Age of Innocence

What if we could be free from the knowledge of good and evil?  Is it possible?  Paul says all our flesh or selfish problems are inflamed by the law (Rom 7:5-8). What if we could return to an age of innocence where we no longer had lists and categories to live by and judge by?  What if we were simple-minded in regards to good and bad and put all our trust in our Father?  Isn’t that how Jesus demonstrated the perfect human life?  Could it be that Jesus lived a sinless life not by following the rules but by living only in the will of God?  I believe God sees our sin as a distraction, a product of law based thinking. Before the fall there was no sin because there were no lists. If we really didn’t know the difference between good and evil what would that look like? 

I believe we would be radically different and would be completely transparent. We would love and be love. We would have no grounds to judge one another. If someone wronged us we would see their need not their intent. If something happened that hurt us we would see the root cause and not look for blame. We would embrace every person we met. We would venture into areas that today we avoid and fear. We would not have groups, and clicks, and clubs or any of those “exclusive” things. We would provide for those in need because they are in need. We would encourage and cheer for one another.

Now add a perfect family unit. Now add a very wealthy Father. Now add provision and comfort of the supernatural kind. If you saw a need you would provide for it out of your pocket knowing there is plenty more in the bank. There would be a greater awareness of needs with no grounds for blame. We would see ourselves as the conduit of provision for others that don’t know Jesus.  We would welcome others into this family, into His house as welcome guests.  We would never be stingy or conditional in our giving.  We would freely give because we will never be without as children of God.

“But what about the law?  Won’t we spin off into utter chaos?”

The law was our guardian. It was a guide (or jailor) to bridge mankind from the promise of Abraham to the fulfillment in Christ.

Gal 3:24 So that the Law served [to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith. (AMP)

Gal 3:23 So until the revelation of faith for salvation was released, the Law was a jailor, holding us as prisoners under lock and key until the “Faith,” which was destined to be revealed, would set us free.  24 The Law and our failure to keep it becomes a gateway to lead us to the Messiah so that we would be saved by faith. 25 But when faith comes into our hearts, and we have come to the Messiah, the Law is no longer in force, since we have already entered into life. (Passion Translation)

Jesus said under the law that the greatest commandment was to love Him and each other. Under the law, trapped in our fallen nature and bound as a slave to sin we could not possibly fulfill this command. Our self-nature, our flesh inflamed by the perfect requirements of an unattainable righteousness under law made us judges not lovers. We became lawyers when we ate from the wrong tree. We became judges when we came under the Law of Moses. The law had no power to transform anyone. Instead it fueled the sin nature and made us aware of sin we didn’t know existed.

Rom 7:7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. (ESV)

Jesus even said things like “you should not judge or you will be judged.” Realize this is also impossible under the law. Take a look at all the regulations regarding the unclean under the law.  The priest declared who was unclean but the people were held accountable to stay away from them. If they touched an unclean then they were unclean and subject to punishment and required sacrifices. How would they operate on a day-to-day basis without using their judgment (judging one another) to avoid the unclean?  That is just one example of many judgment regulations under the law. Likewise you were in constant self-assessment to make sure you weren’t lusting or coveting or some other infraction so you would know when you needed another sacrifice for sins.  Not knowing you had sinned was not an excuse. Now you had to judge yourself. How can you love yourself when your internal mechanism is criticism?  If you can’t love yourself then how can you love another as you love yourself?  It just doesn’t work under the law.

Under Grace you are a new person. The law is gone. You now have the ABILITY and CAPACITY to see others free from our outside of the knowledge of good and evil. You can now love others as God loves you. You don’t have grounds to judge or compare. The pure love of God flows through you and is not blocked by a distorted self-nature. The sin nature has been removed. The resources are plentiful. The power to love is joined with your spirit. All you do is rest in this truth. You no longer have to assess based on law. You are no longer comparing based on blessings or worthiness evaluations. You are free to love apart from lists.

A fallen Adam trapped in a sin nature and filled with self-effort can’t possibly attain to the level of perfection Jesus calls for.  Now fast forward and on this side of the cross, in our new nature we have the ability to see outside of the law.  We have the ability to be free of judgment.  We have the ability to live free of comparison in the “good versus evil” mindset.  Now we have the ability to love unconditionally.  We are filled with all the fullness of God who is love.  We are joined to His Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.  We are a new kind of creation with new abilities and capabilities.  Now look at what John said in his letter.

1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. (ESV)

Can you see it differently now? 

Imagine an existence where you don’t have to discern from “good and evil” but instead just trust God.  Imagine that the need for the knowledge of right and wrong is removed.  Imagine that you can trust God to protect you.  Now can you see it?  It is beautiful!  This is what John is talking about.  If we are truly living in the Spirit apart from the flesh we get to see what Jesus sees. We get to be Him to others. That is outside the law. It is above the law. It is only possible in Him. Why would we ever go back to that old way of thinking?  I welcome living in the Spirit.  I welcome a return to the age of innocence.

Yay God!

Lance

Grace identity Wisdom

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