Does the Gospel return us to Eden?
Because of Adam's sin, we inherit his guilt and therefore stand under God's judgement. And we become sinners and therefore die. Thrown out of God's presence we live our short lives, then die only to face the judgment of a righteous God.
But we know that in the mercy of God, Jesus was sent to restore us, praise his name!
But how far has he restored us, that's my question.
Does God through Jesus Christ merely return our condition to Adam's original condition? The hymn writer Isaac Watts who was also a great theologian says "no". In his hymn, "Jesus shall reign", he has two easily missed lines that run like this:
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost
We have received from Christ more blessings than Adam lost, says Watts. We are richer than he was before the fall. If Adam lost us £100, Jesus has not merely returned the £100, he has made us super-millionaires!
But where is this in the Bible? In Romans 5, Paul lists the vast contrasts between Adam's damage and Jesus' blessings and ends with this:
"Where sin abounds, grace more abounds"
Paul uses a word for 'abound' in the first mention, to which he adds the word "hyper" in the second mention.Where sin abounds, grace super-abounds. That's the way God does things.
Where Adam has wreaked havoc in our lives, God pours in super-abundant grace!
Adam brought us sin, guilt, condemnation and the reign of death!
Jesus brings us righteousness, grace, justification, the reign of life! Heaven will be far more wonderful than the Garden of Eden!
The great principle to grasp: super-abundant grace
The great principle to grasp is the super-abundant nature of God's grace. God is not stingy, he is not a miser, he is not ham-fisted, he is unbelievably generous. There is no loss Adam has inflicted upon us that Christ will not much-more-than-match!
And since he has treated us like that, let us treat one another like that too. Giving generously, forgiving completely, as Christ has forgiven us.
And let us worship and more fully serve the God of Amazing and unspeakable grace.