WHY DO WE NEED GOD'S MASTER PLAN?
The aim of this section is to look at why we need God's Master Plan. We will consider the origin of sin and its effect on the nature of man and his destiny.
Firstly we will consider how sin entered the world, and then the effect this had on mankind.
Next we will look at the destiny of sinful man.
Finally we will see how it is possible for man to escape this destiny through God's Master Plan.
3.1 What is the origin of sin?
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."( Genesis 1v1 ). He also created man in his own image. "And God saw everything he had made, and behold it was very good" ( Genesis 1v31 ).
God commanded man to obey Him, however man disobeyed; he went against God's law (1 John 3v4) and so sin entered into the world ( Genesis 3v6-15, Romans 5v12 ). This created a division between God and man ( Genesis 3v24 ) for God cannot look upon evil ( Habakkuk 1v13, Psalm 5v3-6 ). Man who was "very good" was now in a state of sin.
So sin entered the world in the very beginning, because of man's disobedience to God's commandments.
3.2 What is the effect of sin on Man?
Man is essentially made up of a body and a mind. By sinning, man affected both his body and his mind. His relationship with God is also affected.
There are severe physical consequences of sin - we suffer sickness, pain, and ultimately death, after a short approximately 70 year life span. ( Genesis 3v16-19, Psalm 90v10 ). We are therefore doomed to die.
The disobedient mind means we are morally impure. For "from within, out of men's hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery," ( Mark 7v21-23, Romans 1v28-32, Romans 5v17-21 ). We now have a fleshly mind - a mind that is against God (Romans 8v6-7 ); a mind in which a constant battle rages between doing good and doing evil (Romans 7v18-19 ).
As a result of the sin in Eden the relationship between God and Man changed. Sin has put a division between God and Man (Genesis 3v23). God is not prepared to live together with sin (Habbakuk 1v13 ).
We therefore have a body that corrupts and a mind that is naturally prone to sin. The effect of sin on us is that after a short life, often plagued with pain and suffering, our mind and body (or soul) are both destroyed by death.
We will now consider our destiny as a result of sin, and how we can escape it. Section 4 will focus on the mind, and the battle that takes place here as we strive to change from a natural - fleshly mind to a spiritual mind.
3.3 What is the destiny of man without the Master Plan?
"The wages of sin is death....." (Romans 6v23). We all sin, and so receive our due wage - death (Romans 5v12). Death is therefore a punishment for sin.
As a result of sin therefore our destiny is the grave. There, we know nothing and cannot praise God ( Psalm 6v5, Ecclesiastes 9v5, Isaiah 38v18-19). It is a place of silence ( Psalm 115v17 ) and darkness ( Job 10v21-22 ), in which our thoughts perish. Indeed, we share the same destiny as a beast - the silent grave ( Ecclesiastes 3v18-19 ).
The grave is a place of unconsciousness, and death is often referred to as a "sleep" (John 11v11-13, Psalms 13v3, Luke 8v52). By sinning, man reverses the formula of his making . For in the beginning "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 soul." (Genesis 2v7 AV ). God took dust, and by breathing His breath, or spirit ( Job 33v4, Job 34v14-15, Isaiah 42v5 ) into the dust, He made a living soul.
God established the formula:
DUST + SPIRIT OF GOD = LIVING SOUL
Souls can love, hate, hunger, and get tired (Songs 1v7 AV, 2 Samuel 5v8 AV, Proverbs 9v15 AV, Psalms 119v28) . But souls can also sin! (Ezekiel 18v4)
Sinning causes the reverse of the formula to take place:
LIVING SOUL - SPIRIT OF GOD = DUST
The breath of life or Spirit of God returns to God, and so the "living soul" returns to the dust. "The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it."(Ecclesiastes 12v7, Ezekiel 18v4,20). So we receive our reward - death, an unconscious sleep in the grave.
Our destiny, without God's Master Plan, is DEATH - an eternal state of unconsciousness, where both our mind and body are destroyed.
3.4 Is there any escape from this Destiny?
Yes, but only one way!
The Lord Jesus Christ was a man who never sinned (1 Peter 2v22). His destiny therefore, could not be death (Acts 2v24). God therefore raised Jesus from the grave. So Jesus shattered the hold of death for himself, and now has the keys for unlocking the grave for us (Revelation 1v18). Only Jesus can release us from our destiny.
Jesus will return to the earth and raise the dead (1 Thessalonians 4v13-18). There will be a judgement (Acts 17 V 31) to judge whether we have overcome the mind of the flesh. This struggle is discussed in Section 4. Those who are found worthy will receive eternal life, while the unworthy will receive eternal death (Matthew 25v31-46, John 5v25-29).
The Lord Jesus Christ holds out the wonderful hope of the resurrection, an escape from death , for the righteous. Jesus promises that when he returns he will "transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body" (Philippians 3v21). We will no longer have decaying, dying bodies, but incorruptible, immortal bodies like Jesus (1 Corinthians 15v51-58) . We will never be able to die again (Luke 20v36). So, through the Lord Jesus Christ, God offers us a gift - a gift of eternal life (Romans 6v23), and a share in God's Master Plan, through the resurrection of our bodies!
There is escape from our destiny of death, through the hope of the resurrection by the Lord Jesus Christ, when he returns to establish his kingdom.
We have learnt that:
God created man in the beginning, and man was very good
The consequence of sin is death
Death is a reversal of the formula that created man, that is: LIVING SOUL - SPIRIT OF GOD = DUST
Death is a state of sleep, where we know nothing
The only way to escape from death is through the Lord Jesus Christ
Jesus will return to the earth and raise the just and the unjust to judgement
The just will receive immortal bodies like Jesus, and will never sin or die again
WHY DO WE NEED GOD'S MASTER PLAN?
We need God's Master Plan if we want to escape from our destiny of death.
Was man perfect in the very beginning?
How did sin come into the world?
What caused estrangement between God and man?
Where do we find a definition of sin?
How long did God say man would live as a result of sin?
Is suffering and pain a result of sin?
What happens if God takes His Spirit away from a person?
Is death a reward or a punishment? - reference to support.
Can man praise God when he is dead?
Is man conscious when he is dead?
What is the difference between the destiny of an animal and a human?
How can we escape from eternal death?
Why do we need God's Master Plan?