Thoughts, words, and actions by which humans rebel against God, miss His purpose for their lives, and surrender to the power of evil.

SIN’S ORIGIN: Sin was not part of God’s design for human beings. God created man in His image. He created them male and female and evaluated this work as “very good” (Gen 1:27-31). Early in human history Adam and Eve disobeyed a direct command of God. The result of this disobedience was shame, avoidance of God, refusal to take responsibility, blaming others, a hostile environment, and physical disease, suffering, and death. The children of Adam and Eve and the generations that followed were not born with the original innocence of the first parents; rather, they but inherited a nature inclined to sin (Psa 51:5; Eph 2:3) and made choices (Ezek 18:4, 19-20; Rom 1:18-20; 5:12) that reflected that nature. Both the inclination and choice to sin can be seen in Adam and Eve’s first child, Cain. God approved the sacrifice of his brother Abel but not his. Cain was furious. The literal rendering of the Hebrew is “it burned to Cain exceedingly.” Seeing Cain’s fury and his downcast face, God warned him that sin was like a predatory animal crouching at his door, wanting to have him.

Cain was admonished to rule over sin, but he refused to do so with the consequence that he murdered Abel. As the human race multiplied, so did sin. By the time of Noah God observed that “man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time” (6:5). Even following the devastating flood out of which God saved Noah and his family, the pattern of sin continued. At Babel collective sin was evident in the people’s working together to build a city and a tower reaching to heaven in order to make a name for themselves. On the face of it, this sin is not violent in the way Cain’s sin was, but the motivation behind the building of this city and tower was as offensive to God and as harmful to the participating individuals in separating them from God, their true security.


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