Lincoln and his wife Dion arrived at the church where Abraham and his wife Celine attended. They arrived at the time when the service was about to begin and sat on the opposite side of the aisle from their longtime friends. As they sat down, both Abraham and Celine turned their heads toward them to acknowledge their arrival and presence.
It was time for the sermon. On the projector screen was the title of the message “The Crafty, His Craftiness and Its Effects”, taken from Genesis 3:1-7, with Nixon as the preacher. Both Abraham and Lincoln looked at each other with a smile, knowing that their next query would come from this very chapter that Nixon would be preaching on.
After the sermon Lincoln approached Abraham and said, “Nixon delivered a great sermon.”
“Well executed,” replied Abraham. “And well received by the brethren.”
They both then went to congratulate Nixon on the sermon. He was delighted to see them.
“You brought out something very crucial in the sermon that really stood out,” Lincoln said to Nixon. “In Genesis 3:1-5 you made mention that it is in this area of Scripture that we first encounter the doctrine of all opposing doctrines, the doctrine which challenged God’s command.”
“Hmm. Yes. In this section, we find the serpent at work applying his art or his craft. In his first communication to the woman, he incited with a question the validation of God’s command.” Nixon then began to recite these words, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?’ (Gen. 3:1b, NIV). He then explained that the serpent challenged the very command that God had given the man in the garden (Gen. 2:16-17). He continued, “Not only did he challenge the validity of God’s command, he also contradicted it. The woman clearly stated that disobedience to God’s command would result in death. The serpent’s reply to the woman, ‘You will not certainly die’ (Gen. 3:4a, NIV). It is this contradictory statement that would give birth to the new doctrine that would be directed toward the ears and heart of mankind.”
“Not only do we hear the birth of a new and opposing doctrine to God’s command, we also hear the craftiness of the serpent’s words being communicated within the doctrine. When the serpent was speaking to the woman he gave the impression of one who had the evidence of how God thinks.” Then Nixon began to recite these words, “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5, NIV).
With their ears pricked and their eyes attentive to Nixon, both Abraham and Lincoln were full of delight to what was being said.
Abraham injected, “So it was this cunning art of the serpent, advocating himself as one who seems to have had a foreknowledge of God’s mind, and this is what he used to persuade the woman, convincing her that she could eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil without any consequence?”
“Yes,” Nixon replied. “And, her desire to gain wisdom didn’t help her cause either. Her desire became the catalyst that was needed to seal this opposing doctrine among mankind. And so, mankind was brought under the awful condition of sin through the serpent’s ministering of this opposing doctrine to the woman” (1 Tim. 2:14).
“The way of life is through the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Anything else stems from this opposing doctrine which was given birth in the Garden of Eden.” Lincoln added.
“There are a few scriptures that do come to mind that relates well to this doctrine,” Abraham replied. “But we can’t talk about them now. Lincoln, I believe our wives, Celine and Dion, are ready to leave.”
“Nixon. It was good to see you again, and congrats on a well-executed sermon.” Lincoln shook his hand.
“Please don’t be a stranger. You and your wife must visit us more often. Please don’t wait for Abraham’s invitation.” Nixon smiled.
As they were leaving Nixon’s presence, Lincoln said to Abraham, “We have certainly covered our query on ‘How mankind first sinned?’”
“We certainly have,” replied Abraham as they approached their wives. “And thanks to the wonderful help of Nixon.”
Gen. = Genesis Tim. = Timothy