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Monday, October 26, 2009

Adam and Eve and the Fall----Genesis 3 - Paradise Lost

We all know the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We have heard how the lying serpent tempts Eve with the “apple” and Eve not only eats the forbidden fruit but convinces Adam to eat it too. The story of the Fall of man (Genesis 3) explains the origins of many mysterious qualities of life – sickness, death, troubles and man’s free will to mention a few. Let’s explore several ideas that the story of the Fall introduces.

First of all, this act of disobedience to God by our ancestors is called the “original sin”. Scripture tells us that when sin first entered that once wonderful world, it changed everything. The perfect sinless world that God had created was now under a curse! That glorious world where there was no death and no sickness was now cursed by sickness and death. When God first created His world He commented again and again that everything was so “very good”. But now His “very good” creation was groaning and travailing under the wages of sin.- Romans 8:22 The whole earth had been changed! God could no longer exclaim that everything in His creation was so “very good”. Paradise had been lost! Adam and Eve are the only humans to have ever lived in that sinless creation. Only they could remember what that amazing world had once been like! And how much had been lost from the Fall: we can only imagine.

Another lesson we learn is that before the Fall, Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in the Garden every day. They had enjoyed close fellowship and intimacy with God, their Father. But when our first parents sinned, everything was changed. Their sin separated them from God. And sin separates us too unless we accept God’s answer- God’s Covering. After they sinned, God sent Adam and Eve out from the Garden of Eden. God did this so that they wouldn’t be able to eat of the Tree of Life that was in the middle of the Garden and live forever. Our loving God didn’t want Adam and Eve to live forever in their sin and alienation. (He had a better Way)

And we also learn that after Adam and Eve sinned, they personally were changed. They now knew the difference between good and evil. Scripture tells us that they were not ashamed of being naked before they sinned. But afterward they were uncomfortable with their nakedness and they sewed leaves together to cover their bodies. And then God came and sacrificed an animal and gave them skin coverings. Is this story hinting that on our own and in our sin we feel ashamed of our nakedness – and we need a covering? Does blood have to be shed to affect a covering for our shame? Is our physical shame indicative of our spiritual shame? Does it imply that we are not all right on our own? Without Jesus as our Covering, we do have a reason for shame.

Another fact we learn from Genesis 3 is that this original sin of Adams’ is passed down to each of us. Scripture tells us that we inherit our sin nature from our first father – Adam. Romans 6:19 “Therefore, just as through Adam sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all have sinned---“ Romans 5:12

And still another lesson we learn from Genesis 1:27 is that God created man in His own image. Since we are His children, we will bear His image. God blessed Adam and Eve and gave them dominion over the earth. They were given power and influence. How much of that was spoiled by sin? Since God has a will of His own, and since we are created in His image, we also have a will of our own. God didn’t make us to be robots. We are free to make choices. With our own wills we can choose sin and death instead of God’s Will and life.

The very best lesson we learn from this story of the Fall is that the Father cared. Right away God started pointing Adam and Eve towards redemption – towards saving them from all of the consequences of their sin. With Paradise lost, God couldn’t help but plan for the Day that Paradise would be re-gained. Right after Adam and Eve sinned, God prophesied: ‘the Seed (Jesus Christ) of the woman will bruise the Serpent’s (Satan) head—“ Genesis 3:15. God immediately began making promises of a coming Savior and of salvation. 1 Peter 1:19-20 tell us, “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world---“ And Revelation 13:8 mentions, “---the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Scripture tells us that our loving Father was deeply grieved when His children chose death over life. He immediately started providing a Way back. “The wages of sin is death, but the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 - and what a Gift it is. The whole creation is waiting to be restored. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. Sin and death will be no more! We shall be changed! The desert will bloom! The crooked will be made straight! The last will be first! Everything will someday be “very good” again. And that magnificent Tree of Life in the center of the Garden of Eden that God took away from Adam and Eve after they sinned,- it will again be restored to all of us when Christ comes again. -Revelations 22:14

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