In Part 1 we looked at the introduction to this series and what I hope to accomplish. In Part 2 we began to take a basic look at what transpired with Adam and Eve. In Part 3 we are going to look further into that reality and the consequences that unfolded from it plus look at the consequential realities of the Law of Sin and Life in the Spirit. It’s important to look at these realities now, before we start our journey through the Old Testament because it provides the rationale and reasoning for so many aspects of what God reveals to us in the Old Testament. I know this particular segment is rather lengthy but I’m hoping you will bear with me.
ADAM AND EVE AND THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE
Exploring the reality of our sinful nature within, as explained in Romans Chapters 3,4,7 and 8, in concert with the original state of innocence of Adam and Eve and the consequential fall.
In Romans chapter 7, the Apostle Paul deals with the necessity and purpose of the Law of Moses and man’s inability of perfectly following the Law. Paul also addresses the two opposing natures of the believer in God, the Law, being spiritual and humanity, being in the flesh.
Romans 7:14-20 NASB reads as follows:
“For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.”
Romans 7:21-25 NASB reads as follows:
“I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”
What Pauls says here is profound and it is the precise status of every Christian alive today who puts his/her faith and trust in Jesus the Christ.
Paul states that he wants to walk in accordance with the perfect will of God, fulfill the law of God in the inner man (his spirit), but there is a conflict between that which he wants to do and that which he sometimes does, because he still lives in a physical body, which is subject to following the pursuit of self gratification in all of its varied forms, that being the the law of sin in his flesh.
What this is, is Paul’s declaration that he, in and of himself, is not able to perfectly follow the perfect will and Law of God. And having acknowledged that he is, in and of himself unable to perfectly follow the Law of God, he cries out, “Who will set me free from the body of this death?” And the answer of course is that Jesus does this for us. Jesus perfectly followed the will and Law of God and His righteousness is imputed onto us through faith in the accomplished work of Jesus, for our sins, on the cross. Paul explains this throughout Romans chapters 3 and 4.
The Apostle Paul writes, “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Romans 3:21-22). Through our faith in Christ, the righteousness of God is given to us. This is called “imputed” righteousness. To impute something is to ascribe or attribute something to someone. When we place our faith in Christ, God ascribes the perfect righteousness of Christ to our account so that we become perfect in His sight. “For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Not only is Christ’s righteousness imputed to us through faith, but our sin is imputed to Christ. That is how Christ paid our sin debt to God. He had no sin in Himself, but our sin is imputed to Him so, as He suffers on the cross, He is suffering the just penalty that our sin deserves. That is why Paul can say, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
By having the righteousness of Christ imputed, or attributed, to us, we can be seen as sinless, as Jesus is sinless. We are not righteous in ourselves; rather, we possess Christ’s righteousness applied to our account. It is not our perfection, but Christ’s perfection that God sees when He brings us into fellowship with Himself. We are still sinners in practice, but the grace of God has declared us to have righteous standing before the law.
But Paul does not leave us there, he addresses the “sinners in practice” aspect in Romans chapter 8.
Romans 8:1-11 reads as follows:
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Our bodies all eventually die because our bodies, in and of themselves, are sinful, focused on self gratification in all of it’s various forms BUT as Paul points out, if our mindset is focused on the things of the Spirit, because the Spirit of God dwells in us, our spirit is indeed alive because of the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to us who believe and just as Jesus rose from the dead, so also shall these mortal bodies rise to immortality in new spiritual bodies, because of what Jesus accomplished for us, by His death and by His resurrection.
What we are going to look at now, in some depth, is the difference between what originally was, with Adam and Eve and what changed when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Understanding what transpired then is critical to understanding how we became as we are now, in the flesh and how God determined, even prior to this time related event, how He would rectify it.
Bear in mind that what transpired in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve did NOT take God by surprise. Adam and Eve were unique, a special creation might be another way of putting it. Genesis 2:7 NASB states: “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Click here for a closer look at what this means.
Let’s take a look at what was.
INNOCENCE: Being in a state of mind where one is NOT AWARE of something that can or may be detrimental to the purity or betterment of oneself. If one is not aware of the existence of something, from a purely mindful conscious awareness perspective, one cannot be mindfully drawn to use or be controlled by the attractiveness of that particular thing. This can apply to food or anything that contributes to the self awareness of pleasure or contentment, as it is associated with the attractiveness of something that one sees in someone or something else.
If you don’t mentally see it, for what it can provide to you, independent of that which it was originally intended for, you can’t desire it in any other way, other than that which it was originally intended for.
If you are not mentally aware of its potential existence, other than for which it was originally intended for, by our Creator God, you cannot and would not, think about it in any other way.
And, most importantly, even if one does see something or is aware of its existence, if one has been provided with the expressed will of our Creator, that one should not eat of the fruit of a particular tree, as an example, and one implicitly trusts in the guidance one has been given, it would not enter one’s mind to violate that established trust or given guidance. That innocence of a young child, where they implicitly trust and follow the expressed will of their loving parents, would be in play.
Ideally, in our innocent mind state, having been created in the image of God, our sole source of enjoyment, pleasure and mindful, physical and spiritual contentment would have been and should have been, walking in harmony and trust with the expressed will of God. God, our creator, possessing superior abilities to ascertain the value and containment of all things that He had created for us to enjoy, including ourselves, and our own contentment and joy with Him, plus God’s own pleasure with us. God created us for His own pleasure.
Rev 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Note that all things within that enclosed garden had been given to Adam and Eve to enjoy and rule over and most importantly, they walked with and enjoyed the company of their Creator God. They were both naked but the thought never entered their minds that they should be anything else but.
That “innocence” or trust that Adam and Eve had in God was unquestioned. They totally trusted His guidance and expressed will. Their physical bodies, minds and spirits were in union and harmony with God. A young child can run around with no clothes on and think absolutely nothing of it because they have no awareness of their own nakedness.
Genesis 2:16-17 “The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Note that in the day that they did eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they did NOT physically die. Their physical bodies began to die that day but what did die on that specific day was their spiritual connection with God through their internal spirit. That communion between God, who is spirit and His creation, and Adam and Eve, who also had an internal spirit, died or was severed. By eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve chose to make their own decisions as to what was good and evil for themselves. In essence, Adam and Eve became the captains of their own ships and by doing so, they of their own free will, chose to abandon the following of God’s will and pursue, independently, their own.
Becoming aware of anything, which thereafter we have the ability to make a judgment on, as according to good or evil, with regard to utilizing it towards meeting self gratifying requirements, be it at the physical, mental or spiritual level, is a consequence of the fall of Adam and Eve. Once that box was opened, or that self awareness mindset was crossed over to, innocence was no longer a lasting reality. And we see this mirrored in the growth of our own children, where they pass from total innocence, into increasing self awareness.
Yet, throughout the entirety of the Holy Scriptures, we see God reaching out to humanity through His first born, Israel, (Exodus 4:22) declaring His own holiness and the standard by which communion with Himself is achieved and maintained.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
More to follow:
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!