Sunday, October 2, 2011
ACT THREE: THE FALL
“Redemption is big enough, wonderful enough, to occupy a very large place in our vision. But God is saying that we should not make redemption to be everything, as though man were created to be redeemed. The Fall is indeed a tragic dip downwards in that line of purpose, and the atonement a blessed recovery whereby our sins are blotted out and we are restored. But when it is accomplished, there yet remains a work to be done to bring us into possession of that which Adam never possessed, and to give God that which His heart desires. For God has never forsaken the purpose which is represented by that straight line.” God’s Ultimate Intention, DeVern Fromke
"On the one hand, the church has never seen the Fall. She has been in Christ from before time. Just as Eve existed in Adam before the Fall, so too the church has eternally been in Christ. On the other hand, the church is made up of very fallen people. Now that's quite a paradox." God's Ultimate Passion, Frank Viola
What a glorious beginning, but all was not right in paradise. God’s plan to multiply His image on earth would be challenged by what theologians commonly call "the Fall.” God’s remedy would be the sending of His beloved Son to bridge the awful chasm the Fall produced between God and the man He created in His own Image.
And this remedial plan would be called “Redemption!”
But this “redemption” is not the whole story that some of us have made it. God’s purpose for you is not only heaven. God’s purpose is that He, the God of very God, would have a place on this earth that would multiply His image and fill it with His glory! His desire is to live in His people, to be their God. God has never wavered from His eternal plan to have His Triune Fellowship breathed in-to His vessel that would contain His life on this planet.
Again I say, God never wavered from His plan--but we know man did. It was man who fell from the plan, not God. And God would see to it that man would not only be restored as in a Paradise Regained, but this plan of restoration would contain within itself a seed of even greater glory and wonder than the first. The New Creation would not only bear the Image of God, but would become His Bride, joint-participants in the Son Place!
Two trees planted in the Garden of God…Two trees!
The Tree of Life, as God has Life in Himself, the “Grace” tree.
The second tree, inferior to the first, "the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” the “Law” tree.
By Grace, man lives from the inside out.
By Law, man lives from the outside in.
By Grace, Christ’s life is written on the tablets of the heart.
By Law, God’s will is written on tablets of stone.
By Grace, man lives by Christ’s resources.
By Law, man lives by human resources.
By Grace, each moment of life is a victory.
By Law, each moment of life is a defeat.
By Grace, we live by what Christ does in us.
By Law, we live by what we do for God.
By Grace, we are the righteousness of God in Christ.
By Law, our righteousness is as filthy rags.
The Tree of Life speaks of living an
an Abiding Life!
a Victorious Life!
a Holy Life!
by and through the One Life
the Life of Christ!.
God’s passion is to live in His people...
to be their very life...to...
not just with a distant knowledge of Himself,
but to be
the very content of their lives, their
Center and Circumference!
Apogee and Perigee!
Alpha and Omega!
the very Breath they breathe!
the Sustainer and Strength of their existence.
But the Usurper whispered into the ears of our first parents
and told them lies.....
"Has God said?"
"Surely, you won't die!"
Then doubt and suspicion crept into their hearts
that God wasn't Who He said He was...
self-exaltation usurped the throne
meant for God's presence alone.
Yes! Man came to the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”
and there he did eat!
and there he died to the Grace of God and
the God of Grace...
beating in His very heart and now...
His presence within them was...
Put out utterly!
Extinguished by the deceit...
Now the darkness of human history begins.
Thorns belch from the earth!
The very animals that lived in harmony now battle for supremacy
by Tooth and Claw! Blood and Bone!
Rather than God’s presence and character living in the heart of man...
Reign supreme and unchallenged.
And the shimmerinig God-Image that dwelt in man
succumbs to a shadow of its former self.
But in the Fall,
there is also a promise.
A promise at the very beginning that would lead to a new beginning…
a promise that One would come to set things right.
The God that created the human race
because of His passion to expand and express, to magnify and multiply the fellowship
would enter the human race and would take another role. The Creator would become
And here is the first promise:
"I will put enmity between you (the Usurper) and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers.
He (the Messiah) will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel" (Genesis 3:15).
Many more promises of this Deliverer would come.
Many more descriptions of what He would do would follow...
of His suffering
of His humility
of His crushing
for the sins of the world and that...
He wold come again to this planet in
the CLOUDS OF GLORY!
Not as the Lamb of God
but THE LION!
But this first promise shows the universe
and the demonic powers
that God is on top of things!
Nothing has taken Him by surprise!
The Redeemer would come and His heel would
be crushed (in crucifixion) by the Usurper but
The Redeemer would crush the Usurper's head...
a final blow! in Resurrection! In Ascension! And most of all...
by living in His people, walking in them,
In multi-splendored ways!
He would have
His Expression of Himself!
The Fellowship that existed before time!
And He Himself would
Pay the Price!
Suffer the Penalty!
That was our Due!
What a Savior!
What a Lord!
What a Redeemer
is Christ our Lord!
God, we praise Thee for Thy mercy,
'Tis so great and so profound!
In our weakness and our failures;
With its greatness it abounds.
We adoreThee! we adore Thee!
With such mercy we've been crowned!
How we marvel at this mercy
So far-reaching and so vast!
It has reached us, e'en the sinners,
And will ever hold us fast.
From this mercy, from this mercy,
What can cause us to be cast?
For Thy mercy we are grateful,
'Tis so rich, so plenteous!
Thru Thy mercy in redemption,
Thou hast richly favored us.
If without this, if without this,
How could we be favored thus?