The new creation

In the beginning Adam and Eve were both naked and were not ashamed.  After attaining the knowledge of good and evil, they became aware that they were naked, and being aware, they covered themselves with fig leaves.  This tells us the awareness of being naked produced shame, which in turn produced the need to cover their nakedness.  When they heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden, they hid themselves from His presence, and when He called, Adam said, “I was afraid because I was naked.”  This tells us the wearing of fig leaves was of no avail in the presence of God, which in turn tells us their true nakedness was a matter of the heart, and not the body.  So their disobedience brought awareness (by attaining the knowledge of good and evil), and awareness brought shame.  Now shame follows the loss of virtue, goodness, or excellence.  Thus they became afraid and hid from God, not because of their disobedience alone, but because that disobedience had stained the image in which they had been created.  They feared standing in the presence of God’s excellence in their now imperfect state.

Now Adam was created a mature man, in the image of God, and placed on an earth blessed by God.  Being a mature man, he was not trained up in the way he should go; and being on an earth that had no curse, he had no occasion to learn obedience, for obedience is learned through suffering.  He was simply given a command and subsequently sinned, and from his sin, inherited a curse; it was appointed unto him and his descendants once to die.

In order to reconcile man back to Himself, God cursed the earth, thereby introducing suffering to His creation, and sent His only begotten Son in the form of Adam;  that is, flesh and blood.  He then trained Him up in the way He should go, teaching Him obedience through the things which He suffered.  And having been obedient unto death, and without sin, God raised Him up, the first-born from among the dead, giving Him preeminence in everything, and gave Him a name above every other name.

Now Jesus the Son of God was the last Adam; that is, the first creation (Adam) with its sin and the shame of its nakedness finds its end in Him.  For being in the form of Adam, He bore the shame of Adam’s nakedness;  and bearing the shame of Adam without the disobedience of Adam, the sins of Adam were buried with Him, thereby bringing an end to the old creation;  that is, Adam, whose image had been stained by the sin of disobedience.

Old things passed away, all things became new.  And all things became new in that the last Adam, after being raised from the dead, became a life-giving Spirit.  As God breathed into the nostrils of the first Adam, quickening him to life, He has done so once again, having now breathed new life into us who were dead in the trespasses and sins of Adam, raising us up together with Jesus, making for Himself a new creation, which is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of God, in order that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.  For as through the disobedience of Adam the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of Jesus the many will be made righteous.

Having been born again by the seed of the life-giving Spirit, we of this new creation no longer have a need to hide from the Lord’s presence, the shame of the old having been buried with Jesus. For we have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but a spirit of adoption by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”  And this we cry as we come boldly to the throne of grace and behold as in a mirror His glory, in order that the light which once shone on the face of Moses may now shine upon our hearts, revealing our thoughts and intentions, so that we might be certain our deeds are wrought in God.

Beholding His glory in the face of Jesus, we are careful to bring every thought into subjection to the obedience of Christ; for as we behold the glory of His image, we are being transformed into that same image from glory to glory by His power which works mightily within us, renewing our minds and redeeming the time.  This is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God; this is the good fight of faith;  this is Christianity;  –that the way to the Father is through Jesus, and that all who believe in Him may draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having their hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and their bodies washed with pure water.

We have this glorious treasure, this good deposit from the Father of lights, in earthen vessels that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves.  Abiding in Jesus, we find that even His obedience is at work within us (apart from Him we can do nothing).  And should we take our eyes off the light of His glory and find ourselves stumbling in darkness, even then He is the Savior and we are the saved, for He is our advocate with the Father (the natural man wants to do penance, the spiritual man believes in Jesus).

We abide in Jesus the same way we entered His kingdom — through faith in the working of God.  And herein is the working of God — the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God; and we also were made to die to sin and live to God; and this by the working of God in the death and resurrection of Jesus. For as Eve was in Adam when he was both formed from dust and made a living soul, so also were we in Christ when He was both crucified a man and raised a life-giving Spirit.  And as Eve was fashioned from the rib of Adam, so also is the bride of Christ being fashioned from the inmost being of Christ, the life-giving Spirit.  Again, this is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God; this is the good fight of faith; this is Christianity; this is Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

Now to Jesus in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and all things pertaining to life and godliness, and who has become to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, in order that he who boasts, boasts in the Lord, be glory and honor and preeminence in all things.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant