In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. That is the statement that opens an amazing story of a relationship between God and His creation. From the very beginning of Scripture, we see the hand of God at work. God creates this amazing world, a perfect place.
God finished His creation story with His masterpiece: mankind. God commissioned man and woman to take care of everything. There was not a huge list of rules for the first humans. In fact, God and gave one rule: “Do not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” That was it. There were no laws about murder, adultery, lying, or worship of other gods.
Did you ever wonder why there was only one law? It makes sense to me that there was no need for other laws because Adam and Eve did not know the difference between right and wrong. You might look at this as a type of naivety. You have heard the expression, “Ignorance is bliss.” Well, this was a perfect bliss. A perfect paradise to last forever. But in order for it to last forever, they could not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. So, God gave them one law.
Not only did God give this law, He also gave consequences for the law. He said that if Adam and Eve were to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would die. That seems to me to be a strong motivating factor to stay away from the Tree.
One day, as they were walking through the garden, the serpent told them to eat from the Tree. The serpent lied to them about the consequences. He told them that God said they couldn’t eat from that Tree because, if they did, they would become like God and know the difference between right and wrong. He convinced them that they would not “actually” die. So they looked at the fruit, saw that it looked good, and they ate it. They did not immediately die. In fact, Adam lived to be 930 years old before he died.
Now, we do not know how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden before they broke God’s law. But we do know that when they disobeyed, they were kicked out of the Garden. And from that point forward, death came into the world. Romans 5:12 says, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (NLT).
Sin and death came into the world through Adam’s sin. We also see, just as Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden of Eden after they broke God’s law, sin separated us from God. Isaiah, one of God’s prophets told Israel, “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God” (Isaiah 59:2a).
So, now what? How is this story hopeful? Well, that is just the first part. The entire rest of the book shows God’s attempt to restore mankind into a right relationship. God wants that perfect relationship to be there. He wants to be able to walk along with us in the cool of the evening, just chatting about our day, just like He did with Adam and Eve in the Garden.
Because He wants that to happen, there had to be a way to make things right. The law said that you would die if you disobey. The punishment for sin was death. It always has been and it always will be. But it is not just death; it is a separation from God. And since God does not want anyone to die and be separated from Him, He sent Jesus Christ—His own Son—to take the punishment for sin. Not just Adam’s sin or Eve’s sin. Not just my sin, but all sin. Hebrews 10:10 says He died once for all.
He did this to fulfill the demand of the law that said if you sin, you would die. When Christ took that punishment, He gave us the ability to come back into a relationship with God. Romans 5:18 says, “Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.”
The original sin that first brought death into the world (disobedience) had the potential to keep us separated from God forever. But God did not want that. 2 Peter 3:9 reminds us that God does not want anyone to die and be separated form Him. He wants to give us the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23). That was God’s plan from the start. He created man in a perfect place with no sin and no death—it was supposed to last forever. But God didn’t mess up. He did not have to start over. When man sinned and got kicked out of this perfect place, God did not have to go back to the drawing board. This is not “God’s Plan 2.0.”
See, God, in His infinite wisdom, prepared for this. His plan was for an eternity with His creation in a perfect place. When all is said and done, that is exactly what we can expect. If we recognize that God wants to restore us into a right relationship with Himself, and we repent of our sinful lifestyle, we can be restored to God. With that comes an eternal reward in a perfect place with God that will last forever. The original sin did not compromise the original plan. God still wants us to live with Him forever in a perfect place.
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