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Effects of the Fall of Man
The Bible is clear that God created the heavens and the earth. It is also clear that what He created was very good.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31
Adam and Eve were created into a world of perfection to enjoy everlasting fellowship with God. He put them in charge over all of creation. Death and sickness did not exist. They had a perfect relationship with God. The only thing that they could not do was to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God gave them the freedom to choose whether they wanted to obey him. However, He did not give them the free will to pick out the consequences of their sin. The Bible does not say how long perfection lasted, but it does tell us that Adam and Even disobeyed God by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It does not seem like a big deal. So you ate some fruit that I told you not to. The problem is that the offense was committed against a God, who is holy, and cannot allow sin to go unpunished.
“For the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23
John Milton's "Paradise Lost"
God and man became eternally separated when sin entered the world. In one moment, perfection became plagued by sin, which we have paid for ever since. At the time of creation, God and mankind could commune together. However, when Adam and Eve sinned, that all changed. A separation occurred. Think of it this way, God is on one cliff and all of mankind is on the other. Between us and God is a deep chasm with no way to crossover to God. Sin has caused mankind to be eternally separated from God. Let us look at what other things resulted from the fall of man and how it has infected the world.
Did God Ordain the Fall?
Death Entered the World
“The Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 NASB
“The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5 NASB
The death that God spoke of here was both spiritual and physical death. Some people will say what is the big deal, it was only a piece of fruit? The problem is they decided to disobey an infinitely holy God and decided that we wanted to be like Him, knowing good and evil. The first sin was that of pride and wanting to be like God. It is the same thing that Satan did when he tried to ascend to the throne of God and in the process taking with him one-third of the angels. Death has become a certainty in life. Remember that the seriousness of the offense depends on who you have offended. If you offend a peasant, the penalty will be much less than if you commit an offense against a king or queen. When we sin, the offense is against a holy God that is why it is so serious.
“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22
Guilt and Shame Entered the World
“The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” Genesis 2:25
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’” Genesis 3:8-10
Adam and Eve in the first verse above were naked and felt no shame. What changed only 8 verses later? Sin entered the world. Adam and Eve were ashamed because they were naked, which in and of itself is funny because they are hiding from a God who knows everything and sees everything. This is why we feel guilty or shameful when we do things that are wrong. This feeling can be overridden if we continue to sin. This happens because God has written his word on our hearts.
Increased Pain in Childbirth
“To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.” Genesis 3:16
After watching my wife gave birth to our kids, I can agree with this passage that child birth is painful. Thankfully, I am not a woman and will never know exactly how painful it is. I just know that it is painful. This is part of the curse of sin. It is God’s punishment on women because Eve was the first one to sin. We have inherited sin as part of our nature.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
“Your [women] desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16
We go from Genesis 2, where we have the definition of marriage to the beginnings of marital conflict. Marriage works the best when there is oneness between the man and the woman. As a result of the fall, women will desire to rule over her husband, when God set it up for the man to be head of the woman. This does not mean that women are any less than men; it means that the roles that God ordained are for the man to lead. They are to be the ones who are out front, protecting his wife. Before anyone complains about this, remember that Jesus said that the man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. God calls the man to die to self for his wife.
Relationship with the Animals Changed
“Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all of the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.” Genesis 2:19-20
“So the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.’” Genesis 3:14
In the beginning of Genesis 3, the serpent talks with Eve. There is not any record of her being shocked that an animal was talking to her. Before the fall, it is important to remember that death had not entered the world yet. After the fall, the relationship changed to where animals are the way they are today. The first animal that was killed in the Bible was killed by God Himself (Gen 3:21).
The Ground Became Cursed
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15
“To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, you must not eat from it, cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’” Genesis 3:17-19
In the Garden of Eden, food was plentiful. This changed at the fall of man. Mankind was no longer allowed to stay in the garden as we learn at the end of Genesis 3. Man would have to work the soil to plant food for himself and his family. My wife and I plant a vegetable garden every year, and it is a lot of work keeping the weeds out and keeping the plants watered so that they will grow. The Bible also talks about in the New Testament that all of creation groans for its redemption because it is under the curse.
Hell was Opened to Humans
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41
“Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
Hell was created to punish the devil and his angels because they had rebelled against God. When man sinned against God, we then became subject to the same punishment. It is important to remember that as we discuss hell that the Bible says that God is infinitely holy. Also, remember that when you commit an offense, the severity depends on who you have offended. Those of us who live in western cultures, we do not really understand this point to well because we have rights. For instance, if you were to punch me, that would not be that high of an offense. If you were to punch a police officer, that is a little more serious. If you were to punch the president, that would be a lot more serious and you would find yourself on the ground very quickly, but you only face a short time in jail. If you were to punch a king or queen, the penalty would be much more severe and could very well cost you your life. If you were to commit an offense against a holy God, that would be the most serious offense that you could commit. You may be thinking I would never punch God or purposely do anything against him. Or that you are a good person. My response would be:
- Have you ever told a lie (That includes telling half-truths because they are still a whole lie)?
- Have you ever taken anything that was not yours (even something as small as a pencil)?
- Have you ever used God’s name as a swear word? That is a very serious offense.
- Have you ever looked lustfully on someone else?
Remember that perfection is God’s standard. I am guilty as charged. I do not even come close to meeting that standard, and the truth is none of us make it. That is why a holy God is justified in sending us to hell. Praise God that he did not leave us in this condition.
Paradise Regained: God Unveils His Plan of Redemption
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heal.” Genesis 3:15
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” Romans 6:23
“For God so loved the world, that he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him, will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God knew that Adam and Eve were going to fall in the garden even before he created them. In the same chapter that mankind fell in, God is announcing his plan to redeem mankind. Our sin nature is passed down to us through our mother’s wombs, though the sin nature itself is contained in the seed of man. This is why Jesus had to be virgin born. Genesis 3:15 is the prophecy of a coming Messiah that will defeat Satan and crush his head by living a perfect life, dying on the cross, and being resurrected three days later. Satan nipped his heal in that he managed to kill him, but Jesus’ resurrection effectively crushed Satan’s head because his sacrifice for us was accepted by God the Father. This makes it possible for us to go to heaven when we die. In John chapter 3, Jesus draws a distinct line in the sand while talking to Nicodemus. The line that he drew separated believers and non-believers. If we want to go to heaven, Jesus said that we must believe in him as our savior. He made it very clear in verses that if you do not believe stands condemned already. I know this may be a hard truth for some. Remember that these words came from the mouth of Jesus himself.
“That everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” John 3:15
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” John 3:36
Have you been Born Again?
The Million Dollar Question
This is your moment to make a decision. Will you choose to put your trust in Jesus to save you? Or will you reject his work on the cross? That is the million dollar question. Your answer will affect your eternal destiny. I urge you to trust Christ as your Lord and Savior. Once we enter eternity, our decision is cemented forever. Choose while there is still time.
“That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
If you want to trust Christ, pray a prayer like this and mean it in your heart:
“God, I stand before you as a sinner. Please forgive me for my sins. Help me to turn from them. I believe that you live a perfect life, died for my sins on the cross, and was resurrected back to life. I confess that I need a savior, save me now I pray. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus’ Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer and truly meant it, your eternal destination has changed from death unto life. I encourage you to read the Book of John to help you to start growing in your new found faith.
*All Scripture was taken from the NIV translation unless otherwise noted.
© 2013 Eric Cramer