An excerpt from the 4 Freedom Bible Study by Laura Gallier and Rachael Donohoe
God created the heavens and the earth.(1) In heaven, God gave life to magnificent spiritual beings known as angels.(2) On the earth, God said, “Let us make man in our image.”(3) By us, God was referring to Himself—God the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.(4) Three in One, known as the Trinity.
And so, God created mankind in His own image and enjoyed a thriving face-to-face relationship with Adam and Eve, the planet’s first humans. There was no sickness or death or disaster; just enjoyment, peace and freedom.(5) God deeply loved the angels and the people He had made, but these beings were not forced to love Him back. Forced love is not love at all, and so God gave His Creation freewill—the ability to choose to receive or reject His love.(6)
There was a radiant angel in heaven, Lucifer, whose name can be translated Morning Star.(7) His beauty and splendor were glorious to behold, and God was pleased to give him such magnificence as well as a leading position among the angels.(8) But Lucifer’s gratitude and humility were destroyed by his vanity and pride.(9) Without anyone to tempt him, Lucifer became so impressed and infatuated with himself that he determined to become the ruler of his own kingdom where he would be worshipped instead of God.(10) This was tragic because only God is worthy to receive worship and can handle it without becoming prideful.
Lucifer began telling lies (11) and started a revolt in heaven, enlisting as many angels as were willing to follow him. But God swiftly judged Lucifer’s wickedness and cast him down to the earth,(12) along with one-third of the angels who had sided Lucifer; they became his slaves, known as demons.(13) Now Lucifer would forever be called Satan—the adversary, meaning enemy.(14)
Satan desired that Adam and Eve turn their hearts away from God just as he had, so when the time came for them to choose to love or reject God, Satan showed up in the Garden of Eden to pressure them with lies and temptation.(15) In that moment, the humans chose to sin—to doubt God’s goodness and rebel against God, siding with Satan and ultimately choosing death instead of life.(16) The immediate consequence was an overwhelming, crippling sense of shame.(17)
Disgusted with themselves and each other, Adam and Eve covered their naked bodies with fig leaves, then hid from God.(18) But there’s no hiding from an all-knowing God, so He soon came to them and questioned them, giving them an opportunity to be honest about how they’d rebelled and ask His forgiveness.(19) Instead they blamed their hurts and failings on each other and even on God—just as humanity is inclined to do today.(20)
From that day on, Adam and Eve were infected with the sin nature—a heart that has rebellious, wicked desires, like that of Satan.(21) That nature was passed to every one of their descendants, including you and me.(22)
God could have destroyed Adam and Eve when He found them hiding in their shame. Instead, right then and there, He declared to them and to Satan that eventually the offspring of woman would crush Satan’s head.(23) God was referring to His Son, Jesus Christ, who would someday be miraculously born of a virgin and destroy the works of the devil for the sake of humanity.
God didn’t leave Adam and Eve trembling in the bushes. He called them out of hiding and made them clothes from animal skin.(24) The death of this animal was the first time Adam and Eve had ever seen a living creature die, but more significantly, it was a type, a sign of what was to come—how Jesus would someday die to cover their shameful sins and ours.(25)
Sure enough, centuries later, Jesus was born of a virgin; God came to earth in human form.(26) After living a sinless life, He laid down His life on the cross for you and me, taking the punishment for our sin that we deserved.(27) Jesus bore the consequences we could never escape otherwise.(28) He also fulfilled some 300 prophesies written long before he was ever born, providing (among other things) intellectual validity of His divine personhood.
After His body lay dead in a tomb for three days, Jesus came back to life! (29) He appeared to many eye witnesses,(30) declaring that through Him, ours sins can be forgiven, He can empower us to overcome sin, and we can go to heaven after physical death.(31)
And there you have it: Christ destroyed the works of the devil (32) so that we can have eternal life—life with God forever in heaven,(33) along with freedom and fullness of life here and now.(34) But Satan doesn’t want you or anyone else to know or believe that.(35) He doesn’t want you to experience God’s love and gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.(36) And yet this very article you’re now reading is an example of how God continuously reaches out to you, desiring that you come to know and believe the truth—that you know and believe Him.(37)
Take heart: God has appointed a time when Satan will be cast away for good, and there will be no more sin, rebellion, suffering or death ever again.(38) But as of now, a battle rages over the soul of each and every human being, yours included.
TO BE CLEAR:
1. Genesis 1:1
2. Ezekiel 28:15; This verse is about Lucifer, but proves angels were created by God.
3. Genesis 1:26
4. Matthew 28:19
5. Genesis 1:31 & Genesis 2:25
6. Deuteronomy 30:19
7. Isaiah 14:12; “Morning Star” is that Latin translation from Hebrew.
8. Ezekiel 28:14
9. Ezekiel 28:17
10. Isaiah 14:13-14
11. John 8:44
12. Luke 10:18
13. Revelation 12:3-4; “stars” is a reference to angels.
14. 1 Peter 5:8
15. Genesis 3:1
16. Genesis 3:6
17. Genesis 3:7
18. Genesis 3:9-10
19. Genesis 3:9-13
20. Genesis 3:12-13
21. Galatians 5:19-21; John 8:44
22. Romans 5:12
23. Genesis 3:15
24. Genesis 3:21
25. John 1:29
26. Matthew 1:18; Philippians 2:5-8
27. 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24
28. Isaiah 53:4-6
29. Mark 16:6
30. 1 Corinthians 15:6
31. John 14
32. 1 John 3:8
33. 1 John 1:12
34. John 8:36; John 10:10
35. 2 Corinthians 4:4
36. John 3:16
37. 2 Peter 3:9; John 8:32
38. Revelation 21:4