The Fall of the Human Race
Rock of Offence Commentary
(Genesis chapters 1-3 Covers This Topic)
Unless we understand why the Bible was written and the point of its message, we can read the whole book and come away unchanged. The message of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is about how God "buys back" (or redeems) the human race from its fall to Satan's kingdom. God created man from the dust of the earth, made him in His own image and gave him dominion over the works of his hands. He made the woman from one of man's ribs because He recognized that it was not good for man to be alone. He placed both of them in a garden called "Eden" and gave them one commandment to keep--it was never to be broken. He told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan, or the serpent as He is called in Genesis, tempted Eve into disobeying God's clear command, and Adam decided to follow her in this disobedience.
As a result of disobeying God in this act, death is imparted to Adam and Eve, for God said that in the day they would eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would surely die. As you read the account in Genesis, it is clear that the "death" God was speaking of was not immediate physical death, or they both would have died after their disobedient act. God was speaking of a "spiritual death." It would eventually cause physical death, but the most frightening effect was in causing eternal separation from God. This is the state of EVERY person who has not received God's solution for this condition of death. They may not be dead physically, but their spirit is dead or, as I perceive it, has death imparted to it. If this person does not have his or her spirit changed or reborn they will die eternally separated from God. We don't hear very much about hell in today's Bible teaching because it is too upsetting to the average church member. But, hell is a real place. The tragedy is that hell was not originally made for man. The Bible teaches it was made for the devil and his angels who rebelled against God. Man was included in the group destined for hell because of the act of disobedience in the garden which allowed death to have dominion over the human race. Hell exists for those who are under the dominion of spiritual death. There are no special exemptions.
More happened in Eden than just the breaking of a rule. Many people can't understand why God could not just forget Adam and Eve's rebellion and go on with business as usual. The complexity of this problem can be seen in two principles. First of all, Adam's disobedience involved the breaking of a covenant. A covenant, is a binding agreement that effects the very core of the human identity. Up until Adam's disobedience, they were fully identified with God--who is the source of life. They were in God's family--He was their "Father". By breaking their covenant with God, they became identified with Satan--who is the source of death. At this point Satan became their new "father" and God was cut off. Spiritually speaking, it was a legal act that had a costly solution. For the person who breaks a covenant, death is the penalty. This also gives us the second reason God can't just "forget" Adam's disobedience. It has to do with God's nature, or who God is. God is a God of justice. Justice has to have legal grounds to acquit an offense. The problem is that man could not provide his own way of deliverance from his position in death. God was the only one that could provide for man's salvation or "buy back" and did so because God is also love. Herein is God's problem: How can I help man who I love while at the same time satisfy my justice?
When Adam rebelled against God's authority, he cut himself off from God's kingdom and was joined to a new kingdom, the kingdom of darkness headed up by Satan. At this point God ceased to be the "Father" of the human race. Instead, our race received a new "father," Satan. We can see this in the statement that Jesus made to the religious leaders in John 8:40-44...
"But now you seek to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father. Then they said to Him, we were not born of fornication; we have one Father--God. Jesus said to them, if God were your father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. YOU ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, AND THE DESIRES OF YOUR FATHER YOU WANT TO DO. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."All the offspring that came from Adam and Eve were born with "death" imparted to their spirit. Adam is the "head" of the human race. Everyone born after Adam has this "spiritual death" imparted to them. Everyone after Adam is born into Satan's family. This includes all of us today. The Bible says in Romans 3:10-11...
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (KJV)And again in Romans 3:23 the Bible says...
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..."The Bible is written to show us God's solution to this problem. The solution cannot be reached by trying to "be good"--it can't be reached through performance. It can't be reached through religious activity, commitment and church affiliation. All the good works in the universe could not pay the price necessary to buy man back from Satan's kingdom. God had to send His son, sinless and blameless, in order to buy you back into His family. Only Jesus, the sinless and spotless Son of God could offer the sacrifice necessary to finish the transaction. It took the "power of a sinless life" to complete the purchase. Man could never do that from his position in sin and death. This is why the term "born again" is used so much. It describes perfectly what happens. You were born the first time into this world and into Satan's family. When you are "born again", you are born a second time back into God's family with God as your heavenly Father.
God leaves NO EXCUSE for man failing to come back into His family. The Bible teaches that salvation is a free gift (Read Romans 3:21-28, 5:14-21). You receive free gifts; you don't try to earn them. In a sense, if a person refuses to receive God's free gift of righteousness through what Jesus did on the cross, he or she sends himself or herself to hell. God doesn't send them. He has made the way for man and made it free of charge. The blame rests on man's pride if the free gift is not received.
Let's keep all of this in mind as we discover more about God's salvation. If you are a person outside redemption, I beg you to consider seriously the things that are said--and act on it. Your eternal life depends on making the simple decision to receive what Jesus has done for you. If you already consider yourself a believer, you need to "test yourself to see if you are 'in the faith'" as Paul commanded. It is so easy to be deceived by a "false gospel" making you think you're a Christian when you're not.