Life Before and After the Fall
25 Jun 2017
From the very beginning, it was God’s intent for the relationship between Himself and mankind to be good. When He created the earth and everything in it, God declared it good; and when He created man and woman in His image, He declared it very good. Life before the fall was full of peace, joy, and happiness, according to God’s plan. After Adam and Eve sinned, Jesus came to restore the Father’s plan so that mankind could once again experience the good life. Fast forwarding to present times, God’s intent has not changed at all; it is still His plan that all is well with us. Everything He does is for our benefit. Unlike before, God is no longer angry with us, and His grace reconciles us back to Himself.
- It pleased God to make man and woman in His own image.
- And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good…And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good…And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good…And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:12, 18, 21, 25).
- God did everything for the good of mankind.
- And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day (Genesis 1:26, 27, 31).
- “Let us” reveals that the three parts of God were having a conversation about creating man in their own image. This refers to both men and women.
- After God created the man and the woman, we see for the first time that everything was not just good, but very good.
- Both genders have authority and dominion over the earth and everything in it.
- And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him (Genesis 2:18).
- This was the first time that something was not good in God’s eyes. He was not happy that the man was alone.
- The Hebrew translation for help is “ezer,” which specifically refers to a rescuer and a strength. It is in no way subordinate.
- God even refers to Himself as our helper (Psalm 54:4; Psalm 115:10; Psalm 121:1, 2).
- In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit was sent to be our helper (John 14:16, 26).
- The word “help” also means a protector and a savior. Eve rescued Adam from being alone. She protected him from being self-centered and focused only on himself.
- The Hebrew translation of the word “meet” is “kenego.” It implies not inferiority, but equality. Kenego means face-to-face, not below or beneath.
- When Adam and Eve sinned, God sent His Son to restore the good life.
- And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:2-8).
- Things changed at this point, and life became something it was not supposed to be. Guilt, shame, and fear became evident, the dynamics of their relationship shifted, and they blamed each other.
- And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Has thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee (Genesis 3:9-16).
- Because of what happened, the woman turned her attention from God to her husband.
- Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified); To the end that through [their receiving] Christ Jesus, the blessing [promised] to Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, so that we through faith might [all] receive [the realization of] the promise of the [Holy] Spirit (Galatians 3:13, 14, AMPC).
- Jesus rescued us from the law and from the unequal relationships that resulted in rulership and domination. He was the ransom for us.
- His blood was better than the blood of bulls and goats. It did not just cover our sins, but washed them away permanently.
- Until this point, God was angry with man. Sin was a big issue, and it prevented man from having access to God.
- Jesus had to model for us what the law could not do. He broke the curse that was in effect for those who broke the commandments (Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
- But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:25-28).
- Jesus announced to His disciples that God’s plan was not for patriarchy or domination over others. His teachings and His life modeled humility and service to others.
- Jesus was full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Grace healed people and brought them back into a relationship with God.
- Grace healed the woman with devils, and allowed her to be a part of His ministry (Luke 8:2).
- Grace ministered to Mary and allowed her to sit at His feet along with the men, to learn from Him (Luke 10:38-42).
- Grace went out of His way to minister to the woman at the well (John 4:4-29). He deliberately did this to defy the patriarchal culture at that time.
- Jesus broke down the barriers separating the genders and reunited mankind.
- But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13). Jesus’ blood drew us near to God.
- For He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us, By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled]; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man [one new quality of humanity out of the two], so making peace. And [He designed] to reconcile to God both [Jew and Gentile, united] in a single body by means of His cross, thereby killing the mutual enmity and bringing the feud to an end. And He came and preached the glad tidings of peace to you who were afar off and [peace] to those who were near (Ephesians 2:14-17, AMPC). God gave both man and woman a divine mandate to exercise dominion over creation, but not over each other. Domination of man over woman was the result of sin. Jesus came to show us the perfect picture of love, truth, and equality. Previously, there was a wall between men and women. Men were perceived to be superior, and women, inferior. Now, there is no wall, and we do not need to go through a mortal priest to access God. Jesus gives us direct access to Him.
- For it is through Him that we both [whether far off or near] now have an introduction (access) by one [Holy] Spirit to the Father [so that we are able to approach Him]. Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household. You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone. In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord]. In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18-22, AMPC). Through Christ, we all have equal access to God, and we all stand on equal ground before Him. Despite any differences we may have, we are all one in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:14-25). Our differences were not designed to create divisions, but to complement one another. When we believe right, we will live right. Fear should not be used to motivate or control others. Jesus perfectly modeled faith and love. Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
- There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). Jesus unites us and make us all one.
|Genesis 1:12, 18, 21, 25-27, 31
|Psalm 121:1, 2
||John 14:16, 26
||Galatians 3:13, 14, AMPC
||Matthew 20:25-28 John 1:14
|Ephesians 2:14-22, AMPC
||1 Corinthians 12:14-25
|1 John 4:18