The belief that man fell from God’s glory is predicated upon other beliefs i.e. That there is a God; That He created man as part of an ultimate creation of all things, That man originally existed to have fellowship with God, Spirit to spirit, That God’s purpose for creating man was to place His image or reflection in the earth. If we deny these things, we loose sight of where man fell from and where man landed after the fall and how that affected the rest of the human race.
Going back to the written record of man’s beginning, when God created him, we hear God saying, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: (Gen 1:26) 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Gen. 2:7) That, “Breath of Life”, which caused man to become a living soul, was the breath of God, His Holy Spirit. It was this that man lost when he disobeyed God and what Jesus said He had come to seek and to save, (“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die. (Gen. 2:17)
Thus the fall of man brought spiritual death to Adam and an exchange of DNA. He was created with God’s nature but now finds himself cut off from God and living in, as it were, an alternate reality… one that took on the nature of sin instead of innocence.
This new DNA, full of sin, is a condition that we call “The Flesh.” The apostle Paul in Galatians, chapter five, appropriately depicts this fleshly nature, Adam’s newfound image. (Gal. 5:19-21) “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
So man fell into this awful nature that actually belongs to Satan. He lost the nature and image of God, which Paul describes as being (Gal. 5:22), the fruit of the Spirit, characterized by love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law)…. only to now be the mirror image of evil.
The 1st man, Adam, died spiritually in the very instant that he disobeyed. He also started to die physically as well. He went on to live in the flesh but not in the Spirit of God. He was lost and dead in his sin. His nature was fallen and he continually missed the mark of God’s righteousness. (Romans 5:8). This loss can be seen clearly in Gen. 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? God surely knew where Adam was. The question was to cause Adam to realize his condition. I guess we could say God was asking Adam, “What happened to you? Where is my Spirit? It’s no longer in you. The judgment of death given to Adam if he ate of the forbidden fruit had come upon him.
All this happened to Adam long before we came on the scene…so how does what
happened to him affect us? Here’s what the Bible says about that. “Wherefore, as by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12.)
All have sinned? Why? Because Adam’s descendants, that’s us, also possessed a fallen nature and could not help but sin. Therefore, everyone dies because of sin. And so it was and so it is and so will be. Mankind dies because of personal sins against a Holy & Righteous God. But God did not leave man in this fallen state. He chose to pay the price, the penalty for sin, thus restoring access and fellowship with Him. Again, Romans 5:8 gives us part of the answer…Jesus died for us. He became the sacrifice for our sins, paying the penalty that He Himself established. (Ezekiel 18:20)
John 3:16 gives us the rest of the story. It tells us that Jesus was and still is the only Begotten Son of God. He came to earth as the 2nd or last Adam and lived life as it was intended, perfectly in tune with God’s law and will and then He went to the cross of Calvary and died for us, a willing sacrifice. He did this so we could be accepted based upon His righteousness. Our righteousness had long since missed the mark.
The First Adam – Was Created, (Genesis 1:27)
The Last Adam – Jesus Christ – Is The Creator (Colossians 1:15-17)
The First Adam – Wanted To Become Like God, (Genesis 3:4-6)
The Last Adam – Jesus Christ (God) Became A Man. (Galatians 4:4,5; John 1:14)
The First Adam – Believed A Lie. (John 8:44)
The Last Adam – Jesus Christ – Is the Truth (John 1:17; John 14:6)
The First Adam – Disobeyed. (Genesis 3:17)
The Last Adam Obeyed, even to the point of death. (John 6:38; Philippians 2:6-8)
The First Adam – Was Sent Away. (Genesis 3:22-24)
The Last Adam – Was Sent to Pay. (John 3:13-18)
The First Adam – Brought Death to the Living. (Romans 5:12)
The Last Adam – Jesus Christ – Brought Life to the Dying. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
And it’s that last point on page #13 that sums it up for us. As the sin and disobedience of the first Adam brought death to the world, the second Adam, Jesus Christ, bought life: “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Cor 5:2122 – NIV)
If you can believe Jesus, which I do, He says WHOSOEVER believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) When we put our faith in Jesus, we are, “Born Again”. That term can be better explained in Chapter three of Saint John’s gospel.
We are born first of water. (Physical Birth) When we confess to God that we are sinners and repent, we go through a new birth experience that fills us with the breath of God, His Spirit. (Spiritual Birth) We become as He intended us to be from the beginning. We are in Christ and that makes us alive.
Here are a few Bible verses from the book of Romans in the New Testament. They will help you to understand how to be saved.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin.
– Admit that you are a sinner.
Romans 6:23a “…The wages of sin is death…”
Sin has an ending. It results in death. We all face physical death, which is a result of sin. But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God. This death will last for all eternity. The Bible teaches that there is a place called the, “Lake of Fire”, where lost people will be in torment forever. It is the place where people who are spiritually dead end up and remain for all of eternity.
– Understand that you deserve death for your sin.
Romans 6:23b “…But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Salvation is a free gift from God to you! You can’t earn this gift, but you must reach out and receive it.
– Ask God to forgive you and save you.
Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” “When Jesus died on the cross, He paid sin’s penalty. He paid the price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He brought us out of slavery, sin and death! The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us. He did all this because He loved us.
The early apostles said that we needed to believe that Jesus is the only Son of God; that He died on the cross of Calvary for our sins; that He was buried and rose again on the 3rd day. This belief opened the floodgates for a new life with God. No more hopelessness and fear of death. Now, we have hope and peace with God, knowing Jesus will help us through this life and the one to come. (See Chapter 14 for more about salvation) Skeptics say that Jesus was a mere man and thus subject to the same DNA fault as Adam.
However, the gospel story makes it clear that Jesus was born of a Virgin, one who had never been with a man. This was the only way Jesus could escape the sin nature and qualify to be the 2nd or last Adam.
Now, the “Born Again” man can manifest God’s divine nature, whereas, the unregenerate man or not born again man cannot. In effect, we have two natures and they are always in conflict, trying to control the image that is manifested in us.
Paul, The apostle says, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Galatians 5:17)
The “Born Again” man can choose to walk in the Spirit or to walk in the Flesh.
Remember, God’s plan was to place His image and likeness in the earth. The fulfillment of that desire is now in the hands of the “Born Again” man. He can hate or love. He can be short tempered or longsuffering. He can be good or bad. However. He must deny one to release the other. We are encouraged to walk in the Spirit so we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (“ I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Gal.5: 16)
As we read the daily newspapers or view the nightly news, it’s all about what evil happened today. Satan’s image is being revealed everywhere. But quietly, among thousands of believers, God’s image and nature flourishes, revealing God to whomever wants to see.
The apostle Paul again talks about this double nature in his letter to the church at Rome.
(Romans 7:4-25) 4 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil, which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am!
Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God
through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. This is a clear picture of two natures battling each other for supremacy, as the believer struggling with a fallen nature, as he tries to do what he knows is good.
Many folks that claim to be Christians do not believe in the “Born Again” experience or that man ever fell from God’s glory. They still look upon man as inherently good and not altogether wretched. Jeremiah 17:10 tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? This condition of the heart is a result of man’s sin and remains today as a consequence of the fall.
All men are not brothers, only those who are truly “Born Again” because they share in one Spirit and have the same father, God. Those folks that are not “Born Again” are not our brothers. They are unbelievers.
Paul, writing to the Corinthian church put it this way, (II Corinthians 6:14) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? : Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
How do you know that the “Christian” sitting next to you is a believer? That’s simple…look for the fruit of the Spirit. True Christian fellowship is birthed out of God’s Holy Spirit. If you do not see Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering and the rest of the fruit, chances are they are not “Born Again.” However, do not be too hasty to draw a conclusion for many of today’s fine Christian folk are living in the Flesh and have never learned or forgotten how to walk in the Spirit. You just may be God’s instrument of blessing to show them the way back to having fellowship with God the Father.
Adam must have thought that by knowing or experiencing evil, he would be like God.
The irony of it all was that Adam was already like God, fashioned in His image and likeness. There was no evil in Him. God didn’t want Adam to know evil.
The “Being Like God by knowing evil lie” is still with us today and has destroyed many believers and unbelievers over the years since Adam fell. Don’t fall for that lie. It will lead you straight into God’s judgment.
Here’s a popular saying that we should avoid, “The Devil made me do it.” He tempted Adam and Eve but they bought the lie. The Devil cannot make you do anything. It is our choice to do a certain thing or act a certain way. The only way to avoid confusion and fall prey to the Devil’s subtlety is to know the truth.
A serious study of the Bible, God’s Holy Word, will equip you to withstand the wiles of the Devil. During the Devil’s temptations of Jesus, He continually answered the attacks with, “It Is Written.” That is how it’s done in real life warfare. Adam didn’t have the Bible but He still had God’s spoken word and could have used it as a weapon against the Devil’s attack.
Some of the effects of man’s fall from God’s Glory into sin are listed below. You may see more as you personally study this topic.
- The loss of God’s image and likeness.
- The inability to walk in His Spirit as before.
- The horror of a new nature that is prone to rebellion and sin.
- The loss of immortality and ultimately spiritual life.
- The sorrow of knowing that all of his descendants will be slaves to sin by nature.
- The pain of having to deal with problems that are caused by the practice of sin.
- The sadness of watching a loved one as death passes upon them and they die.
- The deep sorrow in seeing most of humanity reject the only true God to follow their own ways.
Thanks be to God for sending Jesus so we can find peace in this life and eternal life with Him forever.
Until Next Time
Rev. John Marinelli