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The Fall and Redemption of Man

 

Definition and Nature of Sin

What is sin declared to be?

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4.

What precedes the manifestation of sin?

“Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:15. 

The Results of Sin

What is the final result, or fruit, of sin?

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23.

Upon how many of the human race did death pass as a result of Adam’s transgression?

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned – Romans 5:12. “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22.   

How was the earth itself and its vegetation affected by Adam’s sin?

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.” Genesis 3:17, 18. 

What additional curse came as a result of the first murder?

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

Genesis 4:9-12.

What terrible judgment came as a consequence of continued sin and transgression against God?

So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, creatures that move along the ground, and the birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.” So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.” “Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. In the sixth hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month – on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” Genesis 6:7, 13; 7: 6, 11. 

After the flood, what came as a consequence of further apostasy from God?

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that men were building. But the Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.” Genesis 11:5-8.

Into what condition has sin brought the entire creation?

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as one in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:22. 

God’s Delay in Destroying Sin

What explains God’s apparent delay in dealing with sin?

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.

What is God’s attitude toward the sinner?

“For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! Ezekiel 18:32. 

Can man free himself from the dominion of sin?

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” Jeremiah 13:23.

What place has the will in determining whether man shall have life?

“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

Revelation 22:17. 

Christ, the Sinner, and Satan

To what extent has Christ suffered for sinners?

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5.  

For what purpose was Christ manifested?

“But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear Children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”  1 John 3:5-8.

What was one direct purpose of the incarnation of Christ?

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil.”

Hebrews 2:14.  

The End of Sin and Sorrow

What triumphant chorus will mark the end of the reign of sin?

“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that was in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” Revelation 5:13.     

When and by what means will the effects of sin be removed?

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3:10.

How thoroughly will the effects of sin be removed?

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4. “No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.” Revelation 22:3.  

 

Will sin and its evil results ever appear again?

“There will be no more death.” Revelation 21:4. “And there will be no more curse.” Revelation 22:3. “Whatever they plot against the Lord he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time.” Nahum 1:9. 

Faith Rises Above the Mystery and Despair of Sin

That sin exists none can deny. Why it was permitted has perplexed many minds. But He who can bring light out of darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6), make the wrath of man to praise him (Psalm 76: 10), and turn a curse into a blessing (Deuteronomy 23:5) can bring out of evil, and turn mistakes and downfalls into steppingstones to higher ground. Heaven will be happier for the sorrows of earth. “Sorrows remembered sweeten present joy,” say Robert Pollok in The Course of Time, Book 1. In the final outcome it will seem that all things have worked together for good to them that love God. (See Romans 8:28.)

Perhaps no poem ever written outside the Bible better expresses the triumphant faith that trusts Gods merciful, loving, though mysterious, purpose, which He is working out through the dark shadows of earth’s evil and sorrow, better than does this beloved hymn by William Cowper. Here is the illumination of the words of the Apostle James, who tells us that by faith “ye…have seen the end of the Lord (His purpose, His objective); that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11. Cowper wrote these words out of his own despair brought on by the mental disease melancholia. If he could so trust God through his life and for the future, who of us need have anything but trustful praise for the tender loving Father, whose hand will never cause His child a tear not needed for chastening or discipline? The fire of the furnace of affliction in which He has chosen us is not burning away our dross; it is presided over the divine alchemist, who sits as a refiner of silver, patiently waiting till the precious ore of our character is so refined that it reflects His face. 

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
And big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His face in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

                                                                  - William Cowper.  




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