What is Sin? (Part One)

Up to this point, all was well in the world that God had created. Adam and Eve were tasked with working the Garden of Eden and they were able to walk with God. We pick up the account in Genesis 3 (it would be a great idea to read it before continuing).

It seems curious that there would be a talking serpent at the beginning of the chapter. Could animals talk in the time of Adam and Eve? Generally, we would expect that the answer to that question is “no”, but there is something different about this serpent. In the context of the rest of Scripture, we can have a much greater idea of what is happening here. Revelation 12:9, 12:15, 20:2-3 and 2 Corinthians 11:3 identify the serpent as Satan (also known as the Devil). We will look closely at Satan in future articles but for now, we will focus primarily on the events that took place that day. Suffice it to say, Satan is a fallen angel who is known as the ‘deceiver’ who ‘leads the whole world astray’ (see Revelation 12:9).

Due to God’s love for Adam and Eve, he gave them the freedom of choice. After all, if love is mutual only by force, it can never truly be love after all. The Lord placed a tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden with clear instruction that they were not to eat from it (Genesis 2:16-17). Whilst at first this may seem cruel, it is actually another example of love; if Adam and Eve did not have a choice, there would have been no free will and once again, genuine love between God and his people could not exist. However, such freedom came with a risk: they were now open to the lies and the deception of Satan.

Adam and Eve were deceived into believing that, by eating the fruit from that tree, they would possess the knowledge of God (Genesis 3:5). They believed the lie that they did not need God and broke the law that he had given them by eating the fruit of the tree. When someone breaks the law of God, whether in this way or another, it is known as “sin”; Adam and Eve were the first humans to sin against God.

This event is known as ‘Original Sin’ or ‘The Fall’ and has far-reaching consequences for all humanity.

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