A. Three classic questions of humanity—Where do I come from? Why am I here? and Where am I going?—have been satisfactorily answered by philosophical arguments.
B. It seems that the human race has lost its identity. The enemy’s suggestions have confused man’s reasoning (read Rom. 1:21, 22).
A. God created the environment and man, and rested on the seventh day.
B. The earth was disordered and empty (Gen. 1:9). God, the Originator of the universe, still had not created appropriate life conditions. In Genesis 1, there is a sentence which is repeated five times: “ . . .and God saw that it was good.” Before the end of the chapter, we have an emphasis: “. . .and indeed it was very good.” These expressions reflect the feelings God had about His work during creation week.
1. On the first day, He created light. Without light there can be no life. It was essential to create light when God began to establish order from chaos to new life (Gen. 1:3-5).
2. On the second day, He created the atmosphere. No life form is possible without air; our planet would be dead like the moon (Gen. 1:6-8).
3. On the third day, He created the land, sea, and vegetation. He separated the waters from the dry land, and soon vegetation was called into existence (Gen. 1:9-13).
4. On the fourth day, He created sources of light. The sun, the moon, and the stars served as permanent instruments for the distribution of light on the planet (Gen. 1:14-19).
5. On the fifth day, He created the sea, the creatures, and the birds (Gen. 1:20-23).
6. On the sixth day, He created land animals (Gen. 1:24, 25) and man—distinguishing him from the other beings— for man was created in God’s image in both exterior likeness and character (Gen. 1:26, 27).
7. On the seventh day, God rested. The cessation of the creative work was part of ending the work of that week. That day would be a special blessing for man, and that is why God sanctified it and set it apart, for holy purposes.
A. Mankind in relation to God. God endowed man with free will, with a conscience and a spiritual nature. This nature reflected the divine holiness of the Creator. On the seventh day, man would have the opportunity to reflect upon the Creator’s love and kindness and thus become more like Him (Mark 2:27, 28). Before sin entered the world, God communicated directly with man, without intermediation or interference (Gen. 1:28- 30).
B. Man in relation to his fellow creatures. Solitude would be harmful to man’s well-being. Adam’s companion was not an inferior being. God was the author of the holy institution of matrimony (Gen. 2:20-25) and through this institution an unending chain of interpersonal relationships began which for God should have no barriers (Luke 10:25-37).
C. Man in relation to the environment. Man was appointed the steward of God’s creation (Gen. 1:28). He should have a harmonious relationship with the animal world (Gen. 2:18, 19) and take care of Eden, which was a revelation of God’s love (Gen. 2:15).
A. The angels had the opportunity to express their loving loyalty to God. Now it was up to mankind to decide on which side of the conflict they would be. They only had to be loyal to God’s mandate (Gen. 2:16, 17). The consequences of breaking the law would be inevitable. Satan’s sagacity was stronger than human will, and our first fathers yielded before temptation, thus allowing sin to enter the world (Gen. 3:1-6).
B. The first consequence of sin: man lost his close relationship with God (Gen. 3:8). He feared God’s presence from the moment he was separated from the Creator (Isa. 59:2).
C. The second consequence of sin: loss of life. “For the wages of sin is death. . .” (Gen. 3:19; Rom. 6:23). To perpetuate life would mean to extend sin’s existence (Gen. 3:22). The popular belief that there is life after death is based on the serpent’s argument: “You will not surely die.”
D. The third consequence of sin: man lost his ability to live in harmony with his fellow beings. Within a short time Cain took Abel’s life (Gen. 4:8).
E. The fourth consequence of sin: man lost his control over nature. Pain, suffering, hard work, and a fight for survival became part of the human experience (Gen. 3:17-19).
F. The fifth consequence of sin: the death of God’s Son to save man from the consequences of sin (Gen. 3:15). Man was taken as the enemy’s hostage, but the second person of the Trinity would pay the ransom with His own life. The only way man could be free was by having a substitute to receive the punishment for his transgression (Isa. 53:6).
A. The life, death, and resurrection of God’s Son allowed us to recover mankind’s condition before sin.
B. If you are connected to God, you will also restore your relationship with others through forgiveness. You will be able to enjoy the beautiful nature God created, here and throughout eternity. Amen!
General Conference Ministerial Association