4.2.1.1 Mankind in sin

Mankind sought to rise above the Creator. Thereby the untroubled relationship between God and man was destroyed. This has had drastic effects on the human race to this day.

Adam represents the archetype of all sinners, as it were. This is true as regards his motivation to sin, his conduct while in the state of sinfulness, as well as his hopelessness after the fall into sin.

The thought behind the decision to transgress the boundary imposed by God was expressed in the temptation: "... you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3: 5). Some of the motivations for sinful conduct are: the desire not to have any God over oneself but rather wanting to be a god in one's own right, no longer respecting the commandments of God but rather doing what one's own will and lusts desire.

The sinfulness of all human beings is portrayed in Genesis by an appalling increase in the sins of the human race: Cain rose up against God's counsel and warning, and killed his brother (Genesis 4: 6-8). As time went on, the sins of mankind continued to increase, and cried so loudly to heaven that God responded with the great flood (Genesis 6: 5-7, 17). But even after this judgement, human beings persisted in their disobedience and presumptuousness towards their Creator. For example, the Bible describes the conduct of the builders of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1-8), whom God caused to fail on account of their ambition.

Apostle Paul writes as follows about the phenomenon of the sinfulness of all mankind after the fall into sin, and of the spiritual death which resulted from it: "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5: 12).

The fall into sin brought about changes in the lives of mankind which they could not reverse. Fear estranged them from their Creator, whose nearness they no longer sought. Instead, they tried to hide from Him (Genesis 3: 8-10). The relationship of human beings toward one another also suffered (Genesis 3: 12), as did their relationship with the creation. From that time on, human beings had to toil arduously for their survival and, at the end of their lives, return to the ground from which they had been taken (Genesis 3: 16-19).

Man cannot return to the state of sinlessness.

See also