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Freedom Study 2: Loss of Freedom in the Garden

The Freedom God Desires for Us Day 2- Loss of Freedom in the Garden

“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.’” (Genesis 2:15-17, ESV)

“Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:23-24, ESV)

“’All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12, ESV) 

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1, ESV) 

As we look at freedom through this study, it’s important that we go back to the original place of freedom for mankind, the Garden of Eden. You might look at Genesis 2:15-17 and ask yourself how this could possibly represent freedom of any kind. You have a man placed in a garden and immediately given a job, which was to work and keep the garden. Not only that, but he was given a rule. He was permitted to eat of the fruit of the garden except the fruit from one certain tree. Work and rules—how is this possibly freedom?

God views freedom differently than this world does. This world views freedom as being unencumbered by anything, doing exactly what you want, when you want. We can see in the Bible that true freedom is serving and pleasing God. The freedom of this world is a mask for serving self. Surrendering to our innermost passions and desires is not freedom—it’s bondage. We live in a world that desires freedom, but is unaware of the bondage that sin brings. Adam and Eve lived in a state of freedom. Yes, there were rules to follow, but they served the Lord and enjoyed communion with Him on a regular basis.

Their actions in taking of the forbidden fruit ended this freedom. God would no longer dwell with man on the earth, and man would live with the consequences of his actions in the Garden of Eden. God would eventually show mercy with the construction of the Tabernacle, where God would dwell with His people, but there were limitations. On only one day a year, the Day of Atonement, the high priest alone could enter the curtained place where God dwelt, and only with the blood of an innocent lamb, pointing to a day in which God would give His Son as a sacrificial Lamb. Through His death, we can now have His Spirit dwelling within each of us, and one day we will dwell with Him forever.

Freedom was lost in the Garden of Eden, but it is being offered fully in Christ today. Setting aside those earthly passions and focusing on service for the Lord is the truest expression of freedom we have as believers. Choosing to serve the Lord and being able to please Him is a blessing that we must not take for granted. This privilege was purchased with the precious blood of the Son of God, and it is only through Him that this is possible. It would be my prayer that we as believers would intentionally and prayerfully live in this freedom, never desiring to return to the bondage of our fleshly desires. This is our heavenly worship.

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