God with Us
John R Gavazzoni
Oct. 15, 2002
Thousand Oaks, CA
To the dismay of the conventional religious mentality, the Son of God seems to show up in the most unlikely places. We need not look further than our Lord's propensity to gravitate to the company of society's and institutional religion's outcasts to make our point. There are marvelous inferences to be drawn from from this clearly anarchistic and seemingly unseemly behavior of our God and Savior.
I suppose all of us, in effect, at some time or another have said in one way or another, "You don't mean to tell me that that Emmanuel was THERE" or, "You can't possibly be serious; you say He went THERE and He actually hung around THERE with THEM; hruumph, I don't believe it; whoever you saw, it couldn't have been Him."
You see, to acknowledge the sinless perfection of the Lord Jesus while facing the obvious fact that He was well within His fellowship comfort-zone with publicans and sinners becomes, if squarely faced, at least an unconscious embarrassment to most Christians. What often happens is that we give lip service---and self-righteously so---to this very obvious bonding preference of our Lord, and then we thoroughly deny it in practice.
Accordingly, I must confess that when I was confronted by the fact that St. Luke called Adam the son of God, I just knew (that is, I thought I knew) that Luke could not have meant that the Son of God, who came into the world conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit and birthed in Bethlehem of Judea, had also been centrally present, and personally involved in the great tragedy that played out in the Garden of Eden, in and AS Adam.
I knew He had been back there as the Reality of the Tree of Life, but AS Adam, oh no! Oh no! No way! I had already taught that, as God's Seed, He was in Adam and all his progeny, awaiting the time that He would actively regenerate each in his due time, but I stubbornly resisted the proposition that the man, Adam, WAS the son of God.
Now I was being dragged by the Spirit, with black heel marks all the way, right toward the dead center of that conclusion. The Spirit had His hook in my jaw and wouldn't let me off the hook. I found my self, over a period of time, confronted by suggestions, implications and/or outright affirmation from dear brethren whom I deeply respected, that Adam, the son of God and Jesus, the Son of God, were the same Son of God, and my knee-jerk religious response was, in so many words, "It couldn't be; Adam and Jesus are utterly distinct. Where the one leaves off, the other begins, and there is an abyss of separation and absence of continuity between them."
Now I must provide explanations along the way lest I lose you, my valued reader. If I am by the Spirit to minister to you, you must read this message carefully. If you are not capable of reading something carefully, then have the humility to ask someone who might be capable fo doing so, to explain what really is being said here before you pronounce judgment. First among ongoing necessary explanations: Adam wasn't Jesus and Jesus wasn't Adam, but they were the same Son of God.
The Son of God, as Adam, was named Adam (or Man); the Son of God as, Jesus, was named Jesus, Emmanuel, the Christ (Matt. 1:23). So doesn't that indicate a distinction to be made; is there a distinction to be understood? Yes, obviously; but underneath the distinction there was and is, and there should be a corresponding understanding of, a solidarity, union and continuity of Being between the two historical persons.
To become Jesus, the Son of God had to be conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. But first, to become Adam, He, yes He, the same ETERNAL Son of God, had to share in createdness, that is, be translated (transferred, transported) from eternity into time, formed of dust, and be caused to exist with, and be constituted by, the same materiality of creation in order to, in solidarity with creation, be the Head of all creation.
He, the eternal Word, was translated into creation language so that "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to all the world." (Ps.19:1-4a NAS).
Please note that this writer believes firmly that the Son of God was and is the Son of God in and from eternity. He was already the Son of God when he was born of the virgin, Mary. He, as the Son, entered, that is, came into the world of space, time and matter (what the scientist calls the space-time continuum) through His eternal birth being translated into an earthly birth in the grace whereby Mary was made to participate in the power of divine conception. Thus, He, our Lord and Elder Brother IS eternal life who became eonion life.
The Son of God, that One and Only Unique Single-Begotten of the Father, was not a distant presence merely effecting creation from afar. He was there in a pre-advent, being made one with the universe, the universe which was created in Him, is contained in Him, and upheld by Him, the Word of God. But I jumped ahead of myself. Back again to the process of revelation that nearly fIoored me.
I had felt that I was quite clear about the Son of God and the sons of God. The Lord had graciously and patiently led me to understand that all we sons of God were sons in union with THE Son and that our sonship owed itself to His, though, to be sure, in union with Him, we completely share His relationship with OUR Father, tracing our roots back to being seeds within the Seed. But to my understanding, no one could rightly and with distinction be called THE Son of God except our Lord.
I could boast in the Lord that I was A son of God, but certainly I would be horrified if someone called me THE Son of God; and let me hasten to say that I still would be horrified. So how could another individual be called the son of God; in this case, Adam? For Luke's genealogy to conform to my understanding, Luke would have traced Jesus humanity back to Adam and then said that Adam was the creation of God.
But that's not what Luke said. He traces the genealogy back generation after generation: So and so was the son of so and so, on and on until he comes to Adam, whom he says was the son of God. (Now keep in mind that neither Adam nor Jesus, as the Christ. can be fully understood as mere individuals. All of us were included in Adam and also, all of us are included in Christ because Adam is in Christ).
Please also note, as an aside, that it is theological nonsense to teach that sometimes men and/or angels are called the sons of God simply by virtue of being created by God. Foolishness; downright foolishness. Sons are sons by birth, not by creation! We can't take the exegetically easy and lazy way out of this apparent conundrum by claiming that Luke simply meant that Adam could be called the son of God because God the Father created him.
The truth is written all through the New Testament that being a son of God is a matter being born of the incorruptible Seed of God (I Pet.1:23), and plainly set forth within creation in that moms and dads don't have babies by craftsmanship, they have them by coitus, by the implantation of sperm (seed) as a shadow of divine reproduction, though, if you stay with me, you will see the wonderful relationship between that which we are as His workmanship and that which we are by His Seed.
We could jump to a hasty conclusion that these are not only distinct, but utterly separate. That would be a faulty conclusion, for a careful reading of the apostle Paul's teaching on the resurrection in First Corinthians, chapter fifteen, clearly reveals a unity that encompasses that which is sown in dishonor and that which is raised in glory:
- In our next installment we shall trace the truth that there is a beginning and an end,
- an Alpha and Omega,
- a First and a Last;
- there is a first man and second Man,
- a first Adam and a Last Adam.
- "IT" is sown in dishonor;
- "IT" is raised in glory.
- Not two "ITS."
- The "it" that goes into the grave is the "it" that comes out,
- yet different, yet changed, gloriously changed.
- From this premise Paul goes on to say,
- "So ALSO it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul.'
- The last Adam became a life-giving spirit."
- Understood in the context (though I have never heard it explained in its context),
- He who became a living soul is the same One who became a life-giving spirit. (see I Cor. 15: 42-45).
- Have I raised questions in your mind? I'm sure I have, and if so
Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.
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