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Lesson 8
The Results of the Fall

One of the many things we will notice as we continue to study the Holy Bible, is that the Bible very often teaches the opposite of that which is taught by human wisdom. And yet, if we look at the history of mankind and also search our own hearts, we will soon find that the Bible has the only true explanation for the evil in human nature.

In this lesson we will learn what the results of the fall were. We will see how it affected and still affects human nature. Since each one of us has a human nature, what we will now be studying will help us to understand ourselves a little better. It will also show us our real need.

Man Becomes Selfcentred

When Adam and Eve chose to follow their own selfwill and desires in an attempt to become like God, and rejected the will of God, they made the most tragic choice in history.

The first result was that man became a prisoner of his selfish will and his own self-centredness. He became his own God. He wanted to live for himself only. We have already quoted the old Indian proverb which says:

"A man tied up in himself makes a small bundle."

How true this is! It was the fall that tied all humanity in the small bundle of its self-centred interests. If you examine your own heart deeply, you will discover how much of all your energy is spent upon your own interest and your own promotion! Even in doing your religious duties it is very often with the idea of personal gain. How much of all the alms given and sacrifices made are done with the idea of earning a better "Karma" for oneself!

Man becomes enslaved

We are all, in varying degrees, prisoners of our own likes, dislikes and passions. If you look around, you will see men and women everywhere who have become slaves to their own habits and their own special preferences. You have no doubt seen the sad figure of a man enslaved by drink or drugs.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and decided to go their own way, they moved away from the holy, protective presence of God, which is the only place of safety for anyone. When man chose to cast aside the control that God had placed over him, and so broke away from the rule of God, he immediately came under another rule. He fell into the power and under the rule of Satan, who had carefully planned this result when he set his trap for Eve. As the Bible says:

"A person is a slave
of anything that has conquered him."
(2 Peter 2:19.)

One sin leads to another

From the third chapter of Genesis onwards we read about all the evils the came on humanity as a result of the fail. We read of murder (Adam and Eve' first-born son, Cain, has the sad distinction of being the world's first murderer!), and war, and vengeance, and sexual sins, and deceit. Sin even led to the different languages that divide mankind and that cause so much division and hatred (Genesis 11). Satan's subtle questions to Eve in the Garden of Eden started something that has frightful results up to this day.

Unhappiness all over the world

In these early chapters of the Bible we find the truth about mankind's condition. Wherever you travel, amongst the rich, amongst the poor, amongst the learned and amongst the simple, you will find the same problems afflicting the human race. Nowhere on earth is there a state of perfect peace or perfect love. A glance at the world news in any newspaper will prove that man, left to himself, can and will produce nothing but selfishness, division and conflict.

Four-fold damage

The reason for all this is found in the Bible. The fall caused a four-fold damage in the human life -- a four-fold wound. The four levels of this wound are:

Firstly, we are separated from God. We read in Genesis chapter three that Adam and Eve immediately felt guilty and tried to flee away and hide from God. When we see ourselves as God sees us, we see the truth of this word:

"Everyone has sinned and is far away from God's presence."
(Romans 3:23.)

We know that we are at best a mixture of good and evil, and the Bible reveals that even the good is not good enough. It is contaminated with sin:

"All of us have been sinful;
even our best actions are filthy through and through."
(Isaiah 64:6.)

It all boils down to this: by ourselves we can never enter into the holy presence of God.

Secondly, we are separated from our true purpose and we became dishonest with ourselves. Adam and Eve tried to cover up their shame with fig leaves, but without success (Genesis 3:7). They refused to admit their sin and take the blame for their own disobedience. Adam blamed Eve and Eve the snake. Even today we find it very hard to admit that we are sinners. We are burdened with guilt feelings. We often do things which we find hard to explain:

"I know that good does not live in me --
that is, in my human nature.
For even though the desire to do good is in me,
I am not able to do it."
(Romans 7:18.)

God created man to serve God. Now most people serve themselves and miss their true goal in life: to glorify God.

Thirdly, we are separated from one another. Adam immediately tried to blame Eve for his sin. Love had to make way for selfishness. Instead of man ruling over creation, man started ruling over man (Genesis 3:16). God meant that a married couple should be one in everything (Genesis 2:24). Sin brought separation between them and they became ashamed of their nakedness (Genesis 3:7). Love was replaced by hate and murder (Genesis 4:8).

Because we are always on the watch for our own selfish interests, we do not love those whom we regard as competitors or threats. Look around the world and see the many divisions: Hindus against Muslims; Tamils against Andhras; Arabs against Jews; Americans against Russians, white against black, and so on. The Bible says,

"They are filled with all kinds of wickedness, evil, greed and vice,
they are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, deceit and malice.
They gossip and speak evil of one another;
they are hateful to God, insolent, proud and boastful;
they think of more ways to do evil, they disobey their parents;
they have no conscience; they do not keep their promises,
and they show no kindness or pity for others."
(Romans 1:29-31.)

Fourth, we are separated from the created world. God appointed man as his manager to rule, cultivate and guard the world. But as a result of the fall the earth would produce weeds and thorns. Man has to work hard to make the soil produce food (Genesis 3:17-19). Man and the snake became enemies (Genesis 3:15). Pain and suffering came into the world (Genesis 3:16). God originally gave man full control over the world and its treasures, but we twisted that gift into a mad rush to exploit the earth and its resources. It is because of our separation from the created world that the earth is so polluted. The water of the sea and even the air we breathe is not pure any more. Also, we have through the ages treated the animal world harshly and even cruelly. Many kinds of animals have become extinct because of senseless slaughter by selfish men.

As we have said before, the Bible is not fiction or like a novel. It merely states the truth without exaggeration. When it describes the state of humanity in these terms, it merely tells us the truth about ourselves.

But the Bible also gives a wonderful solution, as we will see.

Test Yourself No. 8

Test your progress by answering the following questions. Then compare your answers with the answers given when you click here: [answers]

1. What four-fold result did the fall produce in human nature?





2. Who was the world's first murderer?

3. Describe in your own words what sin is.