There was no fall (almost)


(Michel Martin) #1
  • The first creation is separated from God;
  • The second creation is in God;
  • Jesus-Christ is the only door from the first to the second;
  • First humans, though iconic, had no spiritual life;
  • Outside Eden, earth looked very much like the earth we live on today;
  • Probability that Adam and Eve would sin was 100%;
  • Nothing special with that sin;
  • After that sin, Adam and Eve:
    • Lost their innocence;
    • Were introduced into our ordinary world;
    • Lost access to the tree that gives life;
  • All that is part of a very good plan.

What does original sin actually mean and what are its consequences?
(George Brooks) #2

@Smikes

I like the title of your thread (almost).

Instead of a Fall, we could call it The Expulsion.

In His own words, God says he will not tolerate Adam and Eve having access to the Tree of Life in their current circumstances. And so they are expelled from Eden.

If there had been a Fall, the implication is that in a “fallen state” Adam and Eve would not be able to eat from the Tree of Life. But God makes it clear that they still could - - if he let them.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #3

What do you mean by this line? I mean, after all, they lived in a place where YHWH walked around the garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8). To me, this presumes some sort of habitual familiarity or intimacy prior to the shame described in the following verses.


(Michel Martin) #4

Correct. God did walk and talk with them. But God may talk to anyone at any time he decides, including talking to Cane, to Balaam and to the devil. That does not indicate nor require a spiritual life in these persons nor a spiritual relationship with them.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #5

Interesting. I guess I’m curious what you mean, then, by the concept of “a spiritual life,” and what role does it play in your interpretation of Adam?


(Michel Martin) #6

Simply, I mean an authentic relationship with God through faith; like, for instance, it can be said of Abel (for the sake of chronological proximity).


#7

That is an interesting take.

Especially if they were created separate from God. Rom 8:6 “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”

We also know that Rom 8:20-23
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21thath the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

And
Col 1:15-17 “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

We were created to glorify Him, but He is also glorified in demonstrating His love towards us in Jesus. The whole of creation groaned, since the beginning, waiting for Jesus so glorify God in saving us, so I agree we were 100% going to sin.

I never thought of it like that before that we were created in the flesh separate from God in spirit, and that is why we sinned, because separate from Him, we will sin.

Though some might argue that God said it was good. Why would God create a ‘flawed’ thing and call it good. We know (unless you are a YEC) that the death/nitrogen cycle occurred for millions of years before Adam and it was good. We know that God was glorified through Jesus in us flawed humans and we could have also been deemed good, yet flawed.

The only thing I have against that is that the wages of sin is death. The only thing that separates us from God is sin. But i guess you could say that a life apart from God (which I guess we were since we did sin) was why we sinned and that we were born in flesh sinners and separated from God.

Interesting…

A very good plan indeed, the redemptive power and demonstration of the love of God in Jesus!

I don’t know what version you read that said “God will not tolerate Adam having access”. I see a verse that says "The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, “He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life.”

It is hard to tell your tone online, but it seems to me like you think God was concerned/worried that Adam might be given an advantage when eating from the tree. Where I see it as God didn’t want us to be disadvantaged by it. So I guess “wouldn’t tolerate” works either way.
But I do think two possible scenarios.

  1. That God in His mercy, would not want us to live an eternal life apart from Him, suffering as we will/are apart from Him.

  2. God is the metaphorical tree of life, and in Him things live forever, and He is so holy that it would be torturous suffering to be with Him in our less than holy state. Still it being ultimately beneficial for us not to eat from the tree in a fallen state.

Like God having a perfect model house or boat, and before spraying it with glue to stay like that forever, it gets knocked over. Like Him diving in front of the spray can so the broken model doens’t get permanently glued together in an atrocious state.

Or in the OP’s mind view, our model was never quite right, and we can only achieve our perfect model when we are born again spiritually, and again, God doesn’t want us to ‘permanently glue’ our messed up states.

So yes I agree they still could, eat from the tree, but He didn’t let us because He is merciful and His will, will be done, and a messed up creation or us suffering forever is not His will.

Like when a sinful person went into God’s presence or touched the arc, they died. I don’t know if that was punishment or mercy. If you were to live as a sinful person in the presence of God, that would be torture. Getting to close to the sun, you burn up, but if you didn’t burn up and die, you would be in incredible pain. That is the “fear of God” I think the OT refers to. We need to have a healthy respect/understanding of the holiness of God.

I know death is the opposite of life, and before birth, you don’t have life. So are you suggesting that prior to ones spiritual life/birth, that one is not just dead, but doesn’t have a spirit at all? One must have lived a live to die, so prior to birth we are not dead, just not living yet.

Which I guess leads me to another quandary with your concept. We were created to be His image bearers. Wouldn’t that require us to have been living spirits to achieve this?

Regardless if you are right or not, I kind of treat it like Annihilationism. I can see how many verses can support that view, and it might be right, it doesn’t change my faith or who God is, if that helps others overcome a stumbling block to find God, than my God receive the glory. I haven’t heard that one before though. I hope you can give some good supporting answers to my questions/thoughts.


(George Brooks) #8

@still_learning

Oh for goodness sake. One thing to learn, Mr. Still Learning, is that when you agree with someone, don’t keep arguing with him.

You write: "I don’t know what version you read that said “God will not tolerate Adam having access… and then after much hemming and hawing… you write: ‘I guess “wouldn’t tolerate” works either way.’

All you are doing is making what you write less meaningful - - when you can write a bunch of sentences and still end up agreeing that another’s interpretation could work.

The point of my post was that if even after destroying the universe by his transgression, God acknowledges that Adam could still be immortal by eating the Tree of Life … it’s not much of a Fall. We should all have a “demotion” like that!

Instead of a Fall, it was more of an expulsion. Can we be sure? Well, when someone Falls, it usually means he can’t reach the prize. But in this case, Adam is expelled… and yet he can still reach the prize - - which is why God has to set up an armed angel with a flaming sword.


(Michel Martin) #9
  • Humans are not ‘flawed’:
    • They are no less wonderful than the rest of the creation;
    • But: they are infinitely less wonderful than God;
  • All glory to God: what is it that is called good and very good:
    • The project of God;
    • The realization of the project of God.

Note:

  • Human life is too complex and too important to be left to humans;
  • Or: if you want live a human life, you had better be (in) God.

#10

I am not submitting a college thesis…it is more like real life interaction. I discuss, think aloud, ask questions, ge answers, answer questions. Stupid things are said, wrong things are said, some wisdom or knowledge might come out too. It feels to cold and acedemic to have a rehearsed, thought out, revised, and polished post, more like a blog. Though I do try to edit typos, and do revise some things, but that is to make it clear, not to redact my thoughts. My posts aren’t a final draft for a thesis. I have typos, my mind changes, I am still discovering, still learning…

Just as you watched me go from a OEC to an EC. Would you rather I be stubborn and close minded, never change my mind, but have ‘perfect’ posts?

Hmmmm. I guess we have different definitions of that word? If you aren’t perfect, you are flawed or have a flaw in you that removes perfection. But I guess that is a material world definition.

As one can look at a child born without an arm and see them “perfect” as in how God intended them to be.

What about Rom 5:12
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—”

It says death entered through one man, Adam. The only way for us to be born dead, we be if Adam was born dead, and all of us through Adam.

Vs 13 “To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law.“

That says sin was in the world before Adam. But the wages of sin or charges of sin (death) were not there until the law came.

Are are you saying that we are all born (spiritually) dead, and all born sinners (human, not God) and it was the revealing/coming of the law that revealed to us that we are sinners and dead. We were always dead sinners, we just didn’t know it until the law showed that to us.

That kind of makes sense to me and agrees with scripture…but for the terminology. In order to have death, you need to have had a life first. Before you are physically born, you are not considered dead, you are non-existent. How could we be created/born (spiritually) dead?

That is where the ‘traditional’ narrative makes more sense. That we created spiritually alive and with God, and it is only when we sin, that those wages are death.

I disagree with this. Animals and trees are living things. But they don’t have a spirit. I have always thought of them as spiritually non-existent, but I guess they could be considered spiritually dead in that context.

But I guess if you mean all of creation was created to give Him glory, and in that, we are no less wonderful. A the heavens, stars, animals, and humans who do their purpose, all declare His glory. So in that sense, no less wonderful.

But I can have a robot or a worker or a slave to chores/tasks for me. But none of those seem to give me as much joy as my child, who had a choice, to do things for me, or as I would. In that sense, I think the children of God who do chose His will, are more wonderful than the rest of creation.

He also made a very finely tuned universe for human existence, which makes it seem like He thinks we are more wonderful than the rest of creation.

So I think you (or myself) has convinced me of your stance in many areas. But I still can understand that God created us to be be an image bearer of Him.

Unless you are saying, He did create us as an image bearer of Him, in that He created us dead, and needing to have Him live in us to be His image bearer. So life only comes through Him.

Or for a biblical analogy, like a tree, that can only produce fruit from the living waters of God.

I have always said God created us to depend on Him. I think I have been preaching exactly what you claim. I was just wording differently and from a different perspective. I kind of like your perspective though, thanks for sharing that.

Though other language used like redemption and restoration is used. Like we once were alive, we died, and need to be restored back to life.

I am hoping there are some that come out to regute this, or think of reasons or challenges that I could not, to test it further.

Can you expand on that one?


#11

I did some thinking and came up with an analogy that Inthink fits.

Like God created us as lamps…which provide no light…until plugged in. We are humans, which give God no glory…until God lives in us. The lamp isn’t producing the light, but it is displaying it, like an image displays a concept/idea, but isn’t the idea. We aren’t God, but we are able to display His image, when He flows through us.

I always read Isaiah 64:6 to say that we are dirty as in we are bad/disgusting. Not as living or not living our purpose.

So maybe we were meant to be clean. In that our purpose was to be clean, but we cannot live that purpose of being clean. And when we try to do good things, it is like a filthy rag. A rags purpose is to clean up, it has to be clean to clean up. Meaning we can’t clean up our selves, or live up to our purpose of full potential by righteous acts. The only way to be clean or clean up comes from God.

Isaiah 64:6 could have said we are motionless or a blank page and righteous acts are like a wheel that won’t turn or a pen that won’t write.

Just like only electricity is the only way to light a bulb, God is the only way to be clean, or to live our purpose, or to glorify Him. If you try to light up or be clean or righteous in anyway apart from Him, you are like a filthy rag that can’t do its purpose.

In that sense, I guess we never fell as the thread suggests. We were just created lamps, waiting for electricity to come. Which if that is how God designed us, is not flawed.


(George Brooks) #12

@still_learning,
I am certainly not someone who has a valid stance on perfect posts. By all means, continue your investigations.


(George Brooks) #13

@still_learning

Now that’s interesting, right?

Romans 5:13
“To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law.“

So even before God commanded Adam not to eat the fruit, there was sin in the world! I think this pretty much smacks down all this talk about perfection prior to Adam’s transgression.

How can creation have been perfect before the transgression? There was sin even then.

Thoughts, @Mervin_Bitikofer ?


(Mervin Bitikofer) #14

I’m with you in all this. Others more eager to defend certain narrow orthodoxies would probably try to point out that “the law” must refer to the Mosaic law of Sinai. But this has been successfully hashed through in other threads. It is readily apparent that Abraham, Noah, and yes – Adam and Eve had expectations (law) that would have been familiar to them, so I tend to think scriptures are solidly with you in this.

The way I understand the paradox of “no sin before the law” (which seems to be indicated by a surface reading of some passages) vs. the “yes there was sin, but it just wasn’t charged against them” – is that I take the second statement to be a more detailed elaboration of the first observation.

I think of it like this: You may be walking through the countryside innocently enough and accidentally trespass on private property. There were no signs posted, so while your trespass is still a trespass, they can’t very well blame you for it. But we can add to this analogy to help its accuracy along a bit further. In our world we are considered without excuse even prior to our coming to know Christ, in that we should still have enough “built-in” sense as it were to know that some things are bad. So even in the absence of a “Thou shalt not murder” law, we still feel that someone is culpable if they went around killing people. So your trespass (if we make our analogy better) might involve you littering, stealing, or vandalizing wherever you walk – which is why somebody doesn’t want you on their property in the first place. Even without their sign, you are knowingly sinning just by what you do. But their sign gives a means by which legal charges can now be brought against you. Were we all respectful of each others properties and privacy, then perhaps no “no trespassing” signs would ever have been needed. Hence … law being given for the sinners.


#15

Rom 1:19-20
“since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Rom 2:12
“All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.”

I think is is pretty clear that there was sin before the law (even Adam’s law). There was sin since creation of the world. I would even say Lucifer sinned well before Adam.

I think Rom 2:14&15 would agree with that.

Vs 14&15
“(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)”

From a materialist view, it sounds like it wasn’t. But we know God’s will is perfect. So just as a child born with no legs is perfect, I guess the same could be said about a sinful Adam. This is the “perfection” we will receive in heaven.

Which opens another can of worm, like how Jesus’ glorified/resurrected body still had holes in Him. If we die and are cremated, will we be a pile of ashes? Will the “perfect” child still not have legs? That is for another thread…

Excellent analogy! I was trying to think of one, but couldn’t come up with one, thanks!

To take it a bit further, when Jesus lived His life without littering, He was invited onto God’s property. And all who trust in Jesus, are also invited onto God’s property. Though we still litter, Jesus picks up our trash constantly, so God sees us as if we are not littering, nor ever have.

So we try our best not to sin out of thanks for being invited. And we are ‘forcing’ Jesus to pick up after us every time we sin. Though I use forcing for lack of better term, but Jesus is willingly picking it up for, out of His love for us. He willingly took on and takes on our sin on the cross.

And no man can’t not litter by his own strength. Only God can’t. That is why we need, as the OP said, the second birth, or life in God, or God in us, to not litter.

So all humans are born off of God’s property, we all litter daily. Though Adam trespassed on God’s property and frequently littered, it wasnt held against him. But at some point in Adams life, the “no trespassing sign was placed”. Which God didn’t see fit to remove Adam, till he littered.

But God wanted to be with man, so He set some laws and customs. God would leave His property, to be with a still littering man in the temple. If certain laws were followed, they could be with God on human property.

But no man can be on God’s property until invited. Jesus invites all who believe and want to be with God. And I would guess (though there is very little scripture specifically addressing children, mentally challenged, remote people etc) that some might be invited?

We know that God is merciful, and Abraham’s faith was credited as righteousness. Abraham wasn’t a Christian, or a Jew. But many believe he is with God.

But I think the more “traditional fall” narrative, would say that Adam was born on God’s property, and didn’t litter until he was told not to, and then he did…in which case he was kicked off his property. Which the more I read scriptures…doesn’t seem to fit with that.

If someone was perfect, how could they sin? Clearly, they weren’t perfect, because they did sin. I don’t know why this is taught so adamantly.

Adam was naked and didn’t care, or know it. Adam littered, and he didn’t care. But when he ate from the tree of knowledge, it allowed him to realize what he was, a littering/naked human, and was ashamed. Putting clothes on and hiding is like trying to run around and pick all of that litter. Kind of like ignorance is bliss. Adam had no problem being a littering trespassing guy, until he knew he was or knew God had a problem with that.

Gen 3:10&11 “He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid. And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? ”“

Like the signs were always there, but they were blind, and the fruit gave them eyesight, to see the sign and all the litter they had done.

It’s like God told them, who told you you were trespassing and littering, you were blind, did you eat from that tree of eyesight I told you not to eat from?

Like He created us as blind littering man, just waiting for us to see all our litter and trespassing signs, so Jesus could come to save us, and live through us and stop littering and be invited in.

Rom 8:22 “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

This says that the whole point of creation and this earth and humans, was to show His love, through Jesus so God may be glorified in it all.

We were created as littering blind man , who would be rescued by Jesus, invited to His property and eventually be given life through God in us so that we litter no more, and He will receive all the glory and every knee will bow and tongue will acknowledge God.

I hope I didn’t butcher your analogy too bad @Mervin_Bitikofer

The death of materialism from @Reggie_O_Donoghue

Which post 2 would suggest that humans share some parts of the mind of God. Like animals, humans trespassed and littered. It wasn’t until man ate from the fruit and had his eyes opened that we became different than animals, we received a bit of the ‘mind of God’. But we couldn’t harness that power, we need God in us to handle it. So we were prevented from eating from the tree of life, so that we didn’t live forever, so that we could be flawed and realize we need to rely on God to control our/His mind and so that we could one day die, and receive a body that can handle it, a body with the spirit of God in us to control the mind of God in us.


The totally "unoriginal" beginning of "Original sin."
(Mervin Bitikofer) #16

I’m pleased that you found it insightful … and no, I don’t think you’re butchering it. Or if either of us is pressing it beyond its usefulness, then so be it. Analogies were made to be useful until they break. We recognize from the outset that they won’t be perfect.

The Romans 2:14,15 passage you quote is exactly what I had in mind when I was writing of “built-in” sense. Thanks for that.

I agree that Scriptures just don’t support the early perfection notion. [or at least not any ‘perfection’ such as we humans(!) could or have possibly conceived of] I can’t remember which threads or essays spoke of this, but someone here promoted the idea that the garden is (or is at least symbolic of) an idyllic paradise in the midst of a chaotic world. That theme … and humanity’s subsequent banishment from that little corner of the world out into the “wider world” of thorns and thistles, and hard life – that all seems to follow scriptural themes much more closely.

Thanks for your insights.