Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

The Fall of Man

Redemption God formed man as the pinnacle of His creative work. He put him in the beautiful garden in Eden, and rested. “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good…” (Genesis 1:31).

The wise man of Ecclesiastes gave an insightful description of the creation of man, and the problem of sin that followed his making. “Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes” (Ecclesiastes 7:29). In the phrase “sought out,” there is an indication of man’s will. When he created man, God gave him free will. Free will is what separates man from the animals, and makes it accurate to describe him as being made in God’s image (cf. Genesis 1:27).

Free will, and the wrong choices men have universally made (cf. Romans 3:23), is what necessitates God’s grand scheme or plan for redeeming man. As Paul wrote, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). The one man mentioned by Paul is Adam, and the entrance of sin into the world is recorded in the third chapter of Genesis.

Sin is defined as an act of disobedience to divine law. This is certainly accurate regarding the Genesis events. God had commanded man not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (cf. Genesis 2:17), and warned him “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” It would seem that such a warning would be sufficient to ensure Adam and Eve’s conforming to the divine law. But, it did not—and often does not today.

Satan, in the guise of the serpent, lied to Eve, telling her, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (3:4-5). Tempted by him, Eve succumbed to her illicit desire for the food, and ate of the tree. Later, she gave the fruit to Adam, and he likewise disobeyed the command of God.

God had not lied. He banished Adam and Eve from His presence, the spiritual consequence of transgressing God’s laws. Isaiah put it clearly, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

There is an erroneous concept that exists regarding the events of Genesis, chapter three. Contrary to what the Calvinist believes, the guilt of Adam is not inherited by the rest of humanity. The concept of inherited depravity is clearly refuted by Ezekiel 18:20, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” While we may suffer physical consequences from the sin of others, our guilt or innocence is entirely of our own making. God is just!

Shortly after God made Adam and Eve, they sinned. Since then, sin has been a universal condition. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Fallen man needs redemption. He is incapable of redeeming himself. Thankfully, God has intervened and formulated a plan. Salvation is possible for all!