What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden—the Consequences of Adam and Eve’s Choice
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, Adam and Eve disobeyed God. This was serious enough, but by eating the fruit of that tree they were also corrupted with Satan’s evil nature.
In this post, we’ll see the consequences of their action and what God did, and is doing today, to recover the humanity He created for His purpose.
The effects of the poison
Because Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, all mankind was corrupted with its evil element. And that poisonous corruption acted on our entire being.
First, our human spirit—our deepest part, made by God with the specific capability to contact, receive, and contain God—was completely deadened. Ephesians 2:1 tells us that as fallen human beings we were dead in our offenses and sins. Although we’re 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 rendered us unable even to contact Him.
Furthermore, our soul—our mind, emotion, and will—was thoroughly poisoned by the evil nature of Satan. Our mind especially, the leading part of our soul, became darkened in its understanding, unable to understand 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 had created pure and undefiled, was corrupted by weakness and death and became sinful flesh. Our sinful flesh with its lusts became an evil influence over our whole being.
These are the consequences of what really happened in the garden of Eden. Every part of us was damaged, we were no longer useful to God, and we even became His enemies.
It’s not hard to see that we really need salvation. We need forgiveness for our sinful acts, and we need restoration for our damaged being. God’s complete salvation includes both.
“For Christ also has suffered once for sins, the Righteous on behalf of the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, on the one hand being put to death in the flesh, but on the other, made alive in the Spirit.”
When we repent and believe in Jesus Christ and all He did for us, we’re forgiven of our sins. All our sinful acts are taken care of by Jesus’ death on the cross.
But Jesus Christ also rose from the dead, and 1 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 with His life. This is how we’re born again with God’s eternal life. Now, we have the life of God! This is what He’s wanted for us since Eden.
Now the divine life of God in us can save us from the poisonous consequences of what happened in the garden of Eden.
Salvation in every part
Having eternal life in our spirit is magnificent, but what about the other parts of our corrupted being? Actually, the enlivening of our spirit is just the first step of God’s full salvation for us in Christ.
From our enlivened spirit, the life of God will begin to enliven and restore the damaged parts of our soul—our mind, our emotion, and our will. Gradually, as we contact and fellowship with Him through prayer and in His Word, God transforms our soul with His wonderful life until our thinking, feeling, and deciding are in full harmony with Him.
God’s restoration even includes our bodies as the Spirit gives life to them. Romans 8:11 is a marvelous verse that shows the extent of God’s salvation for 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 Christ’s divine life in us, every part of us will be full of His divine life. Instead of expressing the evil nature of Satan, we will express God with every part of our being. What a complete and wonderful salvation we have in Christ!
By realizing what really happened in the garden of Eden as the result of a simple act of disobedience, we can appreciate the scope of God’s salvation, which is for His purpose. How can we help but love our Savior Jesus Christ and give Him room to grow in us?
How does seeing what went on beneath the surface in the garden of Eden affect your appreciation of salvation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
For more on this subject, you can read chapter 1 of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1 for free here.
All verses are quoted from the Holy Bible Recovery Version. You can order a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version here.