7. Sin and the New Creation

Sin & the Fall 7

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and the finest of wines.  On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death for ever.  The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.  The Lord has spoken.  In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us.  This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’


 He has founded his city on the holy mountain.  The Lord loves the gates of Zion ... Glorious things are said of you, city of God


 Already in our experience of redemption, even in the context of this age, we have begun to appreciate something of the enormity of what is achieved through the cross.  And yet truth be told, we have barely begun to lift our eyes toward the horizons of all that’s accomplished in Christ’s death.  At a personal level we have only enjoyed the foretaste of what salvation means, and so much of the benefit we do currently enjoy is beyond our capacity to experience in any meaningful way.  We live, after all, by faith, not by sight (II Cor.5:7).  As intimated at the end of our last study, we can barely imagine the impact of the cross in resolving the complex inner turmoil sin has created in the life of the Trinity. 

 And yet throughout this series we have consistently run up against the tension that is born out of the ongoing existence of sin and a fallen creation, of an enduring history lived in rebellion against the Lord.  In so many ways we are waiting for our experience of the cross to catch up with what has in fact already been attained.  It is perhaps comparable to the delay we perceive between a flash of lightening and the crash of thunder…  we have seen the flash of Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension; we await the crash of the consummation of the New Creation, the Kingdom of God in all its fullness, established through His own resurrection from the dead. 

Again this is true for us at a personal level.  ‘By one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy’ (Heb.10:14).  Note the tenses we live between.  On the one hand, ‘He has made perfect’.  This is a great example of where a chasm opens up between what has in fact been accomplished by the Cross, and what is experienced by us of that accomplishment.  Yet that experience is growing, for on the other hand ‘[we] are being made holy’.  Through the Cross the Holy Spirit is at work in us transforming us into His image (II Cor.3:18).  Paul alludes to the same tension, ‘Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day’ (II Cor.4:16).  That tension will only be resolved in our bodily resurrection.

 And again, what is true for us personally, is true for this passing age, this fallen tragic world of sin and death.  It too is ‘wasting away’.  Decay and degeneration lead inexorably to death, yet it too awaits resolution in resurrection.  Creation too lives in the tension between what has been accomplished and what waits to be experienced (see again Rom.8:18-25).  And in that tension, it too knows the ministry of the Spirit, slowly, at times imperceptibly, reclaiming facets from the fall.  But as for us, that tension will only be fully resolved through a resurrection.

 Creation will go through the ravages of death; it will be purified, having all vestiges of the curse stripped from it, all scarring of sin, all shadow of death and decay.  The structures of evil that are so deeply embedded will be utterly dismantled, and creation itself will endure a cosmic destruction.  In the same way as our bodies are destroyed in death, creation is destroyed, laid bare (II Pet.3:10).  Like a garment taken off to be washed, it is cleansed and changed (Heb.1:11-12).  It is hard to overestimate the work of renewal that needs to be done, the cataclysmic dislocation between the ages.  For us this world is normal.  We are so accustomed to sin and death, sorrow and decay.  We may not like the cruelty and brutality of this world, but neither have we known anything different.  But the LORD God knows this isn’t ‘normal’.  He knows that there is a different life, a life without death, or mourning, or crying or pain.  He knows that everything needs to be made new.  This whole order of things needs to be done away with (Rev.21:1), and all things renewed (Matt.19:28), before the fullness of the accomplishment of the cross will have been revealed.  Then all things will indeed have been reconciled to Him, ‘whether things on earth, or things in heaven … through His blood, shed on the cross’ (Col.1:20).


 Does it surprise you that ‘things in heaven’ also need to be reconciled to God through the cross (Col.1:20)?  Why do you think this is the case?

 Do you think God is in control of sin, death, evil and suffering?  What makes you think what you do? 

I promised we’d come back to this question at the end of the series to see if we have changed our thinking as a result of our studies together?

…and more generally, has your thinking about sin and the fall changed over the last few weeks?  In what ways?

Read II Peter 3:3-15

 What do we learn about the end of the age from the history of Noah (vv.5-6)?

What is the significance of the fact that at the second destruction, the means will be ‘fire’ rather than ‘water’?

How does v.9 & v.15 sustain our commitment to evangelism and outreach, both individually and as a Church at MIE?

What does the image of the ‘thief’ (v.10) convey in this passage?  How should it affect us, and shape our thinking about discipleship?

Peter argues for our growth in holiness both from the destruction of this present, old creation (v.11), and our anticipation of the future, new creation (v.14).  Which of these do you find more compelling?  Why?

A defining characteristic of the ‘new heaven’ and the ‘new earth’ will be that it is ‘where righteousness dwells’ (v.13).  That stands in sharp contrast to this old creation which is of course where sin dwells.  How do you think this will affect life in the New Creation?

I know this is an immense question - but have a go!  You might be surprised at what you come up with…

Memory Passage:

 Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.


Matthew 19:28-30

For further reflection:

 The tragic irony of the fall - and of our whole subsequent history - is that what we strove to acquire in it was already our destiny. Satan (who is a liar and the father of lies, Jn.8:44) promised we would be like God.  Aside from the fact that we had already been created in His image and likeness (Gn.1:26, and it is worth remembering that it was in fact Satan who wanted to be like God, Is.14:13), it is perhaps worth pondering what knowledge we thought we would gain. 

 To be ‘like God, knowing good and evil(Gn.3:5).  I’m not sure that sentence even makes sense!  God did not know evil be experiencing being evil.  And besides we already knew evil the way God did… He had told Adam what evil was: to disbelieve and disobey him, and plunging creation into death.  Humanity actually ends up being utterly unlike God, and knowing evil in a way God never did. 

 If Adam and Eve had resisted this temptation, recoiling in horror (as they should have done from one who could dare insinuate that the Lord who is Truth could have lied, Gn.3:4), humanity would have remained God-like in every way we were designed to be.  If they had retained their humility we would have been exalted, but as it is they sought self-exaltation and were debased.  They sought freedom and autonomy, and were enslaved and cursed.  They sought life and tasted only death.  They sought vision and knowledge and found only darkness and ignorance instead. 

 It’s probably worth remembering that the next time we are faced with temptation.  In spite of all its fleeting pleasure (Heb.11:25), sin is always rooted in deceit.  Not only does it never deliver what it promises but it always robs us of something God has already graciously and generously given us.

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6. Sin and the Cross

Sin & the Fall 6

How much more then will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.  For this reason, Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised inheritance - now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant


 Thanks be to God that though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed you allegiance.  You have been set free from sin, and have become slaves to righteousness.


 No-one has ever overestimated the devastating impact of sin on creation, and on humanity in particular.  Our tendency is always to assume it can’t be as bad as it is, as we pridefully resist any teaching that stresses our depravity!  I’m inclined to wonder whether that is in fact part of the sinful condition…  as the Psalmist says: ‘I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: ... In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin’ (36:1-2).  The only cure to this malady is deep immersion in the Scriptures.  Confronting actual sinless humanity in Christ begins to open our eyes to just how far we have fallen.  So often this actually Righteous Man is an enigma to us.  That in itself tells us something: when confronted with the Sinless One we can’t even make sense of what we are seeing.

 A single glance at the cross of Christ should be sufficient to disabuse us of any notion of the superficiality of sin.  As we consider the Trinity taking sin into His own life and being to resolve forever the agonizing tension of a fallen creation at such terrible cost to Himself, we are confronted with its true horror and magnitude.  We contribute nothing to redemption (except the sin that makes it necessary), and we are consigned to standing on the sidelines as the Lord does what we cannot do, and indeed would not want to do.

 For there is a kind of self-destructive insanity to sin that means sinners love and cherish that which utterly destroys them.  Even as Christians our relationship with sin is horribly ambiguous and we find we love what we hate.  Sin turns our desires into a fifth element.  This is key as we reflect on the question of freedom.  One of the key ways we seek undermine the seriousness of sin’s impact is to cling to the notion of ‘free will’.  To engage with this idea meaningfully we need to approach it both directly and indirectly.

 The direct approach is to simply access the teaching of Jesus, who is considerably less beguiled by the illusion of freedom.  ‘[E]veryone who sins is a slave to sin’ (Jn.8:34), language picked up by the Apostle throughout e.g. Rom.6.  Are we free if we are only free to choose sin, or if we only ever want to choose sin?  Are we free when we cannot but sin, when we must freely choose sin?  The more indirect approach tackles the broader question of freedom more generally: What does it mean to be free?  In the Bible freedom is something we are given by Jesus (Jn.8:36).  And paradoxically those who are free are slaves to righteousness.  We might ask if even Adam was free?  He was almost free, for there was only one way in which he could sin.  True freedom awaits us only in the New Creation where there is no possibility of sin. 

 Sin slays our spiritual life so that we are unable to engage in the life of the unseen creation; decays our bodies to death so that we will be unable to engage with the seen creation; it bends us in on ourselves; distorts our desire, enslaves our will and darkens our minds.  Our intellect has been blinded and is unable to discover truth.  We cannot think straight about God, ourselves or our world.   And we do not want to - we much prefer our intellectual fantasies. 

 And all of this before we consider the external dynamics of our having become sinners: the relational impact of sin both towards God, other humans and the rest of creation; the legal dimensions of being cosmic law-breakers, and so on…  To appreciate the damage done by our sin more deeply is not simply to drive us into the dust, and leave us in despair.  It prepares us to appreciate the deeper work done by God in the death and resurrection of Christ; and indeed the immensity of the work of the Spirit in restoring us in His image.  It might also help us understand our struggle as Christians a little more, and to be more patient and gracious in our dealing with others who are equally struggling to recover, by God’s grace, from such desolation and existential wreckage.


 Given the portrait of the catastrophe of sin, why do you think the world is not much worse than it is?

 Why do you think God didn’t restrain sin completely, preventing the fall from happening in the first place?

Read Col.1:15-23

 Why does Paul unpack so much about Christ (vv.15-19), before highlighting Christ’s work of redemption?

 Is there anything in vv.15-19 that surprises you? … or excites you? …or confuses you?

What do you think Paul means by ‘alienated from God’?  If people are alienated from God, what do we make of their spiritual experience before they become Christians?

What does Paul mean when he talks of our being ‘enemies in our minds’ (v.21, see similar language in Rom.5:10)?  How comfortable are you with that sort of combative language?  Do you think it is appropriate to think this way about everyone who isn’t a Christian?

How does a non-Christian’s ‘evil behaviour’ connect with their being ‘enemies in [their] minds’?    How does the cross deal with this and other elements of our sinfulness?

Does v.23 suggest it is possible to stop being a Christian (i.e. if you don’t continue in your faith, you will lose the benefits Paul outlines in v.22)?  How can we help each other to continue established and firm, so that we don’t move from the hope held out to us in the Gospel?

In what sense has the Gospel been proclaimed to ‘every creature under heaven’?  How does this affect our own engagement with mission and evangelism?

Memory Passage:

 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.  After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.



For further reflection:

 How does God feel about sin?  (Any discussion of the Trinity’s inner emotional life must be tentative at best, but where the Bible speaks we should take confidence that we can access even such intimate detail).  Our minds might run to a number of places.  Perhaps God’s reaction in cursing a sinful creation in Gen.3?  Maybe Leviticus, where we inhabit a world defined by God’s total rejection of all that is unclean, and where the terrible cost of purification and reconciliation is enacted on a daily basis? The Psalms (Ps.5:4-6; 11:4-7; 45:7 all use strong emotional language); or the relentless denunciation of sin in the prophets?  The ferocity of the exile?

 Approaching the cross we begin to see terrible impact of sin on God.  This is often a missing element in our discussion on sin.  We fixate on the impact of sin on us, on our world, but the question of its impact on God is often overlooked.  For Him, the reality of sin opened the way to the cross.  Our sin doesn’t just result in our own death, it results in His.  Sin doesn’t just pollute us, it pollutes Him.  We all too often resent the fact that we live in the context of a sinful creation, rarely thinking of the fact that that this same sinful creation is ‘in Him’ (Col.1:16-17).  To sustain sinful creation is a costly thing for our God.

 But His relationship with sin takes on new dimensions at the cross.  We sense this in Gethsemane as Christ contemplates becoming sin for us (II Cor.5:21), and shrinks from the prospect.  How terrible a thing it must be to be a sinner if Christ recoils so brutally from the prospect!  Yet He chooses to drink from the cup.  And here the real hatred of God against sin is seen.  Even when sin is found in His own Son, God will not withhold His hand of judgement.  His hatred of it is absolute and uncompromising…  which brings new level of meaning to grace.

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5. Sin and Humanity - Actual Sin

Sin & the Fall 5

Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin’? … Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright?

 (Prov.20:9 & 11)

 I find this law at work: although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?  Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!


 The effect of the fall on us as humans is as deep as it is complex.  There are almost twenty different words used in the Bible to capture a full orbed sense of the reality of sin.  Some are legal, some are relational, some moral; others speak of failure, deviation, falseness or lawlessness.  It is perhaps unwise to try and narrow it all down to a single concept - though Bible scholars who do tend to end up doing so in terms of I John 3:4, ‘Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness’.  The Law in question being, of course, God’s rather than that of any nation or culture (Ps.51:4).  Irrespective of its effect on others (or lack of), it is sin because it violates the Law of God.  And given that the Law of God is rooted in His character, sin is ‘personal’.  This primary orientation of sin as ‘against the Lord’ appears again and again throughout Scripture (Gen.13:13; 20:6; 39:9; Ex.32:33; I Sam.7:6 etc.).

 And the most distressing element of it for many Christians is that it continues after we have become disciples of Jesus Christ!  We understand that prior to our conversion we were alienated from God, enslaved to sin, dead in our transgression, helplessly pursuing our own selfish desires.  We were corrupt in nature, and so all that flowed from that nature was corrupt as well.  But now we are in Christ, the New Creation has come (II Cor.5:17), so why does it seem like we are still defined by the old creation?

 In part because we are still part of it.  Although we are spiritually alive, having been united with Christ and having passed through His death, His resurrection and his ascension, we are still enmeshed in this fallen world by virtue of living in these ‘lowly bodies’ (Phil.3:21), that are still subject to death (Rom.7:24).  This is at the heart of the Christian’s longing for resurrection, when the physical aspect of what we are finally catches up with the spiritual aspect.  Then we will have a ‘spiritual body’ that is able to fully engage with all aspects of reality, seen and unseen (I Cor.15:42-55).  In the meantime we are called on to set our hearts and minds on things above, not on earthly things (Col.3:1-4), so that we are shaped by what we will be, rather than what we have been (Eph.4:22-24).  And as we do, the Spirit renews our heart and teach us to know and fulfil God’s good and gracious will.   At the risk of sounding like I’m promoting myself, you might want to get onto mie.org.uk, and listen to the sermons on Romans, especially on chap’s 5-7.

 And yet our ongoing experience of sin is, well, ongoing - and often feels like it is getting worse as we become more spiritually sensitized to sin.  Thankfully we also have a growing awareness of the magnitude of God’s grace to us in Christ!  It is always a key moment in any Christian’s journey when they finally grasp the fact that the cross has greater power to define their destiny than their sin.

 But our desire is to grow in actual Christlikeness.  How do we do that?  It is unleashed into our experience through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  It is He who gives us faith to believe in Christ; who leads us through repentance to transformation; who teaches us to deny ourselves; who so captivates us with the glory of God that we live and die to advance that glory rather than our own fallen ambition. 

 As a great pastor once wrote: “We are not our own: let not reason nor our will therefore sway our plans and deeds.  We are not our own: let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh.  We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us forget ourselves and all that is ours.  Conversely, we are God’s: let us therefore live for Him and die for Him.  We are God’s: let His wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions.  We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive towards Him as our only lawful goal”.  Amen.

(Calvin, Inst. 3.7.1).


 Do you think it matters if we sin as Christians?  Why / Why not?

What part does your Church and homegroup play in your growth in Christlikeness?   How could you help other people grow in their holiness?

Read Romans 3:10-18

 This passage describes the reality of every human being outside of Christ.  Do you agree with it?  Are their places where you think it overstates its case?  Would you say this describes you before you were a Christian?

Can you think of any passages in the Bible that speak positively about life outside of Christ?

Compare this with other passages that describe life outside of Christ (e.g. Rom.8:7-8; Gal.5:17-21; Eph.1:1-3; Col.1:21 & 3:5-7; there are also passages in which Paul describes his own specific experience of life pre-Christ: Rom.7:7-11; Phil.3:4-8 etc.).  What similarities are there?  What differences?

What aspects of this continue to be our experience after we have become Christians?

Read Romans 7:14-25

Is Paul avoiding taking responsibility for his ongoing patterns of sinful behaviour (it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me, v.17)?

Is Paul advocating a hopeless despair in vv.18-19?

How important is motive and desire in assessing our behaviour, and Christian maturity?

How can Paul move from a passage in which he is lamenting his ongoing experience of sin, to declaring that there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (8:1)?

Memory Passage:

 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.



For further reflection:

 Often we don’t change because we don’t intend to.  We do at a general level, but not anything specifically.  We want to grow to be more like Jesus, but what does that mean in the detail?  Prayerfully identify a facet of your life or character that you would love to see changed.  It might be something you want to stop… a pattern of behaviour, an emotion, a desire.  Or something you want to start - a gap in your Christlikeness that you long for the Holy Spirit to fill out.  Or something you want to replace, perhaps greed with generosity? 

 Do you have a clear vision of what it would look like to be like Jesus in this arena?  What moment in Jesus’ life, or in His teaching (or that of the Apostles) is shaping that vision?

 Do you actually want to change?  Are you afraid you’ll somehow be losing out, depriving yourself of satisfaction, signing up to a tedious duty?

 Why do you want to see change here? Am I trying to impress God, or my homegroup?  What is motivating me?

 Have I tried to change here before, but failed?  Why was that?  What are my pressure points?  What makes me give up, and give in to temptation?  What lie am I choosing to believe?  What truth do I need reminded of?  When I fail, how can I get back on track as quickly as possible?  Am I secure in God’s forgiveness and the Spirit’s ongoing commitment to my growing in Christlikeness?

 What can I do to minimise my exposure to temptation?  What can I do to strengthen my faith for the fight? Whose help do I need?  How will I find the motivation to return to the fight again and again?

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4. Sin and Humanity - Original Sin

Sin & the Fall 4

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.  

(I Cor.15:21-22)

 When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 


 Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!

(Job 14:4)

Individualism is rampant in our culture and dominates our thinking of ourselves.  Currently we so prize independence and self-reliance, that we periodically consider legalising a method of allowing people who feel they are becoming a burden on others to commit suicide.  Whereas other cultures tend towards collectivism, or primarily defining themselves in terms of relationship with family, Britain, for better or for worse, turns out to be the most individualistic nation in the EU (according to a Telegraph report before Christmas, 19th Dec, 2017, which opened with, ‘Britain is the most individualistic country in the European Union, according to a major survey of political attitudes in all 28 of the bloc’s member states’.  Hold all the Brexit jokes!)

 This propensity to think of ourselves as individuals makes it particularly difficult for us to grasp the Bible’s teaching on our relationship with Adam, or what has become known over the years as ‘original sin’.  Nevertheless, as we focus on our own relationship with sin and the fall, we must negotiate this key area of theology.  Without it a great deal else in the Bible and in our experience of being human in a fallen world will simply remain unintelligible.

 It has been said that all of Christian belief is governed by the fall of Adam and the raising of Christ.  Certainly all of humanity is governed by its relationship with these two men.  When John Donne wrote in 1642 that ‘no man is an island’ he may well have written more than he knew.  It is not just that we are ‘involved in mankind’, or somehow vaguely connected to each other (Acts 17:26), but it is that we deeply integrated into one or other humanity that is in in turn indelibly connected to one of these two Representative Humans.  We are in Adam or in Christ, and everything about us is determined by who we are united with.

 Adam’s original sin is not like any other sin - even any of his own other sins.  For a start, he sins from a different state to us.  In the case of Adam a sinful state followed a sinful deed; in our case, the sinful state gives rise to sinful deeds.  Secondly, in the wisdom of God, this first sin introduces sin to creation, welcomes death, changes the rules of the game, the structure of creation.  Nothing is the same after this cataclysmic moment of dislocation from God.  It is the originating sin, which plunges the entire subsequent experience of creation into guilt, pollution, shame, and curse.  The trajectory of history changes, jumping tracks into sin and death.  We are used to thinking of the hereditary transmission of certain personality traits, or of physical appearance.  In the sin of Adam, we are confronted with a devastating spiritual heritage, a universal dereliction that is passed in its fullness from generation to generation.  As Jesus so succinctly puts it, ‘flesh gives birth to flesh’ (Jn.3:6).

 This is in fact the first of two closely connected, but separate, ideas in the doctrine of Original Sin - the relatively straightforward one of contamination, or pollution.  Humanity is corrupted in the fall, and that corruption is passed down through the generations of human history, creating an incapacity for good (Lk.6:43).  More counter-intuitively, the second is the notion of imputed guilt.  Imputation is a theological word that simply conveys the idea of crediting to an account (think of it as moving moral currency between bank accounts belonging to different people, so Rom.5:13).  Adam’s sin is credited to my account, along with its consequences.  I don’t come into the world in a position of moral neutrality, with an empty bank balance as it were, but with sin already in my account (Ps.51:5; Gen.8:21; Prov.20:11).  This is in fact the first of three imputations that any Christian has experienced:

 (i)                  Adam’s original sin is credited to my account

(ii)                My sin (original and actual, see next week) is credited to Christ’s account

(iii)               Christ’s righteousness is credited to my account.

 As has been said, all of Christian belief is governed by the fall of Adam and the raising of Christ.  That is the subject of this study.


 Do you think it is just / fair for God to relate to us on the basis of someone else’s decisions and behaviour?  Does the idea Original sin confuse the Gospel for you, or make it clearer?  Does it help in our evangelism, or make it harder?

 Do you think it is still possible for people with a corrupted humanity - and who have not become Christians - to do what is good and right before God?

 Are we responsible for the sins of our parents?  Should we apologise or repent for sins committed by our nation, or our family, or the Church in the past?

 How does the doctrine of Original Sin affect the way we think Christians should raise their children?  

Read Romans 5:12-21

 Why do you think the contrast isn’t set up as between Eve and Christ?  Why isn’t it called Eve’s trespass?   What is Eve’s responsibility in the situation, if any?

Does the fact that everything hinges on Adam or Christ take away human responsibility? 

What is the essence of Paul’s argument in 5:12-14?  How does he prove his contention that Adam’s sin is credited to everyone’s account?

How are the dynamics of Adam’s relationship with humanity and Christ’s relationship with humanity similar?  …and in which ways dissimilar?  Does this highlight the grace we enjoy in Christ in the way that Paul seems to want it to?

In 5:18, Paul writes that the one ‘righteous act [of Christ] resulted in justification and life for all people’.  Is Paul teaching that everyone is saved through Christ’s death?  Why / why not?

In 5:20 Paul tells us that the Law was brought in ‘so that the trespass might increase’.  Does that surprise you?  Why would God want the trespass to increase?

Memory Passage:

 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.  As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.  And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.

I Cor.15:47-49


For further reflection:

 It might surprise you to realise that the Anglican Church took pains to outline and defend this doctrine in its foundational documents.  Article 9 is entitled ‘of Original, or Birth Sin’ and locates original sin in ‘…the fault and corruption of the nature of every man (sic) that is naturally engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil … and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation’.    And this infection of nature doth remain in them that are regenerated … although there is no condemnation for them that believe’.

 It did so because at the time, very few Christians took seriously this aspect of the Bible’s teaching, preferring to think that humanity still had a free will that, with the right education, a good role model and favourable circumstances, could still live righteously (do good).   Most Christians didn’t believe that we had inherited consequences from Adam’s transgression so that we were all born sinful, and under God’s judgement.  In such a context, Cranmer et al felt the need to remind people of the Bible’s teaching that we do what we do because we are what we are.  They understood this was at the very foundation of the Christian faith, and that without it, Christianity would be fatally compromised.  We are corrupt, therefore all our actions are corrupt (Gen.6:5).  This is not how God created us, it is what we have become in Adam.  ‘All have become corrupt’ (Ps.14:3), and only in Christ can we become anything else. 

 Only with this in place can we really claim to understand the Gospel.  In fact one theologian, Warfield, went so far as to write in the early 20th century that ‘Until we repent of original sin, we have not properly speaking, repented in the Christian sense at all’.  We must repent of what we are, not just what we do.

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3. Sin and Creation - Unseen

Sin & the Fall 3

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  (I John 4:4)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  (Eph.6:10-13)

Perhaps the most intimidating and fearful aspect of our thinking about the Bible’s teaching on sin, the fall and its impact, is in the sphere of the unseen ‘spiritual’ world.  What are we to make of the Bible’s teaching about ‘that ancient snake called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray’ (Rev.12:9); and deceiving spirits (II Chron.18:22, I Tim.4:1), unclean / impure spirits (Mk.1:27 etc.) or demons (Mk.1:34 etc.)

 We must step into this discussion from a firm and settled conviction both that any and all malevolent and adversarial spiritual forces are both under our Lord’s sovereignty (see study 1), and that they are rendered fully defeated at the cross (Col.2:15; I John 3:8).   If we falter in either of these convictions we make ourselves vulnerable to a world of fear and anxiety.  We must also be disciplined in allowing our thinking to be shaped exclusively by what is revealed to us in the Scriptures.  Some of us may have had powerful experiences, both before and after we became Christians.  Many of us will have been exposed to dramatic and flamboyant teaching that sounds spectacular and is backed with many anecdotes, but which in the final analysis lacks any Biblical foundation. 

 You may remember from our consideration of Genesis 3 in our previous series on Creation that we spent time exploring what the Bible teaches us about the origins of Satan (Jn.8:44), and his fall from his place of exaltation as guardian cherub in Eden, forming an alliance with Adam and Eve against Christ (if you missed that, you can get the notes from Mark).  Other angels were seemingly involved in this Edenic rebellion, and becoming demons are enmeshed in the falleness and God’s judgement of ‘this present evil age’ (Gal.1:4; II Pet.2:4; Rev.20:10), and we may cautiously suggest that, under God, they shape the idolatrous religious life of nations (e.g. I Cor.10:20-21, Rev.9:20 which makes God’s warnings and condemnation of idolatry all the more pertinent) as well as their military-political life (Dan.10-12 & e.g. Rev.13; 20:7-9, along with Mark’s sermons on Revelation which can be found on the MIE website, if that helps!).  The whole world, we are told, is under the control of the evil one (Matt.4:8-9; John 14:30; 16:11; I John.5:19; Eph.2:2; Acts 26:18).  And yet we are told with equal conviction that the earth is the Lord’s (Ps.24:1), and that Christ and His Spirit are triumphant and ‘greater’ (I Jn.4:4; Lk.10:18; 11:17-22).

 We are reminded that these spiritual foes are ranged against us (Eph.6:11-12; I Pet.5:8), but in those same passages we are also told how to defend ourselves against their advances.  We are stridently warned against the dangers of spiritism, or indeed of any spirituality outside of Christ (Lev.19:31; 20:6; Dt.18:11; Is.8:19 etc.); and we alerted to the fact that such spiritual beings lie behind false teaching in the life of the Church (I Tim.4:1, ironically in the light of Jas.2:19; II Cor.11:3); and can ensnare us to do their will (II Tim.2:24-26, see also I Tim.3:6).

 The fact of this unseen dimension to reality is simply taken for granted throughout the Scriptures, and forms an implicit and integral part of a Christian’s thinking about the world, and of their life and worship and mission within that world.  We cannot make sense of the Gospel accounts of our Lord Jesus, or the ministry of the Apostles without reference to it.  And embedded in our most foundational prayer is the petition: ‘lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil / the Evil One’ (Matt.6:13).  Scripture strikes a glorious balance: we are made aware but not given over to anxiety.  We do well to sustain that posture. 

 Especially as we realise that Satan is given access to the life of the Church (e.g. Acts 5:2).  We’ve already seen that in these few lines of introduction, but it is worth remembering that not even the Apostles such as Peter (e.g. Matt.16:23; Lk.22:31, notice again the authority of our Lord) or Paul (II Cor.12:7) were preserved from his approaches.  Indeed, neither was Christ Himself.  In dealing with such potentially disturbing incidents the Scriptures repeatedly stress God’s supremacy and sovereignty, and that even here He is working ‘for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose’ (Rom.8:28).


 Have you had any experiences of evil spirits?  Is there anything you feel you could share with the group?  Is there anything you would like them to pray with you / for you about?

What do you make of Paul’s practise of handing people over to Satan (see I Cor.5:5; I Tim.1:20)?

What would you say to a Christian who visited one of the spiritualist Churches in town?

Read Mark 5:1-20

 Do you think that modern medical and psychological understanding has done away with the idea of demonic possession? 

Do you think people can still be possessed (v.15 & 18)?  If so, under what circumstances?  Should a Christian attempt to cast a demon out if they think someone is possessed?

Why do you think the ‘impure spirits’ (v.13, though also identified as demons v.18) asked to be sent into the herd of pigs?  Why do you think Jesus gives them permission (v.13)

What do passages like this teach us about the relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and the spiritual forces of evil?  On the basis of Mark 5:1-20, what would you say to a Christian who was anxious about the reality of demons?  

What would you say to someone who wasn’t a Christian, and who was anxious about the reality of evil spirits?  What do you think is the evangelistic potential of passages such as these?

Why do the people want Jesus to leave their region (v.16-17)?

In the light of this study, how would you as a group now pray for each other?  

Memory Passage:

 He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.



For further reflection:

 The question of whether a Christian can be possessed seems to haunt the Church.  Leahy in his excellent book (Satan Cast Out) argues emphatically: ‘In the light of Scripture we are compelled to reject the view that the Holy Spirit and an evil spirit can co-exist in the same person … demon possession of a believer is utterly impossible …’ (p.95).  We are, if I may put it like this, already possessed by the Christ through His Spirit (Gal.2:20).  Nothing in all creation (Paul specifically mentions demons) can separate us from the love of God in Christ (Rom.8:38-39).  Believers are in Christ and Christ is in them.  We are spiritually made alive and are seated in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Eph.2:6).

 Much more could be said, but a more profitable use of these few lines might rather concentrate on the ways in which as Christians we are still vulnerable to the spiritual forces that rage against the Church and the cause of Christ.  Paul’s epic passage in Ephesians 6 helps us realise that our struggle is won not through exotic strategies of ‘spiritual warfare’, but in our clinging to the truth, living in a way characterised by righteousness, preparedness in evangelism, putting our faith in Christ, resisting temptation, working out our salvation, studying the Bible and being constant in prayer for ourselves and for each other (6:13-18)

 Much of our engagement with spiritual forces of evil will feel like a struggle to believe what the Bible teaches, a struggle to live in way that is faithful to Christ, a struggle to speak of Jesus, a struggle to pray with and for others.  This is the front line of ‘spiritual warfare’, and where the battle is won.  This is the pattern of the Church in Acts, where they are concerned to build the Church and proclaim Christ, not demon-hunt - though when demons explicitly opposed that work, they were dealt with authoritatively and succinctly - whether inside the Church (Acts 5:5) or outside her (Acts 16:18)

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2. Sin and Creation - Seen

Sin & the Fall 2

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!  (Matt.18:7)

You will hear of wars and rumours of wars … Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth-pains … then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again.  ‘If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 

(…taken from Matt.24: 6-22)

When we studied the doctrine of creation in our last Jesus Centred Life term we considered the ‘seen’ and ‘unseen’ creation separately.  As we reflect now on sin and the fall, we’ll continue to follow those Creedal categories.  In this study we’ll consider the impact of the fall on seen creation; and in our next study, we’ll think through the fall in the context of the unseen dimensions of creation.

 It is often said that the Christian doctrine of sin is the only one for which there is empirical evidence.  We can see, hear and feel the dynamics and impact of the fall everywhere.  From the most intimate insights we gain into our own human sized, human shaped part of creation to the macro-, transnational structures of that same creation, the shadow of sin is universally cast.  It is quite staggering that in the face of such an extravagance of evidence to the contrary, so many stubbornly cling to the groundless conviction that they are basically ‘good’.

 We’ll come back to look at our own experience of sin in a later study.  For now we will simply notice how powerful the doctrine of the’ Fall’ is in explaining the confusion, powerlessness and sense of dislocation that exists throughout every arena of life in this world.  Things feel alienated and dysfunctional because they are.  So much secular diagnosis is reductionist and superficial at best, and at worst, dangerously inadequate.  It is important to understand what is wrong with the world, not only so that we can understand it in itself, but also so that we can understand what Christ has done to deal with it.  This in turn will grant us deep insight as to how we can navigate the ongoing reality of sin and death in our own experience and in that of others.  

 Since the days of the ancient philosophers people have strained to make sense of the complexity of the world.  Whether it is the Greek Socrates arguing that the root of moral inadequacy is in ignorance (hence the remedy is education, which is still a guiding principle in western democracy); or the Roman Seneca moralising about how good and evil can be done and undone by the act of human will (we caused the problem by being bad, we can fix it by being good), we have had to both face the fact that something is wrong, and wrestle with the question of how to fix it.  But all has proven inadequate - at both theoretical and practical levels. 

 There are few places where Christianity’s counter-cultural stance is more explicit.  We live in a world that believes in its own inexorable progress: at the level of species and society we are evolving.  The Bible’s vision of human history is altogether less optimistic.  It sees history on a devolutionary trajectory rather than an evolutionary one.  We’ll see this worked out in some detail in our ‘Deep Church’ event in a few weeks, but for now we simply acknowledge that according to Jesus, the world is not going to advance with relentless progress until crime, disease, disability, poverty and even death become a thing of the past.  Indeed there is a creeping fear, even in the secular mind, that we might not be facing the inescapable development as a culture we once hoped for. 

 One of the things that intrigues me is the contrasting visions of the future portrayed in science fiction.  When Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise set out in 1966 ‘to boldly go where no man has gone before’, poverty and famine were already seen as something that had been eradicated.   Unlimited energy and replication technology in the Star Trek vision of the future, meant effectively unlimited resources are available to all those who need them.  There will be no need to work, no need for money.  Sophisticated medical technology meant the effects of sickness were massively curtailed.  Contrast this with the far more pessimistic visions of the future that depict a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and a handful of survivors struggling to navigate anarchy following the destruction of society due to technology gone wrong, war or sickness.  This cinematic tension captures the dilemma of secular society’s view of itself and its members.  We desperately want to believe we are inevitably evolving, but reality keeps reminding us that we’re simply not…


 How much do you look forward to the New Creation?  What about it do you anticipate most eagerly?  What about this cursed creation are you most looking forward to seeing the back of?  How would you help a Christian who said the New Creation held no particular appeal for them?

Do you think the Bible is unduly pessimistic about humans individually and societally?  Or do you think these studies are presenting an unfairly biased view of the Bible’s teaching?  Do you feel more optimistic about humanity’s prospects?  Why / Why not? 

Read Gen.3:16-19 & Rom.8:18-25

 How does God’s response to the entrance of sin into His creation affect our experience of family life? … and of working life?  Do you think the impact of Gen.3:17-19 is limited to agriculture?  What difference does being a Christian make in these areas of human experience?  How far is our experience of this primeval curse mitigated or reversed by our becoming Christians?

How do you feel about the idea of God subjecting creation to ‘frustration’, and ‘bondage to decay’ against its will (Rom.8:20-21)

What aspects of creation’s experience do you think Paul is referring to when he talks about it ‘groaning as in the pains of childbirth’ (8:22)?

Paul talks about us groaning inwardly as we wait for our own resurrection (8:23).  What aspects of our salvation have we already received (as first fruits of the Spirit), and what aspects do we still ‘hope for’ in the New Creation (v.25)?  How does that affect your thinking about …sickness / healing?  …overcoming sin?  …getting justice?  …avoiding suffering and persecution? …fulfilling our ambitions?

How can we better support one another at MIE as we live within the painful realities of this tension? 

What do you think is the evangelistic potential of passages such as these?

Memory Passage:

 I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’


For further reflection:

 God’s providence is immensely complex.  There is enough of judgement worked out within history to remind us there is a just God, but enough injustice, and outstanding justice to remind us that there is a Day still to come (Pr.11:31).    In that context, judgement in this passing age is not simply God letting people live with the consequences of their sin.  The Bible often regards consequent sin as punishment for previous ones. ‘The curse of an evil deed is that it must continually give birth to evil’ (see e.g. I Kings 11:11-31; Rom.1:24-28; II Samuel 11-20).  In part, the revelation of God’s wrath is in His handing sinful humanity over to the sinful desires of their hearts, and to a depraved mind (Rom.1:18, 24 & 28)

 Which means that, unless interrupted or halted by God’s grace, sin progressively renders sinners (and the cultures / societies they produce) more foolish and enslaved, further distanced from God, and more rapidly propelled towards destruction.  This process continues until ‘they not only continue to do these very things, but also approve of those who practise them’ (Rom.1:32).  One aspect of the curse is that fallen humanity comes to a place where they ‘call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…’ (Is.5:20).

 As the prophet declares; Woe to them.  Their experience of judgement in the present day demands only further judgement on that future Day.  Against such a backdrop, the idea that we can be educated or incentivised out of sin, or that technological advances will eliminate the effects of the curse seem laughable.  Only the radical invasion of the grace and power of God in the Gospel of Christ holds any hope for fallen humanity, and beyond that the hope of a New Creation.  Not an old creation improved - but a renewal of all things (Matt.19:28).

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1. Sin and Sovereignty

Sin & the Fall 1


Then [Job] fell to the ground in worship and said:  ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’  In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.  (Job 1:20-22)

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.  (Is.45:7)

 ‘So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you’.  (II Chron.18:22)

I’ve often wondered if Christians don’t seem awfully naïve to a watching world.  So often we celebrate the power, goodness and glory of God displayed in the wonder of creation.  Which isn’t a problem in itself - the allegation of naiveté doesn’t lie in what is said, but in what isn’t.  There are many whose experience of life at the hands of creation predisposes them to atheism, if not outright hostility to a God they may or may not believe in.  What we euphemistically speak of as ‘natural disasters’; sickness and disease; mortality; the untold suffering of millions; the harsh realities of our environment all seem to many to call into question our devotional claims.

 Something similar happens when we talk about people being created in the image of God.  Again, the problem isn’t with what is being said, but in what isn’t.  Despite our rhetoric, the stark reality is that people don’t seem to be very God-like.  We are confronted with this undeniable truth every time we turn on the news, engage with other people, or simply look in the mirror.  The litany of conflict, selfishness, pride, self-pity, cowardice, jealousy, immorality, breakdown of relationships, deceit and distortion, brutality, cruelty and exploitation, gossip, rage, malice, bitterness and resentment…  the list could easily go on.  We do things we know are wrong, and many of us live with a latent sense of shame, guilt and failure.  In the light of all this, our insistence that people are created Imago Dei has the faint air of a fairy tale - maybe a good moral, but basically a story for children.

 And it isn’t just at a personal level that humanity seems to struggle to be and to do what is right and good.  Our experience of life and society seems to be broken at systemic and corporate, national and international level.  Structures of power, institutions, politics, systems of justice, protection and care, economics, academia, the environment, family life, our culture’s thinking on human identity, media…  somehow it all seems inherently unstable and frustrated.  We stop being surprised when things don’t quite work as they’re supposed to.  We fluctuate helplessly between a herculean arrogance and a tragic sense of futility.

 So many have promised Utopia.  Although the idea has always haunted the human imagination, the word was coined in the 16th century by the English Chancellor, Thomas More.  It’s an ironic pun, coming from the classical Greek word for ‘not-a-place’, but sounding very similar to the word for ‘good-place’.  Human history is littered with the horrific consequences of nations and empires following those who promised a better world.  And in spite of the wars and genocides, gulags and concentration camps, that perfect human society has proven - as More so insightfully foretold - elusive and perennially beyond our grasp.  The promised dream becomes a nightmarish reality.  Eventually hope gives way to cynicism.  There is only so many times a race can be disappointed.

 When we evade such devastating realities, our Christian piety seems hopelessly out of touch.  In the face of evil, suffering and death, our clichéd inspirational quotes can seem cruel and mocking.  Does creation really speak of the glory of God?  Are humans really reflections of God?  How can we hold together the beauty and the ugliness of creation and life within it?  How can we explain both the brilliance and the brutality of humanity or even make sense of my own confused experience of being human?  What has gone wrong?

 And yet, before we explore such questions as these we must confront a much deeper and, for many Christians, more troubling question: Is God still in control of what has gone wrong?  As Christians we struggle with making sense of God and sin and suffering and death.  And perhaps rightly so.  But our failure to tackle these questions as fully as we can undermines our credibility before the world, hinders our growth as Christians, renders us ill equipped to face the reality of our own life, and leaves us vulnerable to confusion and doubt at the very points when we should be drawn into faith and worship. 


 Do you think creation bears witness to the glory and goodness of God?  What would you say to someone who argued that nature was brutal and cruel, and that they couldn’t worship a ‘god’ who made a world like this one?

Do you think God is in control of sin, death, evil and suffering?  What makes you think what you do? 

We’ll come back to this question at the end of the series, but it is worth exploring now what we think, and seeing if we change our mind at all in the weeks ahead.

Read Acts 4:23-31

 The Church raises their voices together in prayer to the ‘Sovereign Lord’ (v.24).  How would you define ‘Sovereign’ in your own words? 

Why do you think the Sovereignty of God, His work of creation and His work of the cross are linked in the minds of the Church (v.24)?

During their prayer, they cite Psalm 2.  Read this Psalm in its entirety.  What is the Lord’s reaction to the pretensions of those in earthly power?  What does this tell you about His relationship with them?  What surprises you about the portrait of God presented in Psalm 2?  Do you think the Church is right to apply this Psalm to the events of the Jesus’ death?

List out all the sins that were committed in the week leading up to the death of Jesus: by the disciples, by the crowd, the religious leaders, the Roman officials and soldiers, the spiritual forces of this dark world…  Do you agree that none of this happened without the Lord’s will and power deciding beforehand what should happen (v.28)?  What do you think this phrase means (see also Acts 2:23)?

How do you think the Church’s vision of God shapes their request at the end of their prayer (v.30)?

Memory Passage:

 Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong.  For He repays everyone for what they have done; He brings on them what their conduct deserves.  It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice.

Job 34:10-12


For further reflection:

 ‘It was God’s will to crush Him, and to cause Him to suffer’.  So wrote the ancient prophet Isaiah (53:10).  Yes but…  perhaps this sort of thing can only be said about the cross.  Maybe that was because God had a purpose in the cross; He was at work in it.  But the Bible insists that God has a purpose in all sin and suffering.  After all, He works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will (Eph.1:11).  Perhaps He is punishing the wicked (e.g. Jdgs 9:22-24; Prov.11:31); or is saving the Church (e.g. Gen.45:5; 50:20); or disciplining His people (e.g. II Samuel 24:1 & 10); or is glorifying His Name (e.g. Ex.4:21 & Rom.9:17).  Or any number of other good and wise purposes that currently elude our finite and fallen imagination.

 But what we cannot deny is the Bible’s consistent teaching that sin remains within his sovereignty.  We need to tread carefully.  God does not tempt anyone (Jas.1:13); in Him there is no darkness (I Jn.1:5); He is righteous in all His ways (Ps.145:17).   But the Bible goes on: God ordained that his people be hated in Egypt (Genesis 12:3; Psalm 105:25, He turned their hearts to hate his people); that Absalom should lie with his father’s wives (2 Samuel 12:11); that Jeroboam and the ten tribes should rebel against Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:15-16).   And the list could go on to include the rise of Babylon or the career of Cyrus.  Similarly, God is able to restrain sin when it is in His purpose (Gen.20:6).  Such passages go somewhat beyond passivity and mere ‘permission’ to something more active.

 None of this negates our responsibility.  Satan and humanity remain the authors of sin, and are culpable for it.  But more than one Person can be at work in the same act for different purposes (see Job 1-2; Is.10:6-7; also see II Sam.24:1 & I Chron.21:1 together).  But it is to say that none of it is out of His control.  Which is important, for if there is one thing more frightening than the Bible’s teaching that God is sovereign over sin, it would be the prospect that He isn’t!

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