Monday, June 25, 2007


I was reading Nicole Nordeman's monthly Confessions of an Unfinished Faith article in this months CCM Magazine. I won't get into the content of this month's article, "Red, White and You," except to say that Nicole recalls a time when she was in "an old abandoned church in the French countryside," and it dawned on her that so many people had lived lives of faith long before she came to her contemporary American evangelical faith with all its "values" and issues. It's a great article, but as far as I can tell, it's only available in either the print version or with a paid online subscription.

The sentence that stuck out to me is something that I'm purposely taking out of the context of the rest of the article, so don't take this as me trying to explain Nicole's view on anything. She writes, " (the land that would become the U.S.A) was inhabited by human beings, whose every fingerprint leaves a smudge of Adam's DNA on whatever we touch." Again, what I'm going to write here has nothing to do with Nicole's article.

Those words hit home in a neat way while I read them. I was thinking about "who" I was in the flesh. As a human being, I descended from Adam. I was related to Adam in every sense. Adam's very DNA was passed down from person to person and it became my DNA. I was born with Adam's DNA. I was born with Adam's nature. What became true of Adam after he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, became true of me. I could not separate myself from the fact that I was a child of Adam. Adam died to God after the tree, and sin entered the world, and death began its reign. (Rom 5:14, I Cor 15:22). I was therefore born alive to sin and dead to God. It wasn't when I first sinned that I died to God. It was my relationship to Adam that made me dead to God. I didn't do a thing to get into this relationship and I couldn't do a thing to get out of it!

Now, however, I've been given a new life! I have been made alive together with Christ (Eph 2:5, Col 2:13). As this "new creation" (2 Cor 5:17), I have died to who I was in Adam and now my "DNA" is Christ's! I am no longer Adam's; I am Christ's. I am no longer from the line of Adam; I am from the line of Christ. I am now fully related to Christ. Who Jesus is has been passed on to me - I have now become a partaker of His very nature, glory and holiness (Heb 12:10, 1 Pet 5:1, 2 Pet 1:4). I have died to the nature of Adam and taken on a new nature. I cannot separate myself from the fact that I am a child of God! I have now died to sin and have been made alive in Christ - and Paul reminds me to "reckon" this (Rom 6:10-11). That simply means that I understand my being dead to sin as a done deal. I daily count it as fact and live in that fact. LIFE has begun its reign! It wasn't when I first performed a righteous act, and it's not because of any continuance of me performing righteous acts that I have died to sin and been made alive to God. It's my relationship to Jesus that made me dead to sin and alive to God, and keeps me alive to God. (After you've died to something, you can never "live to it" again!).

I cannot add a thing to keep up this relationship and I can't do a thing to get out of it! I am His and He is mine. I dwell in Him and He in me. It's an inseparable union! I have His very DNA! I am identified with Him and no longer with Adam. Even when I sin, it's not that I still have an identity in Adam. Sin dwells in my corruptible, mortal body, but my body is not who I am! "It is no longer I who does it," Paul says, "but sin that dwells in me." (Rom 7:17 ,20) In this case, "me" is defined as "my members," which means "my body" (Rom 7:23). One day this corruptible and mortal body will be replace with incorruption and immortality (1 Cor 15:50-56).

But "who I am" is not my body anyway. I am a spiritual being who has become one spirit with God (1 Cor 6:17). The more I dwell on the reality of this, rather than dwelling on sin that dwells in my body or who I was in Adam, the more "who I am" will work its way out to show on the outside! So, I praise God that I am in Him and He is in me, and that I'm no longer related to "the first man Adam," who "became a living being," but I'm now related to "the last Adam," who "became a life-giving spirit!" (1 Cor 15:45)


  1. Joel, I'm still slowly traveling through your archives and found this gem. This is so enlightening.

    I like how you described the inseparableness of our union with Christ as us having his DNA. I’ve heard our union with him described as a pitcher filled with water and that the reason we sometimes sin is because we leak. In that analogy, each item retains its own separate nature. Neither the pitcher nor the water change and they can be separated.

    However, the analogy of us receiving his DNA emphasizes the impossibility of separation. Even though scientists can examine my DNA, they can’t separate me from it. Even a corpse retains its DNA forever.

    That's also true of our union with Christ. We’re joined forever and nothing can separate us. Thanks for this awesome reminder.

    I’m having a good time traveling with you through these archives and I'm learning so much.


  2. Aida,

    Thanks for your great comments here. The whole subject of us being one with God, in inseparable union with Him, is something that I love talking about and I think I'll try to revisit this in the near future on this blog. It just seems as if many people still see God as "out there somewhere," and it's as if He's "looking down on us," but yet He is right here with us, and not only with us but One with us.