[Lesson 7: How Sin Entered the World] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 9: The Wonderful Promise]

Lesson 8

What Adam's Sin Produced

Genesis 3

Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.

In our study in the Torah, we learned that the Lord God created the first people in His own image. We also learned why God created them. God wanted them to love Him with all their minds, with all their hearts, and with all their strength, and, as a result, to enjoy a wonderful and profound relationship with Him forever.

Thus, we saw how God placed before Adam a simple test, to see if he loved God enough to obey Him. Before the first woman was created, God had commanded Adam: "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for [in the day that] you eat of it you will surely die." (Gen. 2:16,17) Thus God tested Adam and warned him that the punishment for disobedience would be death, and separation from Him. God loved Adam and wanted him to enjoy fellowship with Him forever. However, in our last program, we read that Adam and Eve listened to the devil and disobeyed God by eating from the tree that God had forbidden.

Today then, we plan to continue our study in the Torah, in the third chapter of the book of Genesis, to see what happened after Eve and Adam sinned against God. In verse seven, the Scripture says: "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves." (Gen. 3:7)

What is the first thing that Adam and Eve did after they disobeyed God? They tried to cover their shame and guilt! We already learned that before Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they "were both naked, and they felt no shame." (Gen. 2:25) But now their thoughts concerning their bodies had changed. Now they felt guilty and shameful before the Holy One who must judge them. Thus, in an attempt to hide their shame, they wove together leaves from a fig tree, and covered their naked bodies. However, the covering of leaves they put on their bodies did nothing to erase the guilt in their hearts.

Next, the Scripture says: "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden." (Gen. 3:8) How different things were for Adam and Eve after they sinned! Before they disobeyed God, they rejoiced whenever the Lord God came into the garden to talk to them. However, now when they heard Him approaching, they trembled with fear and shame, and attempted to hide from God among the trees of the garden! Why was Adam afraid and hiding? That is not difficult to figure out. If someone is stealing from another's field, what will he do if he hears the voice of the owner of the field? He will try to hide. In the same way, Adam, who had taken what God had forbidden, was trying to hide. Adam knew very well that he had transgressed against God.

Should Adam have been afraid after he had disobeyed God's command? Absolutely! Why? Because God had clearly said to him, "In the day that you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will surely die!" Would God carry out His word? Would Adam really die? What do you think? Would God really punish the people He had created? Wolofs say that one should not answer a question with another question, but we can best answer this question with another question. What did the Lord do to Lucifer, that is Satan, after he rejected God's rule over him? Did God acquit Satan and the angels who sinned? No, He did not acquit them! God expelled them from His holy presence. And not only that, He also created for them the eternal fire! Like Satan, Adam had rejected God's rule over him. Could God just say, "It's no big deal!" and let Adam go free without judging him? Never! God is holy and He must judge sin! Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most brilliant men that ever lived, said, "He who does not punish evil, commands it to be done!" God can never approve evil. He must punish it. The prophet Habakkuk wrote: "My God, my Holy One…your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong!" (Hab. 1:12,13) Yes, "The Lord will judge His people! It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!" (Heb. 10:30,31) God's holy nature requires that He judge and punish every sin. Therefore, it was necessary that He judge Adam and Eve because of their sin. That is why in the next verse we read: "But the Lord God called to the man, 'Where are you?'" (Gen. 3:9)

What did God do after Adam sinned? God went seeking after Adam, calling out to him, "Where are you?" Did Adam go looking for God? No! He was trying to hide from God! Why did God call out to Adam? Didn't He know where Adam was? God, who sees and knows everything, knew exactly where Adam was hiding! God called out to Adam, because He wanted Adam to recognize and confess his sin before Him. God still loved Adam although he had disobeyed Him.

What did Adam reply when God asked, "Where are you?" The Scriptures say:

"[Adam] answered, 'I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.' And the Lord God said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?' [Adam] said, 'The woman you put here with me, she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.' Then the Lord God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?' The woman said, 'The serpent deceived me, and I ate.'" (Gen. 3:10-13)

Did you hear how Adam and Eve answered God? Each tried to blame someone else. Adam accused both God and Eve, saying: It's not my fault! The woman you gave me--it's her fault! As for Eve, she blamed the serpent saying, Don't blame me--the serpent deceived me! However, God who knows the heart of man, knew that they were both guilty. God did not make them eat the fruit of the tree. Satan also did not make them eat it. Satan can tempt and deceive people, but he cannot force anyone to sin. Satan deceived Eve, but what she did was still sin before God. As for Adam, the Scripture tells us that he was not deceived. (1 Tim. 2:14) He consciously chose to go his own way. Adam knew exactly what God had commanded, but he chose to stray from the way of righteousness, and follow the way of unrighteousness. And he didn't stop with disobeying God, but added sin to his sin by trying to put the blame on others.

To this day, people still attempt to blame others for their transgressions, but God knows the truth. Through the Holy Scriptures, God is speaking to people, saying: Where are you? Answer me! What have you done? Why do you refuse to believe and obey my Word? Why do you despise my goodness? Why do you try to blame others for your own sin? "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God."(Rom. 14:11,12)

Let us now continue in the chapter to see how God judged the serpent, Satan, Eve and Adam. The Scriptures say:

"So the Lord God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers: He will crush your head and you will strike His heel.' To the woman He said, 'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.' To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you: You must not eat of it, Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.'" (Gen. 3:14-19)

Do you see what their sin produced? It produced sorrow and pain, thorns and thistles, toil and sweat, sickness and death. Yes, "the wages of sin is death!" (Rom. 6:23) What did God say would happen to Adam and Eve if they ate of the forbidden tree? He said, "In the day that you eat of it you will surely die." Were Adam and Eve buried on the day they ate it? No. But did they die on that day? Indeed they did! On that very day, Adam and Eve died in their souls, because they no longer had a relationship with God.

As we have already learned, death is separation from God. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they separated themselves from God, the Source of Life. When they chose to believe the devil and go along with him, they forfeited their friendship with God and lost their share in God's life. They had become God's enemies because they had taken sides with Satan, God's adversary. Their relationship with God had died. To illustrate, if you have an enemy and your friend takes sides with him, then is it not true that your friend has become your enemy? Your relationship with your friend has died. As we say: "Your friend's enemy is your enemy." {Wolof Proverb} In the same way, whoever obeys Satan is the enemy of God. Sin separates man from God.

Before we conclude today, there is something we must understand and remember. It is this: We are all born into this world as those who are "dead in…transgressions and sins" (Eph. 2:1) and "separated from the life of God." (Eph. 4:18) We may not like this, but that is what the Word of God says. The day that Adam disobeyed God, he became a sinner. Adam, who sinned, is the father of the human race. Thus, the result of Adam's sin is that all of his descendants are sinners. "A rat only begets that which digs." {Wolof proverb similar to: "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."} Also, Adam's sin caused him to be separated from God. Adam, who rejected God's rule over him, is the father of all who live. The result is that all of Adam's descendants are born separated from God. As the (Wolof) proverb says: "An epidemic is not confined to the one from whom it originates!" This is exactly what the Word of God declares, when it says: "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned!" (Rom. 5:12)

Our forefather Adam, who separated himself from God, is like a branch cut from a tree. What happens if the branch is no longer united to the tree? It dries up and dies. And what happens to the branches which are part of the branch that has been cut off? Are they alive? No, they are also dead, because they belong to the dry branch. In the same way, all the children of Adam are like the small branches of the branch that has been cut off. Because of his sin, Adam is like the dry branch, and we are one with him. The sin of our ancestor Adam has affected all of us. We all share his character and condemnation.

The Prophet David wrote in the Psalms: "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." (Psa. 51:5) Sin is much like AIDS--a dreadful disease which has spread throughout the world. Once AIDS enters a person's body, it will never leave. The person who has AIDS can spread it to his children. AIDS is a killer and man does not yet have a cure for it. Sin is like that. It is a terrible calamity that has spread throughout the earth. Sin is a killer, causing man to perish forever, and man, in himself, has no remedy for it.

However, we are praising God today with happy hearts, because God Himself has provided a remedy to save us from the penalty of sin and from the power of sin. However, we must believe God's remedy and receive it. God willing, in our next program, we will see how God gave Adam and Eve, and all their descendants, a wonderful promise concerning a mighty Savior who would come into the world to deliver sinners from sin, Satan and hell.

Thank you for listening….

God bless you as you think about these words penned by the prophet David:

"Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." (Psa. 51:5)