We hear about and discuss “The Fall” on occasion. Our goal for this lesson is to explore the collapse of human beings into evil and the consequences of the revolt and rebellion it engenders.
Relevant Biblical Passages:
- The larger picture of collapse in Genesis — Gen 1-11
- The problem of sin, iniquity, transgression — the Bible!
- New Testament focus in Romans — Rom 5:12-14; 6:23; 8:18-20
- Restoration — Revelation 21-22
Elements of Collapse and Fall
Biblical definitions of sin and rebellion are legion and include the following basic categories:
- sin — actions which miss the mark, fall short of the goal
- iniquity — actions which are wrong and bring guilt
- transgression — attitude of revolt, rebellion
- evil — moral depravity
- sin (New Testament) — lawlessness, lovelessness (1 John)
- Genesis 1-11, known as the Primeval Prologue to biblical history, records a downward spiral into chaos and disaster, based on five major points of rebellion:
- Adam & Eve — Gen 3
- Cain & Abel — Gen 4:1-16
- amech Gen 4:17-24
- Ante-diluvians Gen 6
- Tower of Babel — Gen 11
Although divine intervention and grace predominate in all but one of these accounts, the consequences of sin and rebellion are massive and pervasive. What kinds of effects do we see in the natural world? In the lives of people? In the history of the human race? In what ways does God provide reprieve and relief? How does God’s mercy show through in spite of human actions and revolt?
How does the Bible at large reflect on the sin problem and its resolution?
What Difference Does it Make?
What are the implications of “The Fall” for creation and for creation’s God? How might these impact our understanding of God and the created order?