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Summary: A sermon that discusses some of the elements of the 5th doctrine of The Salvation Army:We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency but, by their disobedience, they lost their purity and happiness; and that in consequence of the

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The fifth doctrine of The Salvation Army is:

We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innoceny but, by their disobedience, they lost their purity and happiness; and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.

I am one of those strange folks that enjoys a good TV commercial. The little green gecko makes me laugh, I used to really like the little dog on the Taco Bell commercials, and I have to confess that the Vonage telephone commercials really strike me funny. One commercial that really catches my attention is the “town of perfect” commercials that Walgreen’s is currently advertising with. If you haven’t seen one then the message your missing is this: Everyone who lives in the town of perfect has completely perfect lives. When they play baseball their uniforms don’t get dirty and they always win. During the holidays everyone always gives and receives the perfect gift, nobody ever falls ill; everything is just perfect! Imagine living in such a place! No fighting, no emergencies, perfect job, perfect spouse, perfect family, perfect friends, even your pets would be perfect! Who in their right mind would ever want to give any of this up? Now I imagine that everyone here would say they wouldn’t give up such a life, but lets give this some thought before we give our final answer as Regis Philbin used to say. Because the truth is we all know, as the commercial says, we don’t live in a place called Perfect. We are all aware of the struggles we each face in order to go from day to day in this imperfect world, yet things were not always the way they are today…in fact our first parents lived in a place called Eden, but Eden could have easily been given the name perfect instead. Our first parents had perfect jobs, perfect lives, great relationship with God, great marriage, in fact it could be said that Adam and Eve were made for one another (forgive the poor attempt at humor). Yet somehow in the middle of all of this perfection, Adam and Eve made a conscious choice to throw it all away, they rejected “perfection” Our first parents who were created sinless became sinful by their disobedience. Their disobedience brought about loss; loss of happiness, loss of purity, and loss of perfect union with God. Their disobedience ushered sin into the world and along with sin came hardship, suffering, emptiness, death, and a broken relationship with God that no human effort could mend. Now you have often heard that we need to let the past remain the past and in many cases that is wise counsel, but for the sake of our own eternity we must consider what has happened in the past, we need to dwell on it, and we need to dwell on it often for many reasons, especially as it pertains to what happened with Adam and Eve. The first thing we need to consider is that the sin of our first parents immediately condemned the entire human race, scripture tells us in Romans 5 that sin entered the world through one man and death through sin and in this way death came to all men because all have sinned. We are all born with the stain of sin that continues to leave its mark upon humanity because of the original disobedience by our first parents. Make a note of this and never forget that when we commit sin it will have a negative effect on more that just us. Something else that needs to be considered is this: it only took one sin, one act of direct disobedience, one conscious choice to ignore God’s instruction to bring condemnation to all of humanity. Remember that the next time the devil tempts you to commit “one little sin”...there is no such thing.

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