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Genesis 3:14-20 – Sin, Part 2 (read last week's part one HERE).
What was the origin of sin, was it really Adam and Eve, or did God create sin? God Himself did NOT sin, and God is not to be blamed for sin. It was man and angels who sinned, and in both cases, they did so by choice. Even before Adam and Eve sinned, sin was present in the angelic world with the fall of Satan.
But with respect to the human race, the first sin was that of Adam and Eve in the Garden. This is one of the reasons that it’s important to INSIST on the historical truthfulness of the narrative of the fall of Adam and Eve. If it was just a story, then we have no need for redemption or a Redeemer. Just as the account of the creation of Adam and Eve is tied in with the rest of the historical narrative in the book of Genesis, so also is the account of the fall of man, which follows the history of man’s creation, is presented in Genesis as a straightforward narrative history.
Also, the New Testament authors look back on this account and affirm that: “sin came into the world through one man” (Rom. 5:12), and insist that: “The judgment following one trespass brought condemnation” (Rom. 5:16), and that “The serpent deceived Eve by his cunning” (2 Cor.11:3; 1 Tim. 2:14).
So, how is it that because Adam and Eve sinned that we all have to pay for their mistake? This is called “Inherited Sin,” or “Imputed Sin.” Paul explains the effect of Adam’s sin to us in this way: “Therefore...sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned” (Rom. 5:12). In its’ context Paul is not talking about the actual sins that we commit every day, because the whole paragraph (Rom. 5:12-21) is taken up with the comparison between Adam and Christ. What this means when he says that “all men sinned” means that God thought of all of us as having sinned when Adam disobeyed.
This is further reaffirmed by the next two verses where Paul says: “Sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come” (Rom. 5:13-14). Here Paul points out that from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, people did not have God’s written laws. Though their sins were “not counted” (as infractions of the law), they still died. The fact that they died is pretty good proof that God counted people guilty on the basis of Adam’s sin.
This idea that God counted us guilty because of Adam’s sin is further affirmed in Rom. 5:18-19 - “The as one man’s trespasses led to condemnation for ALL men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
So, because of Adam’s sin, that sin nature was “Imputed” upon all mankind. (Imputed = to think of as belonging to someone, and therefore cause it to belong to that person.) Thus, God rightly Imputed Adam’s guilt to us.
But thank God it doesn’t end there!!! He had a plan all along! That master plan that is so radically different than any other man-made religion that it couldn’t possibly come from the thoughts of men.
Where most other “religions” are based on good works and man earning or working his way to goodness and afterlife, we have a Savior.
Bad News, Good News. So, what can we do about this problem of sin? In a nutshell, here is what Jesus Christ accomplished for us and how He dealt with the sin problem.
1 John 5:11-12 - “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life (where there was death) and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has this eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have this eternal life.” This passage tells us that God has taken away the death sentence which was upon us from the beginning, IN His Son Jesus Christ. In other words, the way to possess eternal life is to possess God’s Son. But how can a person have the Son of God?
Man’s problem - SEPARATION FROM GOD. Isa. 59:2 - “But your sinful acts have alienated you from your God; your sins have caused Him to reject you and not listen to your prayers.”
Rom. 5:8 - “But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
According to Rom. 5:8, God demonstrated His love for us through the death of His own Son. Why did Christ have to die for us? Because Scripture declares all men to be sinful. Remember, to sin means to miss the mark. The Bible declares “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory the perfect holiness) of God.” In other words, our sin separates us from God who is perfect holiness (righteousness and justice) and therefore God must judge sinful man.
Habb. 1:13 - “You are too just to tolerate evil; you are unable to condone wrongdoing.”
Scripture also teaches that no amount of human goodness, human works, human morality, or religious activity can gain acceptance with God or get anyone into heaven. Remember Romans 3? The moral man, the religious man, and the immoral and non-religious are all in the same boat. The Apostle Paul declares that both Jews and Greeks are under sin and we all fall under Romans 3!
Also, Eph. 2:8-9 - “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not of works, so that no one can boast.”
Titus 3:5-7 - “He saved us, not by works of righteousness that we have done, but on the basis of His mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us in FULL MEASURE through Jesus Christ our Savior. And so, since we have been justified by His grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.”
No amount of human goodness is as good as God. Because of this Hab. 1:13 tells us God cannot have fellowship with anyone who does not have perfect righteousness. In order to be accepted by God, we must be as good as God is! Before God, we all stand naked, helpless, and hopeless in ourselves.
Next week we will look at the solution to this problem.