Created In God’s Image – Not Born Sinful
‘Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.’ ~ Ecclesiastes 7:29
One of the strongest arguments that false teachers use to teach that no one can stop sinning is a teaching called The Sinful Nature.
Through this false teaching, men are made to think that they were born with an inability to turn from sin and live holy and therefore they are not really expected or required to keep God’s commands to repent and live holy lives till Jesus returns.
Were we really born sinful and unable to obey God? If not, how did we get corrupted? What is the source or our sinful desires and rebellion? Do we have a free will able to obey God?
1.1 You Were Made In The Image Of God & Not Born Sinful
Yes, man was made in the image of God in the garden before the fall but even after the fall, man was still in the image of God.
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.
- When God created mankind he created them not sinful but after his very own image of holiness. Man was created in an innocent state.
1 Corinthians 11:7 ~ For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
- Long after the fall and after Jesus death the scripture says that man is still truly the image and glory of God.
- False teachers teach that man lost the image of God when he sinned but this is here proven false.
Psalms 139:13-14 ~ For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered [sakak: to weave together] me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
- David speaks of how he was created or woven together in his mother’s womb by God himself.
- David says that he was fearfully and wonderfully made in this womb and not that he was put together with a sinful soul.
Psalms 71:6 ~ By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.
- Even from within the womb David says that he had an experience with God and was held up by God’s presence.
- God does not dwell with the wicked and sinful so David must have been innocent in the womb.
Matthew 18:3 ~ And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
- Jesus loved little children and always let them come to him. He so admired their state of innocence that he said that we must become as little children in order to inherit the Kingdom.
- If Jesus thought little children were depraved and wicked by nature, he would not have told us to become like them to inherit the Kingdom.
Ecclesiastes 7:29 ~ Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
- Solomon tells us that God created man upright, not sinful. It is man who despite being made righteous and innocent has sought out sinful things and it is because of this reason that God is angry.
1.2 We Have Turned Against Innocence And Corrupted Ourselves
Genesis 6:11-12 ~ The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
- After the fall, the existence of mankind continued for some time. God then looked at the state of things and became very disappointed.
- God says that men had corrupted their own selves not that it was the fault of Adam and Eve.
Genesis 6:13 ~ And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
- Because of the corruption he saw in mankind God said he was now going to destroy all people from the face of the earth.
- If people were simply victims of an inherited nature by which they could do nothing but sin, why would God be angry with them enough to wipe them off of the planet?
- No, God is just and holy and his wrath was justified. People were not just innocent victims of a hereditary disease but they had free will and and chose to rebel against their creator and corrupt themselves.
Jeremiah 2:21 ~ Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?
- God expresses his shock here in Jeremiah. He says that he created them noble and righteous and he is shocked that instead of reaping the righteous seed he had planted he received a degenerate plant!
- This is not the language of a God that simply understands that we could do nothing but sin. On the contrary, God expected that we would live righteously and was horrified that we did the opposite.
Exodus 32:7-8 ~ And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them.
- Look at the shock and anger of God. He is greatly appalled that the people have quickly turned from his commandments and corrupted themselves in sin.
- God clearly expected them to be able to walk in the way of his commandments or he would not have expressed this anger and shock.
Deuteronomy 32:5 ~ They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.
- How do men get corrupt? They corrupt themselves by their decisions to walk in perverse ways and not keep the commands of God.
Zephaniah 3:7 ~ I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.
- Look at the holy righteous expectation of God. He says to himself surely they will fear me and will walk in my instruction and keep my commandments.
- God does not view men as unable to fear him and work righteousness and he is shocked that instead of walking in his instruction they chose rather to corrupt themselves with their sinful ways.
1.3 Temptation From Satan, Environment, & Flesh Cause Sin
If a sinful nature and inability to obey God is not the source of our sin and rebellion what is? Why do men choose to sin and corrupt themselves?
James 1:14-15 ~ But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
- The source of all sin is not a sinful nature but it is temptation from both external and internal sources.
- When temptation is yielded to then sin is birthed and sin then gives birth to spiritual death and corruption.
Ephesians 6:12 ~ For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
- The first powerful force of temptation is Satan and demonic forces. We do not have a war with physical powers but we wage war with demonic forces that seek to influence us to turn from our commitment to God.
1 John 2:16-17 ~ For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
- Secondly, the forces of Satan use our physical desires to bring temptation. By appealing to the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes, and a prideful spirit, Satan leads men to sin against God.
- Satan influences people to lust after things because of the desires their flesh have. Being enticed, they go and commit those sins and end up corrupted and enslaved.
2 Peter 2:18 ~ For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
- False teachers of Satan appeal to the desires of our bodies in order to tempt us to sin against God and leave righteousness.
1 Corinthians 15:33-34 ~ Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not.
- Third, our environment plays a large factor in the degree in which we are influenced and tempted to sin against God.
- Being around sinful people brings great temptation to sin.
Judges 2:18-19 ~ And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
- The Israelites were greatly affected by their environment. When they had a righteous leader then they too were righteous.
- When that righteous leader died and his righteous influence was no longer among them then the people corrupted themselves.
- Environment and leadership contributes much to the strength of temptation in our lives and whether or not we will corrupt ourselves or live pure.
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.
- Before we comment on this verse, it is extremely important to note that all this demonic influence, lusts, and temptation which caused sin in Eve happened before the fall. Meaning that Eve could not have possibly had a sinful nature and yet she experienced all the lusts below.
- Everything we have learned so far about how Satan works to tempt us today we can see put into action in the Garden of Even where Eve fell into sin. Watch what happened:
- An external influence comes to Eve in the form of a snake being controlled by satanic forces.
- This snake then appeals to Eves lusts. It appeals to her lust of the flesh [it was good for food], it appeals to her lust of the eyes [it looked pleasant to the eyes], and it appealed to her pride [it was a tree to be desired to make one wise].
- If this is how Satan brought temptation to holy innocent Eve then could this not be the same way all of us have sinned and corrupted ourselves? Do we really need to create an excuse for our sin?
1.4 We All Have A Free Will And The Ability To Do Right
The scriptures do not teach that any man is forced to sin but rather that we all have free will to either reject or give in to temptation.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ~ There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
- The Bible clearly teaches that God has ensured that we have everything we need to resist temptation and that includes the power to choose to not indulge our flesh.
- There is always a way out of temptation and that is because we are not created with inability but with ability to choose right or wrong.
Deuteronomy 30:19 ~ I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
- God has given us a free will to choose life or death and he expects us to use that free will to choose life and choose to follow him and keep his commands and live holy.
Mark 8:34 ~ And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
- Jesus did not believe that any man was forced to follow the devil and temptation. He said that whoever wanted to come after him could freely deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow him.
- Whosoever will means that everyone can or the statement is meaningless!
Ezekiel 18:30 ~ Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
- The basis of God’s judgment on mankind is that people are able to turn from their sins. They are able to cast away from themselves all their sins and turn to God and yet they do not.
- God would not command us to repent and turn ourselves from sin if it was an impossible deed. He clearly believes we are able to do this and commands that we must if we want to be saved.