Our Sins Separate Us From God

True Love Requires a Choice

In order for true love to exist between God and Adam & Eve, they must have free will. Love without the choice to love is not love. In the Garden of Eden God gave Adam and Eve an important decision to make. He created many trees from which they could eat, and then He made one special tree called the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. From this tree, Adam and Eve were not allowed to eat. God warned them that if they ate from this tree, they would die. Death means separation. This is the consequence of sin: separation from God. To disobey God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil their relationship with Him would be broken. Since God is so holy, even one sin against Him is extremely offensive and cannot be permitted.

Satan

At some point of time in the Garden, Satan showed up. Satan is an angel that chose to rebel against God. His name used to be Lucifer, and he was God’s top angel. He used to be powerful and beautiful. However, he became filled with pride. He tried to overthrow God by persuading a third of the other angels to join his rebellion. No amount of angels are any match for God, however, so He simply threw them out of heaven. Lucifer, now called Satan (“enemy”), was cast down to earth where he continues his rebellion. His main strategy is to destroy God by destroying that which God loves: His children. Satan entered the garden in the form of a snake. Now to us, this might be a dead giveaway as it was a talking snake. However, Adam and Eve were no doubt discovering new things every day. To them, this particular animal might just have been one that spoke. At any rate, we find Satan talking to Eve about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

One Lie – One Sin

First, Satan tried to confuse Eve about what God had said: “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1). Next, he directly contradicted God’s word with a lie: “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4) Adama and Eve had a choice to make: to believe Satan or God. Whom they chose to trust would be whom they chose to obey. Unfortunately, they chose to trust Satan instead of God. They committed one sin and then experienced death.

Blame

When God called Adam and Eve, they hid. This was because they were experiencing shame for the first time. They tried to cover their shame, but their efforts were not sufficient. As they stood before God, Adam blamed God and Eve for his sin. Eve blamed Satan. God gave each of them consequences. Some of these include pain in child-bearing, difficult labor for making a living, and a fallen creation. The worst consequence was eternal separation from God:

“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans [6:23]

A Promised Savior

Despite these grim consequences, God gave Adam and Eve a promise:

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis [3:15]

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis [3:15]

When God told Satan of his consequences, He included a promise of salvation for mankind. God says that there would be enmity (conflict, hatred) between Satan and the woman, and between his seed and her seed. Satan’s seed, or offspring, could refer to his works of deceit-lies-and temptation, which results in sin and destruction. The woman’s seed is identified as a person. God refers to her seed, or offspring, as “He.” This person will bruise, or more literally “crush” Satan – a fatal wound. Satan will bruise the person on the heel – a wound that is not fatal. Adam and Eve could conclude from this that one day a Savior would come that would get rid of Satan and save them from what he produces: lies, destruction, death.

A Covering

God then provided an acceptable covering for Adam and Eve. He killed an animal and used its skin for clothing. This was a lesson for Adam and Eve: sin results in death. The only acceptable covering for Adam and Eve was the just penalty of death being paid for sin.

Animal Sacrifices and Cain & Abel

After God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, Eve had two sons: Cain and Abel. It was likely at this time that God instituted animal sacrifices. Since God is holy, and cannot let any sin go unpunished, He must punish every sin. Yet, God loves everyone and does not desire for us to face the penalty of death of our sins. In order to satisfy His justice and spare people as well, God allowed an animal to take the place of a person that had sinned. This way, the punishment was delivered for the sin as the animal died – however, the person that had committed the sin would be spared. When someone sinned in any way, they would take an animal (usually a lamb or a goat), place their hand on its head (symbolizing the sin transferring from the person to the lamb), and then kill the animal. The lamb’s blood would be shed as the life of an animal is in its blood. The blood signified that the penalty of death was paid. Finally, the person would place the animal sacrifice on an altar and burn it. This might sound a bit excessive, however, we must think about how holy God really is and how deeply offensive our sin is as well. If God did not exact justice for every sin, He would be neither righteous nor good. Allowing sin to go without punishment is evil. Imagine a judge that simply told criminals to stop committing crimes and never delivered consequences. He would be a very bad judge. Also, when someone sinned and had to perform an animal sacrifice, they would have clearly understood how gruesome and disgusting sin is to God that it requires such a practice to be done. We tend to minimize our sin, but a blood sacrifice shows us just how terrible it is.

Apparently, God had given the details of His requirements for a blood sacrifice for sins to Cain and Abel. Abel chose to worship God by bringing a sheep from his flock as a sacrifice. Cain, however, chose to bring some of the fruits of the soil. Abel’s sacrifice was accepted, however, Cain’s was not. Why? It is likely that Cain’s offering was rejected because He came to God on his own terms. There was no blood in the vegetables that he brought to God. It did not have life in it, and therefore could not be a payment for his sin. When God told Cain that his offering was not acceptable, he chose to harden his heart against God. This led to bitterness against his brother and eventually to murder. Sin always gets worse. Cain was punished by God and went on to build a city and have children. Generation after generation produced more and more sin on the earth.

The Flood

In time, the earth was populated through Adam and Eve. Every person born from these two inherited their nature; a sin nature (Romans 5: 12). The people eventually became so wicked that all of their thoughts were only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). The only people that trusted in God’s promises and followed Him were Noah and his family. God only allows evil to extend so far and the people of Noah’s day had reached the limit. God had given them plenty of opportunities to repent, but they had refused and their wickedness increased to the point that God had to destroy them. God commanded Noah to build an ark large enough to fit two of every kind of animal on earth. These were probably babies, and limited to kinds, not species. In other words, there were two dogs on the ark with the DNA capable of producing every species of canine, from wolf to poodle. After the ark was completed, Noah, his wife, three sons, their wives, and the animals entered through one door. This was the only way to be saved from the punishment of the worldwide flood. God then closed the door and flooded the earth. Justice was administered.