Sunday, March 9, 2014 4:44 AM

Consequences of Sin

Sunday, March 9, 2014 4:44 AM
Sunday, March 9, 2014 4:44 AM

The sin of Adam and Eve was not an isolated event. The consequences for them, for posterity and for the world are immediately apparent.

a. Man’s attitude to God

The changed attitude to God on the part of Adam indicates the revolution that took place in their minds. They ‘hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God’ (Gn3:8). Made for the presence and fellowship of God, they now dreaded encounter with him (Jn3:20). Shame and fear were now the dominant emotions (Gn2:25; Gen3:7, Gen3.10), indicating the disruption that had taken place.

b. God’s attitude to man

Not only was there a change in man’s attitude to God, but also in God’s attitude to man. Reproof, condemnation, curse, expulsion from the garden are all indicative of this. Sin is one-sided, but its consequences are not. Sin elicits God’s wrath and displeasure, and necessarily so, because it is the contradiction of what he is. For God to be complacent towards sin is an impossibility, since it would be for God to cease to take himself seriously. He cannot deny himself.

c. Consequences for the human race

The unfolding history of man furnishes a catalogue of vices (Gn. 4:8, Gn4.19, Gen4.23; Gen6:2–3, Gen6.5). The sequel of abounding iniquity results in the virtual destruction of mankind (Gn. 6:7, Gen6.13; Gen7:21–24). The Fall had abiding effect not only upon Adam and Eve but upon all who descended from them; there is racial solidarity in sin and evil.

d. Consequences for creation

The effects of the Fall extend to the physical cosmos.

‘Cursed is the ground because of you’ (Gn3:17; Rom8:20). Man is the crown of creation, made in God’s image and, therefore, God’s vicegerent (Gn1:26). The catastrophe of man’s Fall brought the catastrophe of curse upon that over which he was given dominion. Sin was an event in the realm of the human spirit, but it has its repercussions in the whole of creation.

e. The appearance of death

Death is the epitome of sin’s penalty. This was the warning attached to the prohibition of Eden (Gn2:17), and it is the direct expression of God’s curse upon man the sinner (Gn3:19). Death in the phenomenal realm consists in the separation of the integral elements of man’s being. This dissolution exemplifies the principle of death, namely, separation, and it comes to its most extreme expression in separation from God (Gn3:23.). Because of sin death is invested with a fear and terror for man (Lk12:5; Heb2:15).[1]

[1] Milne, B. A. with J.M. (1996). Sin. In (D. R. W. Wood, I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, & D. J. Wiseman, Eds.)New Bible dictionary. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

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