IN THE BEGINNING
Written by Ron Hutchison

The book of Genesis is the book of "beginnings" or "origins." It is THE most reliable source for what we need to know about the history of mankind. Actually, the book of Genesis begins BEFORE the beginning when nothing existed but God. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). All things begin with God.

THE STATE OF MAN IN THE BEGINNING

God created humans on the sixth day. Adam and Eve were their names. "Adam" means man. "Eve" means the "mother of all."  Man is different than the animal and plant life that God created. Man is special to God because he was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), with the ability to think and speak, to be aware of the difference between right and wrong, and to be free to make choices. No plant or animal has these characteristics. Therefore, we can have a kind of relationship with each other and with God that no other living creature can have.

Our freedom to make choices is crucial. We are responsible for how we use the ability to think and speak. We are responsible to use our ability to choose between right and wrong and we are free to choose to take either course in our lives.

At first, Adam and Eve lived in perfect harmony with the purpose for which God created them. They were in continuous fellowship with God and enjoyed the highest perfection possible and the blessings of living in an absolute paradise.

Adam and Eve were not "cave dwellers" nor were they primitive people. They were highly intelligent. Adam, for example, named all of the animals (Genesis 2:20). Adam didn't "grunt" to communicate, he used human language (Genesis 2:23). Think of what Adam and Eve possibly could have learned and how far they could have advanced if they had simply continued to live in fellowship with God.

Adam and Eve had no evil desires. They lived in paradise. They dressed and kept the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). They had ample food to meet all of their needs and desires. No doubt they found that dressing and keeping the garden was pleasurable and good for them.

They also had access to the "Tree of Life" which would allow them to "live forever" (Genesis 3:22). God also placed them in dominion over all the animals (Genesis 1:26). The world was man's to rule. It was made for his benefit and habitation. What a world it would have been had Adam and Eve continued to obey God.

There was only one restriction placed upon Adam and Eve. They were not to eat of the fruit of one tree - the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they ate of its fruit, they would die (Genesis 2:16-17).  This prohibition was absolutely necessary to the free will of Adam and Eve.  God could have done nothing else and act in harmony with both His nature and the nature of Adam and Eve.

THE STATE OF MAN IN SIN

Satan tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit and she gave into the temptation and also gave her husband of the fruit and he ate it (Genesis 3:1-6). Adam and Eve had committed the first human sin. They had rebelled against God. One of the things that appealed to them was that they would be "as gods" (Genesis 3:5). Discontented with being people made in the image of God, they wanted to be gods themselves.

God's justice and love required that Adam and Eve be punished for their sin. We must remember that sin is a transgression of God's will (1 John 3:4). God had commanded them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Despite what God commanded, they ate of its fruit. We must remember that every time we do something that God has instructed us not to do we sin. God's justice and love demanded punishment.

Paradise was lost, and the world was changed forever. Childbirth would be painful (Genesis 3:16); Work ceased to be a pleasure (Genesis 3:17-19). The greatest punishment of all was being driven from the garden, from the fruit of the tree of life, and from the presence of God (Genesis 3:22-24).

The choice that Adam and Eve made on that day brought physical death into this world. There is no longer a tree of life to eat of so that one can live forever. Every person who is born into this world is born to die. But spiritual death occurred on that day too. There was separation from the fellowship  that Adam and Eve had so richly enjoyed with God. They no longer heard the voice of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8).

THE STATE OF MAN NOW

Since that time, all accountable people have sinned (Romans 3:23). The work of evil has continued. Satan's power to tempt continues (1 Peter 5:8). In the beginning there was perfection. Since the beginning, people have fallen into greater depths of rebellion and sin against God.

The fact is, that people still desire to be "gods." The idea that man "evolved" into his present form is a rejection of the God of the Bible. To the evolutionist, man is nothing more than flesh and bone, just another animal. Therefore, there is no standard that man lives by but the standard of the animal world.  The result of this humanistic approach is that man tries to take the place of God. But man cannot be a god or above God (Jeremiah 10:23; Isaiah 55:8-9). Humanism, whether in the guise of evolution or of some other view such as the "New Age" view, tries to build man up by ignoring God. It rebels against God but the result is the destruction of man. Just as Adam and Eve destroyed themselves on that day of rebellion in the garden of Eden, each person who rebels against God today destroys himself. Just as they were separated from God on that day (spiritually), so we separate ourselves from God today when we rebel against His will (Isaiah 59:1-2). The evil consequences of rebellion against God always results in man destroying himself.

WHAT THE STATE OF MAN CAN BE

The Bible is the guide book that leads us back to God (Romans 10:17). It is His word and the truth (John 17:17). It is the only thing that can make us free (John 8:32).

The history of the world since the time of Adam and Eve is filled with rebellion against God and His will. From Cain murdering his brother Abel, to the wicked and rebellious people in the days of Noah, to the children of Israel and their continuous rebellion - repentance - obedience and rebellion cycle, to the people of our world today, man has a history of rebellion against God. The only answer is to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:2); to proclaim the gospel (Romans 1:16; 10:15) so that man can be led back to God through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). When people obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, they can once again enter into fellowship with God and enjoy His great spiritual blessings.

CONCLUSION

The history of the world may have been vastly different if Adam and Eve had not sinned. But their sin condemned THEIR soul. We do not inherit THEIR sin as many in the religious world teach today. We are responsible for OUR sins (Ezekiel 18:20). We are separated from God because WE have sinned (Romans 3:23; 5:12-14), not because Adam and Eve sinned. Therefore, WE have the ability to read God's communication to us which is the Bible. We have the ability to learn it, to reason about it, to believe it, accept it and obey it. We must use the freedom of choice God has given us to make the choice to obey the Lord or to continue in rebellion against Him. What choice have YOU made? Will you not make the choice to obey Him today?
 

God's plan of salvation

Believe in Christ as the Son of God (John 8:24; Mark 16:16)
Repent of your sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38)
Confess your faith in Christ (Matthew 10:32-33; Acts 8:37)
Be Baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-4


Return To Main Page