Summary: Doctrine of sin.
READ: Gen. 1:31, 2:8-17.
Humanism asserts that man began in the primeval slime, and has evolved in all senses to the complex being he is today.
He started out as merely unorganised gasses that, through millions of mutations, finally developed into the intricate physical body that he is today.
He began with no intelligence, evolved through limited intelligence down through the millenia, until our own generation has witnessed the explosion of knowledge that is the hope of the future.
He began with superstitions, which in time became quaint religious beliefs, but he is continuing to evolve spiritually into a higher understanding - coming to recognise his own divinity.
He started out in a barbaric “survival of the fittest” mode, but progressively he has become more civilised to the point today where we are on the verge of universal peace. Man will be his own salvation.
That is HUMANISM. The NEW AGE gospel. Man’s evolution will continue to the full perfecting of the species, until man has become his own SAVIOUR!
CHRISTIANITY proclaims that in reality the exact opposite is true. God created man in a very high and glorious state, and declared, “This is very good”. Man was creation as God’s perfection in a perfect world. But man fell. Sin has plunged him into a state of depravity. And there has been a downward spiral ever since! At times that downward spiral - that regression - has become so alarming that God has had to step in. In Noah’s day, He judged the world by a great flood. In Abraham’s day, He wiped out the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. But the downward course always continues. And the ONLY hope for man is that the Creator might step in with some salvation - because, of himself, man has no ability to stop the spiral downwards - let alone to get back to Eden’s perfection.
WE BELIEVE IN THE FALL OF MAN! The Bible clearly declares it.
Now this is absolutely foundational to Christianity. If man is not really fallen, then God’s plan for man’s salvation, as revealed in the Bible, is utterly pointless! Jesus’ death is completely meaningless, and a pathetic waste. IF man is not really fallen.
Friend, you can never understand the Christian message until you recognize that the human race is helplessly lost in and bound by sin.
WE BELIEVE IN THE FALL OF MAN.
This morning I want to address three Biblical truths about this fall into the bondage of sin:
1. SIN’S ENTRY (way back in the Garden of Eden).
2. SIN’S TRANSMISSION (down through the generations).
3. SIN’S EFFECT (in the creation, and most particularly, on man).
1. SIN’S ENTRY.
Imagine with me those first days of life on earth, when Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden. We don’t know how long they were there before their temptation and fall - it could have been days/weeks/months/years. We don’t know. But it was perfect.
God created Adam and Eve:
- In unhindered communion with Himself.
- With dominion over all that He had made.
- In a state of innocence. Man was positively righteous and had the power to continue that way: with no sinful thoughts. Pure and holy - reflecting God’s own perfect holiness.
- With a free will. They are perfect, but they are willful participants in that perfection. And in order to be that, God allowed the possibility for them to go another way. He created them with the power of uncontrolled choice. God made man responsible.
This is a period of probation, that God established. We don’t know how long it would have lasted, but man is under probation - her are the terms of the probation. [Gen. 2:16-17.]
Now, you might think that it was inevitable that man should fall. Some people think that tree was like a “WET PAINT” sign. (You know what I mean?) But we are thinking like that in an already fallen state.
Adam was created with NO BIAS TOWARD SIN. In fact he was positively righteous.
And, secondly, God wasn’t “cornering” Adam in that the only free choice he could make was disobedience - He gave Adam many positive, righteous choices. “Here are all these trees. Beautiful trees. Beautiful fruit. Eat of them all - but leave that ONE tree alone.”
[SIDELINE: You know, God is not a PROHIBITIVE God who doesn’t want us to enjoy anything. That is a very unjust view of God. God still provides, as He did for Adam and Eve, hundreds of positive choices for us to make - hundreds of GOOD trees. Family, friends, children, good food, laughter, sunsets, His presence, His joy, His life, etc., etc. Good trees! Trees that don’t lead to our ruin!]
So, Adam and Eve are God’s perfection in a perfect world, in a period of probation. They have no bias toward sin - in fact they are positively righteous. They have been given plenty of options for positive choices. Only one tree is off limits - and that’s fine with them. SO WHAT HAPPENED?