First sin question

Discussion in 'OT Historical Books' started by Edm, Jan 17, 2017.

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  1. Edm

    Edm Puritan Board Freshman

    I was listening to Ligon Duncan on Covenant theology and I'm pretty sure I heard him say that since Genesis 1-28 was God telling Adam to take dominion over everything, Adam actually sinned by not kicking the serpent out of the garden. I know that isn't what caused the fall, but did Adam sin before ? If not, how is allowing Satan into Gods dwelling place when you had been ordered to have dominion over everything not sin?
  2. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Could it be that the talk you heard said that part of Adam's initial sin was in letting the snake remain and continue tempting them rather than kicking the snake out of the garden once it began trying to deceive them? That sounds plausible to me. But it doesn't seem right to blame Adam for the snake's presence in the first place since we are specifically told in 3:1 that God created the snake.
  3. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    Its a sin, obviously, to act on temptation, but is it a sin to be tempted in the first place? On the one hand we know Jesus was tempted and sinless, but on the other, if I have a tempting dream or scenario that runs through my head that should not have been thee in the first place, is that sin?
  4. Goodcheer68

    Goodcheer68 Puritan Board Freshman

    I think he was trying to say that since Adam was given dominion why would he allow a snake ( any animal for that matter) to question what God had said. Adam should have immediately thrown the snake out.
  5. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    The Serpent clearly was the Devil ( see e.g. Revelation 20:2), whether he appeared as a snake or made use of a snake, appeared as an angel of light, or otherwise manifested himself to Eve, and Adam. The word "other" in some versions of Genesis 3:1, which would indicate that the Serpent was among the class "beasts of the field" is supplied. Instead the Serpent is not a beast of the field, but is being contrasted with them.

    We may think Adam sinned by not immediately putting Satan out of the Garden once Satan started questioning God's Word, but it seems clear that whatever the mysterious motions in the sinless Adam's heart before he ate, the only way in which he could sin and lose his original righteousness was by eating.

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  6. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    But I wonder, couldn't we think of it all as one act? Once the serpent starts questioning God's word, there really are only two choices: put the devil away, or give in to temptation. To think that you can blithely keep listening to temptation and still be resisting it is folly. You are either fighting it or giving in to it; there is no middle path.

    So if the point was that Adam was given authority in the garden, and should have exercised that authority, it makes sense to me that the failure to exercise authority was an element in that first sin... just as the failure to believe God's word and the desire to be like God were also elements in that first sin. For that matter, anytime I sin I am failing to exercise the authority I have in Christ to resist the devil. This is an element (one of many) in my sin.
  7. Daniel M.

    Daniel M. Puritan Board Freshman

    I've heard lots of different takes on this.

    I stick to the old-school explanation that Eve sinned first by eating the fruit, and that Adam sinned second for consenting to eat it as well at the behest of his wife. It's unclear if Adam knew specifically what he was eating, but probable. Moreover, when God approaches Adam, the first thing Adam does is blame the creation of God, Eve, for his own transgression. Sounds pretty straightforward to me.

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  8. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Adam would have had to have known or had suspicions that the fruit was from the Tree of Knowledge otherwise it would have been no sin on his part to eat. If someone hands you poison totally unknown to you, and you take it, and have no reason to suspect them and take further action, your taking it is not sin for you.

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  9. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    That's possible. That would make the eating the final and inevitable sacramental sign and seal in God's providence that they had sinned.

    Eating was a most appropriate test. If eating is for life, fellowship and pleasure, then they ate death to themselves, had fellowship with the Evil One in his enmity towards God, and took pleasure in unrighteousness.

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  10. hammondjones

    hammondjones Puritan Board Sophomore

    Sounds like what I hear some say when they want to make Israel a type of first Adam (or, I guess, recapitulation?), which goes along the lines of "Israel failed to cleanse Canaan and thus didn't merit the Promised Land."
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  11. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    In Genesis 2:15, the man is put into the garden to work it and to guard it. The verb is usually translated "keep," but "guard" is the more usual translation elsewhere. G.K. Beale, in his work The Temple and the Church's Mission (which has an enormous amount to say on this particular subject), argues that this indicates a priestly duty of Adam's: to separate the holy from the unholy, and to prevent the unholy from coming into the midst of the garden. I agree with this assessment.

    Add to this the fact that Genesis 3:1 describes the serpent as the craftiest of any of the beasts of the field. I think we are to understand from this that Adam knew the character of the serpent. If this is true, then part of the Fall involved a failure of the priestly duties of Adam and Eve in the garden, failing to keep the serpent out.
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  12. Edm

    Edm Puritan Board Freshman

    That sounds like what I remember hearing. I was traveling and forgot which course number it was. I'll have to re listen
  13. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    We also have a tendency to think in terms of concrete acts, and to put them in this category or that one. So, we ask "which act was Adam's sin," or the first moment of sin; rather than (as I think apt) thinking in terms of a process. Short-circuit the process on the way to taking and eating, and that sin has been vanquished, even it if was a near thing.

    But looking back, one can see the earlier beginnings of taking down the wall against sin, earlier failures to resist in a robust and full fashion the attacks on faith and obedience. All together, then, we see the cumulative work of sin and temptation discovered in the actual eating.

    Suppose, though, that Adam and Eve found the necessary power to resist the temptation. It had begun, then it wore them down. In our present condition, even to be tempted is pretty much to sin to a lesser degree. But Adam and Eve were not yet fallen, though they were in process of falling. We don't know, however, if there was some way to halt that fall in the early stages. I'm of the opinion that to find the way of escape would be to know weakness, but not (being still upright) to have fallen.

    Perhaps expelling the serpent was a thing to be recognized, to be learned. Supposing Adam instantly should know the serpent for the threat he was is a bit of judgment of him we may not be entitled to make. But suppose he finally saw the threat, and acted accordingly. Would he be guilty of a sin for not acting previously? That seems too fine an assessment.

    Man does not have perfect knowledge to begin with, being a creature. But later on, he lacked the will to act properly; his spiritual faculties were beclouded, though he is certainly to be faulted at the end for every part of the failure, where it is shown he should have done otherwise due to his power or knowledge.
  14. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Man was upright. The creation was very good. There is nothing to suggest anything was amiss before the woman heeded the counsel of the serpent.

    There was one prohibition. The sin consisted in doing that which was prohibited -- eating the forbidden fruit.

    It is easy to over-think the temptation and fall. It is presented rather nakedly because our first parents were -- what shall we say -- naked. It was not a complex situation. They were upright and they fell by doing that which God had forbidden.
  15. StephenG

    StephenG Puritan Board Freshman

    I tend toward the view that Eve sinned first, though they ultimately both sinned and committed equally damnable transgression.
    I have heard it espoused that they actually sinned at the same time. Eve by partaking of the fruit, and Adam by failing to protect his wife from evil. Thoughts?
  16. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Gen. 3:6 says that Eve ate and then "also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate." If the reference to Adam being with her means he was right there while she was being tempted, he seems to be on the hook for much more than simply failing to protect her. He heard the same arguments from the serpent that she did, and responded with the same sin.
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