9 Things to Know about the Fall of Man
- Jessica Van Roekel Author of Reframing Rejection
- 2022 24 Feb
While the Fall of Man changed the course of history, it also became the backdrop for the glory of God to display his mercy and kindness toward humankind. Prior to the Fall of man, God and mankind experienced communion and fellowship in a close relationship. Humankind’s nature was created righteous and encouraged to do good, to have a conscious relationship with God, be introduced to the concept of and to be established in the ways of righteousness and faith. Adam and Eve needed to act on their belief in the righteousness of God. The Fall of Man can be defined as the transition from a state of moral innocence, righteousness, and favor with God to a state of separation and death. The hope that can be found from the Fall of Man is the promised redemption in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
1. At the Fall of Man, the authority of God was rejected when the serpent asked, “Did God really say…” (Genesis 3:1).
And humankind has been railing at God’s authority ever since. We still hear people ask, “Did God really say that?” In our push for more love, we forget that God is a God of justice. His love for us makes a way for us to be reunited with him, it’s not to use his love as a way to live lives contradictory to his Word. In the Garden of Eden, his justice attribute became evident in the consequences he gave the serpent, Adam, and Eve. His authority in giving these consequences also held his promised redemption. If we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord, we will be saved. Justice and love live side by side and reflect his authority.
2. At the Fall of Man, the goodness of God was doubted.
When all a person knows is good, I can see how someone could come in and plant doubts. “If God was truly good, then why wouldn’t he say yes to everything?” That is at the crux of the serpent’s question in Genesis 3. But in God’s infinite wisdom, a no is not a reflection of his goodness, but of his desire for us to grow in other areas. By having boundaries placed around the tree of knowledge and life, Adam and Eve were introduced to the concept of obedience by choice. Obedience by choice is one way to display our love and respect for God. We obey God because we love him. We love him because he first loved us. We can trust him because he is good. But when faced with a no, instead of looking at it through the lens that God is good and loves me, we view it through, “If he loved me, he would let me do and be whatever I want.” But a good parent puts boundaries in place out of loving protection. God’s goodness prompts him to do the same.
3. At the fall of man, the wisdom of God was disputed.
When we respect someone, we want to be like them. We copy their characteristics, learn from their ways, and model how they interact with others. I can imagine that Adam and Eve thought that being like God was the ultimate goal. While being like God is noble, they lost sight of their fellowship with God. And doesn’t that translate to us? We can focus so much on the knowledge about God that we forget that fellowship and communion with him is his desire for us. It’s important to know God through his Word and also through our relationship with him so that we can recognize when outside forces try and dispute what God is saying to us. His kingdom is an upside-down kingdom and sometimes the things he asks us to do, like loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us or suffer for Christ’s sake, contradicts what the world tells us. God’s ways are higher than ours and knowing him in an intimate relationship guards our hearts against false teachings that contradict God’s wisdom.
4. At the Fall of Man, the truth of God was contradicted.
The Fall of Man plays out in front of the cosmic battle between Satan and God. The war that began in heaven, continues on earth and will be finished at the final battle. In the meantime, the Enemy of God continues his war against God using God’s treasured creation: humankind. Out of all God’s creation, only humans are made in his image. Only humans can have a relationship with God. And if the Enemy can contradict God’s truth about what God says, he can throw humankind onto a path of separation from God.
5. The result of total separation from God at the Fall of Man included physical and spiritual death.
The latter was immediate, and the former would be eventual. Spiritual death can be described as a separation of the fellowship and communion that Adam and Eve shared with God. And because of their act of disobedience, all humankind is born into this world separated from God. Physical death came in time—through old age, sickness, wars, and toil. Adam and Eve’s act of disobedience led to a broken relationship with God that continues throughout time.
6. Shame and blame entered the world at the Fall of Man.
Shame causes us to hide and blame causes us to refuse to accept responsibility. After Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from God. Their garden, once a place of fellowship and joy, became a place of fear and hiding. After they came out of hiding, a conversation ensued that resulted in blame. Adam blamed God when he said, “The woman you [emphasis added] put here with me,” and he also blamed Eve as he continued: “she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate” (Genesis 3:12). Eve blamed the serpent. Both refused to take responsibility for their actions.
7. Toil entered the world through the Fall of Man.
God created humankind to work. Work is a gift God created and he called it good. However, one of the consequences of the Fall of Man was painful toil in every area. Toil means to engage in hard and continuous work and to move with difficulty, weariness, or pain. The ground would produce thistles and thorns, fighting against humankind to produce food for sustenance. Childbirth pains would increase, and life would be sustained through the painful toil of hard work.
8. The entire human race fell through the Fall of Man.
Romans 5:12-14 tells us that everyone who comes after Adam and Eve inherits physical and spiritual death. Ephesians 2:1-2 states that mankind is subject to sin. This means that sin is our ruler, and we are its subjects. Romans 3:14 confirms this truth that we are full of bitterness and strife. Humankind cannot save themselves. We sin because we’re born sinners and we’re not able to not sin without God’s intervention through his son, Jesus Christ.
9. At the Fall of Man, God promised a redeemer.
Even though Adam and Eve gave up their intimate union with the Lord, and caused separation from the Lord, he promised hope. Through God’s mercy, grace, and love for humankind he made a way for us to be reunited in that intimate relationship. God promised to send a redeemer, his Son, who would bridge the separation gap between a holy, righteous God and a sinful, human race. When God sacrificed an animal and made them clothes from the skins it was a foreshadow of the way he would save us through the sacrifice of a substitute, the shedding of blood, and the covering of righteousness. When Jesus, The Messiah, came, he shed his blood, took our place, and became our righteousness.
While the Fall of Man is captured within one chapter of Genesis, the repercussions, and the hope that God provides reverberate into the future for all time. The consequences that fell to Adam and Eve are ours to share. But the hope, the promised One, our Redeemer, is for us too. Human depravity came through one man to all by Adam, it is our inheritance. But redemption came to all through one man, Jesus, but we choose whether to believe. When we choose God’s salvation through Jesus, we gain eternity with him, a relationship with him right now, and reliance on him for strength for our days.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/g-stockstudio
Jessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn’t have to define or determine your future when placed in God’s healing hands. Find out more reframingrejectionbook.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
These verses serve as a source of renewal for the mind and restoration for the heart by reinforcing the notion that, while human weakness is inevitable, God's strength is always available to uplift, guide, and empower us.
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