Monday, February 4, 2019

The Root of the First Sin

You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman" (Genesis 3:4).

There are a number of cultural myths about the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden. Probably the one most often encountered is that Adam and Eve sinned by having sex. However, since God blessed their union and gave the gift of sex this could not have been a sin. The precise nature of Adam’s sin, however, was his rejection of the Word of God. It is the infallibility and authority of God’s Word that was at issue in the garden, just as it is in the church today.

At first, Satan attacked God’s Word indirectly. He asked Eve, probably with an incredulous tone of voice, “Did I hear God say you can’t eat from any of these trees?” This question caused Eve to focus on the fact that God had indeed prohibited one of the trees and moved her away from the fact that God had encouraged them to eat of all the rest. Eve told the serpent that God had only restricted the one tree, on pain of death.

Satan now attacked God’s Word directly: “You most certainly shall not die.” Here was a frontal assault on the veracity of God’s Word. Eve deemed that Satan was correct and ate of the forbidden fruit. Then she offered a piece to Adam, who had been with her all along and had not moved to protect her. He also ate (Genesis 3:6). Thus, Adam allowed Eve to take all the risks and seeing that she did not die, joined her in the sin.

The most controversial issue of 21st-century Christianity is the trustworthiness of the Word of God. Satan’s continuing ploy has been to cast doubt with subtlety and sophistry. His refrain both in and out of the church remains, “Hath God said?” The church has been exposed to more than two centuries of criticism leveled against the veracity of the Bible. Now even committed Christians are divided over this issue. Thus, the test for us today is the same as it was for them: Will we live by trust in what God has said? Are we instead willing to negotiate the Bible with unbelief?

We need to follow the example of our Lord who, when tempted in the wilderness, replied, “It is written …” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).

Adam’s sin took place in paradise. He enjoyed the best of everything. Jesus, the Second Adam, was in the desert having fasted for forty days. When you face temptation, remember your relative comfort compared to Jesus. Pray for His strength that you might not fall. Even pride in your own spiritual strength can lead to sin.