The one who changes his beliefs is likely preparing for a change in the way he lives. This is the pattern involved in the first rejection of God’s authority.
The account of the first temptation of humans began with a competing truth claim.
Satan offered Eve 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 reality and of what happens when one abandons God’s will.
The offer was made in the alluring context of self-interest. It was not offered in a detached philosophical way. It was a twisted version of reality to lure her to a different way to live.
It started with a subtle suggestion that God is overly restrictive in His demands. It moved next to a blatant denial of the 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 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 ongoing generational consequences have been disastrous! (see: Genesis 3-4; Romans 5:12ff.).
In a clear and compelling connection with the reality we all understand, seven consequences emerge from this act of human disobedience to God — each one affecting major areas of human existence, and each one providing a background to the primary occupational majors at our Universities.
These seven consequences correspond directly with the human story to this very day.
- 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
How significant it is that our Universities and colleges offer majors related to each of the seven areas above — doctors, psychologists, sociologists, environmentalists, ministers, philosophers, law enforcement.
Extended Results (from Genesis 4)
Corresponding with reality in every part of the world (throughout all of human history), the results observed in the first offspring of Adam and Eve display tragic expressions of human evil — 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 son (Abel) at the hands of her first son (Cain). I John 3:12 identifies Cain as a member of Satan’s family (cf. John 8:44).