No, I’m not referring to the Emperor’s new clothes! As the creation story concludes we read that “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:25, NIV) This is, of course, before the fall, and it gives us a picture of what it looks like to be in a relationship with God and others without the interference sin and self-centeredness. This is also a picture of what it looks like to be in Christ. The Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV) Anyone who has been a Christian longer than ten minutes knows that this promise needs to be contended for. I want to propose that contending for this promise is a response to grace rather than a labor of love.
I’ll explain it through an issue I’m working through. I struggle with the need to be validated. I find that one motivation, among many, for a lot of things I do is personal validation, to prove I’m ok. But through some conversations and meditations this week that validation is like Adam and Eve’s fig leaves. The more validation I seek, the more I prove to be broken. Through his saving work, Jesus heals us from the effects of sin, making us whole and bestowing himself upon us. Here there is no room for personal validation, nothing can be earned. It is all a work of his love and grace. We can stand upon him, naked and unashamed.
This explanation is just from my perspective. I encourage you to run this through your experience and see how it is that you can find his grace and experience his wholeness.
Grace and peace,