Nature of Man

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Genesis 2.16-17).

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15.22).

God created man in His own image. This made Man unique among all of God’s creations. This is not said of angels, much less of any other of God’s creatures. We are special!

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Genesis 1.26-27).

What Is Man?

This article is about anthropology or what makes man man. God created man as  a tripartite being, composed of body, soul, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5.23; Hebrews 4.12). Man had the potential to live forever by eating from the Tree of Lives, (מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים, Genesis 3.22). God gave man a body with five senses: taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing to perceive and enjoy the external world. God gave man a soul composed of mind, will, and emotion. Through mind man can reason, through will, he can choose, and with emotion, he can appreciate the perceptions of his mind and senses. Lastly, God gave man a human spirit through which he could communicate with and appreciate God.

Original Creation

Man's Original Nature

Man’s Original Nature

God placed Man into a perfect environment. The whole earth belonged to man with the exception of the fruit of one tree. God warned Adam of the consequence of disobedience:

16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Genesis 2.16-17).

Adam failed the test. Physical death die not occur when he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but spiritual death occurred immediately. The Hebrew phrase מוֹת תָּמוּת literally means, “dying, you will die.” Adam’s spirit died the instant he ate but his body lived for 930 years (Genesis 5.5). A similar construction, מוֹת יָמֻתוּ, is found in Numbers 26.65. God told the generation of Jews whom He rescued from Egypt they would die in the wilderness because they refused to trust Him to take possession of the land He had promised Abraham. They did not die as soon as God spoke these words; they died over a course of 40 years.

Man’s Fallen Nature

We sin because we are sinners. That is our nature as a result of Adam’s disobedience. Just as a good tree produces good fruit, a sinner produces sin. The great reformer, William Tyndale, conveyed this truth with his statement, “an adder is hated not for the euill it hath done but for the poyson that is in it.” Our nature cannot be changed through moral effort. We do not have this ability.

Man's Nature After Disobedience

Man’s Nature After Disobedience

The apostle Paul provides us with almost all our doctrine about what happened as a result of Adam’s disobedience. His writings give us insight into the human condition and why things continually go wrong with us. Paul wrote the Romans:

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come (Romans 5.12-14 cf. Ephesians 2.1, 5).

Adam’s fall affected not only himself–body, soul, and spirit–but the whole human race. The soul was ruined and became a sin nature (Romans 7.18, 21). Paul described our fallen nature as “our old man,” (παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος) in Romans 6.6. The “old man” is a “body of sin” (Romans 6.6). Paul’s term “sin,” ἁμαρτία, in these passages, is best understood as “sin nature.” His term “flesh” is a synonym for this old nature (Romans 7.14, 25; Galatians 5.16-17) as is “members of one’s body” (τὰ μέλη ὑμῶν) in Romans 6.13, 19, 7.5, 23. Our “old nature” held us in slavery to sin (Romans 6.6, 17, 19-20, 7.14; Galatians 5.1) reigned as king (βασιλεύω) over us (Romans 6.12), and had dominion (κυριεύω) over us (Romans 6.14). Our old nature or flesh is incapable of obeying God or pleasing Him (Romans 8.7-8). Indeed, when confronted by the Law, which God gave Israel to show them right and wrong, the old nature rebels against it. Thus, in practice, the Law actually increases sin (Romans 7.7-10).

Man’s Restoration after Salvation

While we have no ability to  change our nature by our moral efforts, God can. God can change, as someone has said, “our want to.” God is not interested in reform. He makes us new. He gives us a new nature. Tyndale wrote, “when He buildeth he casteth all downe first. He is no patcher.”

Paul taught that when one believes his gospel (Romans 2.15, 16.25, 1 Corinthians 15.1-4) a person is saved. Salvation is immediate, ongoing, and future. Theologians use the terms justification, sanctification, and glorification to describe this salvation package. Other terms: justification, redemption, reconciliation, expiation, propitiation describe the nature of our salvation from God’s perspective. The Scriptures also use terms such as adoption,  sealed, baptized to describe how God identifies the believer with Himself as a result of faith.

God’s Salvation Package
JustificationPast (when one believes)
SanctificationPresent (life until death)
GlorificationFuture (death and resurrection)

When a person believes the gospel he becomes God’s forever and God gives him eternal life (Romans 5.21, 6.22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2.16; 1 Timothy 1.16; Titus 1.2, 3.7). When one believes the gospel, his human spirit, dead on account of Adam’s fall is made alive. At the moment of trust, God also indwells us with His own Spirit, the Holy Spirit. He comes to indwell us forever (Ephesians 1.13-14; Romans 8.9, 15-16; 1 Corinthians 3.16). The Holy Spirit is God’s “pledge” or “down payment” to us (2 Corinthians 1.22; Ephesians 1.14) as a promise of future blessing. Paul used the word ἀρραβών which was used for “earnest money.”

This is all wonderful news. Unfortunately, however, not all is good news. We still retain our old nature. It still exists and rebels against God. This is why Christians sin. Paul described this condition in his letter to the Galatians:

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness,self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5.16-24).

Paul described his own experience of these two natures in his letter to the Romans. Paul wrote:

14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin (Romans 7.14-25).

Paul wrote how to achieve victory in the Christian life:

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death (Romans 8.2).

The way to victory during God’s process of sanctification is the same way that we have victory in justification: by faith. Paul wrote the Galatians:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh (Galatians 5.16).


Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5.24).

How does one “crucify the flesh?” By faith. To the Romans Paul wrote:

11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6.11-14).

By faith one “reckons” or “considers” oneself dead to sin. This is the way we can experience victory in the Christian life. In this same passage Paul taught that when Christ died, we died by virtue of the fact that believers are “in Christ” and have been identified by God in Christ’s death. Being identified with Christ in His death means that God has also identified the believer in Christ’s resurrection.


For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin (Romans 6.5-7).

Man’s Nature After Resurrection

The Bible provides little information as to what the believer’s life will be while he awaits resurrection. Normal human life is composed of body, soul, and spirit. Upon death, the body dies and the soul and spirit leave the body and go to be with the Lord. Soul and spirit will not become united with a resurrection body until the body of Christ, the Church is complete. When it is, God will resurrect all members of the body of Christ. This event is known as the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15.20, 51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4.13.18). What we do know is that when we died we go to be with the Lord who already views us as being with Him (Ephesians 1.3). Paul wrote the Corinthians:

Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5.6-8).

The good news is that our Adamic, fallen nature will not be with us forever. God has promised we will be resurrected–changed (1 Corinthians 15.51-52; 2 Corinthians 5.1-5; Philippians 3.20-21). At that time we will receive a new, eternal body. Our old nature, the “flesh” is inseparably linked to our present bodies. We cannot become free from the old nature as long as we have our present bodies.

The great hope for believers is the Rapture. Paul called it the “blessed hope.” Thus, he wrote Titus:

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds (Titus 2.11-14).

New Nature of Man After Salvation

New Nature of Man After Salvation


Despite Adam and Eve’s great failure those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ have hope. No hope exists for man outside of Christ. Those who have believed Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) have eternal life and the hope of resurrection and freedom from sin. The believer will share in Christ’s inheritance as a joint-heir (Romans 8.17). Indeed, what God has prepared for the believer in incomprehensible. Paul wrote,


©2012 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

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41 thoughts on “Nature of Man

  1. linda

    Thanks for sending me this way. I think I am understanding more. So what about when Paul told the Galatians they wouldn’t inherit the kingdom of God if they committed all those sins? Is that for the church as well? If we commit any of those we just repent and keep walking in the Spirit or else God will chastise us?
    Have you ever heard of Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold? He has videos online and believe in OSAS would you agree with that?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Paul’s main point in this passage was to write the Galatians that they were not under the Mosaic Law. The flesh, the old nature, wants to do those things he mentions. But walking in the Spirit produces good results. Paul used the word πράσσω which means “practice.” Habitually doing these things is not the normal Christian life. A true Christian wants to please God. If one shows no evidence of new life one probably doesn’t have it. See Paul’s response to a sinning believer in 1 Corinthians 5.1-5. I have not heard of Pastor Arnold but believe the Bible teaches that if we have truly believed Paul’s gospel nothing can separate us from God (Romans 8).

  2. John H. Gregory

    Just finishes reading your “Nature of Man. My
    Purpose is not to debate, but
    To seek the truth. The SBC
    Convention states that we do not inherit the sinful nature of Adam but only his death.
    We are not sinners until we sin ourselves. The doctrine of inherited sinful nature was the idea of Augustine &
    His grandson John Calvin.
    Inherited guilt is Calvinistic.
    I seeking truth, not wishing
    To debate. Please eradicate my ignorance.
    God bless, John H. Gregory
    Was not taught by the early
    Church. Augustine was the
    Grandfather of
    Calvinism. Inherited guilt
    Of Adam is Calvinistic. I am
    Not wishing to debate, I am
    Seeking truth.
    Please era

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Paul taught that we inherit Adam’s fallen nature. He called it the “old man” (Romans 6.6), “sin” (Romans 6.7, 14), and the “flesh” (Romans 7.5, 18). Tyndale, who stood far above all the Reformers, wrote, “the deede is good because of the man and not the man because of his deede,” “an adder is hated not for the euill it hath done but for the poyson that is in it,” and “we must first be euill ere we do euill, and good before we do good.” Thus, we are sinners not because we break the Law; we break the Law because we are sinners. The reason we sin is because we have a nature that wants to sin.

      1. Scott

        Thank you for your articles. They promote healthy discussion and spur positive thought about what we believe and why.

        Regarding the sinful nature and original sin, I believe the two are totally different. In my understanding, the sinful nature is a biblical truth discussed by Paul as mentioned in this article, however the doctrine of original sin is a doctrine of men beginning with Augustine as John pointed out and should be disregarded.

        I came to this conclusion by considering Jesus. He was both 100% man and 100% God, Hebrews 4:15, John 1:14. If Jesus was 100% man, He was exactly like us, not a lot like us but exactly like us. If we have sin when we are born, then it must then follow that Jesus had sin when He was born or else He wasn’t 100% like us. We know from scripture that Jesus was without sin in every way and this fact is absolutely foundational to our faith. Therefore there can be only one conclusion. If Jesus was born without sin, then we are also born without sin. This does not mean we don’t have a sinful nature, ie; a propensity to sin, as Jesus also had, however Jesus was able to resist despite being tempted in every way like us, whereas it is impossible for us to resist perfectly.

        To say Jesus was in every way like us except for sin is to say He wasn’t 100% like us which makes the Bible’s claim of being able to empathize with our suffering and weaknesses false. This is clearly not the case. We have a sinful nature when we are born, thanks to Adam, but we are not born with original sin. Original sin is a doctrine of men.

        I appreciate your thoughts.
        Thank you

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Paul wrote Jesus was “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (ἐν ὁμοιώματι σαρκὸς ἁμαρτίας). He was like Adam before he disobeyed. He was true man but not sinful man; He had no sin nature. We, however, are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2.1). Jesus was not. I do not think we can understand fully how Jesus was true man and true God.

      2. Bobbi

        Good morning Don and brethren:)
        Recently I read an article on this subject that had the thought that were are “derived” creatures. In other words we are either indwelt by God or Satan. He denied that we have an old nature.
        He said we are completely regenerated upon receiving Christ. And he preaches “Christ in us, our Hope of Glory.”
        I had to write that his thinking does not comply with Paul in Romans.
        The thing is if we prove all things 1 Thess. 5:21, by the Word of God, we will be safe from all this philosophy stuff. Col. 2:8 The gospel and doctrine of our nature is layed out very clearly in Romans 1-7, and I am so grateful we have the Bible… We need to be up to our eyeballs with truth. This is part of our armor even. Many people I know that are mixed up (some are Christians even) think I am ridiculous to study so much, but I find I need the truth more and more.
        I love the plain speech in this article that complies with the Bible.
        We do have our old nature still, but God’s wonderful Spirit is working in us for our sanctification, even till death like Don says here.
        We really need to know our Bibles!

    2. Pr. Simon Gatluak Lim

      A’m student of Uganda Baptist Seminary what i know so far is we the children of abraham had been inherited the sin from our father Adam who had been in the eden and there were accommand from God saying we should not eats from the middle tree in the garden if we do eats we will die, when Eve took the fruits of that tree she eat it and give some to his companion than we all fall of the short of the glory of God by sinning.

      1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

        Pr. Simon Gatluak Lim,
        We are children of Abraham on account of faith. Abraham believed what God told him and God declared him righteous. When we believe what God has told us, Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4), God declares us righteous. It is through faith that we have a relationship to Abraham. And yes, we are all sons of Adam and inherit a fallen nature that cannot please God. As the great Tyndale wrote, “An adder is hated not for the evil it has done but for the poison that is in it.” That is our situation as sons and daughters of Adam. In Adam, all die. But in Christ, all shall be made alive (1 Corinthians 15.22).

  3. Roger Spielmann

    Excellent article. One question comes to mind. In Psalm 8:5 it says that man was made “a little lower than the angels.” Does that mean that angels are superior to us human types? If so, “superior” in what way? Does the Bible clarify this verse somewhere else or do we have to leave it to our imagination?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      At present, angels are vastly superior to human beings in power and perhaps intellect. But men are superior to angels in being created in the image of God. Believers will exercise superiority in the future as joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8.17).

  4. Jacksom

    In your article, you wrote if any one believes the gospel he is Gods forever, and God gives him external life, you referenced John 3.36, my question is in john 3.36 what are we to believe of salvation? Was it the finished works of Jesus Christ?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      For us today, it is Paul’s gospel, 1 Corinthians 15.1-4. When John wrote, it was the kingdom gospel, that Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God. I’ve replaced the John reference with Pauline references to reduce confusion.

  5. Lindiwe Jele

    Hi, once again, another wonderful article. I like the diagram illustrations they make very good sense to me. The New Nature of Man after Salvation diagram refers:
    ***I think its ones CHOICE to sin, it has nothing to do with SIN NATURE – more especially AFTER SALVATION: Please have a look at these points below:
    1. Adam had no “sin nature” in him yet he still disobeyed God, so it’s not sin nature that make people disobey God, but it’s their choice not to obey Him….
    2. Today if we believe, God make us a “new creation” the old sin nature is removed, His spirit indwells us…how come but we still retain the old nature – is the old nature not supposed to be removed/dead? I think this is a contradiction or one way to comfort ourselves for choosing to disobey God.
    3. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh, so if one chooses not to walk by the spirit, he will then carry desires of sin……so its ones choice.
    4. If we believe, the Holy Spirit indwell us forever even if we may later on choose to carry the desire of the flesh and sin…., why did He leave Adam after he sinned but will not leave us today if we sin?
    5. The fact is Paul the apostle of Grace had weaknesses over sin (Paul described his own experience of these two natures in his letter to the Romans 7:14-25), Today his imitators/followers are more like him; they choose to sin and blame it to sin nature. Why would God give us a new nature but still let the old sin nature control us? I am of the opinion that God has given us all powers over sin; it’s our choice to exercise it for the best interest.
    6.When a person believes the gospel he becomes God’s forever and God gives him eternal life (Romans 5.21, 6.22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2.16; 1 Timothy 1.16; Titus 1.2, 3.7).
    a) Does this mean that there is no backsliding in this Gospel? What if one decide in future to reject this Grace and believe something else, some other gospel? Or even go back to worshiping idols; do they still belong to God with their idols?
    b) Please help me understand these messages by Paul:
    • 1Co 15:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
    • Col 1:21-23 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled , In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
    • 2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
    • 1Ti 6:20-21 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.
    • 1Ti 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
    • This whole passage, Romans 11:13-24 about branches cutting, More especially verse 22? What does FALLING mean?

    NB: to me (of little knowledge) these verses suggest that one may lose faith and salvation and eternal life. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Grace be with you as you help us grow Spiritually.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Paul made it clear we inherit a fallen nature from Adam (Romans 5-8). We sin because we have a nature bent towards sin. Paul called it the “old man” “flesh”. It does not go away with salvation as Paul wrote in Romans 7 and Galatians 5.16-17. Believers continue to sin after salvation and this situation will not end until we receive new bodies (Rapture). As to why God kept old and new natures together after salvation, that is a question God alone knows. Ultimately, God has chosen us to resolve the problem of evil and this is how He has chosen to do it.

    2. Bobbi

      This is as to the comment of a believers dual nature. You said,
      “I am of the opinion that God has given us all powers over sin; it’s our choice to exercise it for the best interest.”
      The way I’ve learned about this is I never thought I could be saved because I always knew of this inside myself. When my eyes were enlightened to this chapter, it is not that “we have power” over anything. It is the saving power of Christ in us that is working. It is his “life” itself , that power that raised him from the dead, living in us. It is the very work of God. Scripture says that his Word works “effectually”
      in us who believe…1 Thess. 2:13, Gal. 2:8. So it is the very doctrine given us in the gospel of Christ that does the work. (Rom. – Phil.) I think it is why we are to pay attention to doctrine, reading, because it is needs to be “in us.” Rom. 6:7, 16:17, Ephesians. 4:14, 1 Tim. 1:3, 10, 4:6, 13, 16, 5:17, 2 Tim. 3:10, 16, 2 Tim. 4:2,3, Tit. 1:9, 2:1, 7, 10.

      As to the why I am thinking and wondering if it is something to do with the doctrine of suffering. This knowledge of a dual nature, tends to keep one humble, depending on the Lord, and trusting his work he did for us, for we know in the flesh dwelleth no good thing…Rom. 7:18, Phil. 3:3
      Just some thoughts on that.
      Have a wonderful day all brothers and sisters in Christ!

  6. Appoh Maxwell

    That’s a great article… We need to realize that our sinful nature makes us sinners. What did Jesus say to the man who enquired about the way to the kingdom of God. Jesus told him unless he is BORN AGAIN. He never said he should stop sinning because Jesus know he has that Adamic nature of sin.
    Being born again means being regenerated from that birth that came through men and receiving life from God. Jesus never sinned because He had no Adamic nature. Jesus was born of a virgin. He didn’t get His life through a man but from God through the Holy Spirit. He just received a physical body from a woman because there was no other way He could have come to the world without a body. That’s why when a person is BORN AGAIN the Holy Spirit comes and in dwell in that person.

  7. Roger Spielmann

    Paul taught that we inherit Adam’s fallen nature. He called it the “old man” (Romans 6.6). I’m puzzled, though, about the whole Adam and Eve story. The consensus of OT scholars is that the story is symbolic in nature and reads like “myth.” How can one take it literally when it talks about the sons of Adam and Eve marrying women and having wives and children? When Cain went to the land of Nod he got married, but where did his wife and the wife of his brother Seth come from? Reading it as “myth” makes more sense to me, particularly in light of Genesis 1:26-28. The story makes no sense when taken literally.

    A footnote to the above: Why is God asking questions to Adam that He already knows the answers to? Certainly God would know where Adam was and who told him to cover his nakedness. I don’t get it.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Adam and Eve had lots of sons and daughters. Cain married one of his sisters or possibly a niece. This likely took place before he went to Nod. God asks questions to which he knows the answers to make us think. I am confident you do this with your students. Jesus did this throughout His earthly ministry, e.g., “which is it easier to say, ‘your sins are forgiven, or take up your bed and walk.'”

  8. Elvie Manrique

    Hi Don, Romans 5 discussed about the imputation of sin. Genesis 5:3 discussed about the inherited sin. Romans 7, sin indwells both in believer and unbeliever. Which sin corrupted the man’s original nature, imputed sin or inherited sin? Which sin refers to sin nature? Thanks

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Adam’s sin doomed us all. Through Adam we inherit a fallen, sin nature (Romans 5.14, 17). In Romans 5.13, Paul’s argument is that sin was not reckoned until the Law came. Nevertheless, men died because they had a sin nature. Law served to purpose of revealing and increasing sin (inherent in mankind) (Romans 5.20). The whole purpose of the Law was to reveal sin and condemn man. See my article, Paul and the Law, for more on the Law.

    2. Bobbi

      One interesting thing here, is that when Adam was created he was made in God’s image… which means, I think his Spirit was alive in God. He walked with God. Gen 3:8
      When he chose to disobey his Spirit died, which is what is meant by Gen. 2:16,17. So after this he (Adam) has a son “in his image” ., in which God’s image was lost due to seperation. Gen. 5:3
      So mans Spirit died, through choosing to obey his own desires and of the evil one instead of listening and obeying God’s commandment.
      Adam was the one born in God’s image, I think.
      Through the Lord Jesus work on the cross, scripture says God was “in Christ” reconciling the world to himself. 2 Cor. 1:19. This is huge!
      This is our Hope…Col. 1:27. Thus bringing man to God where his Spirit is alive in Christ! It is glorious and we could not do this on our own because we were dead, so God did everything through the Lord Jesus Christ! So thus we are NEW now when we believe the gospel! This is so cool :)

      1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

        There are two aspects to being created in the image of God. We are “like” God in that we have mind, will, and emotion and a “form” but another aspect of this “image” is having dominion over the earth. We are His representatives to rule the earth. The Hebrew literally reads, “dying you will die.” When Adam ate the fruit, his spirit (the part that communicates with God) died immediately. His soul became defective, bent, with a nature in rebellion to God. Physically began to die being cut off from God. God is life. Separation from God is death. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Death is the great proof the Bible is true. Life is, quite literally, impossible apart from God.

        1. Bobbi

          So are you saying then that we are born into this world in God’s image still? Even though we are not yet regenerated? This can be a deep subject. Children are innocent until they reach the age of accountability I think.
          Also when Adam died in his spirit, he fell captive to the enemy didn’t he? Like Israel as well, and us before salvation, and the entire unsaved world today…
          All I can say is Praise God for Salvation from death and sin through the Lord Jesus Christ, and so we can know him, the one true God! Also in our salvation, he gives us his life! Phil. 3:10 And we get to be with him for eternity! 1 Thess. 4:17 That’s awesome!

          1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

            Yes. The image is marred, damaged, but we are still made in God’s image. When one believes the gospel, the damage begins to be repaired. See Romans 8.29; 2 Corinthians 3.18.

            1. Bobbi

              These are the scriptures I was thinking of.
              2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15, Ephesians. 2:15, 4:24.
              Transliteration: kainos
              Pronunciation: kī-no’s
              Part of Speech: adjective
              Root Word (Etymology): Of uncertain affinity
              Outline of Biblical Usage:
              as respects form
              recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn
              as respects substance
              of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of
              The KJV translates Strongs G2537 in the following manner: new (44x).
              Strong’s Definitions: †καινός kainós, kahee-nos’; of uncertain affinity; new (especially in freshness; while G3501 is properly so with respect to age:—new.

              I don’t think the old man can be fixed can he? Rom. 6:6, Rom. 7:14, Rom. 8:7, 10
              Ephesians. 4:22, Col. 3:9.

              The new man, is the one made in God’s image that can walk in grace, in the power of God not in ourselves but in and because of Christ Jesus. We are all connected to him.
              1 Cor. 6:17, Ephesians. 4:16.

              1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                Perhaps I was unclear. When I wrote of the damage being repaired I meant our condition, not the old man. We will not be free from sin until the old nature is removed at the Rapture. In the meantime, God has begun His transformational work to conform us to the image of Christ.

  9. Elvie Manrique

    Hi Don,
    When one believes the gospel, the human spirit is made alive. How the spirit related to new life, new nature and eternal life. I am confused where the Holy Spirit indwells? Thanks in advance for your enlightenment.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The human spirit is that part which communicates with God. The dividing line between soul and spirit is difficult to discern. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer, in his new nature. God gives us a new nature when we believe the gospel. The soul, spirit, are given eternal life and the body will acquire eternal life at resurrection (Rapture).

      1. Elvie Manrique

        Thanks again.. Very well explained. But what about the new life? If Christ is the new life of the believers Colossians 3:3-4, is it correct to say that Adam is the source of life of the unbelievers.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          We all begin spiritually dead but physically alive as sons and daughters of Adam. We inherit death from him. As he died we will die. Christ, the second Adam gives life (1 Corinthians 15.22, 45).

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      This passage fits closely with what John wrote in Revelation. Paul revealed the “secret of iniquity” or “lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2.7) is already at work. It seems to indicate that in every generation, Satan prepares someone to fulfill the role of the Antichrist. Much of God’s plan and timing is unknown to Satan. God has hidden it. He clearly knew nothing of how God would save mankind through the death of the Messiah. He thought Jesus’ death was his victory. God knows all things but His program can accommodate man’s choices. Had Israel repented a whole different set of circumstances would have occurred but still the plan of God would have been fulfilled. All the apostles thought Jesus would return in their lifetimes. If that had occurred, Nero would have fulfilled the role of the Antichrist. I think that is what John is revealing.

  10. Tope

    Hi Don, good article. I think there’s a fundamental fact that’s missing from most of the discussions above on Adam’s sin. It’s the fact that he was SEPARATED from God and this is essentially spiritual death. So we all come into this world separated from God or spiritually dead with further consequences of behavioural sins. Christ however was born with both flesh and a living Spirit so He wasn’t separated from God as we were at birth. We therefore aren’t sinful simply because we exist with human nature but because the human nature we have lacks the spiritual life of God inside. Thanks

  11. Bobbi

    Hi Don :)
    Do you think we are made with volition or free will? I read something recently and realised I don’t know, or is there a difference in these? Is this even biblical? We do have choice… deep subject huh.
    What do you think about this? I thought you had an article that mentions it but I can’t find it.
    Thank you!

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Volition and free will are the same. I think I deal with this some in Predestination. Man has free will. The problem is that man is blinded by Satan (2 Corinthians 4.4) and in bondage to his fallen nature.

  12. Percy

    Hi Don(my teacher)
    Sir i want to know the different between soul and spirite.In Genesis 6:3 was a spirite or soul?.
    2.if you say human spirite was part of communicate with and appreciate God how abram communicate with God cause they time Adam’s fail the test spirite died. this age of grace how man communicate with God spirit or soul or holy spirit
    4.If you are not a belief how can word of God dividing asunder of soul and spirit Hebrew 4:12 or this verse is not for unbelief.
    Thank you Sir

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Genesis 6.3 is speaking of God’s Spirit. The OT does not distinguish between soul and spirit. Paul revealed the difference (1 Thessalonians 5.23; Romans 8.15). God’s makes man’s spirit alive when he believes the gospel. Hebrews 4.12 is for believers. The subject is difficult and little information is given in the Bible. We do not understand the mechanics of how God communicates to man, especially in how God saves man. I deal with this some in For Whom Did Christ Die?

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