Conditions Following the Fall

Conditions Following The Fall

Chapter Three

Conditions Following The Fall

AGONY TO ECSTASY!

PART THREE

III. CONDITIONS FOLLOWING THE FALL

A. Mankind's Lost Greatness Through Adam's Fall

(1) Sin's Immediate Consequences

Recognize man's fall. Man's disobedience to God led to Man's fall. Man failed to stand the test and thus prove his love for the Creator. Man fell from the height of splendor to the depth of despair, from the beauty of perfection to the vileness of distortion, from the joy of fellowship to the anguish of separation, from the freedom of innocency to the bondage of guilt, from the strength of health to the weakness of disease, from the glory of life to the corruption of death", from the fullness of knowledge to the shamefulness of ignorance.

Sin replaced innocency with guilt and caused man to clothe his nakedness. No longer could man reveal himself as he really was, but he was compelled to hide his true identity.

Sin also caused man to run from God's presence and hide. (Genesis 3:8) No longer could Man enjoy intimate fellowship with God, but Man instead became an alienated. estranged rebel afraid to face God.

Neither was willing to accept personal moral responsibility. The man blamed his actions on the woman and the woman, in turn, blamed her actions on the serpent. The transgressor often scapegoats, blaming his actions on his background or friends or society or heredity. Man seeks to sooth his conscience through rationalization, but God cannot be fooled.

"God establishes the relationship of the human couple on a new foundation. He humbles the woman by subjugating her to the man. He humbles the man by forcing him to struggle with a creation that has likewise become rebellious, because of what he has done, and that resists his attempts to control it.

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 32 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

Thus, God subjects the man and the woman to a discipline of suffering appropriate to each. They are not deprived of the joy of work. But these things become theirs only at the price of struggle and suffering. From now on there will be pain and heartache connected with everything the man and the woman do. Those who accept this situation will discover that it can be transformed into a blessing." (God's Unfolding Purpose; Suzanne de Dietrich; page 39)

"And the Lord God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life." (Genesis 3:22-24)

(2) Mankind's Ray Of Hope

Immediately following Man's fall, a brilliant ray of hope shone over the horizon of Man's history, revealing God's future plan for Man's salvation. That ray of hope was found in the curse God pronounced on the serpent: "I will put enmity between you and the woman; also between your offspring and her offspring; He will crush your head and you will crush his heel." (Genesis 3:15)

This prophecy refers to Jesus who was born of the virgin Mary, a descendant of Adam and Eve. Although Satan inflicted injury on Jesus, the Son of God, Jesus crushed and destroyed the works of Satan through His redemptive death on the cross, and He proved to be victor over Satan through His glorious resurrection. (Hebrews 2:14-15) Man's bondage to Satan was broken through the conquering power of the resurrected Lord. Through the seed of Eve, Man would be reconciled or brought back to fellowship with God. Through Christ, Man would be "born again" and receive a new nature.

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 33 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

(3) Mankind's Universal Death

We must now begin a serious study of Romans 5:12-14. This passage describes the process by which Man lost his greatness in the Fall. Is it possible for Man to regain his lost greatness?

Man is made for the stars! Man may wallow in the mud, but he can never forget the stars! Man was born for greatness! Man has lost his greatness, but he can never forget the destiny for which he was created! The God-shaped image upon man may be distorted, but it can never be totally destroyed! Man can never really forget that he was made for God-likeness!

Says Carl Jung, the great psychiatrist, "The central neurosis of our time is emptiness." But man cannot stand a vacuum. That vacuum is meant to be filled with God!

A caged eagle wishes to be freed to soar in the heights. Man is made for the spiritual heights and will never be satisfied to remain in the cage of his sins.

It is possible to attain everything that life can physically offer, and yet be deeply dissatisfied and disillusioned. "The quest for spiritual renewal and personal fulfillment is rooted in the depths of human nature, and the motivation to be what a man ought to be spiritually springs from interior depths. Man feels unhappy when he looks at his soul, dwarfed by a secular spirit and blighted by sin. He feels restless in his estrangement from God. He then reaches toward God. 'Thou hast made us for thyself and our heart is restless until it reposes in thee.'" (Personal Renewal Through Christian Conversion; Mavis; page 12)

Man lost his greatness in the fall of Adam, resulting in the problem of inherited moral depravity and a propensity to overtly sin against God's

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 34 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

laws. Man can regain his greatness by confessing his sins and by committing his life to Christ. Sin's power is great, but God's power is greater!

Sin came into the world through Adam's disobedience. (Romans 5:12) Romans 5:12 describes what in theology is called "Original Sin". Notes Bishop Bastian, concerning original sin, "It is that evil tendency with which every individual is born. a tendency which disposes him to do wrong and thus to become not only by nature. but by personal choice as a sinner." Why is it that when you tell a child not to do a certain thing. he tends immediately to do it anyway?

Romans 5:12 says, "Sin came into the world through one man and death through sin. and so death spread to all men because .all men sinned." This verse, perhaps more clearly than any other verse, declares what is called in theology "The Doctrine of Original Sin".

Bishop Donald Bastain says that original sin "is explained by the universal law of natural generation that like begets like. Adam, by the personal exercise of his own free will fell into sin. thus becoming a sinner. The son born to him was like him not only in physical structure, but in his moral image as well. From Cain to the present all his descendants have inherited from him a nature depraved and prone to sin like his own." (Genesis 6:5,12. Jeremiah 17:9, Mark 7:21-22)

The fact of original sin and the universality of sin is recognized in most branches of theology. Even unbelievers "have to admit and to confess this, that there is something which is spoiling and ruining life. They have to admit further, that mankind at large seems to prefer to do that which is wrong rather than that which is right; that if you tell a child not to do a thing, he will want to do it immediately and will, as often as not. proceed to do it." (Lloyd-Jones; Romans 5; page 190)

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 35 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

Perhaps you have heard of the mother who told Johnny to sit down in a chair, as means of discipline and punishment. Some minutes later the mother wanted to check out Johnny's obedience, and from another room she called out, "Johnny are you sitting in that chair?" Johnny replied, "Yes, I'm sitting down on the outside, but I'm standing up on the inside!"

One does not have to train a child to be selfish another indication of the fact of "original sin".

Romans 5:12 teaches us that "we all have sinned, in some sense, when Adam sinned. We were not there in a real way, sinning when he sinned, as Augustine taught; but we sinned because our representative did and suffered loss even as an entire school might if its representative loses at a track meet. John Wesley says, 'As by one man – as being the representative of mankind, Sin entered into the world Even so death passed upon all men…. in that all sinned in Adam'." (The Word and Doctrine; Kenneth Geiger; page 76)

Does man sin because he is a sinner or is man a sinner because he sins? Man is born with a prone-ness to sin! Is there any hope?

Notes Bishop Bastian, "Methodist theology clearly teaches a doctrine of original sin, but does not hold to a doctrine of original guilt. The human race is not held to be guilty of Adam's sin, even though it is by his sin involved in moral ruin". (Genesis 2:17, Genesis 3:17)

"It should be frankly acknowledged that the sin nature is not sin in the fully ethical sense, for the volitional and accountable elements are missing. 'The sin remaining in the regenerate believer…. is not sin strictly speaking, which is any "transgression of the law" incurring guilt; but depravity – an inherited inborn, sinward inclination – a depraved bias'" (The Word and the Doctrine; Kenneth Geiger; page 112)

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 36 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

No person is personally responsible for inheriting moral depravity from Adam. However, while one is not personally responsible for inheriting moral depravity, one is responsible for not availing himself of cleansing from moral depravity, made available through Christ's atonement.

Further, one cannot put the blame for his personal sin onto the fact that he inherited moral depravity. One cannot say, when he is engaging in personal acts of transgression, "I couldn't help it, for my inherited moral depravity caused me to sin!" There are others who, when sinning say, "Something made me do it" or "The devil made me do it" or "After all, we're only human, you know". All such statements reflect personal irresponsibility and deny the exercise of human will, made possible by God's grace which places man in both a saveable and in an accountable state of grace. "Whereas the sin nature constitutes a strong impulse toward sin, it is not an irresistible cause-and-effect situation." (The Word and the Doctrine; page 115)

Related to this whole question of original sin and inherited depravity, is the question of guilt and condemnation, especially as these apply to infants. Says one about the atonement of Christ, "The atonement has come to all man and upon all men. Its coextensiveness with the effects of Adam's sin is seen in that all creatures such as infants and insane persons, incapable of refusing it, are saved without their consent, just as they were involved in the sin of Adam without their consent. The reason why others are not saved is because when the atonement comes to them and upon them, instead of consenting to be included in it, they reject it. If they are born under the curse, so likewise they are born under the atonement which is intended to remove that curse; they remain under its shelter till they are old enough to repudiate it; they shut out its influence as a man closes his window-blind to shut out the beams of the sun; they ward them off by direct opposition, as a man builds dikes around

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 37 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

his field to keep out the streams which would otherwise flow in and fertilize the soil". (quoted in Elect in the Son; Robert Shank; page 104-105)

Unless or until a small child actively resists the grace of God when he is capable of personal moral choice, that child continues to enjoy the saving benefits of Christ's atonement. Is this to say that some children do not need to experience personal repentance or exercise personal saving faith in Christ? Hardly, for what child, old enough to exercise general volitional powers, has not wrongly exercised his volition morally? Even a small child, say four or five years old, knows something about personal guilt because of wrong moral choice. But it is true to say that some persons exercised positive volition in choosing Christ at such a young age, that they cannot, as adults, remember when they were not Christians!

My wife has a cousin who is a daughter of missionary parents and who has been herself a long-time missionary in Africa. She never remembers when she was not a Christian.

There are children whose first exercise of meaningful volition was in their acceptance of Christ as Saviour, perhaps as early as the age of three! The streams of God's mercy early flowed in and fertilized their soul! These young children who enjoyed the saving benefits of Christ's atonement when they were incapable of refusing it, gladly received the saving benefits of the atonement when they were first barely able to exercise personal saving faith in Jesus Christ! Said Jesus, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these". (Mark 10:14 NIV)

We can summarize the teachings, both explicit and implicit, of Romans 5:12. "Sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned."

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 38 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

Sin came into the world through Adam's personal disobedience. Adam's original sin caused all mankind to inherit moral depravity. All are involved in mankind's moral ruin as a result of Adam's sin. However. while all are involved in the affects of original sin. none are originally guilty when born into the world. Original sin. or better stated. inherited depravity as a result of Adam's original sin concerns itself with liability to penalty, not personal blameworthiness. None are personally responsible for inheriting moral depravity, but all are responsible for yielding to the pressure and influence of moral depravity. Outward sin can be resisted and inward sin can be purged. Every man inherits moral depravity, and most if not all, yield to that downward moral tendency which disposes one to do wrong. When one yields to that tendency, he becomes not only by. nature, but by personal choice, a sinner.

Every man has given counsel to the presence of original sin (moral depravity) in life, and has chosen willfully to disobey God, thus incurring personal guilt. E. Stanley Jones says that innate depravity "is the self surrendered to nothing except itself–the self become God". (Song of Ascents; page 52)

All men are thus personally responsible for willfully committing personal transgressions, for willfully allowing self to assert itself as god of one's life. Sin is seen as "self" ruling life. Man is responsible for yielding to the tendency towards self-rule.

Romans 5:12 tells us that death reigns over mankind. "When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. His sin spread death throughout the entire world, so everything began to grow old and die, for all sinned." (Living Bible)

All have been born in sin. All have willfully sinned. The penalty of sin is death. Therefore, all men face sin's penalty which is death.

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 39 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

"Death" according to the Bible, is threefold. There is physical death, spiritual death and eternal death.

The universal consequence of sin's entry into the world is physical death. When Adam fell, all of mankind fell – fell from health to weakness, fell from life to death. Man is born to die. Sin brought death into the world. Never blame God for funerals!

Another consequence of sin's entry into the world is spiritual death. Many are alive physically, but dead spiritually. Says Ephesians 2:1-2 : "You were spiritually dead through your sins and failures, all the time that you followed this world's ideas of living, and obeyed the evil ruler of the spiritual realm–who is indeed fully operative today in those who disobey God." (Phillips)

The final and terrible consequence of sin's entry into the world is eternal death. Eternal death is sin's final punishment, experienced by those who persistently and ultimately resist the offer of God's mercy and forgiveness. "And death and hell were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the Second Death–the Lake of Fire. And if anyone's name was not found recorded in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire." (Revelation 20:14-15; Living Bible). It is not God's will that any perish. God's perfect will is that all be saved. But God's permissive will allows a man to spurn the mercy of God, and be eternally lost. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Hell was not prepared for man, but was prepared for the devil and his fallen angels (demons). God never intended for a human being to suffer in hell, but the man who serves Satan must suffer Satan's fate. The servant must dwell with his master. God wishes to save all men from that terrible place of destruction and torment. God never sends anyone to hell; a sinner sends himself there by willful refusal of the offer of mercy.

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 40 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

Have you responded to God's offer of mercy and forgiveness? Are you willing to surrender control of your life to Christ?

B. Mankind's Restored Greatness Through Christ's Righteousness.

(1) The First Adam and the Second Adam

Romans 5 teaches us that mankind universally lost greatness through sin's great power. (Romans 5:12-14) But Romans 5 also teaches that every person has the potential of regaining greatness through Grace's greater power. (Romans 5:15-21)

A young person is heard to say: "If Adam had not sinned, we would not have all of these problems in the world". When Adam sinned, all mankind sinned. You and I were in Adam when he sinned. When he sinned, death came as a consequence to Adam. Because we were in Adam, we too (as an entire human race) received death as a consequence!

Perhaps you find yourself saying, "That's no fair! I cannot help it that Adam sinned! I should not be held responsible for Adam's sin!" But let me respond by asking a couple of questions: "Is it fair that you should get the beneficial results from Christ's righteousness? Is it fair that you should be treated so mercifully and kindly simply because God looks favorably upon Christ's righteousness?" You are not personally to blame because of Adam's transgression, even though you have to bear, along with Adam, sin's consequences, since you were in Adam from the beginning. That appears grossly unfair! However, is it just and fair that you should so abundantly enjoy the benefits of Christ's righteousness, which is life and peace, simply because you are in Christ, although your personal commission of sins should result in death for you? Although you involuntarily inherited original sin because you, by physical birth, are a descendant of Adam, you may voluntarily receive life and peace and justification through spiritual birth, by faith in Christ's righteousness. Being "in" Adam

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 41 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

means receiving Adam's lot–condemnation and death! Being "in" Christ means receiving Christ's lot–righteousness and peace and eternal life and glory!

You personally had no choice in being a descendant of Adam and in automatically (at physical birth) becoming a member of a fallen race which is universally infected with sin and subject to death.

You lost your greatness due to Adam's original transgression and due to your own indulgence in personal sins, but you may regain your greatness due to Christ's atonement and due to your personal repentance and faith in Christ's atonement. You lost all "in" Adam; you may regain all "in" Christ!

You had no choice as to your physical descent from the first "Adam", but you do have a choice as to your spiritual connection to the second "Adam". Some things were decided and determined for you before you were born, but in some things you make decisions–decisions so important that an eternal destiny is determined by your decisions!

It is true that you personally had no choice in being a descendant of Adam, but it is also true that you had no choice in being an object of God's special love and mercy! You had no choice in being a member of a human race for whom a universal atonement has been provided by Christ!

In some important things you do have a choice! You chose to succumb to personal transgression, admittedly made more appealing because of the pull of original sin within your heart. But just as you chose to sin, you may choose to yield to the pull of God's grace working within your heart and mind to bring you to a place of true repentance. You can choose to stay "in" Adam or you can choose to get "in" Christ. You can choose to remain in death or you can choose to receive new life in Christ!

It must be acknowledged, of course, that there is a difference between what you lost in Adam and what

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 42 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

you regain in Christ. In Adam, the results of his sinful actions are automatic. Those who are born to Adam automatically inherit the taint of his sin (original sin). The results of Adam's transgression to his descendants, are actual and universal, and come through biological heredity.

In Christ, the results of His righteous actions are not automatic. Human beings do not, without the exercise of their will, receive the righteousness of Christ as their own righteousness, whereas, human beings, without the exercise of their will and choice, automatically receive the taints of Adam's sin. In Christ, the benefits of His righteous actions to the human race are potentially universal. However, these benefits must be received individually, not by involuntary biological birth, but by voluntary spiritual rebirth. We did not personally choose to be "in" Adam. We must personally choose to be "in" Christ. It is by nature that we are related to the first "Adam". It is by grace that we are related to the second "Adam", the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mankind is universally and automatically lost through sin's great power. However, the sins of all mankind are universally atoned for through Christ, making possible the individual salvation of every person. Sin's power is great, but grace's power is greater!

(2) The Bright Side of the Dark "Fall" of Mankind

The Fall of Adam (and the consequences of that Fall upon all of humanity–sin, pain, etc) provides the "raw materials" from which man and God, working together, produce holiness and happiness.

Let us examine this statement together. Before doing so, however, let it be stated that we must never turn sin and rebellion into a virtue. Adam fell from God's originally-created state of grace. God did not will that Fall, but in spite of that Fall (and even through that Fall) God has brought about great good to humanity. God did not will sin,

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 43 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

but God has used sin (as represented in the Fall) to provide good for humanity. God is the great redeemer, even producing good out of evil.

Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. The Fall was terrible since it represents human rebellion in opposition to divine love. However, the cross is far greater than the Fall is terrible, since the cross of Christ represents divine restoration of the chiefest of sinners. Man's lost greatness through sin's power is great, but man's restored greatness through grace's power is greater!

The evil resulting from the Fall is not worthy to be compared with the good resulting from the free gift of God's Grace in Christ Jesus. "God saw that to permit the fall of the first man was for the best for mankind in general; that abundantly more good than evil would accrue to the posterity of Adam by his fall; that if 'sin abounded' thereby, over all the earth, yet grace 'would much more abound', yea, and that to every individual of the human race, unless it was his own choice." (Wesley's Sermon; God's Love To Fallen Man; page 43)

What good has accrued to the posterity of Adam, as a result of the Fall? Without the Fall there would have been no cross, and without the cross there would have been no opportunity for God to visibly demonstrate His eternal love in its greatest intensity! The Fall caused all men to be constituted as sinners (for "in Adam all die"). It is because all men are in need of salvation that a Saviour was provided. Fallen humanity is capable of experiencing God's love in a way that not even the unfallen angels can experience God's love. The race of beings which have fallen to the lowest depths are capable of experiencing God's love at the highest heights! God redeemed the Terrible–the Fall–into the Tremendous–the experience of Calvary love! Without the Terrible there could be no Tremendous!

"What good has accrued to the posterity of Adam, as a result of the Fall?" We said that it was the

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 44 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

Fall that called forth the necessity of the Cross of Christ, and in the cross the eternal heart of Divine Love is revealed to humanity! So, God redeemed the Terrible into the Tremendous! Without the Fall there could be no cross. Without sin "abounding", grace could not "much more abound".

We can also answer the above-stated question by saying that the whole experience of justification by faith and redemption in the blood of Christ could have had no existence, apart from the Fall of man. Only because Adam and the sons of Adam fell from grace, does Adam's race have the need and the capacity to experience forgiving love in the Son of God. The highest heights of God's love ("redeeming love" not merely creation love) can only be experienced by a race of beings who have fallen into the lowest depths of sin. The unfallen angels personally know nothing of God's redeeming love. It is only fallen man who can experience redeeming love!

Notes John Wesley, "The fall of Adam produced the death of Christ … If God had prevented the fall of man 'the Word' had never been 'made flesh'; nor had we ever 'seen his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father' .. Those mysteries never had been displayed, 'which the very angels desire to look into'… Unless' by one man judgement had come upon all men to condemnation', neither angels nor men could ever have known 'the unsearchable riches of Christ' … According to the counsel of his own will, the plan he had laid before the foundation of the world, he created the parent of all mankind in his own image; and he permitted all men to be made sinners, by the disobedience of this one man, that by the obedience of one, all who receive the free gift, may be infinitely holier and happier to all eternity!". (Wesley's Sermon; God's Love To Fallen Man; page 48-49)

The immensity of man's sin is great, but the immensity of God's love is greater. When sin abounded, grace did much more abound.

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 45 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

You can be sure that if one stays connected with the Old Adam (with all that he represents by way of disobedience), he will experience both physical and eternal death. You can be "much more" sure that if one gets connected and stays connected with the Last Adam–Christ–he will experience both abundant life here and eternal life hereafter!

Only the pained can appreciate pleasure; only the hurting can appreciate healing; only the sinning can experience a Saviour; only the fallen can know redemption. Even though God did not will the Fall of Mankind, He graciously provided the Recovery of Mankind! What a wise God!

(3) The "Much More" of the Last Adam – Jesus Christ

If death is certain through Adam, how "much more" certain is life through Christ? "If God's justice and his righteousness led to punishment, 'much more' will His love and grace and mercy lead to salvation." (Assurance; Exposition of Romans 5; Martyn Lloyd-Jones; page 231)

"If we can say (as we can) that God's essential and eternal justice led to man's punishment and death, oh how infinitely more certain and sure can we be – and especially having seen it all displayed in a living manner in Christ – that His love is really going to do for us that which He has said He would do, namely, give us life." (Ibid; page 231)

There were great losses because of Adam's Fall. There are greater blessings because of Christ's salvation!

What we all lost in Adam was great! What we all gain in Christ is much greater!

The condemnation which we earned as a result of our fall from grace, is not as great as the fellowship we freely receive as a result of our salvation in Christ. Condemnation is something we have earned and deserved (because of our racial and personal

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 46 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

involvement in sin). "Salvation is something which has been given to us and which we receive absolutely freely as the gift of God." (Ibid; page 233)

The process of death, as a result of Adam's sin, abounds, but the process of life, as a result of Christ's righteousness, much more abounds. The process of life and fruitfulness is greater than the process of death and disintegration!

If sin is a cruel tyrant whose reign is death. how much more is Christ a loving King whose reign is life and love! "Adam's one sin brought the penalty of death to many. while Christ freely takes away all sins and gives glorious life instead. The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to be king over all. but all who will take God's gift of forgiveness and acquittal are kings of life because of this one man, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:16-17, Living Bible) "Adam was made lord of creation, but he lost that position. We shall not only have that back, we shall have infinitely more. We shall share a throne with the Son who shares the throne of thrones with His Father. That is the prospect awaiting us!" (Lloyd-Jones; Ibid; page 226)

What we lost in the first Adam, we more than gain in the second "Adam" – Jesus Christ! Are you living in the first or second Adam?

What we have lost because of our racial connection with Adam and because of our own personal involvement in sin. we have now regained because of Christ's universal atonement for sin and because of our own personal appropriation of Christ's forgiveness! God's grace is lavish! We regain in Christ far more than we ever lost in Adam!

If we lost a righteousness in Adam's fall, we gain a much greater righteousness in Christ's salvation! The righteousness which was the property of creation, lost in the Fall. is not as great as the righteousness which is the gift of recreation, gained in conversion. The righteousness which Adam enjoyed as a property of his unique creation, is not

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 47 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

to be compared with the righteousness which the sinner receives as a gift of his glorious conversion! The righteousness of Adam may have been great, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ is infinitely greater! Where sin abounded, in that it stole from Adam his original righteousness, grace does much more abound in that it imparts to Adam's fallen race the very righteousness of Christ (giving man right standing with God!).

How is that righteousness imparted to sinners, apart from anything that a sinner can do? All a sinner can do is to accept by faith the free gift of Christ's righteousness. This righteousness is of grace – it all depends on God's love and Christ's obedience! "As we were constituted sinners because of Adam's one sin, and apart from any action on our part, so we are constituted righteous persons entirely apart from anything that we do. It is entirely and only because of Christ's obedience." (Assurance, Exposition of Romans 5; Martyn Lloyd-Jones; page 276)

"The burden of the New Testament is not sin-fixation, but a Christ-fixation. Its emphasis is not the incurable persistence of sin, but the illimitable triumph of Calvary! Not sin reigns, but grace reigns! The final words are not 'sin' and 'defeat', but 'grace' and 'victory'."

"Dark the sin that soiled man's 
nature, Long the distance that he fell, Far removed from hope and heaven, Near to 
deep despair and hell. Rut there was a fountain opened, And the blood of God's own 
Son Purifies the soul, and reaches Deeper than the stain had gone." 

(Insights Into Holiness; Kenneth Geiger; page 72)

"The principle taught, then (in Romans 5), is that what grace has done is not merely to counteract exactly what sin has done. In fact there is not

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 48 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

comparison; it is superfluity, an abounding, an engulfing, it is an overflowing on the side of grace" (Ibid; Lloyd-Jones; page 299)

O God, I openly confess that all my own righteousness is like 'filthy rags' in your sight (Isaiah 64:5), for my righteousness is tainted by human pride. The taint of pride is deep. Wash me thoroughly with your blood and clothe me beautifully with the garments of Christ's righteousness!

I believe! I believe!

CONCLUSION:

What general conclusions and applications can be drawn from a brief study of Genesis 1-3?

(1) God is the Creator of all of life; therefore, God has the right to rule in each man's life. Each person is responsible to use his body and soul and mind for God's glory. To abuse one's body, mind or soul is to sin against one's Creator.

(2) Man's call to domination over the earth is not a call to careless exploitation, but to responsible stewardship. The God-granted power to dominate can become a temptation to 'lord over' other people and to exploit the world's resources for selfish use. Man's lordship over the earth is subject to God's lordship over all of created matter.

(3) Satan often tempts man by calling into question the truthfulness of God's Word. (Genesis 3:1)

(4) Sin can be defined as disobedience against the known laws of God and rejection of the revealed love of God. Because God, by nature is just, wrong moral choices always result in tragic moral consequences. The penalty of sin is death.

(5) Because God is a loving redeemer by nature, He has provided a redemptive plan for mankind's salvation.

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 49 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

"O God, because of your creative power, I was born for greatness; because of my willful disobedience, I lost my greatness; because of Christ's redemptive love, I can regain my greatness. Thank you! Amen."

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 50 –


AGONY TO ECSTASY!

CHAPTER 3

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. What were some of the immediate consequences of the fall of Adam and Eve, and in what ways are these consequences the consequences which modern-day persons face when they sin?

  2. How do you interpret Genesis 3:15, as this verse relates to God's provision for lost mankind's restoration?

  3. What is the threefold definition of "death" according to the Bible?

  4. What did you, as a member of the human race, involuntarily inherit from Adam, and what are you, as an object of God's special love, capable of voluntarily receiving from Christ?

  5. What has been provided for every human being, as a result of the death of Christ on the cross?

  6. What is meant by the expressions: "The first Adam and the second Adam"?

  7. What good has accrued to the posterity of Adam as a result of the Fall?

  8. What realities can we be sure of because of our natural relationship to Adam; what realities can we be even more certain about because of our supernatural relationship to Christ?

  9. Describe the righteousness which the believer enjoys, both in terms of its source and in terms of the method by which it is received.

  10. What is the main thrust of the teaching of the New Testament in regards to sin and to grace?

Web Design GroupBack To Top

– 51 –


Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s