Adam and Eve Sin

Adam and Eve SinThe story of the sin of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:1-24), what we call “The Fall of Adam and Eve,” helps us understand that sin occurs when we doubt God’s goodness. This is important because it helps us understand that sin isn’t merely the violation of a rule or law. Sin is more fundamental than that. Sin is more internal and deeper than a single bad act. Sin begins in the heart and then bears fruit in our actions. This is apparent in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 when he points to the condition of the heart and not just an act. When Adam and Eve sin in Genesis 3, it all begins with a doubt, and doubt is an issue of the heart.

Creation Demonstrates God’s Goodness

The record of creation found in Genesis 1 shows clearly that God had created a “good” world that provided everything humanity could want and need. On six different occasions, God looked at His creation and declared it was “good.” It’s clear from the context that God meant it was “good” for people. The garden God created in Genesis 1 and 2 was truly a paradise for humanity. It gave us all we needed to be complete, wise, and happy.

By the time Adam and Eve arrive on the scene, all of creation is a demonstration of God’s goodness toward them. If Adam and Eve ever wondered whether God loved them and wanted the best for them, all they had to do was look around. Every aspect of creation shouted God’s goodness and love toward this very first couple.

Does God Really Want the Best for Me?

We shouldn’t be surprised then, that when “the serpent” tempted the couple, he targeted the goodness and love God had demonstrated in creation. The serpent spoke confidently and said, “God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God.” In other words, “God is holding back! You could be so much more and have so much more, but God is stingy. He doesn’t want the best for you. He isn’t as good as you think! The real key to wisdom and life isn’t in the God who has given to you so abundantly. In fact, the key to wisdom is one of God’s creations!” One wonders how Adam and Eve, or anyone, could ever imagine that one of God’s creations could somehow provide greater satisfaction and fulfillment than God Himself. And yet, this is the temptation we all face every day.

So, rather than trust that God would continue to do what was best for them, Adam and Eve began to doubt God and, instead, decided to trust… a TREE! It’s actually rather comical when we think about it. Adam and Eve faced a choice… “Should we trust the God Who has repeatedly demonstrated that He will provide all we need, or a TREE?” It might be more comical except that we also choose to doubt God’s goodness and believe something else will meet our deepest needs. We begin to think that we know better than God what is best. We never say it out loud, but we still wonder, “Does God really want what is best for me?” This is what we’re actually saying every time we choose our own way over God’s way.

Adam and Eve Sin and Bear the Consequence

It is at this point, when the first couple question God’s love and goodness, that they allow their doubts to bear fruit in action. “So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (Gen. 3:6). The impact was immediate. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves” (Gen. 3:7).

Their hope was that the fruit of the tree would give them wisdom and, sure enough, their eyes “were opened.” But they didn’t like what they saw. Their physical eyes, of course, had already seen their nakedness, but in their innocence their nakedness was not a problem. When we are innocent, we don’t mind that God is able to see all of us. When we are innocent, we don’t mind that others can see us for all we are. When we are innocent, we look at ourselves as God has created us and we are okay. But the guilt and brokenness of sin distorts everything. Sin causes us to be ashamed. We now fear how God will see us. We now fear how others will see us. And, we are ashamed when we see ourselves.

Sin damages all of our relationships, including our relationship with God. According to Genesis 3:8, Adam and Eve “hid themselves from the Lord God…” It is a sad thing to be separated from our Creator, but that’s what sin does. It destroys what is good and healthy and fulfilling.

All In God’s Good Time

We should note that it was never God’s intent to keep people in the dark and enslave them in foolishness and ignorance. He had provided everything for their welfare. He would also provide them with wisdom, insight, and intelligence. But God was to be the source of these things, not a tree. He would reveal all Adam and Eve needed, but He would do so in His way and in His timing. By trusting in God’s timing and in God as the source of wisdom, we keep Him in the proper place as God and we keep ourselves in the proper place as His created beings. Adam and Eve rejected God’s timing and rejected God Himself as the source of wisdom. Instead of allowing God to reveal what they needed in His time, they determined that the tree “was desirable for obtaining wisdom” (Gen. 3:6).

This is the same mistake people continue to make today. We reject God as the source of wisdom and reject His timing. We search for wisdom and fulfillment in the created order (the things of this world) and we want it NOW. And, like Adam and Eve, we continue to bear the consequences of our decisions and the consequences of THEIR decisions.

We Live In a Broken World

The text makes it clear that God’s good creation will now be broken as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin. Creation will not function as God intended for the sake of humankind. Instead, “the ground is cursed.” Humankind will “eat from it by means of painful labor…”, “it will produce thorns and thistles,”  and people will eat “by the sweat of your brow…” (Gen. 3:17-18).

When we wonder why life is hard, why life isn’t fair, why people die young, and why it seems that the wicked prosper, this is why. We now live in a broken world. This is not God’s fault. Sin and evil have had a cataclysmic impact on all of creation. God’s good creation has been distorted and damaged. Death now conquers life. Does that mean that death will have the final say?

God Always Has The Final Word

The story of the sin of Adam and Eve also reveals that God is not going to let sin and evil have the final word. In pronouncing judgment on the serpent, God promised to send “a seed” (Gen. 3:15) that would “strike” the head of the serpent. This promise assures us that God had a plan to restore His good creation through “a seed” that would come from the woman. God is always a God of hope, even in the midst of catastrophe. God’s good purposes for creation and humanity will not be thwarted by human rebellion.

In the chapters following the fall of Adam and Eve, we see how quickly evil is spreading and having its devastating impact on creation and all people. Will God keep His promise? Will there be a seed? Or will evil rule forever?

Chapters 4-11 of Genesis are moving the reader toward a milestone in God’s redemptive and restorative plan. Then, at the end of chapter 11, we read about a man named Abram. In chapter 12, God calls Abram and declares that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through” him (Gen. 12:3). Yes! God has a plan, and while sin is having a devastating impact on the world at every level, God is going to fulfill His promise to restore creation and redeem humanity. Eventually it will happen through Abram and his descendants. But it won’t happen immediately.

The Promise Of The Cross

Genesis 3:15 also states that the serpent would “strike” the heel of the seed. We now know this “seed” is a reference to Jesus, the promised Messiah of the entire Old Testament. It would be at the cross that the serpent would “strike” Jesus’ heel, but it would also be at the cross that Jesus would strike the head of the serpent and win the victory over evil. The cross is, therefore, the central event in dealing with sin and evil. There can be no resurrection without the crucifixion. And, there would be no need for Jesus to die had it not been for Adam and Eve’s sin.

The story of the Fall of Adam and Eve, then, is essential to explain Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. It explains why Jesus had to die. It was through His death that Jesus (the “seed”) eventually crushed the serpent’s head and defeated sin. And, after Jesus defeated sin and evil at the cross, His resurrection announced the arrival of forgiveness and new life. Easter declares that Jesus defeated evil and new life is here!

You can find all of the activities related to the sin of Adam and Eve here.

Go to to find an interesting article about God’s warning of death to Adam and Eve before they sinned.

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