Today, the world is in state of confusion in regard to truth. Truth is no longer absolute, but it is situational. As a result of these situational ethics, humanity is ill prepared to respond to situations that it is faced with. Sin has clouded the judgment and focus of all humanity. In light of this, we need to go back and find out how this world became like it is. We need to see how sin started, and progressed so we can understand how we are to live our lives today in this sinful (disobedient) world.
The origin of sin resides in the first two human beings ever created. In the beginning God created Adam and Eve perfect i.e. without sin. As a result of them being without sin, they didn’t die, or face physical ailments (Rom. 7.9). They were given one commandment (or rule) to obey, do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2.17). Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, resulting in the beginning of sin in the human race. Hamartia, is the Greek word for sin, and it means to “miss the mark.” Adam and Eve missed the target of obedience to what God told them to do. This resulted in their spiritual death (separation) from God, but God promised them that they would be redeemed (cleansed) from their sin (Gen. 3.15). God at the time of the disobedience also provided forgiveness for Adam and Eve with a blood sacrifice of an innocent living animal (Gen. 3.21).
All human beings are physical descendants of Adam (because they were physically present in his body at the time of his disobedience), which means they are born sinners (Rom. 5:12). The Mosaic Law was handed down to the Israelites, and it became a standard (rule) of how to live your life to please God (Rom. 7.12). The purpose of the Law was to make man realize that he was naturally sinful (disobedient to God) (Rom. 7.7). There was sin in the world before the Law of Moses was introduced, but the people were not held accountable for the sin they were committing because God had not made any rules (commandments) forbidding what they were doing (Rom. 5.13). Even though there was no Law to forbid what they were doing, people continued to die because they had the presence of sin in their bodies (Rom. 5.14). A system of blood sacrifice (of innocent animals) was set up, so that humanity would not be without hope.
The Israelites began to think if they obeyed the Mosaic Law well enough, that they could be saved by their good works, (deeds of obedience) (Rom. 9.31). But sin (residing in our bodies) saw the amount of rules (commandments) that we were asked to follow, and took the opportunity to cause us to desire to disobey the rules of God (Rom 7.8, 23). Adam’s sin introduced physical and spiritual death to the human race, if a person continues in this path of sin it results in eternal punishment (hell) (Rom. 6.23a). The Law itself was good, but people being “human” (sinful) keep breaking the Law, which means that they cannot be “justified” (clean before God) by the Law (Rom. 3.19-20). God realizing that the human race could not make themselves clean (achieve innocence) before Him (Rom. 3.10-18), provided for them an innocent sacrifice as He did with Adam and Eve (Rom. 5.8). Following the Law (doing good deeds) only brings the wrath of God (Rom. 4.15a) because eventually you will do something wrong (Rom. 3.20). Since man is not innocent (Rom. 3.23), he needs something to take his place that is innocent, so God came in the flesh to accomplish this task (Rom. 3.21-26). So all those who believe in their heart that God came in the flesh (Rom. 8.1-3), and the shedding of His blood was good enough to cleanse us from all of our sin and its death penalty (hell) coming back to life the third day, and confess this with their mouth are saved from eternal punishment and separation from God (Rom. 4.20-5.2). If you believe that what God says He has done is good enough to cleanse you and save you, you are saved from the eternal results of your sin (Rom. 6.23). We find that God is the one that offers the free gift of salvation through Jesus by faith (recognizing that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus accomplishes what God said that it does), which brings the conclusion that man is saved by the grace (unmerited favor) of God (Rom. 5.1-2). All men saved by grace through faith will never have to worry about eternal judgment in hell (Rom. 10.9-13).
Through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (accepting that what He did on the cross was good enough to fulfill the debt of sin we have), we receive the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8.9). The Holy Spirit enables us to obey all that God asks us to do (Rom. 8.4), and gives evidence that we have become children of God (Rom. 8.16). “Living a sanctified life (set apart, or noticeably different) is proof that we are in God’s family. We live like our Father in heaven desires us to live. If we were of our father the devil, we’d live like the devil. But since we are part of the family of God, we are to live like a family member and not be an embarrassment to our Father,” (Kroll 127). The Holy Spirit causes us to have the same desires as God (Rom. 8.14), which includes the desire to share the news about His free gift to all mankind (Rom. 1.16). With this knowledge that we now have of how we were destined for hell, but God has given us a new destination through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ, we will have the desire to share this good news with everyone that we come into contact with (Rom. 10.14-18).
This new life that we have “in Christ” (since He has vouched for us with His Father) causes us to live differently. It causes us to have a different outlook on the issues of this world. There is a lot of fear in the world today. There is fear of being lonely, being hurt, becoming ill, and going to hell. Christians (followers of Christ, or children of God) do not have to be enslaved by this fear. We have been delivered from all uncertainty (1 Jn. 4.17-18). Many people in the world today suffer from separation anxiety, they fear that those that are closest to them will abandon them or harm them. As children of God we will never have to worry about being separated from God, or harmed by Him (Rom. 8.38-39). The human race is filled with sadness, because they don’t achieve fulfillment in their lives. They continue to pursue different avenues to arrive at this fulfillment, and ultimately fail in all their attempts. They seek this fulfillment in pre-marital sex, homosexuality, and adultery (Rom. 1.26-27). We are to flee from all forms of immorality, which includes pornography, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, adultery, and we are to live a life of purity being separate from the disobedience (sin) of the world (Rom. 12.9, 1Thess. 4.3, 1 Cor. 6.18). They seek it in worship of false gods and religion (Rom. 1.23). We as children of God know that Jesus is the only way to salvation (Jn. 14.6). Christians have absolute truth in the Bible (given to them by God), which gives them all the instruction they need for how to live everyday life (2 Tim. 3.16-17). The speech of a Christian should be different than the speech of an unbeliever (Eph. 4.29-32). As Christians we know that children are a gift from God (Ps. 127.3), and abortion is not an option for a believer (Ex. 20.13). We are to be obedient to the laws of our state and federal governments (Rom. 13.1-8). People should be able to tell that we are children of God (Rom. 6.1-6).
We know that as Christians we shall not fear persecution, death, or any other thing that is thrown at us (Rom. 8.35-39). We have been chosen by God to be His children, and no one can undo that, we are forever His (eternally secure) (Rom. 8.28-34). So while the world frets, and fears we shall be secure in the fellowship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Rom. 8.1, 33-34). Charles Stanley in the introduction of his book, The Reason For My Hope, says the following, “Even in what have appeared to be the worst possible circumstances in my personal life, I have been, and continue to be, hopeful. I may appear to be suffering loss on the outside, but I am winning on the inside. Why? Because I am always looking to the Lord. He is a victorious Lord; failure and futility are totally alien to His nature. He imparts to me His victory, His righteousness, His perspective, His wisdom, His faith,” (viii).
We have hope and strength in all things because we belong to God. Our Christian worldview is summed up in the following verse so eloquently put by the apostle Paul, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither depth, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Rom. 8.37-39).
Stanley, Charles F. The Reason For My Hope. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997.
Kroll, Woodrow. Romans: Righteousness in Christ. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2002.