Grace in the Garden

If you want to understand anything in life, then the best place to start is at its beginning. The origin of something reveals its purpose. How something starts is usually how it is meant to continue. And so, when and where did grace start? What are the origins of grace? And what can we discover about its purpose as a result?

John 1:1-2, 14, 17 NKJV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. … For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Grace came by, and through, Jesus Christ. He was, and is, full of grace and truth. Grace started with Jesus. Grace began in Jesus. But that does not mean that grace only started when He was born. Jesus’ own existence did not only start when He entered this world. He was in the beginning with God. He was, and is, God.

Jesus Christ has always been. And He has always been full of grace and truth. And so, grace has always been. The origin of grace is found in the origin of Jesus Christ. Grace started in the One Who was there in the beginning. The One Who is the beginning and the end. The First and the Last. The Alpha and Omega.

Now this is all a bit much for our carnal minds to compute, so let us look at the beginning that we can relate to. In the beginning God… This is how our Bible starts. It is the starting point of the progressive revelation of God as He has given it to us through His Word. We just read that in the beginning was the Word. There is no contradiction here. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus Christ is the Word and is God.

What follows is the account of creation. God’s own record of how He created the heavens and the earth and everything in them in six days. (Six literal, twenty-four hour days, by the way!) Grace is God working on man’s behalf. It is God’s power, strength and ability working on behalf of man in his powerlessness, weakness and inability. It is God’s freely-given provision – unearned and undeserved – for man’s every need.

The whole of the creation story is a display of God’s grace. It was God working on man’s behalf. And so, grace is revealed in every line of the first chapter of the Bible. God is a grace God. He has always been a grace God. And so, grace has always been. Grace was involved in every part of creation. God’s power, strength and ability was working on man’s behalf through it all. Then He saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.

Genesis 2:8-9 NKJV
The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now let us look at Grace in the Garden. Remember, grace is God working on man’s behalf… The LORD God planted a garden. He worked on man’s behalf… That’s grace. And there He put the man… That’s grace. Whom He had formed… That’s grace. Out of the ground He made every tree grow… That’s grace. Grace upon grace!

Genesis 2:16-17 NKJV
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

You may freely eat… That is radical grace! This is God’s first dealings with man. The first commandment God gave to man started off with a statement of grace. It was given in grace. Why? Because it is grace that teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts that we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this world…

Till next time …

Peter

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