Human Nature In Four States

The State of Innocence      Ecclesiastes 7:29

            During the great depression there were soup lines in every major city in the United States. One day, as a man was serving soup to a long, long line of homeless, hungry people, he spotted a man who stood out from the crowd. This man was wearing an obviously well-made, expensive suit. It was worn and dirty, but obviously the suit of a wealthy man.

            The man serving the soup could not help staring at the other man, wondering, “Who is he? Where does he live? What is his background?” Of course, the poor man noticed. When he stepped up for his soup, he said “Sir, I’ve seen better days.”

            That is a pretty good illustration of the human race. We have seen better days. Man was not always what he now is. The human heart was not always depraved. Man’s mind was not always perverse. Our race was not always the chaotic mass of iniquity that it now is. The wise man declared, “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” Man was created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-28).


            When the Bible asserts that God created Adam in his own image, many, many things are implied; but it is certain that that declaration means that Adam was created in the moral image of God. God made Adam upright, righteous. Adam had no sin, no inclination toward sin, and no reason to sin.


            Not only was Adam created in moral uprightness, he was created an intellectually brilliant being. Man did not begin as a glob of slime which gradually developed itself into a mythical caveman. Oh, no! Adam is the one who named every living thing!


            Not only did Adam name every creature of God, he had dominion over all creation. God put everything under the feet of that one whom he made in his own image and after his own likeness. It is impossible for us, knowing the weakness, stupidity, and wickedness of man today, to imagine what Adam and Eve must have been before the fall. But these things are revealed. They were in innocence, righteous, brilliant, and in dominion over God’s creation. But something happened.

The Condition

            God gave Adam dominion over and the possession of everything he had made. Only one condition for his happy, blessed, peaceful life was stipulated. Adam must always acknowledge God as God. He must always bow, in willing submission to the will, glory, and dominion of his God. That is what was symbolized in the tree in the midst of the garden (Gen. 2:17).

Don Fortner