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There was a man in church history called Theotimus who was a drunkard and was known for his immoral living. This lifestyle affected his health, and one day his physicians warned him saying, “If you continue to live like this, you will lose your eyesight”. Theotimus shockingly replied, “Then, farewell, sweet light”. He would rather lose his eyesight than change his ways. Such is the insanity of the sinful nature within us. We would rather happily pursue our lusts all the way to hell than love and follow God. We don’t have to be rocket scientists to realise that there is something fundamentally broken and flawed within and around us. One wonders how things went so wrong for the human race! Where did it all begin? Thankfully, the Bible makes it clear to us from the beginning in the book of Genesis.
When we look at Genesis 1 and 2, we cannot avoid being amazed by the goodness of God lavished on Adam and Eve. In Genesis 1:26, we see God in His Trinitarian counsel saying, “Let us make man in our own image”. Based on the context, we see that man and woman were made as vice-regents over all the earth. A special garden is given to them where God would come and meet with them. In chapter 2, we find so much covenant language that it is hard to deny that there was a covenant understanding between God and man. There was abundant provision and blessing from the Supreme King.
There was only one prohibition. When we see the whole Bible, we understand that according to Romans 5:12-21, Adam was standing as our representative in the garden. If he obeyed, everything would go well. If he disobeyed, then he would surely experience death on many levels. Only Adam and Eve were made morally free-will beings, which means they could obey and not sin, but they also had the potential to disobey.
Before we proceed, we need to learn to think correctly about ourselves in light of Genesis 1 and 2. Some of us are proud of our external appearance and achievements, but Genesis 2 is a great reminder to us that we are, after all, only dust. Others among us struggle with being dissatisfied with our height, weight, skin, complexion, etc. We forget that we are made in the image of God. Unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, we have a superior intellect, a moral law written on our hearts, and the ability to communicate. Most importantly, we have a spirit within us that can know ourselves and know God, which is an incomparable privilege. No wonder Puritan Thomas Watson, compared the human spirit to a diamond in a ring. The diamond is more precious than the ring that holds it!
Genesis 3 gives us an awfully sad account of the fall of man. Satan, disguised as a snake, seduced our first parents. Our first parents failed to honour the word of God, trust the character of God, and wanted to be equal with Him. They ate the fruit from the tree that God commanded them not to eat from, committing cosmic treason. Adam and Eve experienced shame and guilt. They began to blame one another. The created order itself is now groaning for redemption. Worst of all, they lost the presence of God because a holy and good God could no longer dwell with lawbreakers.
Now we come into the world with this fallen Adamic nature (Ps. 51:5). We must understand that our first parents stood as the root of the tree of humanity. We, who have sprouted from that same root, have inherited a sinful nature like them. Ephesians 4:17 onwards tells us that our mind, understanding, and heart are so affected that we greedily pursue our own lusts. There is, therefore, absolutely no hope for mankind from within ourselves.
Something radical needed to be done. A saviour is needed, who is in the likeness of human flesh, and outside of the Adamic lineage. We need a second Adam who would fully obey God, die as our substitute and rise again as our mediator and ascend to heaven victorious. Unless we were united to this second Adam by a miraculous working (Eph. 2:1-5) there was going to be no hope for mankind. The wonderful thing is that God already knew what He was going to do (1 Pet. 1:20). He came to that garden seeking Adam because He already had an eternal plan. The seed of the woman was going to crush the head of the serpent. In Christ, God was going to raise us up spiritually and free us from our slavery to sin (Rom. 6).
Are you, by faith, in the second Adam – our Lord Jesus Christ? If you are, then, nothing else really matters. All our earthly trials, pain, and worry will dissolve at the return of Christ. God will make all things new and will take us home to where the people of the second Adam will eat of the tree of life forever.