At the fall as it is recorded in Genesis 3 there were three immediate problems that needed to be repaired:
- Man was now separated from God.
- Man was unrighteous.
- Man was unable to communicate with God.
Of course only God could repair this situation; however, part of the fruit of the fall is that man now thinks he is God and can repair the situation.
In Genesis 3:4-5 we see where the devil directly told us why we believe we can do this:
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
The fact that man believes he is God is the problem in that man refuses to come to God to repair the relationship and man refuses to acknowledge there has been a separation. The practical outworking is idolatry where man worships anything that gives man credit: the Golden Calf that Aaron and the Israelites built [Exodus 32:2-6] after God brought them out of Egypt is both real and symbolic of man erecting an idol with his own hands that he can worship that gives him credit.
Hence the great battle that the Apostle Paul outlines in Galatians between the law and grace. The bottom line is this situation in humanity reflects the fruit of the fall.
So we’re back to the three problems that only God can repair. How does He do it?
- Genesis 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” This clothing is both real and symbolic of God justifying Adam and Eve by shedding the blood of animals to clothe them. I guess they could have said no but they appeared to have received the clothing from God and were thereby justified by faith.
- In the shedding of blood, again real and symbolic of the Lamb of God who was to come, their sins were forgiven and their punishment absorbed by the blood of the animal. This means they were now righteous through shed blood. Again this righteousness was attained by faith. In other words they did not merit the righteousness, that’s what shed blood points to that they did not merit salvation but received it by faith.
- God continues to dwell with Adam and Eve after they have been pardoned and justified. God’s presence is more directly defined by Peter in his sermon on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Thus Peter is saying that you receive the Holy Spirit as a sign of your repentance and remission of sins signifying your relationship with God has been restored. Once you have received the Holy Spirit you can begin to know God personally. The Apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 2:11-12, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. ” Thus by receiving the Spirit of God we know God.
After these three actions have occurred in our life we can say we are reconciled to God by faith and are then able to live the rest of our life in relationship with God. Relationship means, like in a marriage, getting to know His ways, His desires and teachings which are known by reading the Bible daly and asking the Holy Spirit to teach us (I John 2:27).