4.      The Fall of Humanity

Doctrinal Statement: God created man in His own image and declared him, and all of creation, “Good.” But, man fell from that state of grace through disobedience to God.

 

Definitions

*   Fall: The loss of humanity's original innocence and happiness resulting from Adam and Eve's eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

*   Humanity: Humans considered as a group; the human race.

Scriptures about the Fall of Humanity

(Gen 1:26-31 NIV)  Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." {27} So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. {28} God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." {29} Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. {30} And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food." And it was so. {31} God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.

(Gen 2:16-17 NIV)  And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; {17} but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

(Gen 3:1-19 NIV)  Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" {2} The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, {3} but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" {4} "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. {5} "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." {6} When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. {7} Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. {8} Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. {9} But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" {10} He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." {11} And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" {12} The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." {13} Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." {14} So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. {15} And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." {16} To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." {17} To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. {18} It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. {19} By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

(Eccl 7:29 NIV)  This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes."

(Rom 3:23 NIV)  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(Rom 5:12 NIV)  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--

5.      The Plan of Salvation

Doctrinal Statement: God desires that none should perish due to sin. Yet, the penalty for sin is “Death.” However, the Father and the Son conspired through grace and love to purchase the freedom of their beloved creation, man. That price was the death of the Son. It is by this sacrifice: His blood, death, and resurrection that we are given the opportunity for salvation.

Definitions

*   Plan: A scheme, program, or method worked out beforehand for the accomplishment of an objective. A contingent strategy.

*   Salvation: Preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil. Rescue from bondage or danger resulting from the power or penalty of sin; redemption.

Scriptures about the Plan of Salvation

(1 Pet 1:18-20 NIV)  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, {19} but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. {20} He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

(2 Pet 3:9 NIV)  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

(Rom 5:18 NIV)  Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

(John 3:16-17 KJV)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. {17} For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

(1 Cor 15:21-23 NIV)  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. {22} For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. {23} But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

(Lev 25:25 KJV)  If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.

(Exo 21:29-30 NIV) {29} If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull must be stoned and the owner also must be put to death. {30} However, if payment is demanded of him, he may redeem his life by paying whatever is demanded.

(Job 19:25 NIV)  I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

(Psa 19:14 NIV)  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

(Mark 10:45 NIV)  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

(Rom 3:20-26 NIV)  Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. {21} But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. {22} This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, {23} for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, {24} and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. {25} God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.

(Rom 5:8-11 NIV)  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. {9} Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! {10} For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! {11} Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

(Col 1:21-23 NIV)  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. {22} But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- {23} if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.

(1 Cor 15:45-49 NIV)  So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being" ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. {46} The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. {47} The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. {48} As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. {49} And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

(Lev 16:29-34 NIV)  "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work--whether native-born or an alien living among you-- {30} because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins. {31} It is a sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance. {32} The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father as high priest is to make atonement. He is to put on the sacred linen garments {33} and make atonement for the Most Holy Place, for the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and for the priests and all the people of the community. {34} "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites." And it was done, as the LORD commanded Moses.

(Heb 2:11-17 NIV)  Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. …. {14} Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil-- {15} and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. {16} For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. {17} For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

(1 John 2:1-2 NIV)  My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. {2} He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

(1 John 4:10 NIV)  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

(Heb 9:5-28 NIV)  Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now. {6} When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. {7} But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. {8} The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. {9} This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. {10} They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings--external regulations applying until the time of the new order. {11} When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. {12} He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. {13} The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. {14} How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! {15} For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. {16} In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, {17} because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. {18} This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. {19} When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. {20} He said, "This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep." {21} In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. {22} In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. {23} It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. {24} For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. {25} Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. {26} Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. {27} Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, {28} so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

(Heb 10:1-10 NIV)  The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. {2} If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. {3} But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, {4} because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. {5} Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; {6} with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. {7} Then I said, 'Here I am--it is written about me in the scroll-- I have come to do your will, O God.'" {8} First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). {9} Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. {10} And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 

Some Conclusions

*   Man was made “very good.” Gen. 1:31 & Eccl. 7:29

*   Through disobedience to God (Sin), death entered the world. Gen. 3:3 & Rom. 5:12

*   Not only Adam and Eve, but also all mankind have sinned. Rom. 3:23

*   The just penalty of sin is death. (Rom 6:23 NIV)  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*   God didn’t want man to die. 2 Peter 3:9

*   So God had a plan of redemption for man even before the fall. 1 Peter 1:20

*   God made the rules and God followed the rules. These are the rules of sacrifice, redemption, and atonement. See multiple places highlighted above.

*   Jesus brought redemption to mankind by His sacrificial death and thus atonement was accomplished between God and man.

 

Homework

*   Compose your own short paragraph describing the fall of man and God’s plan of redemption.

*   Choose a few scriptures in support of that paragraph

 

A Few Closing Thoughts

*   God knew man would fall and chose to let him do it. This is what we, as parents, sometimes do with our own children. The reason of course is so they can learn to avoid mistakes. It is also so our children can learn to appreciate the value of good versus bad behavior. As good parents we will also have a plan to help them when they get in trouble. God had such a plan.