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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
This is a personal work that I will be continuing, expanding upon, and editing in the present and future. I do not mind and would enjoy comments to this work as it is ongoing. I've often heard of the forward looking faith OT saints had in the coming Messiah in Genesis 3:15. However, was God's promised Messiah implicitly made in Genesis 2:17 and explicitly made in Genesis 3:15? First a principle that I am using, "The negative aspects of God’s Law are the prohibitions. The “shall nots.” The positive aspects of God’s Law are the commands from God explicitly and implicitly flowing from the negative Law of God. That is, the duties and obligations placed upon the Church that extend beyond actively and directly not violating a negative prohibition."
Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."
Note: The tree of life was in the midst of the garden and Adam and Eve had access to it. We should note some of the ways the Bible understands trees in general. Trees are often used in Scripture as symbols of life, particularly life that is considered full. The fruitfulness of righteous people, for example, is likened to a tree filled with life (Prov. 11:30), and the fullness of life and honor is also associated with righteousness (21:21). Moreover, the Old Testament also uses trees as metaphors for the life that God gives, especially since trees remain perpetually green in the arid climate of the Middle East and thus, in a certain sense, “eternally alive” (Jer. 17:7–8).
Note: At this point I am asking questions, having access to the tree of life would God of been pleased if Adam and Eve only tilled, maintained or worked a garden? What was pleasing about Noah to God? Likewise, I was intrigued with Esau's desire to hunt all day was not alone obviously pleasing to God. Did God provide us with the answer? Did God reveal to us in Genesis what was pleasing to Him?
The first negative command and negative account are stated in Genesis 2:17-18.
Genesis 2:17 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 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
What would the positive form of the command be in Genesis 2:17? Could it be to produce fruit of righteousness (be fruitful people of righteousness) rather than eating fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which does not lead to death but eternal life?
Who produces fruitful people of righteousness, man or God?
Genesis 2:20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.
Note: Adam is exercising dominion by the act of naming every living creature which requires both judgment and discernment from one living creature to another. Is this act "good"?
Contrast the lie of Satan in the positive form of Genesis 3:4-5, "But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” And consider, Isaiah 14:11-15.
Note, good is now contrasted with evil "good and evil" something not yet introduced in Genesis (what in physical creation was evil?). The fruit of the tree was to be food for Adam along with the rest of the trees if he were to grow in wisdom and maturity and demonstrate the capacity to truly discern and judge between good and evil. In the first instance, that would mean obeying God’s simple commands. The tree was the testing point, to see if and in what way Adam would become one who “knows good and evil.” The first thing to say is that “knowing good and evil” is an active phrase, and refers to discernment between good and evil, or more simply, making judgments. The tree, as the testing point of Adam’s obedience, would also be the opportunity for him to exercise his judgment with regard to what is proper and fitting. One thing that was very unfitting in Adam’s action was that he allowed himself to be drawn away and made subservient to the serpent, a “beast of the field” (Genesis 3:1), a creature that God had given Adam and Eve a commission to exercise dominion over.
The serpent tempted Adam and Eve with the prerogatives of autonomous, mature adulthood, before they had learned submission to God—and he tempted them to achieve this by way of disobedience. But it is important to understand that it could have been achieved with obedience as well, without the consequences of sin—and that is the tragedy. Adam and Eve were indeed destined to rule creation. Becoming like gods was not a bad thing or a bad desire. But this was to be achieved in the same way the rule of Jesus was achieved—by submission to God (Philippians 2:8-9).
1 Timothy 2:14 "and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
Note: Eve was deceived. Does deception have an element of lying? Lying to oneself is self deceiving, now consider Genesis 3:6 "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate."
Noah would be a preacher of righteousness Genesis 6:8; 2 Peter 3:5.
After the flood the command would be (re)instituted to Noah in the Covenant in Genesis 9:7.
Genesis 9:7 And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”
Genesis 14:17-24 - 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) Also note the expression of Abram to the king of Sodom when "Abram" in Melchizedek's presence says, "I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’" Compare with John 1:26-27 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
Notice the actions and what is said by Abram, "lest you should say, I have made Abram rich". In Genesis 14:17-24; Hebrews 7:4-7 Melchizedek received a tenth from Abram though his descent was not of Levi which were to receive tithes and offerings, and Abram was blessed by Melchizedek.
Study note: Hebrews 5:5-10; 6:20 and chapter 7. Melchizedek, of whom the epistle writer of Hebrews 7:3 declares to be “without father or mother”. Melchizedek surely had a biological father and mother. However, the author of Hebrews goal of stating that Melchizedek's lineage is unknown serves to further the priesthood of Melchizedek stands outside of the line of Levi and Aaron. Melchizedek has no genealogy and even if you wanted a genealogy, he has no father or mother through whom to trace his lineage.
Offices of king, priest, and prophet.
Now notice something different in who is going to multiply when the "you" is shifted to God when God speaks to Abraham Genesis 22:17 “I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
Genesis to Jacob 35:11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body.
Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
Special thanks to: @stevenoza
Anyone an Avengers fan? Ya know the character J.A.R.V.I.S. which was an A.I. computer that merged into a machine body to become more autonomous? This made my imagination run especially in a day or age when Artificial Intelligence is being implemented in "Search" engines or systems. Can't wait for the day that I can create a "profile" of a target demographic based on certain behavior, etc., and have the A.I. system search out the web including social media for people which fit a match. Perhaps I want to target an object which might be an automobile enthusiasts with outdated automobiles or just those old car enthusiasts which promote competitive ideology towards green technology in the automobile industry. Here's where the fun begins, the system then "markets" to the target person or people. Sending this particular object information to email, even pitching ideas to them in the search engines by only returning counter arguments to gas engine cars, and by utilizing ads in which to soften them up or make them more "attractive" for the next phase. The overcoming of objections phase leads into the ideal A.I. system's next step, an autonomous car is then dispatched from a major auto manufacturer. The car drives itself while being provided navigation and instruction by the A.I. system and then the car parks itself in front of the target person's residence. The autonomous car waits until the target object come out and then follows them everywhere they go. The car whines up its electric engine challenging these old school car enthusiasts with their gas powered engines which are polluting the environment at every red light.
Hopefully, this "Green Light" technology ultimately ends up in higher sales!
The technology and application are endless!
Sound familiar? That is, the incarnation part? The A.I. incarnating into a machine body? It shouldn't, this was rejected by ancient philosophers back in the day thousands of years ago. They said the divine could never come into contact with the flesh. That is, the Logos could never take upon a human flesh body and walk upon the earth. Who ever thought that an artificial attribute of God could incarnate into a mechanical body?
I remember some 15 years ago when I was hospitalized and in group therapy. A counselor asked the group to express how we felt in the moment. Each went in order and then the patient before me expressed his necessity to leave the hospital. There were obvious concerns in his life, he was greatly agitated. Then it was my turn. I expressed an annoyance too. There was a fly buzzing around in the room. I asked the counselor whether they knew that a typical house fly only lived for two days? She looked intrigued and asked me to go on. I said, the fly lives for two days and all I want to do is to kill it. The gentlemen before me repeated his desire to leave the hospital actually now seemingly bothered by what I said. Then I once again followed up with did you know a fly only lives for two days, and all I want to do is to kill it? He responded directly to me and said, yea, I heard you the first time. He didn’t ask or nobody else asked for me to explain myself, thus I interpreted the very inaction as nobody really cared not even the counselor. Perhaps If I could rewind time I would share what I have learned. It is our tendency to fix things especially among men. We feel an urgency or desire to fix problems in life. But fact is, life has a way of working things out in time. Life will run its course. Therefore, the urgency to kill the fly is simply my desire and want to fix things according to how I want them to be. In two days life will run its course and the problem fly which is annoying me in the moment will be resolved.