The Cause of the Human Condition and its Remedy

The Cause of the Human Condition and its Remedy

Dr. John P. Davis

The Bible does not offer a definitive explanation of how evil entered the universe. We know from the Bible that Satan, a created being, is evil and that he existed prior to the fall of man. Scriptures do not explain how Satan became evil. They simply present him as evil and as God’s opponent as he enters the stage in the drama of human life.

Satan’s method of deceit in the Garden of Eden brings about the fall of humanity and sets the pattern for all future deceptions. In the temptation (Genesis 3:1-5) Satan entices Eve to eat of the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. God had set this test so that Adam and Eve would experience moral discernment at the highest level of obedience.

Satan asserted doubt concerning God’s ways and he attacked God’s character by implying that God was unfair in not giving Adam and Eve access to every tree. He focused on the negative prohibition. Eve succumbed to Satan’s wiles. She misquoted God’s permission, God’s prohibition, and God’s penalty. She made the fatal mistake of not being careful with the Word of God.

01_48_29_mccartney-bp-anguish Satan responded by blatantly denying God’s word. Satan essentially said, 1) You won’t reap what you sow; 2) God fears, rather than loves man; 3) You can be independent of God; 4) There is efficacy in things; 5) Don’t trust God’s Word. Satan propagates these same lies today.

Satan succeeded in taking Eve’s focus from God to self. Now that God is questioned, she trusts her own reasoning and Eve acts by sight rather than by faith. She sees; she covets; she takes; she draws others (Adam) into sin. The consequences of sin (3:7-12) are separation, alienation, and anguish. There had been harmony between God and man; man and man; man and animals; man and land. Now all harmony is gone as God’s word and order are violated. The woman listens to Satan, the man listens to the woman, and then the man attempts to have God listen to him.

Every human is infected by the sin of the parents of the human race. As Romans 5:12 states: 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.

From the fall of humanity on, all future history and revelation is redemptive in nature. The effects of sin are so pervasive and powerful that only a divine solution will suffice. When you move from the fall in Genesis 3 to chapter 4, you immediately realize that sin has passed from parent to child. The story of Cain and Able is not told to “warn us of the dangers of jealousy and hatred. Rather it shows the solidarity of the human race in Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12-21); sin has been passed on to the next generation. Moreover, it demonstrates the alienation between an individual, his brother, and his God.”

The pervasive and powerful effects of sin as revealed in the history of Genesis 4-11 prepare us for God’s sovereign intervention in the call of Abraham and the series of Old Testament covenants that anticipate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s only solution for sin. All the distortions of God’s created order are ultimately restored through God’s Anointed, Jesus Christ. The complete restoration awaits the Second Coming of Christ when sin and its effects will be removed (2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1-5).

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On September 10, 1970 I came to understand the great love of God for me, a sinner and a rebel. That evening I received God’s forgiveness and a new life through Jesus Christ, who died in my place and rose again to offer forgiveness and new life. I have been senior pastor for over 30 years planting two churches in Buckingham, PA and Queens, NY and serving two other churches in Brooklyn, NY and Roslyn, PA. I am currently the lead pastor at Grace Church of Philly.

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