Q. What is the rising-to-life of the new self?
A. Wholehearted joy in God through Christ (1) and a love and delight to live according to the will of God by doing every kind of good work (2).
Read: (1) Ps. 51:8, 12; Isa.57:15; Rom. 5:1; 14:17; (2) Rom. 6:10-11; Gal. 2:20.
I have been studying Genesis 1 in Hebrew and praying, meditating and marveling at the incredible power of God our Creator. His sovereignty, His magnificence, His creativity, His control. Genesis 1 is like an overture in a song. Genesis 1 sounds like a symphony which starts with a soft melody of a couple of instruments but grows exponentially to give way to a myriad of beautiful sounds that culminate in a mind blowing song. From chaos to order. From darkness to light. From place to person. From nothingness to life. From shapeless to shaped in the image of God. Genesis 1 is not a parable by any means! I think it is very much historical and literal but it has been a sweet reminder of the rising to life in Christ of my own soul. And today, as we study question 89 of The Heidelberg Catechism I want to share with you how Jesus is that culmination of the mind-blowing miracle of death to life.
We are born sinners. We are born to chaos and to bring chaos. We are born spiritually miserable, shapeless. We can’t do good because our nature is born evil. The sin of Adam taints us all and hence, we can’t do good. Even our attempts to do good fall short and just like in the beginning, everything is without form and void and dark, without God, we remain like that. We pass through life shapeless, chaotic and dark to go towards a permanent, eternal darkness of hell. But God…God intervenes.
God comes. He Himself comes down to us because we cannot change and save ourselves. It takes God Himself to intervene and come to bring order and right and light into chaos and wrong and darkness. And so He comes. God the Son, Jesus leaves the glories of Heaven and for the joy set before Him, endures the Cross (Hebrews 12:2). He comes and dies. He pays the price. The price, the cost of your sin which is eternal death and chaos and darkness is paid in full by the Righteous Lamb of God. He intervenes because we can’t.
And in the moment He intervenes, He creates. From nothing to something. Ex nihilo. From death and nothingness and emptiness to life and life abundant. Just as we see God creating in Genesis 1 from nothing to everything He gives us life. We can’t give life ourselves because we are dead. We can’t save ourselves because we are unrighteous. We can’t create because only God can create from nothing to everything. And so, as He intervenes He pours His grace to give us faith in Christ and in a single moment, the song erupts in a myriad of beautiful sounds that culminate in life and life everlasting. But He doesn’t end there, no. God is far to powerful and good!
Just like He does to Adam and Eve, God tells us to be fruitful and multiply, to subdue and create and so when He gives us life in Christ, we are called to live up to His mandate, to share the Gospel and to enjoy this new life that we have in Christ. New life, brings forth a new mind, a new heart, a new will. New desires, new thoughts, new joys …the right ones. Those which we couldn’t have because we were in darkness. Christ brings us to His wonderful righteousness which allow us to desire what is good and what is right, to love Him with all our mind, heart, soul and strength and to love our neighbor as yourself and in that we find that we are doing precisely what we were created to do.
Sister, Genesis 1 is not a parable but history. God created because God is. But Genesis 1 gives us a beautiful picture of how He brings us from death to life and life abundant. May this small teaching encourage your walk as you enjoy new life in Christ.