Today’s blog post is a brief explanation of the doctrines of anthropology and harmatology. This brief survey is based on the the Evangelical Free Church of America’s statement of faith which reads:
The Human Condition. Article #3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
Photo Credit: “The Holy Scriptures in Picture and Story” by William Foster
I. ADAM AND EVE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
Adam and Eve were created in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27); therefore they were like God and represented God (Pss 8:3-8). The presence of God’s image is show by the facts that humans have
- a mind/will/personality,
- the capacity to rule (Gen 1:26, 28; 2:19; Pss 8; Gen 22:5),
- spiritual/moral qualities (Gen 2:16-17; 3:22; Lev 11:45-46; Matt 5:48; Luke 3:38),
- capacity for relationships (Gen 1:26; 2:20-23; 3:8),
- personal social distinction, and
- an image that will be improved and made perfect (Col 3:10; Eph 2:14; 1 Cor 15:49; 1 John 3:2).
II. THE FALL OF HUMANITY AND ITS EFFECTS
When Adam sinned, sin entered into the world. Adam’s sin brought death to every single person (Rom 5:12, 15-18) because Adam’s sin nature has been passed along to all humans. As a result, all humans are slaves to sin before confessing belief in Jesus Christ (Rom 6:6-7; 7:14).
III. SINNERS BY NATURE AND CHOICE
We are all sinners by nature because Adam’s sin has been passed along to us. The human condition is clearly described in the Bible:
- we are blind to God’s truth (Isa 35:5; John 9:39; Rev 3:17),
- deaf to his Word (Isa 42:19; 43:8), and
- spiritually dead in our sins (Eph 2:1, 5).
Yet we are beings who have some level of free choice. Because of that free choice we often choose to sin because it is in our basic nature to sin (Gen 8:21; Pss 51:3-5; 58:3; 143:12; Rom 5:12).
IV. CHRIST’S EFFECTS ON THE HUMAN CONDITION
Without Christ we are all hopeless (Rom 3:23). Yet, with Christ we are being renewed (Col 3:10) and reconciled back toward the person God originally designed us to be (Rom 9:29).