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ABUNDANT LIFE: What's Genesis Got to Do With It?

Can believing in the literal history of Genesis help us to have abundant life today? Can the Book of Genesis help us live a life of victory, joy, and peace while we walk on Satan’s turf? Were the problem events in Genesis 3 what led to the solution in John 3:16? Find the answers to these questions in today’s blog, written by Bob Gillespie, which shows us how we can understand and share the gospel message and the abundant life it offers from the very first book.
In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
I believe that this passage carries more meaning than we often give it. It seems that when Jesus talked about abundant life, He was referring back to the Garden of Eden and all that Adam and Eve had, how the “thief” came and took it all away, and then how He (Jesus) came to give it all back. Can believing in the literal history of Genesis help us to have abundant life today? Can the Book of Genesis help us live a life of victory, joy, and peace while we walk on Satan’s turf?
What did Adam and Eve have? They had perfect bodies that would live forever. They were alive spiritually in that they had wonderful and intimate fellowship with their Creator. They knew who they were―sinless, holy ones created by The HOLY ONE Himself. They were beloved children of the Creator of the universe. To top it all off, God gave them dominion, so they were the king and queen of the earth. Adam and Eve could have had children in this perfect world who would also live forever. Those children could have been us. So, really, we did have it all in Adam. We could have lived in that perfect environment with perfect fellowship with our Creator continuing for eternity.
But you know what happened next: Satan came and stole everything away.
We know that Satan was cast down to this earth, where he became a subject in Adam’s kingdom. How he must have hated that, the very representation of God Himself was now in charge of the world he lived in, so Satan hatched a plan. He wanted to steal everything they had, he wanted to kill them if he could, and he wanted to destroy everything good that they had. He disguised himself, crept into the Garden incognito, and got Adam and Eve to disobey their loving Creator. Adam and Eve had the authority to tell this intruder to leave, but they listened to him instead.
What happened to Adam and Eve when they sinned? They lost their eternal physical life. Because of the curse of sin, their bodies began to wear out, and eventually, they died. They lost their spiritual life in that they lost their fellowship with God. They were no longer holy ones but sinners. Furthermore, they were children of the devil, condemned to eternal death along with Satan and his angels. To top it all off, Satan stole their birthright, they lost their dominion over the earth, and Satan became the God of this world. Now, they were slaves to an evil master with no hope for the future.
BUT GOD had other plans … back to the literal history in Genesis. God promised Eve (Genesis 3:15) that there would be one born from a woman who would destroy the power that Satan had over them. Sure enough, hundreds of years later, Jesus Christ, the very sinless Creator, took on human flesh, born of a woman. Only He could be the substitute to take our punishment. When He rose from the dead, he defeated Satan and took back all that he had stolen from us.
In Christ, we gain back what we lost. The payment has been made, but how do we get out of Satan’s family and into God’s family again? We need to be born into a new family. Jesus called this being born again. He said in John 3:16 that if we believe in Him, we will not die but have eternal life. When we turn from our sin and trust in Jesus, who took our punishment, God miraculously grafts us back into His family … our second birthday.
What happens on the second birthday? We gain back eternal physical life. Unfortunately, not right away since we are born into bodies with corrupt DNA, and our bodies will wear out and die. But we now have the promise of new bodies in the future that will never die, and we are once again connected with our Creator. We also gain back our identity. We are now holy ones again in the family of God. We are saints.
Too often, we see ourselves as just sinners, but what do sinners do? They sin. We also need to see ourselves as God does: if we are in Christ, we are saints. Seeing ourselves for who we are in Christ gives us the power to act like it. If we are born again, we are saints,  who sometimes sin. But if we sin, we should waste no time talking to our Creator. Ephesians 3:12 tells us that we have access to the Father with boldness. Why can we enter the Holy of Holies and approach our Heavenly Father? Because we belong there! In Christ, we are now beloved children of God, and we should waste no time in coming to our loving Father, confessing our sins, and finding renewed joy and fellowship.
What else do we gain back on that second birthday? We gain back our dominion. We will have dominion over the earth ultimately in the future, but also, right now, we have the authority of Christ's name to tell Satan to leave―a badge of authority backed up by the power of God that raised Jesus from the grave. That is why in James 4:7, we are told to resist the devil, and he will flee from us. We need to resist the devil the way Jesus did. He countered lies with Scripture, and then He told Satan to leave.
Let’s face it: sometimes, we are drawn away by our own desires, and we sin. However, other times, a third party may be involved, someone who sneaks in unaware and fills our minds with lies. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, we may have to deal with spiritual wickedness. If that is the case, we need to recognize what is going on and, in the name and authority of Christ, tell Satan to leave.
Now, my friend, how can this help you in your daily life to live abundantly as Jesus said? As we remind ourselves who we are in Christ, we are putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10―18). Though we walk on Satan’s turf, in a sin-cursed earth ruled by Satan himself, we can live above it in peace, joy, and victory over sin and Satan. Indeed, we can have victory today if we remind ourselves of all we had in Adam, how the thief took it all away, and how we gained it all back in Christ. Genesis tells the beginning of the story that required God’s redemptive intervention, as told by Jesus in John 10:10. Because of His great love, the option of abundant life is ours today!
Author Bio:
Bob and his wife Lois graduated from Cedarville University in Ohio.  Bob then received his master’s degree at Clark’s Summit Seminary in PA.  They spent 14 years teaching in Christian schools in Ohio and another ten years teaching missionary kids in West Africa. Upon leaving Africa, the Gillespies felt God’s calling to join full-time apologetics ministry. Learn more about Bob and his ministry by clicking HERE.  

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