Advent: December 20 – Already Like God
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.” 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. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
- Genesis 3:4 – 7
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
- Genesis 1:27
In God’s story our identity is always something we receive, not something we achieve. We see this in the very beginning. Adam and Eve didn’t do anything to be made in God’s image. It wasn’t that God held a competition and the humans won out, so we got to be crowned with glory. No, being made in God’s image was something God did. It was a gift of grace to celebrate, rest in, and enjoy by faith.
One of Satan’s schemes is to erode our confidence in who God says we are. So in Genesis 3:5 Satan says, “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God.”
There are two problems with this statement. The most obvious is that it is a lie. Death will enter the story if Adam and Eve eat the fruit God has forbidden. But there is a more subtle problem. Satan is declaring that our work will make us like God, which is not only untrue, but also absolutely unnecessary. We are already like God because we have been made in God’s likeness.
Adam and Eve should have responded to Satan’s attack with faith. They should have opened their mouths and said to the Serpent, “We are already like God. We are made in his image. There is nothing left for us to do other than rest in what God has said.” Sadly, Adam and Eve decided they needed to strive for what God had already given. The end result is the broken world in which we live.
This Christmas Satan would love for you to believe that you need to work to earn an identity from God. He would love for you to think that if you are very good, God will bless you, and if you are bad God will write you off. But that isn’t the message of Christmas. The message of Christmas is that God has already blessed us. We are his. We are made in his image. We are loved, forgiven, and free. Jesus’ work on the cross will always be sufficient. So this Christmas, set down the terrible burden of trying to be like God and rest, knowing you are already like God and in Jesus you are already loved.
A Moment to Reflect
What sticks out to you from Genesis 3:4 – 7?
What truth does God want you to believe this Christmas?