Following my previous post on naming, I want to share a portion of a chapter of a book I found very enlightening as regards what our true life is. The chapter is 5, it is called “Naming a Creation”. The book is called, “The Lie and the Light”. The writer is Jason Henderson.
Prior to the fall, man could name the natural creation according to a God-given comprehension of what he saw.
Gen 2:19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field.
The name he gave corresponded to his understanding of what was there. The name was consistent with created purpose. God approved of his names. But when man believed the Lie, he lost divine perspective and understanding. Adam “exchanged the truth of God for the lie” (Rom 1:25), and yet, regrettably, he has never ceased giving out his names. In other words, though the Lie has robbed him of any true sight and discernment, he continues to identify and assess all things according to his now-fallen comprehension. He names according to his own view, his own perspective.
Based on observation and experience that is hugely corrupted by self-obsession, he gives all things a “name” in keeping with the value he places upon them and according to a false light that he calls understanding. He does this not only in the natural arena where he once had perspective, but he seeks to name spiritual things as well – in a realm where he has seen nothing at all. With a carnal mind that is by nature “enmity with God” (Rom 8:7), he seeks to explain and identify a realm and reality that can only be revealed by the Spirit of God. He reads spiritual terms but assigns adamic definitions.
In this way, salvation is misconstrued and cheapened. The gospel of Life is taught as just another religion of man. For example, we name “righteousness.” I mean we assign our definition to it. We attach our comprehension to it. We name it, understand it, recognize it, and teach it according to how this word appears in the false light of the adamic mind. Rather than knowing righteousness as the life and nature of Christ once witnessed by the Mosaic Law but now working in the soul of the redeemed by faith, we have reduced it to a list of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.
To most, righteousness involves a set of laws, a collection of rules, or the “good” things we feel obliged to do as Christians. One man says it is something we do. Another believes it is something we wear. To another it is something we mustn’t drink, or touch, or say. The point is that we give it our name. We know it according to the Lie.
We name “love.” What is love? How do we in the church understand and teach love? Generally, love is taught to be anything one does or feels that ministers to a felt need. Forget about whether there is any truth represented in it. Forget about whether it corresponds with the purpose and mind of the Lord. Never mind that it has nothing to do with what the apostle John describes – a people abiding in the One who is love, and relating to one another in the Light. If it meets a need, or stirs emotion, we are quick to call it love. Even though the centrality of man is a common thread in all of our “names,” we are not thereby united.
We are quick to change our ideas. We are “tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Eph 4:14) and therefore rarely agree with one another for very long. Yet we marvel at the division in the body of Christ and are ashamed of our countless denominations.
But there are as many names as there are people naming. No two carnal minds think alike. There is never agreement in the flesh because souls are utterly independent and autonomous until they are filled with the same Spirit and flooded with the same Light.
For those who begin to see anew in the Light, it is no wonder why growing in the truth involves the re-defining of all spiritual things. We should not be at all surprised that our comprehension of every spiritual term needs to be renamed in the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2Co 4:6) because whether we realize it or not, all natural understanding was born and bathed in the darkness of the Lie. We have named fellowship, church, worship, ministry, love, faith, glory, sin, salvation, grace, and redemption. They all have names that were assigned in the dark. It is not a question of whether we believe in these things. The issue is whether we have seen them in the darkness of the Lie or in the clarity of “His marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9).
There’s more that is in this chapter. However you can read the whole book when you go to MSF.