The Sin Of Adam

The Separation

In a previous post I touched on the judgment of Eve, but up until now we haven’t looked at what happened with Adam.  What, exactly was Adam’s sin?  Better yet, why is it that the Bible is very specific that it was Adam who sinned, not Eve?

If men and women were equal then Eve is the one who sinned.  Yes, she was completely deceived, but she still disobeyed and violated the one rule that God gave them.   Both Adam and Eve ate of the fruit they were commanded not to eat of, but only Adam is credited with the sin, so what was it that Adam did?  You will hear preachers tell you that Adam knowingly disobeyed God while Eve was deceived, as if being deceived is an excuse.  What Eve did was disobedience while what Adam did was rebellion.  There is a difference.

Adam had responsibilities because God placed him in charge of the entire earth and everything that dwelled on the earth.  His mission was to take control of the earth.  And Adam knew that God had said “In the day you eat of [the fruit] you shall surely die.”

Satan used Eve as a tool to take down Adam.  If you think of it in terms of chess, Adam was put in check and his only way out was to allow his queen to be taken.   Instead of analyzing the situation with his mission in mind and realizing that his queen was already taken, Adam tipped his king and gave up the game.

Adam Surrendered

To hell with his command, to hell with everything, when Adam saw that his wife had eaten of the fruit, he decided to commit suicide.  He decided he would rather die with his wife than continue with his mission.  He abdicated.  He quit.

What Adam did was not mere disobedience, it was rebellion and treason against his King.  Obedience is following orders.  Eve disobeyed, but as the record indicates, that wasn’t that much of a problem.  The reason is that obedience and submission are not the same.  Obedience is following orders, submission is accepting the authority of the one giving the orders and accepting the consequences for disobedience.  Disobedience is not necessarily rebellion, but the refusal to submit is legitimate authority is always rebellion.

Adam’s act of rebellion was to reject his mission and refuse to do his job.  In committing spiritual suicide he abdicated his position as the federal head of creation, giving Satan that authority.  But we can’t blame Eve for this, it was Adam who decided that he’d rather die with his wife than do his job.  To hell with his mission, he had oneitis so bad that he decided to commit suicide.


Is There More To The Story?

We don’t know whether Adam knew that the death God was speaking of was spiritual death rather than physical death, but we might have some clues.  Consider that Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the evening and they were naked and unashamed.   They were in the presence of God.

Exodus 34:29-35 tells the story of Moses going into the presence of God and as a result he glowed.  What the text says is that his face glowed, but we know that Moses was wearing clothing.  We also know that Moses was born in sin and repeatedly disobeyed God.  Christ, however, was born without sin and never committed any sin.  Matthew 17:1-8 tells the story of the transfiguration of Christ and says “His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.” 

Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed.  Was it because the Glory of God shown from within them and their skin shined like the sun?  We don’t know because the text does not tell us.  But we can imagine how Adam might have felt to see his wife for the first time as that glow died and her skin no longer shone like the sun.

What we do know is that Adam made the decision to follow her into death.  In doing so he abdicated his position and surrendered on seeing the first casualty of the battle.  Adam fell on his own sword and with his spiritual death allowed Satan to become the prince of this world.

You might look at this and think “Only a complete asshole could look at his wife dying before his eyes and not want to do something.”  The problem was that Adam was not a complete asshole, he wasn’t even a garden variety asshole.  What he chose to do was emotionally selfish and the behavior of a prick.


Command Has No Friends

From Falkenberg’s Legion, by Jerry Pournelle.  Read the chapter to get the context because it’s perfect for this discussion as it relates the concept of command to a relationship with a woman.

“Command can have no friends, Miss Horton…  The reason command has no friends is not merely to spare the commander the pain of sending friends to their death. If you haven’t learned the rest of it, learn it now, because some day you’ll have to betray either your friends or your command, and that’s a choice worth avoiding.”

Adam betrayed his command in favor of his wife.

It should be noted that wives are not commanded to obey their husband, they are commanded to submit to him.  Likewise, they are not commanded to love their husband, they are commanded to respect him.

Husbands are commanded to love their wives and that love is defined as being the the way Christ loves His church.  Christ’s love for His church is described as a sacrificial love in Ephesians 5:25-29.  The only two specific examples of how Christ loves His church are found in Hebrews 12:5-7 and Revelation 3:19. The word that sums it up is discipline.  Wives are commanded to submit to their husband and husbands are commanded to hold their wives accountable, rebuking and disciplining them when necessary.

Which is what a good commander does.  And command can have no friends.



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8 Responses to The Sin Of Adam

  1. SnapperTrx says:

    I’m curious. Given woman’s tendency to deceive, would it have been possible that Adam didn’t really know what he was being offered by Eve, or does the bible account indicate that he knew exactly what he was doing? I often wonder if, in eating of the fruit, Eve’s mind could have been very much open to the fact that she had done wrong, and very much open to the idea of covering her ass by drawing in her husband so as not to be the only one in trouble.

    Just a thought, as we often hear from pastors how Adam stood right next to Eve as she ate and did nothing more than stand and stare at her while she sinned (according to their account).

    • Interestingly, the Bible does not say where Adam was or give any play by play other than that the woman gave it to Adam and he ate of it. But various passages are clear that Adam was not deceived. Ergo, he knew what he was doing was wrong.

      What I’ve tried to do was present a different angle to this, from the perspective of command. I have no doubt Eve gave the fruit to Adam so he’d eat it too and she wouldn’t be the only one who had done it. Women are like that. The point is that Adam knew he shouldn’t have done it.

      Adam knew that God had said “In the day you eat of it you shall surely die.” Adam chose to die with his wife, abdicate his position and surrender his command.

  2. Bart says:

    Apparently both Adam and Eve (and all mankind) Fell when Adam ate the fruit. We see this in Genesis 3 verse 7 where the eyes of both were opened, following Adam’s transgression. Eve clearly transgressed God’s Law first (1 Tim. 2:14), but that transgression apparently did not cause mankind to Fall (as she was not the covenantal head). As covenantal head, Adam’s sin caused all of us to fall into death with him. Likewise, as the new and greater Covenantal Head, Christ’s perfect obedience is imputed to all those who are in Him.

    The Bible always seems to hold Adam (and not Eve) responsible for the fall of mankind.

    It is also notable that Gen. 3:17 tells us that the sin of Adam was choosing to heed the voice of his wife, rather than the voice of his God.

    “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’…”

    Adam committed idolatry by listening to his wife, instead of listening to God.

    This is something men do all the time. I’ve encountered this phenomenon when talking with pastors and elders about the issue of polygamy in Scripture. In spite of overwhelming evidence that the Bible regards polygyny as marriage rather than adultery or sexual immorality, most pastors and elders will never admit it. They are too afraid of (1) their own wives (2) other women in the church (3) the opinions of people in general.

    They fear Man (probably more woman actually) rather than God.

    • “Adam was choosing to heed the voice of his wife, rather than the voice of his God…. Adam committed idolatry by listening to his wife, instead of listening to God.”

      This where I disagree with how you are framing the issue. We do not know what the words were that Eve said to Adam. We do know the text says “then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked.”

      If the Glory of God was shining from within them so their skin shone like the sun, it’s perhaps not so difficult to imagine the text is describing that their eyes literally opened for the first time.

      Which would mean the light from the Glory of God stopped shining through them when each of them transgressed. And Eve would have had to know it when it happened. Whatever she said to Adam, I doubt it was calm, cool and collected.

      Have you ever heard the voice of someone dying? Some scream in pain while others scream in terror and fear.

      We do not know what Eve said to Adam, but Adam knew God had said “in the day you eat of it you shall surely die.”

      Adam ate, knowing he would surely die. The subject is that he transgressed. The issue is that transgression was a rejection of any and all authority over him. He chose to commit suicide and die with his wife. Idolatry is choosing to give to something or someone else the authority, respect, awe and obedience that belongs only to God.

      Adam did not commit idolatry, he committed the ultimate form of rebellion and checked out.

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  5. Wasn’t Adam’s sin the failure to check what he was eating? I struggle to see wilful disobedience here, rather two victims of deception perpetrated by Satan in the guise of a snake. Profound guilt and shame follow, but I see this matched by overwhelming grace and forgiveness. Judgement came, yet it was the snake and the land that was cursed. Adam and Eve lost their eternal life, their garden and each bore increased toil in labour, but there was no curse. God provided sacrificial blood-drenched cloaks to cover their true nakedness and promised a son who would bring redemption. It was Adam and Eve who taught their children to bring Harvest offerings and by the third generation, following the birth of Seth’s son, revival came as many began to call on the Lord. Anyone else see it this way?

    • What did God say about what Adam did?

      “Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate of the fruit of which I commanded you not to eat…”

      Adam knew what he was doing, he abdicated his command.

      If you don’t think increased pain in childbirth is a curse, I suggest you visit a few maternity wards. If you don’t think woman’s hypergamy isn’t a curse on men, you don’t get out much.

      Adam and Eve didn’t teach their sons to bring “harvest offerings” but rather to make blood sacrifices. It was Cain’s sin of bringing a “harvest offering” and not making a blood sacrifice that displeased God.

      Revival did NOT come, things just got worse and worse until finally God destroyed all of them except Noah and his family.

      If I recall my comparative theology, you’re preaching the Mormon party line, which is complete horseshit.

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