There’s a clear connection between what we believe about reality and the way we live. The one who changes his beliefs is likely preparing for a change in the way he lives. This is the pattern behind the first rejection of God’s will.
In the account of the first temptation, we discover that it began with a competing truth claim. When Satan approached Eve, he offered her an alternate view of reality. She knew only one way of seeing things– God’s way. Satan offered a different way of looking at life. He offered a different version of God and of what happens when one abandons God’s will. But the offer was made in the alluring context of self-interest. It was not offered in a detached philosophical way. Instead, it was a twisted version of reality to lure her to a different way to live.
It started with a subtle and twisted suggestion that God is overly restrictive in His demands. It moved to a blatant denial of the Divinely stated consequences of disobedience. This was done based on the suspicion of eden that the good life is outside of the will of God not within it. No cool philosophical detachment here.
In the predictable pattern of sin, Eve saw what was forbidden, desired it, took it and gave it (Genesis 3:6). The generational consequences have been disastrous! (see: Genesis 3-4; Romans 5:12ff.).
Seven consequences emerge— each affecting a major area of human existence and each one providing a background to the primary occupational majors at the Universities.
These consequences correspond directly with the human story from our beginning to this day. They included the following:
- Physiological: death, decay, sickness and suffering (Gen. 3:17-19; Rom. 5:12; 8:19-22)
- Psychological: shame, guilt, fear (Gen. 3:7).
- Sociological: blame shifting, hiding, alienation (Gen. 3:8, 12-13). Sin separates people.
- Ecological: ground is cursed, thorns and thistles (Gen. 3:17-19).
- Spiritual: hiding from God, enmity: seed of woman and seed of Serpent (Gen. 3:8, 15, 4:1-15; I John 3:12)
- Epistemological: distorted thinking, spiritual blindness (II Cor. 4:3-6; Rom. 1:28)
- Criminal: murder! (fratricide) - Genesis 4
Colleges offer majors related to each of the seven areas above (e.g. doctors, psychologists, sociologists, environmentalists, ministers, philosophers, law enforcement).
Extended Results in Genesis 4:
Corresponding with reality on every corner of the globe throughout all of human history, the results observed in the first offspring of Adam and Eve are tragic expressions of human sinfulness: rebellion, anger, envy, hatred, bitterness, lying and murder. One can only imagine the grief that filled Eve’s heart at the death of her second-born son (Abel) at the hands of her first-born son (Cain). I John 3:11-13 identifies Cain as a member of Satan’s family (cf. John 8:44).