Sermon: The Fall of Adam and Eve
Date, 24th October 2021
Preacher: Enoch Awuku Anti
Text: Genesis 3:1-8
Our title for this morning is The Fall of Adam and Eve. We all know that Adam and Eve were the first human beings that were created and the Bible tells us all human beings take their ancestry from Adam and Eve.
And he[that is God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. (Acts 17:26).
Here is a bond of the oneness of humanity. We all trace our ancestry to this one man Adam. So in the life of Adam and Eve, we learn something about our own life and humanity in general. Now Genesis is the book of the beginning of the world and it introduces us to the creation of the world. In Genesis, all of life began:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
This text succinctly tells us something about the world. The world was created and there is an intelligent Creator behind creation. The world didn’t just come into being by chance as some will want us to believe. The world was created. So in Genesis 1 and 2, God created everything: Adam and Eve, Animals, Plants, Trees, heaven and earth, water bodies and every created thing. Now after he has created everything, God observed his creation and gave a positive testimony about creation.
And God saw everything that he had made and behold, it was very good (Genesis 1:31).
In fact, the above testimony was when God had finished all of his creation. But at every point during the time of creation, God gave this testimony about his creation. One phrase consistently runs through the creation narrative: “it was good” (1:4;10;12;18;21;25). Consistently, God himself praised his work.
Now if God saw everything he has made was very good, we are presented with a challenge. You and I can emphatically say that this world is not very good. It is a broken world. A world filled with pain, sorrow, murder, wickedness, natural disasters, diseases, poverty etc. Job testifies that
Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble (Job 14:1)
Just about two years ago, we have been dealing with a pandemic that seems not to be going away anytime soon. We are constantly told of this disease evolving itself in various variants.
So if the world God created was very good, what happened? How do we reconcile God’s testimony about the world and our real experience of this world. What happened that a world that was pronounced very good by God is actually a world of pain and chaos? Our answer lies in the Scriptures. This morning we would look at our title from four points. We will consider (i) What Sin is (that is trying to define and understand sin), ) (ii) The Root of Sin (What Caused Sin), (iii) The Result of Sin (The consequence of sin) and (iii) The Redemption From Sin
What Is Sin?
We have so far seen how God’s creation was a perfect creation in that God himself described his creation as very good. The question: What happened that the good world created by God is what it is today? Lying in a state of wickedness as it were The answer: Sin entered the world.
Another question, What is sin? I guess in answering the question of what is sin, what will first come to the minds of many are actions that are described as sin. So in defining sin, we may start listing things that show the evidence of sin. Fornication, Adultery, Murder, Stealing, Homosexuality, name it… we know all the things we call sin. But this is just describing sin by actions committed. However, that gives us a narrow view of sin. Broadly, sin is defined as
Any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q14).
This definition simply means sin is the inability to keep or conform to God’s law and trespassing, going against God’s law. The biblical definition of sin is to miss the mark of God’s law. So Paul tells us in Romans 3 that
None is righteous, no, not one (v.10)
No one understands; no one seeks for God (v.11)
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one (12).
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (v.23)
This is the biblical verdict. All human beings have missed the mark of God’s law and righteousness. We can indeed all raise our hands up and say “Guilty as charged” because truly, we are guilty. We are all sinners.
The Root of Sin
How did sin enter the world? Genesis 3 recounts events that led to the entrance of sin into the world. The whole Chapter is titled The Fall. It is the Fall because Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God and fell from their righteous state. The fall is simply the failure of Adam and Eve to obey God’s command. They disobeyed God’s command.
What was this command they disobeyed? In Genesis 2:16-17, God gave Adam very clear instructions.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.
Adam disobeyed God and did exactly what God commanded him not to do. And how did this happen? It happened through deception from Satan. Adam and Eve believed the lies of Satan and sinned against God. The Scripture introduces us to Satan, taking the form of a talking serpent as crafty.
The word crafty describes someone who is cunning and deceitful. And that is the picture Scripture clearly paints about Satan. Jesus describes Satan as a liar from the beginning and father of it. We will therefore trace the root of sin to Satan who deceived our first parents to disobey God. The way it all happened is familiar to us in our everyday life
Misquoting God’s Word (v.1).
Satan begins a conversation by misquoting the word of God: “Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden? (v1.) If you read the Scripture, this is not what God said, actually, God said “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden…” (2:6a). The only exception was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Satan presents it as if God has barred them from eating anything. “Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden? Note Satan’s word: “any.”
This happens in our everyday life. The word of God gets misquoted, it gets twisted to say all kinds of things God has not said. And by this, many people are deceived. Misquoting Scripture is the ministry of Satan and many people are in his ministry unknowingly
Questioning The Authority of God’s Word (v.4)
God’s word clearly said the day they eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they will surely die. Satan said, “You will not surely die”. Do you see that? God said if you eat, “You shall surely die” Satan says no. This is one of the main problems of our world today. Every sin has a connection with calling God’s word to question.
God’s word has authority over our lives and when we start questioning God’s word, we are setting ourselves up for failure. And what do we see in our world today? Everyone is questioning the authority of God’s word which then gives a justification to break it.
Questioning The Integrity Of God (v.5)
Satan here clearly calls the integrity of God to question. He pushes that God is withholding something good from Adam and Eve. God is restricting their happiness. He promised them disobedience will make them like God. This is actually an irony because Adam and Eve have been created in the image of God and in a sense are like God. So what is this promise for?
This promise is an offer of independence from God. Satan assures them they will be able to make a judgement of good and evil independent of God. The suggestion is that you don’t need God, you can decide good and evil by yourself.
By our human experience, this has never been good. Anytime God has been taken out of the picture, chaos has followed. So now we are dealing with a world that has no absolute truth. Every truth is subjective. People have their truth. People want to live in sin and still claim the love of God.
Believing A Lie (v.6)
At this point, Eve has believed a lie. She was convinced of all that Satan has said. And disobedience has become appealing. At this point, she has justified why she has to eat the fruit. Note carefully that all the plants in the garden are already pleasant to the sight and good for food (Genesis 2:9). So what Eve was seeing of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was nothing new.
But here is where the problem is: She added a 3rd layer or 3rd reason: “and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise” She believed the lie and started rationalising. If they eat, they are going to become wise and independent of God. At this point, the devil has finished his job. Deception has taken its toll. The human race was going down.
And all of us, this is how sin gets us. We believe in a lie. We entertain thoughts of success, progress and enlightenment. God’s word is too restrictive we argue. We want more. There must be more to life. That is when we get into sin. The devil hooks us with empty promises. Sin indeed has nothing to offer and we shall see it as we proceed.
The Result of Sin
The result of Adam and Eve’s sin follows immediately they disobeyed God and ate the fruit
Guilt and Shame (v.7)
Their nakedness was a symbol of intimacy, transparency and trust (The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed 2:25). This has now been replaced by guilt and shame. Sin offered them the opposite of what it promised.
The realisation of their nakedness is the reality of their vulnerability. Sin has this effect indeed on all of us. We feel guilty when we sin. We feel ashamed of ourselves. Unless our conscience is dead, every sin we commit produces guilt. And what do we do with our guilt? We attempt to cover up. They covered up with “fig leaves.” Leave that will dry up. We cannot cover up our sin, we must open up for God to deal with it
Broken Communion With God (v.8).
The next result of sin we see in the text is a broken communion with God. These couples created in the very image of God are now hiding from God. And look at how they hid, “among the trees of the garden.” That’s interesting. How can we hide from the presence of God? He sees us. He knows us. We can never hide from God.
Sin breaks our communion with God. Sin makes it impossible for us to approach God. After everything, they have driven away from the presence of God (v.23). Adam has driven away from Eden, which was a place of communion with God. This is a clear picture of the separation brought between humankind and God. Sin separates.
When we sin, we hardly own up and accept responsibility. It is an age-old problem. The woman blames the serpent, Adam blames the woman. Nobody is owning up to their sins. We all do that. We always attempt excuses for why we sin. But sin needs to be acknowledged, repented of and forsaken:
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. (Proverbs 28:13).
Pronouncement of Judgement (v.14-19)
Disobedience brings the judgement of God. The verses we read shows God pronouncing judgement for sin. Ultimately, the death sentence was pronounced. To dust, they will return. And Scripture tells us what next after death: judgement (Hebrews 9:27: And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgement).
The result of the sin of Adam passes on to all humanity. This is called original sin. We have all been affected by the result of the sin of Adam. We came into the world as sinners who are under the wrath and judgement of God until we come to repentance in Christ.
The Redemption From Sin (v.15; v.21).
Redemption is salvation from sin. Now despite their sin, God announced his plan of salvation in the garden. In this pronouncement of enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, the first gospel was preached. Theologians call this protoevangelium— the first gospel.
It is the first gospel because God announced his plan of salvation to deal with the sin problem that has entered the world. The seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent and the seed of the serpent will bruise his heel. This is not, as many understand it, a struggle between snakes and human beings. But rather, it is an enmity between Satan, the spiritual Serpent and Jesus Christ who God offered as a sacrifice for sin.
It is enmity between sin and righteousness; evil and good. Jesus Christ died on the cross to save sinners from their sin. On the cross, Satan bruised the heel of Christ in his crucifixion and Christ crushed Satan’s head. So the pronouncement in Genesis 3:15 actually looked forward to the coming of Christ. Christ is that seed promised to bruise or crush the head of the serpent.
Jesus Christ came into the world as God’s promised deliverer from sin. Adam brought sin into the world. Jesus Christ brought salvation to everyone who will believe and trust in him
12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because wall sinned— 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. 15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.