6. The Fall of Man into Sin
FM

If God created a perfect world in the beginning, why do we have such a chaotic cosmos now? Did the world that God created have a built-in flaw that caused it to unravel? Did God create the human race with a genetic defect that gave them the tendency to sin?

It's easy for us to ask questions like this when we look at the situation in our world today. What happened?

When god made the world, he made it a perfect ecosphere for the human race. Then he made man.

1. HOW DID HE MAKE OUR FIRST PARENTS?

1FM Gen. 2:7, 18, 21-23 God made man out of mud. Clay, most likely. He formed every part of the body and lay it in place, covered it over with skin and looked at the body of His most marvelous creation. But Adam was not alive. So God bent low to kiss the statue He had carved from clay. He "breathed into His nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." (KJV)

Later on the same day God caused Adam to go to sleep and performed the first surgery: He removed a rib from Adam's side. From this material, God formed the lovely woman who was to become the mother of all living—Eve.

Since Eve was taken from Adam's side—and not from his head or his foot—we come to understand that God intended that Eve was made Adam's equal in every way. She was "a helper suitable for him," (vs. 2:18 NIV).

2. AFTER GOD MADE THE WORLD—AND LAST OF ALL MAN—WHAT WAS HIS ASSESSMENT OF HIS WORK?

2FM Gen. 1:31 God's assessment of what He had done—of the world He had made—was that it was "very good." It was perfect in every way. There was not a flaw in the fabric of the entire creation.

3. INTO WHAT ENVIRONMENT DID GOD PLACE ADAM AND EVE?

3FM Gen. 2:8-10 God put Adam and Eve in a garden in which He had planted every kind of tree and flower. Everything that the pair needed was in that garden—all kinds of fruits and nuts grew in abundance on the trees and vines. And in the middle of the garden, God placed the "tree of life" which, as they continued to eat of its fruit, would give them sustenance that would cause them to live forever. (cf. 3:22)

4. WHAT RESTRICTION DID GOD PLACE ON THE FIRST COUPLE'S DIET?

4FM Gen. 2:16, 17 God gave His new people the freedom of choice because He wanted them to serve Him out of choice, rather than program them to serve as automatons. And He wanted to teach Adam and Eve that He was the owner of Planet Earth, and that they were His managers. It's possible to get confused about this, and God wanted to teach this to them in a way they would never forget: so He kept back one tree from them.

You see, only the owner had the right to restrict access to the trees of the garden. As long as our first parents obeyed God and stayed away from His tree, they would live in perfect happiness—and they would live forever.

We don't know the length of time which passed between creation and the most disastrous day in the history of the planet. But the fatal day came when God's children decided to destroy everything they held dear. It was not a conscious suicidal decision, but that's the way it turned out. For on that fateful day, Eve and Adam decided to disobey their loving Creator.

5. NOTICE THE EVENTS THAT LED UP TO THE FIRST SIN.

5FM Gen. 3:1-7 The day dawned like any other glorious day, and the first couple went about their business like on any other day. (The work they did in caring for the garden isn't revealed in the story.) But sometime during the day, Eve had a unique experience: she had a conversation with a snake.

6. WHO WAS CONTROLLING THE SERPENT SHE MET IN THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL?

6FM Rev. 12:9 Satan played ventriloquist that day and talked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit.

7. COMPARE THE LANGUAGE OF GOD'S COMMAND TO NOT EAT THE FRUIT, WITH EVE'S QUOTATION.

7FM Gen. 2:16, 17; 3:3 God had told them not to eat of the fruit; Eve evidently decided to put a "hedge" about God's command by making a rule of her own. She reasoned, I suppose, that if she didn't touch the fruit, she wouldn't eat it. But by doing this she blurred the distinction between obedience and disobedience. All Satan had to do was get her to touch the fruit and she would believe she had disobeyed God's command. Then getting her to eat the fruit would be an easy matter. And that's just what happened. Eve tripped over her own hedge and fell all the way.

8. WHO WAS THE FIRST EVANGELIST FOR SATAN?

8FM Gen. 3.6 Eve ate the fruit, and then committed the first act of genocide by getting Adam to eat it. On that terrible day, Satan used Eve to get to Adam. Eve—Adam's beautiful and loving companion; Eve—the only other human in the garden; Eve—the key to God's plans for the building of the human family: Eve became the first deceptress.

Eve brought the fruit to Adam and told him about her conversation with the snake. It's clear from the story and from other texts in the Bible that Adam knew what Eve had done. He knew that if he ate of the fruit he would disobey his Creator. All he would have had to do is to call out to God for help, and his Maker would have guided him through this terrible ordeal.

But instead of turning to God for help, Adam made his own decision: he ate the fruit. He committed suicide and destroyed his world for all time to come.

But don’t blame Adam to harshly. Every time we act in an unloving or selfish way, we cast a vote in favor of his decision—his sin.

9. WHAT WAS THE IMMEDIATE AFFECT OF THEIR EATING OF THE FRUIT?

9FM Gen. 3:7 A sudden chill swept over the pair. The robes of light which they had been wearing disappeared, and they suddenly realized that they didn't have any clothing on. (cf. Rev. 4:4 et. al. Sinless people are usually pictured as being dressed in white—light.)

Adam and Eve were married, and nakedness before each other should not have caused them shame. But they knew that their Creator visited them daily, and they feared meeting Him without any clothing.

So they did the first thing that came into their minds. They tried to make up with their own efforts what only God could do for them now: they tried to replace their lost robes of light with hand-made fig-leaf garments.

10. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON EVE AND ADAM WANTED TO SEE RIGHT THEN, AND WHAT HAPPENED WHEN HE CAME?

10FM Gen. 3:8-13 Adam and Eve had no desire to see God at that point in time, but God crashed their dress-making party. Evidently God made Himself known before they saw Him, and their first reaction was not, run to Daddy and hug him, but to run and hide.

And I suppose we'd think they really should have hidden themselves, because they had been eating forbidden fruit and they remembered what God had said: "when you eat of it you will surely die."

But God didn't break in suddenly and say, "Aha, I caught you eating my fruit. Take that (ZAP), you guilty sinners." Instead He called to them, as though He didn't know where they were.

God asked: "Where are you," and Adam confessed that they were naked and felt unworthy to appear before God in that manner. God asked "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" (vs. 11)

The conversation quickly descended into a blame-the-other-guy contest. Of the woman for which Adam had shown such "undying" affection when God had presented her to him, he said: "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." When asked about her deed, Eve passed the blame on to the serpent: "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." In affect, both Adam and Eve blamed God for their disobedience.

Instead of destroying the pair for their transgression, God extended to them his grace.

11. WHAT PROMISE DID GOD MAKE THAT GAVE THEM HOPE?

11FM Gen. 3:14, 15 In the curse placed upon the serpent, Adam and Eve caught the first glimmer of the plan of salvation; (remember, the serpent was at that point Satan's representative, so the curse was really placed upon Satan).

The seed (offspring) of the woman—a child that would come—would take the punishment that Adam and Eve should have received. But in taking that punishment, this child would give the serpent—Satan—a deadly blow that would eventually cause his end.

12. WHO WAS THE CHILD WHO WOULD DIE FOR THEIR SINS AND DESTROY THE DEVIL?

12FM Gal. 3:16 The descendant of Adam Who took the punishment for his sin—and for every other sin past, present, and future—was Jesus Christ our Lord.

13. WHAT DOES JESUS DO FOR ALL WHO ACCEPT HIM AS THEIR PERSONAL SAVIOR?

13FM 1 Cor. 15:22 Christ is the only Hope for the human race. He died for our sins so that we could live with Him.

14. AFTER TELLING US WHAT WE EARN WHEN WE SIN, WHAT CHOICE DID GOD GIVE US?

14FM Rom. 6:23 By our sins we've earned our just wages—death. But God didn't leave Adam and Eve, or us either, to die in our sin. Instead, He has offered to give us the free gift of eternal life.

15. AS WE LOOK BACK ON THE FALL OF MAN AND GOD'S PLAN TO SAVE HIM, WHAT STARK TRUTH DO WE LEARN?

15FM 1 Cor. 15:22 "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."

      •  "The condition of eternal life is now just what it always
         has been,—just what it was in Paradise before the fall
         of our first parents,—perfect obedience to the law of
         God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted
         on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the
         whole universe would be imperiled. The way would be
         open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be
         immortalized.

      •  "It was possible for Adam, before the fall, to form a
         righteous character by obedience to God's law. But he
         failed to do this, and because of his sin our natures are
         fallen and we cannot make ourselves righteous. Since
         we are sinful, unholy, we cannot perfectly obey the
         holy law. We have no righteousness of our own with
         which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ
         has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth
         amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He
         lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to
         take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give
         yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Savior, then,
         sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are
         accounted righteous. Christ's character stands in place
         of your character, and you are accepted before God just
         as if you had not sinned.

      •  "More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in
         your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection
         with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your
         will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in
         you to will and to do according to His good pleasure."
         Ellen White, Steps to Christ, p. 62, 63 (Pacific Press
         Publishing Assn., Boise, ID).