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From the Garden of Belief

June 23, 2017/Abiding Life
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The Garden of Unbelief

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 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.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. – Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-6

In the garden of Eden, humanity chooses to believe a life other than God’s. Humanity disobeys God out of unbelief. “You surely will not die!” Deceived? Sure. But the choice was still made to not believe God. From this act of disobedience, sin enters the world and humanity is cursed. God hides His life from humanity, revealing it in bits and pieces through a chosen and set apart people. Humanity is set on the way of death.

The Garden of Belief

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” – Matthew 26:36-46

35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” – Mark 14:35-36

In the garden of Gethsemane, the New Humanity chooses to believe the life of the Father. The New Humanity obeys the Father out of belief. “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” Deceived? Not one bit. The choice was made to believe the Father. From this act of obedience, and the subsequent actions taken from this obedience, sin is destroyed and the New Humanity is blessed. God offers His life in the New Humanity, revealing it in fullness in bodily form in one person: Christ Jesus His Son. His Life is now available to all who receive the Son. The New Humanity is the Way of Life.

The New World

From one garden, the garden of unbelief, unbelief and disobedience entered the world, thus cursing humanity. From the other garden, the garden of belief, Faith and Obedience Himself ushered in a New World, thus ending the old, cursed humanity, and birthing a New Humanity. This New Humanity, the Increase of Christ, the corporate Christ, the Church, is born from a life of belief and obedience.

Jesus humbled Himself by believing His Father and being obedient to the point of death. He thus became a life-giving spirit, and dwells in us who believe. This Life of humility, belief, and obedience now dwells in those who are in Christ. And when we face those moments of temptation, those crises of faith, we can rest assured His Life is sufficient to handle it. From the Garden of Belief, we’ve been brought into a New World.

For more conversation on belief and unbelief, please listen to the podcast, Help My Unbelief, over at To the Saints Radio.

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