Major Texts: Gen 3:1-15, Matt 4:3-10, Col 2:20-23, John 3:17, Rev 14:6,7
Those who know the biblical story of creation know It is followed quite directly by another well-known story that is a very sad one, the story of the devil’s temptation of Eve. By this eventuality, the pristine nature of creation was lost because sin came into the world. Theologians refer to this as the “Fall,” a fall from grace, a fall from the pristine place of creation. The story is found in Genesis 3.
It is a very important and serious thing to talk about and understand the effects of the fall not only on humans but on the rest of creation, too. A little exercise can be very helpful when trying to understand this:
- Create a list of the immediate effects of sin.
- Create a list of the intermediate effects of sin.
- Create a list of the ultimate effects of sin.
With the effects of sin now in mind, consider a number of possible implications and issues as laid out below:
- If the fall is a rather small feature of life here, what would that mean for the plan of salvation? If the fall has radically affected creation, what would that imply about the plan of salvation?
- Think about Eve’s temptation, how she was deceived and how she fell prey to the wiles of the devil. Do you think we still fell for the same kind of ruse? Are we not still tempted by the tinsel of sin?
- What portion of life or human nature remains pristine, free from the effects of the fall? Consider the fact that some Christians believe that there remains a pristine part of the soul that Is untouched by sin and that we need, by various meditational techniques, to get tuned in to that unblemished portion of self. If this Is true, what would the pathway to salvation be? If we are, to borrow a Protestant phrase, “totally depraved,” what would that mean?
- Consider what the effects of Eve’s sin and its subsequent explanations have been on the place of women in society. How about In the church? How far should the effects of the gospel go toward erasing the effects of sin particularly on the circumstances women have been pressed into because of the traditional interpretations of Eve and her fall? Are women essentially different from men because of Eve’s sin? What do you do with Adam’s sin which must have been deliberate and informed as opposed to Eve’s that involved deceit?
- Consider the actions of God immediately after the sad episode in Genesis 3. What did God do? What does that tell us about God?
- What does the plan of redemption offer those who have fallen? Just how complete do you envision the salvation offered by God through Christ to be?