Monday, September 28, 2009

Orthodox View of the Fall

presented by Pat Brown, Youth Pastor

Introductory Questions:
Why is the world such a confusing place?
Why is there so much trouble in relationships - ie: divorce, enmity, confusion....
Why is there so much evil in the world?
Why must we be saved and why is it that only Jesus can save?
Finally, for Christians in particular, why do we still do bad things, lack contentment and understanding in our lives? Rom. 7:10-24

(The Christian contention is that Christianity holds the answers to these questions and that no other religion does.)


I. The Dual Nature of Humanity.
A. Physical Body
1. The fact that we have a physical body is not disputed.
2. The physical body is a distinct substance, having its own distinct properties.
Note: the physical body will be revived - resurrected - and be eternally connected with the soul.

B. Immaterial soul
1. Biblical texts proving the soul:
Matt. 10:28
Rev. 6:9

2. Biblical Texts proving the spirit:
Luke 8:55
Acts 7:59
James 2:26
3. Definition of the soul:
a. the soul or spirit is the non-physical, rational substance in which the rational faculties - intellect, will, and affections - are grounded
b. the soul/spirit is immortal and survives the death of the physical body.
Biblical support for intermediate state: 11 Cor. 5:8
11 Peter 1:13-14

4. Definition of intellect - or mind- will and affections
a. Intellect: the faculty of the soul that knows, deliberates, or thinks and assents to the truth.
b. Will: the faculty of the soul that provides it the appetite or desires needed to make decisions - the inclination; the orientation of the soul towards a particular end or goal.
Note: the will must be inclined to the Holy or inclined to self: it cannot be neutral.
c. Affections: the emotions

II. The Created State of Adam and Eve

A. All of God's creation was good. Gen. 1:31
1. Adam and Eve were able to sin or not sin.
2. They had perfect knowledge and relationship with God.
3. This is due to the fact that their hearts were directed toward God - the ultimate good.

B. They were created in God's image: Gen. 1:26-27
1. We are intrinsically valuable.
a. We are personal: intellect, will, emotions
b. We are eternal: in that God has chosen to sustain us for eternity.
c. We make moral decisions that have ultimate consequences.
2. Humanity is a species. God created male and female. From them comes ALL humanity.
a. Different from angels - they were probably created individually
b. We inherit our traits from Adam and Eve.

III. Adam and Eve's Souls after the Fall

A. Their wills were now inclined to selfishness
B. Adam and Eve's choice to sin was a selfish choice; an attempt to make themselves like God.
C. Their souls no longer were inclined toward holiness and their relationship with God was severed.

IV. Humanity's Soul after the Fall

A. Adam and Eve's sin resulted in what we call the sin nature. IMPORTANT: The change in Adam and Eve's nature was inheritable. In other words, the change in their nature was such that it would be passed on to all humanity.

B. Summary of effects resulting from the fall:
Adam and Eve fell; sin and, therefore, evil entered the world; all humans were subsequently born with a sin nature.
T his means that after death, depending on their state at the time of their death, they will -- a: go to heaven, or b: the will go to hell.

C. Biblical support for the fall of humanity.
1. Romans 5:12
2. Romans 5:15
3. Romans 5:16
4. Romans 5:18
5. Romans 3:10
6. Jer. 17:9
7. Ezek. 36:25-27

V. Nature Talk

All of humanity is born with a sin nature. Inclined to selfishness. All that we do is for selfish reasons, and therefore all that we do is wrong. We are born with a defective will.

B. We sin because we have a sin nature:
1. The sin does not cause the nature, but the nature causes the sin.
2. NOTE: God is perfect due to His perfect nature. His actions did not cause Him to become perfect. It is His perfect nature that causes His perfect actions.

C. Humanity is born in a state, such that it cannot NOT sin.
The sin nature makes in impossible for humans not to sin.
2. Due to the fact that nature determines the action, and a creature cannot determine its nature, the only way to fix a defective nature is by the power of the Creator God.

NOTE: We all choose to sin, and therefore have intentional sin on our record for which we will be judged -- unless we have accepted Jesus' payment for our sins.

Next Sunday - continuation with: What we can do to fix this.

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