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Featured The fundamental causes of mankind's sin nature.

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by 37818, Apr 20, 2024.

  1. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 3:22, And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: . . .

    Mankind acquiring God's knowledge of good and evil. That knowledge of evil causes mankind whom had only been made to be finite good to become sinful. And that knowledge of good to be self condemned.

    1 Timothy 2:14, And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

    [ Genesis 3 ]

    Genesis 3:6, And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

    Adam's failure to keep the garden by protecting Eve and then himself from disobeying Genesis 2:17.

    Romans 5:12, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: . . .
     
    #1 37818, Apr 20, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2024
  2. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I think it is simple.

    Adam was created flesh. His mind was set on the flesh (if his mind was set on the Spirit then he woukd not have sinned).

    Romans 8:5–9 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.


    Scripture never speaks of man now as having a nature different from Adam in the Garden. That is the point.

    Adam was tempted by his desires and gave into those temptations.
     
  3. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    That is totally false. It denies the change, "And the eyes of them both were opened, . . ." Denies the actual sin nature. And otherwise imposes the notion God created man sinful, being created flesh to begin with.
     
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  4. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I think you misunderstand. I was talking about a "sin nature" in the sense that Adam's nature changed.

    I agree that his eyes were opened and he became like God, knowing good and evil.

    BUT I do not believe that having ones eyes opened and becoming like God, knowing good and evil equates to a sin nature as I do not believe God has a sin nature.

    AND my comment was that Scripture itself dors not speak of Adam experiencing a change to a "sin nature".

    Adam being created without sin does not mean that Adam was created without a human nature, without the ability to be tempted, or even "of the Spirit" rather than "of the flesh".

    Adam did not sin....until he did. And Adam dinned with his human nature (not some fallen nature).


    You have not provided even one passage supporting your position. We all agree tgat Adam's eyes were opened and he became like God knowing good and evil.


    This is what the Bible says happened:

    Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

    Genesis 3:22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—


    Now, where fo you get the idea that Adam had two natures (pre and post fall) with one being a "sin nature"?
     
  5. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    I can't reason with you. Sense God is infinititly a good God.
    So the knowledge of evil of the knowledge of good and evil was then falsely a good creation?
     
  6. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I am not asking you to reason with me. I am asking how you arrived at your notions as they are foreign to the actual biblical text.

    Let's work through the actual text.
     
  7. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    How can we work through the text without reasoning?
     
  8. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    We can read and discuss what is actually in the Bible, explaining how we get to other things that are not.

    Let’s look at what we should be able to agree on (Scripture):

    God created Adam.

    God planted a Garden.

    God put Adam in the Garden.

    God commanded Adam not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    God told Adam that on the day he ate of the tree death would be certain (an emphatic, i.e., double use of “die”)

    God made Eve from Adam.

    Satan tempted Eve, telling her that eating of the fruit would open her eyes to the knowledge of good and evil, making her like God (in that respect).

    Eve saw that the fruit was desirable and ate.

    Adam ate of the fruit as Eve offered it to him and transgressed God’s command.

    Adam’s eyes were opened and he became like God, knowing good and evil.
     
  9. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Just for fun, let’s look at the Doctrine of Original Sin.

    This doctrine is that we inherit a sin nature from Adam.

    This is a one point where the Hebrew religion and Christianity departs for many. The idea of the transmission of heredity sin, or even a change in the nature of Adam because of sin (a “sin nature”) to the human race is something that was never present in the Hebrew faith.

    Additionally, the idea that man is tainted (the Catholics would refer to this as the “stain of sin”) or that Adam’s nature changed to a “sin nature” that we in turn inherit, is foreign to the biblical text. There are, however, areas that can be used to develop such ideas.

    In fact, prior to the 4th century Christianity had no doctrine of Original Sin.

    So it may be interesting to see how this doctrine developed.

    Tertullian was the first Christian to believe in heredity sin. He developed this belief on the basis of traducian theory (that parents not only pass on physical but also spiritual attributes to their children). Tertullian was interested in the origin of the human soul, and reasoned that since the physical body is derived from a child’s parents, so also is the child’s soul derived from his or her parents. As we all ultimately descended from Adam and Eve there must, then, be aspects of their soul that were passed on to us. God created Adam directly, and Adam sinned. Therefore we also would sin.

    Cyprian reasoned that men were born as sinners, already possessing guilt, because this spiritual trait was passed on to all men as descendants of Adam.

    Cyril, however, reasoned that men were born guiltless and sinless but having inherited Adam’s spiritual attributes were inclined to sin.

    The next development seems to be Augustine. Augustine reasoned that Adam’s sin was transmitted via concupiscence (a harmful desire). This is the first instance where the idea that when Adam sinned human nature changed. Concupiscence was transmitted through human relations to the parents offspring.

    The problem was that Adam was created by God and sinned in the state God had created Adam. Logic dictates that sin cannot be attributed to a transformation of human nature because Adam was created perfect and even still Adam sinned. Augustine’s concupiscence was largely rejected.

    The next major step was Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas addressed the Augustine problem by theorizing that Adam possessed supernatural and natural attributes. Relying on natural attributes Adam sinned, and in so doing lost the supernatural attributes. We, then, are born as natural man without the higher attributes Adam possessed prior to his fall.

    This theory became the Roman Catholic doctrine. It combined Tertullian’s idea of heredity sin, Cyprian’s conclusion that we were born sinners, Cyril’s reasoning that we are technically guiltless at birth, and Augustine’s idea of concupiscence by putting them together in a way that man is so inclined to sin that it is impossible for man not to sin, and this is inherited through Adam via physical reproduction.

    Aquinas’ theory became official Roman Catholic doctrine with the Counsel of Trent.


    The next change was with the Protestant Church.

    Martin Luther developed the theory that men inherit the guilt of Adam at conception. This was a result of Luther’s work on justification. One strange fact is that Luther agreed with Catholics that Mary was sinless (which does not actually work with his view that we are all conceived as sinners).


    For most Protestants, the idea of a “fallen nature” and “original sin” goes back to John Calvin. Calvin developed a systematic theology of Augustine, one that incorporated the theological developments throughout the centuries. He viewed the inheritance of original sin on the grounds of complete depravity.
     
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  10. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Eve ate of it first.
     
  11. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Spoken like a husband :Biggrin.

    Yes. That is what I posted.

    Eve ate and offered to Adam.

    But God commanded Adam (not Eve) not to eat of the fruit.

    Given Eve's comments I think it reasonable that at a minimum Adam communicated that to Eve. She knew it was something they were not to do.
     
  12. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    "And the eyes of them both were opened",....
    Not of their bodies, but of their minds;
    not to have an advanced knowledge of things pleasant,
    profitable, and useful, as was promised and expected,
    but of things very disagreeable and distressing.

    Their eyes were opened to see that they had been deceived by the serpent,
    that they had broke the Commandment of God,
    and incurred the Displeasure of their Creator and Kind Benefactor,
    and had brought ruin and destruction upon themselves;

    they saw what blessings and privileges they had lost,
    Communion with God, the Dominion of the creatures,
    the Purity and Holiness of their Nature,
    and what miseries they had involved themselves and their posterity in;

    how exposed they were to the Wrath of God,
    the Curse of the Law, and to Eternal Death:


    "and they knew that they were naked";

    they must know before that they were naked in their bodies,

    but they did not perceive that their nakedness was at all uncomely,

    or any disadvantage to them; but now they were sensible of both,

    with their spirits also seized with fear of the Divine Displeasure,
    they might feel a shivering all over them,
    and wanted something to cover them:

    but more especially this may respect the nakedness of their souls
    they were now conscious of, being stripped of that Honor and Glory,
    privileges and power, they were vested with;
    and having lost the Image of God that was upon them,

    and that robe of purity, innocence, and righteousness,
    the Rectitude of their Nature, with which they had been Arrayed,
    and finding themselves naked and defenseless,
    and unable to screen themselves from the Curses of a Righteous Law,
    and the Fury of Vindictive Justice..."

    ...

    ?

    Genesis 3:22; "And the LORD God said,
    Behold, the man is become as one of Us, to know good and evil:..."


    (adapted from: Genesis 3 Gill's Exposition)

    "I think they are seriously spoken,
    since this was after Adam was brought "to know...evil:..."
    and to a sense of the evil he had committed,
    and to Repentance for his sin

    and had had the Promised Seed, JESUS,
    Revealed to him as a Saviour, "to know good"

    and, as an Emblem of Justification
    and Salvation by JESUS,
    Adam was clothed with garments Provided by God Himself:

    "to know good...":

    Where the words;

    "the man is become as one of Us, to know good..."
    are to be considered as a Declaration
    of Adam's Present State and Spiritual Condition, in and by Christ,
    by Whose Righteousness Adam was NOW Made Righteous,
    even as JESUS is Righteous,
    (though Adam had lost his own holy sinless righteousness in The Fall);

    And also, it is JESUS to Whose Image Adam was NOW Conformed,
    NOW bearing the Image of the Heavenly One, this second time,
    HAVING BEEN MADE A PARTAKER of THE DIVINE NATURE,
    though Adam was deprived of that IMAGE of GOD, he had the first time
    in which he was Created, since he had sinned,
    and come short of the Glory of God;

    Again, when we read;
    "the man is become as one of Us, to know good..."
    that tells us that Adam was NOW Restored to Friendship
    and Amity with God, Favoured with God's Gracious Presence,
    and having been Given Faith in JESUS as his SAVIOR
    and the Hope of being with JESUS Forevermore;

    And the eyes of Adam's understanding were Enlightened
    by the Spirit and Grace of God,

    for Adam to then know the Good Things
    which God had Provided for him in Christ,
    and in The Covenant of Grace, a Better Covenant
    than that COVENANT of WORKS, under which Adam was Made,
    and which COVENANT of WORKS he had broken;

    "to know...evil:...":

    Then, by the words;
    "the man is become as one of Us, to know...evil:..."


    is where Adam had been made to also know the Evil Nature of sin,
    to know sins Just Demerit, and the Atonement IN JESUS CHRIST of sin,
    by the Death and Sacrifice of The Promised Seed, JESUS CHRIST,
    "as a LAMB SLAIN before The FOUNDATION of The WORLD."

    I Peter 1:19, 20; "But with the Precious Blood of Christ,
    as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot:


    20; "Who verily was Foreordained
    before the Foundation of the World,
    but was Manifest in these Last Times for you,"

    Ephesians 1:4-6; "According as He hath Chosen us in Him
    before the Foundation of the World,
    that we should be Holy and without blame before him in love:


    5; "Having Predestinated us
    unto the Adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself,
    according to the Good Pleasure of His Will,


    6; "To the Praise of the Glory of His Grace,
    wherein He hath Made us Accepted in the Beloved."

    Revelation 13:8; "And all that dwell upon the Earth shall worship him,
    whose names are not written in The Book of Life
    of the Lamb Slain from the Foundation of the World."

    ...
     
  13. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I think their eyes were opened to know hood and evil is sufficient (it is pretty self-explanatory).

    The problem comes in equating that verse to mean that human nature was transformed into a sin nature.

    A better explanation is that they then knew good and evil because they had done evil (they came to a god-type of knowledge from the opposite spectrum).

    At best this would be an understanding of their inability to meet God's standard of good.
     
  14. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    According to Hodge, the early church doctrine on original sin was only stated in general terms, with explicit doctrines developed to respond to developing erroneous views. But basically he claims the following:
    1. All men in their present state are sinners.
    2.This universal sinfulness of man had it's historical and causal origin in the voluntary apostacy of Adam.
    3. That such is the present state of human nature that salvation can be attained in no other way than through Christ, and by the assistance of his Spirit.
    4. That even infants as soon as born need regeneration and redemption, and can only be saved through the merit of Christ.

    Hodge asserts that these truths were prevalent before Augustine. He goes on to say that there are instances where the Greek fathers were inconsistent with the above 4 points but he gives examples where they do support the above. His examples provided are in Latin in my reference and I don't have the ability or desire to look further.

    Now he does not say that the Greek fathers held the doctrine of original sin in the form developed by Augustine but they did teach that the race fell in Adam, that they all need redemption, and that redemption can only be obtained through he Lord Jesus Christ.

    So, @37818 , if you are interested in pursuing this, I would first get a good commentary or theology book, as much as it distresses some on this site, and dig in. I'm not interested in this much at this point but you don't want get off track starting out. If the statements that I made bold are what you were referring to then do not let someone tell you that those concepts were not around until Augustine, unless you are satisfied on the truth of that yourself.
     
  15. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    I just looked at Br. P. 37's posts of things he is saying, I suppose,
    and knowing that he believes something about this good and evil knowledge
    that no one else seems to, I just tried to flush him out,
    to see if a regular sentence is in the offing.

    As we shall see, several views are in the offing here.
    He saw success in the offing. This book has been rumoured
    to be in the offing for many years. Heart-clearing morning sky:
    in the offing smoke crawls; that is the warship he is aboard.

    In other words, I don't think he'll buy your comment without a hard rebuke! :rolleyes:
     
  16. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    That is what every believer of a newer (not initially held) doctrine believes.

    We saw this with the Penal Substitution Theory. Grudum explained that while we know it did not exist until the Reformation, all of those elements were there....the Reformers just put them together.

    Now with the doctrine of original sin...while not stated as such it was believed.


    IF the early church believed it then it would have been stated because it (both) are necessary if correct to be an explanation of our faith and the early church gave us several defenses of the faith.


    Think about it. You are defending Christianity and explaining what you believe to a pagan (in writing).

    It would be necessary to mention a sin nature if that is what was believed.

    It would be necessary in witnessing to any person because the Jews did not believe (and still find it very odd) the Christian theory of original sin, and the pagans did not believe the idea either.
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I saw a news show about a toddler killed by 3 dogs. A couple with their child was visiting friends and playing in the back yard. Their friends e dogs attacked, and killed, the child.

    The owner yelled at the dogs and they ran to him, tails wagging.

    The dogs apparently did not see a consequence for their actions (I'd place this on the owner). But more importantly they did not know they had done wrong (animals understand consequence, but their eyes are not opened to know good and evil).



    God gave Adam a command with a consequence. Adam's eyes, at that time, was not opened to the knowledge of good and evil. Upon eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were opened.

    This is not "Adam inheriting a sin nature" but Adam's eyes being opened to the knowledge of good and evil.

    Man has a knowledge that actions have moral attributes, not just consequences.
     
  18. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    We don't even agree nowadays about what exactly is meant by a sin nature. We currently have a spectrum in Christianity that I am familiar that runs from "we can't do anything good on our own" to the idea that the only reason we sin is because we make an autonomous choice to do so.

    The truth about a sin nature is the truth no matter when or if it is articulated by a theological system. As to what we got from Adam I don't know if we can tell. (Obviously we don't agree, just look at the different interpretations).

    We do know that from the time Adam sinned, God stopped fellowshipping in the way he previously had done. And God did not offer to continue with subsequent generations who did not do what Adam did. So something changed, for real. We also know that God views us now as unclean. We can't directly look at God anymore and notice all the cautions and pronouncements about everything from touching the Ark to entering the inner tabernacle. Scripture says we are tainted, unclean, and unholy to the point where scripture has guidelines for our own safety.

    Not to mention just the idea of looking around at others and yourself, if you are introspective at all. There is obviously something wrong with us. If you have raised kids you know how easily they pick up bad traits and practices. Why is it easier for a child to remember a nasty little song but they have trouble learning a Bible verse? If what I am describing is a sin nature then it makes no difference we can find no one until 1400 describing it or not. It is true or it isn't.

    Like I said, I noticed Hodge seemed to think these things were discussed by the early church fathers. His examples were in Latin and not translated and I haven't bothered to read. I just am suggesting that those who are interested should look further than what you said in that post and find out for themselves. I don't think you would have a problem with that.
     
  19. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I agree. We often get into discussions without agreeing (or defining) terms. This is evident in the current "free-will" debate.

    We also have not agreed on criteria when it comes to these discussions.

    Is it theological theories built upon theological theories? Is it theological development? Is it Scripture?

    I suggest when important topics are involved it has to be Scripture.


    With this issue, the idea of original sin transforming man's nature into a "sin nature" is tradition and not Scripture.

    It is foreign to the Hebrew religion (the OT faith) and Judaism. It is not present in early Christian belief.

    So what does the Bible actually say?

    God tells us that Adam's eyes were opened to knowing good and evil. This is how Adam knew he was naked (God asks "who told you", knowing that Adam now has a moral conscience).

    What does Scripture NOT say? God never tells us that Adam's nature changed.


    Adam transgressed God's command. This was a transgression, not a moral sin (Adam's eyes were not yet opened).

    Through that transgression sin entered the world. Why? Because man was now moral creatures (had eyes opened to the knowledge of good and evil...and knowingly did evil).

    The problem with the "sin nature" theory is simply that it is a way of unbiblically speaking of human nature in a moral environment.

    Adam was fine....until he ate of the fruit. This isn't a change in nature (per Scripture) but a statement about how human nature fails to meet the moral standard of God.
     
  20. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    I suppose that is true if one were to insist that original sin directly transformed mans nature to be a "sin nature". But the idea that man had a sin nature is easily found in scripture from the description of man at the time of Noah, the description of men in the behavior of God's own people, the description of men by Paul in Romans 1, and so on. This seemed to occur very early, be universal and be in some way remedied by the Holy Spirit. Other than that I guess that is why you have all the different theologies by truly serious men. So man got it somewhere, it is universal, and seems to be the case with all men of all races. The thing we have in common is our head, Adam. And we know something very pivotal happened with him.
     
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