Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Fall

The next principle we will look at from the Reformation Study Bible is the Fall. The Reformation Study Bible says that the Fall is the original human lapse from God and godliness into sin and lostness. It is explained, from the perspective that the Apostle Paul give in Romans; where he states that all of mankind is naturally under the guilt and power of sin, the reign of death, and the inescapable wrath of God (Romans 1:18-19; 5:17-21, 1 Cor. 15:22). Paul traces this back to the sin of the one man Adam, whom he describes as our common ancestor (Acts 17:26; Rom. 5:12-14).

Some of Paul's points made about the Fall as recorded in Genesis 3 are:

* God made the first man the representative of all his posterity, just as He was to make  Jesus Christ the representative of all God's elect (Rom. 5:15-19, 8:29-30, 9::22-26).

* God placed Adam in a state of happiness and promised permanently to establish him and his posterity in it if he showed fidelity by obeying God's command not to eat from a tree described as "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:17). Apparently the issue was whether Adam would let God determine what was good and bad, or would seek to decide that for himself, in disregard of what God had said.

*** John Calvin, the 16th century French Reformer, comments on this: "A law is imposed upon him in token of his subjection; for it would have made no difference to God, if he had eaten indiscriminately of any fruit he pleased. Therefore, the prohibition of one tree was a test of was necessary that man, adorned and enriched with so many excellent gifts, should be held under restraint, lest he should break forth into licentiousness...Therefore, abstinence from the fruit of one tree was a kind of first lesson in obedience, that man might know he had a Director and Lord of his life, on whose will he ought to depend, and in whose commands he ought to acquiesce.

* Adam, led by Eve who was herself led by the serpent (Satan in disguise, 2 Cor. 11:3, 14; Rev. 12:9), defied God by eating the forbidden fruit. As a result, first of all, the anti-God, self-aggrandizing mindset expressed in Adam's sin became part of him. and of the moral nature that he passed on to his descendants (Gen. 6:5; Rom. 3:9-20)

I would like to make a comment about this point: This mindset which we all inherited from Adam and Eve when they sin, can be clearly seen throughout history, and it points to the fatal dilemma of sin that we are under. What I mean is this, until God in His mercy speaks grace to us - we have no idea the condition we are in. The fall into sin doomed the whole of humanity to hell. When God comes to Adam and Eve after they had sinned and were hiding from God in fear, they did not repent of their sin, the darkness was already in them, they blamed each other, they did not bow to God and plea for forgiveness, their hearts were harden in sin. This is a warning to us. Sin places us outside the Garden of Eden, we follow Satan and place ourselves as like God.  Our culture and the entire world lives as if there is no God, the consequences of Adam's sin. Thank God, that He through Adam.s fall makes the promise of One who was to come and crush Satan. Thank God for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which break through the darkness, the Satanic deception, and placed God's own on the road to the New Heaven and New Earth, the Heavenly Jerusalem!!

There are many who believe that Adam was not a historical figure, there are many who call themselves Christians do not think we should believe that Adam is a true, historical person, but Adam is linked to the patriarchs and through them to the rest of the human race by genealogy (chs. 5:10;11) making him as much a part of history as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The doctrine of original sin seems an offense to reason, but once accepted it makes total sense of the human condition. (Pascal)

It is the same thing with the Fall narrative. We should be careful when we question the Word of God. It is not to say we should not reason through what the Word presents to us, The Word of God has depth we will never fathom, so when we speak as if we know more than the Word of God, remember the nature we all have from Adam which is anti-God and self-aggrandizing,  and the only escape from that mindset is the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Let us humble ourselves before the Word of God and what it declares.

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