What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden—the Consequences of Adam and Eve’s Choice

Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.

In a previous post, we saw that God warned Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in order to protect them. That tree represented Satan, the enemy of God and the source of death. Sadly, they disobeyed Him. Although their disobedience was serious, something even more tragic occurred: they were corrupted with Satan’s evil nature.

In this post, we’ll see the consequences of their action, as well as what God did and is still doing today to recover humanity, which He created for His purpose.

The effects of the poison

Since Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge, all mankind was corrupted with its evil element. This poisoned all three parts of man’s being

First, our human spirit—our deepest part, made by God to contact, receive, and contain Him—was completely deadened. Ephesians 2:1 tells us that as fallen human beings, we were dead in our offenses and sins. Before our salvation, although we were alive physically, we were dead in our spirit. God created us to have a loving and intimate relationship with Him, but the deadening of our spirit through the fall of man rendered us unable to contact Him.

Furthermore, our soul—composed of our mind, emotion, and will—was thoroughly poisoned by the evil nature of Satan. In particular, our mind, the leading part of our soul, became darkened in its understanding, unable to comprehend the things of God. Colossians 1:21 tells us the damage to our soul was so extensive that we even became enemies of God in our mind! Our soul was utterly invaded by God’s enemy, Satan.

Finally, our body, which God created pure and undefiled, was corrupted by weakness and death and became sinful flesh. This flesh with its lusts became an evil influence over our entire being.

These were the consequences of man’s fall: every part of us was damaged, we were no longer useful to God, and we even became His enemies.

God’s salvation

It’s clear that we desperately need salvation; we need forgiveness for our sinful acts, and we need restoration for our damaged being. God’s complete salvation includes both.

The eternal God became a man named Jesus. He lived a perfect, sinless life on earth and then died on the cross as our Substitute. He was judged and condemned by God in our place. First Peter 3:18 tells us:

“For Christ also has suffered once for sins, the Righteous on behalf of the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God.”

When we repent and believe in Jesus Christ and all He did for us, our sins are forgiven. His death on the cross takes care of all our sinful acts.

But Jesus Christ also rose from the dead. First Corinthians 15:45 tells us that in resurrection He “became a life-giving Spirit.” As the Spirit, Christ enters our deadened human spirit and enlivens it. This is how we’re born again with God’s eternal life. Now, we have the life of God! This has been His desire for us since Eden.

This divine life in us saves us from the poisonous consequences of what happened in the garden of Eden.

Salvation in every part

Having eternal life in our spirit is wonderful, but what about the other parts of our corrupted being? Actually, our spirit being enlivened is only the first step of God’s full salvation for us.

After we’re saved, the life of God begins to spread from our spirit and restore the damaged parts of our soul—our mind, emotion, and will. As we contact Him and fellowship with Him through prayer and in His Word, God gradually transforms our soul with His wonderful life until our thoughts, feelings, and decisions are in full harmony with His.

God’s salvation even includes our bodies. Romans 8:11 is a marvelous verse that shows the extent of His restoration of our entire being:

“And if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.”

Eventually, through the spreading and growing of God’s divine life in us, our whole being will be filled with this life. Instead of expressing the evil nature of Satan, we will express God with every part. What a complete and wonderful salvation we have in Christ!

By realizing what really happened in the garden of Eden and the consequences of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, we can appreciate the scope of God’s salvation, which is for His purpose. As a result, we’re filled with love for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and give Him more room to grow in us.

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