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  • God
  • Christ
  • Spirit
  • Sin and Humanity
  • Salvation
  • Church
  • [End] Time
  •         Theology

    Damaged Goods: The Story

    A REAL PROBLEM: Sin, Evil, and Death

    1. Elements of the Human Condition that need to be transformed. They are part of the biblical story. This is the problem of the good that has been damaged.
    2. This Human Condition is a real problem and not some mere transgression of breaking the law
    3. Sin is the result of the damaged relationship with God
    4. Evil is the result of the damaged relationship with other humans
    5. Death is the result of the damaged relationship with creation


  • Estrangement from God
  • Worse than vices and broken rules
  • Sin is darkness (1 John 1:5-8)
  • Sin is a parasite (Romans 7:20)
  • But there’s still some good

    We’ve done more than break God’s rules. God is not simply a cop or authority figure. This isn’t about control. The problem goes even further than simply having to satisfy God’s honor or appease his wrath. (If that’s God then he comes out as rather petty).
    Sin is more than being “Caught in the Act”

    1. We were convinced that the only thing wrong with what we were doing was getting caught – if we didn’t get caught, then we hadn’t done anything wrong.
    2. This is a childish view of sins.
    3. Sins is not a list of vices or laws broken. It is darkness (1 John 1:5-8)
    4. Sin is a parasite – “So the biggest biblical idea about sin ... is that sin is an anomaly, an intruder, a notorious gate-crasher. Sin does not belong in God’s world, but somehow it has gotten in. In fact, it has dug in , and, like a tick, burrows deeper when we try to remove it. This stubborn persistent feature of human sin can make it look like it has a life of its own, as if it were an independent power or even a kind of person.” Thus Paul in Romans 7.


  • Estrangement among humans
  • Cain and Lamech (Genesis 4)
  • Justifying evil is the part of the problem (1 John 1:9)
  • But there’s still some good.

    After the fall in the garden, there’s a continuing spiral. A fracture in the creation that continues to crack and shatter. The next story is Cain and Abel. The parasitical sin is crouching at Cain’s door. It attaches itself to Cain and when sin has its way the result is evil.
    This puts God in a predicament. God opposes evil. But God loves Cain. Cain is his child too. But evil isn’t just a problem for God. It’s a problem for everyone. How will Cain live among the rest of humanity? Murder gives way to vengeance. How can the GOOD and Shalom of creation ever be restored. The genie is out of the bottle.
    Redemptive violence isn’t the answer – otherwise humanity will just kill itself.
    It’s really bad when we get to Lamech. He kills and gets into fights just because someone has done him wrong. If Cain was avenged seven times, then Lamech is avenged 77.

    But there’s still some good – look at his sons. Eve has another child. People call on the Lord


  • Estrangement from creation
  • The curse (Genesis 3:17-19, Romans 8:18-25).
  • Hostility between humans and the world leads to death
  • The final enemy (1 Corinthians 15:51-57)
  • But there’s still some good.

    The solution to the problem
    To deal with the problem of sin (estrangement from God) we need a priest. A mediator.
    To deal with the problem of evil (estrangement from one another) we need a prophet. A preacher to teach us how to live.
    To deal with the problem of death (estrangement from creation) we need a king – a king who rules not only over earth but also over the heavenly realms.
    Is there a person who embodies all three of these? Yes. Jesus Christ.

    Chris Benjamin

    West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
    Evening Sermon, 18 March 2007
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