Of Several Gardens

It was late winter of 1982 and I was on the train with a client going to Toronto. We had chosen the rails in order to have some more time for me to get familiar with her case.

All went pretty well as expected in the official proceedings, but it was the trip home that changed my life. Geri was a dedicated Christian. Diminutive in size. Blonde. But with big captivating eyes and an unvarnished sincerity. She took the plunge and started to talk with her newfound lawyer about Salvation offered through the Blood of Calvary.

At the time I was a People’s Warden at an Anglican church, with no familiarity with a Bible, but with lots of time for seasons and sayings. Salvation was just an archaic term.

But Geri was obedient to that urging within her. She started to talk about original sin and the seed of depravity within every mortal. The solution was a blood cleansing freely offered.

The conversation aligned itself along the topic of gardens:

1) In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve had chosen to resort to their own will and to disobey God’s only command about the forbidden fruit. Sin, death and suffering entered the human race as the consequence of law breaking. Satan had set it all in place.

2) In the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of His betrayal, Jesus won the battle of wills, resisting the onslaught of Satan, and consecrating Himself to arrest and to the bloody Cross by which we were saved.

3) In a beautiful garden setting in the Heavenly City of the New Jerusalem, the family of faith will come to know peace and joy incomparable and without end. And all because of Jesus’ finished work.

Three gardens. Failure. Recovery. Reward. This is the Plan of Salvation devised by the Lord before the foundation of the world. I could see, as if in a flash, the unity, balance and consistency of scripture – Genesis to Revelation.

The accord and the mission of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I was reminded of this personal milestone recently in reading a wonderful sermon by Charles Spurgeon entitled Christ, the Conqueror of Satan. Sermon #1326

I wonder what might have been if I had heard Spurgeon’s message years before 1982? Not for me to ask. Not for me to know. But here now is the message for others.

Perhaps your church or tradition is in a side eddy. Well, here is the Main Stream.


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