Adam’s Fallen Sinful Nature Family and Its Solution
In Genesis four we saw the effects of sin on the nature of humanity vividly illustrated in fratricide of Cain on Abel, the offspring of Cain and the sinful boasting of Lamech. At the end of Genesis four we saw the start of the first revival in the Bible which gave us a glimmer of hope. Now in Genesis five we will see the summary of Adam’s offspring. What we will see is that Adam’s offspring are in his image more than they are in the image of God.
“The likeness of God . . . . In his own likeness”
Genesis 5:1-3 - This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. 3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
One of the structural characteristics in the book of Genesis is that the end of one section is preceded by the words, “This is the book of . . .” Here we have the end of the section on Adam and it is introduced by the words, “This is the book of the genealogy of Adam.” This therefore marks the end of the account of Adam and in Genesis six we will begin the story of Noah.
In these verses we see a contrast that is important to recognize. In verses one and two it refers to the creation of “Mankind” and in particular that they had been created, “in the likeness of God.” In verse three when it refers to Adam’s offspring it says very subtly but clearly that Adam “begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.” No Longer was the likeness of God passed on to the offspring of man. Now, since Adam and Eve had sinned, this sin in them, this sinful fallen nature was passed on to the gene pool of all subsequent humanity. This subtle but clear change here points us to the infection of all humanity with a sinful fallen nature. This is what is referred to in the New Testament words:
· Romans 5:12 - 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
Sin is like a cancer that spreads throughout the body if left unattended. Sin is like a contagion that has infected the human race. The sinful nature is the inclination (lust) to feed natural appetites to excess. The sinful nature is an attitude that centers on self, worships self instead of God (e.g. preoccupation with self; self serving; self promoting; self reliant; etc.). All humanity since Adam has been born with this sinful nature, except Jesus (who was born of a virgin).
The New Testament Solution to the Sinful Nature
The New Testament is the best commentary on the Old Testament and if we want the last word on the sinful nature we need to go to the New Testament to see what it says. The Bible refers to this sinful nature in a number of ways such as:
· “the flesh” – Romans 7:5
· “sin that dwells in me” – Romans 7:17, 20
· “sin in the flesh” – Romans 8:3
· “the carnal mind” – Romans 8:7
· “the old man” – Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9
· “lust of uncleanness” - 2 Peter 2:10
The New Testament solution to this sinful nature is Jesus Christ (Romans 7:24-25) as revealed by the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8). It is Jesus who provides the cleansing needed by our sinful hearts and that cleansing comes as He applies His word to us (Ephesians 5:25-27). Jesus can wash away the sin in our hearts with the force of a powerful tsunami (John 7:37-39).
It is in the New Testament that we find an elaborate contrast between the sinful nature and the work of the Holy Spirit in a person given in the letter to the Galatians where it states:
· Galatians 5:16-26 - 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
The Holy Spirit indwells a person when they turn from their sins to God and seek forgiveness for their sins through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9-11).
The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
The availability of the Holy Spirit to ALL people is a New Testament blessing dependent upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 7:39; 16:7; Acts 2:33; Galatians 3:1-6). But the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, is present and working in the Old Testament.
From the opening verses of the Bible the Holy Spirit is presented as a Member of the Triune Godhead (Genesis 1:2). The Holy Spirit is definitely referred to in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is referred to as -
1. The Spirit of God - Gen. 1:2
2. My Spirit - Genesis 6:3
3. The Holy Spirit - Psalm 51:11
4. The Spirit of Judgment - Isaiah 4:4
5. The Spirit of Knowledge - Isaiah 11:2
6. The Spirit of Might - Isaiah 11:2
7. The Spirit of Understanding - Isaiah 11:2
8. The Spirit of Wisdom - Isaiah 11:2
9. The Spirit of the Lord God - Isaiah 61:1
10. The Spirit of Grace - Zechariah 12:10
Further observations of how the Old Testament refers to the Holy Spirit sheds light on the character and Person of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament we see the work of the Holy Spirit as that of -
1. Creator - Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4
2. Striver - Genesis 6:3
3. Speaker through the Prophets - 2 Kings 3:11,12; 17:13; Nehemiah 9:30; Job 32:8; Acts 28:25-27; Hebrews 1:1
4. Revelator - 2 Samuel 23:2; Job 32:8; Luke 2:25-26
5. Teacher - Nehemiah 9:20
6. Giver of Fruitfulness - Psalm 92:13-14
7. Omnipresence - Psalm 139:7-13
8. Renewer - Isaiah 32:15
9. In-Filler - Ezekiel 36:26-27
10. Coming Upon One - Ezekiel 39:29
11. Empowerer - Micah 3:8; Zechariah 4:6
The work that the Holy Spirit performs in the Old Testament reveals a close personal involvement with God’s people. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit does not appear to abide in all believers as He does in the New Testament. The work of the Holy Spirit with God’s people in the Old Testament appears limited to individual situations. For instance, the Holy Spirit works with and through believers on occasion in Old Testament such as:
1. With Bazaleel for artistic and constructive ability - Exodus 31:2
2. With the Seventy Elders for prophetic utterance - Numbers 11:25
3. With Balaam for prophetic ability - Numbers 24:2
4. With Othniel for leadership and military ability - Judges 3:10
5. With Gideon for leadership and encouraging ability - Judges 6:34
6. With Samson for physical empowerment- Judges 13:25; 14:6,19; 15:14
7. With Saul for courageous leadership and prophetic utterance - 1 Samuel 10:10; 11:6
8. With David as anointing for shepherd leadership - 1 Samuel 16:13
9. With Saul's Messengers for prophetic utterance - 1 Samuel 19:20
10. With Azariah for proclaiming the word of warning from the LORD - 2 Chronicles 15:1-7
11. With Simeon to recognize the arrival of Messiah Jesus - Luke 2:24-25
Based on these examples we see that in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is involved with believers for specific tasks on particular occasions, e.g. To build the Tabernacle; To prophecy; To lead; To battle; To proclaim God’s word.
The Bible indicates that those looking forward from the Old Testament to God’s promises were in part looking for a Messiah and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on ALL believers (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:33,39; Hebrews 11:39-40, 12:18-29). Old Testament believers recognized the indispensability of the Holy Spirit’s anointing in their lives (Psalm 51:10-11). The Old Testament foretells a time when the Holy Spirit would be poured out on ALL believers and this was fulfilled at Pentecost (John 7:39; Acts 2).
Adam’s “Sons and daughters” and Death
Genesis 5:4-5 - 4 After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. 5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.
There may have been many children produced by Adam and Eve. From these children Cain could have found his wife and other marriage relationships could have come into being.
The climate of this pre-flood world (i.e. atmosphere that would shield out destructive rays from the sun) was conducive to long life and this is why Adam could live 930 years. When people read these verses and the verses that follow they likely are impressed with the longevity of the people in the genealogy. But there is something that is repeatedly emphasized in these verses and it is emphasized by the repetition of the phrase, “and he died” (Genesis 5:5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31). Each time this phrase occurs it is as though God is telling us “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). Thank the Lord that in the New Testament we can find eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23b).
Passing on the History
An interesting fact to take note of here is that since Adam lived 930 years, he would have been able to pass on first hand the history of humankind from day one to his descendants up to Lamech. If we look at the genealogical list we can determine that Adam was born in year 1; Seth in year 130; Enosh in year 235; Cainan in year 325; Mahalalel in year 395; Jared in year 460; Enoch in year 622; Methuselah in year 687; Lamech in the year 874; and Noah in the year 1056. Since Lamech was born in the year 874 and Adam lived until he was 930 years old, Adam likely shared the history of humankind from the beginning with Lamech. And Noah would have been schooled in human history from his father who had likely been taught by Seth, son of Adam. All of this speaks to the accuracy of the history of humanity as it was passed down in oral tradition.
The Solution to the Sinful Human Nature – Walk with God
Genesis 5:21-24 - 21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Before we go to the genealogy as a whole we need to focus on one of its characters who experienced an incredible thing. Enoch it says, “walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Enoch was miraculously taken by the Lord. He hasn’t yet died! Since all human beings must die some have taken this and speculated that Enoch (along with possibly Elijah who also was taken up to heaven by the Lord before he died – 2 Kings 2:11) is one of the two witnesses of God in the book of Revelation (Revelation 11). That is a possibility but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. What does “walked with God” mean?
In Genesis six it describes Noah as someone who “found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (6:8) and as “a just man, perfect in his generations,” and then it continues, “Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). So grace, justness and perfection (i.e. spiritual maturity and fruitfulness) are associated with walking with God.
In the Bible walking with God is also connected and described as walking in agreement with God (Amos 3:3). This implies a relationship characterized by communication and agreement, cooperation. From this and the above we see the walking is another way of referring to the way of life we live or the direction in life that we go.
In the New Testament we are instructed to not walk in the way the world walks seeking only to fulfill the lusts of their flesh (Ephesians 4:17; Philippians 3:17-21). Rather we are to walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7) and to walk in the light of God’s revelation or word (Ephesians 5:5; 1 John 1:7a). When we do this it leads us into pure fellowship with God (1 John 1:7b). Ultimately we are called to follow in the steps of Jesus (1 Peter 2:21) and to walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). Jesus is the pattern of walk or way of life to be followed. This is not something we do in our own strength (i.e. our flesh). The only way we can walk as Jesus walked is to “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). And to walk in the Spirit is the means to overcome the sinful nature or flesh (Galatians 5:16).
The New Testament sheds further light on Enoch when it states:
· Hebrews 11:5-6 - 5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Enoch walked with God and walking with God is described in Hebrews 11:5 as “he pleased God.” Enoch’s walk with God pleased God because it was a walk of faith in God. Then in Hebrews it explains to please God you have to have faith, not just any old faith or faith in “faith” like the world seems to propose, but faith in God, “that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” That’s what it means to “walk with God” and that is the example that Enoch gives to us. And most importantly, that is the solution to the sinful nature, to walk with God.
To walk with God is another way of saying you abide in Him. To abide with Him is to have a relationship with Him. Jesus spoke about abiding in Him. To abide means to cling to, to depend on, to live for, to see Jesus as our life and indispensable reason to live and our necessary source of eternal life (John 15). To abide in Jesus is to walk with Him. To walk with Jesus pleases God. Why does it please God when we walk with Jesus? Because when we walk with Jesus, when we come close to Him, when we abide in Him, we follow in His holy steps. The closer you are to Jesus, the more clearly you can identify sin and the more power you will have over sin. To walk with Jesus steers you away from sin and toward the holiness of God. That pleases God.
A Gospel Genealogy
Genesis 5:6-32 - 6 Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. 7 After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters. 8 So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died. 9 Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan. 10 After he begot Cainan, Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and had sons and daughters. 11 So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years; and he died. 12 Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel. 13 After he begot Mahalalel, Cainan lived eight hundred and forty years, and had sons and daughters. 14 So all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years; and he died.15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared. 16 After he begot Jared, Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years, and had sons and daughters. 17 So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years; and he died.18 Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. 19 After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 20 So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died.21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.25 Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. 26 After he begot Lamech, Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years, and had sons and daughters. 27 So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died.28 Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. 29 And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.” 30 After he begot Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years, and had sons and daughters. 31 So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died.32 And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The Bible is not simply a compilation of 66 books written by 40 authors over about 1500 years. The Bible is a supernatural work of God. Jewish rabbis say that they will not understand the scripture until the Messiah comes. They say that when He comes, He will not only interpret individual passages for them, but He will interpret individual words, the letters of the words and even the spaces between the letters of words (cf. Matthew 5:17-18).  The Messiah has come and His name is Jesus. And Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to illuminate and open up the word of God, the Bible (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:9-14).
Now we might be tempted to glance or skim over the genealogies found in the Bible. But if you do that, if you just pass on by without doing a little spade work, you will miss a blessing. This is seen in this genealogy. Even the meanings of names is important in the Bible. If you take the meanings of the names in the genealogy and put them in their given sequence you come up with an interesting outcome. Let’s see what happens when we do that. Below are the names from the Genesis 5 genealogy in their proper order:
· Adam = “man”
· Seth = “appointed”
· Enosh = “mortal; frail; miserable” (Hebrew root word ANASH means to be incurable e.g. to have an incurable wound, incurable grief, incurable sickness, incurable wickedness).
· Cainan = “sorrow”
· Mahalalel = “the blessed of God; God be praised”
· Jared = “shall come down; descent”
· Enoch = “dedication; teaching” – Enoch is described as a prophet (Jude 14-15). Arab legend attributes the origin of written language to him (see Haley’s Bible Handbook page 71). He may be one of the prophets who returns in Revelation (Revelation 11).
· Methuselah = MUTH – “death” + SHALAK – “to bring” therefore “his death shall bring.” The year Methuselah died was the year of the Flood. Therefore it is speculated that the prophetic message declared by Enoch may have been in part that when his son Methuselah died the period of God’s grace giving opportunity to repent, would end.
· Lamech = “despairing” (This word is closely connected to the English word for “lamentation”).
· Noah = “rest; comfort”
When we take the meanings of these genealogical names and put them together we get Man [is] appointed mortal sorrow [but] the Blessed God shall come down teaching [that] His death shall bring [the] despairing rest. That’s an amazing message because it is a gospel message clear to see.
In Hebrews 10:7 it quotes Psalm 40:6-8 as saying in part, “In the volume of the book it is written of Me – to do Your will. O God.” The most important question of any study of God’s word is to ask yourself prayerfully, “What does this tell me about Jesus?” Then you must prayerfully ask, “Lord how would You apply this to my life for Your glory?” Do that and you will begin a life of blessing and spiritual growth. And it all started in Genesis.
 Personal Update – Chuck Missler – issue June 1993, page 13.