Mature Class Study, pastor Dave Goble.
Building something starts with an idea, then the plans go on paper. Plans include details for every aspect of a building, including the materials to use. The inspector approves each step of the building and gives final approval at the end. Anything in time and space can be described by mathematical forms and descriptions down to the minute. The plan includes details that produce the desired results. If we’re digging for buried treasure, we have to follow the map that shows where it is. The Bible has the plan or design for mankind. For each person there are slight variations for that perfect person. We try to follow the plan. Sometimes we don’t get it quite right but we’re doing the best we know how. At times we haven’t been as patient as we could have been with some who were struggling to follow the plan they had. We need humility, longsuffering, and patience when we read the scripture to interpret the Lord’s plan. Far too many buildings have been too impatient, too proud, not longsuffering, and not patient. It has caused division among God’s people. Sometimes God’s plan isn’t so specific as the dimensions in a building plan. Sometimes we struggle to get it right. If two people are seeking to do the Lord’s will and understand some things slightly different, it doesn’t mean that one is false and teaching false doctrine while the other is true. We are all struggling to understand the Master’s plan.
Men studied to understand the mechanism of the transfer of a fallen nature from Adam to his offspring.
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:
In trying to understand the mechanism of transferring Adam’s nature, they questioned, where the soul comes from? There were three views that arose to answer that question.
- Creationism: God creates each soul (the spiritual entity) at conception when mother and father come together.
- Traucianism: The soul is created at conception by a mother and father. This makes the soul dependent on the human.
- Generationalism (Pre-Existence): The soul were created before and are infused after conception of a baby.
We understand that Adam’s soul was breathed into a physical body when he was created. Adam was created in God’s image. We don’t know what the mechanism was for Eve’s soul to be created.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
We believe each person has some of the essence of God because God breathed life in.
Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
When Seth was born, something had changed because Seth was created in the image of Adam.
Genesis 5:3 And Adam…begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
We all have a spirit that came from God.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
There were different views of the mechanism of the transfer of Adam’s nature to mankind. People that are closer to what happened at a time and place have a closer view of history than those who are far away. What is close to people is typically more important to them than what happened far away. What was important 2000 years ago is different than today.
Pelagius was an Irish monk in 1300 AD who thought our free will was the reason for the nature of man’s soul. He said Cain decided on his own to kill Abel and his nature had nothing to do with it. Pelagius was seen as a heretic. Augustine in 354AD of Hippo North Africa said that Cain inherited a fallen nature from Adam. He called it “Original Sin” and said it was from a corrupt nature. Some people don’t think Genesis 5:3 says Cain inherited a fallen nature from Adam. Most people believe what Augustine taught – Wesley, Martin Luther, Calvin, D.S. Warner, and the Roman Catholic church today. Most people don’t believe Pelagius because too much about if you sin is in human control. We believe there’s something beyond human control that causes people to sin. How do those who believe Pelagius account for the scripture, “death passed on all men” (Romans 5:12)? They say when Adam was in the garden there was no sin, so death was outside of the garden. Some say it’s talking about a physical death because they chose to sin.
Look at what the Holy Ghost is doing in the book of Acts and other letters of Paul. He’s losing tongues of believers to witness of God’s saving power. We need to be saved from our committed sins before the Lord will move in. At that point our house is ready to occupy and be filled by the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2 the people in the upper room were justified and had no sin, then God filled the house with the Holy Spirit. God wants to occupy the house of our body for a reason. If the only reason God gave the Holy Ghost was so we could be fully complete, we don’t need to read the book of Acts. Other reasons the Holy Ghost came were to give power, for healing, and miracles. There were four actors in the the garden – Adam, Eve, the Lord, and the serpent. The serpent who is Satan is still active in the world and we all need a Savior. If free will was the only reason people commit sin, why do we need a Savior? Rather than asking what is the mechanism of transferring Adam’s fallen nature or about the origin of the soul, people should be asking what is the Holy Spirit doing when he fills the believer? He’s losing tongues to tell of God’s saving power, people are healed, and miracles happen.