What Were the Immediate Results of Sin?

There was Judgement

Because of the widespread involvement of various beings, many were immediately judged. These included the serpent, man, woman, and the earth itself.

When Satan tempted Eve, he was embodied in a serpent. He did not form himself like a serpent nor take on qualities of a serpent but a serpent was used as a vehicle for the tempter.

Satan used an actual serpent, so God cursed the serpent for his active part in the temptation. “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” (Gen. 3:14).

The actual physical form of the serpent was changed as a consequence of the Fall. We cannot ignore the fact that most people have an unusual fear of snakes, even those that are nonpoisonous.

God also judged Adam for his sin

God introduced a new emotion into his experience-sorrow (Gen. 3:17). He was to continue to have dominion over the ground, but now he would till a cursed ground. His labor would be multiplied and he would find himself working harder and producing less. Physical death also was introduced into the human experience. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:19).

Apparently Adam also lost the complete dominion he earlier possessed over the animals (Rom. 8:18). Man would still rule the beasts of the earth, but with far more difficulty. Some animals would attack and kill man, other animals would resist him, and still other animals would be too dumb to heed man’s direction.

Eve also was cursed for her part in the Fall

“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiple thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gen. 3:16). Eve in particular, and women in general, live with two results of the Fall. First, they would have a natural inclination to their husband which would in some occasions lead to conception. And, second, they would have increased pain in childbirth.

Long-range results of the Fall. Adam, the federal head of the human race, was also the seminal head. The word seminal implies that all life existed in Adam and that everyone existed embryonically or existed in seed within the head of the human race. Today we trace our ancestry back to Adam.

We were all in the loins of Adam when he sinned, just as Levi “was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedec met him” (Heb. 7:10). In that sense, every member of the human race played a part in the Fall of man. When Adam sinned, we were actually sinning with him. The language of Romans 5:12 explains that we participated in Adam’s sin: “As by one man sin entered the world … for that all have sinned.”

This includes the federal headship of Adam over the human race. In this aspect, Adam’s vote for our sin is similar in comparison to a congressman who might represent us in the legislature and by his vote obligate us for certain indebtedness. It also implies we were present with him as he voted. Therefore, it is consistent that the race experiences the consequences of the Fal.

Because of the Fall, every man received a sin nature at birth. It is now more natural for man to sin than not to sin.

That sin nature results in physical death for the human race born into condemnation. The sin of Adam has infected the nature of the entire race.

Every influence that Adam passed on to humanity, Christ overcame for the race.

Because there is a sin nature in every man, Christ offers a new nature to those who experience his salvation (2 Cor. 5:17). His death is a substitute for ours and through the cross the repentant sinners receive new life. Jesus claimed “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

While the race is “condemned already” (John 3:18) because of Adam’s sin, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Jesus Christ came as the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45) to lead a new race of those who were born again into his kingdom (John 1:13; 3:3). Writing to the Romans, the apostle Paul outlined something of a comparison between Adam and Christ and their respective “races.”

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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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