Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sin and Death (2) and the World

Several things happened to humans as a result of being excluded from the presence of God.

  1. They lost access to eternal life. They were not changed, because they were already mortal. Even if they had not sinned, they could not live forever in their current form of existence. They would need to experience a resurrection of their bodies, just as we will, to enter eternal life. (Jesus lived a perfect life and was not affected by sin, but he still needed to be resurrected before he could ascend into the presence of the Father in the heavenly realms.) This resurrection life was represented by the tree of life in the garden. When they were shut out of the garden, they lost access to opportunity for the resurrection of the body, so they lost eternal life. They were not physically changed, but they got stuck in their mortality.
  2. There perception changed.
    The eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised they were naked (Gen 3:7).
    This was not a physical change. Before they sinned, they saw everything in terms of God’s perspective. Once they had sinned, they saw everything in terms of their own categories and values. What they saw was the same, but their perception of it was different. From God’s perspective, their nakedness reflected his image, so it was beautiful, so they did not see it. From their perspective, their nakedness was inadequate compared to God’s beauty, (though it was in his image) so they were ashamed.
  3. Away from the presence of God, Adam and Eve had no spiritual protection. God had given authority over the earth to humans, but by submitting to the tempter, they had surrendered authority over the earth to the spiritual powers of evil. This was a dreadful situation to be in. They had been sent out of the peaceful garden into a world that was controlled by the powers of evil. By sinning, they had given these evil powers permission to attack their lives, and separated from God, there was nothing they could do to resist their evil devices.
  4. The evil powers went hard out to work to destroy God’s earth. This is why tilling the earth became hard physical work. The powers of evil had filled it with nasty weeds and harmed some of the ground. When God told Adam that the ground was cursed, he was prophesying what the evil powers would do. He did not have to do anything to make it happen, because the powers of evil did it anyway.
  5. We are not told how and when this happened, but the spiritual powers of evil would have attacked Adam and Eve hard. They would have used their power to attack them physically and change them. We know now that injuries to the brain can change a person’s personality and character, as well as their ability to decide and choose. I presume that the powers of evil attacked Adam’s brain and changed him, so that he had a greater capacity to do evil and found it hard to do good.
  6. The powers of evil seem to have changed the shape of Eve’s pelvis and its supporting muscles, so that childbirth became more difficult. This fulfilled the curse spoken in the garden.
    I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth,
    in pain you will bring forth children (Gen 3:16).
We have not idea how what a terrible place the world had becomes. These hundreds of thousands of evil spirits are still at work in the world, but they have to spread themselves across 6 billion people. Even with the benefit of the cross, some Christians can find it hard to deal with a couple of attacking spirits. Imagine if the entire host of fallen spirits all attacking one couple and their children, with no spiritual protections. Fortunately, they were divided, and some of them were more intent on messing up the world, but the onslaught faced by Adam and Eve would have been overwhelming.

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