As I discussed in the introduction to this series, Genesis 3 relates the story of the Fall of Man, where Adam and Eve commit sin in the Garden of Eden by eating fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil after God had specifically commanded them not to.
A whole host of negative effects befall Adam and Eve (and consequently, the rest of us) as a result of their disobedience, and the point of this series is to examine some of those effects in more detail. Basically, sin messes everything up.
In the first post, I mentioned five different categories of consequences that came about as the result of Adam and Eve’s sin: theological, personal, sociological, ecological, and physical. Those categories come from a reading of the biblical text in Genesis 3:
- Genesis 3.8-10: Adam and Eve hide from God because they are afraid (theological effects).
- Genesis 3.10-11: Adam and Eve realize they are naked (personal effects).
- Genesis 3.12-13, 16: Adam and Eve refuse to take responsibility and their relationship is changed (sociological effects).
- Genesis 3.17-19: Creation itself becomes cursed (ecological effects).
- Genesis 3.22-23: Adam and Eve are kicked out of the garden and separated from the tree of life (physical effects).
In this post, I want to look in more detail at the theological consequences of sin. This category probably won’t require as much explanation as some of the others, since this (along with physical effects) tends to be the area we hone in on.
Simply put, what I mean by “theological consequences” is that sin affects our relationship with God. Just as Adam and Eve hide from the presence of God after eating the fruit when they hear Him walking through the garden, so we too are unfit for God’s presence. Scripture repeatedly affirms that our sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59.2; Romans 3.23), and this is a big deal, because we were specifically created to live in relationship with God. With that intended relationship destroyed, people desperately seek out all sorts of ways of living out their desires in order to find meaning and fulfillment in life.
In the process, we become enslaved to sin (John 8.34; Romans 6), which is a powerful and disturbing image—the very desires that we follow after in hopes of finding fulfillment become our masters, and on our own, we are powerless to escape their bondage. It’s a desperate situation to be in, and in large part accounts for a society where there are so many people who are completely lost without any hope or direction in life.
Sin destroys our relationship with God.