PMW 2018-048 by Joel McDurmon (American Vision)

Man was created in the image of God, to think God’s his thoughts after him and to work God’s works after him. We must now acknowledge that man did not stay this way very long. When presented with a test and an option, mankind chose rebellion and sin. In terms of biblical worldview, we need to look at both the fact of this fall and its consequences for every area of life.

Solomon gives us a single-sentence summary: “Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices” (Eccl. 7:29 KJV).

God told Adam he could eat of any tree in the garden except for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He assured Adam that if he ate of that fruit, he would “surely die” (Gen. 2:19). Adam and Eve did not abide by that sole command, but ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree. The temptation came in three areas: the tree was good for food, it was a delight to the eyes, and its fruit was said to make one wise (Gen. 3:6).

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Adam and Eve were immediately convicted and tormented with guilt and fear. They hid from God when they heard his voice. God confronted them with the truth, and the consequences of the sin manifested even more greatly: blame-shifting. The man blamed both the woman and God himself; the woman blamed the serpent. God pronounced a curse upon all three, as well as the land.

God showed his mercy in that Adam and Eve did not physically (utterly) perish in that day, but they did suffer death in the form of a separation and alienation from God’s presence. God kicked them out of the Garden of Eden and placed angel at its entrance, guarding it with a flaming sword.

The fallen nature metastasized to all the offspring of Adam. Along with it comes also fear, jealousy, envy, malice, and all other personal wickedness. Both the fact of guilt (objective) and the feeling of guilt (subjective) result from this sin.

The curse on the land/ground manifested as God said in the appearance of thorns and thistle, and in the form of hardship in agriculture. This increased not only sweat and toil, but scarcity of goods. It meant also that prosperity would not come without difficult labor. Even with labor, competition for food and resources would increase.

The sin of mankind manifested in the very first offspring of Adam and Eve. When Cain saw that his brother Abel’s sacrifices were accepted by God, but his own were not, he murdered his brother. Why did he react this way? Out of nothing but pure envy: Abel had something precious he did not, and if he could not have it, he would destroy the person who did. So envy drives up to destroy those we envy rather than repent and improve ourselves.

Just as his parents did, Cain did not react to his own sin and condemnation with repentance, but with guilt, fear, and blame. Instead of seeking what is right, Cain cared only for himself and sought to protect himself from the consequences of his guilt. He built the first fortress city and started a dynastic empire. A guilty conscience has no rest, and a fortress has walls for hiding and a constant watch for enemies. Guilt builds walls for protection of self, seeks safety in numbers, and sets out countless eyes of paranoia.

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Such a city also, however, cannot suppress the image of God and the dominion mandate given to Adam and Eve, but it perverts these things. It seeks to grow, but in its selfish ambition, it seeks domination instead of godly dominion, and self-glory rather than God’s glory. It rules people through subjugation, with fear, manipulation, intimidation, and lust rather than by giving and sacrificial example. In its energy, it advances the arts, science, and technology, but for personal gain and for military might. The sons of Cain therefore developed agriculture, metallurgy, and also arts and entertainment—music. Each of these can be used to the glory of God, but each is also abused for greed, lust, control, destruction, and death. As the sons of Cain prosper in their fortresses of guilt and fear, their wickedness grows from one generation to the next. Lamech not only murdered a man just as his father had, but openly bragged about it, committed polygamy, and boasted that he was seventy times more secure that Cain (Gen. 4:23–24). This is why Paul teaches that the personal suppression of the knowledge of God leads eventually to full cultural burnout (Rom. 1:18–32).

The fall affected every area of life, because the effects of sin corrupt every aspect of our nature and every area of our lives. John asserts that the same three areas by which Eve was tempted are . . .
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