Creation and Re-creation
The creation is the overspill and outcome of the Father, Son and Holy Spirits’ union and oneness. This is a profound truth that physicists have only recently begun to appreciate. The nature of the universe is best understood by evaluating the relationship between things rather than observing the things in themselves. Everything is what it is, relative to everything else, and most particularly in relationship to God, who sustains and holds all things together. All our relationships are ultimately relative to God and can be measured against the only true constant in the universe – i.e. the love of God.
Thus Jesus described his connection with the Father as the source and cause of eternal life (John 14:6, 17:3). Life ultimately concerns connection and authentic relationship. The glory of being human is to correlate with God. As one of the church Fathers, Saint Irenaeus put it: “The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God.” In other words, true humanity is only seen in the context of the fullness of God in a man or woman.
This is what we see in the creation story when God made the first man and woman. “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Gen 2:25). They were perfectly related to God, to one another and to the creation and therefore glorious and without shame. There was nothing to cover up or make up for and their nakedness only revealed their perfection. This is a beautiful metaphoric description of the eternal life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit manifesting in the creation. All this, of course, was prior to the fall.
However the fall, as it is most often called, saw the introduction of death. Death is not merely about physical mortality. Death is the opposite of life. It is about the disintegration of the vital bonds of authentic relationships that make us truly human. After all, Adam and Eve did not physically die the moment they disobeyed God. Nevertheless, the moment they disconnected relationally from God death entered the human experience. Something profound occurred and their humanity; it was diminished and tainted. Suddenly there was tension and disunity between humanity and God, between Adam and Eve, and humanity and creation. Now their nakedness was shameful and they wanted to cover up their shame and hide from God. (Gen 2:8-10).
Ever since that time humanity has been attempting, without success, to cover up and make up for this loss. In this state of death we cannot find ultimate peace and we are bound to be trapped in endless idolatry, temptation, addiction and emptiness. The only remedy is not one we can generate for ourselves; we must let God re-create us. Our humanity must be recast and renewed – we must be ‘born again’ – not just tidied up a bit. Jesus is the new Adam in whom we are given that new life. As David Pawson once put it, in him we are not merely “given a new start in life, but a new life to start with.”