“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10
Why did Jesus come and live among us?
Why did God become man?
If you answered, “To free us from sin and death,” you’d be correct.
If you answered, “To restore our relationship with the Father,” you’d be correct.
If you answered, “To fulfill the Old Covenant and establish the New Covenant,” you’d be correct.
But what is the point of it all?
Have you ever stopped and thought about that?
What is the ultimate goal?
To answer that question, we need to take a trip back to the beginning.
Let Us Make Man In Our Image
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'”
– Genesis 1:26
That’s the NASB. The NLT phrases it, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.”
We were created in God’s image.
We were created to be like the God who made us.
If we look at God’s initial interactions with Adam and Eve, what do we see?
Intimacy. Unveiled, unhindered intimacy.
They walked together with God, naked, in the cool of the day.
And it was good.
There was nothing at work to hinder this intimacy. Nothing broken. Nothing twisted or perverted.
Adam and Eve were healthy, whole, and fulfilled in both each other and God.
So where did it go wrong?
The Original Deception
When the serpent deceived Eve and Adam, the unhindered intimacy with God was severed.
In the Church today, we typically hear that Adam’s ultimate sin was disobedience. Romans 5:19 supports this perspective.
But why did Adam disobey?
It wasn’t for the sake of disobedience. We know he was satisfied in God. We know he had an amazing life.
How was he deceived?
The fall of man originated with the idea that we lacked something.
What did the serpent say?
“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5
There are many things we can take from this story, but what I want to focus on is this idea of lack.
The serpent’s strategy for deceiving Eve was to point at her and say, “You lack knowledge. You need this extra thing to actually have a mutual relationship with God.”
The serpent had no power of itself, just as the devil has no power in our lives today.
As one made in God’s image, Eve was far more powerful than the devil, just as we are.
But when Eve aligned here belief with the serpent’s deception and agreed with the idea that she lacked something, she broke covenant with God.
By agreeing with a lie, she transferred her authority to the lie.
How does the devil exercise authority today? How do demonic strongholds become strong?
When we agree with lies, we give authority and power to those lies.
When we believe that we are weak, sinful, and lost, we become weak, sinful, and lost.
We stop looking at the One who’s image we actually reflect, and instead, we begin acting contrary to our nature.
Sinners or Saints?
You WERE a sinner.
But then Jesus happened.
And now, your nature is no longer sinful or weak.
Paul never addresses the “sinners” at Corinth or the “sinners” at Philippi.
No. He addresses the “saints.”
As saints, we are no longer prone to sin, but rather, we are prone to righteousness. With Christ in us, we actually have to contradict our very nature in order to sin.
Unless the work of the cross was insufficient?
As Paul says, Christ is constantly working in us both to “will AND to do of His good pleasure.”
In Him, we are righteous.
The only way we can be sinful is if we buy into the lie that we are sinful. When we buy into the lie that we are unworthy, we fall short.
Jesus’ blood has made us worthy.
Hebrews 4:16 doesn’t say to approach God’s throne timidly. No! It says to approach, with CONFIDENCE, the throne of grace.
Why? Because Jesus.
Why? Because in the beginning, God said, “Let us make man in our image.”
What the serpent stole has been undone through Jesus. What was broken has been made whole.
Made To Be Whole
So why am I telling you all this?
What’s the point?
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus came to give us abundant life.
So often, we get preoccupied with sin.
We think the answer to a Godly Christian walk is to live free of sin.
Here’s a crucial piece of revelation for you:
It was never about sin.
It has always been about intimacy. It was always about wholeness in our lives and in our relationship with the Father.
Sin is only important because it destroys wholeness. It destroys intimacy.
God is not waiting to judge you for sinning. If he wanted to penalize you for sin, He would never have sent His son to take the punishment for you.
Sin is its own judgement.
Sin robs you of what God created you to enjoy. It robs you of abundant life in intimacy with the Father.
Sin is not the point.
In His blood, it’s as if we had never sinned. In Him, sin is a moot point.
If we sin today, the tragedy is not in the sin. The tragedy is in the abandonment of life.
The tragedy is in the willful decision to break what He died to make whole.
His passion is to live with you in wholeness. His passion is to walk with you in the cool of the day. His passion is to restore naked, unfiltered relationship, free of shame.
That’s why He endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him.
You are that joy.
So many Christians today are utterly devoid of joy. So many are utterly devoid of abundant life.
They spend their entire lives trying to do the right thing – trying to perform for God – never realizing the point of it all was abundant life, both in this life and in eternity.
The ironic truth of the matter is that when we really begin experiencing the abundant life He bought for us – in our health, our relationships, our finances, and our inner self – we begin to develop a distaste for sin.
It’s like being offered road-kill in between courses of prime rib. It just doesn’t hold any appeal.
Are You Living In Wholeness?
Stop for a moment and think through your life.
Where are settling for less than abundant life? Is it your relationships? Is it your health? Is it your career?
I’ll give you a hint, courtesy of Steve Backlund.
“Any area of your life that isn’t glistening with hope indicates you’re believing a lie.”
In Him, we have hope. In Him, we have life.
Let’s discuss it! What are some areas in your life where you want to live in greater wholeness?