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The Bible and Sin Part 2
Sin: It's Beginning and Consequence
Sin is just a three letter word, and yet it is the most destructive force in the universe. It is sin that has caused everything that is wrong with this earth that we inhabit, from death and disease, to murder and war and man's inhumanity to his fellow man. The Bible said that the creation itself groans under the weight of the sin that is in it, and is waiting to be delivered from the slavery that this sin brings (Romans 8:19-22). The earthquakes, out of control fires, tornadoes and floods that wreak havoc on our property and destroy our lives were not a part of the paradise that God originally created, and they will not be on the New Heaven and the New Earth. In that day there will be no more mourning, or crying or pain, caused by that devastating three letter word. Sin's effects will be forever banished.
But how did we get into this mess in the first place? Why are we and the world under the curse of sin?
I. The Entrance of Sin into the World
The essence of sin can be summarized in one word. That word is rebellion. It is a rebellion against the creator and sustainer of the universe and against the moral laws which He has established. The interesting thing is that man was not the first creature to rebel. It was Satan whose pride lead him to say that he wanted to be in the place of God. He was there when Eve was tempted and was actively leading her into that temptation.
But according to Romans 5:12, it was through the rebellion of the first man, Adam, that sin has entered the world. This is a reference to Genesis 3. God had told Adam and Eve that they were free to eat of any tree in the Garden of Eden in which they were placed, except one. He told them that if they disobeyed that they would surely die. The Hebrew phrase can be translated as: "dying, you shall die." In other words, this sin would start the process of death that each human being since that time is now experiencing. All of us are in the process of dying. Satan tempted Eve, leading her to believe that they wouldn't die and that God was somehow holding back something from them. He told her:
"For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5).
She was tempted with the same pride as Satan to throw off God's authority and to be her own god. Eve was the first to eat the fruit of the tree but Adam, who ate also, was held responsible. The reason for this is that he was supposed to be the spiritual head, listening to the voice of God, and he abdicated that role. Adam himself was given the instructions by the Lord in Genesis 2:16-17 that he was not supposed to eat from that tree. Instead of exercising his spiritual leadership, he turned his back on God and followed his wife in open rebellion (Genesis 3:17).
II. Consequences of Sin
The effects of Adam's rebellion were devastating. Sin entered the world. Men became sinners because Adam passed to all of his descendants the inherent sinful nature he possessed. This nature is present at the moment each of us is conceived (Psalm 51:5). Adam's sin nature is passed on from generation to generation. We aren't sinners because we sin, we sin because we are, by nature, sinners.
The penalty for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). This is both physical and spiritual. Death is a separation. Physical death is the separation of our soul from our body. Spiritual death is our soul's separation from God. Mankind, created in God's image, designed to have fellowship with the living Lord of the universe, is now separated by their open rebellion and defiance of God and are subject to God's wrath (John 3:36). If nothing is done, then the ultimate fate of all men and women is eternal death, or eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14,15).
If you are beginning to see our hopeless situation, then you are experiencing exactly what the Bible wants you to know. Without some intervention, we are totally lost and on our way to an eternity of separation from all that is holy and good. There is only one solution to the devastating problem of sin. And God provided that solution in the form of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to that solution that we will turn in our conclusion to this series.