“From Whence We Have Fallen”

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The reality of the unlimited grace of God that we discussed last week is initially impossible for the human mind to grasp, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8, 9) 

So, reading, study, and a Ph.D. from seminary will change what we think, but it can never change how we think! At the Fall in the Garden of Eden in Adam, the unconscious driving force in the way mankind thinks is I WANT TO BE LIKE GOD. We want to  independently, apart from Him, know “good”  and  “evil” for ourselves, according to whatever particular standard we decide to use. Whether it is God’s, the gang’s, or “what’s right for me,” the result is that we are inveterate, performance addicts, always striving to be “good” and “right” like God.

But this is not the state in which man has always found himself. I want to look at “from whence we have fallen” in this posting, and then see where we are headed in subsequent ones. Yes, we will genuinely “Build Back Better,” not simply bloviate about “pie in the sky” as do many politicians today, which we know is a lie,

After God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden, they lived in complete harmony with God’s way of thinking. They knew nothing else. They trusted Him completely for their provision, for direction in their daily tasks, for literally every aspect of their lives. They lived completely by faith in the mysterious One who had created them. 

To question what God said or told them to do never entered their minds; it was not on their radar screen. To act independently of God was an option that had never occurred to them. They were completely content to be man as God created man to be—to live by simple, dependent faith in the One who was above them and greater than they were. They  never asked “why?” of any of His directives, never doubting His love for them or His ability to care for them. 

They had no concept of “right and wrong,” of “good and evil.” “Right and wrong? What’s that?” they would have said. These are issues that concern a judge–God, the judge of all the earth. Ethics and morality, what is right and what is wrong, or, in other words, “the law,” were not in man’s realm at all. Adam and Eve knew nothing of a “law” that they “ought to, needed to, and should” obey. Obedience to God was not a goal or an objective for them at all, but a very natural, spontaneous, unconscious (NSU) result of their faith. They never even thought of anything but just doing what God requested.

God placed them in a beautiful garden, the Garden of Eden, and gave them instructions on how to rule over itt and the animals that lived there with them. In the process, He gave them the freedom to eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. One of those trees was the Tree of Life, a tree whose fruit represented God’s very divine life—a different type of life entirely than the human life being lived by Adam and Eve. 

Adam and Eve needed only to eat of the fruit of that tree, and they would permanently internalize this dependent, faith-based relationship with God that they enjoyed. They would move to a permanent status as not simply innocent creatures that God had created, as they were at that time, but they would become His righteous son and daughter. After eating of the fruit of the Tree of Life, they would carry the very life of God within them, leading and guiding them from within their hearts rather than audibly, and He would become their Father and not just their Creator.

They would then eternally live by simple faith in that unique life of God within to order their existence. Eventually, they would fill the earth with righteous, human images of what God was like as they reproduced similar men and women with the same life of God Himself inside of them as well. They would “showcase” their Father to the universe as they ruled by His divine life.  

So, God’s eternal standard of right and wrong would never concern Adam and Eve or their descendants, though their lives would, NSU, reflect that standard, because God’s life always does! They would live solely by faith in that life, and then as “carriers” of it, they would progressively spread that life over the whole earth through their progeny, as they ruled over God’s creation as they were created to do.

.God instructed them, just as He had instructed them in all their tasks of caring for the Garden, to refrain from eating of the fruit of another tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The knowledge of good and evil, or “the law”, was in God’s domain exclusively, not in man’s, and they must leave God’s job to him and remain in their dependent role as man. What is good and what is evil was of absolutely no concern to them—only to God.

The stage was set for God to rule through the man, created in His image, and spreading His eternal life. Only one thing was lacking: man was God’s innocent, created being, not His righteous Son and Daughter. As they fill the earth with offspring. His creature doesn’t have God’s life to share—unless he eats of the Tree of Life!.

So, with the fulfillment of His eternal purpose on the verge of being accomplished, and true to His inside-out, upside-down way to live, God brought about the Fall of Man in the Garden! However, we will see that this was THE ONLY WAY for that great plan to be fully realized. That’s for next week!

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