From a state of innocence to our present predicament.
THE DOCTRINE/ THEOLOGY OF SIN
Pastor and Teacher Charles E. Whisnant
How is the idea of sin faring in preaching in the United States today? We might not be surprised to discover that preaching about sin seems bothersome for many contemporary pastors. Of all the theological topics inviting discussion from the pulpit, there is probably none more potentially distasteful to modern sensibilities than traditional notions of sin and the eternal consequences for those not "saved." In contrast to traditional teachings about sin, modern secular ideologies teach people that they can control their own destinies, determine their own characters, and reliably make choices on instinct. How, then, do today’s pastors "sell" the idea of sin in a secular age?
I’m convinced the opening chapters of Genesis are not optional. They establish the vital foundation for everything we believe as Christians.
Sadly, it is a foundation that is being systematically undermined by the very institutions that should be most vigorously defending it. More and more Christian educational institutions, apologists, and theologians are abandoning faith in the literal truth of Genesis 1-3.
Scripture offers the only accurate explanations that can be found anywhere about how our race began, where our moral sense originated, why we cannot seem to do what our own consciences tells us is right, and how we can be redeemed from this hopeless situation.
Scripture is not merely the best of several possible explanations. It is the Word of God.
GENESIS 3 is an accurate historical record of what actually happened in the garden.
I want to first give an introduction to the chapter before we get into the chapter itself.
Genesis Chapter 3 is familiar to us. It is a chapter that deals with the serpent in the garden, and temptation, and forbidden fruit, and a woman who was deceived, and a man who followed her in violating God’s word and God’s command. Then it talks about the curse, and the price that was paid for that disobedience. Familiar to almost everybody, to one degree or another, is the record of Genesis Chapter 3.
And at the very outset, I want to just lay down a simple statement that we’re going to build on all the way through, and that is this:
Most people who comment on Genesis 3 turn it into something other than an historical account of a real event. It is as the word of God says it is.
This Chapter may well be the most important chapter in the Bible. Certainly, it is true that if you don’t understand this chapter, you don’t understand the rest of the Bible.
· You cannot understand the solution to the problem, unless you understand the problem.
· You cannot understand the cure unless you understand the diagnosis.
· You will never be able to understand God’s remedy for this world, if you don’t understand the malady under which this world lives and functions.
This chapter explains absolutely
· Everything about our universe, and
· about life in that universe, and
· all of us who live in it.
· It explains everything about why things are the way they are,
· why we are the way we are, and
· what God is doing in history, and
· why He’s doing it in terms of salvation.
Genesis 3 explains the human dilemma.
· All the problems in the universe have their origin in the events of this historic account.
o — physical problems, spiritual problems, moral problems, social problems, economic problems, political problems —
o all the problems in the universe have their origin in the events of this historic account.
This chapter then is the foundation of any true and accurate world view. And without this foundation, every and any world view is utterly wrong.
If you do not understand the origin of sin and its force based on Genesis Chapter 3, then your understanding of the world is wrong.
· Everything then is misunderstood;
· Everything is misevaluated;
· Everything is misread;
· Everything is misdiagnosed, and
· Hopelessly incurable.
You see, if you go back to the end of Chapter 1, it says: "And God saw all that He had made." And He had made all that has ever been made, so He saw the whole created universe. "And, behold, it was very good."
When God completed the original creation, everything was "very good." But truthfully, folks, everything in our world now is very bad. It is anything but good. And it has been anything but good through all of human history.
When God completed his perfect creation, it was "very good" because:
· There was no disorder.
· There was no chaos.
· There was no conflict.
· There was no struggle.
· There was no pain.
· There was no discord.
· There was no disease.
· There was no decline.
HUMAN LIFE TODAY THE WORLD OVER IS DEFINED BY:
· Disorder, chaos, conflict, struggle, pain, discord, disease, decline and death.
HUMAN LIFE TODAY IS A LIFE OF STRUGGLES:
· As soon as life is conceived in the womb, it begins to live and die at the same time.
· And in the spiritual world and moral world, everyone finds it easier to do wrong.
· It is much easier to slide down on the moral manure than it is to resist the tide, stay about it.
SO OUR STUDY LEADS US TO TRY TO DISCOVER WHAT HAPPENED TO “EVERYTHING IS VERY GOOD” IN CHAPTER ONE AND TWO, AND IN CHAPTER THREE WHAT WENT SO WRONG.
It’s not like it was in the original creation. It is more like man has fallen from heaven without a parachute and he’s sinking at breakneck speed toward hell with nothing to stop him
WHAT HAPPENED IS RECORDED IN GENESIS THREE.
The word “sin” doesn’t appear in the third chapter, (right, Bob Temple?) the word “Satan” is not either.
When Adam and Eve, tempted by the serpent in the garden, disobeyed God, everything went from being “very good,” to being very bad.
ROMANS 5:12 GIVES US WHAT THEOLOGIANS CALL “ORIGINAL SIN.”
When Adam sinned, we all went down, because we’ve all come from Adam.
At the end of chapter 2:25 you notice “they were both naked and were not ashamed.” Then in 3:17 (please read Charity Whisnant). They were ashamed. And God curses them. Notice the curses are physical.
But theses verses do not say anything about the moral change that took place. Yet a lot is implied.
THE FALL OCCURRED AT SOME POINT BETWEEN THE SIXTH DAY OF CREATION, WHEN EVERYTHING WAS ‘VERY GOOD” AND WHEN ADAM AND EVE GAVE BIRTH TO CAIN.
Ø Because Cain was born a sinner. The fall had to occur before that; we don’t know when. We don’t know how long they enjoyed Eden in its glory. But once they fell, there were changed. They were altered. And they passed on fallenness and sin to every human being that ever lived, because they have all come from Adam and Eve.
WHEN ADAM SINNED, HE BROUGHT DEATH ON HIMSELF AND EVERYBODY ELSE.
1. And we’re all born to die.
2. And we inherit sin.
“The whole creation groans.”
THE PROBLEM TODAY IS: NO ONE IN SOCIETY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT SIN.
Our culture has really declared war on SIN, because they don’t want anything defined as sin. Everything is just a lifestyle choice. Nothing is a sin.
‘IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT.”