Are We All Guilty Because Adam Sinned?

Both Jesus and Paul looked to the opening chapters of Genesis as the basis for some of their teachings (e.g. Mt 19:4-6, 1 Tim 2:11-14, etc.). In other words, their hermeneutic (method of interpretation) was based on life in the garden of Eden prior to Adam and Eve’s sin. The garden was God’s ideal place where He could live together with mankind. It’s also the ideal that God has been working ever since to one day restore. Therefore, anything we can glean about life in the garden should shape our theology. 

Did mankind inherit a sinful nature from Adam?

Common wisdom tells us that several things happened when Adam and Eve sinned. For example, one author says:

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Genesis, Hermeneutics, Original Sin

Eve’s Quest For Wisdom

Mankind’s basic problem is that we have no moral compass. God didn’t create us with one. It’s true that He gave us a conscience, but without training and wisdom our conscience can mislead us. Just ask the Apostle Paul. 

Even after persecuting, imprisoning, and murdering Christians (before he became one himself) Paul was able to say, “I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day” (Acts 23:1 ESV). He thought he was doing the right thing when he was persecuting Christians, but in reality he was a cruel and insolent man whose actions were dictated by his own ignorance (1 Tim 1:13). Conscience is only a safe guide if properly trained and conditioned!

We all think we are doing the right thing until the aftermath of what we have done catches up with us. We are our own worst enemy because we can’t tell the difference between wisdom and ignorance. We think we can tell the difference between right and wrong all by ourselves. So did Adam and Eve.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Genesis

Why Was The Serpent In The Garden?

One of the most common questions we ask about the story of the garden of Eden is, “How did an evil being get into God’s perfect garden?” It’s a fair question, but one the Bible never answers. 

In fact, the events of Genesis 3 leave us with a lot of unanswered questions. Who was the serpent? Was the serpent a real animal which was used by a spiritual being, or something else? Did Eve not think it odd that an animal could talk? What was the serpent’s motivation? Why did he trick Eve? What was in it for him? Why would the Bible leave us hanging like this without answers?

While these may be questions that seem important, God didn’t think it was important for us to have these answers. God wants to redirect our attention to what He did say. In other words, who the snake was isn’t important, what’s important is what he did. How an animal could speak wasn’t nearly as important as what the animal said, and so forth. These ambiguities should prompt us to recognize that the author wants to focus our attention elsewhere. Where is the author leading us?

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Genesis, Hermeneutics

Dying You Shall Die

God gave Adam and Eve all the trees of the garden to eat from except for one. He told them they must not eat from one particular tree:

“16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”” (Gen. 2:16–17 ESV)

Of course, they did eat from the forbidden tree, but they did not die the day they ate from it. What’s going on here? Why didn’t they die on the day they ate? Did God say one thing and mean another? If God meant what He said, why did He let them off the hook? Wasn’t God’s penalty for eating from this tree capital punishment? 

There are three common interpretations that attempt to reconcile what God said would happen with what actually transpired. 

  1. Adam and Eve died immediately in the sense that they lost their immortality.
  2. Adam and Eve began the process of aging and dying.
  3. Adam and Eve died spiritually. 

I propose that none of these three explanations are correct and that God did indeed mean that He would enact judgement in the form of death on the very day they ate.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Genesis, Grace, Judgement

It Is Not Good For The Man To Be Alone

Everything God created functioned as intended – it was good, very good (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). However, God said the man’s situation was not good because, as a solitary human, the man could not function as God intended. There were no others like the man and because of this, for the first time there was dysfunction in God’s creation. God’s solution to the situation was to make the man a counterpart:

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.”” (Gen. 2:18 CSB)

The man had been given the task of naming all the animals God created (Gen 2:20). This was God’s way of demonstrating to the man that while all the animals had mates that were similar to one another, there were no beings who corresponded to him.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Creation, Genesis, Marriage