Posted by: pastortomvabeach | June 1, 2015

Thought For The Week June 7, 2015

Thanks to Pastor Doug and Pastor Cheryl for covering me while I took a short vacation to attend my grandson’s high school graduation. This week we will continue to present one by one the Sixteen Fundamental Doctrines of the Assemblies of God.

The fourth of these reveals to us why we human beings are the way we are and why we need a Savior, which we will discuss next week. In the biblical view of man we are told, first of all, that man is created by God. You and I were made by a conscious purposeful act of God. Genesis 1:26-27 reads, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion…over all the earth…” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

This is significant because being made in God’s image sets us apart from every other created thing. In His image we have intrinsic value and meaning to God. We are created to live forever since God is eternal. We have the same relational characteristics that God has. We can think, reflect, choose freely, and interact with others. We are the only ones in God’s creation who can communicate with and relate to God. This factor also gives us reason to place extremely high value on human life. Every person born on this earth carries God’s image. Life is God’s gift and we err if we begin to devalue life even when it exists within the womb. After God created Adam and Eve, He saw that His creation was indeed very good (Genesis 1:31).

So, if we are made in God’s image and meant to be “very good”, why do we, as humans, have so much trouble? Why do we dream up and produce so much that is evil and wrong? The Bible tells us that the first humans chose to disobey God. God gave Adam and Eve a free will because He wanted His creation to freely choose to love, trust, and obey Him. For that to happen the possibility of choosing to disobey had to be present.

In Genesis 3, we read the account of the temptation and fall of Eve, then Adam. God had instructed them, of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. (Genesis 2:17). In choosing to disobey, Adam and Eve demonstrated that they doubted God’s goodness, righteousness, and holiness. The serpent told Eve, You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4-5). This statement cast doubt on everything God is known to be.

The result of their fall into sin was not only their immediate guilt and fear as you see in Genesis 3:7-8, but immediate death, as God had said. They didn’t die physically at that moment but they experienced spiritual death; the soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4). This means they were spiritually cut off from relationship with God, separated from Him by their sin. They eventually experienced physical death and, if the relationship with God was never rejoined, they were subject to what Revelation 20:14 calls the second death which is eternal separation from God in hell.

But the effect of the fall didn’t stop with Adam and Eve. Since they were now separated from God with a nature that was prone to sin, they passed that same nature on to all of their descendants, to us. Romans 5:12 tells us, through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

This tells us why the world is in the state that it is in. Human beings, though still bearing God’s image, are marred by the nature of sin. We are born with a nature that is flawed. We still allow the world to cause us to doubt God’s goodness, righteousness, and holiness and, in doing so, we sin. All of the wars, crimes, lies, brokenness, and wrongdoing that we witness every day stem from the fact that man is a fallen being.

This fact is largely ignored by secular philosophies and by many false religions. Many believe that humanity can be improved and immorality overcome by proper education of the masses. The 20th century, which was the most intellectually advanced period in history, should show in no uncertain terms that this is not true because there was more bloodshed and death caused by “educated human beings” than ever in history. Some religions bypass man’s fall by ignoring sin or making it somehow a non-issue.

The Bible teaches that mankind is destined to remain fallen and, if not changed by the power of God (which we will discuss next week), will go into eternity in that fallen state to exist forever without God. The work of Jesus Christ on the cross provides the gift of eternal life which everyone can receive. Stay tuned to find out how that can happen. Meanwhile, happy thinking.

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