The Fall, And Its Consequences -- By: Melvin Grove Kyle

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 087:346 (Apr 1930)
Article: The Fall, And Its Consequences
Author: Melvin Grove Kyle

The Fall, And Its Consequences

Melvin Grove Kyle

(A) The first manifestations of sin next concern us. Temptation is not sin. Sin begins with the disposition to yield to the incitement, even before the bounds set are transgressed, or any move is made toward them; the disposition to go beyond the bounds set is the beginning of sin. This is the criterion laid down by our Lord (John 8:3–11). Now our first parents not only had the disposition to go beyond the bounds set, but had moved in that direction and then had actually taken of the forbidden fruit and eaten of it. Sin had become an overt act. The manifestations of sin now occupy the center of importance with us. Sin is, in fact, all of a piece. The Bible speaks rather of the “sin of the world” than of the sins of the world. It is not to be recognized only in its enormity, and to be made light of in its less hideous manifestations; every sin has in its bosom the essential character of all sin, disobedience toward God and repudiation of his authority. Though some sins in themselves and by reason of several aggravations are more heinous in the sight of God than others, yet every sin deserves God’s wrath and curse both in this life and in that which is to come. So this first sin, so simple in its appearance, is yet able to furnish us with all the manifestations of sin, as we shall see.

(1) The first manifestation of sin will be the more easily discerned when we have considered man in his holy estate. And such an estate may best be seen in the life of our Lord. He never gave reasons for his conduct. It was enough to say, “With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.” A sinful man would have justified his conduct by many and important reasons which we can even now easily perceive. Jesus mentioned none of them. He “desired,” that was enough. And why not? A holy life has desires in consonance with

a holy God. In such perfect beings, desire is dominant, it may be put on the throne and given a scepter. It will be so with us, when we are made perfect in glory. Even now, when we have a good impulse, it were best to obey it. So in the life of our first parents in their holy estate, desire could be dominant, for they desired to do only what God willed.

Now the first manifestation of sin was in the perversion of desire. They yielded to the incitement of the tempter and desire to do what God forbade them to do. Desire became perverted, “and they knew that they were naked” (Gen. 3:7). Henceforth desire was dethroned, and an intelligent conscience with the law in its hand was put in its place (Cf. ...

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