Sunday: The Scope of the Problem
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Because salvation is God’s solution to the problem created by sin, the extent of sin’s damage determines the scope of the solution.

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

It wouldn’t be a solution were it unable to solve the problem, no matter what the size of the problem.

What do the following texts reveal about the scope of the sin problem? How have you experienced it yourself or seen around you the reality of these texts?

John 2:25 

Ps. 59:2

Jer. 17:9

Rom. 5:12

James 5:1-7

Isa. 5:23

2 Thess. 2:10

Who among us hasn’t known deeply, personally, and painfully, just how bad the sin problem is? We live every moment of our lives with the reality of sin and its effects. Every aspect of human existence on this planet is, to some degree (a great one, in fact), dominated by the reality of sin. From politics to the innermost recesses of the human heart, sin has infected the race. It is so bad that, without a divine solution, there would be no solution. How grateful we should be that the solution has been given. It’s called “the plan of salvation,” and its purpose is to solve the problem of sin.

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Sunday: The Scope of the Problem — 22 Comments

  1. One should ask to be emptied of self daily and submit all to God sincerely. Only then, will one be able to sin less in this sinful world. It is so easy to do the wrong thing without even realizing. Thank God for that still small voice that helps to keep us on track.

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  2. It is through God's love and grace that a remedy greater than the extent of humanity's problem is resolved. Now humanity has a choice to take and live in the parameters given by God to enjoy eternal life. CHOICE!

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  3. It is true that sin has infected all aspects of life no matter how much we can try to be good, our sinful nature always dominates. We surely needed divine intervention or we would be lost for good.

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  4. This is such an importnant lesson for our church. I did a poll amongst our young people a couple weeks ago and asked how many believed they were saved and only 2 of 20 hands went up. Some thought it was presumptuous to claim to be saved. By Faith we must claim the gift of Salvation not of our own works lest anyone should boast! I thank God for saving me from the penalty of sin (o:

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  5. Thank God for his goodness and mercy toward me. I (we) did not bring sin into this world, but because of my (our) innate tendencies we sin. But you know what, before I was born, God had already made a way for me to recover (the solution). Thank you God for your saving grace. I love you and will praise you to the end of my days.Please help me to remain faithful. Thank you Jesus.

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  6. The effects of sin are everywhere; broken relationships, broken marriages, broken families etc. It breaks my heart to hear of children below 10 years being raped!!! what has this world come to? No wonder we needed a solution bigger than the problem. Thank you Jesus for your blood.

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  7. When did the Great Controversy begin? The Saturday afternoon study says it is in the garden of Eden. I thought it began in heaven. The bible says 'there was war in heaven....'.
    Help

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    • The Great Controversy was "brought to earth", but it did not begin on earth. Sabbath afternoon's discussion says it was "brought to earth".

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  8. God loved as indeed to create us with appetite and sexuality knowing that we may fall because of them. What's more? Giving us the freedom to choose obedience or disobedience - and that we might fall, put in place the solution in advance!

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    • That is really love Mwivanda of Lwandeti Kenya, God would have deciced to create us without ability to taste or relate sexually or appreciate music and even though that would have maybe reduced many of present day sins, but how boring life could have been, I wouldnt have wanted to live that kind of life. Yes, God is love and he created us with all sorts of abilities including the possibility to use his gifts to sin, isnt that called UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!

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  9. The great controversy on earth began in the garden of eden and that makes the assertion on the lesson on Sabbath properly placed. With regards to the war in heaven I am of the opinion that the war was fought after Jesus was ressurrected and went up to heaven to take the place that was occupied by Satan after the fall of Adam. Satan used to go to heaven after the Garden of Eden incident. Remeber his accusation of God with regard to Job's protection in heaven. In Revelation 12, time to the imminent destruction of the devil became compounded by the victory of Jesus and his place was no more found in heaven hence his wrath against earth. In my opinion in line with the Bible is, the great controversy commenced in heaven and its commencement may not be in synch with the war of Revelation 12.

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    • Laurence, you make a good case if one holds to a strict chronology of Rev 12 but that may not be the way the vision John describes was presented. Revelation like Daniel is very cyclic and apparently has ancient literary constructions in it such as chiasms that take it out of strict chronological order. Even though there seems to be a general chronological order these kinds of things complicate the whole matter considerably. It is also very symbolic with several parenthetical explanations of previous content which tend to add more confusion.

      As a church Seventh-day Adventists understand that war first broke out in Heaven and when Satan was cast out along with his angels he came to earth to continue the battle. There are several things that seem to point in this direction.

      The first thing is that Satan was once the chief of the angels as presented under the guise as the king of Tyre in the book of Ezekiel because obviously that wicked king was never in Eden or on the "mountain of God" nor was he ever a Cherub (an order of angel, in this case the head).

      "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor . . ." (Ezek. 28:14-17 NKJV)

      Because he prided himself more than he ought which is something no one should ever do (Rom 12:3) he began to covet God's position as king of the universe (Isa 14:12-14). Obviously, because there was war in Heaven he started an insurrection in an attempt to replace God with himself and because of his deceit and lies he was able to gather a following that numbered one third of the angels (Rev 12:4) which he drew with him when he was cast out.

      Notice in the quote from Ezekiel that Satan was cast out of Heaven because he sinned due to the "abundance of your trading" which caused "violence within." not because of what happened on earth. He was the covering cherub, a reflection of the two angels on the mercy seat in the sanctuary, one who was next in authority to God. There is no mention of him voluntarily leaving Heaven in these verses but rather that he was cast out which Rev 12 also says.

      Second, there is Eph 1:4-5 which is a clear statement concerning God's "predestination" of the saints that He foreknew would be saved (Rom 8:29-30). The problem here is that Paul says that, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4 NKJV) not after sin had entered the world. Now how could this whole business of salvation be an issue in Paul's mind without sin - before the foundation of the world? In other words the problem must have existed before the creation of earth.

      Third, we know that Satan had freedom to enter councils that God presided over yet at some point he was cast out of Heaven to earth and latter chained in the bottomless pit about the same time the beast and the false prophet are to be cast into the lake of fire and to be kept there until after the thousand years (Rev 19:20; Rev 20:1-3). So, what was he doing between those two major events, conducting a war on two fronts like Hitler tried to do?

      Fourth, you point to the gathering in Job as proof that Satan wasn't yet cast out of Heaven but there is nothing in that account that says that it was in Heaven. We can through internal evidence conclude that it wasn't on earth but anything more would be presumption on our part.

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      • I have tried to follow your comments on where the Great Controversy started and since I am finding it hard to comprehend it as clearly as I would like to, my lazy mind is asking me if it is still very important for me to understand it now that I already know the other details like who are involved, where it is being fought, my part in the war and the final outcome of the war? Could you or somebody else help me understand what I stand to loose if didnt know where this war started from but understood everything else about it?

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        • Hi, Mwivanda. You ask a very good question. Perhaps it is not a question of losing anything. Let me explain. I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was a teenager. I knew nothing of the Great Controversy at that time. Yet, I believe that salvation came to me personally even without that knowledge. However, as I grew as a Christian, I learned more and more as I was willing to let God teach me. I believe that one of the things He taught me was about the battle between good and evil. This explained a lot to me about what I saw in the world around me and in my life and the lives of my friends. Maybe it is not about losing anything, but instead it is about a loving God helping us to understand, like a parent who answers a child's questions. Sometimes a child seems to ask an endless string of whys. But love for the child causes the parent to patiently explain so the child can understand. I like to think that perhaps God loves us as His children in the same way. :)

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        • Here is another side to the issue. In my opinion there are degrees of importance in the Bible just as there are weightier matters of the law (Mat 23:23). However, I don't think God inspired the writers of the Bible to discuss things that have no importance at all. Paul told Timothy that, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NKJV). He could have said some or most but instead he said all meaning every bit of it. So, to me there is value even though we have trouble seeing it at times.

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  10. I thank Stephen Terry for clarifying my question. Now when I study my bible, I will be visualising myself sitting at the feet of a loving father as he answers my questions. Your answer reminded me that I need to understand not only for my benefit but so that I am always ready to give a satisfactory reason to what I believe when opportunity arises. Thanks.

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  11. The scope of the sin problem is unimaginably wide and personal but nothing will matter at some point to the individual that fails to accept God's love and solution.

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