Sin Brings Judgment
Sin Brings Judgment
As we remember what happened in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were in direct communion with God as he walked in the garden, before they ate of the forbidden tree. The second Adam came to this earth to restore mankind into that same relationship that Adam and Eve had before they committed sin.
While in the garden Adam and Eve had a choice. Their choice was whether to stay in communion with God or to have a life independent of God. The two trees symbolize that choice and the choice expresses what their heart truly desired. God acknowledged that they had become like Him and the knowledge of good and evil when He expelled them from the garden – Genesis 3:22.
Adam and Eve received the moral knowledge that it was wrong to eat the forbidden fruit. God has not experienced sin. What humanity is lacking is the power or ability to decide for itself what is in its best interest and what is not. That prerogative belongs to God alone; humanity has become like God in that by “knowing good and evil” – Genesis 3:22. Humanity is now able to decide what is moral and what is not. Adam and Eve became gods when they subverted God’s moral authority. When humanity attempts to act autonomously it is indeed attempting to be godlike. When humanity chooses to serve God it chooses life, joy, and fellowship with the divine community.
When humanity chooses to seek its own way it may appear to be liberating. It is actually the path of death. The choice between the two trees was a choice between life in the garden with God and death in alienation from God outside the garden. They chose autonomy and asserted their own authority.
Adam and Eve were excluded from the garden and God’s communal presence – Genesis 3:22. Adam and Eve chose death by choosing their own autonomy and death is what they passed on to their descendants – Romans 5:12.
All the references in Genesis of death referred to physical death, though spiritual death may be implied as well. Death reigns over humanity because Adam and Eve chose their own way. The phrase “you will surely die” is used in Genesis 20:7; 26:11. God will extract the penalty, other passages outside of Genesis also carry the idea that one had come under some kind of penalty that God has imposed. See 1 Samuel 14:44; 22:16; 1 Kings 2:37, 42; 2 Kings 1:4, 6, 16; Jeremiah 26:8; Ezekiel 3:18; 33:8, 14.
Genesis 2:17 “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.” “…in the day..” You shall die refers to the time at which one comes under the condemnation of death not the execution of the sentence. Paul states in Romans 5:12 that the sin of Adam was his physical death and not only Adam’s own physical death but the universal death that envelops all of creation. 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” Adam’s sin brought death into the world and as a consequence death reigns.
The way to the tree of life was blocked and consequently eternal life and communion with God was blocked – Genesis 3:24. Why would they choose death when they could have chosen life? If one was convinced that to choose death was deceptively labeled in order to prevent the choice of something better than life then one might choose death.
In Eve’s pride she wanted to become like God. She desired wisdom and so she ate what she knew was forbidden – Genesis 3:6. She chose what she thought was in her own best interest. She was deceived. Eve was deceived so she ate, Adam was not deceived, 1 Timothy 2:14 – Adam was not the one deceived. Eve believed that she could possess God’s wisdom and become like God. Adam chose Eve over God.
What they believed was in their best interest was actually the road to death. Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
God asked the question in Genesis 3:9-11. Where are you? We are hiding because we are naked Adam answered. “Who told you that you were naked?” God responded. These questions have the reading of a hurt parent rather than that of an angry judge. God is hurt, disappointed, and grieved by their sin. It is not the rule that hurts but the relationship that is important. The rule is a symbol of that relationship. Humanity rejected God’s offer of communion and asserted its moral independence. God does not take pleasure in evil. Psalm 5:4 “For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.”
Death reigns over humanity as a tyrant who cannot be satisfied. This is not what God intended as He states in Psalms 8:5-6.
We see that humanity is subject to death in Hebrews 2:8-9. This was one of the purposes of Jesus Christ coming to this earth as stated in Hebrews 2:14-15 – so that he might destroy him who holds the power of death. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:56 – the sting of death is sin.
Sin brought humanity under the power of death.
Does this help you to understand a little better the situation of pain and suffering in this world?