Adam is not dealing with just an animal that he had previously named; he is dealing with greater intelligence and an adversarial relationship. The serpent uses his abilities in sinister ways. This inventor of lies begins a conversation that will bring about an unimaginable disaster.
The story begins with God. As the universe begins, there is only one character because God is the ultimate cause and reality of all things. God created all things, therefore all things have their being in God. God did not create due to loneliness. God does not need anything. God exists in perfect unity, harmony, and community. He is one in being and three in subsistence, namely the Father, Son, and Spirit. God created and creation itself is an act of love and grace.
Jesus shared our life so that we might share his life in heaven. God declares from his throne that all things have been created anew, and all who are thirsty may come and drink deeply from the spring of the water of life.
The king bears a sharp sword that comes out of his mouth with which he will strike the nations and rule over them. He treads the winepress of God’s wrath and fury. He will crush and trample the wicked like grapes. This is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Prosperity can be as great a threat to God’s people as adversity in spite of the fact that it is usually overlooked as an imminent threat. This church received the most severe rebuke of Christ’s letters. He issues a scathing indictment of the church’s disgusting and sickening lukewarmness.
The church at Ephesus was doing many good things, but it suffered from a serious flaw. These good deeds did not excuse the fact that they had abandoned their first love. The people were not expressing love with the same intensity and passion at the beginning.
Having seen the seven golden lampstands, John saw Jesus as a remarkable human figure. He saw Jesus clothed in a robe reaching to His feet, having a golden sash. Like the Ancient of Days we read about in Daniel, this glorious figure with brilliant white hair. His eyes were like a flame of fire. His voice was like the roar of many waters and in his right hand he held seven stars.
John again underscores the importance of showing genuine love. Our love as an inclination finds its origin in the divine nature. The greatness of the divine love for us leaves us with an incentive to love one another. Our practice of love for one another provides evidence that God’s love for us has attained its goal.
James urges his readers to count it as joy in the face of trials. Believers are not to pretend that the sufferings of this life are not real and painful. James makes the point that joy can be found in the midst of suffering and that there is purpose in suffering will be over. Wisdom and understanding are needed and God will give generously to those who ask him.
The church is described as a living body, a building built on the foundation of Jesus, and as a select people. Peter was eager for God’s people to demonstrate distinctive, obedient behavior in order to convince critics of their faith. Since they are living as God’s people in a pagan world, they are called to live in such a way that the only thing they can be accused of is being honorable and doing good deeds.