Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden
God created a world that is good (see Genesis 1). Then He created a beautiful garden. He filled the garden with life: trees and flowers, mammals, reptiles, and birds. This Garden was overwhelmed with life.
Then God created Adam from the dust of the ground. God breathed into him the breath of life. Man became a living soul. Then God realized man was alone. He gave woman to man. The woman, named Eve, is the perfect partner for Adam. According to Genesis 1: 27: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (NAS)
The Garden of Eden was Adam and Eve’s perfect home. God gave them one command: “from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17, NAS) If they obeyed this one command, the Garden would continue as their home. They were the caretakers of the garden and its animals.
Sin Enters the Garden
A serpent lived in the Garden. The Bible says it was crafty. The Hebrew word means “cunning” or “shrewd” but not in a good way.
The serpent came to Eve. It tempted her to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It called God a liar. Eve took fruit from the tree. She ate. She gave some to Adam. He ate. What happened? James 1: 13-15 outlines the progress of sin in a person’s life.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”(NAS)
Adam and Eve died spiritually that day. The Bible says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Romans 5: 12, NAS)
Fellowship with God was broken. Adam and Eve were forced to leave the Garden.
Sin Overwhelms the World
God created. Life overwhelmed the Garden.
Man sinned. Sin soon overwhelmed the World.
After leaving the Garden, Eve gave birth to a son. His name was Cain. Then she gave birth to another son. His name was Abel. Cain became a farmer; Abel, a shepherd.
Cain brought some of his produce as a sacrifice to the Lord. Abel brought offerings from the first fruit of his flock. God accepted Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. Cain became angry. God told him,
“Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4: 6-7, NAS)
Cain did not heed God’s warning. He lured Abel out to an open field. Cain killed Abel. Abel’s blood fell onto the ground.
Sin continued to grow. It produced wicked fruit. People continued to ignore God. They performed one evil deed after another. The Bible reports that after only a few hundred years:
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6: 5, NAS)
The human race became so sinful. We even began to deny the existence of God.
Sin Resists Every Move of God
God desires to have fellowship with us. He loves us. He gives us good gifts. God wants to walk with us. He cannot. Why? Because of our sinfulness. The Bible says in Isaiah 59: 1-2,
Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short that it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
God tried many different ways to reach us. First, there’s the beauty and complexity of nature. This world could not create itself. It is far too complex.
In addition, there are special qualities in our own nature. These qualities seem to reach beyond us. They create bonds between us. Some of these qualities are love, friendship, mercy, and beauty. Are these part of God’s image within us?
Also we all have special concepts in our minds. These concepts do not make sense apart from God. They include, in part, justice and truth, goodness, right and wrong. There is no standard for truth or justice or goodness apart from God.
In other words, there are many “signs and signposts” to convince us of God’s existence. So many that the Bible says we are without excuse. But mankind ignores these signposts. The Bible says,
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1: 20-21, NAS)
God did not give up. Some people chose to follow God. God spoke through them to an non-listening, resistant world. Then God sent His Son. According to the book of Hebrews:
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (Hebrews 1: 1-2. NAS)
God sent His Son to earth. This is the ultimate expression of God’s love for us. What happened next? (See next slider, the Cross of Christ.)