So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
When we look at the life of Adam, we see the story of the first man, who was made in the image of God. He was a man who walked with God; he knew God. He received God’s command and he understood that God didn’t want him to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, yet he did it anyway; why?
If Adam knew God’s commandment, why didn’t he keep it? Adam walked with God; he loved God; he was made in the image of God, so why did he still break the commandment of God?
It’s because Adam, who was the first man, was created in the image of God, but he wasn’t formed with the DNA of God, instead he was formed from the dust. He was made in the image of true life, but his body was formed out of lifeless dust. In the end, this caused Adam a great deal of tension and personal anguish. He was made in the image of God, causing him to know who God was, but his body was formed from dust, causing him to have no power to actually be like God.
Adam was made in the image of life, causing him to have the knowledge of true life, and in his mind he loved that true life, but he was made from lifeless dust, causing him to have a body of death. In Adam’s mind he longed to do exactly as God desired, but because of his body of dust, he was powerless to do it. I’m sure at times Adam must have wanted to scream, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
In the end, having the holy and good command from God wasn’t any help to Adam -except to highlight how powerless he was, in his body of dust, to uphold it.
The Apostle Paul explained in his letter to the Romans how this had actually been a reoccurring problem ever since the days of Adam. He explained how those who were called by God into the Old Covenant were given the Law, with its commands, resulting in them knowing the commands of God and, in their minds, wanting to be obedient, but remaining powerless to be so. This was because, like Adam, they were weakened by the material they were made out of. They may have received the knowledge of heaven through the Law, but they were still powerless to be obedient to it because they were created from the earth. For this reason, those who were under the Old Covenant, from the time of Moses onwards, also cried out in anguish,” What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
The truth is that having the knowledge of God isn’t enough to make someone obedient to God. We need something more than just the knowledge; we need to be created NEW with something more powerful than just dust. To be obedient to God we need to be made with DNA of God. This is where the good news from God entered into the story of mankind and changed everything.
The good news of God’s grace is that through the perfect finished work of Jesus upon the cross we, who have believed in Him, have not only had our sins forgiven, but we have also been made a NEW creation by God. We are no longer like Adam; we are now like Jesus! God, in His abundant grace, made us NEW out of the very DNA of Jesus Himself, for we are now part of His very own body.
Adam had a knowledge of God, but his body was made of dust, and it was powerless to be obedient to God, but we have been made NEW in Christ; not from dust, but from the precious blood of Jesus! It is for this reason that we can both know God and also outlive the Christ life, because we are no longer powerless, for we have the very power of the Almighty God living in us! We no longer live according to the dust the old man was made out of; we now live according to the Spirit that our new man has been made new out of!
It is because of all that Jesus has done for us that we can now walk with God, love God and have the power, that is freely given to us by God’s grace, to be obedient to God! We have been truly set free by the grace of God. That is why whenever someone who is still living under the Old Covenant cries out in self-focused comdemnation, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” We can joyfully answer “Praise be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Praise be to God that through Jesus we have been rescued from the body of dust and have been made a new creation out of the very body of Jesus!
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!“ Romans 7:24-25
For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4