We live in a fallen world. As a result of Adam’s sin, the world has to contend with sickness, sorrow, evil and death. Everyone born into this world has the sin nature already in him or her. Therefore, nobody is born truly innocent and pure, but has the inbuilt desire to sin.
The Serpent’s Success
Satan succeeded in getting Adam and Eve to disobey the simplest of God’s commands. They ate the forbidden fruit and so broke fellowship with God. This is exactly what the Devil wanted, and he knew it would break God’s heart. By looking at what took place in the garden we can find out how we respond when we sin. Read through Genesis 3:7-19.
1. As soon as Adam and Eve sinned they had full realisation of their guilt. In an attempt to disguise their shame, they produced their own covering (atonement). They had bought into Satan’s alternative spirituality but did not count on it being a big lie. They felt impure and filthy. They tried to cover over what they had done, but doing ‘penance’ does not wash with God.
2. They knew that they could not stand in the presence of the holy God. They hid themselves from Him. They had broken their fellowship with God. They were now afraid of the God who loved them. This guilty feeling must have shocked Adam and Eve for this was the first time humanity experienced it. We have become experts at softening the effects of guilt.
3. They just needed to confess, but it is the very thing they did not do. Adam blamed Eve and God; Eve said that the devil made her do it. The best way to cover ourselves is to blame someone else, or so we think. When God called out “Where are you?” He was giving Adam and Eve the opportunity to repent. The Holy Spirit is doing exactly the same in our lives too. All we need to do is confess (1 John 1:9).
4. Unconfessed sin must be judged. What would have happened if they had confessed? God must have been ready for such an eventuality. The devil’s scheme would have been completely destroyed and we would not have the fallen world experiences we know today.
Everything in the world went through an immediate change. The blessings were replaced with the curse. Life was replaced with sickness and death. Instead of fertile soil there was barrenness and thorns. Childbirth would mean intense pain for the woman, but she would desire to do it all over again! In the garden Adam and Eve were equal partners, but now she would have to submit to her husband. Just existing would be hard work, and they would have to work until they died to live. Then, even though the devil promised them eternal life, they would die and return to the dust.
Romans 8:20-22 is a good commentary on the fact that same thing is in effect today … “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” The whole world, man, animal and plant life, is in a state of decay and rottenness. It is a big change from the “Very good” world created by God. We all know that things are not getting any better. Only God has the remedy, but almost the entire world continues to hide behind self-righteousness, religion, and a stubborn refusal to repent.
The Condition of the Repentant
Those who repent and turn to Christ for salvation, though living in a fallen world, have the promise of eternal life. Paul, in Ephesians 2:1-3, explains that we have been set free from the curse and the power of Satan … “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” We have been given the strength to resist temptation and sin (the desire to fulfil the desires of the flesh and the mind). We are no longer under the death sentence. Those who will not repent are spiritually dead and have the wrath of God upon them. They are controlled by the same power than deceived Adam and Eve, but God can save them too!