Tuesday, June 26, 2012

walking through the gospel: man, sin, and the fall


We are now in week three of our study, Walking Through the Gospel! Last week we covered a little of who God is and had some great questions asked there! Now that we have a picture of the awesomeness of God, we can talk about man, and who he is in light of the God of the universe.

Without seeing who we are in light of God, we don't understand our place in creation. We are humans- made to glorify and enjoy God, but from the very beginning we've desired to walk in our way, apart from God's will.

So let's start from the beginning.

1. Man is created.
Genesis, the first book of the Bible, gives us the details of how humanity began. In the very first chapter, it tells us that God created man on the sixth day in the Garden of Eden:

26Then God said, “Let us make manh in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.


and in Genesis 2 we get more of the story:

When no bush of the fielda was yet in the landb and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6and a mistc was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


So there was no man- just the earth, and then God formed man and breathed life into him. He gave him a garden, and plants to eat, and there were two significant trees there to eat or not eat from: the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


15The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eatd of it you shall surely die.”


So the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the only tree from which they could not eat. God told Adam before Eve was even created that if he ate of that tree he would surely die.

You see, man was created to live forever. He was allowed to eat from the tree of life, which gave eternal life to man.

God made the garden of Eden, and walked in fellowship with man there. God and man walked together. Isn't that incredible?


2. Man sins by disobeying God.
But, things change. After Eve is created, Satan, the enemy of God, comes to talk to her in the form of a snake.  A snake indwelled by Satan talks to a woman? Why, yes. :)

We know that the serpent was very crafty:

Genesis 3:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘Youa shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 

So here is the turning point for all of creation. Satan makes Eve doubt what God said, and Eve believes him. Satan sells disobedience to her by offering the chance to be in a "higher" state than she was: to become like God, knowing good and evil.

6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,b she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

So Eve took of the fruit because of deception, but Adam takes the fruit from Eve knowing full well what he is doing. Adam was not deceived:

1 Timothy 2:13-14:
For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 

Because they ate of the tree, their eyes were opened to good and evil, and they were ashamed of their nakedness. Adam had broken the one and only rule in all of creation, and he changed the course of all mankind.

Because they had eaten of the tree, God brought a curse upon both the man and the woman, and they had to die. Adam and Eve could no longer live eternally, because God removed them from the garden and from the tree of life:

Genesis 3:
Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

3. Sin entered the world, and affects all of mankind.
So Adam's disobeying of God's command is what we call sin. Sin is a breaking of the "law" that God has set in place. And this disobedience to God's law is in every person's heart.

Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—


So Adam's sin brought the curse of death for all of humanity. Every man and woman has sinned since the beginning {with the exception of Jesus, which we will talk about later}.

Every person sins, and every person is destined to die. We see this in our physical realm here on the earth, and the Bible confirms it.


Romans 3:23:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

and:

Romans 3:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”


All people are sinners, and do not seek after God. This seems hopeless, and it gets worse, but then it gets better.

4. Man's sin has doomed him to eternal separation from God.

You might think, "but I'm a good person deep down." This is where the world {those who do not believe} hates the Word of God. The Bible says that none are good. None are righteous before God. It brings to light the sin inside of every person's heart, and reveals that we are all without good.

God is HOLY. He is the perfect God, and only the sinless can come before Him.

If you have sinned {even once}, you cannot come before God. And all wrongdoing is sin.

Isaiah 59:

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
2 but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.



5. Man has ONE hope.
The sin of man- what we call the transgression, or the going against of God's law keeps him apart from God, and destines him to death. Here is both the bad news, and the good news:

Romans 6:23:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


The consequences of sin are death and separation from God forever, but God offers a FREE gift of eternal life when you believe in Him!! Ahhhh!!!! There isn't only bad news after all!

Without God, our hearts are full of sin and self-seeking, but when we believe in Jesus, we are made sinless!!

By the sacrifice of Jesus we are made clean from our sin, and we can stand before Him as children of God when we have faith in Him.

And we will talk more about Jesus next week, but feel free to email me if you have questions and want to know how to follow Jesus now. It's a lot to take in, and I would love to try to answer your questions!

Question:

Can you see sin in your own life today? Have you been made clean from your sins because of Jesus?

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next week:

Jesus, God in the Flesh

you can download the study guide to prepare for next week
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previous posts in the walking through the gospel series:



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