In our best self interest



"Only the one who says no to self-interest for Christ and the gospel cause can ever find the treasure of true life- freedom and fulfillment in Christ.  But we don’t seem to get it."

                              – Robertson McQuilkin, A Promise Kept, p. 35.


  1. There is more if we take that Adam and Eve were to be considered married in the garden. They were given direct edicts by God, populate and fill the earth, tend for it, care for it, etc. However it seems that they had no distinct tasks from one another. I am not suggesting that men were intended to have babies, but that there was more unity in it. Men were given a task equivalent to a lesser creation, one might say, and some have said, that man was intended to tend the garden and grow it until it covered the whole earth. When humanity sinned we were cast out into the mire which was the rest of the untilled garden at that point. The point, however, was that marriage united the husband and wife in purpose. The woman was considered mans suitable helper, but we see that in her relationship with the snake, she had considerable influence on the man’s decisions as well. It was, after all, Eve who interacted with the serpent while Adam just stood and watched.
    IT was not until both Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit that their eyes were open. It is a somewhat strange concept, but it is far more communal than we understand today in the individualist society. Sin is not a strictly individual thing, it is communal as well. In effect, the sin of one is the sin of all, how much more in marriage?
    The point I am trying to make is that the husband and wife were then cursed by God, this was not, however, a communal curse. This curse was individual dictated by the response of each. The blame game only works when the individualist ideal sets in. When one is capable of desiring to simply watch out for ones own skin, blame can be cast even at those closest to oneself.
    I forward, again, that the purpose of Christ is to bring back community. Paul preaches in Philippians for the unity of the love and purpose of the community of Christ in Philippi. I think this is the same thing. Denominations have broke away from each other, but we need to recognize, even within our individual congregations, that we are one in spirit, mind and purpose. Anything less is the curse of God upon the sin of humanity. I am not sure exacly how that looks, maybe Ken has some ideas from his missional church classes.

  2. Everything else in all creation was good… until God said it’s not good for man to be alone. We are made for relationship. In many ways this does reflect salvation… Our sin seperated us from God and from other humans, but in salvation we are brought into relationship with each other. Marriage, friendship, community all point to this. Keep developing this line of thought, Andrew!

  3. Well. That comment stems from an interesting conversation I had with a friend once. Understanding the relationship between men and women is always tricky, but this friend suggested that woman has a ‘healing touch’ to man. There is clear evidence that man was alone in Eden, meaning without “a suitable partner” (Gen 2) and that God thought it would be bad for man to be alone. In order to solve the problem, Adam was given priviledges above those which the animals had, in fact, the animals were brought forward to be named by Adam and see if they would be ‘named’ as suitable partners. Adam was, thus, involved in the creative action of God, alongside God, mind you it was a lesser extent, but Adam used words to name as God used words to make things exist and names in the OT referred to the character of the thing, so Adam’s name essentially invested character into the animals.
    However, it seems that there is a problem, Adam cannot find any with a suitable character to serve as a partner for him. God puts him to sleep and takes a rib and makes Eve. To me, this strikes a note of salvation from loneliness. God brought Adam love. God being love, it only made sense that Adam had something to love, but Adam is not capable of creation, however, the same process goes with the introduction of Eve.
    Eve came from Adam, though he had not the capacity to make her himself, God brought Eve to Adam and he immediately recognized her as branching from him. Someone from within Adam to make Adam whole, and he named her, providing character again, but also as his ‘suitable helper’.
    It sounds, to me, a little like Jesus having to come from within humanity to save it, that is really what I think I was getting at. Maybe I am way too deep into areas I do not know, but that is just my thoughts for the moment. sorry about the length.

  4. Great thoughts, Andrew. I’d love to saturate myself in a better understanding of what it means for the church to be the bride of Christ. It’s a major metaphor and picture that the New Testament uses. I’m curious if the Old Testament ever refers to God’s people that way… hmmm.
    Maybe to begin addressing your question it would be good to look at Jesus’ parable about the wedding feast in Matthew 22 and the picture of the bride in revelation 19. I’d love to unpact these passages more.
    Of course, the idea of being “married” to Jesus implies being faithful, not committing adultery with another, a husband giving his life for his bride, a bride serving her husband. It’s amazing imagery!
    So is salvation tied into all this? Yeah, I think marriage is a good picture of what the salvation relationship is like and the type of salvation/covenant vows God makes with us.

  5. Hey Ken, just throwing this out there. I am very limited in my knowledge of scriptural languages, but it seems to me that marriage is associated quite strongly with those who are saved by Christ in many New Testament writings where the church is the bride of Christ. Does salvation have any relation to roots of marriage? Or does it relate to God’s procurement of Eve to solve the problem of Adam’s aloneness in Eden and ‘save’ him from that?
    I just thought of that while reading through your posts and then discovering a book review in your conversion stuff recently. Wondering if it is all related. ? ?

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