“Only God can truly reveal God. This self-revelation, so necessary for salvation, has been given through the Scriptures. From the same source we derive God’s view of man, which is the true view, for who can know man like his maker? In these days, when false philosophies are misrepresenting the nature of man, it is important that we be grounded in the true representation. Also, we shall be better able to understand the doctrines of sin, judgement and salvation, which are based upon the Biblical view of man’s nature”
I guess that none of us today would for one moment be surprised to know that the whole of today’s civilised world, is caught up in a merry go round of “Self-Discovery”.
There are countless thousands of Guru’s, Teacher’s and Philosopher’s both inside and outside of the Christian Church, who will, very gladly, lead people into differing forms of “meditation, chant’s and prayer’s” in a self-profession of knowing the best and quickest route to true self-discovery, and invariably, also the cheapest.
People, it is true to state, really want to know “who and what they are”, but unfortunately, the majority of them, go away disappointed and disillusioned, and invariably lighter in pocket, but there is a way, and in our studies together, I trust that through God’s Word, the Bible, a true revelation of “who and what we are” will emerge and become very clear, and an understanding of the relevance of that knowledge, will for us who are Christians, and know what it means to be “born again of the Spirit of God”, enhance our walk of faith, with the Lord.
The Psalmist David in “Psalm:8:4” cried out and said, in his desire for self-knowledge…..“What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of earthborn man, that you care for him” and that statement could be very easily, in regard to its depth of meaning, be overlooked at this point. In order therefore and to set a background picture of the things we will consider together, let us see what is being revealed in the verse.
The word mindful is a Hebrew word “zakar” – “זָכַר” and its literal meaning is to mark or remember continually it is pictured in the sense of the unforgettable smell of burning incense, and it is translated mindful in the following places in the Scripture………
“Psalm 111:5; Psalm 115: 12; 1 Chronicles 16:15; Nehemiah 9:17 and Isaiah 17:10”.
It is utilised in its form of remember some 171 times and as remembrance 13 times, and a study of the word itself could bring a tremendous amount of knowledge, particularly in regard to the enormous amount of attention that God gives to such a “fallen and lost world” and “ruined creation”.
To “know who and what” we are, should change our whole outlook upon life, and also determine the way in which we view the world in which we live, and regulate the I way in which our behaviour is seen, in every realm of both our spiritual and natural lives.
In the world in general three answers would be given to the question, “What is Man?”, and they would be.
- Man is an Animal.
- Man is the result of Evolution.
- Man is just an Accident.
These three views are the most held. Let us look at them for a few moments, some say that Man is no different in any way from Animals, except in the manner of “intelligence and abilities” and he came about as an “accident” or “through the process of evolution”. If all or any of those answers are true, which of course, they are not, then life is really a mockery, for nothing that has been achieved will endure, and all is heading for oblivion. As Christians, we should if we have children in Schools, make a stand against the teaching of evolution.
It also degrades the entire human race, and yet it is taught in all of our schools throughout the world, and has captured the, minds of millions, with its ongoing effect of Crime and Suicides, and an all-out attempt to do nothing but seek gratification of the baser senses of the flesh.
The Bible however, in stark contrast, reveals that, man is no accident, he didn’t get to where he is today, by the mere passing of one generation after another, but that he is a created, rational, moral being quite distinct from the animal kingdom, and as the apex of all of creation, he is the very crown of it all, and so let’s take a look at this in some more detail.
- Mankind is a Creation Especially Made
There are, it would be true to say, similarities between Animals and Man, a typical one is found in “Genesis 2:7 – Genesis 2:19” in both of these we discover that the same medium was utilised to make us, i.e. the dust of the ground, and in “Genesis 1:20-24” and “Genesis 1:30” the similar phrase a living soul and the breath of life is utilised.
In “Genesis 7:22” the word “naphach – “מִן־ הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה וַיִּפַּ֥ח בְּאַפָּ֖יו נִשְׁמַ֣ת (the ground and breathed into his nostrils….) KJV is utilised regarding breath, and it is used for both animals and mankind, regarding the death of all.
Mankind is superior to the animal world however, for two basic reasons: –
- The first of these is that Man received his life DIRECT from the creator God, as opposed to the Animal Kingdom. In regard to the Animal Kingdom, God said Let it be and it was so however in regard to mankind, God personally breathed into him the breath of life, and it is at this point that he became a living soul.
- The second of the reasons is in the selection of Eve. Regarding the Animals, they were given their mates immediately, and were told to go and multiply. However, Adam we know was alone at first, as seen in “Genesis 2:18-22” and because God saw his loneliness He created Eve, and this is what was said in “Genesis 2:23” – “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called Women, because she was taken out of Man.”
It has been said that God chose to not take her out of Man’s head to be lorded-over by him, nor from his feet to be trampled on by him, but from his side to be equal to him, from under his arm to be protected by him, and from near his heart to be loved by him, whether any of it is true, it nevertheless is quite relevant.
One small thought that is worth considering is, “Was God disappointed, in that He needed to make Women, because Adam was not totally satisfied with God and His companionship alone?”
The very act of God in distinguishing Man from Animals in his selection of mates and breeding stock also manifests that man has and is possessed of a Moral Responsibility which is not seen in the animal kingdom, and “Verse 24” shows it’s outworking, “Therefore shall a man leave his Father and his Mother, and shall cleave unto his Wife, and they shall be one flesh” and the way in which that today is recognised as being outworked and fulfilled is in the state of matrimony.
Let me say right at this point that the conception of children, and the sexual act, whether it be for pleasure or for the purpose of procuration, is only permitted, in the sight of God, in the state of matrimony. It has never been, nor will it ever be right for individuals to live together and engage in sexual activity, and particularly produce children, outside of marriage. It is called in God’s Word the Bible fornication and even though we live in a modern and liberal age, it has not changed.
This creation that God made however differs in another way from the Animal Kingdom. In “Genesis 1:26-27” we have the account of the creation of mankind whilst it has been a matter of great controversy, throughout the entire civilised world, the account we are given has never been disproved, and at the same time gives to us some very interesting facets, that are worthy of our consideration, in the study of discovery.
- Mankind is Created in the Image of God
The heading for this section of our study together relates to mankind being created in the image of God, we will now look at the way in which we are created His image.
The first thing we must recognise is that it is most certainly not in the physical way that we are made in His image. The Bible clearly tells us in “John 4:24” – “God is a Spirit….” and even though God has at various times, has taken a physical frame and similitude to man, known as “Theophanes” this has simply been in order that He could relate, more closely to him, and so in what ways are we made in His likeness.
- The Mental Likeness
Animals do not possess a “Rational Intelligence”that it not to say they are not intelligent, but rationality is not part of their makeup, God told man to have dominion over the animals and He said in “Genesis l:28” – “Fill the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth”, and whilst mankind have for the most part, over indulged itself and has abused the creation that God gave it to rule, nevertheless mankind was created and was given the Rule and Reign over the Earth, and in this way it reflects the image of God.
- The Moral Likeness
Animals are not “Moral Beings”that is they do not discern between (Right and Wrong). They react to external stimuli, in the form of (Punishment or Reward), and can respond to those things such as (Love and Affection), but they do not possess a conscience, as mankind does.
An Ape, even though it is in its outward form and behavior and its mannerisms, provide a very good likeness of mankind, it does not possess a Conscience, and is therefore, not accountable for its actions, mankind however is.
God created mankind, and He allowed him to be the apex of all of His creation, but with that honour, also came responsibility, and Adam was told that whilst he could do, whatsoever he wished, he was not to take and eat of the Tree of Life in the Garden in Eden.
God wasn’t trying to be difficult here with Adam, He wasn’t setting him a test, which could not be passed, or a temptation, in order to ensnare him, no the purpose, was in order to bring Adam from a “state of INNOCENCE into a state of RIGHTEOUTNESS.”
If Adam had resisted the temptation provided by the Devil in Eden, he would have passed from Innocence, from a place of no testing, into Righteousness, and would have been eternal, but as we know he failed abysmally.
We are told in “Romans 12-14a…..” – “therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death as a result of sin, so death spread to all men, no one being able to stop it or to escape it’s power, because all men sinned. To be sure, sin was in the world before ever the Law was given, but sin is not charged to men’s account where there is no law to transgress. Yet death held sway from Adam to Moses the Lawgiver, even over those who did not themselves transgress a positive command, even as Adam did”
Only rational beings are responsible for their behavior, and only rational moral being can be given both Commands and prohibitions.
- The Spiritual Likeness
Adam and Eve were created spiritually like God, they possessed a Holy Nature, one which was able, without fear or terror to enjoy fellowship in a uniquely intimate manner with God, on a day to day basis.
In “Genesis 3:8” we read that God in the cool of the day would come down and walk in the Garden with Adam and Eve, even as a friend would go on a simple walk with another, just to enjoy the companionship, and the main reason why God could enjoy such a unique fellowship with Adam and Eve, was because they rationally and intelligently chose to be with God.
Adam and Eve were able to enjoy a “oneness’ with God because, they were created in His image, they were essentially
“Spiritual Beings” as you and I are. Sure, we have physical bodies, that we inhabit, and we walk around in, and find our means of expression through, but we are first and foremost, spiritual and not physical.
So, we see from this our first study of three, that Mankind is the Apex of all the creation of God, everything that God has done is centered around mankind, and all His desire is towards him. That desire is reflected in no greater manner than the giving of Jesus Christ, to die, in order that both Mankind and Creation itself, can find a means of redemption and renewal.
It behooves us therefore, as the Children of God, to live up to the image, in which we are made, and to strive, in the power and strength of the Lord, to reflect the image of God in our lives.
The Tragedy of the Fall
“We read that God, after His work of creation, pronounced everything “very good.” But a little observation will convince us that many things exist which are not good – evil wickedness, oppression, strife, wars, death, suffering. And naturally the question arises, how did evil enter the world’? – a question that has perplexed many thinkers. The Bible has God’s answer; more, it tells us what sin really is; better still, we are told of the remedy for sin.”
In our previous considerations together, we centered some of our thoughts upon the fact that God created mankind in His Own Image, and when this was carried out, mankind was entirely and completely free from any degree of contamination, but tragically, this all came to an end.
Adam and Eve were placed in an idyllic and perfect environment, and this, if we were to believe the humanist’s would produce only the very best to come out of the nature of man, but instead, we discover only the worst.
In 1937, Professor C.E.M Joad held the chair of Philosophy in the University of London. He was such a witty enemy of Christianity that a Rector of the Church of England there preached a sermon on “God, the Devil and Professor C.E.M Joad! Professor Joad held that there was nothing wrong with human nature that better education, better opportunity and better environment could not cure. He laughed at the problem of sin.
Came World War 11 to desolate half of Europe. The blitz brought the war to Dr. Joad’s doorstep and refuges revolted his righteous soul with their authenticated stories of the concentration camps. He revised his judgment.
Professor Joad changed his mind completely. What, thought he, is history but the record of the follies of mankind, man’s inhumanity to man. Dr. Joab decided that the theologians had a far deeper insight into human nature than that of contemporary Science. The doctrine of original Sin began to make sense to his mind.
Chapters 1-3 of the Book of Genesis gives to us a very clear and full description of man’s Creation and his Fall as a result of his disobedience to God’s command, and they show to us, in a very graphical manner the beginnings of the misery and degradation that sin brings with it.
The Evolutionist would have us believe that the origins of man are to be found in the lower areas of animal life and that rather than a fall” occurring, man is instead, instead “pressing continually upwards towards perfection”. I must confess, that there is very little evidence of this to be seen. The theories of evolution, are just that ‘theories” and they really have not progressed, in any significant way, since Darwin first had them, and they are at best based on purely circumstantial evidence, and provide no good reason for discounting the Genesis record, it is an accurate, reliable presentation of historical facts, and three particular items might be of some value to mention at this juncture in our thoughts together.
- It is a fact that linguists have proven that all languages, known to man, all have a common origin.
- It is a fact that all races in mankind have common blood types.
- The fact that the differing races of mankind can Intermarry and produce Offspring, capable also of further reproduction, shows the Genesis record, of an Original Pair to be true.
According to the record we have of the Garden situated in the area called Eden, all was peaceful and serene, both the Animal Kingdom and Man was living in perfect harmony. It was really the ideal place in which they could develop. They had an abundance of food and were able to occupy themselves with pleasant work, and intellectually, day by day, they were being taught of God Himself, and experimentally increasing in knowledge and experience. There was no pain, fear, tears or disappointments, however there was a test.
The Garden within Eden was as I have mentioned an idyllic place to live, but also it was a “PLACE OF PROBATION” because it was only by obedience that Adam and Eve could continue to have their fellowship with God. However, it is an indisputable law that obedience can only be measured by a test.
The test focused itself upon two trees. The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and we will now
examine this a little further.
The Tree of Life
The Tree of Life stood bang center in the garden and Adam and Eve were able to partake of its fruit freely and whenever they wished, let’s read what we find in “Genesis 2:9” plus “Genesis 2:15-17”
“And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight or to be desired and good for food; the tree of life also in the center of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and blessing and calamity….And the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and guard an keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden, except of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and of blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
We should remember here that these trees were literal trees, it was not as some would contend merely a symbolic idea, but real trees, and it in a very real way, the tree of Life was an expression of man’s dependence upon God, and every time Adam and Eve partook of the fruit they were showing their commitment unto God. God is the source of all life, and the tree represented this.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
Adam and Eve were forbidden of God to eat of the fruit of this particular tree, and it was the only prohibition that the pair of them had, this we are informed of very clearly in “Genesis 2:16-17”, but why was there the prohibition?
We need to understand from the outset, that Adam and Eve were not Righteousbut Innocentand there is a significant difference between the two.
Righteousness indicates that a Moral Decision has been arrived at, and the decision entered, thus Righteousness is sometimes explained as RIGHT DOING, however Adam and Eve were not created Righteous but in a state of Innocence, i.e. they had never been presented with a Moral Dilemma of any type, in which they could make a moral decision, and thus enter from Innocence into Right Doing, or Righteousness.
It is only through righteousness, that the fullness of God’s blessing can be enjoyed by mankind, and for Adam and Eve,
progressing from Innocence to Righteousness, should have been a relatively easy matter, and there are four specific reasons, for the ease.
- No Inbred Evil Desires.
- Total and Abundant Provision.
- Clear and Precise Instructions.
- An Uncomplicated Test.
Let us look at them a little closer.
No Inbred Evil Desires.
Adam and Eve, unlike ourselves, did not have any of the hindrances of INBRED SINFULNESS and TENDENCIES as we have, we when we are born, find that we inherit our basic sinful natures, through our Father’s, and ever since the fall of Adam, every Man that has produced a Child, has passed onto the next generation, the sinfulness of himself and his forefathers, all the way back to Adam, the Bible says clearly in “Psalm 51:5” – “Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my other conceive me.” And “Romans 5:12-14” – “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned. For sin was in the world before the law was given; but sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the way that Adam transgressed. He is a pattern of the One to come.”
Indwelling sin its power.
- It always abides in the soul; thus, all claims to complete sanctification are mere delusions.
- It is always ready to apply itself to sinful ends.
- Since it is an indwelling law (and not something applied from without), it is able to ply its trade with ease and success.
We should never forget the power of sin at work within us sin has infected and taken hostage all the faculties of the soul. If this were not the case, perhaps it could be more easily subdued. But indeed, man is totally depraved, and sin has polluted his entire being. Most damaging of all is the ascendancy off the lower and sensuous departments of man’s nature over the higher and spiritual.
Man knows and approves the good, yet he is constantly performing the evil, which he hates. The Apostle Paul said, “Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death”, thus we see that at the root of every manifestation of actual sin, there is original sin at its root.
Adam was different, he did not have to combat weak tendencies, and yet, he sinned.
Total and Abundant Provision.
Adam also enjoyed an ABUNDANT and TOTAL PROVISION for himself and Eve. We struggle for the best part of our lives, to enjoy the basic amenities of life, but for Adam and Eve, they had it all, in abundant supply.
Clear and Precise Instructions.
We invariably find it difficult, with our sin ridden minds and nature to understand what God’s Instructions are, and how to live for Him.
Due to Adams sin, the personality of mankind is now in a state of disharmony. Emotions, mind and will should be perfectly and continually balanced in a movement for his highest good are repeatedly found in a state of conflict.
“Romans 8:7” – “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
An Uncomplicated Test.
Adam and Eve, enjoyed God coming down in the “cool of the evening”, and walked and talked with them, instructing and teaching, and on top of all that all God said to them was – you shall not eat – it was very plain, simple and uncomplicated, and yet they failed.
The tree however signified something further and that is that Adam and Eve were expected to not only obey God’s POSITIVE COMMANDMENTS but also His RESTRICTIONS.
The tree was named Good and Evil because obedience to God’s command when the temptation was placed before them would have resulted in either the knowledge of Good, or the knowledge of Evil.
If Adam had resisted then the complete knowledge of Good and Evil would have been his, and he would have passed from Innocence into Righteousness, and lived an ongoing perfectly righteous life, for all eternity. However, he failed. Knowledge was still gained, but of Evil and it was because of this that they were driven from the Garden, because to have eaten of the Tree of life, in Adam’s sinful condition would have meant an eternal sinful existence.
Death is considered a punishment for sin, and rightfully so, but at the same time, it can be considered a blessing in disguise, why! because without it, we would simply get worse and worse.
The Fall of Adam and its Consequences
As we have seen in spite of everything relating to God’s gracious provision, the perfect environment, the lack of sinful inclinations, Adam and Eve sinned, and sinned because Satan in the form of a Serpent placed a seed of Doubt, in their minds he said ”Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden” and as a result we now suffer the consequences, these being: –
- Death, and a Depraved Human Nature
- Physical and Mental Limitations
- Disease and a Hostile Environment.
Sin is both an ACT and a STATE of BEING, when seen as a revolt against God’s Law it is an ACT and the result is the STATE of BEING, i.e. separation from God.
The sinner brings evil upon himself through his own wrongdoing and incurs guilt in the sight of God, and two things therefore become apparent. One that evil follows disobedience and two a penalty as a result.
As an example of this we could look at a Father who forbids his Son from smoking, and warns him of the consequences, as all good Parents will naturally do: – First, smoking will make him feel sick, and Second, he will be punished for his disobedience.
The youngster takes his first smoke, the ensuing nausea would represent the evil consequences of his sin, and the subsequent thrashing would represent the positive penalty for his guilt.
In the real aspects of this, we know that ongoing smoking ceases to make a person feel sick, in the same way, ongoing sin, stops doing the same, however one thing remains true, and that is that a positive penalty will forever remain.
The immediate consequences for Adam and Eve were four-fold.
- They Lost their Innocence.
- They Lost their Fellowship with God.
- They Lost their Eternal Life.
- They Lost their Perfect Environment.
God’s consequential judgment is revealed in 8 ways.
- Gods Judgement Upon the Serpent.
In “Genesis 3:14” we read God told the serpent: – “Because you’ve done this, you’re cursed, cursed beyond all cattle and wild animals, Cursed to slink on your belly and eat dirt all your life. I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound his heel.” The Message. These words give to us the distinct impression that the Serpent was at this time a beautiful and upright creature, literally upright, perhaps possessing legs, and certainly the power of speech, but because he had allowed himself to be Satan’s instrument in the downfall of the apex of God’s creation, Man, he suffered God’s judgment upon himself.
- God’s Judgement Upon the Woman.
In “GENESIS 3:16” we read “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” NIV
Any women who has had a child, will know exactly what is referred to in that Scripture, it is a very rare occurrence indeed for a women to bear a child without any pain, and the pain is there not because of the original physical design of a women’s body, but
because of the changes that it went through after the fall and not only pain but the; grief of losing a child, is all part of it.
Also a women’s freedom has, by the fall been limited, as scripture says, the desire and craving for a husband, will be a driving force, and when accomplished, it will not be abated, but to it will be added the rule of the husband over the women.
- God’s Judgement Upon the Man.
Work had already been given to Adam. He was to “Tend and Keep the Garden” but the judgment of God caused that which had once only been a pleasure to be laborious.
Agriculture which is an integral part of the means of human existence was going to be carried out with continual disappointment and vexation, and on top of it all death was the only thing to really look forward too.
So, with all that in mind, What, is man’s present condition? Well! to use a theological term, mankind is DEPRAVED.
The Nature of Sin
What is sin? The Bible provides us with a very clear explanation and many examples. the Bible is a ”chronical of redemption” and not a textbook on sin, and whilst there are many examples of these there is a scarcity of precise definitions.
The Biblical view is that of a willful disobedience to the divine will, or in other words, it is ultimately an act or attitude of deliberate rebellion. The word ”sin” is a generic term describing failure to attain to a prescribed standard, self-will, lawlessness. It also encompasses both the idea of an ACTIVE opposition to the law, as well as NEGLECT.
It is also described in the sense of “missing the mark’ (Chatta’th) – Chata is spelled Chet Tet Aleph) as an erratic archer may miss the mark he is aiming for. In like manner the sinner misses the true aim of his existence.
In “Genesis 4:7” is where we first come across the word where it says: – “God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” – Message
“If thou doest right, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not right, chattat croucheth at the petach. And unto thee shall be its teshukah (desire), and thou must rule over it.” – “Bereshis 4:7” – Orthodox Jewish Bible
We should note evil may exist apart from sin, because evil may exist apart from human responsibility for it is a direct violation of an individual to the divine command of God.
If you wanted to delve more deeply into the above I would recommend that you go to: – https://youtu.be/u7AMBET9ztA .
It is pretty plain to see, I feel sure, that in Adam we as members of the human race, have lost so much, that it would be impossible to actually, equate it, and we need to as responsible human beings to face up to the fact that God see us as Lost and Hopeless Sinners, Depraved in His sight, and outside of Jesus Christ, all is terrible hopeless and lost.
Man’s Ultimate Restoration
“Thus, saith the Lord, I AM the first, and I AM the last.” God as written both the first and the 1st chapter in the history of all things. In the book of Genesis, we read of the beginnings of all things – the universe, life, man, sin, death, society. In the prophetic Scriptures, climaxed by the Revelation, we learn how all things will find their goal and consummation. Many, like Daniel, ask, “What shall be the end of these things?” – “Daniel 12:8” – Only God can answer that question, and He has done so in the Scriptures.”
In this the third and last part of our studies together we renew our remembrance of those things thus spoken.
The opening Chapters of the book of Genesis reveal to us the Tree of Life standing serenely in the garden within Eden, and the last Chapters disclose in the book of Revelation that same tree located in the New Jerusalem, and this is a lovely picture, but the scenes between this picture of blessing and fellowship with God is a sad story of man’s fall, which we have already looked at.
As a reminder let us just precis what we have seen.
- Man was made in the image of God.
- Man was the crown of God’s Creation.
- Man failed God and Sinned.
- Man now is a Slave to Sin.
- Man Dies as a Consequence of Sin.
- Man is in need of Restoration.
We are presented there with a pathetic picture of man’s condition, and the desperate state he is in, and also the imperative need he has of restoration, and in this our third and final study in the subject Discovery, we are going to look at the following: –
- The Need Man has of Restoration.
- The Means of Restoration God has Provided.
- The Spiritual Benefits of Restoration.
- The Future Rewards of Restoration.
The Need Man has of Restoration.
We have already seen that through Adams sin, death and the original seed of sin has passed from him, to every member of the human race, and now mankind is depraved in the sight of God.
In addition, mankind is continually multiplying its guilt through the outworking of sin in their lives, through the sin’s committed, and the fact of this is established very clearly and precisely by the Apostle Paul in “Romans 1-2-3”.
In Romans Chapter 1 we are shown the Gentile world rejecting God and plunging deeper and deeper into sin, on no less than three occasions we read that God “gave them up”.
- Firstly, to Uncleanness in “Romans 1:24”
- Secondarily to Vileness in “Romans 1: 26”
- Thirdly to Reprobate Minds in “Romans 1:28”
In Romans Chapter 2, Paul sets forth the stern principles of God’s judgment which pierces through the hypocrisy of false religion.
In Chapter 3 Paul lists 14 facets about human nature and it’s depravity, and they are discovered precisely in “Romans 3:10-18” and “Romans 3:19” tells us that “Every mouth may be stopped and all the become guilty before God”.
With such a picture before us and the evidence of our own eyes and indeed the experience of our own lives, we can be under no misapprehension that mankind is in a desperate need of restoration to God.
The Means of Restoration God has Provided.
God, even though hating sin in its every form and disguise, nevertheless has never stopped loving mankind. He is bound by His nature and cannot do contrary to the attributes of His character, and He has provided mankind with a solution, and a means whereby his sin can be cancelled out.
God’s desire is that the fellowship that Adam and Eve enjoyed with Him, might be restored. His original intention was that Adam and Eve would pass from innocence into righteousness, and thus live forever in a state of blessing and ever-increasing knowledge of
God, but this as we know was marred by man’s rebellion.
God has provided the means of restoration through the death of His Son Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.
Jesus came into the world, at God’s behest as a man, in order that He could be man’s representative, to a Holy and Righteous God, and He Jesus, when He died upon the Cross, the just for the unjust He died there and bore the entire condemnation and judgment for sin, in His body on the tree – as “1 Corinthians 15:22” tells us – “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
Jesus conquered for mankind his enemy death and the grave and it says in “2 Corinthians 5:21” – “for He hath made Him sin, who knew no sin, to be made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” and by the perfect Life and Death of Christ upon the Cross all of God’s demands concerning sin, were perfectly and completely fulfilled.
The result of Christ’s work and His sacrificial death is that in identifying with Jesus Christ, and recognizing our personal sinfulness, and His sacrifice for it, plus our following Him, taking up our Cross and being His Disciples, we are accepted into God’s Family, and become the Children of God.
Our restoration then ideally is complete but because we are still in our physical bodies, the work of restoration in the practical issues of life, need to be outworked.
The Spiritual Benefits of Restoration.
When Adam sinned and Eve fell into transgression as we have seen already, they lost both the Holiness of character they had and also the Righteousness of Conduct that could have been theirs, hence Scripture now says: – “All of our own righteousness is a filthy rags” It cannot be anything else because at the very starting point of all our good deeds, there is the distinct mark and stain of sin.
Adam and Eve lost the Spiritual Likeness they bore, and all their descendants in Mind, Will and Emotions are likewise affected, but with Jesus Christ we are able to be justified before God, know of the Assurance of Eternal Life, and be renewed in Knowledge, Holiness and Righteousness, and it would be worth our while just to take a few moments to look at these things, a little more closely.
In “Romans 5:1” we read “Therefore since we are justified and are given a right standing with God, through faith, let us grasp the fact, that we have the peace of reconciliation to hold, and enjoy, peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”, and in these words we have the clear declaration of how we stand, if we know and have acknowledged Jesus Christ as our Saviour and He is Lord of our lives.
To be justified means to be “JUST-A -IF-I’D-NEVER SINNED” in its simplest form, we are in fact declared righteous, as Adam would have been, because when God looks upon us, He sees the work of His Son Jesus, at Calvary for us and in “Titus 3:7” we read “being made justified by His grace, we should be heirs according to the hope of eternal life”.
I will not go into this in any great detail but briefly mention the fact that when we received Jesus as Saviour “2 Peter 1:4” says we “were made the partakers of His divine nature” and that is that nature that runs through the life and activities of every child of God.
Renewed in Knowledge
In “Colossians 3:10” we read “renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him” Now what does that mean, well simply it is stating that we who were once in darkness now walk in light, and rather than being blind, as the natural man is, we the spiritual are given spiritual eyes to see and behold the realities of life that are hidden from the natural man.
- Renewed in Righteousness and Holiness
“Ephesians 4:24” says “…And put on the new nature, the regenerate self, created in God’s image, Godlike in true righteousness and holiness.”
We are new people when we come to Jesus and find Him as Saviour, and the Bible makes it clear that God has renewed us in Righteousness and Holiness, and we are responsible to Him, to (put on these things) in other words to live out in our daily lives, the people we really are (in God).
A definition of Regeneration is this “Regeneration is the act of God by which the principles of the new life is implanted in man, and the governing disposition of the soul is made holy.”
The Future Rewards of Restoration
As Christians we enjoy now, the blessings of God in our lives, but the little we enjoy now, is nothing in comparison to that which will be ours in eternity, we look forward to a day, with great anticipation, when all the cares and worries of this present life will be gone, and we are freed from the hindrances of sick bodies and minds, and scarred emotions, when the inclinations towards sin are forever removed, and we reign with Christ.
When that final day comes our dominion will be restored, mankind will once again fulfil its destiny as Vice-Regent of the entire earth, and at the same time eternal glory will clothe us like the finest of fitted suits or gowns, and we will be resplendent in the glory of Jesus Christ.
We as God’s Children have a tremendous inheritance and reward to live up to. God has been so gracious to us, and we should return the gratitude and love of our heart to Him, in faithful service and discipleship.