Several of my posts lately have been on the theme of living fully in the present. Because God is always in the present (He is the great “I AM”), one of the goals of our sanctification and our discipleship is progressively to spend more and more of our time fully engaged in the present. In this article, I wanted to explore what happened to disrupt our ability to dwell peacefully in the present.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lived fully in the present because their initial environment was ideal. They lived fully in the present because there was no other option. For them, there was obviously no past to regret and so there were no past sins to incite guilt, because sin had not yet entered the world. And there was no future to fear, because the Garden provided everything Adam and Eve needed, and because the LORD God was there in person, and because there was no death to fear, for death had not entered the world. Thus, Adam and Eve lived fully in the present moment, enjoying the LORD, and enjoying His perfect creation, and enjoying each other.
THE LOSS OF EDEN
But all of that was ruined when sin entered the world, and that has affected us down to the present moment. Now unlike Adam and Eve, we have lost Eden and we live in a hostile environment, with monsters from our past and threats in our future. After man’s disobedience admitted sin into the world, the past now holds memories of guilt and shame and loss, the future now holds the promise of our fearful death, and the present is a constant, existential reminder that we are weak, vulnerable creatures in a hostile world that operates outside of our control.
This is our present reality. It is a reality common to every person on earth. Sin has entered the world and thus paradise has been lost and this creation has been ruined. Whether we grasp this or not, sin has entered the world and, as a consequence we all have a past stained with guilt and shame, and we all have a future dominated by our impending death. Sounds bleak, doesn’t it?
EDEN RESTORED BY THE SECOND ADAM
But there is good news that shatters all the losses of our sin-wrought existence, for now the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, has been sent into the world to restore what the first Adam lost. Because Jesus died on the cross on our behalf and has removed the guilt and shame of our sin, we who believe in Jesus are no longer enslaved to our past. And because Jesus has conquered death by rising victoriously from the grave, we who believe in Jesus need no longer dread the future, for through Jesus, eternity in heaven is guaranteed.
Because of Jesus, I have no guilt in my past and I have no death to fear in my future, so I can live fully in the present, experiencing God’s loving presence with me. Because of Jesus, I can live fully in the present, striving to live joyfully and obediently so that God is glorified by my life. Because of Jesus, I can truly live in this fallen world where Eden has been lost, anticipating when I will be in heaven with the Lord forever.
SDG rmb 10/9/2020