Spiritual Superpowers: Lost at the Fall, Regained in Christ

28 October 2021

5.5 MINS

Old books like Paradise Lost and new Hollywood movies like Lucy remind us that spiritual superpowers await us. All that was lost in the fall – and more – will be gained through our final, glorious redemption in Christ.

You have probably heard of the English poet John Milton’s great work Paradise Lost (1667). He also published Paradise Regained in 1671. In the former, he wrote of the Fall; in the latter, the work of Christ.

Two recent incidents have caused me to reflect on what we have lost because of sin – and what believers regain as we are united with Christ in faith and repentance. The first is a film which was again aired on television recently. That film is Lucy, a 2014 French sci-fi action starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman.

I have seen segments of Lucy over the years, and the film has appealed to me for two reasons. First, I have always liked books and films where justice is finally served – where evil is dealt with, and good eventually triumphs. Second, the idea that we can become so much more than we currently are – for instance, how we use our mind – has often led me to reflect on the biblical worldview.

In Lucy, the title character (Johannsson) is forced to become a drug courier. She has a packet of synthetic drugs sown into her stomach, but the bag of this volatile drug bursts and causes her to gain incredible powers. At the same time, a scientist, played by Freeman, is giving a lecture on how we only use 10 per cent of our brain – and that if we could use more, there would be no limit to what we can do. After undergoing her transformation, Lucy defeats a cast of nefarious drug runners.

All That We Lost Will Be Regained

The film has always prompted me to reflect on what we lost at the Fall because of sin and what we might regain one day when we are reunited with our Lord.

Of course, the biblical view of the restoration of fallen man entails much more than a renewed brain. Those who come to Christ in faith and repentance in this life – and are glorified with Him in the next – will have every aspect of their being transformed. All facets of who we are – our character, desires, emotions, choices, imagination, abilities and thoughts – will be marvellously and radically changed.

What we lost at the Fall – and much more besides – will be what we enjoy in the next life.

Years ago, in an article entitled Eye Has Not Seen, I wrote about my failing eyesight. I had resigned myself to the fact that my vision would continue to worsen – perhaps even to the point of blindness – until the next life. Later I found out that I also had cataracts, but that these could be fixed with laser surgery. This prompted me to write on The Need for Improved Spiritual Vision.

The results of that surgery were terrific – for a while. But now, my eyesight is starting to go downhill once more, as it tends to do in old age. So once again, I am looking forward to the next life and the new and improved me – including perfect eyesight and perfect everything else.

How Far Have We Actually Fallen?

Recently, my friend Kerry posted on social media about her recent venture into the 8th (of 14) volumes of Martyn Lloyd-Jones Roman series (The Final Perseverance of the Saints: Exposition of Chapter 8:17-39). She wrote:

There is enough in the first chapter to unpack and ponder for days. In this volume, Lloyd-Jones is beginning to teach on the doctrine of glorification. He sets the scene by reminding us of what we have lost, but he also writes that the shadow of that loss remains with us, and we are forever seeking what we have lost. But until we find Christ, we seek in the wrong direction, and in vain…

[Something] that has truly arrested my thought this morning is pondering what must be the magnitude of the glory we have lost? Have we ever stopped to think about that? Generally, we tend to think of ourselves as very small in the scheme of things when we visualise ourselves alongside the vastness of the universe – as Lloyd-Jones says below, we are but “touching a small part of the hem of the great cosmos.” We have no power or ability at all to influence what happens out there.

Yet the creation was all made for us – we were originally made to subdue it, to rule over it. I have been meditating on this all morning – what magnitude of glory did we lose if we originally were made to rule over creation? And, correspondingly, how far we have fallen when it is but the ‘hem’ of the cosmos we can now reach?

Martyn-Lloyd Jones on the Fall

The quotes that Kelly shared were enough for me to drop everything, run to MLJ bookcase, and pull out the relevant volume. As it turns out, I had highlighted much of what she had:

We must always remember that man at the beginning had a kind of glory. … Such was man as God made him. But unfortunately, man listened to the temptation of the devil, and he sinned and fell. The terrible result of that Fall was that man lost the original position which he had … We were never meant to ‘come short of the glory of God’ … Man is not what he was meant to be.

This is basic biblical teaching. Man has lost the glory that he originally possessed, and tends to demonstrate his loss in every aspect of this behaviour. This is the essential tragedy of man; this is the real problem of mankind. It is the only way of truly understanding man, the only way of understanding the world as it is today.

Man still has a kind of memory and recollection of what he once was, and he’s always trying to return to it and to persuade himself that he is succeeding. But failure dogs his steps. Hence his frustration. Now that is the key to the understanding of the whole of human history, the explanation of all the intense effort which man puts forth as he seeks the glory which he feels belongs to him. But he can never get it; he cannot find it.

Here we find the explanation of man’s restlessness and unhappiness. There is nothing more characteristic of sinful man than restlessness. … What a tragic creature fallen man is! He’s a mass of contradictions. He does not understand himself; he cannot explain his restlessness, this feeling that he was meant for something better. He has no idea how to account for it; hence he so constantly believes that he can achieve it by his own efforts. But he cannot do so …

Man is going to be completely and entirely restored in the Lord Jesus Christ, and as a result of his union with Him … Man is not only restored to what he was in Adam, he is taken beyond that … I quote again two lines of Isaac Watts which for some strange reason are omitted from most of the hymn-books:

In Him the tribes of Adam boast,

More blessings than their father lost.

That is a clear statement of truth. Not merely are we restored to where Adam was, we are taken beyond it to the place at which Adam would have arrived had he continued in a state of innocence and obedience.

Adam sinned and failed, and thereby lost even what he already had. He could not recover it. The cherubim and the flaming sword were set at the eastern end of the Garden of Eden, prohibiting man’s return. Man has been trying to get past that obstacle ever since. He is forever trying to recapture the glory that he has lost. He cannot do so. But here, in Christ, this very thing that was impossible to Adam after the Fall, and to the whole progeny of Adam ever since, is given to us freely as the gift of God.

And so, as we think about glorification, it must be in this way; that man is not only delivered from all the effects of the Fall, and the sin and the transgression of Adam, but granted a far superior blessing, and given something of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

What grand and glorious truths! It is so much better than the secular humanist evolutionary ideas dished up by Hollywood in films like Lucy. Our transformation in Christ is the real deal – and what a glorious future it will be.

Originally published on CultureWatch. Image by TK Hammonds on Unsplash.

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One Comment

  1. Helen Cameron 28 October 2021 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Thank you Bill for your many many beautiful writings. This latest offering reminds me of Job 26v14 “Behold these are but the outskirts of His ways,
    And how small a whisper do we hear of Him!
    But the thunder of His power
    who can understand?” NIV

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