God's and Man's Love Connection (Article 19-12)
For many, reading about the creation of Adam and Eve and the Garden from which they dwelled is an easy read with straight-line conclusions to its purpose. However, as we spiritually mature in God’s Word, we begin to see a much more significant and more important message. The actual creation of Adam and Eve and the placing of them in the Garden of Eden was not an end in itself but a message that both reveals the purpose of our existence and the struggles we confront in our lives.
One of the most important conclusions we must glean from reading about the creation of man is the reason for God creating man. Second, we must understand the fabric from which we are made and how it is held intact. Finally, we must understand our purpose in life – the purpose God intends us to follow, desire, and pursue.
Love - God’s Reason for Creating Man. To understand God’s reason for creating man requires us to first understand that God is love – that is God and love being one and the same. So, now it’s essential to understand the meaning of love. To understand love is to to know and follow God. In short, love is, by way of familiar or personal ties, to have an intense affection for someone. But in the beginning, who or what was that “someone”? That “someone” was man. With this connection between God and man, we see that God created man to assert Himself in the form of love on man. And by way of man’s free will to do so, reflect that love back onto God. So how powerful is God’s love for us? To answer this, we must remember that God is love, therefore, like God, love is all-powerful, all-knowing, and is all present. In other words, to have God’s love is to have God Himself in our presence and with it experience his power and wisdom. And with His presence too, we can never be separated from God This point is expressed in Romans 8:38-39 when Paul tells us “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Finally, it’s also important to note that God created man without conditions having to be met, for God’s love is given without condition. We refer to this as His unconditional love for us. Therefore, man’s choice to love God is also to be unequivocal in nature. We are to love God because He is who He is (I am who I am [Exodus 3:13-15]) and for no other reason.
Relationships - The Fabric From Which We Are Made. The fabric which holds man together as a community is based on our relationship first with God and then with each other. Think about it. Everything in life, seen and unseen, is based on relationships. In the realm of the “unseen,” God said, "Let Us, make man in our image, after our likeness (Genesis 1:26)" indicating an interrelationship already existed between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and Trinity’s expanded interrelationships with the heavenly beings God created. In the world of the “seen,” we see interrelationships with our families, friends, neighbors, business acquaintances, co-workers, and the community at large. At this point, you may ask, “how were our interrelationships established with God and then others”? It was established by way of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit - The Glue that Holds the Fabric Together. When God created the first man (Adam) in His image from dust (Genesis 2:7), a lifeless body laid on the ground. God knelt down over Adam’s lifeless body, and “breathed” into his nostrils, and in an instant, Adam came to be a living being. With God’s breath, I imagine seeing Adam taking a deep breath and with eyes fluttering, he bends at the waist and sits up. Adam then stands up to meet his creator face to face. However, there is something more significant to understand than the miracle of Adam’s creation and his being brought to life. What is essential to recognize is that God, by way of His Spirit (The Holy Spirit), breathed Himself into man and took residence in man’s soul. In an instant, man was not only created but was in the beginning, “one with God.” In essence, God re-created Himself in man and then blessed man and woman, commanding them to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). Nowhere does the Bible show God breathing life into any animal that He created. When He created them, they breathed and became alive. Why should man be any different? He is different because man was made in the likeness of God. God did something to man that actually made man into the image of Himself. While he was lying there on the ground, he was still yet a creature. But when God breathed into him, the infusion of the Holy Spirit in man occurred. That is what made man according to God’s likeness – His nature! With this nature, man was given the power to know and to be able to relate to God, as well as to have dominion over God’s creations.
It all Begins and Ends in Love. Yes, we are a mere pale representation of God, but with it, have the understanding that at the core of it all is love. For love is God and God is love. Unfortunately, this whole truth was adulterated by man’s quest to be His own God with his fateful decision to disobey God (sin). At that point of man’s original sin, God departed from man’s soul, for God cannot dwell with sin. Although now separated from God, man is still connected with God, but struggles with God, for man’s desire is to see himself as his own God, thus resisting God’s urge to be one with him again. Despite it all though, it began with love and will end in love - at least for those who believe in the One, He Sent out of love - Jesus Christ.
An Epic Love Story. From the time God was one with man, man’s separation from God, and God’s making way to once again be one with Him (by way of Jesus Christ), we see an epic love story unfold. A love story that is built on an interrelationship that can never be broken unless man chooses to break it. It is a relationship that is fraught with man’s resistance to God’s will, his mistrust of God’s intent for his life, and man’s deceptions and lies to who God is and whether He even exists. Yet God moves forward with the plan to redeem man while being fully committed to demonstrating His unconditional love for us in every breath we take. For God, our loving Father gave His one and only Son to fulfill the law (the 10 Commandments) of which we could not meet on our own accord. Christ did so for His love for the Father and love for us so we may once again be one with the Father. Before His victory over sin, which separated us from God, and His departure from this world, Christ, gave us two great commandments – "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27). With this too, we are to love unconditionally, for this is how God loves us and we are to love those that He loves, which is all of us. For each and every one, one of us is precious to Him.