Last week, we began considering the fall of man, and the effect it had on humanity
by Joey Carroll Corinth Missionary Baptist Church
When Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God, the punishment was severe. They were immediately removed from the perfect place in which God had created for them to live, the Garden of Eden. But the worst part of their punishment was the fact that they were also removed from the Presence of God. God was the source of everything for Adam and Eve. He had not only given them physical life, but spiritual life as well. God was the source of righteousness and wisdom for them. He was the source of joy, peace, love, and so many other wonderful things. In other words, God was the source of all that was good for the couple and to be separated from Him was to be separated from all of those things.
God had warned Adam that the punishment for disobedience to His command would be death, and so a life of death began for the couple. But by the grace of God, physical death would not come immediately for them. However, it was clear from the very moment of their rebellion that the couple had died spiritually.
The first visible effect was seen in their shame as they realized they were naked and tried to cover themselves. This was followed by a fear of God as they hid from His Presence rather than meet Him with joy as they had done beforehand. And then when confronted by God for their rebellion, Adam accused his bride for their disobedience.
But the effects did not stop there. Adam and Eve would find out that their rebellious and disobedient hearts would be passed down to their children. They would experience the horror of having their eldest son take the life of his younger brother as the first physical death took place. That first death is recorded in Genesis 4, which is followed by what is known as the obituary of the Bible in Genesis 5. The reign of death certainly begins to be realized.
The effects would continually be passed down and grow until the Bible records one of the most catastrophic days as the judgment of God came upon sinful man in Genesis 6. It was in the days of Noah that God “saw the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” (Genesis 6:5, NASB). And God judged sinful man and destroyed “all flesh in which is the breath of life from under heaven” by a flood (Genesis 6:17, NASB). It was a moment in history in which man would understand clearly that the God who created the heavens and the earth would by no means leave the guilty unpunished. However, the effect that Adam and Eve had on humanity would soon be seen again when the flood waters receded, and humanity continued to corrupt every area of our lives and our world.
In the design of God, Adam and Eve represented humanity on that fateful day when they disobeyed God. This was certainly no fairytale or metaphor that only demonstrated the probable outcome of every heart of humanity. What Adam and Eve did and how God punished them has now become our experience. The language of the Bible clearly describes this devastating truth.
In the Old Testament, our hearts are described as “more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NASB). In Ephesians 2, we are referred to as spiritually dead and as “children of wrath” due to the punishment that we deserve from God. In Romans, we are “sold into bondage to sin” (7:14) and “enslaved to corruption,” (8:21, NASB). But the Apostle Paul best summarizes our condition in Romans 3, which is often referred to as the diagnosis of man’s spiritual condition. Romans 3:10-12 states, “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one,’” (NASB).
We cannot overestimate the irreparable damage that Adam and Eve’s decision made on humanity. We are truly in a state in which we can do nothing to remedy our condition. We are in desperate need of rescue, but thankfully we have a God who loves to save sinners like me.