THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
Knowing “My Love”
April 26, 2010
The last two issues (#04-1041 and #04-1042) have been about a conversation I had with the Lord. I
asked: “Why did You intentionally allow, even expect, Adam, Your creation, to move
outside Your will?” I heard in reply: “Because I had to redeem My love. Love is redemptive
in nature, and I had to redeem it.” I won’t go over ground already covered, so please read the
previous issues if you have not already done so.
As an aside, I happen to believe the Lord’s word that “My sheep hear My voice.”
If you have stayed with me on this discussion and not rejected it, you know that Adam’s failure (sin) was
according to God’s plan to redeem His agape (love) so that He might achieve His purpose of being All in
all . You should know by now that all is a major theme that runs through many of my writings.
As I have written previously, I believe, based on Scripture, that Adam had no choice but to follow Eve in
eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He loved Eve as his own body, and this
love demanded, even required him to try to redeem or save her. If he had not tried to save his wife, then
he would have broken God’s law of body-love. Of course, he could not save her; nevertheless, he had to
try, and God fully intended for him to do so as a type of what God was going to successfully do through
His Son to redeem all mankind from sin and death. On one level, Adam failed by disobeying God’s one
command; on another level, Adam passed the test of love. However, his love also failed, for he could not
save the love of his life; instead, it brought death into his race, all according to God’s plan.
If you have a difficult time accepting this, then I encourage you to read and compare Genesis 2:18-24 to
Ephesians 5:22-33. It is obvious that, in presenting God’s divine law that a man ought to love his wife as
his own body, Paul clearly connected this to Adam loving his helpmate as his own body. Paul used two
types, Adam and Eve and the contemporary husband and wife, to reveal the mystery of Christ and His
ecclesia. What I find interesting is that many who see the mystery of Christ and His ecclesia fail to see
that this mystery began with Adam and Eve, and they miss the bigger picture that God is reconciling all
mankind back to Himself. This is all part of God’s plan.
The lesson in all this is found in two words: But God . God alone must and will redeem His love. All else
must and will fail, no matter how good the intention and how right the action. If it does not come from
God, then it is destined for failure. The lesson of Adam is that he tried to redeem Eve through his own
love, but that was not enough; it takes God’s love, a selfless, unconditional, redemptive, absolute love.
It is not a new thought to me that Adam’s failure was an integral and essential part of God’s plan to
bring about His purpose of becoming All in all . I have written elsewhere on how and why God had to
allow man, who was created in His image, to fail. If you have difficulty accepting this, then I would
encourage you to meditate on this word from Paul: For God has shut up [locks up] all in
disobedience [stubbornness] so that He may show mercy to all (Romans 11:32 NASB [CV]).
Please see Volume 1, Chapter 8. Locks Up All in Stubbornness in The Purpose and Plan of the Eons .
If you are still with me, a pressing question remains: Why did God choose to do it this way? Why didn’t
He just create a perfect universe filled with Himself and His love? Why redeem it in the first place?
Some might say that the answer is beyond our understanding. In some measure, this is true. Others
might say that God can do whatever He wants and this is how He chose to do it; end of discussion. True;
He chose to do it this way, but I think God delights when we seek Him out for answers.
I am not saying that I have all the answers, I still see in part; but I will confess that I diligently seek God
for His truth. In my conversation with the Lord, I asked Him the question of why He did it this way. He
replied to my question with a question.
I heard: “ How would Adam, that is, man ever know My love or understand it if he were not
allowed to fail? He had to fail to know what he was missing in his life―My love.”
Adam had to fail so that he and his race would come to know the true meaning of God is love . Simply,
he didn’t know what true agape was (is) until he missed it, at least in its purest sense, and began to see
the contrast to love. This does not mean that God stopped loving Adam. Quite the contrary; He
expressed His love for Adam and Eve by covering their nakedness with the hide of a sacrificed animal,
probably a lamb. Of course, this was a type of the sacrifice of the true Lamb of God slain from before the
disruption of the world.
If Adam had continued on in the garden without transgressing God’s command, he never would have
fully comprehended God’s agape . He would have been living out some measure of his own love for his
wife that, most likely, would have failed over time, without ever truly knowing the extent or true nature
of God’s absolute love ( agape ) that never fails (1 Corinthians 13).
I believe that, in His wisdom, God planned for us to learn of His very character, that is, His nature or
essence, through contrasts. We learn of Him by learning what is not of Him. Let me explain.
How do we define or explain the knowledge we acquire of the physical or natural realm? How do we
define or explain the things we see all around us? For example, how do we define or explain light?
We do this is by observing and experiencing the many contrasts or opposites, as well as the many
gradients and similarities we see all around us. However, it seems to me that the contrasts are far more
important in helping us define or explain our environment. For example, we explain light by the
contrast of dark ; we explain up by the contrast of down ; we explain hot by the contrast of cold ; we
explain land by the contrast of sea ; we explain color by the contrast of the many hues , shades , and tints
all around us; we explain silence by the contrast of sound ; and so on. Remove dark from man’s world
and how would man define light? Paint the earth and the heavens all green and how would man define
color? Simply, we need contrast to define our world.
Further, it is through contrast that we learn to value or appreciate one thing over another. Thus, we
might value or prefer sunny days over cloudy days, or hot over cold, or blue over green.
This is the wisdom of our Creator. He has built into His creation a myriad of contrasts. Can you imagine
how boring it would be without these many contrasts and, we might add, the seemingly infinite variety
we see all around us? In our immortal bodies, I imagine and expect that we will be forever exploring the
vastness of God’s creative genius that has no end or limitation.
Now, the same argument can be made with what could be called the attributes of life or the essence of
life. We need contrast to define and know life. Actually, how do we define or know life without death ?
How do we define or know love without hate ? How do we define or know good without evil ? How do we
define or know joy without sorrow ? How do we know what we have missed without knowing its
opposite? We need contrast. This is the wisdom of God. I believe that this is the very reason why God
planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden in the first place and expected Adam to
partake of it. It was an essential step for man to come to know his Creator. How would man know the
essence or nature of God, especially His agape , if he were not exposed to a contrast of God’s essence?
Clearly, for the first 33½ years of his life, Adam was living in the midst of the agape of God, but could
he define it or appreciate it for its value? Could Adam define or explain God? How could he? After all,
all he knew was God and his experience with God. Simply, Adam had no way of defining God’s love, His
goodness, or anything else about God. God could have been evil and not good and Adam would have
had no way of knowing it. If God had told Adam that His relationship with him was evil, Adam would
have accepted it as evil, not knowing that it was actually good. Do you get the point?
In conclusion, by God’s standard, love is redemptive in nature; therefore, God had to redeem love so
that we would know Him and His love and all creation would be filled with agape . To do this, He
intentionally allowed, even demanded, Adam to fail so that he, along with all mankind, would come to
know the agape of God that does not fail by contrasting it to what is not agape . Mankind would never
have understood the nature of God’s love if he had not failed. Thus, failure was not only expected but
was demanded of Adam and all mankind that have followed. Praise God for His wisdom.
The Upward Call: #04-1043
by: Stuart H. Pouliot