Biblically tested, Systematically processed, Evangelically practiced
The Human Condition: Anthropology
“We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan.” In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
God created man in His image. That means that God created man to have certain traits that animals and other life forms did not have. This is reasoning; logic, creativity, and moral character. God gave man and woman responsibilities in stewardship of all that He created. Today the implications of the man and woman being “created in God’s image” are both apparent and yet compromised. Today we are blessed and cursed with “free choice.” We have the ability to think logically or the choice to act illogically; we can reason, or not so much and we can be creative or destructive and it is in our nature to be of high moral character, or we can be immoral. Free choice has its benefits and it has its consequences.
Let it fall
To understand the fall of humanity and its affects you have to go back to the actual incident. God created man and woman and gave the free reign of the earth. He told them that they could eat anything in the Garden of Eden except the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. At this point man is good, no major problems, no traffic, smog or what have you. Yet there was evil lurking, not overhead or up ahead, but under foot. We are introduced to the serpent, the snake, who on this day is played by an actor named Satan. Satan is the deceiver and he does it by telling half- truths. So he tempts Eve to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The snake does this by knowing the rules and understanding God’s plan. So he tells her that God does not want her to know everything since “she would be like God.” Another thing that Eve knows is the consequences for eating the fruit is death. “Surely you will not die,” The rest of the story goes that Adam and Eve now know the difference between good and evil, they know that they will not live forever on earth, and they know that life on earth will not be easy. Man will have to toil for his food and it will be difficult to earn a living because there will be weeds and thorns. Woman will be in labor while in childbirth. All this to describe the human condition as being hard and fraught with the battle between good and evil. The fall teaches us that the nature of sin is a choice and that we will have a difficult time discerning between sin and obedience. We also know that the definition of sin is disobedience and rejecting what God wants for his people. Satan’s role doesn’t change. He still seeks to tempt and destroy man.
Doomed to Death
Union with Adam means that man would have to identify with Adam and until then Man would have to live by this sinful choice. This amplifies God’s plan for a Savior in Jesus Christ who was known as the “second Adam” one who would be blameless, sinless, perfect and take the punishment for a world full of men and women who were doomed and deserved death.
Paul writes that sin enters the world through one man, and that introduced death through sin, and death came to all men because we are all sinners. Jesus becomes the new Adam who is sinless and who is God’s son. His death and resurrection brings sinful people eternal life through a choice of believing on the Savior Jesus Christ or rejecting Him and sentencing oneself to death and hell. I love the part where Paul explains that “just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.” Romans 5:18
Alienation from God
The track that would illustrate the two cliffs between God and man and in the valley the word sin illustrates the distance between God and Humanity. When original sin came into existence the alienation from God became necessary. The common union of God and His creation seemed promising but the choices made to disobey God and to align humanity with Satan caused the chasm, He would still be God and would reveal Himself to a few men and women. They would be with character flaws and strengths, and God would use them to lead Israel. The relationship was by in large broken until God’s plan called for Him to dwell among us through our Savior Jesus Christ. Still nothing we can do on our own can win favor from our state of alienation. We must accept Jesus Christ and follow Him to “bridge” the gap.
What does the wrath of God mean and what is its significance?
God is slow to anger, eager to forgive, but the wrath of God is terrible to evildoers as described in Hebrews 10:26-31. “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we received the knowledge and truth, no sacrifice of sin is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” The significance according to Paul is that if we come to forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ and keep on sinning, then there is nothing left to save us. To continue in sin is to continue rejecting the gift of Grace that came with a high price.
Rescued, Reconciled and Renewed
From what are we rescued? Hell and certain death. To who are we reconciled? God, whom we were alienated from. How are we renewed? By believing and following Jesus Christ and accepting Him as our personal Savior. Why is it important to state exclusively that this work is accomplished only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ? No matter what we do or say the only way to be saved is to believe on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “For dying He destroyed death, by rising He restored Life, and the Lord will come again in Glory.