Please discuss both the original and current nature of humanity.
In order to understand the original and current nature of humanity, we must venture right to the beginning of our creation. In Genesis 1:26-30, we see the creation account where God decides to create man in His image and provides for them everything that is needed. Interestingly, in Genesis 1:31 we see God’s proclamation that “it was very good”. This is not just a simple classification but an escalated declaration of God’s assessment of His created works. If we look to just prior to the account of man’s creation in Genesis 1:25, we see that preceding our creation God has declared his works “good” not “very good”. Something special had occurred and that was the entry of man a unique element of His creation that shared in His image (more information on what this means in this post on being made in the image of God).
Man’s nature contained an intrinsic resemblance of God’s divine nature. Both male and female were made with God’s hands and thus no lack of equality is present. Some even have cleverly presented that woman was created after man as God’s final creation act and thus in verse 31 declares it all “very good”. At this time free will was given to man and a command was given to not eat of the tree.
Interestingly, Eve makes a mistake even when confronted by Satan saying that God said not to touch it (Genesis 3:3, Genesis 2:17). In fact, God did not make this provision – He only says not to eat of it. Eve is enticed by the serpent to taste of the tree and share in God’s wisdom – greed and pride are at the heart here. This is where we begin to understand that pride is the father of all sin or as C.S. Lewis accurately articulated “According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. . . Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” The fall happens from the disobedience of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 and this starts a chain reaction that reverberates at the core of humanity since we share in this original sin in some mysterious way (Romans 5:12, 5:15; 5:19).
I would like to quote from a message embedded within a song by Shai Linne entitled “In Adam all die”, as it captures the heart of our predicament in an insightful and powerful way:
“The problem with the human race is not most deeply that everyone does various kinds of sins. Behind all of our depravity, behind all of our guilt, behind all of our personal sinning, there is this mysterious connection or union with Adam our father who sinned and we being in him in some mysterious way also sinned and died and are condemned. What Christ has done for all who are in Him is far greater than what Adam did for all who were in him. It is all about the superiority of the work of Christ for those who are in Him over against what happened to all who were in Adam!”
The current state:
As we proceed through the repercussions of this original sin we see that our image is tarnished (Genesis 5:3; 1 Corinthians 15:48-49) as sin and death (spiritual and physical) has entered into the world. This inherited sin is not without evidence when we honestly reflect on our humanity. Many in the New Age movement (really old age mysticism Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, etc.) would like to present our nature as being good and yet I can honestly say I feel Adam’s sinful nature in my heart and mind if I take true stock. I do not dare clothe myself in a self-righteous image as the New Age or many religions do but understand the reality of the birth of sin in humanity (Job 15:14; Job 25:4, Psalm 51:5, Isaiah 48:8, John 3:6).
Our current state as children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3) is derived from this ancestry and begets the evil that is within us (Genesis 6:5; Genesis 8:21; Jeremiah 16:12; Matthew 15:19). We are completely fallen – mind, body, soul and we have all missed God’s mark (Romans 3:23) resulting in an estranged relationship with Him (Genesis 3:8; Psalm 58:3; Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 1:21). Not only are we estranged but we are now in the bondage of sin (Romans 6:19; Romans 7:5; Romans 7:23; Galatians 5:17; Titus 3:3) enslaved to the devil (2 Timothy 2:26; Hebrews 2:14-15). This estrangement begets enslavement which begets death (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13) and it is this evil chain that defines the current state of humanity.
To close, we are not left in this most dire of states (Job 21:30, Romans 5:18, Romans 5:21, Romans 6:2) set for a crash course for eternal death. Praise God, we have absolution! We understand that no man can remedy this greatest of calamities (Proverbs 20:9, Jeremiah 2:22, Jeremiah 13:23). Many will claim to do so and many will teach and discuss virtue but Christ was unique. Jesus did not just teach and present knowledge/awareness as the solution but rather said that – He is the solution. He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life (John 14:6). It isn’t about teaching. It isn’t about being good. It is a God-based remedy (Genesis 3:15, John 3:16) for our current state of death and is a penalty paid by Jesus Himself. All teachers taught about precepts and died and stayed dead. Jesus didn’t just talk or teach; He died personally, rose again and is alive today!
If you’d like to learn more about this please feel free to ask a Christian friend or email me and we can chat.0