What Has Been Lost – And Can Be Regained

What Has Been Lost – And Can Be Regained

“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.”

Most folks would have at least heard of – although perhaps not read – the English poet John Milton’s great work Paradise Lost of 1667. And there is also his Paradise Regained published in 1671. The great Puritan writer and intellectual spoke about the Fall in the former, and the work of Christ in the latter.

Two recent incidents have reminded me of this notion of what we have lost because of sin, and what we as believers are to regain as we are united with Christ in faith and repentance. The first is a film which was again aired on television recently: Lucy, a 2014 French science fiction action film starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman.

I have seen bits and pieces of it over the years, and it has appealed to me for two reasons. One, I always like any book or film where justice finally happens: where evil is dealt with and good eventually triumphs. And two, the idea that we can become so much more than we currently are – in terms of the use of our mind and so on – has often led me to reflect on the biblical worldview.

The plot involves a gal (Johannsson) who is forced to be a drug courier, with a packet of synthetic drugs sown into her stomach. But the bag of this very volatile drug bursts and causes her to gain incredible powers. At the same time a scientist (Freeman) is lecturing on how we only use 10 per cent of our brain, and if we could use more, there would be no limit to what we can do.

Lucy goes through this transformation, defeating a bunch of really bad drug runners in the process. But the film always made me think of some biblical and theological themes: what we had 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 (those who come to Christ in faith and repentance in this life, and are glorified with Christ in the next) entails much more than a reestablished and renewed brain. Instead, every aspect of our being and all facets of who we are (our character, our desires, our emotions, our choices, our imagination, our abilities, our thoughts, etc) will be marvellously and radically transformed.

What we lost at the Fall – and much more – will be what we enjoy in the next life. As but one consideration of this, I wrote an article some years ago about my failing eyesight. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would have ever-worsening vision – perhaps leading to blindness – until the next life: billmuehlenberg.com/2012/08/10/eye-has-not-seen/

In that piece I also discussed savants, those with incredibly enhanced abilities, such as memory and artistic and musical abilities (again, the connection with Lucy). But later I found out that I had cataracts as well, and that could be fixed with laser surgery: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/02/22/the-need-for-improved-spiritual-vision/

The results were terrific for a while, but my eyes are now again starting to go downhill somewhat – as they do in old age. So I again look forward to the next life and the new and improved me – including perfect eyesight and perfect everything else.

The second incident that inspired this article was a terrific comment from my friend Kerry on a social media site. She spoke of digging into the 8th (of 14) volumes on Romans by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The opening chapters speak of glorification, and she quoted parts of what he had to say. 

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