I wonder what you think of this Biblical statement, “All have sinned?” Maybe, you feel the way I did about this, proclaiming, “What, me a sinner?” I feel good about me. I haven’t done anything, which can be construed as sin. I think I disagree with the statement, “All have sinned.” Surely, I’m not included in this statement. Perhaps, your thoughts are along the same theme, “What me a sinner? Unfortunately, this type of thinking is false. The Apostle Paul further explains away this misconception.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.” Romans 5:12-14 NKJV
Our argument might be, “Well; I am not like Adam. I did not eat from the forbidden tree!” This May be true, but the Scripture makes it clear, Adam passed this sin onto us. Our sin might not be in the likeness of Adam’s sin, but our choice to sin is. Although, we physically do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but willfully we partake of its fruit. Therefore, all do sin.
Let us try to logically-explain this. When Adam and Eve were created, God created them in His image and likeness. What was this image and likeness? Were we physically created in the image and likeness of God?
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27 NKJV
Jesus describes the form of God not as physical. He said, “God is Spirit” (John 4:24 NKJV). Therefore, we may say, our physicality is not the image of God.
There is much debate on this question of the image of God. The scripture teaches the Lord God is one. Moses said,
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV
Even though God said, when he created man,
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’” Genesis 1:26 NKJV
The pronoun, us, used by God, describes God as a plural. However, Jesus agrees with Moses, He said,
“Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.’” Mark 12:29 NKJV
The Apostle Johns explains the plural of Us and the singular of the Lord our God is one.
“For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7 NKJV
Perhaps, being made in the image and likeness of God requires us to be a plural being, but one. Many believe we are. How did we get life?
“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 being.” Genesis 2:7 NKJV
We get life by the breath of God entering our body, and we became a living being. A plural containing the body and God’s breath of life makes one. Is this the image and likeness of God? Perhaps, this may be the image but what is the likeness?
God describes the likeness of His nature to Moses.
“And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” Exodus 33:18-20 NKJV
“And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” Exodus 34:6 NKJV
Everyone has an image which they project. God explained what His image is, GOODNESS! The image of God is goodness. There is no evil in Him. God has no sin in Him as we do. The Son of God showed this to us.
“And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.” 1 John 3:5 NKJV
We have already seen Adam sinned, and from him all of us trespass. Nevertheless, before Adam sinned, He was in the image and likeness of God, that is, GOOD. He was without sin. Sin was alien to him. Therefore, we may deduce, being made in the image and likeness of God is a complex subject. It requires a plural of elements (for lack of a better term) to make one human in God’s image. The body with the spirit and soul, three distinct entities, yet one, plus the nature of the goodness of God makes Adam and Eve in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, when Eve looks at Adam, she understands what God is like. The same is true for Adam, when he looks at Eve, he understands what God is like. After all, they are the image and likeness of God.
With all of this in mind, what went wrong for this couple, Adam and Eve. Those two who only knew goodness, a goodness bound up in their genetic code, what changed them and affected their offspring to be sinners? The answer is bound up with the disobedient eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 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 coverings.” Genesis 3:6-7 NKJV
Do you notice the words, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked?” Something has drastically happened to Adam and Eve. Before they ate the fruit, they looked at each other and saw God’s image radiating towards them. After they ate the fruit, they saw their own beings naked. What is missing? The goodness quality of God is gone from them. This image and likeness are now replaced with the likeness of sinful man. The goodness of God is genetically replaced by a genetic code of good and evil. This good is not the goodness of God. It is the opposing force of evil, a counterbalance. Adam and Eve’s disobedience toward God is sin. The result of this sin brought about the first part of the punishment of death, the death of the image and likeness of the goodness of God in them! From that moment forward the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil is embedded in every thought and action they do. This new genetic paradigm is what Adam passes on to all humans. The Shekinah glory of goodness is GONE!
“And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.” Genesis 5:3 NKJV
We have a subtle shift of being here. Adam’s offspring are not born in the image and likeness of God. They are born in the image and likeness of Adam. The genetic code of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil are encoded in every human being. Simply put, this tree is in you and me. This means every human has the same problem Adam and Eve faced, the problem of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The day comes in every person’s life to eat or not eat of this tree within, this process to sin starts at birth. Babies are born sweet, innocent and helpless. They have no conscience of good or evil. Their only desire is for loving parental care. Perhaps, at this point of life a human is closest to God’s original intended purpose, humans born in the image and likeness of God. Time moves on and the baby grows and explores its environment. The baby still has no clue about good or evil. Things done by the baby are all good to him or her. The parents, who are steeped in the knowledge of good and evil begin to train the child concerning right and wrong and good and evil. As the child develops silly events happen. The baby breaks something and the parent asks, “Did you break this?” For some unknown reason or perhaps an innate sense for self-preservation, the innocent child, who didn’t know breaking something is wrong, lies to the parent and declares, “No I did not do that!” The parent is taken aback, and punishment befalls on the little boy or girl. Furthermore, the law is laid down, the parent declares. “You will not lie to me.” The child processes this, and the seed of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is watered and begins to sprout in the heart. The genetic code of this tree starts to grow and entwine itself into the heart, mind and soul. Soon, the once goodness of the baby now knows good in the conscious and evil in its heart. Time marches on and the child grows. The youth comes to a point of crisis of decision, to do the knowledge of evil in the heart or the good in the conscience. This point is different for all, but all must make the decision to “eat or not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil within.” The temptation is before us. For the first time, we face it with the understanding of “You shall not,” just as Adam was.
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:17 NKJV
Maybe, the, “You shall not,” which is faced, could be to steal, lie, covet, curse God, do or be with evil of some kind. The war raging in the mind, between the heart and conscience, is to take of the fruit of the forbidden and eat. Guess what, like Eve and Adam, we eat. And the Scripture is true,
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 NKJV
Therefore, if you think, you are not a sinner, I will leave you with this final thought. (God’s Thought!)
“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.” Romans 2:1-2 NKJV
Consequently, we need a Savior! Between you and me, the biting of the fruit leaves a bitter taste of death in one’s mouth. Please choose to eat from the tree of life, accept Christ today! Call on the Name of the Lord Jesus and be SAVED! Christians, please share your faith today! You have God’s permission and mine, to use this writing.
© Guy Calandra