Three reasons why we are not returning to Eden.
Eden is not something we are trying to get back to. It is not something we long for. Our hope is for Glory because Christ is in us. And what that will eventually produce, will dwarf Adam’s pre-fall condition.
I suggest to you that Eden was much more like looking at the ultrasonic scan of a beautiful, yet immature baby in the womb of God. We could not stay there, but it was inevitable that we would be released to encounter the wilderness of this life – but all of this to grow into the mature corporate son of God.
Please allow me to suggest some reasons for your consideration:
- We were made immature.
Maturity would not have chosen to disobey God. Man’s choice to disconnect from God, is the proof that we were still in the process of becoming the likeness of God, Just as the light God spoke into existence is still being formed today through the birthing of stars in our universe, so also His image and likeness continues to be formed in man. The baby inside the womb of a mother is her likeness and image, but in infant form. It is not the full manifestation of the final expectancy of the mother & father.
It seems unlikely that the matured likeness and image of God would sin and eat of the tree in disobedience. But God knowing the inherent deficiency in man, set him up to initiate man’s growth into the image and likeness of God.
Sin (deficiency/immaturity) is not only sin when it manifests. For Example: A person who acts immaturely, acts so because of the immaturity that is already within him. Adam’s immaturity, although manifested in the eating of the fruit, was already in him. We were made with our immaturity, so that we can outgrow it. We know this principle well when we as parents bring new kids into this world. They are beautiful and ‘perfect’ but they are not what they will one day fully be – Mature.
Further also Man’s dominion was incomplete. As one of the creeping things adam was supposed to rule over, the snake got the better of him. The snake was under his dominion, but yet it fooled him.
- We were made without the inhabiting Spirit of God.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no reference in the Genesis account of God putting His Spirit (Hebrew ‘ruwach’) into man. The Spirit hovered (Gen 1:2); God’s voice was in the Spirit of the Day (Gen 3:8); and it strives with man (Gen 6:3)
In Gen 2:7, God breathes the ‘breath of life’ (Hebrew ‘nashamah chay’) into man and man becomes a living soul. This is the same ‘breath of life’ given to the moving creatures of the seas, the fowls, whales, cattle, creeping things etc (Gen 1:20-25). This breath brought life, biological life. Thus we would have to argue that if this ‘breath of life’ was the Spirit of God, all living things have this in them.
This argument does not take away from Adam and Eve, but adds weight and purpose to the Cross, that opened the way for man to become beneficiaries of the Spirit of God. In Adam and Eve we see our biological genesis. In Christ we see our Spiritual genesis. Therefore Christ is far superior to pre-fall Adam. He is the mature version of that baby in the womb. Adam was a prefigure of Christ, but in seed form.
- We were made without the Glory of God
This sounds a bit strange to us at first, but on further investigation we realize that there is no mention of the Glory of God upon Adam or Eve. We know that God blessed them, but so He also blessed the plant and animals. We know that God said that they were very good, but the same class of description is used for every thing created – ‘good’.
But there is no Scripture that tells us that Adam and Eve were ‘clothed in glory’ or that they ‘fell from glory’ or that they ‘lost the glory’.
But we are destined for the glory of God. Carriers of the reputation, testimony and accurate representation of His being and nature.
What makes man special is that we were made to be the image and likeness of God Himself. And even this seem to be only in its initial stages in Eden. Consider the following: After Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God responds in the following way: (Gen 3:22a) “ And the Lord God Said, Behold man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…”
There are two important questions here:
- If they were already the full, perfect image and likeness of God, how can God make this statement of progression into His likeness?
- Why is knowing good and evil here spoken of as becoming like God?
At this point I would like to suggest a radical idea: What we know as the ‘fall’ was not a removal from that which God had in mind for us, but it was a step into the process that would ultimately lead us into the perfect will of God for us.
In other words, If knowing good and evil is necessary to become like God, than Eden was a set-up for us to ‘become’ into the image and likeness of God our Father.
Eden was not a failure in God’s plan and the Cross is not plan B. We are not trying to get back to Adam’s pre-fall state, we are growing into the image of the Son, a mature man.
If this be true, we have not fallen into a ditch of depravity, but we are continuously climbing a mountain of the likeness of God.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has in store for those who love Him and are called by His Name.
Grace and Peace