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  • Writer's pictureJack Hager

>Most Important Question

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The most important question is also the first question posed in Scripture…

Let’s set the stage: Genesis 2.15-17, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

The remainder of chapter 2 describes the creation of other living creatures, climaxed in the formation of Eve. Eve was not present when God instructed Adam about the trees of the garden.

Chapter 3.1-3 says, “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’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 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’.”

Now, are either of those alleged quotations correct? No. God did not say they couldn’t eat “of any tree.” Neither did he say, as Eve states, “neither shall you touch it.”

Satan misquotes intentionally; Eve adds. Where did she get the “neither shall you touch it.” From her own imagination? Or did Adam, perhaps in good intentions, tell her that God actually said that, thinking that he needed to add to God’s instruction? Scripture does not provide an answer.

Satan’s question is exceedingly important. “Has God really said?” The danger to the faith is not the atheists; the danger is from people who say they are Christians who play games with the Word of God; either by denying and deleting certain verses; or by adding to the Word, in sometimes very subtle ways.

The virgin birth. The trinity of God. The substitutionary death of Jesus. The resurrection. These and more “fundamental” doctrines are under attack…and increasingly so.

What do you think? What has God said about these and other subjects? Don’t tell me what your pastor, denomination, or favorite author says…what do you say?

That requires thinking…devoting time to not only scripture reading but biblical thinking. And, like all thinking, that requires time, work, effort. And it displays obedience to 2 Peter 3.18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

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