Reading: Genesis 3.
Man is tempted by Satan and, by his (man’s) own wilful disobedience, falls into sin. He became entirely corrupt and so degenerate, that the image of God, in which he had been formed, was damaged beyond recognition. The beautiful relationship between God and man is broken; man is spiritually dead in sin and the punishment for his disobedience is death (2:17). With man the whole world also fell from its excellence.
God responds by cursing the serpent. He puts enmity between the serpent (and Satan) and the woman. Enmity is also made between Satan and Jesus Christ, and God promises that Jesus Christ will crush Satan. But the curses (misery) remain – the ground, thorns and thistles, sweat, painful child birth. God bans man from Garden of Eden; man will eventually die and return to dust.
Several times in this chapter the word “LORD” is added to “God”. For example, verse 14 “So the LORD God said to the serpent…” The meaning of “LORD” includes – “keeper of promises.” In other words God will faithfully deliver the prophecies and promises He makes in Genesis 3.
The full effects of the fall into sin are revealed in other parts of the Bible. The Canons of Dort (Chapter III/IV, article 3) summarise these effects: all men are “incapable of any saving good, inclined to evil, dead in sins, and slaves of sin. And without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit they neither will nor can return to God, reform their depraved nature, or prepare themselves for its reformation” (See Eph 2:1,3; John 8:34; Rom 6:16,17; John 3:3-6; Titus 3:5). The final result is death (Gen 2:17). The misery we experience is another effect of sin. However, God is rich in mercy and does not leave man in his sinful and hopeless situation. Instead God promises to send Jesus Christ. He will defeat Satan and his power over God’s people. Jesus Christ will also die for His people and fully restore the broken relationship between God and His people. What great comfort for us!
Key verse: Gen 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
Question: Why can God not be blamed for man’s fall into sin?