Human Nature After Adam

The Dignity of Human Beings
Genesis 2-3
April 21, 2013

Last week, we saw the fall of Adam when he broke God’s command in Genesis 3. We saw that his sin had consequences for all of creation. This morning we study what those consequences were for human nature. We are focusing on those assertions in “Our Beliefs” that describe the doctrine of total depravity: “When Adam sinned by breaking God’s command, every human being’s relationship with God was broken and we all came under the power of Satan and the sentence of death (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12-14; Ephesians 2:1-3). We are sinners by nature.”

Every part of every human being is corrupted by sin. There is nothing in any human being that remains good, that is untouched by sin. No corner remains unstained.  In today’s message we will see what sin does to the image of God in man, and how it is that, even in light of the effects of sin, we uphold the dignity of human beings.


Published in: on April 23, 2013 at 1:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Adam at the Fall

The Dignity of Human Beings
Genesis 2-3
April 14, 2013

Imagine you could enter a time machine which could take you anywhere you choose in history.  What event would you want to experience?  We will begin today’s message by traveling to a destination of Pastor Matt’s choosing.  What we find there is miles of rubble, utter decimation.  It is August 1945 in  Hiroshima.  As we absorb the scene we find ourselves demanding an explanation for all of this devastation and suffering.

Last week we saw that God created human beings in his image, meaning that we reflect his relational, cultivating, and rational nature.   But if God created us to reflect his glory, why do we see destruction everywhere we look?

This morning, we will travel even further back in time to the event that would lead to all the suffering the world has ever known: the fall of Adam in Genesis 3. Next week, we’ll look at the consequences of the fall for us all.

Published in: on April 23, 2013 at 1:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Bearers of God’s Image

The Dignity of Human Beings
Genesis 2-3
Matthew Raley (4-7-13)

Last December, twin Belgian men in their forties were killed by lethal injection.  Born deaf, when the brothers learned they would also go blind they asked to be killed under Belgium’s euthanasia law, a law which lawmakers are considering extending to minors.  The Netherlands has a similar law.  Though no laws allow euthanasia in the U.S., assisted suicide has been legalized by the voters of Oregon and Washington, as well as by a  Montana judicial ruling.  An initiative to legalize it in Massachusetts narrowly failed last fall.

In the context of abortion, fertility therapies, and the prospect of “designer babies’ and human cloning, we are in a crisis of human dignity in the West.  The value of human life and the distinctiveness of human nature are no longer assumed in our culture.  We have to argue the case for human dignity again.

But these issues reach deeper into our individual emotional lives.  I constantly encounter people who are disabled by a sense that they don’t matter, that their self-esteem will not hold up under life’s pressures, and that their abilities will never be valued.

This morning, in our continuing examination of our proposed statement of beliefs, we begin a short study of the doctrine of human beings in the Bible – both what is valuable about us and what is wrong with us.  When Genesis 1:27 says that human beings are made in God’s image, what does it mean?  This month’s text, Genesis 2-3, answers that question.

Audio: Sermon, April 7th, 2013

Please note: due to technical difficulties, a line in the sermon is missing a few words.  This occurs when Pastor is discussing Adam’s survey of the animals.  The line, in it’s entirety, is: “I have the ability to have a relationship, but I have no one to relate to.”

Published in: on April 23, 2013 at 1:04 am  Leave a Comment  

The New Family

What Does It Mean To Believe?
John 20:17
Resurrection Sunday
Matthew Raley (3-31-13)

Two people sit across from one another in a small town restaurant as an air-raid siren blares.  One, a newcomer, is alarmed.  The other appears completely unaffected.  The difference? Experience.   The old-timer knows the alarm is not quite as alarming as it seems.

Our perceptions are colored by our experiences.  Where we have been and, in particular, the family we belong to will determine how we interpret events.   In this Easter message we will see that there are two families in this world: the family of darkness and the family of light.  We will witness the clash of these families’ different perceptions in the life of Mary Magdelene.

Published in: on April 22, 2013 at 4:05 am  Leave a Comment