| Over in the thread Why prefer the Biblical creation account over those of other religions?, Message 133, I inquired about the necessity of the story in Genesis about Eve taking part in the eating of an apple and being tricked by a talking snake and the role of this portion is the whole reason for jesus. |
The necessity of Genesis important not simply for explaining sin. Before this it is important for explaining the creation of man by God. Before sin and death come into the picture in chapter 3, two words are important about man in chapter one - image and dominion.
"And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
And God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Gen. 1:26,27)
IMAGE and DOMINION. These two words are important in understanding the reason for the creation of man. Much could be said. But basically:
1.) Man is in some way to EXPRESS God, look like God, manifest God and portray God.
2.) Man is to reign on behalf of God. Man is to excercise dominion over God's creation as a "deputy authority" on behalf of God.
Before any negative element of sin and death come in to spoil man God created man in His own image and with the intent that man would excercise dominion over the creation of God as a deputy authority for God.
There is much more to come of course.
It was my understanding that this story is told to explain why we are dirty vile sinners in need of redemption; even at birth, thus the necessity for the jesus character.
Now to the matter of the entrance of sin and death to man.
You should notice a few things. Firstly, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not only a tree of the knowledge of evil. Both good and evil are associated with the tree.
I say this to highlight that the fundamental problem is not that of being bad or doing evil things. Before that there is the problem of man being independent from God, taking knowledge for the purpose of acting independently from God, apart from God.
This was not the tree of dirt gambling or the tree of dirty moview or the tree of dirty stealing PRIMARILY. It was a tree for man to withdraw from God and be independent from God.
From the problem of man withdrawing from God FOLLOWS death, dirtiness, and sin.
God is eternal life. And death is more defiling and hateful to God then sin. Sin is an abomination to God. And sin needs forgiveness, cleansing, and stain removal from the character of man. But death is called "the last enemy" (1 Cor. 15:26)
"Death, the last enemy, is being abolished"
Death is the final enemy of God who is eternal and uncreated divine life. And the first warning of God to man about taking in the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was that he would die.
"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:17)
Death, I think, is more hateful to God than sin. But both sin and death are overcome in the salvation of God through Jesus Christ.
Now, I'm no bible scholar, so I can't think of any other bible story that would explain why we are born with sin. In my mind, this story is "the fall" and is the entire reason we even started sinning in the first place, what with Adam and Eve being god's perfect creations and all.
You don't have to be a scholar but a humble reader with and open heart and a willingness to be changed by God, is more important.
Notice that there were TWO trees specically mentioned. The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. From the rest of the Bible we can learn that God's eternal purpose in creating man was that man is a VESSEL, a "God shaped" living container. And the content that God sought to dispense into this living container was Himself as eternal life.
The tree of life represented God dispensing Himself into man as life. That is into the container of man's created life God would pour Himself as the uncreated divine life. The tree of life represents God Himself coming into man that man and God may be mingled and united as one.
Before God could dispense Himself into man as life from the tree of life - God's enemy rushed ahead to imitate God's way. Satan dispensed the Satanic nature into man and man became united with Satan. Man became Satanified.
Remember before I said that "dominion" was one of the purposes for which God created man.
"And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have DOMINION ..." (Gen. 1:26)
Now I complete the picture a little more for you. God created man in His IMAGE as a kind of living vessel - a container. And He placed man before the tree of life. This represented that the man created in a "God shaped" manner was to receive God Himself into his human vessel. This is the eternal purpose of God.
Man in God's image with God Himself united with man was for the kingdom of God - which included the defeat of any enemy of God. I believe that dominon over the creeping things in Genesis 1:26) implies dominion over the devil, his rebellious angels and the demons. This opposition party was apparently already nearby lurking to ruin God's purpose.
Instead of man being united with God through the tree of life, he chose wrongly and Satan, sin and death entered into man corrupting man to the uttermost. But God would not give up man.
And the rest of the Bible is the story of His great salvation to bring man back to Himself and to His eternal purpose. And He accomplishes this in the end through the dynamic salvation of Christ the Son of God.
If this story is not vital at all to the necessity of the jesus character, how does one explain it? Is there some other reason we are natural sinners in need of salvation?
I told you above the there were two trees in the garden particularly mentioned.
"And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasnt to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." (Gen. 2:9)
These two trees represented two paths or two sources.
One, the tree of life, represent the source of God Himself.
The other, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, represents the enemy of God, Satan as a source.
This understanding requires the rest of the revelation of the Bible. Since the Bible's revelation is progressive, the clarity of this matter unfolds as the Bible progresses.
Man is neutral and innocent in between TWO sources of existence. Man is not created evil. Man was very good. But man is innocent and between two paths of which he must choose. One is to unite with God. And the other is to draw away in a thrust of independence from God.
All lives are dependent. Only God Himself is totally independent and autonomous. All other created beings must be dependent upon the Creator. To withdraw from this dependence is death. And it is to fall into the hands of the Rebel, the Devil. This one is temporary. He has no eternal future. He is to be destroyed. But he was very ancient and predated the creation of man.
The eternal fire was prepared for the devil and his angels - " ... Go away from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matt. 25:41b)
The eternal "trash can" of the "eternal fire" was created not for man but for the devil and his angels. So man needs to be saved from being joined to Satan or he will end up where his leader ends up. We will go with our leader - either with the Son of God to His glorious eternal destiny to express God and reign for God or with the devil to the eternal punishment for his sins and his bringing death into God's creation.
I did do a forum search with "original sin" in the title and came up emptyhanded. If someone else finds a suitable existing thread that this could be discussed in, that would be fine too.
The term is not in the Bible. Actually the term "the Fall" is also not in the Bible. There is really a successive series of falls in Genesis. But the theological concept of "the Fall" is used by Bible students. And the theological concept of "Original Sin" though not a biblical term, is used by some Bible students.
If we did talk about Original Sin we could also talk about Original Righteousness. For it is Christ's act of obedience which saves man from Adam's act of disobedience.
I have heard a lot of mention of "Original Sin". I have not heard much mention of "Original Righteousness". But Romans chapter five compares Adam and Christ as the TWO important heads of the human race. Adam and Christ are the two Originals who set the course of either man's downfall or man's salvation.
Christ is called "the second man". And Christ is called "the last Adam" . And this last Adam became in a form, after His resurrection, in which He could enter into man as divine life:
"The last Adam became a life giving Spirit" (1 Cor. 15:45)
So the second man, the last Adam, not only went to the cross to accomplish redemption from sin. He also resurrected bodily and became in addition a life giving Spirit - the Christ Who can come into man as eternal life. The Spirit of Christ can enter into our innermost being to live in us.
He is the reality today of the tree of life.
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| ||Message 1 by hooah212002, posted 09-12-2011 4:57 PM|| ||hooah212002 has acknowledged this reply|