Destination and Course Correction: Planned From the Outset

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Destination and Course Correction

Planned From the Outset

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Destination and Course Correction: Planned From the Outset

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The apostle Paul tells us that God made plans for our marvelous future even before He created our first parents, Adam and Eve. He planned our destiny “according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Timothy 1:9 2 Timothy 1:9Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
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).

Our eternal future was a part of God’s great plan and purpose before this world came to be. Even then, God had determined that only a perfect Redeemer could bring His master plan to completion—as He foresaw that human beings would veer from the course He set for them.

At the creation of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, God presented a choice between two ways of life. He clearly instructed these first human beings to partake of the tree of life. As their Creator, God wanted them to develop a close personal relationship with Him. The tree of life in the Garden of Eden symbolized an obedient relationship leading to eternal life (Genesis 2:9 Genesis 2:9And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the middle of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
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; Genesis 3:22 Genesis 3:22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
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).

However, there was another option—one that would lead to disaster! Instead of choosing life through obeying Him, they could select a life of deciding for themselves what is right and wrong in disobedience to God. Another tree in the garden symbolized this choice—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17 Genesis 2:16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
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; Genesis 3:1-6 Genesis 3:1-6 1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. 4 And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: 5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.
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). God explicitly commanded them not to take from this tree, but He didn’t prevent them from doing so. He allowed them free will.

By their determined actions, Adam and Eve rejected the way of living that God had commanded (Genesis 3:6 Genesis 3:6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.
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). Rather than relying on God to show them the right way to live, they chose to rely on themselves. They set off on a wrong course that is a mixture of good and evil.

By their decision, they brought on themselves the penalty of sin, which is suffering and ultimately death (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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). Since their time, all of humanity has followed their example and become corrupted by sin (Romans 5:12 Romans 5:12Why, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned:
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). All have fallen short of God’s revealed way of life (Romans 3:23 Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
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). Humanity to this day continues in that way, which leads to death (Romans 3:9-12 Romans 3:9-12 9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.
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).

For that reason God’s plan includes a Savior, the Messiah—”the [sacrificial] Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 John 1:29The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
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). Through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, human beings can be reconciled to God, and God’s forgiveness of their sin will remove the death penalty (Colossians 1:20-22 Colossians 1:20-22 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless and unreproveable in his sight:
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).

With God’s forgiveness and help, man can be set back on course to receiving from Him the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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; Romans 8:11 Romans 8:11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.
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). The destiny of man lies in this eternal life. (Read about how human beings can be reconciled to God in our free booklets Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion and The Road to Eternal Life .)