[image of man made out of clay]
“We think it is our own choices, power, and judgment that save us when that is precisely what we need to be saved from!”
Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man (Adam) in our own image or likeness…’”
You know, so far, whatever God has willed has sprung into existence: light, expanse, land, stars, moon. You see? God’s will is truly free. Then in Genesis 1, God wills another will, named Adam. Yet if that other will does not will love, it might prove “highly impractical,” “highly painful.”
“Let us make Adam in our own image and likeness…” That’s God’s will. Scripture says, “He accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His will.”
Some would argue that God really meant to say: “Let us make a few men in our image and likeness, and let us make most men a grotesque distortion which we will torture without end.” But He didn’t say that. He said, “Let us make man in our own image and likeness.” That’s His will, His dream.
Genesis 1:30 “And it was so. And God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good.”
Now that’s the end of the 6th day, the beginning of the 7th day. We look around at our world and say “Hey, it’s not all very good. The economy sucks, I have heartburn, everybody dies, and I have a will that dreams its way into Hell. It must not be the 7th day…” And that’s right – it’s not.
By Chapter 2, we’re back to the 6th day, and Scripture describes how God begins to make Adam: God breathes His breath into dust and makes Adam (mankind – but not yet finished in His image). God tells Adam: “The day you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will die.” But how does Adam know that God’s will is good if he hasn’t eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good? I mean, how can Adam choose the good, if he has no knowledge of the good? He wasn’t free to choose the good.
People say that Adam and Eve had “free will.” I don’t think they had a “free will” so much as a “random will.” We confuse a “random will” with a “free will;” we confuse simply choosing what you desire, with desiring to choose the good. Bondage is having to choose what you desire. Freedom is desiring to choose the good alone.
The snake tempted Eve to create herself in God’s image through the law, in the power of the flesh: God’s dream…with a lie. So what Adam and Eve created was a lie. They create an “anti-dream,” the imitation dream, the imposter.
Psalm 14:2 “The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of Adam to see if there are any who understand, who seek God (that is, choose God – choose love). They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt. There is none who does good, not even one.”
Not even one.
We may stumble across the good, accidentally choose something good… but we don’t make a good choice with a good will, a free will, an undivided will, a will that loves in freedom. Our will is in bondage to sin. The history of Israel and the Law, the testimony of all Scripture clearly reveal: Our choice is sin and death.
Adam and Eve had a random will; now they have a bad will (a will in bondage to sin and death). Adam and Eve are not created in the image of God, and so most people seem to think that God didn’t get His dream. For God created a will that trumped His own will.
Can we trump God’s will? Is your will…stronger than God’s will to make you in the image and likeness of love? Is your dream of death stronger than God’s dream of Life?
In Genesis 3, God shows up, curses the world, and we would expect Him to obliterate Adam and start over. But He doesn’t. Perhaps He’s not finished. He hasn’t said, “It is finished.” Not yet…
Genesis 3:21 And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skin, and clothed them.
Adam is clothed with a sacrifice of love. It’s a picture of Jesus Christ and Him crucified:
-He is God’s judgment.
-He is God’s decision.
-He is The Good.
-He destroys the Old Adam, and is the New Adam – the finished man.
-He is “the perfect image of the invisible God.”
Scripture tells me to “put Christ on,” to “put the New Man on.” Jesus said to His disciples: “You didn’t choose me, I chose you.
He is The Good, and He chooses me to choose Him. He chooses us, and He chooses within us.
You see, a good choice in us is Christ Jesus in us…God finishes Adam with Christ, and Christ is the Image of God. “Let us make Adam in our image and likeness…” Maybe God gets His wish – His dream. He covers “Adam.” And “Adam” means humanity.
I Corinthians 13:45, 49 explains this well: “Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”
And take a look at Romans 5:18: “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for ALL men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for ALL men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience, the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
Where our bad choice increased, God’s good choice abounded all the more!!!
I Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive!!!”
The primal lie is that I create me, but the reality is that I damn me, and God saves me. And that is all a part of how He creates me.
I’m not saved by my will, my choice, my judgments. I’m saved by God’s will, God’s choice, God’s judgment (which is grace).
As long as I think I’m saved by my judgments, I’m stuck in Hell, for my judgments are Hell. What most people mean by “free will” is “my will,” which is emptiness, death, and Hell.
We think it is our own choices, power, and judgment that save us when that is precisely what we need to be saved from! To trust God’s power is the death of my power, so we often don’t trust God’s power, for it’s the end of our power.
God’s power is love that takes the form of grace. Nothing in all this world is as offensive as grace, for if I’m created solely by grace, it’s the death of the lie that I thought was me… the death of my pride.
We don’t trust God’s power, for we don’t understand God’s power: It’s the power of love.
God creates by giving, and we create by taking. To make ourselves winners, we think there must be losers. To make ourselves first and best, we make others last and least. It’s primal. We make scapegoats.
God came to earth as Christ and made Himself last and least. He made Himself the scapegoat. He said: “Eve, take from me – body and blood, from my tree.” “Eve, take from me – but I give me, fore-give myself, to you.” “Sin increased and grace abounded all the more.” It’s the power of surrendered power–the power of love.
Love makes a space, and there Love gives itself away. God makes a space, that you think is you – He makes it with you. Then God fills that space with Himself: The TRUE YOU. God gives you a random will, and that becomes a bad will, an empty will. Then God fills it with good will. What He takes is nothing (emptiness), and what He gives is everything (Himself).
We are saved and created 100% by grace through faith. And you have nothing to boast about.
The cost of being created is believing: “I am created.” In other words: I’m created by “grace through faith, and that not of myself lest I should boast.” God freely wills that you would will Him in freedom. You have been chosen to choose, but that choice is a gift.
This is the Gospel:
You are not the chooser, but the chosen.
You are not the elector, but the elected.
You are not the dreamer. You are, in fact, God’s dream.
The power of God is the cross of Christ – the power of love. God is love, and there is no power greater.
This devotional was prepared by Kimberly Weynen, Peter Hiett’s assistant. It is a compilation of excerpts from the sermon “God’s Dreams and Our Dreams” You can read or listen to the entire sermon here: God’s Dreams and Our Dreams