In this episode of “Making the Best of a Bad Decision,” we draw a final lesson from Adam and Eve’s terrible decision to rebel. We learn that we can never truly predict or control the consequences of our sin, but we are also confronted with the unthinkable depth of God’s grace. He is always willing to redeem a bad decision that is surrendered to Him.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” Thanks for joining me again as we continue this series, entitled, “Making the Best of a Bad Decision.” Now, if you were with us in previous sessions, you know that our topic is Adam and Eve, because they committed the greatest sin and made the worst decision ever made, and the consequences are even with us to this day. As I emphasized when we began talking about them, if they had understood the consequences, they might have made a different decision but they thought that they could predict them, but they couldn’t — and neither can you and neither can I.
Now, what we’d like to do is to ask this question, what is God’s solution? Yes, of course, He made the promise of the redeemer as we noticed last time, but the Bible says that God brought skins and used them as clothes to cover their shame. Now, of course, they had fig leaves but the fig leaves, of course, dried up and the fig leaves were not able to cover them. What they needed was a sacrifice and right from the beginning, God is saying, there is an answer for your shame but it’s going to come by blood. And this gift is going to have to come from Me because everything that you do, the very best that you do is really fig leaves; it represents human works as we try to make up for our sin, and of course, we can’t make up for our sin. God has to come and clothe us.
Now here’s the point I want to emphasize today: isn’t it amazing that in the midst of all of this devastation in the midst of the regret that they must have experienced having been banished from Eden, God shows grace — and He shows that grace without cleaning up the mess. Oh, the mess might be cleaned up in other ways in the future, and so forth, but for now, there’s nothing but ruin. And right there, there is grace. The undeserved grace of God, without God taking care of the circumstances. I want to give you a very practical example of what I mean. A number of years ago, there was a friend of mine who was in a pastorate and he committed adultery and then eventually married the woman with whom he had this relationship, but in the process, devastation all over the place. I reached out to him and had lunch with him and he said, “You know, just think of an onion. You peel it and then there’s another peel and another peel, until you get to nothing.” He said, “That church that I was pastoring despises me. My wife despises me. My children have turned against me and will have nothing to do with me.” So, those are his circumstances. Can he change those circumstances? Of course not. But years later, as God worked in his life, he eventually became a pastor again. Now, we can have a discussion as to whether or not pastors who fall in the ministry, in immorality, should be restored. That’s for another day. My point is he became a pastor and you know what? God blessed him. His circumstances didn’t change but there was blessing in the midst of the ruin and the mess that he created. You know, speaking of those skins that God gave to Adam and Eve. I remember riding with him in the car. This was many years ago and on his stereo, he played the song, “Calvary covers it all. My sin with its grief and stain, my guilt and despair, Jesus took on Him there. Calvary covered it all.”
Of course, the animal skins that God gave to Adam and Eve were not permanent, they only represented the coming of Jesus Christ who is going to give us the gift of His righteousness, and even if you can’t clean up all the damage you’ve done to others, remember this, God can bless you where you are and not where you wish you were. Calvary covers it all. And not even the serpent could keep out grace. Isn’t grace amazing? It really is. And God is able to help you today, no matter the circumstances that your bad decisions have caused, just ask Adam and Eve. Thanks for joining us. I think next time, we’re going to talk about when people choose the second best, you’ll want to tell your friends about this series. Join us but as for today, you just go with God.