2) Cause of the Condition
To understand man’s alienation to God, we have to go back to the beginning. By beginning, I mean the creation of man.
If you don’t believe that man is a created being, but is the result of evolution then your degree of denial is probably not going to change by reading this section. Nevertheless, you are more than welcome to read on.
According to the first few chapters of Genesis (first book of the Bible), God created man (Adam) from the dust of the earth. Later, woman (Eve) was created from one of Adam’s ribs. To both He gave a free will, the freedom to make their own choices.
Adam and Eve lived in a section of Earth known as the Garden of Eden. God met their every need and they enjoyed, if you will, a Utopian existence.
God provided fruit trees in the garden and told Adam and Eve they could eat from all of the trees except the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He told them that if they ate of this particular tree they would surely die. God gave a simple commandment as well as the consequence for breaking the commandment.
“…but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17)
To most of you this Biblical account of history is familiar, although some of you may have been taught that it is a myth or allegory. I can assure you that this account is Biblical fact. Therefore, I will be treating it as such.
As you may or may not know, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Afterwards, they realized they were naked and hid themselves from God (More about this in the next section).
God banished Adam and Eve from His presence because of their trespass. The sentence of death was upon them, the earth was cursed because of them, the woman would suffer in childbirth and they would survive by means of hard work. These consequences cannot be undone by mere sorrow, confession, and pleas to a Holy and Just God for forgiveness.
You might think that this was harsh discipline for simply eating some forbidden fruit. What harm did it cause, you might ask? Such thinking reflects man’s failure to comprehend the perfection and righteousness of God. The truth is that Adam and Eve knowingly and willingly rebelled against God. They did not like the fact that they were denied something. They didn’t take God seriously. Instead, they chose to believe a lie. They lived a life in fellowship with God and enjoyed an existence we will never know and threw it all away for a piece of fruit. How many of us have squandered what we could have been for the sake of a moment’s pleasure?
Because of Adam and Eve’s foolish choice, sin entered the human race and a sin nature would be every human’s inheritance at the moment of conception (Psalm 51:5). This sin nature, called Original Sin by Catholics, is the root cause of mankind’s continued misery and failure down through the ages.
This sin nature is on display everyday when the world’s events are broadcast to us on television, in print and on the Internet. There seems to be no depth to man’s depravity. As I write this article, I do so in the shadow of the despicable carnage that took place in Sandy Hook, CT and the equally senseless atrocity at the Boston Marathon. The sin nature reigns supreme in our world and finds no boundary with regard to age, race, gender, ethnicity, culture or level of sophistication.
And, while you and I may not engage in such wickedness we nonetheless are not guiltless in our own behavior. The best among us is filled with anger, impurity, lust, jealousies, bitterness, discontent, ingratitude and so on. These failures are all the result of our choices.
Are you beginning to understand God’s perspective yet? To say that our condition is a dilemma is an understatement. However, there is a solution available to all of us because of God’s love, mercy and grace.
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