Original Creation and Purposes for Mankind

 

 Adam and Eve as Created

Made upright. Eccl. 7:29

Made in the image of God. Gen. 1:27

Given dominion over Fish Water Gen. 1:28

Birds Air

Animals Earth Had unlimited control. PP51

While they remained true to God, Adam and his companion were to bear rule over the earth. Unlimited control was given them over every living thing. PP 51

Made unashamed. Gen. 2:25

Covered with light. PP45

Had direct fellowship & access to God. Gen. 2:19,23

Had freedom of choice witnessed to by a test. Gen. 2:17

Don’t eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil because you will die the day you eat it.

Created apparently independent of God for life. Their God-dependence would become apparent if they broke their connection with God by sin.

Sin is the transgression of the Law 1 John 3:4

The Law is the description & definition of the character of God Rom. 7:12

Created a three-part creature with every part made in the image of God:

Physically with a physical body

Mental capacities with a mind capable of freedom of choice – independent will

Emotional being with thoughts and feelings

Commissioned to dress and to keep the garden. Gen. 2:15

for the purpose of demonstrating God’s character

purposes

government 5BC1105; GC594

 

Adam and Eve’s Fall and Failure

The fall was from a state of God-centered loyalty, and loving, grateful, obedience to disobedience and self-centeredness. The way for the fall was prepared by believing a lie.

New view of reality: "saw that the tree [was] good for food," – believed a lie!

New insight regarding reality: "saw that it [was] pleasant to the eyes," – believed a lie!

New emotions regarding reality: "saw a tree to be desired to make [one] wise," – a lie!

Result: "she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

The fall was from their state of creation, upright, holy and innocent in open connection with God and covered with light. The position to which they fell was one of a new view of reality characterized by self-conscious nakedness and fear: "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden." Gen. 3:7,8. "I was afraid" Gen. 3: 10.

Their new fallen state made it impossible, if they remained in that state, to fulfill the purpose of their creation – to reveal the character, purposes, and government of God. There was an eternal aspect of their failure that resulted from believing a lie. By believing a lie they lost the ability to perfectly demonstrate the character, purposes, and government of God. For this destiny they were created. That loss of ability had to be restored before they could again fulfill their destiny. That loss is supplied by Jesus.

What we inherit from Adam and Eve: The results of believing a lie:

A physical body that has been degraded and marred. Mental capacities that are centered in self and that have been degraded and marred. Emotional capacities that are pre-occupied with self and characterized by fear. The powers we were created with have been degraded by 6,000 years of sin and separation from the open presence of God.

In ourselves we are totally centered on unreality and self and are in a state of depravity (Ps.51:5). "It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one." "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Job 14:4; Romans 8:7" {SC18}. "In his sinless state, man held joyful communion with Him "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3. But after his sin, he could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God. Such is still the condition of the unrenewed heart. It is not in harmony with God, and finds no joy in communion with Him. The sinner could not be happy in God's presence; he would shrink from the companionship of holy beings. Could he be permitted to enter heaven, it would have no joy for him. The spirit of unselfish love that reigns there --every heart responding to the heart of Infinite Love --would touch no answering chord in his soul. His thoughts, his interests, his motives, would be alien to those that actuate the sinless dwellers there. He would be a discordant note in the melody of heaven. Heaven would be to him a place of torture; he would long to be hidden from Him who is its light, and the center of its joy. It is no arbitrary decree on the part of God that excludes the wicked from heaven; they are shut out by their own unfitness for its companionship. The glory of God would be to them a consuming fire. They would welcome destruction, that they might be hidden from the face of Him who died to redeem them. {SC 17.2}

Important to Distinguish Between State of Depravity and Sin

Our understanding of sin determines our understanding of God’s character and of His salvation.

We are not responsible or guilty before God for the depraved state we inherit by birth (Eze.18:20). We are guilty only as we partake of sin ourselves (Eze.18:4). Sin separates from God the Source of life (Is.59:2) and results in death. Believing a lie distorts our view of reality. Believing a lie depraves us, physically, mentally and emotionally (1SM346). The state of depravity, physically, mentally and emotionally, that we are born with is not sin but is the result of sin – our parents and our own. The state of depravity is characterized by a preference for and a leaning toward unreality and futile attempts to please self. This state of depravity does not meet the Bible definition of sin (1 John 3:4). God does not condemn us for our faulty bodily equipment and our natural faulty view of reality (Ps. 87:6). Sin is a choice of the will to transgress the will of God expressed in His moral and natural law. Sin is to choose against the expressed character and will of God as defined and communicated in the law of God which is the standard of reality (1 John 3:4). Temptation is not sin. Temptation must be cherished and incubated in order to conceive sin (James 1:15). The state of depravity, physically, mentally and emotionally is what results from sin – part of the death that sin finishes in and ultimately results in (James 1:15). Cause and effect is not the same thing. To confuse cause and effect of sin is to confuse the character of God and the plan of salvation.

Jesus, The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

The problem with sin is that it gives us a "new" view of reality. What God tells us causes death, we view as being physically good, intellectually pleasant to the eyes and emotionally desirable. Once we have experienced believing and doing anything in opposition to the will of God, we are changed physically, mentally, and emotionally and are incapable, in and of ourselves, to again fully desire, comprehend or do God’s will.

This profound change was signaled by the loss of the garments of light that our original parents were robed with. This profound change in character was immediately manifested in Adam and Eve by their seeing their nakedness, feeling afraid, hiding from God, and blaming each other and God for their sin.

Salvation as it is in Jesus not only forgives us but also cleanses us from the results of sin. Salvation includes healing our physical body, our mind and our intellectual view of reality, and our emotional view of reality as well as pardon from the guilt of sin.

Hebrews 10:5, 7 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:… Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

"A casual view of Christ will not save one soul. Do you know Him by the vital connection of faith? He came to our world in order that, by taking human nature upon Himself, He might bring man into close connection with the living God…. Had Christ come with even the glory of the heavenly angels, His presence would have extinguished humanity. Fallen men could not have endured His glory. But He laid aside the royal crown and the royal robe; He clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity." {BEcho, November 12, 1894 par. 3}

"How precious to the believer are the rich promises of God! Jesus himself endured the penalty of the law in his own body upon the accursed tree, that he might make it possible for all the human family to keep the commandments of God." {ST, August 18, 1890 par. 4}

"Though He had no taint of sin upon His character, yet He condescended to connect our fallen human nature with His divinity. By thus taking humanity, He honored humanity. Having taken our fallen nature, he showed what it might become, by accepting the ample provision He has made for it, and by becoming partaker of the divine nature".--Letter 81, 1896. {3SM 134.2}

"Satan claimed that it was impossible for human beings to keep God's law. In order to prove the falsity of this claim, Christ left His high command, took upon Himself the nature of man, and came to the earth to stand at the head of the fallen race, in order to show that humanity could withstand the temptations of Satan. He became the Head of humanity, to be assaulted with temptations on every point as fallen human nature would be tempted, that He might know how to succor all who are tempted. On this earth He worked out the problem of how to live in accordance with God's standard of right. Bearing our nature, He was true to God's standard of righteousness, gaining the victory over Satan. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet He was without sin." {UL 172.3}

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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." Christ, the spotless Son of God, honored humanity by taking upon himself fallen human nature. A suffering, tempted man, beset by Satan's devices, his divinity clothed with humanity, he so lived on this earth as to show, by his perfect obedience to his Father's will, what humanity could become by partaking of the divine nature." {RH, September 29, 1896 par. 1}

"Christ's life of humiliation should be a lesson to all who desire to exalt themselves above their fellow men. Though he had no taint of sin upon his character, yet he condescended to connect our fallen human nature with his divinity. By thus taking humanity, he honored humanity. Having taken our fallen nature, he showed what it might become, by accepting the ample provision he has made for it, and by becoming partaker of the divine nature." {PH080 13.1} (Phamphlets) {1888 1561.1} (1888 EGW Collection)

The sinless death of Jesus is offered to us as a propitiation for our sin and failure to do the will of God (1 John 2:2). And more than that, the ministration of Jesus in the Holy and the Most Holy Places in the Heavenly Sanctuary is for us. The ministration of Jesus in the Sanctuary in Heaven is for the purpose of changing us from the fallen, depraved state in which we were born, into the holy, perfect state of communication with God and doing the will of God in which we were created. Jesus worked out this perfect human life in fallen human nature during His life on earth. This is offered to us on condition of belief and acceptance.

There are aspects of the details about the life of Jesus and His taking fallen human nature that we probably cannot fully understand or appreciate at this time. The science of salvation will be our study throughout eternity. All that we need to understand in order to co-operate with the plan of salvation fully is possible for us now. Faith is an essential element in the plan of salvation. What we cannot fully understand or explain we can believe through the gift of faith. In the closing time of the Great Controversy are required to understand and experience all that is possible for us. The science of salvation is to be our study now as well as in eternity.

How Jesus transforms us from sinners to saints here and now!

"Through belief in Satan's misrepresentation of God, man's character and destiny were changed, but if men will believe in the Word of God, they will be transformed in mind and character, and fitted for eternal life. To believe that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16), will change the heart, and reproduce in man the image of God. {1SM 346.1}

" As many are today, so (before his conversion) Paul was very confident in an hereditary piety; but his confidence was founded on falsehood. It was faith out of Christ, for he trusted in forms and ceremonies. His zeal for the law was disconnected from Christ and was valueless. His boast was that he was blameless in his performance of the deeds of the law; but the Christ who made the law of any value he refused. He was confident that he was right. He says: "I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them" (Acts 26:9, 10). For a time Paul did a very cruel work, thinking that he was doing God service; for he says, "I did it ignorantly in unbelief" (1 Tim. 1:13). But his sincerity did not justify his work, or make error truth. {1SM 346.2}

" Faith is the medium through which truth or error finds a lodging place in the mind. It is by the same act of mind that truth or error is received, but it makes a decided difference whether we believe the Word of God or the sayings of men. When Christ revealed Himself to Paul, and he was convinced that he was persecuting Jesus in the person of His saints, he accepted the truth as it is in Jesus. A transforming power was manifested on mind and character, and he became a new man in Christ Jesus. He received the truth so fully that neither earth nor hell could shake his faith."

{1SM 346.3}

By Belief in the Blood and Water

John 19:34, 35 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

And he that saw [it] bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

Blood represents life (Gen.9:4; Lev.17:11,14; Deut.12:23 etc; John 6:53,54). It is the life of Jesus that gives us life. Jesus had to give up His life in death in order to be able to offer His life to us as a gift. By dying Jesus also took the consequences of sin upon Himself which gives Him the right to give us probationary life which we now all have.

Water represents washing and cleansing (Eph. 5:25 – 27) Water also represents the Holy Spirit (Nehemiah 9:20; Isaiah 44:3; John 3:5; 1 John 5:5; Rev. 22:17)

 

Our Part in the Plan of Salvation 1SM215

  1. Accept the gift of faith to see reality as it is in Jesus (Eph. 2:8) and come to Jesus by faith.
  2. Take hold of His merits.
  3. Place our sins on Jesus.
  4. Receive His pardon.
  5. Continue beholding Jesus until we are changed into His character-likeness by the Holy Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18
  6. Think, say and do what Jesus would do were He in our place, for His sake. Eph. 2:10
  7. Love the life of Jesus unto the death of self. Rev. 12:11

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Key to Reference Abbreviations

1SM Selected Messages Volume 1

3SM Selected Messages Volume 3

5BC Volume 5 Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Ellen G. White quotation

BEcho Bible Echo perodical

GC Great Controversy by Ellen White

PP Patriarchs and Prophets by Ellen G. White followed by page number

RH Review and Herald periodical

SC Steps To Christ by Ellen White

ST Signs of the Times periodical

UL Upward Look a daily collection of quotations from Ellen White