The Fall of Man

In chapter three of Genesis we find the historical account of when sin came into the world. The man and the woman whom God had made, finds themselves in the beautiful garden of Eden, however, there is a hidden danger. God gave them strict instructions on how they are to care for His creation. In Genesis 2:16-17 He tells Adam that he can eat of every tree of the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The question can be raised here as to why God puts this tree in the garden and allows man to be tested. I believe that God puts man to a test because of His love for him. In every dispensation of time we find a test that man must face. The root of each test is the choice that man has to receive God’s love for him or to reject God and do his own thing. Here, in the dispensation of innocence we see such a test. God is giving man the opportunity to choose whether or not he will accept God’s love. This is the reason for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
In verse one of Genesis three we are introduced to the serpent. This serpent is perhaps a dragon-like creature that has the ability to speak. In verses 14-15 we see the curse placed on the serpent which sheds light on who the serpent might be. A prophecy is given in verse 15 that from the seed of the woman, the messiah would come to free the world from the curse of sin and the head of the serpent will be bruised. This indicates to us that the serpent is Satan. Now the obvious question then is; how did Satan get in the Garden of Eden? Beyond this question we must also consider when the angels were created, because Satan, though fallen, is an angel. We do know that angels are created beings; the question is when were they created? Exodus 20:11 tells us that God created the heaven and the earth and all that in them is during the creation week as recorded in Genesis. We can argue that the abode of the angels is the heavens, if this is true, then we could say that the angels were created on the first day of creation. It is unclear as to whether or not the angels were created during the creation week, however. Look at Job 38:4-7. We see mention here of the ‘sons of God’ which is a reference to angels. These angels were apparently present at the time of creation because they ‘shouted for joy.’ However, God tells Job, “Declare, if thou have understanding.” There are some truths that are beyond human reason and must be accepted by faith. When it comes to the issue concerning the creation of angels, we must simple accept the fact that the angels are created beings, but as to when they were created, remains unclear. We do know, without doubt based on Job 38:7, that the angels were present at creation. This then brings us back to the text at hand in Genesis 3. It is assumed that Satan fell from heaven sometime between the first day of creation and the temptation of Eve. Though the scripture does not give us a specific time as to the fall of Satan, we do know it happened (Isaiah 14:12-15) and that it had to have occurred after creation and before the temptation of Eve.
Now that we have established who the serpent is and how he must have come to the garden, let us turn our attention to our main purpose of this lesson and look at the fall of man in more detail. Satan comes to Eve and begins to plant seeds of doubt in her mind. This is where sin originates; it begins with questioning the Word of God. Satan poses the question on Eve, “Did God say…?” Basically Satan is telling Eve, “You must not have understood what God said, surely God did not mean that you cannot eat of this fruit.” We see the same thing happening today. It is the oldest trick in the book. When people begin to doubt what God’s Word says, it will lead to not taking His Word seriously, which in turn will lead to disobedience. This is why we as believers must have answers for the questions that come up concerning our faith. We must have a strong view of scripture as the final authority in all matters. We cannot allow ourselves to doubt what God’s Word says, we must accept it for what it is even if we do not understand it completely. One thing we learn about Satan here is that he always does the opposite of God’s plan. Being obedient to God will then in turn help you to know when Satan throws a counterfeit at you. Satan may twist the Bible in order to deceive you, but he will always do the exact opposite of what God says. This is seen in our day in many ways. One of those ways is the very issue that we have already discussed concerning whether or not we take Genesis literally. When questions rise that causes us to turn away from a clear reading of scripture, you can be assured that those questions can be traced back to Satan. He knows that if he can cause Christians to doubt God’s Word than he can hinder the message of the Gospel from going into the world and he can diminish the church’s credibility. Notice Satan’s approach in addressing Eve: he attacks God’s Word (v. 1), he Challenges the Word (v.4), and he challenge’s God’s motives (v.5). In challenging God at every turn, Satan will try to break down the fact that God is good. This is exactly what he is doing today as he uses the evil in the world to bring questions into people’s minds as to why God would allow such sorrow.
As this narrative unfolds we find Eve making two very bad choices. First of all, she listens to Satan. Instead of standing firm on what she knew God told them, she gives Satan her ear. Many times, problems with sin will rise in our lives when we start to listen to what the world tells us. When we listen to what the world tells us, we find ourselves deceived by the lie of Satan. Now I know that it is important for us to be educated and know what it is that the world is saying so that we can be better equipped to give an answer for our faith. But, we need to be very careful here. The Bible says, to ‘not give place to the devil.’ In other words, do not give the devil a chance. Do not give him the time of day. We may listen to what the secular world says for the sake of information and education, but we must not listen to them in the sense that we have an open mind to their world-view. You may say, ‘well that seems a little too dogmatic or too narrow-minded.’ Well, the way I look at it, if we believe that God’s Word is the truth, than our entire thinking and our entire world-view should be based solely on scripture. It’s okay to be open-minded to the things of God; it is not okay to be open-minded to the philosophies of men. The second mistake that Eve makes is when she makes an emotional choice. In verse six it tells us how she saw the fruit and how that it looked good to her. The combination of listening to Satan and looking at the fruit was a very bad combination. The seeds of doubt were already planted in Eve’s mind; she is then looking at the fruit and desires it. You see, this is why the knowledge of God’s Word is so very important. If we do not know the Bible and our minds are not filled with the understanding of God’s Word, then we can find ourselves believing anything. The reason many Christian have adopted the idea of evolution, for example, is because they simply do not understand the Bible. Ephesians chapter four speaks of this when it says that if we do not understand doctrine then we are tossed to and fro by the deceitfulness of men. If we do not have the firm unwavering foundation of God’s Word in our lives then there is nothing that we could not fall for. The most dangerous thing a Christian can do is when we become sympathetic toward the world and the philosophies of men. We cannot base what we do and believe on the emotional appeals of men. All that we believe must be grounded on the authority of scripture and we cannot give place to the philosophies of men.
In verse six of chapter three we see it mentioned that Adam was with Eve. Here we see Adam’s Failure. Perhaps Adam was observing the conversation that Eve was having with the serpent and he does nothing to stop Eve from giving in to the temptation. Here we see the failure on Adam’s part to intervene. The responsibility of Adam included the care of Eve, obviously, Adam failed in this responsibility. A great lesson can be learned here. When the man of the home fails in his responsibility, disaster will strike. The reason there is so many broken homes today is because of the failure of men to take their God-given responsibility as the spiritual head of the home seriously. If you are a young lady looking to get married, I would encourage you to look for Godly qualities in any prospective spouse. Does he have a strong relationship with Jesus? Is he faithful in the study of the Word of God? Will he insist on taking his family to church and being actively involved in church? Will he lead his family in the study of God’s Word? When men fail in these areas, the home is in danger. Adam failed to intervene and rescue Eve from Satan. He failed in his responsibility. As a result of his failure, his family is handed over to Satan. When men fail in their responsibilities, they are in a sense, handing their family over to Satan. We need ‘real men’ today who are not afraid to take a stand for the Word of God and to stand in the gap for their families.
In verse seven and on down through the remainder of Genesis three we see the results of sin. The first result of sin is separation from God. When Adam heard God walking in the garden, he hid himself, because he knew he had done wrong. His relationship with God was strained. There was a separation between the man and God. Romans 3:23 tells us that the ‘wages of sin is death.’ Death is the ultimate price of sin. Physical death occurs as a result of sin, but more importantly, spiritual death occurs. The ultimate price of sin is eternal death in hell. In hell, you will forever be in the state of death. There will be pain beyond anything you can imagine and there will be no way to escape, no way to return to God. Another result of sin is strained personal relationships. Notice how Adam immediately blames Eve. He says, ‘God, this woman made me do it.’ It goes even deeper here as Adam also emphasizes the fact that God gave him the woman. Essentially, Adam is blaming everyone but himself, including God. Is this not exactly what we do when we are accused of sin? When we are accused of sin we are very quick to shift the blame. We never like to think of anything as being our fault. When God approached Eve, she blames the serpent. Basically she says, “The devil made me do it.” Let me tell you something, the devil does not make us sin. We sin out of our own choosing. Eve was not forced to eat the fruit. All Satan did was to plant seeds of doubt in her mind. When we sin, it is no one else’s fault but our own. A third result of sin is the battle of good and evil. It is believed that the serpent was a beautiful creature that was able to stand upright. After sin came on the scene, the serpent is now the snake, roaming around on his belly. In verses 15-16 we see that Satan’s kingdom, the forces of evil will be in a continual battle with man. This battle will continue until Christ sets up His kingdom on the earth. In verse 15 we also see the prophecy concerning Jesus. Even though man has sinned, God, out of His love for man, will provide a way of salvation. Jesus would be crippled by Satan on the cross, but Christ would deliver the fatal blow by crushing the serpents head. A final result of sin is sorrow and suffering. Ladies, you can blame the pain of childbirth on Eve. As a result of sin, women suffer in bearing children. This curse is not a direct result of any personal sin you may commit, however, it is a natural effect of the presence of sin in the world. The ground is cursed and man must work with the sweat of his brow in order to provide for his family. Essentially, as a result of sin, life is hard. Sorrow, pain, suffering, sickness, disease, conflict, wars, etc; all of these are results of the presence of sin in the world.
Though sin is a horrible thing and has caused great pain in the heart of God and in the lives of men, through it all God is good. As the song says, “Life is hard, but God is good.” God is good because He came down to this earth in the form of man, Jesus Christ. He willingly laid down His life and paid the ultimate price of sin for us. Now, all who believe in Him can be free from the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and one day free from the very presence of sin. The cure to man’s sin problem is Jesus. Have you given your life to Him?

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