The Origin of Sin

 

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.
 He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
  
(Genesis 3:1-5 ESV)

I’ve caught a little heat concerning my ideas about Genesis.  It’s to be expected.  So, the above is the beginning of that infamous scene in the garden.  We all know the story. Eve takes the fruit and eats it and Adam thus sins and brings upon us a sin nature that is only fixed by Christ‘s life, death, resurrection, and ascension. (Simplified version. It’s only one paragraph, after all.)

Well…Kind of.   Something that intrigues me about Scripture is how intricate it is.  If you aren’t paying extremely close attention, it’s easy to miss important messages that God inbeds within.  For instance, Eve misquotes God.  God never says not to touch this tree upon pain of death.  His injunction is to not eat from it.  And God says that when they do, they will die. (Gen. 2:16,17).  The point is that Eve adds to God’s Words and creates an opening for the adversary to exploit.  Which, of course, he does.The addition is not great but it’s like the mantra of the Packer’s running backs under Vince Lombardi, “Just three inches of daylight” and BOOM!   That’s why I’m being extremely careful in these posts of late.  And it’s why I’m making them in the first place.  God’s genius is in the details and the effects are as subtle as they are profound.

So, what happened according to  the text  is that the serpent convinced Eve to disregard God’s will by eating the fruit of the tree in order to become wise like God. Then she hands some fruit to Adam and he eats some too.

This is where we need to be diligent about the text. This is where it is said that Adam sinned by eating the fruit, condemning the world to sin/in sin. Go to Genesis Chapter 3, though, and take a slow, close look.  First, Eve misquotes God. Then she listens to the adversary, and only after that does she eat the fruit.  Adam let’s himself be guided by Eve and then disobeys God’s injunction against eating this fruit.  In both cases, some one other than God is listened to and then they disobeyed.

Gasp!  I know.  That’s subtly different from what we have all learned but it’s exactly what happens in the story.  And it brings to mind passages like “that which does not proceed from faith is sin,” (Romans 14:23b) because faith is essentially trusting God in all one does.  By definition, if some one other than God is our guide, then we are sinning.  (This doesn’t mean that we do not search out others for discernment of God’s will, but this is not what happens in this story either.) The point is that since Eve’s and Adam’s lack of faith led to their disobedience, faith must precede obedience. This being the case, I think it’s fair to say that (Biblically speaking) faith takes primacy over obedience.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.  Read God’s words to Adam in His Word:

And to Adam he said,
  “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
  and have eaten of the tree
 of which I commanded you,
  ‘You shall not eat of it,’
 cursed is the ground because of you;
  in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
(Genesis 3:17 ESV, emphasis added)

God’s primary issue with Adam is obviously that he listened to his wife instead of to Him.  Adam lacked faith in other words and his disobedience followed. Therefore this can be called the origin of sin because even though the lack of faith is the bigger issue, the sin followed the faithlessness.

More on all this later, but I try to keep these blogs brief.

God Bless,

Christopher

Read all the articles in this thought provoking, original series:

The Day God Created Man: or Don’t Shoot the Messenger

A Rebuttal to WhenGod Greated Man

Jesus Is The Last Adam

The Origin Of Sin

Who Told You That You’re Naked?

I welcome your comments and questions. 

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8 thoughts on “The Origin of Sin

  1. Hello, Christopher.

    A child learns to obey their parents long before they have faith in them. Did God tell Adam beforehand not to listen to Eve? And did God tell Eve not to listen to the talking serpent in the garden? He had to know. Or maybe He didn’t. God had yet to ‘grow up’. As I was saying the other day, God seems to change his own nature from Genesis to Revelations. Either that, or Man changed his perception of God as The Ages moved forwards.

    If you have time, I’d like for you to check out this link and see what it has to say to you.
    Again, you don’t have to approve this message. Do as you feel necessary.

    http://www.junginstitute.org/pdf_files/JungV8N1p1-18.pdf

    An excerpt: “It is now more than half a century since C. G. Jung wrote Answer to Job (Jung,1952), to my mind one of the most important spiritual texts of the twentieth century. That book was nothing less than a psychological study of the history of God over the last twenty-five hundred years. Less spectacularly considered, Jung attempted to understand how the Self, the image of God in the Western psyche, had undergone change and development over that time. Of special interest to him was the problematic condition of that psychological image at the approaching end of the Christian aion, as Jung put it.”

    “The book of Job is a landmark in the long historical development of a divine drama. At the time the book was written, there were already many testimonies which had given a contradictory picture of Yahweh—the picture of a God who knew no moderation in his emotions and suffered precisely from this lack of moderation. He himself admitted that he was eaten up with rage and jealousy and that this knowledge was painful to him. Insight existed along with cruelty, creative power along with destructiveness. Everything was there, and none of these qualities was an obstacle to the other. Such a condition is only conceivable either when no reflecting consciousness is present at all, or when the capacity for reflection is very feeble and a more or less adventitious phenomenon. A condition of this sort can only be described as amoral.”

    Most importantly: “From the ancient records we know that the divine drama was
    enacted between God and his people, who were betrothed to him, the masculine dynamis, like a woman, and over whose faithfulness he watched jealously. A particular instance of this is Job, whose faithfulness is subjected to a savage test. As I have said, the really astonishing thing is how easily Yahweh gives in to the insinuations of Satan. If it were true that he trusted Job perfectly, it would be logical for Yahweh to defend him, unmask the malicious slanderer, and make him pay for his defamation of God’s faithful servant. But Yahweh never thinks of it, not even after Job’s innocence has been proved. We hear nothing of a rebuke or disapproval of Satan. Therefore we cannot doubt Yahweh’s connivance. His readiness to deliver Job into Satan’s murderous hands proves that he doubts Job precisely because he projects his own tendency to unfaithfulness upon a scapegoat. There is reason to suspect that he is about to loosen his matrimonial ties with Israel but hides this intention from himself.”

    *

    “Memories, Dreams And Reflections”, Carl’s semi-autobiography, is my second Bible. My copy is all marked up. Most of his main terms are defined in the back of this paperback book. I so highly recommend it because he is a born intuit. It ran in his family. Thanks to Freud, he knew the Jews very well. Freud firmly disallowed any paranormal activity, even after Jung proved it him one day at Carl’s house. I believe that if I really understood Jung, I would understand everyone I met, near or far. I will continue to pursue him until I do, Lord willing. Peace, Keith

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    • I have no issues with psychology or any other kind of science, Keith. However, experience shows that they are seperate means of viewing creation. Jung was undoubtedly a brilliant man but mixing his thinking or worse yet equatng his thinking with Scripture bothe a disservice. Theologically speaking, any thing that changes is not God. Therefore any idea that God has “grown up” is false. I can go along with an idea that humankind has “grown up” in some way and our relationship with God has changed. This may lead one to perceive that God has changed…

      God Bless,

      Christopher

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  2. Hi, Christopher! Here is an example of that which I was speaking about. (From the link I offered above) –

    Jack Miles (1995), in his “God, A Biography”, shows how love develops in the unfolding image of the deity. He says that love is not indicated as such in the Bible until Isaiah 40, when The Lord begins suddenly to show an intense, intimate and prior awareness of Israel’s fears and sorrows, doubts and assumptions, the novelty is . . . that the Lord has become mysterious. He has been wrathful, vengeful and remorseful. But he has not been loving. It was not for love that he made man. It was not for love that he made the covenant with Abraham. It was not for love that he brought the Israelites out of Egypt or drove out the Canaanites before them. The ‘steadfast love’ of the Mosaic covenant was . . . rather a fierce mutual loyalty binding liege and vassal than any gentler emotion. (pp. 236–237)

    He has been purposeful and faithful to the covenant, but not moved by the long-term suffering of the Israelites. But then the face changes in Second Isaiah: Your maker is your husband. . . .the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer. . . .The Lord has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing wrath for a moment, I hid my face
    from you; but with everlasting love I will have compassion for you, says the Lord, your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:4–8)

    Miles continues: “What has happened to God that he is speaking this way? His life has surprised him. When he punished Israel, he did not anticipate that her sorrow would lead him toward love” (p. 249, referring to Isaiah 52:13–53:12).

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    • Yea…..No. Miles is mistaken. Love permeates Scripture. I would argue that love is why God hung out in the garden with Adam and Eve. Love is the reason that God kicked them out of the garden. God didn’t wish for them to be sruck forever in their sin and guilt by eating the fruit of the tree of life. Love convinced God to protect Cain when he was banished from God’s presence. David is said by god to have a heart like His and he shows much love. The Song of Solomon demonstrates love. These are just a few examples that are presented before Isaiah. God does not change. His steadfact love has no beginning and no end. God isn’t always nice, but he’s always loving.

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  3. Interesting discussion boys! I’ve been told I am a Jungian at heart although I don’t claim to have read his works very deeply, still I guess that indicates what side of the fence I am on in this discussion. I do think the way the Bible portrays God does develop and change and it does seem to me that God “grows up” during the scriptures, evolving from a petulant and spoiled master in parts of Genesis to a more wise and loving father figure as portrayed in some of the NT.
    Many Christians state that the “sin” in the Adam and Eve story was disobedience to God but ignore the fact that the prize of that sin was knowledge that had been denied to them. Sure that knowledge brought with it some pain and hardship, but it also brought with a potential for growth which wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

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  4. hey chris dude!!! how goes??? quick thought for ya, k??? so what happens when we simply view the “fruit”, as a direct “bi-product” if the “knowing/knowledge???” also,…we may ask if my question fits with what God says concerning the “tree”…toksoon!!!!

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