sorry - no audio this week (but a cool Will Smith video!)

God’s gospel alone addresses our deepest need.

3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
- The EFCC Statement of Faith, Point 3.

Something has gone terribly wrong with the world. And everyone knows it. You know it when you wake up in the morning and turn on the news and hear of the carnage of war or some natural catastrophe that killed thousands over night.  You know it when you’re stuck in traffic, cursing the cause of the delay, only to find out further down the road that the cause is a fatal accident.  You know it as you hear your co-workers tell their stories of miscarriages, cancers and marriages failed.  At night you listen to the political debate in which both sides blame the other for what’s wrong with the world.  You know it when you look into your own heart, late at night when your conscience screams at you – why did I yell at my wife earlier? Why am I so selfish? What am I doing with my life?

This recognition that something is wrong with the world is a universal reality of humankind.  Every single religion and worldly philosophy recognizes that something’s wrong.



Suffering: everyone experiences it 

Awaken to the reality that suffering is an illusion. 


Ignorance causes suffering 

Education and technology 


People can’t help themselves 

They must be controlled. 


People are enslaved by governing or moral authorities 

Throw off archaic masters and norms 


People are kept in economic bondage by higher class




Low self-esteem that results in repression of true feelings

Therapy and acceptance of oneself


Not acting as if the earth and its creatures are at least of equal value to oneself

Live in harmony with nature










Yet for many of us less philosophical types this nagging feeling that something is wrong manifests itself in our personal search for significance, community and pleasure. Significance: we want to build into something that will last.  Community: we want to be accepted by others.  Pleasure: we just want to be happy.  Yet we find those things so difficult to come by.  We build into things only to see them torn down by time.  The people we love most are often the ones who hurt or disappoint us most.  Happiness itself is fleeting.  Something is wrong with the world. 


How did we get to this point?  How is it that every one recognizes that something is wrong in the world?  Perhaps another question would be, why do we assume things should be right in the first place?  Our statement of faith points us to the opening chapters of the Bible for answers. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan.  This is the human paradox:


Made in the image of God: Genesis 1:27 teaches that humanity was created “in the image and likeness of God”. This means that we were created with the ability to reflect and relate to God.  We can love, reason, create, manipulate our environment, think, and have a sense of morality.  We were created for a purpose: to reflect God’s nature and do His work.  We were created to be in community: as we saw a couple of weeks ago, to be made in the image of our three-in-one God means that we best reflect God’s image when we are united in community.  Third, we were made for God’s pleasure and to derive pleasure from our relationship with Him.  God, in surveying everything he had made, looked over all creation and declared it to be very good.  You see, when we look at our world today and wonder what is wrong, it is a sign to us that we are longing for something better. The reason we long for something better is that we were created for something better.  We are still made in the image of God and we long to get back to Eden.  A better world is not an illusion or a dream – it is the very thing we were created for.  
Marred in the nature of Adam: but they sinned when tempted by Satan. Genesis chapter 3 tells the story of man’s fall.  In turning against the word of their Creator, Adam and Eve rebelled against Him.  The effects of their sin were immediate: they hid from God and turned against one another.  This is the story of paradise lost.  Before sending them out of the garden, God warned them that they would not be able to find their significance in their work, for creation would turn against them and that they would not find security in their relationships because sin would turn them against one another. This is the state in which we find ourselves.  We live in a good world gone bad.  People made in the image of God, but marred in the nature of Adam.  

Romans 5:12 teaches that Adam’s sin was somehow connected to the rest of humanity in such a way that all became sinners under God’s wrath. Is this fair? Two responses: 1) notice that we all suffer from the choices of our fathers.  If my dad moved to Canada from China – guess what, I am going to be Canadian.  If my dad rejected Christ – I am most likely going to be raised in a household that does not know God.  Adam’s sin changed the world. 2) We can’t, however, simply blame Adam for we all have followed his path and choose to sin ourselves, as the verse says: because all sinned.  We are sinners by nature and by choice.  So the answer to the question: what is wrong with the world has to start with ourselves.  This is exactly where Paul goes in Ephesians 2:1-4:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

In sinning:


  • we became enslaved to sin and Satan, needing to be rescued and set free. Following the course of this world, following the Prince of the power of the air.  To follow the Prince means to be under his dominion and authority.  We know no other life until the light of God comes and shines in our hearts, giving us the knowledge of Christ our liberator. 
  • we became legally guilty before God, needing to be reconciled. We need God’s forgiveness and pardon.
  • we became spiritually dead, needing his work in our life to come alive. Here’s our problem – dead people can’t will themselves to come to life again.  Dead people can’t educate or rehab themselves.  Dead people are separated from life.  This is why some theologians call us hopelessly depraved.  They don’t that individuals cannot do acts of goodness, but that there is no way anyone bring themselves back to spiritual life. Sin has so corrupted our minds and hearts that there is no way that we would seek God or receive his salvation unless God intervenes in our life to give us a heart orientated toward him.  We need resurrection.

                    God’s gospel alone addresses our deepest need.