8. Man, Sin, and Relationships: Who We Are. What’s the Problem?
The Article: Survey of Bible Doctrine: Man and Sin
Unfortunately, late in the rise of the modern era, educational leaders and clergy alike began to deeply embrace the doctrine of evolution (see e.g. the article on our site, entitled, Darwinism and New England Theology). Nowadays, it is nothing short of a staple belief, a basic requirement and core value fueling much scientific inquiry, especially in fields such as astronomy and genetics. Though the particular origins of the evils in our western society today are multi-informed, the credence given evolution undoubtedly accounts for a good deal of the philosophical foundation upon which the legalization of crimes against humanity—sanctioned by the state, no less—have been carried out. In short, we have knowingly abandoned the biblical truth that all people are created in the image of God.
This survey article attempts to orient you to the doctrine of man’s special creation by God and the fact that he bears the image of God. It will also delve into the ruin brought on by sin and attempt to present a biblical understanding of various aspects of sin, including the relationship of the sin of Adam and Eve to our own sin and that of our parents. Finally, the article will deal with the remedy for sin that God himself has supplied and discuss the problem of sin in the life of a believer.
1. Discuss the biblical origin of man as well as alternative theories.
2. In what sense are we created in the image of God?
3. What are two common views of man, both of which claim biblical support? Why is it difficult to be certain on this issue?
4. Describe the actual fall of man as well as the results. What is sin?
5. What is inherited, imputed, and personal sin? How do they differ from one another and how are they related?
The Article: The Doctrine of Sin
The Bible uses several terms to paint a clear picture of the nature of sin. The basic idea, however, can be distilled down to “rebellion”—rebellion which leads to missing the mark of God’s perfect standard of love and holiness. In a sense we are lawless creatures. But where did all this start? How did sin enter the human race and what is the relationship of our sin to the sin of the fallen angels or demons? We will cover these questions in this article. We will also discuss the consequences of sin such as guilt and how God has dealt with our sin (i.e., expiation).
1. What are some words in the OT and in the NT that refer to sin? What exactly do they mean?
2. What is the basic meaning of the NT word for sin, hamartia? What are some examples of hamartia in our lives?
3. What is the basic meaning of the NT term anomia and anomos? How does Romans 14:23 relate to the issue of sin and making decisions in the Christian life?
4. Describe the entrance of sin into the human race? What are some unanswered questions surrounding the account of the fall of man? Why is it that God doesn’t seem to have answered all our questions about the entrance of sin into the human race?
5. What is the extent of sin and what is the problem with teaching the doctrine of inherited sin? Why are people so offended at this biblical concept?
6. What are some of the consequences of sin and what do we mean when we talk about the experience of guilt?
7. What does expiation mean? How does it relate to the problem of our sin and God’s wrath?
The Book: Understanding People, by Larry Crabb
Note: This book is not available on our web site, but can be purchased at most Christian bookstores.
This book explores the depth of our depravity and how it has deeply affected our ability to love others well. After exposing the false hope of modern Christianity (i.e., its unfounded belief about how real change occurs), the book is broken up into four sections dealing with (1) looking beneath the surface of our lives, (2) coming face to face with our thirst, (3) the sinful ways in which we attempt to quench our thirst, and (4) what it really means to move in the direction of genuine and permanent life change.
We will not include any questions on this book because there is a study manual that goes with it. The student is urged to acquire both.