A pre-Fall glimpse of Adam’s intellect…and maybe ours, too?

Do you ever wonder what our minds will be like in heaven? How smart we will be? What our thoughts will be like?

There are many things to anticipate when we “get there.” Primarily, were excited to see Jesus. After that, we anticipate that disabled bodies will leap. Miscarried babies will be alive. Deformities will be gone. Our bodies will be glorified in full, a perfected Bride, complete and full.

Our emotions will be ideal in every situation. Envy, annoyance, resentment, bitterness, melancholy, depression, hatred and the rest of the sinful feelings will be gone. We will only love, exalt, praise, sing, rejoice.

The Lord made our brains an incredible organ.

According to Scientific American,

The human brain is complex. Along with performing millions of mundane acts, it composes concertos, issues manifestos and comes up with elegant solutions to equations. It’s the wellspring of all human feelings, behaviors, experiences as well as the repository of memory and self-awareness. So it’s no surprise that the brain remains a mystery unto itself. …

What about our mind? Will it increase in ability like our bodies will? I am sure that it will be perfected just as our bodies and souls will be, but what will that perfection look like? It’s a myth that we “only use 10% of our brains” at any given time. We use 100% of our brains all the time. Any disease or injury that impacts any part of our brain results in loss of abilities. However, the Bible does say,

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12).

We know that the unsaved sinner cannot even think straight. Yes, there are incredible minds of the past and of today that invent helpful machines, that produce soaring rhetoric, that research to cure disease. However, those brains are an affront to God because they do not glorify Him through any of these achievements despite the common grace He’d given them. Despite any good works a sinful mind will come up with, we know that sinners have a depraved mind that deepens in its depravity to produce even worse thoughts and deeds. They even invent new ways to sin. (Romans 1:28-30).

Men who sinfully resist the truth have a corrupt mind concerning the faith. (2 Timothy 3:8). It doesn’t matter that externally they can invent machines or cure disease. It all comes down to internal sin-state, and unsaved sinners simply cannot think straight. They have yielded their faculties up to sin.

Scientific American again, on the myth of our brains only working at 10% capacity,

The myth’s durability, Gordon says, stems from people’s conceptions about their own brains: they see their own shortcomings as evidence of the existence of untapped gray matter.

They’re getting at the spiritual truth there, aren’t they? Our ‘shortcomings’ as the world likes to call sin, are evidence of our inability to fully function as God would have us function. It’s not that there is untapped gray matter, it is that the gray matter is tapped throughout with sin. Their minds are darkened. (Ephesians 4:18).

For the saved, though our sins are forgiven and wiped as far as the east is from the west, our body and brain are still drenched in sin, though hopefully on your last day there is less of it in you and me than on the first. Every time we succumb to temptation it testifies to this fact. We possess the mind of Christ but it’s not fully glorified yet. So what will our mind/brain/intellect be like in heaven? On earth, it is the Spirit who makes known the mysteries of Christ and His truths from the Word.

For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

For a possible answer to this question, my thoughts raced back to the pre-fall perfection we’re given a record of in Genesis 1 and 2.

Pre-fall, work was part of man’s life just as it is now. The quality of that work changed after the Fall when sin was introduced. But man was assigned work before sin entered the world, right from the start. (Genesis 2:5, 2:15). Besides working the ground, man was given the job of naming the animals.

Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. (Genesis 2:19-20a)

The context of these 2 verses is that God wants to find a helper for Adam and it’s the introduction to the formation of Eve. However for my purpose today, I am focusing on the narrower concept of Adam naming the animals. He named all the animals. All of them on earth.

I recently did a word cloud of names to make a verse picture showing that Jesus’ name is above all names. For the small project I needed to think up about 50-60 human names. It was hard. I had to google “list of baby names” in order to complete the project. It’s harder than you think to think up names. And I don’t think I’m especially intellectually disadvantaged.

But Adam thought up thousands and tens of thousands of names for each and every kind of bird, animal, bug, fish that exists. The passage doesn’t say that Adam ran out of ideas. It doesn’t say that God stepped in and corrected him. Whatever Adam named it, “that was its name.” What a mind! How creative Adam was to generate all the names of all the animals on earth without stopping!

Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible says,

God brought them to him, that he might name them, and so might give, 1. A proof of his knowledge, as a creature endued with the faculties both of reason and speech, and so taught more than the beasts of the earth and made wiser than the fowls of the heaven, Job 35:11. And, 2. A proof of his power. It is an act of authority to impose names (Dan. 1:7), and of subjection to receive them.

God had a several purposes in telling Adam to name the animals. We can explore those another time. For today’s issue, I’m just amazed at the execution of the task. What would our mind be like in heaven, when it is fully released from the confines and clouds of sin that permeate even the most mature and sanctified person? What will it be like when our finite mind is finally opened to the infinite glory and capable of taking in Jesus’ Person? When He assigns us our own tasks in the New Jerusalem in the promised spheres of ruling and reigning, how will our mind conceptualize and execute the tasks?

I don’t know but it is exciting to ponder the possibilities, possibilities that will come to glorious and creative fruition, “when we get there.”

[By Elizabeth Prata]