Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Doctrines of the Christian Faith 3: Nature of Man

People do some of the strangest things when it comes down to it. However, when I refer to the nature of mankind here today, I am not about to go into deep and weird psychology. No, rather I would like to take a simple history lesson and expound upon the ramifications of it.

After the Lord demonstrated his magnificent sovereignty by speaking the world into existence, He put man and woman, Adam and Eve, into a beautiful garden. The garden is known as the Garden of Eden. The Lord gave simply one rule: 
"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."

This death that is referred to is not a typical death. Rather it referred to a more permanent type of death, one of eternal separation from God. Most are familiar with the events that would transpire.

The Serpent came along to tempt Eve. He assured her that should she eat of the fruit, she shall not surely die. Here the Serpent uses a bit of equivocation. When he discusses death here, he is referring to the more physical death we are used to, and referring to a more limited timeframe. The devil as we know him today, is here using half-truths to manipulate the facts and make it seem compelling for Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit. This information is peripheral to my blog post, but you can have it, no charge. One in our society today looks out for direct falsehoods, but how hard is it to catch when someone twists truths in small ways? There is a reason the devil decides to use this technique here.

But back to Adam and Eve. As we know, they falter and eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. They are then pushed from the garden, forced to work to gain food, and are faced with both physical and spiritual death. But that is just the beginning. Their sin is passed down to all generations of this earth, making us all born with a sinful nature. As Romans 5:12 states,
"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." 

Now you may say that it's not fair for me to be punished for someone else's actions; after all, look at all the good I have done. In answer, I would like to provide a short analogy I heard from one of the youth workers at my church.

Imagine a water hose. When you turn on the water, water flows through that water hose. If you put clean water through a dirty water hose, the water is not going to come out clean. Rather all the impurities and filth of the hose are going to pass into the water.

Similarly, in our everyday life, the good works we do are contaminated because they have to pass through us, our dirty water hose. From Adam down, the seed of being a dirty water hose was passed down, and it contaminates all our good works. This is one reason why Isaiah 64:6 proclaims,
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."

Our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Anything good we do could never be good enough for God. Whatever we may do, we have to admit that we have broken at least the Ten Commandments, and must need Christ to avoid the eternal death that was brought on by Adam's curse.

To conclude with a bit of hope this morning, I would like to show you Romans 6:23,
"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  

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