What does it mean that we live in a fallen world?

When we talk about something that is "fallen," we are referring to a person or thing that is morally and spiritually flawed—something that falls short of God's standard of perfection. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, we have lived in a fallen world, which is why this event is known as the fall (Genesis 3). Adam and Eve's disobedience allowed sin to enter and rule the world, and it will be this way until Jesus returns (Revelation 11:15).

Throughout the Bible, many things are described as being fallen or having fallen. There are angels who have fallen and become demons (Isaiah 14:12; Revelation 12:4); the nation of Israel is called "fallen" (Amos 5:2). Even the glory that mankind aspires to gain is here today and gone tomorrow—it is bound to fall (1 Peter 1:24). King Saul fell from God's favor as a result of his sin (1 Samuel 15:10–11). All of these examples point to people or beings that fall into sin and subsequently fall in the path of God's just displeasure and wrath. Fallen people suffer the consequences of their own sinfulness; they are separated from God (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23).

Salvation does not mean that we are not susceptible to moral or spiritual "falls." The Ephesian church was confronted for having fallen away from Christ—leaving its first love (Revelation 2:5). Believers are warned not to fall: "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it" (1 Corinthians 10:12–13). The difference between life without Christ and life with Christ is that, in Christ, we have the power we need to resist the temptation to fall into sin!

We can't change the fact that the world in which we live is fallen and ruled by sin, but we can be thankful for the grace of God that "has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age" (Titus 2:11–12, emphasis added). Instead of falling, we have the power to remain upright: "waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works" (Titus 2:13–14).

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