What Should We Do?

Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:27)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Have you accepted Christ into all aspects of your life?

Walking into an office, whose picture normally hangs on the wall? The picture on the wall usually depicts the one casting the vision of the company. It could be the founder, the current president, or a chief executive. Why? It is helpful to remind us who is in charge and what we are about.

Assume you are a new office manager. Suppose when your supervisor was out of the office, a stranger walked in and questioned your supervisor’s instructions, saying—you are in charge now: take it easy. Then, being naive, you declared independence, kicked the feet up on the desk, and slept all afternoon. What would happen when your supervisor returned? What would you think then if the supervisor, even as you are being fired and walked to the door, made a promise—when my oldest son comes, you can come back and he will make sure that stranger does not bother you anymore?

This is essentially the story of Adam and Eve. The story has three parts: creation with great expectations (hired), fall into temptation (fired), and promise of restoration through divine intervention (second chance).

Creation. Just like the business with the picture on the wall, in our hearts we have a picture of God because God created us in his image. This family resemblance gives us human dignity. We were created with great prospects and a bright future.

The emphasis in Genesis 1:27 is on being created in the image of God together with our spouses. We were created to live in families with one man and one woman. To prevent any misunderstanding, Adam and Eve were blessed, put in charge on earth, and given a mission: “Be fruitful and multiple.” (Gen 1:28)

Fall. God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eve with just one restriction that came with a penalty: do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil under penalty of death (Gen 2:17). In deceiving Eve, Satan questioned God’s integrity saying that the penalty was a lie: you will not die (Gen 3:4). In giving into this temptation, Adam and Even sinned and rebelled against God. God then expelled them from the Garden of Eden. Left outside Eden, Adam and Eve faced life outside of God’s presence and under the penalty of death.

Restoration. In God’s curse of Satan, he prophesied the coming of Christ. Satan’s usurped kingdom will be over-thrown by a descendant of Eve (Gen 3:15).

What does the story of Adam and Eve say about our identity? Tension arises in our lives because we do not live up to God’s expectations. Our dignity arises from being created in God’s image; yet, we sin and rebel against God. The Good News is that when Christ died for our sins, he overthrew the rule of Satan in our lives and restored our relationship with God, just as it was in the beginning.

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