By Femi Aribisala
When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, their eyes were opened and they became aware that they were naked. Therefore, they sewed fig leaves to cover themselves. When they heard the sound of God walking in the garden, they hid among the trees. Then God called out to Adam and said: “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:1-9).
Where. indeed, was Adam? Was he not in the garden? Adam was in the garden, and yet God asked him where he was. God is God, he knows all things, and yet he did not seem to know where Adam was. How can this be?
Adam was in the garden but, by eating the forbidden fruit, he had moved spiritually to the devil’s kingdom.
Adam’s positioning had nothing to do with where Adam was physically. God told Adam: “The day you eat the fruit of this tree, that day you will surely die.” But the devil contravened this by telling Eve: “You will surely not die.”
Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree, and they seemingly did not die. Was God lying to Adam? Impossible! Jesus says: “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63).
Therefore, in asking: “Adam, where are you?” God was talking about a spiritual location. However, in responding, Adam referred to his physical location. God said Adam would die if he ate the forbidden fruit. In this, he was talking about spiritual death. Adam died immediately he ate the forbidden fruit. However, he remained alive physically.
Physical life is not life; neither can it be because it always ends in death. Life must surely be spiritual. The life and death that God talks about are spiritual and not physical. God is: “the ancient of days.” (Daniel 7:9). He lives forever and can never die. And yet God is not material or physical. God is a spirit. (John 4:24). Therefore, real life must be spiritual.
Eternal life is spiritual life. It should not be confused with physical life. Adam and Eve had physical life, but they were dead spiritually. Similarly, many people today are alive physically but dead spiritually.
Adam and Eve died when they sinned by disobeying God, because sin disconnected them from God: the source of life. And yet, Adam and Eve continued to live on physically. Adam lived for another seven hundred years after he died, that is after he ate the forbidden fruit. Therefore, the life he lived was not life. The life he lived was death.
Jesus says: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). Were people not alive before Jesus came? What does he mean by saying he has come that we may have life? If he came that we might have life, then we did not have life before Christ. But we were alive before we gave our life to Christ. No, says the word of God. We were dead. We were “dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1).
Dead men walking
Life has nothing to do with being alive. Jesus reveals that the dead are walking. They are walking: “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2).
What then is life? Life can only be fellowship with God. Jesus says, in effect: “I have come that you might have a relationship with God, and that you might have it abundantly.” “I have come that you might have a relationship with God to the fullest.” “I have come that you might enter into a new personal and intimate relationship with God.”
Jesus says to God: “This is the way to have eternal life- by knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” (John 17:3).
Since God is eternal life, Jesus came to reveal God to men. He came to reconcile men to God. He came to bring men back into a relationship with God. He does this by showing us the way of salvation and by giving us the Holy Spirit as their teacher and helper. So doing, he creates sons of God who are new men and women with a new family, with a new set of values, with a new set of motivations and with new possessions.
Eternal life is a person called Jesus Christ. In the same way that only those who were in Noah’s Ark survived the Flood, only those who have the Holy Spirit will live. Accordingly, John says: “We know that Christ, God’s Son, has come to help us understand and find the true God. And now we are in God because we are in Jesus Christ his Son, who is the only true God; and he is eternal life. Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” (1 John 5:20-21).
God has given us eternal life and this eternal life is in Jesus Christ: “For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.” (John 5:26). Eternal life cannot be separated from Christ. Eternal life is indissoluble from Christ.: “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:12).
The Prodigal Son died when he left home. His father is Eternal Life, so when he left the father, he died. All the time he was wining and dining and making merry in a foreign land, he was dead. When did he become alive again? He was raised from the dead when he returned back home.
“His father said to the slaves, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. And a jeweled ring for his finger; and shoes! And kill the calf we have in the fattening pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has returned to life. He was lost and is found.’” (Luke 15:22-24).
Where are you?
So, my beloved brothers and sisters, where are you? Are you in Christ? Moses says: “LORD, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.” (Psalm 90:1). But did we know this? No, we did not. But now we do because of the new awareness given to us by Jesus Christ.
Adam, where are you. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1). Christian, where are you? I am in the Ark. I am in Christ. Where is Christ? He is seated at God’s right hand in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:20). That means believers are seated together with him at God’s right hand in the heavenly places, and everything is under our feet.
Martha, do you believe this? Your location is not a physical location; your location is a spiritual location. Although you are physically here in Lagos, spiritually in Christ you live and move and have your being, for you are his offspring. (Acts 17:28).