Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Fall and Our Falling

This morning as I was listening to a lecture by G.K. Beale. It’s part of a class on Biblical Theology that I’m working through. I was struck with a few comments he made about the temptation of Adam and Eve. As I thought this through, I think this is a paradigm for how sin works. The more we understand about The Fall, the more we will understand why we fall. 

In the serpent's encounter with Eve, we can spot 3 Truths that seem to be universally true. (Adapted from Beale’s Lecture which can be found here: 

Minimizing the Privilege 
  • The serpent says: “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen 3:1) And then Even responds: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden (Gen 3:2).” Here’s the tricky twist in this. God actually said that they could freely eat. The privilege was greater than what was represented. 
  • Why eat of that ONE tree when there is an entire buffet of beautiful fruit always available for their consumption? The lure of the forbidden fruit is deep within man. They want it precisely because it is forbidden.
  • Haven’t we found ourselves here? We have abundant spiritual blessings available in Christ, we have joy supplied richly to us, we have meaning, purpose, significance, satisfaction and yet, we find ourselves wanting something else, many times simply because we are not supposed to have it. Enjoy Christ blessings today and stop longing for things that are not given to you!

Maximizing the Prohibition
  • Eve tells the serpent that they are not only prohibited from eating, but she adds her own rule and says they cannot touch the fruit from the forbidden tree. While it was surely unwise to touch the fruit forbidden for consumption, God did not say to not touch it. 
  • Adam and Eve are the original legalist. They make a fence to protect the fence. They redefine God’s rules and create their own rules to protect the rule. Good hearted, it seems, but nevertheless, legalistic. 
  • Anybody have trouble applying this today? How often do we make rules that are simply our idea rather than what God has actually said?

Downplaying the Judgment

  • This is subtle but significant. Eve tells the serpent they would die. But God had actually said they would “die die.” In Hebrew, repeating a word shows emphasis. Some English version pick this up, accurately, and say you will surely die. Rather intentional or not, Eve doesn’t communicate the full depth of consequence when God is disobeyed. 
  • At the moment you sin, you assume grace is yours, you assume the judgment isn’t quite so severe, and you decide to sin. 

Our first parents in so many ways provide a paradigm for how sin works. We are no different. I would imagine in your own thinking you have followed this track where you forget the privilege of salvation, you begin to view life in Christ as a legalistic endeavor, then finally God is minimized allowing sin to be rationalized. 

May we be folks who accurately know our own hearts and God’s Word! 

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