Friday, February 3, 2012

Romans 5:17

Romans 5:17
Have you ever really wondered what life was like for Adam and Eve? Not just living in a garden with plants that grew without effort, but how they themselves were different? They didn't feel the pull toward sin that I fight throughout every day, they weren't even aware of their lack of clothing, and they could enjoy life each day without experiencing death for themselves, other people, animals, or plants. Developing as a new person in Christ doesn't erase the struggles we face as descendants of Adam, but it conquers them.
I still have that pull toward sin, but now I have tools to fight the pull and to purposely choose to go out of my way to do good toward God and toward others. The difference between doing what's right because you don't know anything different (Adam) and choosing to reject sin and seeking out ways to bless others is like the difference between an animal's instinct and a human's intelligence.
I'm aware of my vulnerability before other humans yet I also know that Christ clothes and protects me spiritually by His Spirit. Finding my identity in Christ frees me to live in a vulnerable world yet base my decisions on God's will for me rather than on the world's pressure. It must have been amazing for Adam and Eve to walk each evening with God in the garden, but I'm sure they took it for granted and didn't savor the experience the way we can savor each of our encounters with God.
We know death is a reality, but in Christ we also know what we have to look forward to on the other side. This doesn't diminish the pain of death yet it also offers a promise of unending joy. We have hope in the Lord, not simply a living out of each day.
I don't know everything we lost with Adam's choice, but I am learning more each day what we gain with Christ's choice. We cannot go back to Eden but we can go forward to Heaven. I can't imagine anything better than that.

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