Man's Problem and God's Solution
In the beginning, God created all things - the heavens, the earth and mankind (Genesis 1&2). God called all of His creation “good” (Genesis 1:25). The word “good” means adequate. In today’s world it is viewed as a step below excellent and above okay. However, when God said, “good,” it meant that all of creation met God’s standard - which is perfection. There was no defect in any of His creation.
On the sixth day, God said, “Let us create man in our own image,’ (Genesis 1:26-27) and so he created Adam and then Eve was formed from Adam’s rib as his helper and mate (Gen. 2: 18-24). Mankind was also created perfect and had perfect fellowship with God. Man lived in and tended to the garden God had created for him and the woman. There was no sorrow. There was no pain. There was no death, fires, tornadoes, murderers, robbers, hatred or disease. However, things did not remain that way. God gave Adam and Eve one restriction. They were not to eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 3:2-3).
The one the Bible calls “our enemy”, Satan, (1 Peter 5: 8-9) entered into the garden in the form of one of the animals with which Adam and Eve would have been familiar (Gen. 3:1). He deceived them into sinning against God by disobeying His command.
With Adam’s first act of disobedience, death, misery and sin entered into the world. Adam and his wife noticed that they were naked and felt ashamed. God came and confronted Adam and cast him and his wife out of the garden. What awaited them was a world of death, destruction and fear. The animals were violent and threatening. Windstorms, disease and murder broke out. Eve’s pains of child-birth were greatly increased, and she began to struggle against her husband and desire to usurp his place of leadership (Gen. 3:16).
Romans 5:12 tells us that just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. 1 Corinthians 15:21 tells us that in Adam all died. As a result of that first sin, we all became sinners (Romans 3:10-23) and are by birth under God’s wrath and curse (Romans 6:23 The penalty for sin is death).
Death is separation. At Adam's first sin he was separated from God, and he was separated from the garden paradise God had made for him. Adam also began dying physically, and eventually death overcame him. Physical death is a separation of one’s soul from the body.
Not only do we all die physically, but we have been born into rebellion against God. Ephesians 2: 1-3 says,
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
From this we see that all mankind was born into rebellion and under the power of “the prince of the power of the air”. We have been born as “son’s of disobedience” and we answer to “the passions of our flesh, and carry out the desires of the body and the mind.”
By way of illustrating this truth, consider the little child. What parent has taught their 3-year-old child to forcefully take things from other children or to tell lies or blame others for something that they did? None! The child does these selfish and wrong acts from his own little heart and will. We have to spend years teaching a child not to cheat, lie and steal but instead do what is right and good. In reality, most adults still do these same things. They have just figured out better ways to hide it. Even from their own consciences.
Ephesians 2:3 says that these things make you a child of God’s wrath.
God is indeed good (Exodus 34:6; 1 Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 25:8). God is indeed love (1 John 4:8). But God is also a god of wrath who will not over-look the guilty (Numbers 14:18; Exodus 34:7). God’s perfection has demanded that He punish sin. Romans 3:23 All have sinned and fall short of God’s standard. Romans 6:23 The penalty of sin is death. 1 Corinthians 6:9 tells us that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
This is all very bad news. For you know in your heart that you have disobeyed God and gone your own way. You have lied; you have hated; you have stolen; you have coveted what belongs to another. In fact, God has noted that if you have had hatred in your heart towards another you are guilty of murder and if you have lusted in your heart you are guilty of adultery. You are deservingly under God’s wrath and curse.
BUT! Thanks be to God for His gracious mercy, things do not simply end here.
Romans 6:23 tells us that while the wages of sin is death, the free gift of God is eternal life. Romans 10:9 says that if anyone will confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believes in their heart that God raised Him from the dead, they will be saved.
That person will be born again –
John 3:3 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
That person will receive Christ’s righteousness –
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.
Colossians 1:21-22 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.
That person will receive the Holy Spirit -
Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
Ephesians 1:13-14 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
That person will receive eternal life –
1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It is our sincere hope and prayer that through this message you have been drawn by God's Holy Spirit to understand your sin and your need for reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. If you've been helped by this, we would like to hear from you as well.
The Session of Redeemer