Genesis 3:5: "you will be like God"

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4-5, NIV)

Context: Genesis 3

The temptation to "be like God" sounds similar to "Be imitators of God" in Ephesians 5:1. But, they are opposite extremes. Sin distorts God-given desires and redirects us away from God's purpose. God created people in His image. He gave us dominion over the earth, but that dominion is subordinate to God as His stewards. Do we see God's holiness as differentiating Him from creation? We are created in His image to express who He is, not who we are.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, a nineteenth-century German philosopher, proclaimed, "God is dead." His statement put the serpent's lie in modern terms. What Nietzsche meant is humans had developed their knowledge to where they no longer needed a concept of God to explain what they didn't understand. Many today have this attitude, that humans got to where they are by their own abilities and will continue to improve through their own ingenuity. This is the Antichrist's attitude initiated by the serpent.

Jesus summarized the ideal Christian attitude in His model prayer:

So when you pray, you should pray like this:
"Our Father in heaven,
may your name always be kept holy.
May your kingdom come
and what you want be done,
here on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us the food we need for each day.
Forgive us for our sins,
just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us.
And do not cause us to be tempted,
but save us from the Evil One."
(Matthew 6:9-13, NCV)

©2002 Perry Vernon Webb. You may quote this page in part or the whole as long as you
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