In the beginning …
The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit spoke, and things happened – time, energy, day and night, stars, our planet, water, land, and living creatures.
Then God said …
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26).
The plural pronoun in “Let Us” indicates the trinity working together. We are created in the image of God having volition, eternal purpose, and enjoying relationships.
This image of man is defined in the New Testament …
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
We have spirit, soul, and body.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they died, not in soul or body but in spirit. Their sinless spirit died and their immediate and continued presence with God died too. They were created ultimately for a relationship with God and that relationship (in its full glory) stopped.
Perfection cannot tolerate sin, or it is no longer perfect.
Fortunately, Jesus told Nicodemus …
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
We were not born again in soul or body when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but we were born again spiritually. We can now confidently enter into God’s presence and be filled continually with His Spirit.
Our relationship with God has been restored.
It’s not a perfect relationship.
We still sin, and though the Spirit of God within is perfect, our willful disobedience still impacts our soul (ability to have relationship with God, others, and self) and our physical body (with disease and death).
In a sense, we are at war with ourselves. Our soul (mind, will, emotion) fights to follow the Spirit while being tempted in the opposite direction by the flesh. As the Apostle Paul confessed …
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate (Romans 7:15).
The New Testament teaches that this battle continues until death.
In heaven, our glorified bodies are cleansed by the blood of Jesus … even though we still have free will … will never again be influenced by sin. That means no death, no tears, and no pain.
The book of Revelation describes Jesus at the beginning of eternity …
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4).
If I were behind a pulpit right now and preaching what I just wrote, I would say, “I’m getting excited about heaven. Can we shout, ‘Amen!’?”
Jesus continues His pledge to us …
The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son (Revelation 21:7).
Again, we should shout, “Amen!”