Something that is not often considered is that in the Garden of Eden, the woman, Eve, was deceived by the serpent, but the man, Adam, sinned deliberately. We can see this in the account of the Fall in Genesis chapter three, and it is also confirmed for us in 1 Timothy 2:14 which says,
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
I want to look into this a little closer. Adam is generally thought of very badly, and yet I wonder if we would have done any differently.
You see, Adam was faced with a choice. Adam clearly loved his wife, Eve. Those of us who are married can sympathise with this and can say that we too love our wives. When we fall in love and get married, it is generally to someone who is of like-mind and like-passions to ourself. In particular for Christians, God's Word tells us that we should marry someone who is them-self a Christian. But even among Christians there is a wide variety of tastes and viewpoints, likes and dislikes, different temperaments and personalities, and so on, and we seek someone who pleases us and who complements our personality. And this should be done with much prayer so that we marry the person who is ideal for us. After all, marriage is a life-long commitment. Adam's situation was somewhat different to this. Eve was specially created for Adam, from the rib that God took from Adam's side. Adam and Eve were absolutely perfect for one another. We sometimes say of a newly-married couple, that they were 'made for each other', meaning of course that they seem ideally suited to be husband and wife. With Adam and Eve, this was literally true. They were literally 'made for each other', or, more accurately, Eve was made especially for Adam. They were an absolutely perfect match. And just as it is supposed to be today, their marriage was a life-long commitment. In fact, if they had not sinned it would have been a marriage for all eternity, because as originally createdperfect and sinlessthey would have lived forever. They would never have died. We know something of love ourselveseven though it is imperfect loveeven though our love is marred by sin. I propose that Adam's love for Eve would have been far stronger than any love that we are capable of today, and of course they were the only two people in existence. Imagine then, how Adam must have felt when he discovered that Eve had sinned! As I said earlier, Eve was deceived into eating the forbidden fruit, but that was still counted as sin. It was still disobedience to Godwhich is what sin is. As quoted earlier, 1 Timothy 2:14 says ...the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Imagine how Adam felt when he realized what Eve had done! What was he then to do himself? He knew the enormity of Eve's transgression. It is likely that he didn't know what the full consequences would be, and yet I am sure he knew that the consequences would be serious. I propose that he at least knew that unless he too, sinned, it would mean a spoiled relationship with his wife. Again, as quoted in 1 Timothy 2:14, ...Adam was not deceived. Whatever thoughts went through Adam's mind, the thing that we can ultimately say is that Adam chose to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit. Thus Adam chose to sin. His action of course had serious consequences for himself and all subsequent generations of men and women, who are all descended from Adam. But further than that, the whole of God's creation was spoiled by that one act of disobedience to God.
Genesis 3:16-19 says,
Unto the woman [God] said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Man, from that time forward, has had to battle with the ground for food to eat. Women now experience pain and sorrow in child-bearing.
But even that is not the whole story, because in Romans 8:22, we read that,
The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
And another consequence is that we grow old and die, just as God said in Genesis 2:17,
...of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (AV)
That's what the Authorized Version says but of course Adam did not simply fall down and die on the spot. What is meant here is that the process of growing old and dying started. This meaning is brought out well in Young's Literal Translation, which is probably the most literal English translation there is. Young's Literal Translation of Genesis 2:17 says:
...and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it-dying thou dost die. (YLT)
in other words the process of dying started, and eventually led to his death, and this is something that we are all familiar with today. We grow old and die. That is the normal course for men and women.
When we think of the fact that one act of disobedience to God, that one sin, had such terrible consequences, it really brings home just how serious sin really is. As well as the consequences we have looked at, it also spoiled Adam and Eve's relationship with God, and that spoiled relationship continues to this present day. We are born in sin, and thus born separated from God.
But God has made a way back to Himself from sin, and He has demonstrated this in what he did next for Adam and Eve.
In Genesis 3:21, God Himself performed the first animal sacrifice for sin. He killed some animals, probably lambs, and used the skins to clothe the naked Adam and Eve. The shedding of the animals' blood was a picture of the fulfilment of the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 where God said to the serpent, that the woman's seed shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. This of course was prophetic of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary where He died and shed His blood, as the perfect sacrifice for sin; the perfect Lamb of God died so that all who profess Him as their Saviour, and Lord of their lives, are forgiven their sins and have everlasting life, and I would now like to consider something of the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. The Lord Jesus Christ was born without sin
The Lord Jesus Christ was born without original sinwhich is the sin nature that we all inherit from Adam.
It is true to say that all men and all women are born sinful, with one exceptionthe Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only person to be born sinless, and God's Word tells us how this was accomplished.
In Luke 1:31, the angel told Mary:
Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Mary was understandably confused, and said to the angel, in verse 34ff.:
How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
So, Jesus Christ did not have a human father, but isn't it strange that Christ could have a human mother and yet not have original sin passed onto Him through His mother?
1 Corinthians 15:22 says,
...as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
When we consider this verse and the fact that Christ could be born to a woman without having original sin passed onto Him, it implies that sin is passed on through the man, not through the woman.
So that, I believe, is the implication that should be drawn from the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ could be born of a human mother without having original sin passed onto Himthe obvious implication is not that Mary was herself sinless, but that original sin is passed on through men and not through women. In being born without a human father, the first requirement of a perfect saviour was fulfilledthat the Saviour was born sinless.
2. The Lord Jesus Christ lived his life without sinning
The next requirement was that He must live His life without sinning in any way. And of course we know that He did just that. Throughout His life He always did the will of His Father, thus He remained sinless throughout His life. Jesus said in John 8:29:
And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
Even when in torment of mind over His coming crucifixion, the Lord Jesus Christ remained in His Father's will. In Matthew 26:39 we read that Jesus prayed:
O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
3. The Lord Jesus Christ died in payment for our sins
The Lord Jesus Christ was prepared to die the awful and agonizing death of the cross, as the perfect sacrifice for sinHe did not die for His own sins, for He had none, but He died in payment for our sin: yours and mine, that when we accept Him as our Saviour, and Lord, we are accepted by God and destined for heaven. As Romans 6:23 says,
...the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
And as 1 Peter 3:18 says,
Christ... hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit...
4. The Lord Jesus Christ Rose and Ascended into Heaven
The Lord Jesus Christ did not stay dead. Death could not hold Him. He rose from the dead and now He ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). God's Word expresses the point I want to make far more eloquently than I can, and I want to close with a few verses from I Corinthians chapter 15:
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures... Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
© Paul Rose 2005 <http://www.twoedgedswordpublications.co.uk/Articles/Sinless_Perfection.htm>