CHAPTER 3

THE DISPENSATION OF INNOCENCE

 

As we study each of the seven dispensations, we will consider the following outline:

1)  Man's State at the Beginning
2)  Man's Responsibility
3)  Man's Failure
4)  God's Judgment

As we begin our study of the different dispensations, we need to go all the way back to the dawn of human history. Human history began thousands of years ago with the creation of Adam and Eve.


1. MAN'S STATE AT THE BEGINNING.

Man Was Made to Reflect God

In Genesis 1:26-27 we learn about the creation of man: "And God said, Let Us make man in Our ______________________, after Our ________________________ . . .So God created man in His Own ________________, in the___________________ of God created He him."

Adam was created in the image and likeness of God! What is an image?

We know that an image can be found on most coins. Read Matthew 22:18-21. Whose IMAGE was on this Roman coin?____________________ When they looked at this coin, whose face did they see? _______________________ Whose image is found on our penny? on our nickel? on our dime? When you look at a quarter, who do you see? Whose LIKENESS and whose IMAGE is found on a dollar bill?

When you look into a mirror in the morning, whose IMAGE do you see? _____________________________________ Does the mirror reflect you? __________ Your IMAGE is in that mirror! According to Genesis 1:26-27, God's IMAGE was in man!

Man was created to reflect God and to mirror God! This was man's responsibility. Adam was to be like a mirror and this mirror was to reflect God and what God is like.

Adam was given the 
opportunity to KNOW and to SHOW . . .

God's truth
God's goodness
God's sinlessness
God's righteousness
God's holiness
God's love
God's faithfulness
God's purity

Adam was also told to have D_________________________ (rule) over all of the animals (Genesis 1:26). God put Adam on the earth as the "KING OF THE BEASTS" (not Mr. Lion). Was God's blessing on Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:28)? _______

God Did Not Make A Sinner

At the end of the sixth day of creation God saw everything that He had made (including Adam), and behold it was _________     ____________ (Genesis 1:31). We must always remember that what God created was GOOD! God is not the Author or the Cause of sin. God did not create a sinful man. He created Adam who later became a sinner. But when God first created Adam he did not have a sinful heart. He was perfectly INNOCENT.

The word INNOCENT means free from sin or wrong or guilt. In the beginning Adam was without sin. He was "NOT GUILTY" of any crime or of any sin. He had never disobeyed God. He had never broken God's law. His mind was not filled with evil thoughts. Adam was unacquainted with evil. He could have said, "I have no sin" (compare 1 John 1:8) and he would have been speaking the truth. He could have said, "I have not sinned!" (compare 1 John 1:10) and he would have been speaking the truth. If we say these things today are we telling the truth? _______ Adam was not a slave of sin. He was free and he was innocent!

Adam also enjoyed a wonderful relationship with God. He could walk with God and talk with God and enjoy wonderful fellowship with God. Also there was no sin in his life which would come between him and God (compare Isaiah 59:2).

Also Adam lived in a PERFECT ENVIRONMENT.  He did not live in a sin-cursed world as we do today. Was there any crime in Adam's world? Was there any disease? Was there any death? Was there any poverty? The world Adam lived in was quite different from the world we live in. There was only one thing in Adam's world that was not good was THE DEVIL (Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9).

2. MAN'S RESPONSIBILITY.

What responsibilities did God give to Adam? What kind of stewardship did Adam have? What did God place in Adam's hand? What was Adam told to do or not to do?

According to Genesis 2:15, what task was given to Adam? _____________________________________________________________________  From the very beginning Adam had work to do and a job to fulfill.

According to Genesis 2:16, what privilege was Adam given? ________________________________________________________________________ He was given a great deal of freedom to eat all kinds of delicious fruit. Could he eat apples? ______ oranges? ________ peaches? _______ cherries? _______ pineapples? _______ coconuts? _______ Adam did not have a very restricted diet. He could enjoy the wonderful varieties of fruit that God had made.

According to Genesis 2:17, what responsibility did Adam have? What was he told not to do? ____________________________________________________________________    God put into Adam's hand a very simple commandment. It was his duty to obey this commandment and not to eat from the fruit of one particular tree in the middle of the garden (compare Genesis 2:9). God gave Adam this very simple test of obedience. It was as if God were saying, "Adam, will you obey My Word or not?" As we shall see, Adam flunked the test!

What did God say would happen to Adam if he should eat the fruit (Genesis 2:17)? ___________________________________________________


3. MAN'S FAILURE.

Can you find the verse in Genesis Chapter 3 which tells us that Adam disobeyed God's simple command and fell into sin? Genesis 3, Verse _____. Adam chose to disobey God and to break God's command. Adam chose DEATH instead of LIFE.

According to 1 Timothy 2:14, who was deceived by Satan, Adam or Eve? _______ This verse tells us that Adam was _______ deceived! He was not tricked. He knew what he was doing and he chose to do it anyway. Adam was fully responsible for what he did. He fell into sin and he was GUILTY! He was no longer innocent!

4. GOD'S JUDGMENT.

Because of Adam's sin, God removed him from the garden of Eden. We read about this in Genesis 3:22-24:


Genesis 3:23 – "the LORD God _______________ him _____________from the garden of Eden"

Genesis 3:24 "So He ____________________    _______ the man"

Adam and Eve no longer had access to "the tree of  life" and God placed at the east of the garden two angelic creatures called "cherubim", with a revolving sword like flame flashing around them like lightning bolts, making it impossible for people to come near this place again.

5. THE CONSEQUENCES OF ADAM'S SIN.

What are the last 3 words of Genesis 3:6? ______     ______      ______    These three words describe an event which completely changed our world! This earthshaking event had consequences and results that were more harmful and disastrous and far-reaching than any other event that has ever taken place. TODAY THE RESULTS OF ADAM'S SIN CAN BE SEEN AND NOTICED ALMOST EVERYWHERE WE LOOK!  Here are some of the consequences of Adam's sin (please MATCH):

1. _____ Sin entered the world and death passed upon all men. A. Genesis 3:16
2. _____ Difficult toil is required in order to eat. Also each  man must
face physical death (back to the dust!).
B. Genesis 3:17-18
3. _____ Pain and sorrow in bringing  forth children. C. Genesis 3:19
4. _____ Many were made sinners. D. Romans 5:12
5. _____ All men condemned.  E. Romans 5:18
6. _____ The ground cursed. F. Romans 5:19

Today we live in a fallen and wicked world made up of sinful people who are all marching to the grave. All of this because of the three words we find at the end of Genesis 3:6!

Think about the following occupations, and then explain how Adam's sin has created the need for such occupations:

1) policeman   2) doctor   3) Judge   4) soldier   5) pastor   6) missionary   7) undertaker   8) detective   9) life insurance salesman   10) nurse.   Can you think of others?

Explain why the following are a direct result of Adam's sin?   Jails, funeral homes, a cemetery, a lock on a door or on a car, hospitals, etc. (Can you think of other things?)

Can you see the results of Adam's sin in your own life (in the things you do and do not do? in the things you say and do not say? in the things you think? in your dealings with others? etc.). How has the fall of man affected you?

Remember, Adam's sin has affected every member of the human race. One lit match could fall in a forest and as a result thousands of trees could fall (compare Romans 5:12). Adam fell and as a result the entire human race fell ("IN ADAM'S FALL WE SINNED ALL!"--New England Primer).

Has God done anything to overcome the terrible results of Adam's sin? Thousands of years later another great and far-reaching event took place as God's Son came to DIE for lost and fallen men: "For as by _________ man's (Adam's) disobedience __________ were made _____________________ (does this include you?), so by the obedience of __________ (the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ) shall many be made__________________________" (Romans 5:19). "For as in ___________________ all ________________, even so in ___________________ shall all be made _______________ (1 Corinthians 15:22). Death comes from Adam but Life comes from Jesus Christ!

The Marred Image

When Adam sinned the image of God that was in Adam was marred and spoiled and ruined. This means that Adam no longer had the capacity to reflect God. Have you ever found a coin that was so scratched and worn that the image on the coin could not be seen? This is what sin did to God's image in man! Adam, instead of reflecting God, began reflecting SIN, SELF and SATAN.

Man was made to REFLECT! Before Adam sinned, man's soul was innocent and apart from sin. Man was given the opportunity to KNOW and to SHOW and to REFLECT God.

After Adam sinned man's condition changed greatly. Man's soul was in sin and polluted by sin. Man could on1y reflect the wrong thing:  


 
 
 
ADAM
After he sinned
dispen3-3.gif (15456 bytes)  

ADAM
(and those fallen men following him)
COULD ONLY
REFLECT
SIN 
SELF
 
and
SATAN

When a sinful man is saved he has both a new nature and an old nature (Ephesians 4:22-24) and he can either reflect the SAVIOUR or he can reflect SIN, SELF and SATAN:

  The Saved Man

dispen3-4.gif (7282 bytes)  

 

 

OR
 

 

 

dispen3-5.gif (6892 bytes)

After his fall into sin, Adam gave birth to several children.  Who did Adam’s children reflect? The answer is found in Genesis 5:3: “And Adam lived 130 years and begat a son in his own ________________(in Adam’s likeness), after his _______________ (after Adam’s image); and called his name Seth.” Whom did Seth reflect, God or Adam? __________ If you were to look at Seth, whose image and likeness would you see? _____________________  Every child that has been born into this world (except for Jesus Christ) has been born in Adam’s likeness!

There is only one way for a sinner to stop reflecting SIN, SELF and SATAN. He must be saved! Every person is either IN ADAM (unsaved) or IN CHRIST (saved--see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Only those who are IN CHRIST are able once again to reflect God (Ephesians 4:24 and Colossians 3:10).  For an additional study dealing with man's responsibility to reflect God, see Science, the Scripture and the Saviour, Chapter 7 (The Creation of Man).

We Must Make A Choice!

Adam was given a very important choice. He had to choose to obey God or disobey God. He had to choose LIFE or DEATH.

The same is true today. Every person must choose between life and death. Every person must choose between a blessing or a cursing. God sets this choice before every man (see Deuteronomy 30:19). What choice does God want us to make (Deuteronomy 30:19)? _______________________________________________

Adam's important decision centered around a tree--the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Today man's decision also centers around a tree--the tree on which Jesus Christ died (1 Peter 2:24). WHAT WILL YOUR CHOICE BE?  

TO BELIEVE ON CHRIST AND LIVE 


John 3:36 
1 John 5:12
?

TO REFUSE TO BELIEVE ON CHRIST AND DIE

John 3:36 
1 John 5:12 
?

You Must Choose!

 


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