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The Fall of Man: No Laws, No Sin

No Laws, No Sin

Adam and Eve missed the mark by wandering from the path of uprightness and honour when they made the decision to violate God’s law or ONE RULE.  Keep in mind, the ONE RULE was not arbitrary.  It was not a test of loyalty.  It was not a game.  The ONE RULE was there to protect them.

As any good parent knows, there are certain rules that are necessary for the good of the children.  Rules like stand back from the stove and don’t touch.  Don’t try to cross the street without a grownup.  Don’t go with strangers, in fact, don’t go with anyone unless mom or dad gives permission.  No one considers those rules to be controversial.  They make perfect sense.  God’s ONE RULE in the garden made perfect sense as well.

God gave them ONE RULE or LAW:   Do not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:15-17   The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.  And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;  but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Nobody knows exactly what the whole deal with Satan is or how he ended up here on the earth. We know that Lucifer (Satan) was a beautiful angel and decided to give God a run for His money so he gathered up a following and the end result was a line in the sand between him and God.

God created the earth and man. As God’s creation, man was an extension of God’s perfection and lived in the garden of Eden (delight) communing with God. Adam and Eve had no worries. They were provided for and lived in perfect peace and harmony.

Satan, in the form of the serpent, was essentially recruiting for his army that day in the garden of Eden. Part of his sales pitch was that God was a liar and simply wanted to maintain the heirarchy and His supremecy over humans. When you eat you will be as smart as God.

Genesis 3:1-7  The Temptation and Fall of Man

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;  but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Adam and Eve making a conscious choice to disobey is called THE FALL FROM GRACE.  It is spoken of as Original Sin and credited as the turning point for all mankind.  It was from the time of their disobedience and being cast out of the garden of Eden that everyone born into the world entered into LESS THAN PERFECTION.

Freedom: the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint;
exemption from external control, interference, or regulation;
the power to determine action without restraint;
autonomy, self-government, or independence;
the power or liberty to order one’s own actions;

In humans:   the power or capacity to choose among alternatives or to act in certain situations independently of natural, social, or divine restraints. Free will is denied by those who espouse any of various forms of determinism. Arguments for free will are based on the subjective experience of freedom, on sentiments of guilt, on revealed religion, and on the universal supposition of responsibility for personal actions that underlies the concepts of law, reward, punishment, and incentive. In theology, the existence of free will must be reconciled with God’s omniscience and goodness (in allowing man to choose badly), and with divine grace, which allegedly is necessary for any meritorious act. A prominent feature of modern Existentialism is the concept of a radical, perpetual, and frequently agonizing freedom of choice. Jean-Paul Sartre, for example, speaks of the individual “condemned to be free” even though his situation may be wholly determined.

“We are left alone, without excuse. That is what I mean when I say man is condemned to be free. Condemned, because he did not create himself, yet is nevertheless at liberty, and from the moment that he is thrown into this world he is responsible for everything he does”

(French Philosopher and Existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre. Kaufmann, W. 1975, Existentialism From Dostoevsky to Sartre. Penguin, Meridian New York, p.353)

Sartre in one gesture removes God as a deterministic father-figure and as such as a crutch; insists we cannot blame our parents, our teachers or our governments for our predicaments. He leaves us standing utterly alone and naked in a hostile world.  Very few people, Sartre believes, are willing to accept and embrace their freedom and consequently be responsible for themselves.

This responsibility for self determination causes most people “anguish” and “despair”, people would much rather be able to project blame for their situation onto someone or something else. The realization that “our destiny is in our own hands” means we experience a feeling of “abandonment”

(Images of Human Existence. (a) 1986. Deakin University, Victoria.1986. p.18)

Satan’s approach of deception through twisted truth was very effective.  While Satan may not have won permanent soldiers for his army, he definitely struck a low blow that opened up the playing field.  That war has raged throughout history and is still going on today.

Satan still uses deception, twisted truth, and distraction to fight God.

Satan does not need to always recruit full time dedicated soldiers to his cause.  Satan doesn’t even need to turn God’s children into murdering, raping, blood thirsty thieves.  Satan just needs to keep them distracted.  His mantra is, “Just get ’em to take their eyes off God.”  Satan knows that when you are navigating and you take your eyes off the destination you can very easily lose your way.  

Jean-Paul Sartre is correct.  People talk a good game about freedom but ultimately, they do not want to take responsibility for their actions.   Satan uses this to plant more seeds of twisted truth deception.

“Well, if it was so important that Adam and Eve not eat of the Tree of Knowledge, they why didn’t God just not put it in the garden in the first place?”

“Well, if God knew Satan was such a bad guy then why did He let him talk to Eve?”

There is always the temptation to get on that bandwagon.  Sin cannot be my fault!  Look at what God did!  Isn’t that exactly what Adam said?  Genesis 3:12  Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”  Pass that buck Adam.  Go for it.

But what would you think about a person making the same type statement regarding the parental rule of stay away from the hot stove?

“Well, if it was so important that little Johnny not touch that hot stove then why did the parents put the stove in the kitchen in the first place?”

Wow.  That takes on a whole new light does it not?  Who in their right mind would suggest a modern day family not have a stove in their kitchen just because their child might refuse to obey and get burned?   That’s not how parenting works.  A parent’s job is to teach and train a child.  Parent’s are supposed to raise their children in such a manner as to prepare a young adult to function properly in society on their own and continue the cycle.  Parents know more than babies.  Parents know more than toddlers.  Parents know more than adolescents.  Children are growing in wisdom and stature as parents provide a classroom to teach right from wrong.  Sound behavior from unacceptable behavior.  Why would we expect less from God?

If there is no law then there is no way to break the law.

Unfortunately, the choices Adam and Eve made closed off PERFECTION for everyone after them.  The garden of God’s Delight (Eden) was off limits.  Instead of paradise and communing with God people had to work for their provisions.  This is the concept of being born into and living in sin.  Born into a less than perfect world and living in a less than perfect world.

From the time of Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden to the time of Moses when God gave the 10 Commandments, as well as the rest of the Law, there were no official rules or law in place.  From Adam to Moses there was no law and if there is no law then it is impossible to break the law.   

Luke points out that at one time God did overlook sin because there was no law. 

Acts 17:30  in the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

Paul says that sins were not counted before the law.

Romans 4:15   For the Law results in [divine] wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression [of it either].

Romans 5:13-14   for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.   Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

Even though there were no official God laws to break, there was still a spiritual battle being raged.  Satan was still recruiting for his army.  People still had choices to make.

Spiritual Battle

Ephesians 6:12   For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible is a strictly literal translation of the original Hebrew and Greek texts and it gives some interesting insight into some of the Bible stories you may have heard in Sunday School.  The story of Cain and Abel has been taught over the centuries and people have taken those teachings to heart leaving some pretty good questions in its wake.  Questions like:

  • If there was no law then who told Cain and Abel to offer sacrifices to God to cover their sins?  (This question is based on the Old Testament laws that came in the time of Moses laying out the plan of animal sacrifice for absolution of sins)
  • Why did God reject Cain’s sacrifice?  (The answer to this has been taught for generations that it was because there is no blood in harvested food, that it was because Cain offered to God what he chose instead of what God required, that since God required blood he would have had to let go of pride and buy animals from his brother Abel, and that Cain did bring a sacrifice but it was not the cream of his crop)

Read the story in Young’s Literal Translation:

Genesis 4:2-7
2 and she addeth to bear his brother, even Abel. And Abel is feeding a flock, and Cain hath been servant of the ground.
3 And it cometh to pass at the end of days that Cain bringeth from the fruit of the ground a present to Jehovah;
4 and Abel, he hath brought, he also, from the female firstlings of his flock, even from their fat ones; and Jehovah looketh unto Abel and unto his present,
5 and unto Cain and unto his present He hath not looked; and it is very displeasing to Cain, and his countenance is fallen.
6 And Jehovah saith unto Cain, `Why hast thou displeasure? and why hath thy countenance fallen?
7 Is there not, if thou dost well, acceptance? and if thou dost not well, at the opening a sin-offering is crouching, and unto thee its desire, and thou rulest over it.’

First of all, literally translated, it does not say they were offering sacrifices for sin.  It says they brought God a gift.  It does not say they had to, just that they did.

So picture this:  There are two sons and they each come running in to bring their dad a gift.  Their dad begins to make over the gift of one son.  The other son becomes angry and jealous because his brother is receiving more attention.  In our society we would immediately say that the father should have made over both sons equally so they both felt they were equally loved, equally worthy.

However, what is a gift?

GIFT:  something given  voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.

If you give a gift or present it is your choice.  If you are giving out of obligation then it’s not really a gift.  If you give expecting something in return then it’s not a sincere gift because you expect to be paid for it.  Cain expected to be paid for his gift by receiving attention.  When he saw his brother receiving the attention he desired he was angry.  But what does God say to him?

From the Complete Jewish Bible:
Genesis 4:6-7   Adonai said to Kayin, “Why are you angry? Why so downcast?

If you are doing what is good, shouldn’t you hold your head high?

And if you don’t do what is good, sin is crouching at the door — it wants you, but you can rule over it.”

THIS IS THE KEY

From Adam to Moses there was no law so there was no sin but there WAS spiritual warfare and human beings still had a CHOICE in whom to follow.  A PERFECT loving, benevolent God or a deceiver, a twister of the truth, Satan.  To act with uprightness and honor or to follow the path of anger and retaliation.

God clearly tells Cain if you gave from a pure heart – i.e. If you are doing what is good, you can hold your head high whether I make over you or not.  If you are not doing what is good – i.e. if you did not give a free and clear gift out of love and honor to Me only you know that in your heart.  If  you were giving only to receive laud and honor then no wonder you are so upset.

God also tells him, sin is crouching at the door.  An opportunity to wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong is here.  But you can overrule it.   God himself made it clear to Cain that the choice was his.

Sin Prevents Us From Enjoying Peace

The Apostle Paul used the verb hamartano when he wrote (Romans 3:23) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.

Remember the definition of the word hamartano.  The word Hamartano (Ancient Greek) is defined as:
to be without a share in
to miss the mark
to err, be mistaken
to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong
to wander from the law of God, violate God’s law, sin

Think of Romans 3:23 this way:  For all, starting with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, have missed the mark, wandering from the path of uprightness and honor by disobeying God, and have come to be without a share in the glory of God.

That’s exactly what sin is, what sin does, what sin prevents us from enjoying.

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The Fall of Man:  What Exactly Is Sin?  <  Previous Page

Next Page  >   The Fall of Man:  Separation from God

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Number 1 in a series  ->  In the Beginning: From Paradise to No Dice
Number 2 in a series  ->  The Fall of Man:  What Exactly Is Sin?
Number 3 in a series – >  The Fall of Man:  No Laws, No Sin
Number 4 in a series – >  The Fall of Man:  Separation from God
Number 5 in a series – >  The Fall of Man:  All Men Declared sinful
—–

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One comment on “The Fall of Man: No Laws, No Sin

  1. Pingback: Too Smart For Your Own Good

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