Quest for Truth 139 Humanity, from Innocence to Immorality

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In a solo episode with Keith, hangout for a session in getting down to a few basic concepts about humanity, and the initial blessings laid at our feet. If it’s all so great, then why is the world we live in so messed up? Keith also talks about what sin is at its core, and what was lost, corrupted, and what we have left.

One basic principle is that God is entirely good, loving, and sinless. Only angels, and mankind can sin. Amazingly, commentaries can be vague on the topic of sin. To figure it out, a look at the first recorded history of where it came from, and what the world was like before and after it entered offers some clues.

ADAM

Humanity

The first man. Creation of

Genesis 1:26-28

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Observations:
People are physical beings, but our spirituality is in the image of God. What do we find him doing in these early pages? Creating, building a special habitat, uniquely designed for humans. He laid it at our feet to rule over, discover, and enjoy. We have his blessing, and in the physical form of male and female, we can create human life. Try as we might to create life, or animate life in some artificial way, it can’t be done. It is so obvious and simple to do when a male and female join together. Creating life is the highest form that we humans can create on our own. It should be a humbling thing that deserves our highest respect and responsibility.

Genesis 2:7;

7 then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

1 Corinthians 15:45;

45 Thus it is written, The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Observations:
Skipping ahead to Paul’s writing, he makes the connection between the first, physical, man who brought life, but also sin and death, to the second Adam. The one who would bring spiritual life. But let’s return to thug of humanities intocense.

History of, before he sinned

Genesis 1:26-30

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

Observations:
Mankind was made to rule over all life in the earth, and even the world itself. To subdue it, discover all its mysteries. All this in a state not of perfection, but of innocence. He was blessed, and his place was established to learn about this amazing place, while using all it contains responsibly, and in a manner in line with how God would be glorified the best.

But wait… there’s more…

Genesis 2:16-25

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

19 Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Observations:
Mankind was given food, but with a boundary. All the other plants in the garden were fine, just don’t bother this one in particular. That’s it. Just think of how long the man and woman might have continued living in innocence, but the warning was they would surely die. Not an instant death, but one that began its process in that instant.

The man was given work to do in this innocent time. Tend and till the garden, discover, explore, name animals, all this to occupy his time, and do one more thing. God let the man come to realize that as fascinating as this created universe was, all that knowledge, and pursuit of it was unfulfilling. The man still needed a counterpart. Someone to be a suitable fit, to keep from being lonely. Someone equipped in a different, complimentary way to create life on their own.

The female was created out of man, presented to him, and approved of by him. The marriage relationship was established as good, in this age of innocence.

All these things were put in place and blessed, while humanity was in its undefiled stage. They are created good. And they still are intended as blessings for us. To rule, to work, to eat, to marry, and to otherwise discover our world, they have also become objects of corruption and abuse.

Temptation and sin of man

Genesis 3:1 ;

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Observations:
Without going into the whole ordeal of the initial sin, the lie was introduced. Twisting God’s word, putting words in his mouth that were never said, and the hook is set. The far reaching affects of this tiny act of rebellion were incomprehensible by the first humans at this time.

Isaiah 43:27;

27 Your first father sinned, and your mediators transgressed against me.

Observations:
Everybody sins. parents pass sin on from generation to generation. Just as leaven works its way through the whole loaf, and is passed from one loaf to the next, sin is passed in the same kind of way. Even someone held as a mediator, a go to person, a coach, or whatever, they have their limitations due to their own sin.

Subsequent history of

Genesis 3:20-24

20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

21 And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”

23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Observations:
What just happened here? Was the sin in eating a piece of fruit? Maybe, not exactly. Was it in rebelling in Crossing a boundary? Yes. What was lost, or gained? A clear understanding of what morality was grasped, but that eye opening experience came only after the deed was done, and there was no going back on the choice. Knowing right and wrong was already in place, and the warning God gave earlier should have been enough. A choice, the wrong choice is all it took to plant that first seed of sin.

Sin is our intentional choice to act, and make the wrong choice, even when we know it’s wrong. Especially when we know its wrong.

Sin condemns, and requires punishment. God’s presence was removed, the tree of life is removed, the humans are kicked out of the garden. All the other blessings remain, but only with a degree of added work, pains, and other problems.

Genesis 4:1,2,25;

1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.”

2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.

25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.”

Observations:
Sin is passed to the next generation. In the verses in the middle of chapter 4, God warns Cain over being upset over his offering. Despite the choice to drop the anger, and live well, Cain makes the intentional choice to be angry, and hate. The attitudes lead to being deceitful, and then to kill. One attitude feeding the next, and ending in the act of murder. God gives a mixture of punishment and protection.

His death

Genesis 5:5

5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.

Observations:
And so it goes. The act of sin continues. It can only end in death. Our sin is the thing that condemned us and keeps us from ever being in God’s presence. Regardless of the deed, it boils down to having a choice, knowing between Right and wrong, and choosing wrong. Knowing what good and evil is, and choosing evil. Sin was passed down to us, and we pass it down to the next generations.

Fortunately, we have a way to break the cycle, and end the problem of sin, We can be justified, and returned to God’s good graces. Jesus paid the price to cover sin. It’s God’s gracious gift we don’t deserve. By confessing sin in our life, repenting from it, and turning to him in the faith we receive from the Holy Spirit, we are assured of his eternal spiritual kingdom. A choice to sin got us into this mess. All the horrible things in the world come from decisions that people make. Through a choice in faith, we can claim the promise of being included in a spiritual kingdom of life.

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