The Fall

The account of man’s first sin of disobedience is recorded in Genesis 3. It is confirmed in the New Testament (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 1 Timothy 2:13-14), and is referred to as “the fall of man.”

Adam and Eve were created by God and placed in the beautiful Garden of Eden. They were given the power to choose between obedience and disobedience to God’s word. The only restriction placed upon them was an instruction not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil lest a discipline of “death” should be imposed upon them (Genesis 2:16-17). They experienced a close fellowship and harmony with God as they talked with Him directly. But that fellowship was short lived. Even in the ideal environment of Eden, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. This resulted in the history-changing fall of man.

Entering the Garden in the form of a serpent, Satan tempted Eve by calling attention to God’s restriction concerning the tree. He denied God’s word by substituting his own (Genesis 3:4), and accused God of restricting them out of impure motives (Genesis 3:5). Eve was tempted by the attractiveness of the fruit (lust of the eyes), the tasteful possibilities of it (lust of the flesh), and the desire to become wise (pride of life). Compare Genesis 3:6 with 1 John 2:16 and note the parallel. Being deceived, she yielded to the temptation by eating the forbidden fruit. Adam was not deceived, but sinned willfully against God by choosing to join his wife in her sinful act (Genesis 3:6-7; Romans 5:12; 1 Timothy 2:13-14).

As a result of the fall, Adam and Eve suffered spiritual death and alienation from God (Genesis 3:8). Their previous fellowship was broken. Eve was given additional pain in childbirth and placed in subjection to fallen man. Adam was assigned hard labor as a result of God’s curse upon the ground. Both were expelled from the Garden so that they could not eat of the tree of life and live forever in their fallen state.

The fall effected more than just the penalties on Adam and Eve. Sin and the penalty of sin (death) were passed on to the whole human race (Romans 5:12). Through one man’s disobedience many were made sinners (Romans 5:19). All of mankind lost fellowship with God, and is now in need of God’s grace for deliverance. Because God loves the fallen human family, He has provided a way of deliverance from the fall through His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

–Kenneth G. Leininger