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God as Creator and Redeemer of Sin

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

When the Lord had created Heaven and Earth sin came in and corrupted the scene and the human condition spread across the world like wildfire. Sin escalated, man pursued their own will, and soon forgot God. However, as a God of mercy, grace, patience, and love He sought to mend the brokenness between Himself and his creation. This process can require some explanation and is not a quick or simple process at that. The subjects discussed are a humble attempt at a fairly complex issue and for suggested resources check out the books below but without further delay let's jump in.

Sin Entering the World

When looking at how sin entered the world, the only place to look is the beginning in the garden in Genesis. God created a world for humans to flourish, thrive, love one another, and love God (Genesis 1 & 2) but within this story is presented an explicit instruction of which is, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat…” (Genesis 2:17). The reader can safely imply that this knowledge of good and evil can be understood most commonly as granting moral experience, or in this case the evil produced by experience of rebellion. Adam and Eve already knew what was wrong in thought for they had been given clear instructions. They had comprehensible knowledge of right and wrong but had yet to experience the sin. As most of us are familiar with the story Eve eats of the fruit when tempted and then Adam following (Genesis 3:6), so at face value the readers are faced with sheer disobedience and with this sin spirals out of control and we as humans begin to determine what is right and wrong for ourselves rather than God defining it. We have tried to make ourselves like God (Genesis 3:5-6) in establishing our own moral compass. The temptation of evil is brought into the scene with the image of a serpent that challenges the couple (Genesis 3:1-5). The serpent seems to represent the possibility of evil in this story as the snake was the voice tempting Eve to please her own desires with the lust of her eyes. The reader discovers that nothing of the snake’s origin is presented but its presence indicates evil was presented to the world some point after God said His creation was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). With this it doesn’t seem the snake, or the potential of evil itself, is sinful but the act of giving into sin itself. Where God created free-willed creature, there always exists the possibility for them to rebel of their freedom, and yet God delighted to create them that way when His creation was good. Eve, along with Adam chose to willfully give into the opportunity of sin presented to them by disobeying God, and from there is a new beginning of the world God never intended it to be.

Implications and Consequences of Sin

When we look at the creation narrative in which humanity was given an abundant number of resources and it becomes clear were put in the garden to work and push our work forward in a way that is beneficial to ourselves and our neighbor, to demonstrate relational love to our neighbor and God, and to use what we were given to the largest extant possible as God had intended. The purpose of in the beginning was to flourish and love God individually and corporately, thus the consequences are on the individual and corporate level. On the individual level The New Testament tells us that the flesh desires things that oppose the Spirit’s will, and vice versa, and these acts of the flesh are sexual immorality, idolatry, hatred, rage, and selfishness (Galatians 5:17-20). The wickedness of sin cannot be exaggerated. These things have polluted the world in which God has called us to thrive, and now rather than “gardening” with our neighbor in mind, we do it only for ourselves and we live for ourselves. This desire grows and becomes one of greed, and the greed doesn’t stop at only what is produced but is now carried to other areas of our life as men will seek to have their fellow man’s wife born from lust. When all these selfish desires do not go our way, we ultimately become nothing more than grown-up children who become angry at the undesired outcome. This is clearly not every sin and situation but a brief picture. Humans were made to do grand and magnificent things with God in the center and the potential for “greatness” remains. Of course, we know by becoming great we become servants (Matthew 23:11). This potential given to humans as a community, by our sinful nature, takes its shape on the corporate scale too. Greed, whether it's for power, status, or money, tied with selfishness and hatred for our fellow man encourages us to oppress rather than lift up. We create industries and organizations that profit off exploiting others, we abuse the power given to us as unique creatures made in God’s image and take it too far and convince ourselves we are our own god (Ecclesiastes 5:10). The technological pinnacle of our divine creativity, produced by a community of people, is used for warfare, destruction, and oppression rather than helping. This is not the worst of it, rather it is that the human conscience has been so destroyed that we’re convinced this is done in the name of goodness and progress (Isaiah 5:20) and we do not even know how evil we are (Jeremiah 4:22; 2 Corinthians 4:4) and it takes the powerful word of God and work of Christ to break this vicious cycle (Romans 10:17; John 6:41). For more resources to understand the depth of sin check out, "The Sinfulness of Sin" by Ralph Venning.

Sin Through History, and Theology of Old and New Testament

Throughout the Old Testament the Scriptures make clear the basic element of sin to be characterized as not knowing God (Hosea 4:1). This is visible all throughout the Old Testament from Adam’s descendants and God’s people. In the early writings of scriptures, the Bible shows us the severity of sin through the story of Cain and Able (Genesis 4). At the conclusion of Genesis Adam and Eve are out of the garden (3:24), and eight verse later something that started off as seemingly harmless disobedience with a tree has now evolved into murder (Genesis 4:8; James 1:14-15), and this onward progression of evil never ceases. Within the Old Testament God gave His people the Law to show them moral excellence and yet they could not maintain it (Romans 7:12-13); however, if they tried to keep it, they are cursed because they absolutely will fail (Galatians 3:10-13). They will fail because it is within their nature to oppose God (Romans 7:13-25). Nevertheless, our actions, molded by sin, have consequences. The consequences of sin can be seen all through the Old Testament through the working of God’s Covenants he makes with His creation to try and continually restore this broken relationship. This first disobedience spiraled and took many forms from God’s people being delivered from Egypt (Exodus 12) to those people wandering in the desert because of disobedience (Numbers 32:13; Hebrew 3:7-11), to the Lord’s continuous cycle of redeeming His people’s sin at the time of the judges. For a short while under a united monarchy with Saul, David, and Solomon things seemed to be going well, but once again the corporate sin becomes predominately exercised. The united kingdom becomes divided (2 Samuel 2:10; 1 Kings 12:16-24), God allowed Israel to be conquered by the Assyrians for idolatry (1 Chronicles 5:25-26), and then Judah shortly after by Babylon for the same reason (1 Chronicles 9:1; 2 Chronicles 36: 14-21). Unfortunately, humanity’s divergence from God’s intended will never be ceased from the Noahic Covenant, to the Abrahamic, then the Mosaic, and the Davidic throughout the course of history, concluding with the New Covenant. If anything had been made clear through the Old Testament it is our sin is out of control, a perverse thing from the heart of man, and untamed is capable of atrocity beyond our imagination. Consequently, the strongest will power of even the most righteous man cannot resolve the issue. Death is paid as an earned wage, if not by the hand of man, then of natural causes physically and apart from God spiritual death also (Romans 6:23). For more on this please see, "Sin: A History" by Gary A. Anderson.

God as Creator and Redeemer

The reader can find through the book of Genesis that the God of the Bible is the author of life on Earth, and he has created everything. All things that exist, will exist, and have existed and ceased find their beginning in God’s authorship (John 1:3). God creates the physical world and also gives a human soul to us (Genesis 1:26-27). Not only does God create but he recreates when things fall from their established order such as the world and our fallen human condition (John 3:16; Revelation 21:1). Humans can create things but cannot do it in a way the Lord can with our voice and out of nothing. By just speaking things are brought into existence, and are intricate and detailed, and fit within the created order. As the one who truly creates all things there is no beginning and no end for Him, and there is nothing who created Him. It is presented to us that sin has polluted the world (Romans 3:23, 5:12-21; James 1:5) and made it a place God did not originally want. God’s redemptive plan is to recreate the sinful human soul for everyone who is willing to join the partnership of redeeming the created order. God’s will and purpose has given every Christian a new soul (Ezekiel 36:26) and redeemed us by recreating us in the new birth and the sanctification process (2 Corinthians 5:17). Additionally, God will recreate and redeem the Earth when He brings about the New Heaven and Earth on the final day when everything is made right (Revelation 21:5). The work God does in us daily is a small picture of something bigger that is to come when God does not just help sanctify the sin from our life but with finality purges it from all creation. Jesus who is pivotal in the creation account of Genesis and John is just as pivotal in recreating. The plan of God was to bring the Gospel through the finished work of Jesus, and the end and final result is the perfect recreation of Heaven and Earth to His glory. For more resources about God as creator and redeemer check out, "What the Bible Says about God the Creator" and "What the Bible Says about God the Redeemer" both written by Jack Cottrell. Lastly, if you are interested in supporting the ministry then be sure to check out our store!

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