A Summary of the Doctrine of the Human Condition

July 17, 2017 — Leave a comment

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.

A Summary of the Doctrine of the Human Condition, The Holy Scriptures in Picture and Story by William Foster

Photo Credit: “The Holy Scriptures in Picture and Story” by William Foster

I. ADAM AND EVE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

"The Fall of Man" by Cornelis van Haarlem (1562-1638)

“The Fall of Man” by Cornelis van Haarlem (1562-1638)

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).

"The Fall of Man" by Master of Paulus and Barnabas

“The Fall of Man” by Master of Paulus and Barnabas

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).

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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