The prior four posts compared the presence of the creating God in the garden of Eden and the creating, redeeming, devil-destroying, life-imparting, and building God in New Jerusalem. A second characteristic of both the garden and the city is the presence of man.
God purposed to create man in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). So God created man and said “very good” (Genesis 1:27, 31). God placed this created man in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:7-8).
In Genesis 2, man was pure because sin and death had not yet entered. Man had the created human life but did not have the eternal life because man had not yet taken of the tree of life, which symbolizes God as life (Genesis 3:22-24).
In Genesis 3 the devil deceived man, sin entered, and death followed. As a result, created man became fallen man, with sin and death present along with the created nature (Romans 5:12, 19). In the Bible, the word “flesh” often refers to this combination of the created nature and the fallen nature.
All men are flesh because what is born of flesh is flesh (John 3:6a). But, since Christ died and resurrected, our human spirit can be born of the Spirit (John 3:6b). Now we are men with the divine, created, and fallen natures. Since our new birth, the Spirit is working in us to transform our soul (2 Corinthians 3:18). When the Lord Jesus Christ returns from the heavens, He “will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory” (Philippians 3:21).
By the time the Lord returns, all three parts (see Tripartite Man) of our being—spirit, soul, and body—will have fully partaken of His wonderful salvation and be fully saved from the corruption of the fall (1 Corinthians 15:53). In contrast to the created, then created and fallen, man in the garden of Eden, there will be regenerated, transformed, and transfigured men in New Jerusalem.
Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry.