TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE FALL WAS DOWN
century man's achievements are marred by his constant warring
and destructiveness. How can we account for this record of wickedness"
What has gone wrong with man?
If, as evolutionists say, man is
an-angel-in-the-making, changing steadily for the better as he
moves further from his animal ancestry, then his propensity for
wickedness is unfortunate, a relapse, a temporary set-back. .
If, as the Bible says, man is a
divinely created being who has fallen from grace and can only
change for the worse, then his propensity for wickedness is demonstration
that something has gone wrong, from which there now seems no
possibility of recovery.
Human nature, evolutionists say
optimistically, is basically good just needing more time,
proper environment, more knowledge. . . .
Human nature, as both the Bible
and history declare, has a positive bent towards wickedness.
Sin is active, effective, THERE! Sin entered.
The issue is critical: for upon the
answer must depend society's way of dealing with this downward
NATURE AS PART OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
We admire the interdependence
and harmony in Nature. It laws, showing evidence of deliberate
and careful design, instinctively obeyed by its 'citizens', demonstrate
that it is part of the Kingdom of God. Here is God within Nature.
Tennyson's picture of Nature as 'red
in tooth and claw' really describes man's behaviour within nature.
He is the alien, the mis-fit, the disturber, the arch-destroyer.
. . .
Can he bcome a member of this Kingdom?
Only God can restore him to harmony and peace with Nature in
His Kingdom. How He does this is Good News: it is God within
THE TERMS "IMAGE" AND "LIKENESS"
AS USED IN GENESIS 1:26
Now it is assumed
that God is the Father of all mankind because He created us in
His image. It is also assumed that the words 'image' and 'likeness'
are synonymous, used for emphasis. But it sometimes turns out
that what is ovciously true is, in reality, false. For Scripture
says that we, Adam's descendants, are not in God's image!
THE DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONALITY:
That image and likeness are not
synonymous can be discovered by carefully observing not only
the use of words but even the omission of words. As a case in
point, take Genesis 1:26 and 27. First we are told of the plan:
"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
. . ." Then we are told what was done: "So God created
man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.
. . ." By observing the omission of the one word and the
use of two different verbs, it is seen that the image is created
(given) but the likeness is only appointed.
Upon the precise meaning of these
two words hinges much that makes Christianity a unique system
of beliefs. It demonstrates the unique way in which redemption
is achieved, and it demonstrates the unique way in which Christian
character is achieved.
THE OLD AND THE NEW
Once this image
is restored by an act of re-creation on God's part, a new work
then begins: the formation of a personality pleasing to God "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things
are passed away; behold all things are become new" (2 Corinthians
THE PLACE OF HANDICAPS IN HUMAN
Christian conversion is unique.
While he does become a new creation in Christ, yet he is still
recognizably the same person. Scripture states quite precisely
(using specific terms consistently) what part of the personality
is untouched and what part is completely displaced, and is illumined
by research in psychology, genetics, and anthropology.
If only! If
only this or that handicap were removed, some hindrance for which
we are not responsible, te denied opportunity, the lack of means
all these "hedges" prevent us from doing great
things for mankind, even for God. Job complained of his hedge,
and so did Paul. Yet the Lord knows how much we can acieve without
being spoiled by that very achievement.
God's goal is the making of saints,
not highly successful people. It helps to take stock , every
little while, of the meaning and purpose of these hindrances
which God seems to allow, and sometimes to appoint, as
part of our lot in life.
THE SUBCONSCIOUS AND FORGIVENESS
God not only forgives
ALL our sins (even the ones we can't remember) but He also FORGETS
them! What the Bible tells us about the persistence of memory
is being confirmed by research. What Freud discovered about the
subconscious as a cesspool is what the Lord had already declared:
evil thoughts and actions come from within (Mark 7:21-23).
THE COMPELLING LOGIC OF THE PLAN
Herein lies the weight of sin:
this burden of unforgiven sin poisoning both the unconscious
and the conscious memory. Since our society has no sense of sin
(all is relative), it is unable to cope with the effects of sin
a sense of guilt. Man needs, if peace and health is to
be restored to his soul, not merely the forgiveness of the sins
he can recall and confess but a washing away, a cleansing, of
It is here that God performs his
great work of cleansing, of blotting out the record, of forgiving
and forgetting. And Scripture gives us clues as to how He accomplishes
A STUDY OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "SIN" AND "SINS"
It might be
thought that "sins" is merely the plural of "sin".
And this is true. But Scripture uses the word SIN for Original
Sin that diseased condition that we all inherit from Adam,
and the word SINS for the symptoms of that disease as they work
themselves out in our daily lives.
THE TWO SPECIES OF HOMO
The fact is that while all have inherited
the disease, its symptoms vary in each individual. And the fact
is that while we are not responsible for the nature we inherit,
we are responsible for the expression of that nature.
What is said about the nature of
SIN is not to be confused with what is said about the nature
of SINS. How God has dealt with SIN and SINS in the Lord's sacrifice
is clearly stated and entirely just and fair. Thus the
Plan of Salvation is truly comprehensive and, to those who believe,
is compelling in its logic and completely realistic in experience.
This Paper is
an entirely new approach to the meaning of the term The Body
of Christ. It is an old and wonderful truth arrived at by
a different route.
It involves research which is tending
increasingly towards the view that the basic reality behind the
physical world is a spiritual one as Scripture states.
Consciousness is not, as the mechanists would have us believe,
an epiphenomenon of matter, but matter may very well be an epiphenomenon
of consciousness. Similarly the basis of speciation, which must
appear to the geneticist to be physical, just as the basis of
mind may appear to the neurophysiologist to be brain, is in reality
-- and more bindingly -- psychical and spiritual. Indeed, it
seems likely that the psychic unity is the basic reality by which
animals in nature recognize their own kind.
Thus it is possible that the experience
of new birth actually has, for the child of God, the real effect
of re-constituting the individual as a member of an entirely
new species what Scripture terms the 'Body of Christ'.
1975 published by Zondervan Publishing Co.
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
1997 published online
2001 2nd Online Edition corrected, edited and re-formatted
|COPYRIGHT NOTICE: The Doorway Papers and books by ARTHUR CUSTANCE are
copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form for commercial
use without prior written permission from Evelyn White for Doorway Publications
c/o Dr. R. Gary Chiang
Redeemer University College
Ancaster, ON, L9K 1J4
Telephone: 905-648-2139 ext 4241
Permission is granted to download for personal use and for distribution
for non-profit or non-commercial use, such as study groups or