Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Male and Female - Matthew 19:3-9

Last week we learned that God created everything with a purpose. It was not some random act, but one that was carefully planned. We continue that theme this week as it specifically applies to us.

The creation of man gets the longest treatment of all the days of creation. We get a summary at the end of chapter 1: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Then a longer account in chapter 2 that explains that Adam was created first, then Eve out of Adam. In this longer account we also find out that man is meant to work and take care of creation. We get God’s first command (do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and we see why marriage exists.

So much of what is foundational to the purpose of man can be found in chapter 2 of Genesis. This is so much so that Jesus quotes it when talking to the Pharisees about marriage. “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning…..? Jesus asks them. He points back to the very reason why God created Eve. Don’t go against what God has created and instituted, Jesus warns the Pharisees in Matthew 19:6.
Man was also created to worship God, to be dependent on Him. We often can get confused about the point of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but as Martin Luther put it, the tree was “Adam’s church, altar, and pulpit. Here he was to yield to God the obedience he owed, give recognition to the Word and will of God, give thanks to God, and call upon God for aid against temptation.” The tree was where Adam worshiped God, much as we gather in front of an altar and cross (tree).

As we all know (and will discuss in later weeks) Adam sinned by choosing to disobey God. But God did not abandon His creation. He set forth a plan to bring creation back to what it was meant to be. We see the fulfillment of His plan in our reading from Revelation this week. “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!” And all the saints worship Him because He has given us life (both in the beginning and again through our Baptisms).

A great summary of this thought is found in the explanation of the first article of the Apostles Creed in Luther’s Small Catechism. After listing the many ways God provides, Luther concludes:
“All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.”
This is most certainly true.
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