Made to fail

Some questions are hard. I have to admit, I was asked one recently, that I have been avoiding. Yet, tonight, I made myself go back and look at the actual question, in order to give it real consideration.

In full disclosure, here’s the original post:  Do you believe God approves same sex marriages? A lot of people believe homosexuals are born. Would God create homosexuals then condemn their actions in the Old and New Testaments?

While I had been focused on the first question, I realized it was the second one that was really more important, and you don’t have to include the word homosexuals to ask the question. This is fundamentally a question about the justice of God.

Would God create humans and then condemn their actions?

What does the Bible say about that?

In the beginning God created…everything…and saw that it was good. This is the short version of Genesis 1:1-24. Then something even more amazing happens:

God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. (v. 27)

Chapter two tells us that the creation of man was different from that of the rest of the universe, because he was formed from the ground, and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. He then made a helpmate for man out of his rib. The man and woman were naked, but had no shame.

At this point, we know that God had a special relationship with Adam and Eve, but something changed all that — sin. Did God make them with sin? No, he made a way for them to live peacefully forever in that special garden, but they made a choice to listen to the tempter’s words over that of their Creator.

It was at that moment, that sin not only entered mankind, but all of creation. As a result, we have murder (see Cain vs. Abel), greed (see Tower of Babel), war (see present day trials), and a multitude of other acts that go contrary to the perfection designed by God. Even the perfect union of a man and a woman, as seen in chapter two of Genesis, (“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh”), is broken in polygamy, incest, divorce, sex outside of marriage, and homosexual relationships.

None of these is any worse than the other — all are a result of the sin nature ruling in the life of a person. We’re all born with the propensity to sin, no matter the form it takes.

So did God create us to fail? Only to condemn us? No. God created us to live in a holy and right relationship with him. Sin is what broke that relationship, but our choice to remain in sin keeps that relationship from being restored.

What’s amazing about our God is that he was willing to be ready to save us from the choice he knew man would make. For just as one man’s sin brought condemnation to all, one man’s “act of righteousness” provides life for all men. God created, not robots, but people of free will, for whom he was willing to sacrifice his own Son in order to restore us to relationship with him.

We’re not created to be condemned, but created to be loved and saved from our self-inflicted condemnation. That’s the beauty of the cross and the Good News of salvation we have in Christ. In him, we can break free from the lies of this world and the bonds of sin — no matter what form it takes — to live a life that brings glory to God.

Paul says it best in Romans 6: For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been freed from sin…Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of  your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

What is the way of righteousness? Look to the life of Christ as a model. Look at the teachings of the scriptures for your guide. The third chapter of Colossians is my go-to chapter on living that pleases God. Am I perfect? Not on this side of eternity, but it is what I strive for.

We were not made to fail, yet we did and we do; but we also have a God who is ready to save, and does. The choice is ours to let him have his way with us.

Grace and Peace

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