Yesterday, I posted an answer from a rather large ordination questionnaire that I wrote regarding creation, sin and redemption. Today, I’m going to post the answer I gave from that same questionnaire regarding the question/point “Discuss briefly your understanding of the creation of humanity, the fall of humanity into sin and the consequences of human rebellion against God.”
Regarding the Creation of humanity, God formed the singular, original human couple who descended from none and from whom all people descended. Both Adam and Eve were specifically formed and not created, being physically formed from pre-existing matter and not simply spoken into existence; the creation of mankind involved intimate involvement of God. God made Adam from the dust of the earth, and God formed Eve from a piece of flesh taken from Adam’s side (Gen. 2:7, 20-25; 4:17-22; 5:1-32). As stated previously, this is the teaching of the Hebrew historical narrative of the Book of Genesis. True belief of scripture is impossible outside of a divine work of the Holy Spirit, and this includes the book of Genesis. The truthfulness of the Genesis account is believed by faith, not as the cumulative effect of examining empirical data (Heb. 11:3). This in no way insinuates that the account of Genesis has no supporting empirical evidence, but rather to apply the biblical testimony that the sinful mind unremittingly will disbelieve the truth of God in the face of undeniable evidence (Luke 16: 31; John 9:30-34; 12:37; 10:22-27; Rom. 1:18-23; 8:5-8), consistently believing lies, even when the truth is inescapable and plainly demonstrable, due to sin (Ps. 78:9-32; 106:7-39; Rom. 1:25, 28; 2 Pet. 3:3-5). Every single fact of empirical science is evidence for the truthfulness of the creation account, but no fact will be properly understood within history outside of a proper relationship to the God of history.
Regarding the fall, the original couple was given a single command (Gen. 2:16-17), which they disobeyed (Gen 3:1-7), resulting in the curse upon creation (Gen. 3:16-18), physical death (Gen. 3:19), and their expulsion from the Garden, which means separation from the life and presence of God (Gen. 3:22-24). In the original act of disobedience, Adam was the federal representative of all mankind. Humanity was united with Adam’s original act of sin and therefore shared both in the action and results of that sin (Rom. 5:12-19). In spite of Adam’s plunging humanity into rebellion against God, God has given his moral law to mankind. He has placed it on the hearts of all men (Rom. 2:14-15) and in the Bible (Ex. 20:1-17; Matt. 5-7, etc.). Though mankind knows about God’s existence and his moral law, they reject what they know and turn away from what God has revealed in nature (Rom. 1:20-23) and scripture (Ps. 50:16-17; Prov. 1:29-33) in order to follow the wicked desires (Prov. 11:6; Eph. 2:3) of their wicked hearts (Jer. 17:9; Luke 6:45). Mankind acts wickedly because that’s what they want and they’re enslaved to their wants.
This isn’t to say that people always enjoy their wickedness or recognize it as such; mankind is enslaved by their wicked desires; enslaved to sin (John 8:34; Rom. 6:15-17). They can change behaviour that springs from their hearts (Luke 6:43-45; James 4:1-3), but they are powerless to change the nature of their hearts (Jer. 13:23; Rom. 7:18-19). This enslavement to sin is the condition of every person whether they are aware of it or not (Is. 53:6; Rom. 3:10-18). This is not to say that people are apically corrupt (people are not as sinful as they want to be), but instead that people are altogether corrupt (sin affects thinking, behaviour, desires, etc.). This also recognizes that horrid people can perform altruistic or selfless actions, but altruistic deeds performed for sinful motives are not righteous deeds (Prov. 16:2; 21:2; Is. 64:6; James 4:1-3).
This universal rebellion against God’s law is an offense against God himself. Sin is essentially rebellion against God, manifested in acts of defiance of his moral rule and law. God, because he is holy (Lev. 19:2; 1 Sam. 2:2), must rightly honour himself above his creation (Ps. 8:1). God cannot entertain any challenges to his glory (i.e. the holiness of his wisdom, power, love, etc.) because they’re simply not true. God can neither lie about himself nor believe lies about himself (Num. 23:19; Heb. 6:18). God must judge sin as what it is—an attack on his glory. God will not uphold another’s glory above his own (Is. 42:8; 48:11) for that would be lying and would require God to act contrary to his essential nature (i.e. stop being God). God has clearly declared that he will judge sin (Ecc. 12:13-14; Rev. 20:11-13) and in doing so, vindicate the glory of his justice (2 Thess. 3:10).
What is this judgment? The ultimate judgment for sin is death (Rom. 6:23), which includes punishment for sinful deeds (Matt. 12:34-37; Rev. 20:11-15), as well as eternal relational separation from God (Matt. 8:11-12; Rev. 21:27), a separation not only from God’s person but also God’s blessings (joy, rest, sanity, restraint, etc.) served eternally in the lake of fire as men are unfettered from God’s restraining grace to concurrently embrace and suffer for their rebellion forever.
I’m guessing that this flies in the face of what many believe about origins and sin. Any thoughts?
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “These Anvil Posts are taking a long time to write!” Unger