Saturday, August 3, 2013

Rebellion and Redemption: Expulsion from Eden

 


The overarching theme of the Bible is that of a perfectly loving, holy and just God creating, sustaining and redeeming His rebellious children. Because He is completely holy, He cannot allow sin into His presence (Leviticus 11:45). Because He is righteous and just, He cannot allow sin to go unpunished (1 Kings 8:32; Psalm 7:11). And because He is love (1 John 4:8), He gave His only Son to pay the punishment for our sins, so that he could shower His children with His infinite mercy and grace (2 John 1:3) and give them eternal life in His presence.

Despite the idyllic, blissful life God provided for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, where they enjoyed the beauty of His creation, one another, and fellowship with Him (Genesis 1-4), they rebelled against Him.

Satan, in the form of a wise, beautiful and subtle serpent, resorted to his favorite ploy – starting with God’s truth and twisting it into a lie (Genesis 3: 1–3), for he is the father of lies (John 8:44). Eve was deceived and succumbed to the three temptations that are Satan’s signature strategies: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (Genesis 3:5-6; 1 John 2:16).

Before the fall, Adam and his wife were innocent and trusted God, as proven by their obedience. When they disobeyed and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they committed the first sin – rebellion against God’s commandment (Genesis 3:7). They lost fellowship with God and were afraid of Him because they knew they had done wrong (v.:8-10).

Before they had been unashamed of their nudity, as husband and wife should lovingly delight in one another in the sanctity of marriage (Hebrews 13:4). But after their eyes were opened, they knew they were naked and made a pitiful attempt to hide themselves with fig leaves (Genesis 3: 7)

God in His mercy gives Adam ample opportunity to confess (v. 9-11), for when we confess our sins, He is swift to forgive us (1 John 1:9). But instead, Adam and Eve both play the blame game. Adam has the audacity to blame God for giving him Eve, and he then tries to avoid guilt by blaming his wife (Genesis 3: 12). Not that Eve is any better – rather than taking responsibility for her disobedience, she blames the serpent (v. 13). Sadly, variations of this scenario are too often repeated, even to the present day.

First, God curses the serpent (v. 14). Before he beguiled Eve, the serpent had feet and walked, but after he was condemned to slither along the ground (v.14). But the true object of God’s wrath is not the serpent that Satan used to tempt Eve, but Satan himself. Since Lucifer’s sin of pride led to his fall from Heaven, he has been the enemy of mankind – looking to kill and destroy (1 Peter 5:8). And the devil is the enemy of the seed of the woman – Jesus Christ, Who ultimately defeats Satan. But first Satan bruises His heel at the cross (Genesis 3 15).

The curse for Eve’s sin is the pain of childbirth and her subjection to her husband (v. 16; Ephesians 5: 20-25), and Adam’s curse is that he must work hard to eat (Genesis 3 17-18), until the day he dies. Sin brought with it the curse not only of hard physical labor, but of physical death (v. 19; Romans 6:23).

But the promise of redemption was there in Eve’s seed (Genesis 3: 20). Many generations later, God’s own Son would take on human flesh (John 1:14), be born to Mary – one of Eve’s descendants -- and bring eternal life to all Who trust in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only way to Heaven (John 14:6). 
Through His grace and sacrifice, believers are made righteous and freely receive eternal life (Romans 5: 17-19).

The first death occurred in the garden when God killed animals to clothe Adam and Eve with their skins (Genesis 3:21), which symbolized covering, but not removing, their sin, through shed blood. Thus began the “scarlet thread” (Joshua 2:18) of redemption by the blood woven throughout Bible history. The shedding of animal blood for sacrifices commanded by God covered the sins of His people, but only temporarily (Leviticus 4; 3-7).

Not until the perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ Himself would believers be washed clean in His blood (Revelation 1:5), their sins removed as far from them as is the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12). through His completed work on the cross.

Because Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge, they were marred by the sin of disobedience. If they would eat the tree of life, they would live forever in their sinful, corrupt bodies and would be doomed to hell for all eternity (Genesis 3:22). God had to prevent that so that they and their descendants could ultimately have eternal life in Heaven, so He expelled Adam and Eve from the garden and placed angels with flaming swords at its entrance to guard the tree of life (v.23-24).

Milllennia later, God will finally give His children access to the tree of life. Thanks to His plan of salvation through His Son, those who are born again will ultimately escape their sin-stained bodies and receive glorified bodies that will never age or become sick. In Heaven, in the New Jerusalem, we will eat fruit from the tree of life and its leaves will keep us from getting sick (Revelation 2:7; 22:2,14).

May we lead our lives not in rebellion, but in submission to His perfect will, so that we will ultimately taste the fruit of the tree of life and live forever in His presence!


© 2013 Laurie Collett
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35 comments:

  1. Some time ago I discussed with poet, who I know, about first sin. She couldn't answer on question, what was the first sin in Eden.
    I live in country, where people are mostly Catholics. So they connect first sin simply only with fruit or with sexual life - because of nacked bodies of Adam and Eve.
    Greetings for You from extremely hot Cracow - but not as hot as last week: we had today 31 degrees (87F). Have a blessed week Laurie!

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    1. It is sad and frightening how many lack even the most basic knowledge about the Bible.
      Thanks, Zim, for your comment! Hope you are keeping cool! May you have a blessed week in Him,
      Laurie

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    2. Zim,
      That is hot for Cracow. We are planning a trip in September. We have heard it might be cold then. So I don't know what to pack.
      Blessings,
      Janis www.janiscox.com

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  2. What a wonderful explanation of sin, Satan, redemption through Jesus.
    Blessings,
    Janis www.janiscox.com

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    1. Thanks, Janis, for your encouraging comment!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  3. Hi Laurie! I never thought about the fact that God gives Adam a chance to confess. That is a great thought to mull over. So many good things here!

    Blessings!
    Ceil

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    1. Thanks so much, Ceil! Praise God that if we confess our sins, He is swift to forgive!
      May you have a blessed week in Him,
      Laurie

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  4. Hi Laurie,
    And may we too confess our sins, and forgive one another so that we too may be forgiven, doing all the things required of us as we endeavour to mature in Christ Jesus, picking up our daily manna as we journey towards that land promised to us. God bless

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    1. Amen, Brenda! May we confess our sins, forgive one another, feed daily on His Word, and grow in His grace.
      Thanks as always for sharing your insights, and God bless.
      Laurie

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Steve. I am addressing it further on your blog.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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    1. Thanks, Denise! Many blessings to you and your ministry,
      Laurie

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  7. Dear Laurie,
    Thankyou for writing such a truthful post, based on history, not mythology.
    It is a sad fact that here in the UK at least, believing in the historicity of Adam and Eve would be a subject of abject ridicule. It is too bad that the average man in the street would believe the skeptical academic far more than the Bible narrative.
    God bless.

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    1. No, not to laugh Laurie, just to be sad at the laziness.

      If a flower was dying some may say, "The Devil did that!"

      Those who love the truth would uncover why, so it may be healed and sustained. The Jewish faith is not ours to claim, just as Islam has no valid claim upon their Prophets of Jesus and Moses.

      Do not put new wine into old wineskins.

      "I am YHVH, unrivalled: I form the light and create the dark. I make good fortune and create calamity, it is I, YHVH, who do all this." (Isaiah 45:7)

      This is thought to be a rebuke on the influence of Zoroastrianism when the Jews were in Exile, that saw God as Good... and Evil as something separate.

      I am aware it rains on the just and unjust, so I make an umbrella.

      Hence the Jews who were smart, took Jesus' advice and got out of religion and have been teaching their kids to be free ever since. To love God with all their heart mind and soul and to love their neighbor as themselves. Know them by their fruit. His legacy worked or they would still be worshiping in buildings with professional priests.

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    2. Dear Frank,
      You're right, the general level of ignorance, let alone disbelief, regarding the Bible, is sad and shocking, even among professing Christians. But either the Bible is the inerrant, inspired, infallible Word of God, or it is not. If we selectively choose which passages to believe, we start down a slippery slope that leads to complete apostasy.
      Yet His Word does not change, whereas scientific theory does. As the latter advances, it corroborates rather than disproves what was in God's Word all along.
      Thanks as always for your insightful comment, & God bless,
      Laurie

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    3. Dear achildcansee,
      Thanks for your visit and thought-provoking comment. Satan is an adversary, but no match for all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent God. You're right -- we can't say "the devil did that" or even "the devil made me do that," because nothing happens that God does not allow, and He provides a way out of any temptation a believer may face.
      Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, the Alpha and Omega, present from the beginning as part of the Trinity with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. He spoke the worlds into existence. In Him there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, male or female, slave or free. He offers salvation freely to all who would accept it.
      But you're right, we must rightly divide the word of truth. What was spoken to the Jews before they rejected their Messiah differs from what was preached by Paul, through revelation from Christ, as the Gospel of Grace. In any dispensation, we are saved by His grace through our faith that He is Who He says He is, and that He can and will do what He has promised.
      Jesus Himself spoke against religion, as He condemned the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. Instead of religion, we should seek a relationship with our Creator, which is possible only through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
      The love of Christ shines through the heart, thoughts and deeds of the born-again believer. By this fruit we can know that the salvation is genuine.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  8. If our Heavenly is indeed too Holy to be in the very presence of sin, how was it possible for Satan to appear before Him on His throne in His Kingdom of Heaven (Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-10)?

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    1. Excellent question, Jerry. Similarly, how could the perfect, divine, sinless Lamb of God take on Himself the sins of the whole world? I am researching your question further, and in the meantime, I would refer you to a post I wrote regarding how Jesus could take on our sins:
      http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/2013/03/paradox-of-cross.html
      Thanks for your thought-provoking question and God bless,
      Laurie

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  9. Great post, Laurie.

    I'm so glad that God doesn't change. The plan he made from the beginning is still in effect. The old testament saints were saved because of their faith just as we are today. They just couldn't receive it until Christ died on the cross.

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    1. Thanks so much, Donald! God is the same, yesterday, today and forever, and without faith it is impossible to please Him.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  10. That snake looks so different. As if there is another layer surrounding its head.

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    1. Welcome, Blogger Broadcast! I think the snake is coiled up on itself.
      Thanks so much for following & commenting on Saved by Grace -- I'm following you back!
      Blessings to you,
      Laurie

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  11. As a baby Christian, just learning about the Bible, I really appreciate this post so much. Thank you. Stopping by from Wise Women. Have a blessed day. Tara.

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    1. Thank you, Tara, for your words of encouragement, which are a great blessing and much needed this week!
      May you continue to grow in His grace, and know that He will bless you richly as you continue to study His Word.
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  12. Hi Laurie, so good to be visiting over here again. I am so humbled everytime I realize how far and wide the Lord will go to keep us with Him, to prevent us from destroying ourselves. Great post and thank you for always linking up. I am always blessed when I see you there
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Amen, Tracy -- His mercy is an amazing gift for which we should always be thankful. Thanks for your kind words and for hosting and for all you do to spread His Word.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  13. God wants us to seek our wholeness (identity) in Him alone. He offered that to Adam and Eve, to the Israelites, and to us in Christ. Who we are and our significance is defined by Him. http://choosetotrust.com/2013/08/the-alarm/

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    1. So true, Scott -- if we do not abide in Him, we are nothing and can do nothing. Thanks so much for your comment, and many blessings to you and your ministry.
      Laurie

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  14. Laurie, you have such a gift in teaching the Bible. I love what I read here. Thanks for linking up at Essential Fridays.

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    1. Thanks so much, Mel, for your encouraging words and for hosting!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  15. Happy to be here for now, but look forward to one day being in His presence. Until that day comes, I am thankful for the glimpses of glory here on earth. Good teaching!

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    1. Thanks so much for your visit & kind comment! God's daily blessings give us abundant life here and now, and even better, one day meeting Him face to face and enjoying His presence throughout eternity!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  16. Hi Laurie,

    Thank you for your post. I am so thankful for our loving God, who pours grace upon us.

    Thank you for linking up :)

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    1. Thanks, Anita, for your comment & for hosting!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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