Summary: Genesis 3. The fall of man into sin and depravity.
IN THE BEGINNING
GENESIS PART 1 – ANTEDILUVIAN HISTORY
THE DOCTRINE OF DEPRAVITY
- As we continue our look at the book of Genesis we are going to be leaving chapter 2 and moving on into chapter 3. At the end of chapter 2 all is well on the newly created planet earth. The man Adam has his companion, Eve; and now that mankind exists as both male and female God closes the sixth creation day by saying that everything is very good. God has instituted the marriage covenant between the man and the woman and everything is, forgive the cliché, in perfect harmony.
- The text says in Genesis 2:15 that Adam was put in the garden of Eden that God had formed for him to work it and keep it. Perhaps a better translation of that Hebrew phrase is “to worship and obey”; but either reading lets us know that God put Adam in a particular locale and gave him this single command in vv.16-17 of chapter 2: You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 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. Up to this point Adam, and now Eve, had kept that command because the Scripture says in 2:25: And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. So shame was not known to them. Certainly there was no sexual shame, but we also get the idea that there was no shame about anything in general.
- But at the beginning of chapter 3 we are introduced to what Moses calls “the serpent”. The context of this chapter (and the rest of Scripture verifies this) indicates that the serpent is representative of Satan. The animal is said to have communicated with Eve; so this physical serpent that Eve sees and talks to is not your ordinary reptile. The devil, who had fallen from heaven some time prior to this, was speaking to the woman through the slithery snake.
- Now most, if not all of you, have read or heard of this story before. But maybe it’s been a while since you considered what happens here or perhaps you’ve never really given it much thought. Either way, I’m going to tell you right off the bat what occurs in this account, then we will read it, and following that we will explore the subject matter in more detail.
- In this passage the man Adam and the woman Eve fall from their perfect condition before each other and before God. They fall from this position because they disobey God’s explicit command to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This disobedience was the first act of human sin. And Moses gives us the initial consequences of human sin, while the rest of the Bible presents a fuller picture.
- The theological term we use to describe mankind’s condition as a result of what we are about to read is depravity. Depravity speaks of moral and spiritual corruption. Prior to the event recorded in our text today Adam and Eve enjoyed moral and spiritual purity. They lose this purity as a result of their actions. Let’s look at what Moses tells us in Genesis 3; we’ll start with vv.1-7: