"An Inside Perspective"

October 2016

My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I want to share with you a tale. There were two Christian mountain climbers named Faith and Hope. They were inseparable and always climbed together. They also sought to glorify the Lord in all they did.

Together they had conquered many of the world’s most notorious peaks, and all the while appreciated the victories and defeats that climbers come to know so well. At Faith’s request, so as to honor the Lord for their successes, Hope would always plant a flag with an appropriate scripture at the summit. It was a small token which was a gratitude-filled offering to acknowledge the Lord for their victory, and also to honor Him for His marvelous creation.

So one day, after much prayer, they decided to make a special trip to the Middle East. They thought it only fitting, if not faith-building, to explore some of the Biblical mountains they had so often read about in their beloved Scriptures. So off they went, prayerfully desiring to add another notch to their proverbial climber’s belt; a testimony unto their King!

After arriving and assembling all of their climbing gear, they began their journey in the joy of the Lord. Starting off from their base camp, they climbed all day, and stopped when they arrived at an excellent place to rest for the night. Faith loved to walk, so once their camp was set up for the evening, Faith went out to do a little exploring, while Hope stayed to prepare the evening meal.

As Faith was walking, he came across an ancient body frozen in the ice. He was able to see the body clearly because the unusually warm winter weather had exposed it. As Faith drew near and examined the body, he had a revelation and thought, “My stars, I know who that is!”

Faith immediately ran back to Hope and shouted that he had discovered an ancient body frozen in the ice. He declared, without delay, that beyond a shadow of a doubt, he knew who it was! Hope stood back in stunned disbelief. Doubting, Hope replied, “We are all the way on the other side of the world, on top of this mountain. How could you possibly know whose body that is?” Without hesitation, Faith proclaimed, “It’s Adam!” Flabbergasted, to say the least, Hope replied, “You’re crazy as a bed bug Faith! How could you possibly ever know for sure who it is?” Faith quipped back with a confidence as if he had discovered the lost Ark of the Covenant, “What is the one thing that Adam lacked that all the rest of mankind has but Eve?” Hope stood dumbfounded as Faith disclosed his revelatory truth, “This body has no belly button!”

It is written, “The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from Heaven…As we have born the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly…If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation…”(1Cor. 15:47, 49; 5:17a)

If we think about it, “faith” is always exploring the mountaintops of God’s promises, while “hope” stays in the camp waiting expectantly. However, we soon learn that as faith traverses the eternal mountains of God, he always stumbles upon Adam. We may indeed scale the highest of heights, walking with faith in the Spirit, but for now, as with a ball and chain, we find we still bear, in the body, the dreaded earthy Adam.

It is written, “But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection: lest by any means when I have preached to others I myself should be a castaway.”(1Cor. 9:27)

Adam was God’s very own personally formed new creation. He was made in the image of God and after His likeness because that is how God chose to form him. Yet, Adam was formed from the dust of the earth; he was earthy. Adam was a type; he was an earthy shadow of a heavenly reality that was ultimately fulfilled in Christ. And yes, Adam had no belly button!

Christians are also God’s very own personally formed new creations in Christ. The Word declares, “He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.”(Eph.1:4) Yet, for now, we are not totally free from the stain of sin left us by the first man Adam. However, we are currently being conformed into the likeness of Christ by the Holy Spirit of God, for the glory of God. That is how God chose to form us.

Christ, the last Adam, was made a quickening spirit, even the second man, thus fulfilling the type. (1Cor.15:45, 47) Albeit, for now, believers still have belly buttons. Have you ever thought that one day having no belly button will finally declare your total freedom from the first Adam?

Having been born again from above, our hearts also now bear the heavenly image of Christ. We, being full of the Holy Spirit, can love the Lord as with an eternal flaming fire! One day soon, faith will become sight and hope will be fulfilled in the resurrection of the just. Then, and only then, we shall see Christ face-to-face, totally free from Adam. Yes, beloved, we will see each other as we shall forever be. Then we shall realize, in the twinkling of an eye, that we too, finally forever have…