“she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.”
See Genesis 3:6-7
Shame. This is one of the lies–if not the greatest lie–Satan convinces God’s children of. He wants us to think there’s something wrong with us. From the beginning of time, this lie began. Adam and Eve were perfect in every way; physically, spiritually, and in their soul. They had the very life of God in them because of the complete absence of sin. Their life was God’s life (see Genesis 2:7).
The enemy could easily see this fact. He knew who they were as God’s own children and because he hates God, he hated them too. So he began to lie to them about them, just as he does to Christians today.
First, let’s take a step back. Why would God allow Satan to be on planet earth? So that we would have the option of free will. Why do we need free will? So we would not be fleshy mannequins–so we can choose to love God. More importantly, so we can choose to believe in who we truly are as God’s own creations. Once we do, we will naturally love God as well as ourselves and others. But first we must believe that we are loving beings.
Who were Adam and Eve? Perfection. Love perfected. The original prototype of God’s design for us. Why were they perfect? Because they had the life of God in them. It wasn’t because they had done anything at all, but because they were created as His first human children. What Adam got wrong as a human, Christ got right as a human. Jesus fixed what Adam was supposed to do, had Adam believed God about who he really was (see Romans 5).
However, from the beginning, Adam and Eve’s life was a free gift through God’s love–just like ours is through faith in the Cross (see John 3:16). But Satan wanted them to believe they needed more information on who they were as well as who God is. But the truth was, there was no need for any additional wisdom or knowledge! God and they were already one!
There was no reason to know good from evil. Yet still, the ability to choose to no longer believe this truth caused the life of God to be taken away from them–His very Spirit–and the force of sin then entered the world (see Romans 5:12, Romans 7, Genesis 4:7). So what was it that pulled their perfection away? What was it that removed their life, which was God’s life? This: by acting on the temptation of needing to know right from wrong, according to the devil. In their spirit they already knew right from wrong, according to God.
The great sales pitch of Satan was:
“Did God really say, ‘Don’t eat from that tree’?” (See Genesis 3:1)
He was already pitting humans against God–our very life. He was already trying to make them doubt who they already were: just like their Creator in every way possible.
God had commanded Adam and Eve to not eat from that tree. Why? Was He on a power trip to “be” obeyed–as some grace-confused Christians want us to think? No. Was there anything special about that tree’s fruit? No. God said, “Don’t,” because He knew that would be the first lie of Satan, and once they did choose to believe his lie, that very act would cause them to no longer believe Him about who they already were: complete.
He knew His very life would be removed from them, His Spirit. He cannot live inside of anything that is not holy, and if we are not holy, it is because of sin–not the verbs, but the noun. Hamartia is the original Greek word. And sin can only be inside of an unbeliever’s spirit, not a believer’s spirit (see 1 John 3:9, Romans 6:2). This is how Christ makes His home in us! This is why the New Covenant is so amazing! It is Christ reconciling us with God, through Himself, through His ability to remove sin from us by way of simple faith (see 2 Corinthians 5:19, 1 Corinthians 6:11, John 1:29, 1 Peter 2:24, Matthew 18:3).
God has always been interested in one main thing: Do you believe me about who you are, and who I am?
Adam and Eve were naked from the beginning of their life, but were never shameful. Why not? Because there was nothing wrong with them. It was when Satan sold them the bill of goods in Genesis 3, “You will be wise because you will know good from evil–and you won’t die. God is lying to you. The truth is, once you have my wisdom, you’ll be just like God.”
After that, then they became ashamed, thinking, “Now I truly know right from wrong.”
Friend, this continues on today in the body of Christ–His Church. We want to list off good from evil, small sin to big sin, right from wrong, wise from unwise, and lie from truth. We think we have such wisdom down to a science–to a law–yet, just like from the opening scene of time, God is still saying, “Do you believe me?”
Sadly, we will trust Christ for His forgiving blood but not for His very Spirit inside of us, to lead us. We think we need a rule book, a loud, motivating pastor–or Moses, or even Christian principles and disciplines. We think we need to be told, “This is right. This is wrong,” and the evidence of what’s shameful or not shameful can be measured by “doing” or “not doing.”
The legalistic mindsets of the Jews, who were following Jesus around from town to town, wanted Him to tell them what they should and shouldn’t do as well–even while He kept telling them to just believe Him:
“What must we do to do the works of the Father?” (John 6:28)
Do you see it? “What must we do?” and “What are the works?”
This was what Adam and Eve needed as well, according to Satan anyway. The “do” was the act of eating a piece of fruit. Our do can be listed off as many things, but for them, it was just reaching out, picking, and then biting. They wanted the wisdom of God through works…but they already had it. It was Him in them.
Christian, you already have it too. It’s Christ in you! (See 1 Corinthians 2:16, 6:17, Colossians 1:27). For this reason, Jesus tweaked His answer after being asked that question:
“The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)
The work–not works–is that we believe. Believe what? Believe that by one sacrifice He has perfected us once again, by grace through faith, just the same as Adam and Eve were before they no longer believed God about their perfection (see Hebrews 10:10,14, Ephesians 2:8-9, 2 Corinthians 5:21).
I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO. I AM TALKING ABOUT WHO YOU ARE. Get your who right and your do will happen naturally. Not the other way around, which is Satan’s bait.
The work of God is that we believe we have all we need in us for life and godliness–which is the very Spirit of Jesus Christ! (2 Peter 1:3, Colossians 3:4, Romans 8:9). Not later on, but now! Not increasing over time, but right now! Yes, our unholy actions and attitudes will mature over time, but we won’t. Birth is final (see John 3:6-7).
The work of God is that we believe the very same unfairness which pulled spiritual perfection away from mankind through the choice of Adam, is the very same unfairness that gave it back to mankind, by way of faith in Jesus. Through one man’s disobedience we lost it. Through one man’s obedience, we gained it! (See Romans 5).
Believe who you are, Christian, please. You are a saint. You are holy. You are blameless. You are full of the same qualities as the Creator of the universe! (See Colossians 1:22, Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Philippians 4:8).
“Yeah right, Matt! We gotta know what sin is and fight it!”
Friend, anything that is not of faith is sin (see Romans 14:23). Anything that is not being led by Christ, who is your life, who has perfected your spirit to be His life, is sin. Like Adam and Eve, we don’t need “the knowledge of good and evil.” Like the Jews, we don’t need 613 commandments from Moses–or even what the Church has created: “Moses’ Top 10 plus tithing.”
We have become obedient from the heart, from identity (see Romans 6:17, 2 Corinthians 5:17). So anything that we do or don’t do, think or don’t think–in which we are tempted to check off as sinful–is not of faith. Instead, it’s us being temporarily insane. It’s an eagle who thinks it’s a chicken who doesn’t have the ability to fly high. It’s, as Peter said, us forgetting that we have been cleansed from our sins (see 2 Peter 1:9).
Like Adam and Eve, we don’t need the knowledge Satan offered–even if other Christians incorrectly make that their #1 goal–or label us as sinful because we don’t do the same. Sure, there is tons of advice for godly living all throughout the pages of the New Testament. But such advice is only reiterating what’s already written on our hearts. That authentic wise counsel comes to life through our actions and attitudes organically by believing who God has recreated us to be: sinless beings who sometimes forget who we are and then incorrectly choose to sin.
Yet grace abounds.
Sometimes this forgetfulness lasts nearly our entire human lifespan–and earthly pain is the result. Even still, our identity remains the same because Jesus will never die again, and the Father and Son will never break their promise to one another (see Hebrews 6:16-19, 7:25, 2 Timothy 2:13).
But when we believe God like Adam and Eve originally did, we enjoy the same Spirit in us, guiding us! His Holy Spirit will never lead us into licentiousness, debauchery, legalism, addiction, fear, angst, pressure, rage, resentment, immorality, dead works, abuse, factions, gossip, unforgiveness, racism, hate, passive-aggressiveness, dishonoring others, the silent treatment, denominations, hierarchies, or Mosaic Law. The bottom line is, He will never lead us into sin nor anything that will produce sin! So don’t worry! Trust Him! He will guide us into truth moment by moment! He will guide us into the graceful knowledge of who we really are, His children!
So today, my Christian friends, let me ask you this: Who told you that you were naked? Who told you the forces of hell have any control over you? Who told you that your faith in Christ’s forgiveness wasn’t good enough, and that you needed to sustain it yourself by what you do and don’t do? Who told you, like Adam, to blame someone else for you no longer believing God about your one-time spiritual rebirth? Who told you that you could possibly keep track of all your sins and then confess them to a man in a box to be forgiven–as if the Cross was not enough and you had to add to it? Who told you that a liquid could possibly wash away your sins? Who told you God will bless you more if you give a percentage of your money away–as if He doesn’t freely give you all things because He loves you? Who told you that a pastor, church leader, or priest is more holy than you–or held to a higher standard–as if faith in the Cross alone is not the highest? Who told you that you need a human priest, as if our final Priest was not enough? Who told you that you need to exude a gift as proof you are saved–or to make God’s Spirit envelop you a second time–as if He didn’t have the ability to get it right the first time? Who told you that you need to go to a geographical location once a week to be good enough for God? Who told you that you are not already just like Christ? Who told you that you have the ability to lose the life of Christ in you? Who told you that God would leave you or that He is disappointed in you? Who told you that you’ve crossed the line and His grace is no longer enough? WHO LIED TO YOU?…The enemy did…You are not naked. Believer, you are fully clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, forever.
A prayer for you: Dad, thank you for teaching me what you’ve done for me through Jesus. What a gift. In the first conversation you had with Adam and Eve–after Satan lied to them and they acted on those lies–you asked a question in which you already knew the answer to, “Who told you that you were naked?” I believe you did this so they could see who the liar really was. The truth is, they WEREN’T naked before they believed his lies about them NOT already being EXACTLY who you created them to be. But their new “religious knowledge” failed them, as it still does us today. I also believe you asked them that question because you wanted them to know who it was that removed their life–your Spirit–from them, which was their own choice. I know that since we were born from sinful Adam and Eve, we inherited their sinful spiritual DNA. But by Christ, we’ve been reborn in our spirit! We’ve been given new, perfect spirits! Thank you! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. So many of these Christians think they’re not spiritually perfect. Please help them to believe this truth! Like Adam and Eve, you clothe us when we FEEL shame, but really, we have nothing to be shameful of when it comes to our identity! Help us to believe this truth more and more each day! In our Savior’s name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from The Christian Identity, Volume 1. Get your copy here!