The Fall, Our Legacy
Understanding how sin entered the world is a very important question to ask as a Christian. This post attempts to skim the surface of our fall in the Garden of Eden taken from a literal view of scripture.
We will not look too closely at Satan except to show how he, as the father and embodiment of sin, introduced sin’s corruption to humanity and the world.
There is no redemption for Him or his angels. They saw and lived in heavenly glory with God. When they fell, God let them fall all the way to Hell.
Humanity is another story. God came down to us, lived with us, and redeemed us from our fall. We are commanded to pursue this beautiful redemption.
Lets explore this a bit. Like most of my posts, there are twists and turns along the way. But the points sought are found and they are valuable.
Just bear with me and be patient.
Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.
~ Psalm 37:27
Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it.
~ Psalm 34:14
We can change from a sinful life to righteous life. Thanks be to the Lord!
God can truly redeem us from our sin so we no longer have to continue in it.
Sin is serious. It is evil and we must avoid it at all costs. God promises us a way out.
Adam and Eve did not avoid it. With their choice was brought us many sufferings.
We are given the opportunity to break the link in the chain of sin in our lives.
What shall we say, then?
Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
~ Romans 6:1
Everyone who practices sin
also practices lawlessness;
and sin is lawlessness.
You know that He appeared
in order to take away sins;
and in Him there is no sin.
No one who abides in Him sins;
no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.
make sure no one deceives you;
the one who practices righteousness
just as He is righteous;
the one who practices sin
is of the devil;
~ 1 John 3:4-8a
The Keys to Life
And the LORD God took the man,
and put him into the garden of Eden
to dress it and to keep it.
And the LORD God commanded the man,
Of every tree of the garden
thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
thou shalt not eat of it:
for in the day that thou eatest
thereof thou shalt surely die.
~ Genesis 2:15-17
Here God gave Adam four commandments. The first three are what he was responsible to keep (or do). The third was what he was forbidden to do.
Even though God gave these commandments to Adam, they applied to Eve and all of their posterity together. As long as Adam and Eve and their children obeyed these first four commandments, they would live in perfect harmony with God in the Garden.
But alas! They did not have the opportunity of bear children before the stain of sin entered their hearts!
With their fall, a framework of sin was shapened around us: They neglected their responsibility and the whole world is suffering for it.
We should consider the spiritual side of the first three commandments God gave to Adam. As these build upon each other in a beautiful and harmonious way:
If we dress (build and develop) the garden of our life (our soul, spirit, and body) as God calls us to do, we will keep that which God has so graciously given us, a life eternal in Him.
This is what God offers to everyone; a restored life through the second Adam (Jesus) that produces the fruits of obedience, leading to holiness, and eternal life.
So also it is written,
The first man, Adam, became living soul.
The last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving spirit.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:5
The promise of giving life to our spirit continues in us when we remain in His love and keep His commandments to do good and refrain from sin.
Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.
My Father will love them,
and we will come to them
and make our home with them.
~ John 14:23
And hereby we do know that we know him,
if we keep his commandments.
~ 1 John 2:3
Let us therefore fear,
lest, a promise being left us
of entering into his rest,
any of you should seem to come short of it.
~ Hebrews 4:1
We must highly and reverently consider the holy calling of God on our lives. It is not a calling of compromise, of sin, or of backsliding.
One of the first things we are called to do is fear the Lord for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We fear him because we realize our sin and His righteous judgment deserving of that sin.
His wisdom calls us to repentance unto good works leading to holiness and purity, where God is truly abiding in our life.
but I declared to those in Damascus first,
and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea,
and to the Gentiles,
that they should repent and turn to God,
performing deeds consistent with repentance.
~ Acts 26:20
What about the Law?
Sin is disobedience to Jesus’ commandments, not the law in all its details as found in the O.T.
The O.T. law and all its ordinances have complex meanings, examples, and lessons for us to benefit from. They are not the subject of this post.
We will briefly describe what the law does for us: It points to and reveals our death in sin, leads us to grace, and through faith, brings us to life Christ.
But before faith came,
we were kept under the law,
shut up unto the faith
which should afterwards be revealed.
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster
to bring us unto Christ,
that we might be justified by faith.
But after that faith is come,
we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
~ Galatians 3:23-25
Christ did not come to abolish the law. He came to fulfill it.
Do not think that I have come
to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them
but to fulfill them.
~ Matthew 5:17
So the law points to Christ and the commandments Christ gives us directs us to our Father in heaven. This leads us to perfect freedom from the law of sin through the work of the Holy Ghost.
Did you receive the Spirit by works of the Law,
or by hearing with faith?
~ Galatians 3:2
For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus
has set you free from the law of sin and death.
~ Romans 8:2
O.T. law is a comprehensive subject and here we are trying to generally understand the origins of sin before the law and how it applies to us now.
The Beginnings of Sin
We need to look at the very beginning to see how we were led into this deception of sin that defines all the corruption in the world.
It has helped me understand how we work, what are some of our frailties, and important elements to consider if we are to endure victorious in Christ.
Now the serpent was more subtil
than any beast of the field
which the LORD God had made.
And he said unto the woman . . .
Subtil (עָ֭רוּם) is found 7 times in the bible and implies craftiness, prudence, or sensibility.
It implies an inherent ability or advantage over those who do not possess knowledge of good and evil; like Eve or ones who are still innocent of Satan’s subtle and worldly ways: infant, child, those suffering from mental retardation.
In reality, the subtlety of Satan applies to all of us. We just become wiser of his ways and if we heed Jesus’ instructions to follow Him:
Behold, I send you forth as sheep
in the midst of wolves:
be ye therefore wise as serpents,
and harmless as doves.
~ Matthew 10:16
The Garden is where Satan sought to destroy innocence in all its delicate purity and beauty.
What is important here is to understand that Satan was the direct cause of the temptation that led to Eve’s transgression.
The Devil alone is the instrument from which all evil emanates.
The subtlety that the serpent presented to Eve powerfully and immediately inculcated doubt, confusion, deception, desire, and rebellion.
The strategy of Satan addressing Eve instead of Adam is also interesting because Adam was present during the conversation.
It is not clear whether Adam intentionally abdicated his responsibility to rebuke Satan and protect Eve because it is unclear whether or not he understood who Satan was.
One of the biggest deceptions today is the idea that Satan is not real. Not many people in our country believe in a literal, fallen, an utterly evil angel going to and fro on this Earth.
This may very well be part of the deception played out in the Garden. Since Adam and Eve did not possess knowledge of evil before the fall, it is reasonable to think they did not realize the danger before them.
Nevertheless, Satan used a multifaceted approach, undermining God’s authority given to man, placing Eve in the decision making role, and disrupting the natural order of the husband/wife relationship;
All the while, manipulating their perception of God and the world around them.
And the LORD God said,
It is not good that the man should be alone;
I will make him an help meet for him.
~ Genesis 2:18
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived,
but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
~ 1 Timothy 2:13-14
Adam cleaved unto his wife as God commanded for they had become one flesh.
Because of this design, perhaps Satan surmised that Adam would likely continue cleaving to Eve, follow her lead, and eat of the forbidden fruit.
It is important to understand the structure God has designed for man and woman to follow. Within this design, we can how to better serve our Lord in holiness and love.
To better understand this, study Ephesians 5 where the roles of husband and wife are explained. They reflect the relationship of Christ and the church, loving and sacrificial.
The word serpent, נחש (nachash), means to view or observe attentively, to use enchantments, through the acquisition of knowledge by experience.
It is quite possible that the serpent stood upright, because when he was cursed, he was cast to his belly. And from that point forward, his had to eat the dust of the ground all his days.
The serpent was superior to all the other animals of creation. No animal today stands erect like man. The closest is the ape and many consider it most like man but that was not the case long ago in the garden.
The serpent was much closer to man than any other animal we know. He talked, reasoned, and disputed with Eve. She was not astonished or afraid by his physical properties.
The Serpent’s Venom
Yea, hath God said,
Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Here is the first temptation, doubt.
The conversation the serpent was having with Eve was apparently a continuation from a previous conversation about the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
We do not know how long this conversation took place (or how many occurred) before he introduced temptation to doubt the veracity of God’s word.
We do know that he used subtlety, sensibility, and knowledge; and was most likely preparing to attack Adam and Eve as he keenly and patiently observed and watched them.
In their Adamic and sinless perfection, they both possessed disadvantages and infirmities that Satan sought to use.
These same infirmities and imperfections exist in us and have been compromised from the moment we were conceived and are commensurate to the sin we entertain.
We must consider our weaknesses and place all our trust in God: Look not upon the wisdom of the world for answers.
The world heaps doubt and deceit upon the simplicity of our minds, seeking to bring it under more and more deception and darkness.
Eve’s First Response
And the woman said unto the serpent,
We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
But of the fruit of the tree
which is in the midst of the garden,
God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it,
neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Her first act to address this temptation was to discuss and entertain the temptation, rather than seeking her husband on this matter, she engaged Satan directly.
We may not know where our temptations are coming from but we must be acutely aware and defer to God’s counsel and guidance for help.
Eve has not yet succumbed to the temptation but its demise was developing quickly by one of the most powerful and beautiful angels of God had formed (until sin was found in him-this is a great mystery).
The scriptures do not indicate why, but Eve was incorrect in her statement about God’s command not to touch the fruit. God only told Adam not to eat of the tree.
This factor may be explained by the possibility of Adam instructing to her to not even touch the tree lest they fall into temptation to eat . . . but we really don’t know.
Temptation is not sin. It is a precursor that can lead to sin.
We must put our whole life under God’s authority, if we are to overcome (sin that is in) the world.
God provides us a way out of every temptation so we do not have to sin. We should walk worthy of Him.
We are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood,
an holy nation,
a peculiar people;
that ye should shew forth the praises
of him who hath called you
out of darkness into his marvellous light:
~ 1 Peter 2:9
He himself bore our sins
in his body on the tree,
that we may cease from sinning
and live for righteousness.
By his wounds you were healed.
~ 1 Peter 2:24
As a Christian, we should not underestimate the power of Satan. Instead, we should cling to God’s love and promises to keep and protect us from those things that seek to separate us from Him.
Michael the Archangel gave us a good example.
But Michael the archangel,
when he disputed with the devil
and argued about the body of Moses,
did not dare pronounce against him
a railing judgment, but said,
“The Lord rebuke you!”
~ Jude 1:9
We must rely on the Lord and His plan for our life and accept nothing less. We are to clothe an protect ourselves in righteousness and in the armor of the Lord, see Ephesians 6:10-20.
The Deception Deepens
And the serpent said unto the woman,
Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof,
then your eyes shall be opened,
and ye shall be as gods,
knowing good and evil.
Here Satan lives up to his reputation, the Father of Lies, by calling God Himself a liar!
By stating that Eve would not die, Satan implies that their is still an option of eternal life (Adam and Eve failed to grasp this).
Satan, the keen observer and predictor of human behavior was telling her indirectly and oh so subtly, that she could eat of the tree of life and live forever after gaining the knowledge of good and evil.
. . . ye shall be as gods, (kelohim)
Kelohim in this context probably meant that Satan was telling them that they would become divine beings like God.
Our first parents had no concept of idolatry or other Gods. That would come later after sin corrupted the meaning of the Lord.
This is the first incident or hint of idolatry in the Bible and it pointed to man. We need to be very careful to have a proper view of ourself, the world around us, and God in order to prevent falling into this type of sin.
So put to death
whatever in your nature belongs to the earth:
sexual immorality, impurity,
shameful passion, evil desire,
and greed which is idolatry.
~ Colossians 3:5
Satan was trying to persuade Eve with the original sin that brought him down, pride that led to coveting and idolatry (wanting to be like the Most High).
How art thou fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
how art thou cut down to the ground,
which didst weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart,
I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:
I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation,
in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the most High.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell,
to the sides of the pit.
~ Isaiah 14:12-15
The weight of sin enveloped them so completely, the infusing guilt cascaded innumerable degrees of darkness. They failed to remember the remedy, the Tree of Life, growing right in the midst of them.
Sin was shown to be such a snare that escape was impossible. Truth was obscured. This is also our case except for the fact that the grace of God has been given to us.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation
hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that,
denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
we should live soberly, righteously,
and godly, in this present world;
~ Titus 2:11-12
Eve’s Second Response
This to me is where it gets interesting. There are concepts here that I have not considered before and have learned an invaluable lesson on the frailties and infirmities that are our part of our humanity.
Our human physiology is separate and distinct from sin although not altogether unhinged from its connections because our mind and body have needs that this corrupt and sinful world can satisfy.
From the moment we sense the comfort and nourishment in our mother’s womb, we like little kings implicitly desire to have all our self-centered needs met as we quickly learn to appreciate our conscious freedom.
And when the woman saw
that the tree was good for food,
and that it was pleasant to the eyes,
and a tree to be desired to make one wise,
she took of the fruit thereof,
and did eat,
This impression from Eve reveals three universal truths:
- our physical body has appetites that need to be met,
- there are many things that bring pleasure and satisfy
- it is desirous to grow from a state of naivety to knowledge and wisdom.
Eve had it, Adam had it, you have it, I have it. These desires and needs of the body are not sinful in themselves.
It is through the methodology or course of action we take to address these needs that deems certain acts sinful or not.
Unfortunately, Satan presented to Eve the classic triad of temptation: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life;
Drawing Eve away from the love of the Father and directing her love toward the things of the world around her in order for her to seek satisfaction from them instead of allowing God to meet all her needs.
This phenomena is common to all of us, but we are commanded to redress these abuses of the flesh, lest we perish with the world and its lusts therein.
We are called to overcome even this in our life. With an unwavering, living faith in Jesus this can be a reality in this life!
For everyone who has been born of God
overcomes the world.
And this is the victory
that has overcome the world,
~ I John 5:4
Love not the world,
neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world,
the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh,
and the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life,
is not of the Father,
but is of the world.
And the world passeth away,
and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God
abideth for ever.
~ 1 John 2: 15-17
They Sinned Together
and gave also unto her husband with her;
and he did eat.
And the eyes of them both were opened,
and they knew that they were naked;
and they sewed fig leaves together,
and made themselves aprons.
~ Genesis 3:1-7
Here, we are shown the garden was not without sin. For the Father of Lies was able to enter the Garden, introduce deception, confusion, and mar the otherwise innocent masterpiece that crowned God’s heavenly creation.
Eve entertained her own physical desires in ways that were contrary to God’s will and through Adam, brought upon us all, the guilt and death that comes from sin.
Let no man say when he is tempted,
I am tempted of God:
for God cannot be tempted with evil,
neither tempteth he any man:
But every man is tempted,
when he is drawn away of his own lust,
Then when lust hath conceived,
it bringeth forth sin:
and sin, when it is finished,
bringeth forth death.
Do not err, my beloved brethren.
~ James 1:13-15
So then, just as sin
entered the world through one man
and death through sin,
and so death spread to all people because all sinned
~ Romans 5:12
God’s punishment was a swift, life-time sentence bringing temporal and eternal consequences.
Lost sinners and backslidden Christians can be forgiven all their sins if they return to Christ.
I will arise and go to my father,
and will say unto him,
Father, I have sinned against heaven,
and before thee,
and am no more worthy to be called thy son:
make me as one of thy hired servants.
And he arose, and came to his father.
But when he was yet a great way off,
his father saw him, and had compassion,
and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
And the son said unto him,
Father, I have sinned against heaven,
and in thy sight,
and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
But the father said to his servants,
Bring forth the best robe,
and put it on him;
and put a ring on his hand,
and shoes on his feet:
and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it;
and let us eat, and be merry:
for this my son was dead, and is alive again;
he was lost, and is found.
~ Luke 15:18-24a
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men,
him will I confess
also before my Father which is in heaven.
But whosoever shall deny me before men,
him will I also deny
before my Father which is in heaven.
~ Matthew 10:32-33
If we return to sin after salvation and do not to turn back unto repentance in Christ, our punishment will be greater than if we were never saved.
How much severer punishment
do you think he will deserve
who has trampled under foot the Son of God,
and has regarded as unclean
the blood of the covenant
by which he was sanctified,
and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
~ Hebrews 10:29
Godly sorrow brings repentance resulting in salvation
For the sorrow
that is according to the will of God
produces a repentance without regret,
leading to salvation,
but the sorrow of the world produces death.
~ 2 Corintians 7:10
The act of repentance brings with it fruit.
For we know that our old self
was crucified with him
so that the body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves to sin
because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
~ Romans 6:6-7
Don’t you know
that you yourselves are God’s temple
and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple,
God will destroy him;
for God’s temple is sacred,
and you are that temple.
~ 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
There is only one thing that brings destruction in God’s eyes, and that is sin just like it destroyed Adam and Eve’s life with God in the Garden.
Be very careful what you build upon the foundation of your salvation. It should come from and point only to Jesus Christ our Lord and savior of our soul.
Man’s method of sin is Satan’s method of destroying his soul.
Reading about the origins of sin in man, we find there are many qualities naturally occurring in us that are subject to being enticed, drawing us away from the truth and love of God.
There are also factors external to our needs that we struggle with: Just looking around our world, we see sinful indulgences akin to the desires stemming from Eve’s thoughts in Genesis 3:6;
We see the sufferings of people, broken families, broken lives lost in sin, wantonness, and darkness;
Or those oppressed by others from the killing of innocent babies in the womb to wars and murder by those who hate God.
Satan and his angels continue to observe and wait, strategizing ways to attack our faith, affect our thoughts, and lead us away from the love of God.
But fear not:
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but cannot kill the soul.
Rather, be afraid of the One
who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
~ Matthew 10:28
God wants us to be restored to Him, walking with Him in the cool of the morning, in the heat of the day, and in the darkness of night.
Love Him with all our heart, mind, and strength. Love our neighbor as He wants you to love yourself. You are called to many precious and glorious promises.
Nothing can separate us from Him, if we abide in His love.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
shall tribulation, or distress,
or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written,
For thy sake we are killed all the day long;
we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things
we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded,
that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor powers, nor things present,
nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
~ Romans 8:35-39
Stay in His love.
Abide in Him.
He calls you to every moment . . .