There was a man in church history called Theotimus who was a drunkard and was known for his immoral living. This kind of 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 that to change his ways. This is the insanity of the sinful nature within us. We would rather be led happily pursuing our lusts all the way to hell than to love and follow God. We don’t have to be rocket scientists to realize that there is something fundamentally broken and flawed in us and around us. One wonders how things went so wrong for the human race! Where did it all begin? Thankfully, the Bible tells us this from the beginning of the book of Genesis.
When we look at Genesis 1 and 2, we cannot avoid being amazed by the lavish goodness of God towards Adam and Eve. When we look at Chapter 1:26, we see God having an inter trinitarian counsel saying, “Let us make man in our own image”. Based on the context, we see that man and woman were made as a vice-regents of all the earth. A special garden enclosure is given to them in chapter 2 where God would come and meet with them. In chapter 2, we find so much of ‘covenant’ language that it is hard to deny there was a covenant understanding between God and man. There was abundant provision and blessing from the Supreme King and clearly, there was only one prohibition. But 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 neutral, which means they could obey and not sin, and yet 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 being dissatisfied with our height, weight, skin, complexion, etc. We forget that we are made in the image of God. We have a superior intellect, a moral law written on our hearts, an ability to communicate unlike the animal kingdom. Most importantly, we have a spirit within us that can know ourselves and know God, which is an incomparable privilege. No wonder, the puritan, Thomas Watson compared the human spirit to the diamond in the ring. The diamond is more precious than the ring that holds it!
Genesis 3 gives us the awfully sad account of the fall of man. Satan through the snake did seduce our first parents. Our first parents failed to honour the word of God, trust the character of God and wanted to be equal with God 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 as such a holy and good God could no longer dwell with law breakers.
We now come into this world with this Adamic nature (Psalm 51:5). We must understand that our first parents stood as the root of the tree of humanity. We, too, have inherited a sinful nature like them. Ephesians 4:17 onwards tells us that our mind, understanding, and heart are so affected that we pursue our own lusts with greed. There is, therefore, absolutely no hope for mankind from within ourselves.
Something radical needed to be done. We needed a Saviour, in the likeness of human flesh, 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. We needed to be united to this second Adam by a miraculous working (Ephesians 2:1-5) or there was going to be no hope for mankind. The wonderful thing is that, God already knew what He was going to do (1 Peter 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 (Romans 6). Are you in the second Adam our Lord Jesus Christ by faith? If you are, then, nothing else really matters. All our earthly trials, pain, worry will dissolve at the return of Christ. God will make all things new, where the people of the last Adam will eat of the tree of life forever.