The Fall of Mankind to Sin

Falling to Temptation

When God began to question Adam and Eve concerning their sin (Gen. 3:11-13), they passed off the responsibility to someone else. Adam blamed Eve; she in turn blamed the serpent. But the Bible teaches that man sinned, fully aware of his actions. “Adam was not deceived” (1 Tim. 2:14). Thus the entire race fell because he deliberately chose by an act of his own will to disobey God and fulfill his own desires instead. Those desires were encouraged by the temptation of Satan, who provided the occasion for the entrance of sin into the world.

Today, temptation is one of the chief functions of Satan and his demons. Though all people are tempted differently according to their own weaknesses, Satan’s temptations followed certain patterns. John spoke of temptation in three categories when he wrote, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:16).

If we were to look objectively at our own lives, we would find that all temptation that causes us to sin comes from one of these three sources. Satan has a devious strategy that has been successful for evil purposes, so he has not changed it. When he tempted Adam and Eve in the garden, he appealed to all three sources of temptation. He used the same strategy when he tempted Christ. Throughout the pages of Scripture we find those who have fallen into sin as a result of one kind of temptation or another. If Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are” (Heb. 4:15), then we can assume that we will also be tempted in one or more of these areas.

The lust of the flesh

The word “lust” means desire, so the first area of temptation had to do with the desires of the body. Satan appealed to the lust of the flesh to cause Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit. It was not until “the woman saw that the tree was good for food” (Gen. 3:6), that she ate and gave to her husband. Satan took something good, what appeared to be harmless fruit, and used it to appeal to the human desire to eat. Neither the fruit nor the desire to eat was inherently evil. Adam and Eve sinned when they disobeyed the clear command of God.

Our parents violated the one prohibition: “Thou shalt not eat of it” (Gen. 2:17). Satan appealed to the same desire for food when Jesus was hungry after a forty-day fast by saying, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matt. 4:3). While it would not have been wrong for Jesus to eat when he was hungry, it would have been wrong for him to abuse his power to succumb to the temptation of Satan. We are tempted to sin in the same manner. Satan will try to get us to satisfy the desires of our bodies in the wrong manner.

As an illustration, the physical desire for sex is a human trait that is not evil until it is satisfied in the wrong manner.

The lust of the eyes

The second area of temptation that motivated Eve to eat the fruit was “that it was pleasant to the eyes” (Gen. 3:6). A second characteristic of humanity is to have dreams or desires. Man constantly seeks to improve his surroundings and himself. Man’s desire for excellence and advancement is reflective of his Creator, in whose image he was created.

Therefore, the appearance of the fruit appealed to Eve’s desire to have something she did not possess. Just as the lust of the flesh is not evil in itself, so it is not sinful to desire things. But sin entered the human race when man’s desire was contrary to the command of God. Satan was not successful when he attempted to appeal to the “lust of the eyes” as he tempted Jesus. “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them” (Matt. 4:8).

Satan thought that the sight of the kingdoms would cause Jesus to yield; Jesus used the Word of God to combat temptation. Unlike Eve, Jesus could not be persuaded to doubt the integrity of the Word of God.

The Pride of Life

The third temptation was an appeal to the basic self-worth, self-acceptance, and self-preservation of man. Man was created as an independent/dependent being. He was created separate from God, yet an autonomous being who is dependent on God. God in his wisdom gave man the ability to protect, preserve, and perpetuate himself. Satan appeals to the basic self-interest of humanity by showing Eve a tree to be desired to make one wise. “She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6).

It seems almost ironic that Satan was able to use man’s interest in self-improvement to destroy everything man desired. Again, Satan was not successful in tempting Christ. Satan quoted a psalm out of context to challenge Christ to perform an unnecessary spectacular miracle (Matt. 4:6). This direct attack on the character of Christ was to induce him to act from motives of self-interest outside the will of God.

Jesus did not listen to Satan’s attack. While it may have been easier to allow his angels to protect him, Jesus would ultimately and conclusively prove his deity while redeeming lost humanity through his death, burial, and resurrection. Again he was able to use Scripture to combat the devil.

Adam and Eve Deceived

“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression ” (I Timothy 2:14).

This verse clearly states that Eve was deceived by the serpent (cf. Genesis 3:1-13). Yet Adam was not deceived. God straightforwardly directed Adam to resist the forbidden fruit, giving to the man the responsibility of spiritual leadership. Eve was aware of God’s command through her husband, who was the God-assigned leader and protector (Genesis 2:15-17).

The woman’s susceptibility to deception is better explained by her secondhand knowledge of God’s limitation than by any suggestion that her intellectual faculties were inferior to the man’s. (Liberty Bible Commentary, Vol. 11, p. 1414.)

How and why did Eve enter into the discussion with the serpent over the forbidden fruit?

A close examination of the passage Genesis 3:1-6 may reveal the answers:

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be open, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her: and he did eat ” (Genesis 3:1-6).

This passage details Eve’s dialogue with the serpent, it also reveals that she probably did not realize the serpent was her enemy.

In Eve’s reply to the serpent’s statement she leaves out the word “all ” from God’s original command (Genesis 2:16). She dismisses God’s specific command with a mere “we may eat. ” This is an incorrect impression of the truth. Eve’s representation of God’s command was not accurate, to say the least. She makes the command general, placing it in the plural.

God had said, “Thou shalt not, ” and she said, “Ye shall not. ” And she adds, “neither shall ye touch it. ” Eve merely says, “Lest ye die, ” whereas God had said, “Thou shalt surely die ” (2:17). Eve’s answer reveal her feeling that God’s prohibition had been too stringent and her love for God, and confidence and trust in Him, had begun to waiver. (Liberty Bible Commentary, Volume 1, p. 20.)

In reference to Genesis 3:2-3, Eve had a very clear word from God, simple and unencumbered by any details as to what her moral duty was. Whether this word was heard immediately from God or immediately from her husband matters little and cannot impair the power of that word upon her heart. Eve’s reply should have been an emphatic disavowal of the suspicion that God had been withholding good from man. Instead, it becomes a temporizing, a partial refutation, but at the same time a statement that allows room for the suspicion that perhaps God has not been as entirely good and gracious as they all hitherto supposed.

But as soon as one does not whole-heartedly and unreservedly trust God, mistrust is gaining ground and sin has entered. Eve emphasized the fact that God had allowed them to eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But a significant omission in her statement — “all ” — she was beginning to lose sight of the boundless goodness of God. Apparently, there sin took its beginning; God’s mercies are lost sight of.

In reference to Genesis 3:3, during the course of this restatement Eve veers from indirect discourse to direct with the words: “God hath said “; but unfortunately she makes a good case by sharpening and thus altering God’s original demand. Eve betrays the course her thoughts have taken — the attitude of the heart to God is clearly seen no longer to be one of perfect trust. To have suspicions of God and His goodness is a wicked insult of His majesty. Here the Fall took place. (EXPOSITION OF GENESIS, Vol. I, H. C. Leupold, pp. 146-148)

The fall of man represents far more than just the sin of one man and woman. When one throws a rock in a quiet pond, the initial splash is followed by a continuous sequence of ripples. Likewise, the Fall of man influenced the entire world and in turn affects us today. When Adam and Eve disobeyed, God judged their sin. They immediately experienced the full force of God’s judgment. After they died, the consequences of their Fall have rippled throughout the human race.

Adam VS Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12-21)

1.Sin entered  1. Grace entered

2.Offense transferred 2. Free gift offered

3.Condemnation 3. Justification

4.Death reigns 4. Righteousness reigns

5.Disobedience 5. Obedience

6.Makes men sinners 6. Makes men righteous

7.Sin abounds 7. Grace abounds

8.Death 8. Eternal life

Sin, and all the accompanying consequences of sin, entered the human race as a result of the historic Fall of Adam in the garden of Eden.

It was in another garden many years later that a group of women found an empty tomb, to learn Jesus had risen from the dead (Matt. 28:6). That accomplishment demonstrated the ability of Jesus to undo all that Adam had bound up and to provide much more than a return to Adam’s innocence. The listing of Christ’s accomplishments by Paul to the Romans represents only a portion of all Jesus did on the cross. God is now able t provide men with personal salvation (Heb. 7:25) and an eternal home in heaven (John 14:3). Someday the consequences of the Fall will be completely overcome and done away with. The final chapters of the Bible describe for us a world which represents a vivid parallel with the world God gave man before the Fall (cf Gen. 1,2 with Rev. 21,22). Those who know Christ as Savior can look forward to a day when the Fall of man will no longer affect our lives.

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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