KLMX Sermons

Foundations of the Christian Faith- Man

Bryan Kimsey

1st Baptist Church,

Des Moines, NM

 

 

Well, here we are again on the Ministerial Alliance on KLMX radio.  I’m Bryan Kimsey, from the 1st Baptist Church in Des Moines.  This week we’ve been looking at Foundations of the Christian Faith and so far we’ve studied the Bible and God.  Today we’ll look at Man and see what the Bible says about man and his relationship with God.  Remember that if you miss any of these messages, you can find them on our church website at www.fbcdesmoines.org.  If you’d like a CD of these messages you can call us at 278.2421 and we’ll get one in the mail to you.

 

Well, guess where we’re going to start in our study of man?  That’s right- Genesis!  Genesis is always a great place to get started.  I’m going to use one of the same texts I used yesterday:

 

Genesis 1:26-28  Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."  (27)  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  (28)  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 

 

This passage tells us a lot about man.  It says that man is:

 

 

Adam and Eve were initially innocent and without the knowledge of good and evil, but as we know from Genesis 3, they were tempted by the serpent, ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, received a curse from God, and were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.   And thus began man’s life of sin. 

 

We’re going to look for the answers to a couple of questions in this study:

 

1)      Why was man created?

2)      Into what state is man born, basically good or basically sinful?

 

These two questions are closely related and are critical to our understanding of salvation.  The first question first- why was man created? 

 

First of all, God did not create man because He needed man.   Scripture makes this plain:

 

Psalms 24:1  A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.

 

Job 35:7  If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand?

 

Isaiah 42:5  Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk on it:

 

Acts 17:24-25  God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.  (25)  Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.

 

From these passages we see that God has created everything and needs nothing.  Paul states this clearly in the verse from Acts.

 

Scripture also makes it plain as to why man was created:

 

Isaiah 43:7  Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him."

 

Isaiah 46:12-13  "Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness:  (13)  I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.

 

Isaiah 48:10-11  Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.  (11)  For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; For how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another.

 

Man, then, was created to glorify God.  This can also be seen in The Greatest Commandment:

 

Deuteronomy 6:4-5  "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!  (5)  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

 

Deuteronomy 10:12-14  "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,  (13)  and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?  (14)  Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it.

 

Joshua 22:5  But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

 

The purpose for which man is created is the purpose of loving the Lord your God and glorifying Him with this love.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen.  Remember the incident in the Garden where man disobeyed God?  Disobedience is neither love nor honor.  Remember the passage from Romans 1 that I read yesterday?  It goes:

 

Romans 1:18-21  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,  (19)  because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  (20)  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,  (21)  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

 

How about this passage from Genesis:

 

Genesis 6:5-6  Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  (6)  And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

 

Or this one from Paul’s letter to Titus:

 

Titus 3:3  For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

 

Basically, man has failed in his simple task to love, obey, and honor God, his Creator.   This failure brings us to the next question which is “Is man basically good, or is man basically sinful?”  This is an important question because it deals directly with man’s salvation- which we’ll cover in more depth on Friday.  When we are saved, we receive a new heart from God.  Does God replace the good, but dirty heart with a newer and cleaner one?  Or does he replace a sinful heart that has a few clean spots, with a new and good one?   Let me be the first to tell you that this is a controversial topic which lies at the root of the difference between several church denominations.  That is, many church denominations believe that man is basically good, while others believe he is basically sinful.  My study of the issue, looking at Scripture, doctrine, history, and more Scripture leads me to believe that man is born in a state of sin.  I’ll show you why. 

 

First, let’s start with the verse that I just read a few minutes ago:

 

Genesis 6:5-6  Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  (6)  And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

 

In this passage, we see that every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart was evil.   In Ezekiel, God is talking to the house of Israel and says:

 

Ezekiel 36:26-27  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  (27)  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

 

This passage says that man initially has a heart of stone, which God replaces with a heart of flesh.  Replacing the old heart enables man to then walk in the statutes of God.  Evidently, he otherwise couldn’t do it.   King David says in Psalm 51:5:

 

Psalms 51:5  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

 

There we have just 3 of the many passages that I could draw on to illustrate that man is conceived in sin, born in sin, and has a basically sinful heart.  Two quick points:

 

1)      People who object to the doctrine of inherited sin often point to the many good works that man does.  And that’s true, man does do many good works.  But a single piece of dirt makes the cup dirty, not clean, and a single sin makes us sinful in the eyes of a holy and perfect God.  Since man was created to glorify God, the instant he does not do this, even just once, he has sinned.  You’ll see what I mean in just a second.

 

2)      When inherited sin is discussed, babies are often brought up with the comment “You’re telling me that this sweet little child is born a sinner?  How harsh!”  Well, what’s the first thing a baby does upon being born?  It cries!  A cry is used to voice displeasure and displeasure means, basically, that you’re unhappy with the role that God has assigned you.  This is a sin against God because it’s saying that God doesn’t know what’s best for you- you know better.  Adam and Eve took from the tree of knowledge of good and evil because they were unsatisfied with their station.  They were not “like God”, the serpent told them that they could be, and rather than be satisfied with their station in life, they desired to be like God, so they disobeyed God’s command, and ate.  This is essentially what happens when a baby cries and voices his displeasure at his current station.  This is sin, on a scale of which a baby is capable of sinning.  Refer back to King David’s own statement “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity”.

 

Even if you don’t think the doctrine of inherited sin is correct, how long is it before a baby disobeys his parents, thus breaking the Commandment which says “Honor your father and your mother”?  How long is it before he lies, even just a little bitty lie, which breaks the Commandment “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”?  How long before our baby covets his sibling’s toys and breaks the Commandment “You shall not covet”, and then hit his brother or sister in anger, breaking the Commandment “You shall not murder”?  The fact that a baby doesn’t understand these things only helps the case.  Rather than creating an “age of accountability”, what a baby’s behavior shows us is that man naturally and instinctively sins against the Commandments of God.  No parent teaches their children to cry, pout, lie, covet, or hit, but the children do it out of what’s in their heart.  These are the basic reason why I think that the Bible teaches inherited sin in man.  I have a lot of other reasons for thinking this, but they go deeper than we can cover in this brief lesson and I’ll have to let them go for now.  Very quickly, though, we’d be looking at the parallel imputation of Adam’s sin and Christ’s righteousness.

 

To sum up, then this is man.  Man is a created being, created in the image of God but marred and twisted by the results of his disobedience.  Because he is made in the image of God, there remains some good in him, but he is born with a disobedient and rebellious heart inherited from his parents who conceived him in sin.  This heart of stone must be replaced with one of flesh if he’s to properly worship God.   In addition, his sins must be accounted for.  We’ve looked at the Bible, at God, and at man.  Tomorrow, we’ll look at Christ, the one who brings all of these things together.

 

Once again, may God be glorified by the light of Christ shining into darkened hearts.  Amen.

 

Foundations- The Christ, Jesus

 

Home