WE BELIEVE: that man was created by God by a specific, immediate act and his image and likeness morally upright and perfect, but fell by voluntary transgression. Consequently, all men are separated from original righteousness, being depraved and without spiritual life. Gen 1:26-31; 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21.
The first three chapters of Genesis give us a detailed account of the creation of this world and the creation of man. What is quite clear is the perfection of God’s creation; everything was good. Man being created in God’s image was good, sinless and in harmony with his Creator. What we then proceed to witness is the degeneration of the human race from perfection to moral abasement. This is called “The Fall of Man”.
I. MANS CREATION.
1. God created man by a specific and immediate action,not by a series of progressive and interspersed actions. Man was created perfect in the first instance. He was created in God’s image and likeness, reflecting God’s perfection in His spirit, mind and body.
Gen 1:27, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them”.
Gen 2:7, “The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being”.
2. Man was immediately given dominion over the world and the animal kingdom.
Separating man as a unique creation, special, distinct, and above the rest of God’s creation.
Gen 1:28, “…fill the earth and subdue it, have dominion over the fish of the seas, over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth”.
II. MAN’S INITIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
1. Given stewardship of the Garden of Eden.
Gen 2:15, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”
2. Given one restriction which meant they had an ability of choice.
God had given them a free will. Gen 2:16-17, “…of every tree of the garden, you may freely eat, 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.”
3. Given authority to name the animals.
Gen 2:19, “and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.”
4. God would walk in the Garden in the cool of the day and commune with man.
Gen 3:8, “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day.”
III THE FIRST HUMAN SIN RESULTING IN THE FALL OF MAN.
1. Satan interferes with God’s word.
This is one of the enemy’s oldest ploys – a distortion of God’s Word to place some doubt in the mind of Man.
3:1, “…Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'”
God didn’t say that at all.
2. Eve distorts the real meaning of God’s Word.
Gen 3:1, “God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it, nor shall you touch it lest you die.'”
God didn’t make His commands unreasonable, as is suggested in the statement “nor touch it”. The very addition of that statement causes discredit to be cast on the character of God.
3. Satan attacks God’s word and then proceeds to attack God’s character.
This gave Eve the impression that God was holding back something good from them. Maybe God was insecure about His position and didn’t want them on His level. Here is Man’s greatest temptation – the desire to be exalted.
4. Adam and Eve give in to temptation and wilfully choose to sin.
Gen 3:6, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her and he ate.
Note: Satan did not make them sin. He tempted them but they chose to give in and willfully sin. The first sin was rebellion to God’s will. It was placing what MAN WANTS above what GOD WANTS.
IV. THE RESULTS OF THE FALL.
1. Immediately – Shame, guilt and fear.
3. To Man:
a. The ground will be cursed so that it will no longer only bare good crops. It would now begin to bear thorns and thistles, Gen 3:17-18c.
b. Hard work would be needed to make a living, Gen 3:19.
c. Physical death was now part of every man’s destiny, Gen 3:19b.
d. Banishment from the Garden and the Presence of God, Gen 3:23-24.
4. To the rest of the human race:
a. All men are born with a sinful nature which they have inherited from Adam.
Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man, sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all man, because all sinned.”
All men are therefore sinners before God without respect of class, colour, or condition.
b. Sin always results in death.
Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.”
There are three types of death.
1. Physical Death
Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body.
2:26, “…as the body without the spirit is dead. ” The body goes back to dust. Gen 3:19, “…for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you shall return.”
2. Spiritual Death
This is the separation from God. If a person is not saved, they are dead in their sins and are regarded as children of disobedience, rather than children of God.
Ephesians 2:1-3, “And you He made ALIVE who were dead in trespasses and sins.”
3. Eternal Death.
This is the eternal separation from God which is the punishment of those who do not have their names written in the Book of Life.
Revelation 20:14 – 15, “Then Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death and anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of Fire.”
c. Sin results in its peculiar curses of the human spirit, mind and body.
1. Men’s understanding is darkened, Eph 4:18.
2. The heart is deceitful and wicked, Jer 17:9-10.
3. The mind and conscience are defiled, Tit 1:15.
4. The will has a slant towards evil, Rom 7:17-20.
5. The body cannot cope with all these negatives, so it degenerates until it finally dies.
Some theories teach that man began his existence at the lowest moral level, and slowly developed into higher moral levels. What the Bible teaches is the opposite. Man began at the highest level and through rebellion to God’s laws, fell to the base levels that unregenerate man now lives in. It is only by God’s grace, as revealed through Jesus Christ, that fallen man can be picked up and placed back to his rightful place and purpose for being created; in fellowship with God.
Teaching Copyright (C) 1999 John Iuliano (M.A. Min). All rights reserved. Published here with permission