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The Purpose of God Concerning Sin

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Adam’s Sin and Mankind’ Fall

In spite of the fact that Adam had good intentions for what He did to save Eve, his act was still in disobedience to what God had said. As the saying goes, “It is never right, to do wrong, to do right.” With God there is no such thing as situation ethics, because His decrees are absolute. His word to Adam, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” could not be rescinded. Therefore, Adam’s disobedience not only brought judgment and death upon himself, but to the human race as well.

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The plain teaching of Scripture is that when Adam disobeyed, he brought five things upon the entire human race. The first is—“sin entered into the world” As we have already studied, by partaking of the forbidden fruit Adam made the law a part of, not only his life, but of mankind’s as well. As our representative head, he made a decision that affected all of us. In his innocence he had no concept of sin, because there was nothing to dictate to him what was evil or good. There was no sin in the world because there was nothing that could be accounted as sin. However, all that changed when Adam’s eyes were opened, and he became aware, or knowledgeable of sin. Sin, through the demands of the law, now has a vehicle through which to manifest itself and become a reality in the world. Furthermore, once innocence was lost, it was forever lost to all of us; because the demands of the law have made us all aware of sin. No matter were you travel on this earth, or to what nation, tribe, or people you visit, everyone has a code by which they live, because “of the law written in their hearts.”

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

The second and third thing that Adam’s disobedience did to his progeny was to bring us under the condemnation of the law, and make all of mankind sinners. Because the law is now a part of our being, we cannot ignore its demands upon us. As we have seen, the law was not some interesting tidbit of knowledge that we can take or leave, in whole or in part. It must be obeyed totally and completely in every aspect, and in every second of a person’s existence. However, therein lies our dilemma as human beings, because we do not have the wherewithal to obey the law—“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal…”  Some people may try to live like there is no law, but they cannot escape its condemnation. It rules over us like a tyrant, constantly accusing us of falling short of its demands, and proclaiming us to be sinners—transgressors of the law. Furthermore, as we have seen, the law reveals to us ever deeper and deeper aspects of sin, and because of our carnality, we are drawn to experience these greater “pleasures” of sin. Man, in his innocence, had no conception of the dark world of sin, but now, he not only sees what God proclaims to be good, but also what He proclaims to be evil. The law has also driven mankind toward every perversion imaginable, in our quest to satisfy its demands. It has made many “religious” men and women, the worst of all sinners. How much of this world’s sorrows have been perpetrated by those who claim to be spiritual? How many wars, murders, tortures, and imprisonments have been the doing of so-called “holy” men of God. We only have to look at the life of Saul, who became Paul the Apostle, to see the evil that can be caused by religious men, who know not God. For others, the law has driven them to disillusionment and despair, as they futily attempt to become righteous under the law. When we do all we can to satisfy God, and all we see is His disapproval, many people merely give up and give in to even greater sin.

Jam 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

1 Tim 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Furthermore, God Himself, whose relationship with man was based upon man’s innocence, now has to account man a sinner. He could no longer wink at Adam’s shortcomings, as a parent might do toward a mischievous toddler; but He must now judge man by His very own law, which man desecrates in all that he does. Therefore, judgment is the fourth thing Adam’s act of disobedience brought upon the human race. Adam and Eve had been clearly warned concerning the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and what would be the consequences of eating the fruit. Likewise, God’s law warns all mankind of the consequences of eating the forbidden fruits of sin, so that all of us “are without excuse.” Therefore, because death was the judgment prescribed by the law against all who would transgress it demands, God now becomes our Judge—the One to whom all of us will one day have to give an account. Every member of Adam’s race will stand before The Great White Throne and be “judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” God Himself will be the one who passes upon us the sentence of the law; and He will ensure that our sins will be recompensed to the fullest extent of the law. There will be no excuses accepted, or mercy shown to those who thus appear before this most solemn court of justice. The only ones who will escape the divine justice of God, are those for whom Christ has already paid their penalty, whose sins are under His blood, and who will stand as being perfectly righteous before God.

Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

The last thing we shall look at, that Adam’s disobedience brought upon the whole human race, was death. The offspring of Adam and Eve have never known what life was meant to be like, as it was designed by God. They were the only two humans that ever experienced life having a perfectly attuned body, soul, and spirit; they were the only ones who ever experienced the daily fellowship and communion with God in a perfect world; and they were the only ones who ever experienced a world in which there was no death. However, such is not the case with the rest of humanity. To begin with, we are born with a fallen nature; we are skewed at birth—out of balance because we are born spiritually dead. Although we have the remnant of a God-consciousness in our spirit, we are separated from the energizing communion with Him, because the law now judges us all to be sinners. We are not only accounted sinners because of Adam’s disobedience, but we confirm that we are sinners in that “there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Even newborn babies “are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” We are all born with innate, selfish desires. We begin at birth to use whatever means at our disposal to gain our way and the attention of others. We are “a seed of evildoers” in that we have inherited the corrupt nature of our first father.[1]

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psa 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Ecc 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Isa 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

Furthermore, we are not only born spiritually dead, but we begin at birth to grow old, and eventually die a physical death. Such was not the case with Adam before eating of the Forbidden Tree. Created with a perfect body, and with access to the Tree of Life, he could have lived forever. However, after his disobedience, death came into the world. Though he immediately died spiritually, the sentence of death was upon his body also, even though he still existed for some nine-hundred years in his fallen state. The ultimate end for all of us, in this earthly journey, is to die. Our separation from God, the corruption passed down to us in our genetic make-up, the effects of our sin and the sin of others, begin at birth to wear us down; and these forces will eventually destroy our vitality, and cause us to die physically.[2]

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

1 Cor 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

The final aspect of our death involves that of man’s soul. Adam, as he was created, “was made a living soul.” The house of this soul was the body, made from the dust of the earth; and it was energized—made alive—by God breathing into man’s nostrils “the breath of life”—the pneuma, or spirit. Now, as man was created, he was meant to be a soul-centered being—meaning that man’s mind, emotions, and will were to govern his existence. The senses of the body, and the spirit’s connection to the higher planes of thought, especially God’s, were a means of imputing into man’s soul that information that was necessary for man to make rational decisions. It was also through the body and spirit that the soul of man communicated to both the natural, as well as to the spiritual world. However, as we have said before, only two people ever experienced life as it was meant to be, and only for a short time. When Adam lost his innocence, and his spirit died, losing his connection with the Creator, mankind lost the input of the spiritual energy and sense of reality that came from God alone. Moreover, mankind not only lost this spiritual link to God, but he now became totally dependent upon the senses, feelings, lusts, and desires of the body as his only source of data upon which to make decisions. This one-sided input has made man carnal, fleshly, and subservient to the impulses of the body. In effect, the body now controls man’s thinking, and becomes the controlling center of man’s life. The soul lost its power to make rational decisions and is now a slave to the flesh. Satan also, through the fleshly appetites, now has the means with which to control man’s thinking and decisions. Mankind is not only a slave to sin, but Satan has now become our new lord and master. Although Adam was originally given dominion over the earth, Satan usurped mankind’s control, and is now the “prince of this world.”

1 Cor 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it

John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

The result of Adam’s disobedience is clearly seen upon the human race. The sole obsession of man has become—how to satisfy his fleshly appetites. Even so called “religious” men and women, have at the core of their motivations, self-glory, pride, and the vain imagination that they are the “servants of God.” The Scriptures are adamant about man’s condition, “there is none righteous, no, not one,” “there is none that seeketh after God,” and “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” When Adam lost the light of the spirit’s communion with God, his soul became darkened. When Adam lost Paradise and the light of God’s presence, he entered into the kingdom of darkness; and mankind has dwelt in that darkness ever since. We are not only born in this darkness, but our lusts draw us deeper and deeper into its blackness, as we live separated from God. This death of the soul will never end for those who are not reunited to God by faith in His Son. The soul, created in the image of God, can never cease to exist, but will forever experience an always dying, never-ending death. At the Great White Throne of Judgment, those who have never repented and claimed Christ as their redeemer, will be eternally separated from God, and “cast into the Lake of Fire.” They will be so far removed from God’s light, love, mercy, and grace, that they will be remembered no more.[3]

Matt 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

Matt 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Jude 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Psa 88:4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
5 Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.

The question that might be raised by some is—why was the whole human race put under law, condemned, made sinners, judged, and sentenced to death for the disobedience of one man? The answer to this compelling question lies in the love, mercy, and grace of God toward mankind. First of all, Adam, our first father, was the pinnacle of human creation. He was not created as some cave-man, from whom the rest of us have evolved into a higher being. He was the representative man, because he was as good as a man can be spiritually, mentally, physically, and psychologically, in the day he was created. He was our champion, so to speak, who in the Garden faced the temptation of the Serpent and failed. There would be no other man born, even if he were born perfectly, who would have succeeded any better than Adam—other than the Second Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, God foreseeing this, in His infinite wisdom, placed all of mankind in Adam, and allowed him to be our representative; so that one day, upon Calvary’s cross, He could place all of His redeemed ones in one man, even in Jesus Christ. Because we were all made sinners in one man and condemned to death, we may now all be made righteous in one man and inherit eternal life. God “concluded all under sin,” knowing eventually that all would succumb to temptation and sin, “that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”[4]

Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

If every man would have had the same chance as Adam, that of overcoming temptation, and living in obedience to God’s commands, then God’s justice would have required each transgressor to have their own substitute saviour. However, God has only one Son, and He is not going to cause Him to suffer more than one time, “but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Because of the doctrine of representation, God was satisfied by the death of His Only Begotten Son “to bear the sins of many.”

Heb 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Furthermore, there is the issue of lost innocence. Once Adam and Eve became aware of the knowledge of good and evil, it was impossible for them not to pass that knowledge on to their children. There could never again be the same conditions that allowed man and God to walk together in the Garden. There would always be an awareness, passed down from generation to generation, that there was a standard by which we are to live, and that God was holding us accountable to that standard. Look in any area of the world, even in the most remote jungles, and you will find both law and the fear of God’s retribution. Even  people who profess atheism, and distain any idea of accountability to God and His law, find that their lives are still influenced, consciously or subconsciously, by them.

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law (the Mosaic Law), do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law
(the eternal Law of God)  written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

 


[1] For more study on the death of the spirit see, The Garden and the Gospel, the chapter, Death’s Effects upon Man’s Spirit, also available from this author or at "http://GodsPurposes.org".

[2] For more study on the death of the body see, The Garden and the Gospel, the chapter, The Death of the Body, also available from this author or at "http://GodsPurposes.org".

[3] For more study on the death of the soul see, The Garden and the Gospel, the chapter, The Effect of Death upon Man’s Soul, also available from this author or at "http://GodsPurposes.org".

[4] For more study on this subject see, The Garden and the Gospel, the chapter, Understanding the Garden Account, The Fall, also available from this author or at "http://GodsPurposes.org".

 

 

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