Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why Did Adam Sin?

One reader ("Orthodox") asked:

So why did Adam sin? Because God made him bad?
Adam ate the forbidden fruit because he listened to his wife, rather than God.

Genesis 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Adam did not take it because he was deceived by the serpent (though the woman was deceived by the serpent):

1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Adam explained his own action this way:

Genesis 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

So, in the end, what is the easiest answer we can give?

Adam loved the gift more than the giver. He loved his wife more than he loved God.

Adam was placed in a situation in which he was tempted to sin, and Adam did not resist the temptation.

God made Adam good, but God also made Adam fallible. At the appointed time, Adam fell - and in him all those whom he represented: his wife and all his natural descendents.

Then, in the fullness of time, God sent His only-begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to be the second Adam. All those who obtain life from Adam, die with Adam, but those who die with Christ from him receive life everlasting.

Praise be to God!


P.S. As an aside, it's worth noting that philosophically we understand Adam as having a free will that was not bound by a corrupt nature. That is to say, while Adam might have had certain external constraints, he had different internal contraints than Cain, Abel, and Seth had. His will was not a slave to sin until he fell. Adam before the fall is not similar to us before grace. We are born in bondage to sin, slaves to sin. We are born not as the sons of God, but as enemies of God. It is only by the exceeding mercy of God that any of us are saved.


Turretinfan said...

Orthodox, your comment has been addressed in a new post: here.

Iwuh Dozie said...

I disagree that God made man fallible. let us recall that Adam was made in a perfect way and although he had his own free will, that did not mean that he was designed to fall. His will was made to be fully intent on God. thus he could long for only the good which was God. His fall is a mystery, but suffice it to say that God created the world in for His glory and Glorifies Himself by His mercy. The creation and fall was to pave the way for a higher good to come, which is man's redemption in Christ.

Iwuh Dozie said...

I disagree that God made man fallible. Man was created in a perfect state prior to his fall. He had a free will, but that will knew only the good and tended towards it, the good being God. Man's fall is a mystery and it defies all logic, and yet his fall paved the way for the greatest love God showed to man, a love that cannot be explained-redemption in Christ. suffice it to say that God created the world for his glory but glorifies Himself by His mercy.

Turretinfan said...

Iwuh Dozie:

How was man able to fall without being fallible?


Anonymous said...

I agree that Adam was fallible, since he was able to fall. What i dont understand is how, with his pre-fall nature, he desired to sin in the first place. In Reformed theology ( eg Jonathan Edwards), the will is presented desires by it's nature (ie fallen man's will is presented with evil desire since fallen man's nature is depraved)-his will can only act in accordance with his nature, always, unless regeneration takes place. Reformed tradition seems to make an "exception" for Adam in that it is never explained with the above logic how Adam was capable of sin with the nature he posessed before sinning. So, how did Adam desire sin while his will was inclined to good rather than evil (unless it can be shown that his will was not inclined in any way)? Thaqnk you kindly

Turretinfan said...


Have you read what Edwards wrote about Adam in his "Freedom of the Will"?


Anonymous said...

I have read bits of it, but not thoroughly i regret to say. My example there was from James White referring to Edwards during his recent debate with Silverman.
Does Edwards explain what i am puzzled over (ie how Adam desired to sin without prior having a sin nature for the desire to arise)?

Karen Stoffberg said...

Adam's fall is entirely logical; he is man, not God, thus subject to corruption, unless of course it is God's desire to keep man in his first estate, like He is keeping the angels who are not fallen in their first estate. When Lucifer and his fellow fallen, rebelled, God allowed it and they remain in their fallen state and will forevermore. When When Adam fell and all of us who by nature fall, in that we all sin, God allowed the fall, yet we do not remain fallen, if we receive the gift of forgivenss by the blood of Jesus. We do not remain in our first estate, nor our fallen state, but God elevates us in Christ Jesus to an unimaginable state where we become actual children of God, joint heirs with Christ, forever and ever as long as we remain in Christ. <3

Karen Stoffberg said...

Adam's will wasnt inclined to do or be good. Adams will was attached to his emotions and to his intellect and inclined to do what Adam wants to do. Adam' s will is what Adam desires to do. Adam wanted to do what God told him to do for a season. It seemed right to Adam. But somewhere along the line Adam began reasoning, thinking, deducing all from his perfectly human however limited, vantage point. And at some point it didnt make any sense not to eat the fruit even if God had commanded him not to eat and with the voice of supreme authority. Adam trusts his own mind, not the mind of another, not even the mind of His Maker. If God does not elect to KEEP His creation in their first estate, then it is inevitable that they will fall because they do not have the power to see all things and to know all things. No fault of the Creator that there is only One God, one everliving never changing God. But thanks be to do God Who does not allow us to remain fallen, but steps out of heaven and reaches out to us a helping hand. God not only pulls us up out of our fallen state but places us in a realm where we are safe from ever falling again, hiden inside of Jesus Christ. In Jesus our wills are yielded to His will by His Spirit in us. We still have our own wills, but we learn by His Spirit, now resident in us, to yield to that very same Spirit of SONSHIP. <3 Salvation is the most miraclous even ever experienced <3

Dozie Iwuh said...

The idea here is that adam was created perfect and infallible, but he wasn't God. Since God is the only one that cannot sin, because He predates sin, adam was meant to be depenent on Him. Adam infallibility isn't like God, he was to be made more infallible on his dependence on God. But when he chose himself instead of God, he fell.