Tag Archives: The Fall

Creator, Creation, and the Cross (Part 3)

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

          Last week, in Part 2, we studied the overall creation. In today’s study, we focus on the creation of man, the fall of man, the resulting curse of death on the whole creation, and God’s solution for restoration.

Part 3, The Cross

          Some misunderstand the second chapter of Genesis thinking that it is a second creation account. However, this is a recapitulation of Day Six to focus on the creation of man. The Bible is the account of God dealing with mankind from beginning to end, hence the reason for the recap.

          Genesis 2:7-9 shows God placing man in a perfect environment. Unlike the animals, God “formed” – Hebrew yâtsar, to fashion as a potter molds a clay vessel – man out of the dust of the “ground” – Hebrew ‘ădâmâh, the feminine form of “adam.” God “breathed” into man the “breath of life,” distinguishing man from the animals. Humans are NOT animals. God placed man in a special garden – a place where God and man could commune.

          In the Garden of Eden, God planted all kinds of luscious fruits and vegetables for man to enjoy without restriction. In the center God planted two unique trees. One was the unrestricted Tree of Life and the other was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:9) Adam could eat all he wanted from the Tree of Life, but he was strictly forbidden to eat of the second tree. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). It should be noted that at the time God gave the prohibition, the woman had not yet been created.

          Not long after – I believe it was within two weeks – Satan, the serpent, entered the Garden to destroy God’s perfect creation (Genesis 3:1-6). In executing his strategy to destroy mankind by separating him from his Creator, Satan employed three tactics that he has not changed in over 6000 years. He introduced doubt in God’s Word – “Yea, hath God said” (v. 1). Next he slandered God’s Word – “Ye shall not surely die” (v. 4). Finally, he accused God of withholding benefits – “God knows … ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (v. 5).

          Eve succumbed to Satan’s tactics by the same three weaknesses that we all have as humans. The beloved Apostle John described them this way. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:16). Eve “saw that the tree was good for food” – lust of the flesh. She saw “that it was pleasant to the eye” – lust of the eyes. Finally, She saw that it was “a tree to be desired to make one wise” – the pride of life. As Solomon says, “there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Eve ate of the fruit “and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Genesis 3:6). Adam was in on the conversation, so he knew exactly what was taking place. God gave the command to Adam directly. Eve got the command second hand from Adam; therefore, Adam had the greater responsibility. So, why did Adam not intervene?

When they ate of the forbidden fruit, “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked” (Genesis 3:7). I believe that when they were first created, God clothed them in light [‘ôr (אוֹר)] and when they sinned, they lost the cover of light and could see their nakedness.[1] Having their guilt exposed, they feared to face their Creator and they hid themselves. Obviously, they were not acquainted with God’s omnipresent nature. Scripture records that “they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). The Hebrew word translated “voice” is qôl, which can also be translated as “sound” or “noise.” God, the Father, is “spirit” (John 4:24), therefore it is unlikely that a spirit would produce any kind of sound. However, God the Son having a physical body like that of His creation which He created in His image, would make noise as He walked through the Garden. He called out to Adam – as if He did not know where Adam was hiding. Rather than confront them directly, He gave them the opportunity to confess their sin. God seeks confession and repentance. God seeks man: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Man does not seek God: “there is none that seeketh after God” (Romans 3:11). God patiently waited for a confession (Genesis 3:11). “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). However, instead of confessing and pleas for forgiveness, God got excuses. Adam blames God for the woman (Genesis 3:12) and blames the woman even though he bore the greatest responsibility. The woman blamed the serpent (Genesis 3:13), and the serpent had no one to blame but himself.

With no confession or a plea for forgiveness forthcoming, God pronounced a curse upon man and upon all of His creation because of man. However, God did not end it there. He also provided the promise of redemption. “And I will put enmity between thee [the serpent/Satan] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; [He] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). This is known as the “Protevangelium” – the “First Gospel.” It is The first promise of the Savior. He would be the “seed of the woman” previewing the Virgin Birth. The serpent (Satan) would bruise His heel (at the cross), but in the end, He will bruise Satan’s head (Revelation 20:10).

In the meantime, God the Son, instituted the first blood sacrifice[2] to atone for sin (Genesis 3:21). “Atone” means to “cover.” It was a temporary covering for sins. Death now entered the world as God (Jesus) sacrificed an innocent animal to make coverings of skins (‛ôr, עוֹר) for Adam and Eve. Initially, God clothed them with (‘ôr, אוֹר); now He clothed them with (‛ôr, עוֹר). This began the practice of offering animal sacrifices to atone for sin. Jesus would be the ultimate sacrifice to atone for sin, once and for all. Through His perfect sacrifice of His own blood, He won redemption for His fallen creation. Still, there must be a choice. One can choose the Tree of Life, i.e. the cross, or one can continue on the “broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction” (Matthew 7:13) and be “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). There are no other options.

If you are not sure of your eternal destiny, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”


[1]  “Bare Naked” — https://erniecarrasco.com/2018/04/29/bare-naked/

[2]  “The First Sacrifice” — https://erniecarrasco.com/2014/02/16/the-first-sacrifice/

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The Curse of Death

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27)

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27)

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.  (Genesis 2:17)

This week a young man, who labeled himself an agnostic, wrote in with a very good question concerning the curse of death. His question was posed as follows:

Genesis 2:17 says, “in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” Assuming that day equals 24 hours (big assumption, but Gen 2 is still part of the creation account) then the death must be spiritual or non-literal, since Adam lived to be 930 years – Gen 5:5. If the death resulting from sin is not literal, what is the relationship between sin and physical death? Is there any relation at all? Could physical death have occurred before sin? If sin and physical death are not related, why would Jesus have to rise from the dead? Is a bodily resurrection necessary for salvation? Why? Does any of the apostle Paul’s teaching of Christ conflict with a spiritual interpretation of death and sin? (I Cor 15:12-22)

Alternately, if the term “day” in Genesis 2:17 is not 24 hours, but instead an unspecified length of time equalling [sic] at least 930 years, most of the same questions about the relationship between sin and physical death would still apply.

His question is a very good one, and one of the key points in our biblical apologetics. The “death” described in Genesis 2:17 must be taken in context with the entire account of creation and the Fall, and in light of the rest of Scripture. Genesis 1 and 2 both narrate the creation account. Genesis 1:1-2:4 is God’s account of creation, and it gives a broad overview of the creation week. (For more details, see the notes on Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:1-4). Genesis 2:5 begins Adam’s account, and the focus is on Day Six and the creation of man. Allow me to regress and point out that chapter and verse divisions are not inspired. The original text was a continual reading with no breaks. This can sometimes be an obstacle, if one does not recognize that fact.

Another point that needs to be clarified is that the 24-hour day is not an “assumption” as he suggests. The Hebrew word used is yom, and it almost always means a normal 24-hour day in the Bible. When it is not a 24-hour day, such as in the “day of the Lord” (yom laYahweh) it is referring to a specific time, but never an extended period of time. Furthermore, God clearly defines the meaning of “day” with the phrase “evening and morning were the nth day” (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23).

At the end of the sixth day, God declared His creation not only “good” as in the previous five days, but “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Keep in mind that this assessment comes from an ultimately perfect being. So, if death existed before the fall, can death be considered a very good thing? If we say death is good, then how can death be a curse? And if death cannot be a curse, then why should Jesus die to pay the curse (the wages) of sin? If death was just a “spiritual” death, then, again, why should Jesus die a “physical” death to atone for a “spiritual” death? That really does throw a huge wrench in the works of the Gospel.

But “physical” death is NOT good. The Bible calls death the “enemy” (1 Corinthians 15:26). In the end, “death and hell (Greek hades “the grave”)” are cast into “the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14). So, physical death cannot be part of a “very good” creation, if the Creator counts it as an enemy and something to be abolished. When God issued the command “thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17), He was speaking of physical death. “Spiritual” death, i.e., separation from God, was a necessary consequence of that disobedience because He is the source of life (Job 33:4; Psalm 36:9; John 1:4; 5:26; 6:48; 10:28; 11:25; 14:6, et al). So, the death was both physical and spiritual. To further emphasize the point, Adam and Eve, since they had never experienced or observed death (keeping in mind that this all occurred shortly after creation – probably within a week or so), God (in the form of the pre-incarnate Christ – my opinion) sacrificed two (or more) innocent animals (probably sheep) in order to “cover” (atone for) their sin (Genesis 3:21). This was the first physical death of anything to this point, but on the spiritual side, man had already lost that intimate relationship with their Creator (Genesis 3:8).

This young man observed that Adam lived 930 years and concludes that the death curse must not have been physical but only spiritual, because they did not die immediately. One needs only to read Chapter 5 of Genesis and count how often the phrase “and he died” is repeated. Adam and Eve did not die instantly when they ate of the fruit, but they initiated the dying process. The phrase “you shall surely die” (Hebrew: mot tamot) would be better translated “dying you shall die.” Furthermore, the couple was denied access to the “tree of life” (Genesis 3:22) because apparently it had properties that would extend their life forever. The fact that they lived the long ages that they did is attributable to near perfect DNA (with the exception of the death mutation), and a near perfect environment. You may want to note the steady decline in longevity following the Global flood (Genesis 11:11-32).

Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 15:12-22 confirms that the curse of death is both physical and spiritual – physical in that our bodies degenerate to the point that they cease to function (we die), and spiritual in that our sin separates us from God (as physical death separates our spirit from our body). Jesus was sinless, like the first lambs sacrificed for Adam and Eve. Paul tells us that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23); here we are speaking of that spiritual death that separates us from God. Jesus’ death on the cross was the only sacrifice suitable to pay that debt of sin that separates us from God for all of mankind. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). Then when He rose again, He conquered the curse of physical death so that we can have eternal life. The choice, however, remains with us. From beginning to end, God has provided the way to restore that broken relationship and to enjoy eternal life with our Creator. We can either accept His offer, or reject it. “He came unto his own [not only the Jews, but mankind in general], and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:11-12).


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