Tag Archives: sonship
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” -1 John 5:20
There are several deep and somewhat confusing statements in this obscure verse. First, John says that Jesus came and gave an understanding, which enables us to “know Him who is true.” John then says that we are “in Him who is true,” “in His Son Jesus Christ,” and that somehow all this connects to “the true God and eternal life.”
Reading this verse, the first question I have is, what is the “understanding” Jesus came and gave, and how does it enable us to “know Him who is true?” On the surface, one might say this understanding refers to the things Jesus taught about God. But there are two main reasons I don’t think that’s quite it. First, because Jesus didn’t really teach “about” God. Instead, he taught about the Kingdom of God, demonstrated it with healing and miracles, warned and prophesied against the corrupted religious establishment, and stressed the importance of loving others as oneself (which he said sums up the entire law). The second reason is, the Greek word for “understanding,” which is dianoia, doesn’t refer to mental knowledge. It is most often translated “mind,” and seems to mean a full and true comprehension and thus a correct perception.
John says this dianoia Jesus gave enables us to “know Him who is true.” The word “true” is alethinos, which refers to that which is genuine, the real article without any falsehood or counterfeit. Thayer’s Greek lexicon defines alethinos as:
1. that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name, real, true genuine
a. opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended
b. it contrasts realities with their semblances
c. opposite to what is imperfect defective, frail, uncertain
2. True, veracious, sincere
So, it seems that John is saying the understanding and perception Jesus gave enables us to know God the Father as He genuinely is, to know His real nature, and not a distorted or incomplete representation. The idea is, I think, that before Christ, under the Old Covenant, God’s people knew Him primarily through a relationship of laws and symbolic rituals. Their relationship to God was more like one of master and slave, not Father and son. The partnership and Spiritual union that the New Testament says is ours in and through Christ was not yet available. The transition from the Old Covenant of law to the New Covenant of grace and faith through Christ was colossal, and has not yet been realized on a large scale. Many scriptures speak of this transition. Here are a few:
Galatians 4:4-7 (WEB): “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children. And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
John 4:19-24 (WEB): “The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. You worship that which you don’t know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Romans 7:6 (WEB): “But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.”
Hebrews 8:1-5 (WEB): “Now in the things which we are saying, the main point is this. We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a servant of the sanctuary, and of the true (alethinos) tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. For if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things (the physical temples and rituals were only symbols and representations of heavenly, spiritual realities), even as Moses was warned by God when he was about to make the tabernacle, for he said, “See, you shall make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain.”
Hebrews 9:22-24 (WEB): “According to the law, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission. It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves (the alethinos, the true) with better sacrifices than these. For Christ hasn’t entered into holy places made with hands, which are representations of the true (alethinos), but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us…”
I believe the mind/perception/understanding Jesus gave is both the demonstration of God’s true nature as a loving Father rather than a callous master, along with the ability to be a “partaker” of this nature, as 2 Peter 1:4 says. I still believe that as far as God is concerned, flesh is dead and gone. He doesn’t see our flesh or sin at all, because in God’s mind all believers are “in Christ,” meaning they have become adopted as members of the corporate son of God, literally becoming members of Christ’s body and filled with God’s nature, thus becoming one with God. This too is the understanding Jesus gave, which Paul and others have elaborated on. I won’t take the space to elaborate on it here, but, for example, scripture says Jesus “condemned sin in the flesh,” that there is no condemnation in Christ, that we have been perfected forever by the one sacrifice of Christ, and that God Himself has placed us into Christ Jesus, as 1 Corinthians 1:30 says.
When John wrote that we are “in Him who is true, in His son Jesus Christ,” I believe he meant we are in God AS A RESULT of being in Christ. We in Christ (and Christ in us), Christ in God, thus we in God (see John 14:20). It’s nothing we did or can do, God did it already. Not only that, but it seems to me that neither “the true God” nor “eternal life” are found apart from our identity and union with Christ as members of his body, which is a spiritual reality we must “abide” in. It’s as if God has allowed His nature and being to intertwine with ours in a deep way, through His son. Now, all this doesn’t mean we as individuals are instantly perfect or that we can’t still act from the flesh. To say that is to deny the obvious. What it means is to the extent we have the “dianoia” to recognize we have been adopted as Sons in Christ, and our nature is that of Spirit and love, that we are not under the rule of sin and law, and that we are corporately the body of the son of God – as these truths become the foundation of our hearts and minds, we can manifest the fruit of the Spirit and establish the Kingdom of God on earth. It is desperately needed, and I believe the season is coming where these things are going to come to pass. The question is if we will have the courage to lay down our lives in the flesh and the world to manifest the life of the Son of God, our true Life. Amen.
This post is a little long, though I think it’s enlightening, thought-provoking and well worth reading. However, for those who don’t have the desire or time to read it all, I’ve made a “TLDR” summary. If you want to know more, you’ll have to read on.
- Jesus’ primary purpose was to reclaim the Father’s Kingdom on earth, not to get us to heaven.
- Living by law will prevent one from following Jesus in sonship and should be avoided just as we should avoid following the flesh.
- Jesus didn’t just free us from Moses’ law, but from any and all forms of a law-based relationship to God, because…
- …a relationship of law creates servants, while love-empowered faith creates sons. God delights in sons and earth needs them.
- Sonship is the higher calling. Like on earth, sons are intimately involved with their Father in running His Kingdom, while servants just thanklessly tend to it.
- Love empowers faith and enables grace, which are elements of sonship. Law prevents them.
Ok. Here’s a big question, which someone I really respect posed recently: Which scenario honestly makes more sense and is more God-honoring?
- The son of God came to earth, lived a life of suffering, and died in agony in order to get us to heaven.
- The son of God came to earth to reclaim his Father’s Kingdom, which Adam lost.
Although almost all of Christianity is focused on scenario 1, I am convinced the answer is scenario 2, and scripture proves it. The thing is, the tendency toward self-focus in the heart of man is so strong that unless it’s displaced, all scripture or other testimony of God’s will which don’t involve self in some way will be pushed aside. The Father’s purpose in sending Christ was not for you or I personally, it was for His Kingdom. Everything else, including our salvation, is secondary and merely a part of that bigger purpose. Our primary value and honor lie in participating in the Kingdom of God as a son (or daughter – sonship in this sense is gender-neutral). For us to truly follow Christ (which is all he asked) as a son, inheriting and participating in their Father’s Kingdom, some radical changes must take place, transitioning the church from servanthood into sonship and darkness into light (one could also say Adam into Christ). One of these changes is coming to avoid law as much as or even more than avoiding the corrupt, sinful flesh. Maybe that sounds strange or flat wrong, but bear with me and it might be more convincing.
The issue of “law” is really interesting. Jesus mentioned it more than once and Paul wrote about it extensively, but I still don’t think we really understand it. Many times in scripture when “the law” is being discussed, the original text simply says “law.” This is actually a big point, because it demonstrates that we’re not just freed from THE law, as in the law of Moses which all of Israel was familiar with around Jesus’ time, but from law entirely – free from a law-based relationship with God – and freed to a relationship of sonship!
If you or I follow our flesh, we will be cut off from the Kingdom of God (though this doesn’t mean we burn for eternity). Likewise, if we embrace and follow law, we will be cut off from Christ and separated from grace. This essentially means believers who persist in a relationship of law, though their sins are atoned for, will never rise from the status of servants to sons and will thus never be able to intimately co-operate with God. I don’t know about you, but I want to avoid both of those outcomes. Law produces servants, not sons, because it only deals with flesh and external behavior. Faith and love deal with the spirit, affecting the heart and producing a relationship of sonship. Law and faith are forever opposed, just as flesh and spirit are opposed. I could probably give a dozen or more relevant scriptures supporting these statements, but don’t have room. Here are just a few:
- (Gal 5:19-21 MLV): “Now the works of the flesh are apparent, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, carnal indulgences, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, selfish ambitions, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelings and things similar to these; which I told to you beforehand, also just-as I did say to you beforehand, that those who practice similar things– they will not inherit the kingdom of God!”
- (Gal 3:10-12a MLV): “For as many as are out of works of law (“out of” is the literal Greek translation, meaning works of law are the basis of relationship) are under a curse; for it has been written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not remain in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’ (If you break one commandment one time, you are irreversibly guilty as a law-breaker. See James 2:10). Now it is evident that no one is justified by law (not only “the” law, but law generally) before God; because, ‘The righteous will live by faith.’ And the law is not from faith…” There is no right relationship/standing with God from law, only from ongoing faith. Law is “do this, don’t do that, or else.” Faith is a moment-by-moment walk in the spirit by divine revelation.
- (Gal 5:2-6 WEB (R)): “Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. Yes, I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law (a relationship of law is all or nothing). You are alienated from Christ, you who desire to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from grace. For we, through the Spirit, by faith wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision amounts to anything, nor uncircumcision, but (all that really matters or has importance in the spiritual realm is what comes from) faith working through love (literally: “faith which is energized by love”).
- (Php 3:9 WEB (R)): “…and be found in him (Christ), not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith…”
- (Rom 10:3-8 ESV): For, (Israel) being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness (righteousness in God’s eyes isn’t connected to law). For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). (In this sense, Christ as the word of God, isn’t “up there” or “down there.” The word is a spiritual reality within you. “Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory,” Paul wrote).1 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim)…”
Law is very familiar to our thinking, and it’s influence can be very subtle. The minute our walk with God becomes based on do’s and dont’s, we are relating by law and cut off from Christ. It’s not that doing bad or following the corrupt desires of the flesh is acceptable – I already mentioned that doing so will get you shut out of the Kingdom of God (which is as terrible as a burning hell for someone who loves Him). It’s that do’s and dont’s are the basis of law, and faith and love never enter the equation, thus grace is prevented and sonship is thwarted. For us to walk as a son, love, faith, and grace aren’t optional, they’re essential. Grace is God’s influence on our heart, and faith is a divinely-given sight and conviction, given to the spirit. Love empowers faith and enables grace, so above all, seek to love one-another with love that is generated from the divine presence within you and around you. Amen.
1. Colossians 1:27
I wrote part of the following on my facebook page recently and it brought about some good discussion and insights. I’ve mentioned these ideas before, but I think they came out particularly clearly and concisely in this instance.
I believe there are two ways of relating to God: as servants or as sons. The relationship of a servant is one of keeping laws and fearing punishment, but not of receiving reward for obedience. Law doesn’t give any rewards, it simply waits to punish those who step out of line.
Sons, on the other hand, while they may need to grow and mature, are still considered equals with their Father, being members of His household. They are not under the laws of the servant, so they do not fear punishment or rejection. They love their Father, honoring Him, learning His heart and ways, and helping run His kingdom by fulfilling the tasks He gives them. They cooperate with the Father and inherit all that He has. The relationship of a son is one of honor, cooperation, peace and freedom.
Although they deeply want to please their Father and further His purposes (Kingdom), sons aren’t even aware of laws – they know they’re accepted and loved members of the family, so with freedom and without fear they live and go about their Father’s business and tasks, enjoying the benefits of being in His household. Servants, however, are and should be very worried about breaking the laws and rules. Strictly obeying them is their entire life and purpose.
LAW CREATES SERVANTS, AND SERVANTHOOD IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE IMMATURE AND INFERIOR WHEN COMPARED WITH SONSHIP.
Jesus, the firstborn Son, made himself a servant in order to elevate us to sons. Now, by saying sons aren’t under the law, which is true, I’m not saying that following the flesh is ok. If you’re following the flesh, you’re not following the spirit. But “flesh” can also be very good, religious and devout. If you’re walking in the spirit, you’ll naturally be aware of love and freedom, not the self-examination that comes with law-keeping as a means of righteousness.
So what about sin? I think it’s important to understand that “sin” literally means to “miss the mark.” For servants, the “mark” or goal is the law, and therefore sin is a violation of these commandments or laws. But for a son, who aren’t under these commandments and laws, sin is different. For a son, the “mark” is love and conformity to the Father’s heart/will at the present time. Therefore a son can keep law perfectly, can refrain from all outward forms of sin, but still very much “miss the mark” (sin). Have you known someone who outwardly seems very righteous, but who can be harsh, critical, unloving, and self-focused? That person is not walking as a son, though they may be seeming to “keep the law.” Sonship is actually a higher call, harder and more costly in many ways, but also much, much more glorious.
I could go on an on, it’s a huge topic, big enough for a book. I can’t make anyone “see” these things, but I pray these words can be used to open some eyes and feed some hungry hearts. Many scriptures testify to these things and highlight the distinction between servants and sons. But others, it’s true, seem to be directed toward those with a servant mentality. Perhaps it’s true that some scriptures are directed at servants, and others at sons. I suppose both have a place. But I’d rather be a son, even if it’s harder.
By the way, I think the scripture which mentions “sinning willfully after receiving a knowledge of the truth” in Hebrews 10 is referring to one who rejects the sacrifice of Christ and the sonship it brings, and instead continuing to try to relate to God by law and self-righteousness. It’s exactly like Paul wrote in Galatians 5:4: “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by (literally: “in”) the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
The difference between servanthood and sonship is truly radical. Galatians 4:4-7 KJV says this: “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
Likewise, Hebrews 10:12-22 KJV says this: “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience (no awareness/consciousness of sin, see Hebrews 10:2), and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Most of us were taught that the main, if not the only work of Jesus on our behalf was to atone for sin and rescue us from hell. This has been the emphasis largely because self-focused man loves to hear he won’t have to suffer. But while there truly is forgiveness of sin through the cross of Christ, forgiveness is merely a necessary step toward something greater.
One thing that is becoming clear to me is that whatever this deeper purpose of God is, at least by the time the New Testament was written, it hadn’t been fully achieved yet, since the New Testament refers to many things as future or yet to be obtained. So, did Jesus really accomplish everything for us, as many seem to believe, or did he leave us an example to follow and work to do?
I think it’s the latter. For example, Jesus spoke of a master giving a sum of money to his servants while he was gone, and upon his return rewarding them with future responsibility based on the increase they made from their initial sum.1 Again, atonement/forgiveness isn’t the goal of God, but is a prerequisite and foundation for a bigger purpose: the transition from a relationship of law, fear and servanthood into spirit, cooperation and sonship.
I’ve found that Hebrews contains several words/concepts that are found nowhere else in scripture. One of these words, in reference to Jesus, is “forerunner”:
“We have this (hope) as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:19-20 ESV)
In a bit more context, the author is making the point that Jesus has become THE high priest, replacing the old “revolving door” system of high priests who would die and then be replaced. Jesus inherited his priesthood not from the lineage of Levi as men did, but from Melchizedek, a mysterious figure without record of ancestry, who was both a king and a high priest at the time of Abraham. Abraham gave him a tenth of his goods, showing Melchizedek to be his superior, which is mind-boggling if you understand who Abraham is.
This is significant because of the role the high priest played, essentially being the mediator between God and His people. The high priest lived his entire life in the temple, performing various duties including an annual visit into the most holy place where God’s manifest presence resided, taking with him an offering of blood for the sins committed by both himself and the rest of the people. Jesus, as THE high priest, ministers in the spiritual fulfillment of everything the Old Covenant rituals and ordinances represented and pointed to. Jesus operates from the true “temple” in heaven and he himself is the perfect, eternal atoning sacrifice. In fact, while trying to make further offering for sin might appear “holy,” it’s actually insulting to God to try to add to the work of His son which He is perfectly satisfied with.
I mentioned Jesus as our “forerunner.” The Greek word is prodromos, with pro meaning “before, ahead of” and dromos meaning “a course.” A prodromos is one who goes ahead of others to prepare the way for them to follow after. Prodromos is used in other writings to refer to military scouts who would go ahead of the main army, and of the “firstfruits” of a fig tree, which ripened before the rest. A forerunner, by definition, must have “afterrunners” who come later and benefit from the forerunner’s pioneering work, but still must fulfill their task.
Jesus being our forerunner doesn’t mean he did everything and we just sit back and enjoy, it means he went before us to prepare the way so that we can follow after him. He did what we could not do, so that we can have access to what was inaccessible before. Without Christ, we would have no chance at (among other things) entering the Kingdom of God, walking in genuine righteousness, becoming a son of God, or eating from the Tree of Life. The law kept everyone in a state of unrighteousness and sin.2 Again, forgiveness of sin is wonderful, but it’s just a step toward something greater. Like Jesus, we must suffer to learn obedience3 and begin to walk as spiritual sons in the fulfillment of the “types and shadows” of the Old Covenant. I don’t claim to have fully matured or achieved these things, but for the Father’s sake, I want to.
As the forerunner, firstfruit, conqueror and eternal high priest, Jesus will always have the highest honor, the “preeminence” as Colossians 1:18 says. He will always be our elder brother,4 mediator,5 intercessor, way, and the source of our life. But let’s not think there’s any real benefit or value in merely admiring him or thanking him. Instead, let’s honor him by following after him and taking advantage of the things he suffered to obtain, repenting and seeking to understand what that means and entails.
Romans 3:10, 5:20, Galatians 3:10
1 Timothy 2:5
Have you ever heard of “hypnagogia?” (You can read the Wikipedia entry about it here). It’s the official term for that peculiar state of consciousness that falls somewhere in between wake and sleep. I sometimes wonder if hypnagogia is related to the “trance” which scripture says Peter was in when he received a vision that changed the course of church history, or Paul was in when he received a warning from the spirit of God to flee Jerusalem.1 I was surprised to learn that Beethoven, Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and many others learned to enter this state regularly and on purpose, finding it helpful for creativity and problem-solving, even receiving scientific breakthroughs. The early Quakers, who possessed spiritual insight far beyond their time (ours too), were big proponents of “silence” of the mind in God’s presence. In many meetings they refused to speak or do anything unless and until the spirit clearly moved upon or within them to do so. If they sat in silent corporate communion with God for hours, that was no less successful to them than a lively meeting. I know some are probably made uneasy by this sort of thing, but I absolutely don’t think a Son of God need fear intentionally silencing their mind or beginning to fall asleep with the intention of communing with God through Jesus Christ, nor do I think God is somehow displeased with that. I’m sure many would disagree, but I suspect that most disagreement would be from fear and ignorance, not true spiritual insight.
That said, my main purpose in writing this is to share a random thought which came to me while in a partially-asleep state this morning. For me, such things are rare, so I took it seriously. This thought, which I have never had before but was on my mind the very moment I woke up, was basically that apostles function as the “waste management” branch of the Church (I told you it was random!). Along with this thought, I immediately thought of someone I know through Facebook, who I realized has been gifted/called of God for the role of an apostle, though he’s never claimed such. Shortly after getting out of bed, with this on my mind, I logged onto Facebook, and one of the first things I came across was a youtube video about apostleship this person had posted within the last 24 hours, his first video in over a year, from what I can see. I was amazed by the correlations between what he shared and my “epiphany.” You can watch his video here.
Wikipedia defines waste management as: “…the “generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring, treatment, handling, reuse and residual disposition of solid wastes”.2 As I’ve thought about , I see two main functions that apostles perform: identifying and getting rid of what is spiritually rotten, toxic or no longer useful, as well as managing the household to make it run more cleanly and efficiently. In the physical world, if toxic waste isn’t identified and removed properly, it can cause chronic illness or death. Or when waste management services go on strike and refuse to haul away trash, things quickly get ugly. How much worse if spiritual “waste” isn’t recognized or disposed of. If a household had become overrun by clutter, garbage, and toxic waste, how useful and needed would those be who were specially tasked to take away the garbage and replace the broken, waste-producing systems with a clean, efficient one?
I think one thing the spirit of God is emphasizing right now is the adoption into sonship that is offered us in Christ – not only as a nice idea or concept, but resulting in a genuinely, radically different relationship to God than many of us have experienced before. A relationship of freedom and love, with a fresh and genuine lack of pretense, fear, or any obligation, along with spiritual power and wisdom beyond human ability. But along with the transition into a new spiritual season, there must also be a tearing down and removal of old things, including the system that perpetuates the outdated, irrelevant things. The spiritual VCR and rotary phone factories have to be torn down, and the household equipped for the modern age. This is not a glamorous job, but I believe it’s what apostles are called and given grace to do. If you see or hear men and women saying new things, talking about new seasons of the church, about inheritance and sonship or the dangers of religion, don’t dismiss them too quickly and harden your heart. Be willing to receive new things from God’s spirit – that’s how you FOLLOW. It’s not static…
Christ in his day functioned as an apostle (along with other things), and members of his body will do the same in the season that is upon us. The religious will always be fond of their traditions and opposed to the progress of the Spirit, but they won’t be able to stop the Kingdom’s growth. Though I am not there yet, I want to truly walk as a son of God in the steps of Christ – honoring and communing with my Father, performing His will in love and walking in Truth. Still lots I don’t understand and haven’t attained, but I know who I believe in. Amen.
Acts 10:10, 22:17
Genesis 2: 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. This is much deeper than what’s on the surface. The two things we learn about Adam and Eve here are that they were “naked” and “not ashamed.” Prior to their eyes being opened by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the nakedness of Adam and Eve seems to essentially mean “bare” or “without clutter.” The word “ashamed” can mean “confounded, hindered, obstructed.” Thus, I believe the deeper meaning is this: in their original state, Adam and Eve were without any self-awareness (which clutters one’s heart with guilt, shame, fear, etc), and were not hindered in their communion with God. I have heard it put this way: Adam and Eve were “full of wisdom and without any confusion.” I truly believe this is the deeper meaning here.
Genesis 3: 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 21…Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. -Adam and Eve were “naked” before they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, yet notice they are “naked” immediately after they eat. A drastic change took place upon eating, and it’s important to know the word “naked” is slightly different before and after they did so. After they ate, the word “naked” seems to refer primarily to a state of being, essentially meaning “destitute.” Eating from the TOK caused their eyes to open (natural/carnal/selfish perception to begin), and only then did Adam and Eve see themselves as naked (spiritually destitute). They then made their own loin-coverings to try to cover up their destitute state, but God gives them a covering of “skin,” a symbol of their “nakedness” – their destitution. This seems tragic, and it is, but thankfully it doesn’t end there…
Adam and Eve were “unashamed” before their eyes were opened by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It makes sense when you think about it. Once they ate, a self-focused, carnal, natural perception of everything took root in their heart, bringing guilt, fear, shame and causing them to hide from God. The work of Jesus was and is largely about undoing and reversing what happened in the garden of Eden; restoring man’s spiritual perception, fellowship with God, authority, and providing a new garment for men to wear instead of the “skin” (nakedness, spiritual destitution) that God clothed Adam and Eve in, which all men since Adam are born clothed in. With the new garment of Christ, one can again commune with God, with an awareness free of guilt, shame, condemnation, and fear!
Revelation 3: 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments…
18 I counsel you to buy from Me…white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed…
Revelation 16 NKJV:15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
Galatians 3:27: For you are all sons of God (similar to Adam before the fall), through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. –The garment of Christ restores and IS our sonship.
Romans 13:14: But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. -“Putting on Christ” leads to or is a form of “making no provision for the flesh.” They are connected.
Colossians 3:9-10 “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with its practices and have put on the new man, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” –God Himself is the creator of the “new man.” In a sense, Adam is the father of the corrupt, blind “old man.” The cross of Christ put to death the old man, and this is progressively being made real in our experience as the reality of this is revealed within us.