4.2.1.2 Sinful mankind is still loved by God

Mankind, who had now become sinful, would from that time on have to reap what they had sown: "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6: 23). Despite their disobedience and presumption, the Eternal One still loved those He had created. He continued to care for them and attend to them. Illustrations of this divine care include the fact that God made tunics of hide for Adam and Eve and clothed them (Genesis 3: 21), and that He set a mark upon Cain to protect him when he feared vengeance after killing his brother (Genesis 4: 15).

The love of God, which still covered mankind even after the fall into sin, was revealed in perfect fashion through the sending of His Son. Jesus Christ came and defeated sin (1 John 3: 8). In Him, mankind was saved from the harm brought about by sin (Acts 4: 12).

In impressive contrast to the rebelliousness and presumptuousness of mankind, who had become increasingly entangled in sin, the Son of God in His human form set an example of perfect obedience to His Father (Philippians 2: 8). Through His sacrificial death, Jesus Christ acquired the merit by which human beings could be liberated from their sins and ultimately redeemed from "the bondage of corruption" (Romans 8: 21), thereby making it possible for them to live in eternal fellowship with God.

Apostle Paul makes this contrast clear: "Therefore, as through one man's offence judgement came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous" (Romans 5: 18-19).

However, sinful mankind does not automatically gain justification before God. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, God has shown His commitment to mankind: He does not condemn human beings, but rather seeks to grant them salvation. Human beings are called upon to make a serious effort to accept God's offer and attain salvation. For this purpose, God has endowed human beings with conscience, reason, and faith. If human beings align these gifts by Jesus Christ, then the justification attained by the Son of God (Romans 4: 25) becomes accessible to them by grace. That which human beings accomplish thus has no justifying effect. Rather, that which they accomplish–their works–are a necessary and self-evident expression of faith, a sign that they have accepted God's offer of salvation.

SUMMARY

The separation between man and God came into being through the fall into sin. The consequence of this was expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Adam is the archetype of all sinners. (4.2.1; 4.2.1.1)

God's love still covered mankind even after the fall into sin. It was revealed in perfect fashion in the sending of Jesus Christ, who conquered sin and death. (4.2.1.2)

See also