Finding God's Winning Spirit

The Fallen Nature of Man (The Come Back)

May 27, 2014 | Greg Smith | Christianity



One of the primary doctrines of Christianity revolves around the fallen nature of man (also referred to as the duality of man). It is in the Garden of Eden that we find man's fall from grace. Mankind, once created in the image of God, is now expelled from the Garden and God's presence because of a free-will choice to sin. No matter how scholarly we try to be, this Garden event was simply man taking a harmonious relationship with God and turning it into a relationship fraught with dishonesty and lack of faith. The simple truth is that because of this original sin mankind must struggle with the constant plague of sin.

This paradoxical condition (God's image vs. fallen man) by nature pits our original desire to follow God against our fallen need to take and/or maintain personal control.  Uncomfortable as this battle may be, it is a battle we as Christians must fight our entire lives.  We will have good days and bad days; we will win some battles and lose some.  No matter how hard we try or how dedicated we are to God, we will continue to stumble and fall short.              

The falling short or down is not what matters. What is important is knowing that we have fallen and then what we do when we get up. Falling down is not a salvation issue because perfection is unobtainable.  As Paul tells us, the goal is to win the prize of the resurrection in Christ, something that we can only press toward (Philippians 3:10-14).

This doctrine is particularly important to the Christian athlete. It is through the understanding of this theological truth that the Christian athlete is able to put disappointment, mental or physical mistakes and a poor performance in perspective.  This athlete knows that the real strength in the midst of calamity is in the getting up or the “Come back”.  It is through this process that the Christian athlete learns about grace and confidence.  Falling down and getting up is the foundation of hope and God’s promise of His unconditional love.  

Unfortunately some people feel like being a good Christian means they should never struggle with the wages or consequences of sin. Even though they are told throughout the New Testament that living in this world will be difficult and they will stumble.  They do not understand that it is through the ups and downs that we grow and learn to rely on God. 

In the midst of these “mountain- top” and “valley” experiences, we live our lives. Paul tells us that when we fall down the important thing is to pick ourselves up and press forward. For us to learn perseverance we must believe and trust that God loves us and accepts us in the midst of our brokenness. We must remain confident in His love even though the road will not always be easy and our path not always clear.  Clarity comes with a better understanding of both the “character of God” and the “nature of fallen man.”

          God like us, loves a come back!



(Excerpt from Sports Theology: Finding God’s Winning Spirit)

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