Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual Death’

Clothed in Glory

It’s interesting to me that all of the creatures God made had coverings… except man. Animals had fur, birds had feathers and fish had scales or shells. But man did not have any outer covering, as he didn’t need it before the fall. Why? Because God clothed man in His Glory.

“You made him (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him (or clothed him) with glory and honor.” (Ps 8:5)

God’s Original Intent:

The atmosphere of the Garden of Eden was permeated with the same splendor as heaven. There was no sin in the beginning and man walked with God everyday in a peace filled relationship in the “cool of the day”. This means they walked together in a spiritual dimension where they shared a oneness that was maintained by God’s Glory (a covering) and God’s Honor (atmosphere).

The Garden of Eden was Heaven on Earth:

The original Hebrew word for “crowned” means “to encircle”, “to surround’. In other words, Adam and his wife were surrounded by God’s Glory and Honor. They had been clothed with the Glory of God and didn’t need natural clothing and they were living in an atmosphere of perfect relationship and did not need natural knowledge. God was giving man a wonderful environment to rule, where God would truly be their provision and protection if this stewardship could be maintained.

Losing the Glory:

However, once they had been deceived by the serpent and sinned, they were no longer able to focus on spiritual reality as the Glory that once clothed them, seemed to lift. They found themselves naked. Notice that they immediately respond to their new condition by becoming afraid. They made coverings for themselves and hid from God. This is an interesting response since Adam and his wife felt no shame of being naked before they sinned (Gen 2:25).

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Gen 3:7)

Why would they even consider making coverings for themselves? Weren’t they the only human beings in the Garden of Eden? Weren’t they surrounded by only animals, birds and fish?

Hearing God’s Voice:

The reason is given when Adam is answering God’s call “He answered, I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Gen 3:10). Adam and Eve were afraid, because they were naked before God. I understand being ashamed, but why would they be afraid? They were afraid, because they were naked and had lost their original God given Glory. Now they found themselves controlled by a deception, a satanic lie that they needed natural covering and natural knowledge to sustain their lives. This came as a fulfillment to what God said to them earlier, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). The moment they were no longer in God’s Glory, they died spiritually and inner peace was replaced with fear.

Spiritual Death:

We are able to see a powerful expression of God’s Fathering love in the moments following the broken relationship. God, seemingly unaware of man’s location, calls out to man and asks him of his connection to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God says, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Gen 3:11)

Spiritual Life:

Then God makes the first sacrifice, in order to clothe them properly.  ”The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). God would spill the blood of a lamb; one of His created beings, to provide a garment suitable to cover human shame. This would serve as humanity’s first revelation that spiritual life is in the Blood.

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom 3:23)

Our spiritual death has its connection to sin by the loss of our covering (God’s Glory) and our relationship (God’s Honor) based on His Presence (Holy Spirit atmosphere). Yet the Apostle Paul goes on to tell us of the reality of God’s grace… God’s favorable actions toward us who trust in Christ Jesus. He  tells us that God has restored access to His Glory and Honor in the free gift of salvation. Access to all that was lost could be restored through the Blood of Jesus. 

“We have been freely justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24).

The Gospel of Restored Glory:

This good news cannot be overstated, because it is not accomplished by anything man can do (Rom 3:20)(2 Cor 5:21). God proved His love by sending Jesus to die for us, in our place and for the spiritual relationship to be restored that once was established in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says that when anyone turns to God in faith, a veil is lifted from their hearts and they are enabled to behold the Glory of God in the very face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:16-4:6). As believers who continue to look into that Glory a transformation takes place, whereby we are being changed into the same image (God’s original intent) from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:18).

Jesus Said – Be Clothed In Glory: Power from On High!

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city (Jerusalem) until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49)

Recovering Lost Glory

God’s Amazing Adventure:

When God created Adam, He made a powerful decision. He asks Adam to name the animals. In doing this He was teaching Adam a basic principle about Glory. He was demonstrating to Adam, that when you look into the nature of something it will eventually reveal its character and purpose. When these things are discovered, “naming” it becomes simple. But it also creates a platform for relationship with the animal being named. Adam would need to discover how a porcupine was unique to the elephant, lion or bear.

The Point:

This training would serve to help him value the Glory of God.

In this process God was making Himself vulnerable to the desire of Adam, because this training would serve to help him value the Glory of God, and recognize when it was lost. Adam would sin and fall short of the Glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and all would be lost except the memory of God’s heart toward Adam. As God returns to the Garden of Eden to find the man hiding himself, it was not man who could not find God… it was God who could not find man (Gen. 3:9-10). Oh, God knew where he was, but his sin now created desire for separation and spiritual death. It would now become impossible for man to have fellowship with God, because disobedience stood as a barrier between the perfect and the fallen. God calls this man to Himself and clothes the man with the garment of a lamb, shedding innocent blood and forever revealing the pattern of recovering lost Glory (Gen. 3:21). Something would need to die… a sacrifice sufficient to cover the nakedness of man’s condition.

The Power of Love:

God takes the initiative because of the power of love. It was love in the Garden that made all the difference and it will always be love that restores Glory… “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16). Like a Lamb lead to the slaughter, the sinless Son of God became the ultimate offering for sin; so that all who would call upon Him for mercy and forgiveness of their sin might live. Everyone who calls upon Jesus now receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Promise of the Father and adoption into the family of God (Acts 2:38-39).

…where Glory becomes the atmosphere of a restored garden within the heart (Jn. 20:19-23).

Resisting Evil

“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6)

We often tend to forget that worldliness and worldly people act as they do because they are carnally minded. People sin, because they take no initiative to fix their minds on Christ and His Word. Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, humanity is in a state of confusion and “spiritual death”, having fallen from God’s promise of grace and experience in His Glory.

I like to meditate on these 2 verses:

  1. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn. 1:14)
  2. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6)

We must remind ourselves to behold the Glory of the Lord in the face of Jesus every day. Jesus came, not only to forgive our sins; but to destroy the “daily works” of the devil in our lives (1 John 3:8). ”IT IS FINISHED!” was the most powerful word from the cross, in that it released a shift in the atmosphere and locked in the greatest victory humanity has ever experienced. For in keeping with God’s promise to crush the head of the serpent, Jesus removed the authority of sin, hell and the grave. Indeed you and I can enjoy life… free to live out of the freedom Christ has won for us. Satan has been defeated!

A Spiritual Battle:

To accept this truth and live in its reality, sets up a spiritual battle on the inside. And it causes us to seriously see our need to resist evil on all levels. The flesh fights and the devil roars to maintain dominance over the spirit, but in Christ the battle is already won. He has destroyed the power of sin that wants to rule in our hearts and minds. If we have accepted the forgiveness of God, in Christ; then there are no chains that can hold us in bondage to fear any longer… the curse has been broken. The platform for the devil’s power resides in deception, perversion and blindness (2 Cor. 4:4). Now that we know of God’s gift of reconciliation, we can pull upon the grace freely given to us through the work of the cross; and walk in life and peace… and experience the Glory of God once more. All things can become new! (2 Cor. 5:17)

And the promise in the midst of resisting evil, is that the devil must flee! (Jms. 4:7)

“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.” (Deut. 28:7)

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