation to me.

  37. poohpity says:

    I think everyone has read what Mart wrote but are we really hearing what he has given us to think about?

  38. cbrown says:

    There is no question that God loves us. There is also no question that all have sinned and fall short of glory of God. God has provided a way for us to be reconciled to him. Rather than say there is a great chasm separating man from God maybe we should say there is a great mountain separating us. A mountain of sin and by faith in God and His love and mercy that mountain can be removed if we accept God’s salvation.A free Gift.

  39. poohpity says:

    “But does the image of a chasm separating us from God do justice to the resulting relational interaction between God and our first parents?” Or “to the actions of One who would later be rudely characterized as “the friend of sinners”?

  40. poohpity says:

    Chris, bare with me for a moment to see if I can try to push this to a point of what I think Mart is trying to get us to see. If there were a mountain that separated us from God when we sin then why did he walk in the garden in search of the fallen? On the other hand if there were a mountain that separated us from God would He not have rather than come near to them but spoke from the top of the mountain down to Adam and Eve? Or with Jesus would He rather than eating and drinking with sinners speaking to them from afar not coming in contact with them? So does the chasm or mountain do justice to the relational intersection that God has with us?

  41. poohpity says:

    LOL!! I meant interaction not intersection.

  42. blestsparrow says:

    In the very beginning of time God’s grace made provision and/or made a way of escape. As our first parents sinned by disobedience, God killed animals to cover the shame of Adam/Eve’s nakedness. For these skins to become available for covering there was a sacrifice made – the shedding of blood (which was to typify Christ). Without the shedding of blood the great chasm would forever separate man from God. The great chasm of separation is our sins. Clothing came into existence because their eyes had been opened to good and evil.

    Adam/Eve tried to hide their sin, shame and nakedness with fig leaves, this covering was too small for them to wrap or completely cover themselves. Could this maybe be (filthy rags of our own righteousness)trying to hide and cover themselves by their own works? Even then God stepped in and provided a covering.

    As God sent them out of the garden the way to the tree of life is now shut. Man has no way of redeeming himself. The great chasm (gulf-separation) to the tree of life was man’s sin. So death came by the first Adam and everlasting life came by the second Adam.

    The highest blessing and greatest privilege Adam and Eve had was their communion and fellowship with God. They had a one on one direct hands on type of fellowship. We now have fellowship with God the Father thru Christ the Son. Christ paved the chasm from the shedding of his pure blood. Our sins not only now are covered, but removed as far as the east is from the west, our sins created the chasm and his blood bridged the gap.

  43. poohpity says:

    Didn’t their fellowship with God still exist? He looked for them in the garden doesn’t that show a relational interaction between them rather than a chasm?

  44. bubbles says:

    When given thought, this chasm illustration is erroneous.

    Perhaps the one who used this first may have been attempting to teach that there is nothing we can do to earn a way to heaven. I don’t know.

    However, as Mart has questioned, this illustration erroneously depicts what happened in the garden. God loved us while we were sinners. He gave Jesus, he gives us mercy every day. This is not a great chasm. God looked for Adam and Eve after they sinned. Adam and Eve were not looking for God. He wants us to come to Him.

    I like the picture of Jesus knocking at the door much better.

  45. cbrown says:

    We should not look at things from God”s point of view eventually we will stand before Him.Pooh As you have said before we need to be honest about our point of view Psalm 139:7 “Where can I go from Your Spirit?
    Or where can I flee from Your presence?
    8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
    If I make my bed in [f]Sheol, behold, You are there.
    9 If I take the wings of the dawn,
    If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
    10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
    And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
    11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will [g]overwhelm me,
    And the light around me will be night,”
    12 Even the darkness is not dark [h]to You,
    And the night is as bright as the day.
    Darkness and light are alike to You.”

  46. street says:

    wow, I love the way this is working out. what we have seen and heard and starting to go back over the the original ground to see if we understand it right! very enlightening! Some things that came to mind was Jacob’s ladder reference John 1:51, the serpent ,John 3:14 and Jesus, John 12: 32 I believe all these things are references to where Heaven and earth meet and God is constantly reaching out to man. Very personal and very active. Yes, God orchestrated the events for the purpose of reassuring, healing, and saving mankind from evil. What a Great and merciful God He IS.

    Maybe the canyon is to help us see how much we really need God? But from this discussion it is not totally accurate. Romans 1,2,& 3 does a better job.

  47. blestsparrow says:

    Pooh – I believe when Adam & Eve sinned,it was then
    spiritual and physical death came into the world and their fellowship with God was broken. When God called for Adam he hid himself in the garden because he knew he was naked. We can’t hide our sins from God, not even our thoughts or the intents/ motives of our deed. As the above psalm states it so beautifully….God is always there. His omni presence is uncomprehensible to our frail minds.

    When we sin today our fellowship is broken until we confess our sins. (1 John 1:9)
    And David reminds us “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear my prayers”

  48. street says:

    Dear cbrown, I don’t follow you on not looking at things from God’s point of view? His view is better than my view. We are looking at what God was doing in the garden and comparing it to what we believe and what we have been taught. I actually started to look at what He said and what He did as a I witness account from the story in Genesis. Not what I think and what I perceived. 1 Corinthians 2: 16 Thank you all for your help.

  49. lovely says:

    Dear All
    I enjoyed reading all the post .
    Maru I refer to your post 29 may ,
    and could relate to your question of faithfulness. I have once tried to give up on bible study and God but I wasn’t able to because God hold on to me. He snatched me out of the fire
    Here’s the thing, because of Christ we as the believer has this protection and authority .But when we rebel or choose not to stand up or let evilness rule then we can open ourselves to “Lies” and deception of the devil . Yes all these actually pierce me with many grieves.
    The Lord actually spoke to me that it is for my own good to stay with Him .I brought all these grief on myself when I choose to leave His presence.
    Jeremiah 2:13. Yes Christ has already won the battle , therefore the only way the devil can get to us is by deception . 1 Peter 5:8 , the lion prowl seeking whom he may devour.
    See even Man of God could make mistake , Moses for instance was the most humbled man according to the bible but he still make mistake. He spent 40 days in the mountain to recharge in order to face the challenges from the Israelite. Jesus Himself was seeking God the night before He was betrayed. It was the darkest moment , He knows He is going to die and He is still seeking God.
    How much more than do we have to seek God.
    I was deceived to think that all Christian completely represent Christ. Instead of looking to God I look to man causing me to give up when they make a wrong move. Basically this can only be fix if we turn our gaze from man to God. Of course doesn’t happen overnight. I’ll start by interceding for those who have been hurt or are still being deceived. Put it in short. To stay faithful is by staying close to God . your faithfulness increases by doing Romans 10:17 and you’ll find yourself sinning less as you learn more and more each day about God.. renewing your mind
    Blessings to all

  50. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, Lovely, that is what I have to learn too, to fix my eyes on Jesus, and not on my fellow christian man! Only from Him is eternal life, life everlasting, all humans fail.

    What is sin anyway?
    John 15:8-9 unbelief
    God loves us always, but we cannot love God, so that is the schism, it is us who are blind to God, and do not trust Him anymore. So God can love us as much as He wants, but if our hearts are not changed, we cannot live with Him. So what is the schasm, our own heart, that has turned hardenend, because of lack of faith, becoming suspicious of God. Like Adam and Eve were in the garden.
    We would all have been the same, were it not that Jesus made a way, to change our hearts. Jer. 31:31-34,

  51. SFDBWV says:

    Well it looks to me that if I say much more on this string of comments it would just be dipping my bread in the same gravy.

    Lovely you are indeed lovely.

    In looking at life, how many of us have “washed our hands “of a disobedient child?

    I would like to say that no parent has, but then I know where people come into the picture there are plenty of people who are not like God.

    The story of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar tells of a gulf/chasm between Paradise and hell, that place of torment that can’t be crisscrossed by its inhabitants (Luke 16:26), but by the very fact that there is a conversation between these two places shows that God can make a way if it is His will to do so.

    Another picture story is of the “Prodigal Son” and this one should settle in our mind as God’s attitude with His disobedient children. As well as what is His will concerning forgiveness.

    If you have a disobedient child, be patient, have faith, God will make a way.

    The separation will only make the reconciliation all the sweeter.

    And remember Jesus is what makes it all possible.


  52. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Cbrown, for that book of the Beauty of Broken.
    I tried to read it online, but that is not possible, but the point of the book is clear:
    God can mend everything that is broken, and for some reason the Grace that is illuminated from people who have been at their wits end is very beautiful.
    God could have prevented Adam en Eve to sin, but would that have the same effect as them failing, and then trying to work their way back to God, they are so much more convinced that God’s way is best, no better way. Forever convinced, and that is a long time.
    Say that Adam would have obeyed, he had to live on to eternity with God, would there not have been a time where he thought: I know a better way, lets try it.
    Just like Satan had done. God knew it would start all over again.
    All of the Old Testament is a story of people who try, but fail. No matter how hard we try, we fail.
    How can this gap be bridged?

    You could say, God is waiting till we come to our own end, totally down and out, and lost, and then He can begin to work in us. “God you have it Your way”

  53. poohpity says:

    So sin causes us to walk away from God not the other way around. Sin causes us to not depend on God while God wants us to look to Him, trust in Him, go through life in His strength not our own and have a close relationship with Him. Sin hurts that relationship with Him, with being honest and harming ourselves and others. Repent means turn back to God. God knew we would not ever be sinless but has chosen to live within us. If there were a chasm it is only one that we have created not God. God is faithful even when we are not. When Peter denied Christ did Christ turn away, no, He turned to him.

    Yes Steve, the prodigal walked away from the father not the other way around.

  54. poohpity says:

    God used Hosea to show His relationship with mankind rather than a chasm of separation God used the analogy of an adulterous spouse. God there waiting for His adulterous people to return then prompts us to understand that type of relationship by growing to know our God in a deepening way. (Hosea 3:1 NLT; Hosea 6:3 NIV)

  55. poohpity says:

    To me words can not express how wonderful and glorious our God is. I have never been loved with that type of fullness and completeness that the Lord has for me. To me it is indescribable and is the reason why my heart longs for Him.

  56. poohpity says:

    I have known His continued pursuit and determination to gather us under His wings.

  57. lovely says:

    all glory to Jesus

  58. poohpity says:

    Steve, to me we have not even begun to scratch the surface or as you put it, “it would just be dipping my bread in the same gravy”.

    If we were separated by a great chasm then what would this verse show Romans 5:8? So much bread and gravy that it never runs out and the fullness will not be understood until we see the Lord face to face so let us never give up on seeking and searching.

  59. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Everytime I see the word “Separated” at the top of this topic, I can hear the first word to the MercyMe song “All of Creation.”

    “All Of Creation”

    Separated until the veil was torn
    The moment that hope was born
    and guilt was pardoned once and for all

    Captivated but no longer bound by chains
    left at an empty grave
    the sinner and the sacred resolved

    and all of creation sing with me now
    lift up your voice and lay your burden down
    and all of creation sing with me now
    fill up the heavens let his glory resound

    Time has faded and we see him face to face
    every doubt erased forever we will worship the king

    the reason we breathe is to sing of his glory
    and for all he has done praise the father praise the son and the spirit in one

    and every knee will bow oh and every tongue praise the father praise the son

    Writer(s): Daniel Muckala
    Copyright: Wintergone Music

    Why do we have to be separated when God has made a way for us to be with Him? Why do we go through all this earthly life anticipating, waiting, not fully knowing, longing, suffering? When it is already a foregone conclusion.

    It makes me think of wrapping Christmas presents. Why go through all the trouble of wrapping them instead of just handing them over, or worse, giving the money instead and saying “go buy what you want.” It’s the joy you get from giving and receiving with that heightened sense of anticipation.

    I see in the OT that the people promise to obey, fail to do so, call out to God, and He rescues them, over and over and over. It’s sort of mental training to show that people are never going to get it right on their own. We need God. We need God to bring us to God.

  60. SFDBWV says:

    Every time the word Jew comes up in conversation on the TV Matt asks me what is a Jew.

    I have given him the long and detailed explanation as well as an attempt to shorten it, but he can’t grasp the idea that Jew’s are different than us if Jesus is a Jew.

    In fact he doesn’t understand there being a difference between believing in God and believing in Jesus.

    To him it’s all the same.

    I love that innocent confusion because it speaks very loudly to all of us who have divided God up into whatever we want Him to be.

    Mart has wondered how we would compare the response of God in the OT with Jesus in the NT.

    When compared there are some pretty stark differences and yet some very close similarities, and why not they are one and the same.

    What was different with God of the OT when He pronounced punishment upon Adam, Eve and the serpent for their roles in the original sin and Jesus who let the adulterous woman go free, not accusing her, but forgiving her?

    What was different with God of the OT when He decided to kill off every living thing on the planet except those He had placed in the Ark because of the evil in the world and God who took upon Himself all the sins of the world in order to save it?

    An overview of God in the OT shows a God who punishes harshly, yet is willing to forgive. An overview of Jesus as God in the NT shows a God who offers forgiveness to all who ask for it even those who don’t and has reserved judgment until the end of time.

    Because we can only see as people and not as God, it may seem as though God changes His mind or is learning over time how to be God. However it looks more like God has always remained the same, then and now and in the future.

    Be at peace and let God be God and be happy that you are not.


  61. poohpity says:

    Is that what Mart is leading us to see or is he not being heard? My hunch is not being heard. If he is starting slowly and is not being heard what would be the point of continuing?

    I have this party game of 25 questions and activities. The instructions say read all the questions/activities before you start answering any of them, it is a 3 min timed test. When people start playing the game they do not follow the instruction but start to answer the questions and do the activites only to find out the very last activity says do only number one and hand it in. Number one is simply write your name at the top of the page.

  62. poohpity says:

    God proved that nothing could separate us from His love and how did He prove/reveal that to us by sending His beloved Son to take the punishment for our sin so we could live in eternity with Him. (Romans 8:38-39 NLT) Does that show a great chasm separating us from God?

  63. remarutho says:

    Good Evening BTA Friends —

    In the five days since the original post, “Separated,” I have pondered that immense water-carved canyon we celebrate as one of the most huge and most beautiful of all natural features of the earth.

    Whatever the grandeur of the canyon, the great prophets have heard from the Lord that “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.” (Isaiah 40:4; Luke 3:5) Both Isaiah, and his faithful inheritor, John Baptist, cried out that Messiah is bringing justice from the Almighty — so that all accounts will be balanced and every wrong made right.

    I am wondering on the Day of the Lord, if we are at the Grand Canyon (for example) will we be able to walk across the place on level ground? Will it be same at Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) or Denali (Mt. McKinley)? Will the mightiest mountains be leveled, even as the deepest trenches are filled up?

    If humanity now believes that there is a great barrier between itself and the Creator God — that cannot be on the Last Day. There will be no hindrance to entering the gates of the New Jerusalem, it seems to me. Can it be that God never intended any separation from the creation, including God’s people?


  64. Mart De Haan says:

    Thanks to all who have stayed with this subject and tracked it through the story of heaven’s grace and goodness. It makes such a difference when we see “separation” and all consequences of our sin in light of a God who, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “is not far from every one of us.” (Acts 17:27-28)

  65. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Mart, for stepping in.
    If there was no separation between us and God, then there would be no need for Jesus to be crucified on the cross.
    The picture of the schasm is used to explain the work of Jesus.
    Without the cross no reconciliation.
    Without the cross there is a huge canyon between us and God, which we could not cross on our own, even if we wanted to.
    Then God’s love could be as big and as close as we could imagine, but we were still on the other side of the canyon.
    That is the great consequence of our sin: not believing in God, and working things out on our own insights.
    Thank God, for the work of the Cross, and making a bridge for us to come over to His side.

  66. poohpity says:

    forever, Mart did not go against what he was saying from the get go and again affirmed by quoting Paul saying, “yet He (God) is not actually far from anyone of us”. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God “that is revealed” in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  67. poohpity says:

    That is what the Bible teaches not a pamphlet passed around that does not seem to relay the relational intent of God. When Adam/Eve were disobedient to God was there a great chasm of separation or did God search for them while they hid from God? Sin seems to cause “us” to run/separate/hide from God but God does not make a great chasm between Himself and us the opposite seems to be when sin abounds, grace increases all the more.

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