The Tragedy of Man's Ruin By Sin
By Elder Kenneth Clevenger
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My purpose of this writing is to try to excite the reader to a further and more complete study of the Tragedy of Manís Ruin by Sin and his totally depraved state. Because a true understanding of redemption cannot be understood until we perceive the close connection which God ordained between Christ and the Redeemer, neither can the tragedy of mans ruin be considered in its proper perception unless we closely examine Adamís rebellion from his Creator.
Adam was our covenant head and federal representative as he stood for the whole human race, in him God dealt with all who would issue from him. If he had not been our federal head his sin would not have involved us, but, because he was, his transgression was imputed to all that would issue from him. (Romanís 5:12)
Adamís sin was abominable indeed. Fearful are the wages it earns and dreadful are its effects. The consequences show Godís hatred for sin in the terrible doom of Adam. For in His wrath He drove him from His presence and made it impossible, by his own efforts, for him ever to be able to return unto Him. (Genesis 3 :22-23)
Adamís offense was not that measured from his eating the forbidden fruit alone, but for his rebellion against and ingratitude toward his creator, who had so richly endowed him with all that was in Eden; for his being discontent with his good allotment and wanting more; for his disrespect and disbelief in God; and for his believing the serpentís lie. There was a contempt for Godís high authority and His covenant and a defiance of His solemn threat. He deliberately presumptuously (boldly, willfully, and confidentially) and arrogantly defied God his creator. How sad.
Why would God ever extend Grace and mercy to such sinners, or ever give the spirit of His only begotten son to save such wretched creatures as we are. For we are Adam multiplied; we are by nature the same vessels of wrath as he, alienated from God, loving sin and hating God. (Romanís 8:7) No wonder the Apostle John proclaimed Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. ( l John3:1.)
When Adam revolted against God, the evil effects immediately became apparent. His original understanding and wisdom became darkened and overcast by gross ignorance. His heart, formerly filled with respect and reverence for his Creator and warm with love toward him, now became alienated and filled with enmity against Him. His will, which was inclined toward God, had cast off the yoke of obedience, and now ran rampant in rebellion. His moral constitution was wrecked and became immoral and perverse, naked of the original morality.
His fear, opposition, and dislike for the Omniscient One appeared in his flight from Him as soon as he heard his approach. His gross ignorance and stupidity were spotlighted when he vainly attempted to hide from the eyes of Omniscience. His vain pride nakedly appeared when he refused to acknowledge his guilt. His gross ingratitude abounded when he seemingly upbraided God for giving him a wife, whom he blamed for causing him to sin.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew they were naked. (Genesis 3:9.) Notice, we do not read of any change taking place when Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, but as soon as Adam did so the eyes ofí them both were opened. This confirms, as we said earlier, that Adam was the covenant head and legal representative of his wife, as well as all of the future children which would issue from them.
But what is meant by the eyes of them both were opened? It was not their physical eyes for they had previously been opened. Surely, it meant the eyes of their understanding (the eyes of conscience) they perceived they had suffered a great loss both in body and soul, namely the loss of their innocence, for where they did have peace they now felt remorse and wretchedness. And where they hoped by eating: the forbidden fruit to acquire a supernatural wisdom, they had instead reduced themselves to a state of fear, shame, ignorance, misery, and wretchedness.
They knew they were naked, although in their original created state they wore no clothing, there was a change with Adamís transgression that made them feel naked and ashamed. (Genesis 2:24) We should consider; if the flesh of Jesus Christ was the likeness of sinful flesh, there must be a difference between the appearance of sinful flesh and flesh in its original condition when Adam was created. Jesus then was not made in the likeness of the flesh of man before sin entered the world, but in the likeness of his sinful flesh. (Philippians 3:21)
Their nakedness, their loss of the image of God, was then both in body and soul, and such is the awful condition of all their offspring. That is why Jesus says to come buy of him white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear, etc. (Revelation 3:18.)
They must have been consciously aware of a great change in their outward appearance, and had a knowledge within their Soul that a fearful deed of disobedience had been committed. They realized their happiness had been flung away, and they had plunged themselves into misery. They knew they were naked of any of the original purity, glory, holiness or morality they were created with, for the glory of the Lord had departed from them and they were naked before God and each other.
And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8.) They now have a dread of God, instead of welcoming His presence, as they did in their original sinless state, they are now horrified and flee from His presence. So we can see that for them to even attempt to hide from their Creator reveals that sin had turned man into an utter fool, for none but an imbecile would imagine that he could conceal himself from the eyes of Omniscience. They no longer felt they were the objects of His favor but instead were the subjects of His wrath. And so swift came this drastic change following their sin.
Even before they had tried to hide from God upon the discovery of their nakedness they sewed themselves aprons of fig leaves in an attempt to preserve their self-respect and make themselves presentable to one another. Thus, it continues with their seed today. By a variety of efforts they seek to conceal their fallen and depraved nature and its acts from one another, and even from God, but, can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord (Jeremiah 23 24)
When Adam was confronted by God, Adam said I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself, and God said, Who told thee that thou was naked. To this inquiry Adam made no reply. Then the Lord asked, Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? Adam answers apparently with a heart hardened by sin, For there doesnít seem to be any deep sorrow for his disobedience, nor does he humble himself before God begging for mercy; but, instead, in a manner of self justification, he attempts to excuse his wickedness by throwing the blame to another. With a dishonest and deceitful heart, rather than take the blame upon himself he sought to place it upon his wife. (Genesis 3:9-12, compare Genesis 2:24-25.)
But Adam did not just say My wife gave me of the tree, and I did eat,. but he challenges God Himself, saying, The woman whom thou gayest me, as if he were saying, If thou had not given me that woman, (contemptuously not even calling her by name) I would not have eaten Pride, vanity, self righteousness, conceit, act., now manifested the heinous sinful nature of man in his fallen state. Satan now ruling his kingdom established within man.
Eve followed the same Pattern., She did not humble herself before God, but vainly attempts to place the blame upon the serpent. Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception, in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shalt be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And to Adam He said Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herbs of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground for out of it was thou taken; for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return. (Genesis 3:16-20.)
So we can see by this that the penal consequences of sin are inherited by all the posterity of Adam and Eve. The sorrow of conception, and pain of child birth have ever been the lot of all of Eveís daughters, and Adamís sons, in every generation in all the earth, have lived by their labor, toil and sweat, and finally all decay and die of sin and return to the ground from which they came.
Because of Adamís disobedience he was sent forth from the Garden of Eden. He drove out the man and placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubims and a flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis 3:23-24.)
Thus we see that man by nature is an outcast, driven away by God from His Presence, devoid of His favor and fellowship, sent forth as a fugitive.
By his disobedience, Adam fell under the holy condemnation and curse, and received the awful wages of sin, alienated from God, totally depraved, and an object of abhorrence of the Holy One; driven from His presence. In consequence, every child of his loins (all men and women born in the world since) are born in disgrace, condemnation and outside of Eden. Oh, the tragedy of manís ruin by sin.
Dear brethren when we consider where we came from, what we are, and by the grace of God where we are going, how can we keep from being humble and feeling individually as the least of all the saints. Surely, we should do as the Apostle John, and prayerfully consider ĎBehold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God ( l John 3:1)
May God bless us all.
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