2-FREE WILL AND THE FALL
What Man Lost to Make Him as He is Today
By Colleen Donahue
For real love to exist there must be free will. Without free will we are little more than robots and God didn't want robots. He wanted relationships. He wanted sons and daughters that would freely love Him. Angels and mankind were the only parts of creation given free will. Men and women were created morally sinless and had a relationship and closeness to God. This study will take us through how the test of free will played out.
1. Into this perfect world came one who craved dominion for himself - Satan. Before we continue to learn about Adam and Eve's free will we must back up. Before man and the universe were created God made the angels as spirit beings who would be his ministering servants. The angels were made with free will. Lucifer (or the angel of light) was one of the leaders of a host of angels. Scripture tells us that he was "the model of perfection" in the NIV version of the Bible.
2. Notice in verse 15b that he was the model of perfection until "wickedness was found in you." What was this wickedness?
Ezekiel 28:17a / Isaiah 14:13-14
Therefore, the first sin in the universe was pride. Lucifer, that beautiful angel of light decided that he would make himself equal with God and this was the first rebellion against God that ever took place. List in Isaiah 14:13-14 the five things Lucifer determined that he would do.
3. How did Lucifer achieve his goals? We get a clue in Ezekiel 28:16.
"In the abundance of your trade....". The word for trade means persistent plotting and slander. Lucifer worked among other angels to get them to see his point of view and join him.
4. Lucifer was cast out of Heaven but he did not stop rebelling. Instead, he set up a kingdom of his own that was in opposition to God's kingdom. Jesus confirmed that and Luke shares his words in:
Side note: The Bible suggests that under the name "Heaven" there are actually three parts expressing different locations. In 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 Paul says that he was caught up to the third heaven indicating that there are at least three areas -- one above the other. The top level is where God dwells. In Revelation 14:6 and 19:17 we read about heaven being a large expanse with beings coming and going. The Greek word for heaven in these verses is actually "mid-heaven" (mesourenema) or second heaven. Finally there is a visible heaven that we can see with our eyes, or the first heaven. Once Lucifer was cast out of the third heaven, he and his followers seem to have free reign in the first and second heavens. you get this picture in ...
In Ephesians 2:2 Satan is called the "prince of the power of the air". The Greek word for air is "aer" which is the air immediately surrounding the earth. Then there is another Greek word, "aither" which denotes a higher atmosphere than ours. We can see from Days 1-4 that evil already existed in the Heavenly realms because Satan and his angels had revolted. But evil was not on the earth and it didn't have to be.
5. Free will always requires a choice and this choice came in the form of two trees. God knew that eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would unleash all the possibilities of evil upon the earth and therefore he gave man only one "must not command."
And at the end of verse 17 he explains to them why. If they ate from it they would die. Eating from that one tree was a decision to decide what was good and evil for themselves rather than believe God's word on it. It wasn't that they would die physically, but that they would die spiritually. They would no longer have access to God's fellowship, his love, or his guidance. In essence man would be "on his own".
6. It is now history that Adam and Eve made the wrong choice. They had been happy in the Garden of Eden and probably had no thought to disobey God. So if Satan was to have any chance at getting them to fail he would need to use deception (or misleading falsehoods). Here is the account of how Satan deceived Eve.
THE ANATOMY OF DECEPTION
Let's look closely at the progressive steps Satan used to deceive Eve because he uses the same tactics on us today.
A. He puts in our mind a question about a settled issue, "Did God really say?" (vs 1)
B. Then the facts get twisted a little. Eve repeats what God said but adds to it that "they must not touch it." (vs 2-3)
C. Then Satan gets us to question what God says will be the consequences. "You will not surely die." This questioning on our part makes God out to be a liar. (vs 4)
D. Satan gets us thinking that maybe God isn't so good and has ulterior motives. "For God knows....you will be like God knowing good and evil." (vs5)
E. Now he's got us thinking. Eve, who wasn't thinking about eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil starts looking and thinking....."When the woman saw that the fruit from the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye..." (vs 6)
F. Then we rationalize why the behavior would be good to do..."and desirable for gaining wisdom." (vs 6)
G. When we become convinced, then we act. "She took some and ate it." (vs 6)
H. Unfortunately sinners love company. "She also gave some to her husband." (vs 6)
I. When the people we love and respect sanction doing something, it's all the easier for us to go along with them. "And he (Adam) ate it."
Does all this seem strangely familiar? It should, because from the time of Adam and Eve until today Satan has waged a relentless war of deception against man. He wants us thinking that we can be like God. We can determine right and wrong for ourselves thus believing that there is no absolute truth. We can enjoy a little bit of God while we control life ourselves. We conclude that we know best how to live and thus God's word isn't infallible. Worse yet, this Satanic deception gets people to believe they can live life for themselves and still have eternal life.
THE EFFECTS OF REBELLION
God made Adam and Eve in a natural, "neutral" state where they were unsullied by sin or moral wrong. They lacked any knowledge of evil. But when they chose to disobey God and eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil sin began in the universe unleashing a number of effects that occurred immediately.
7. What was the first result of sin?
It says that Adam and Eve's eyes were opened. They lost their innocence and now felt that they needed to cover it up. Sin always results in hiding -- hiding from God, hiding from others, and even from ourselves.
In our naivety every sinner feels if we can hide it who will know the difference?
But this too is deception as Isaiah continues to say, "How foolish can you be? He is the potter and he is certainly greater than you, the clay!"
Isaiah 29:16 NLT
8. The second result of sin is guilty fear. As you read these verses write down how men and women act when they are filled with guilty fear.
Psalm 53:5a / Isaiah 2:19-21 / Isaiah 33:14 / Isaiah 66:4 / Daniel 5:6
9. The third result of sin is that God calls for accountability. He gives us a chance to confess the truth.
Genesis 3: 9,11,13
10. The fourth result of sin is usually a flow of excuses and blame on someone else.
Genesis 3:12, 13b
11. The fifth result of sin are the consequences. God laid these out clearly for each guilty party. Write out for each what was to be the consequences for them.
A. Satan - Genesis 3:14
B. Eve - Genesis 3:16
Notice the relationship shift here. Adam and Eve were created to be in an equal partnership but from now on it would be a ruling relationship.
C. Adam- Genesis 3: 17-19
Notice that Adam's penalty is more severe than Eve's. Why? He was the senior member of the human race and should have known better than to go along with Eve and then put all the blame on her. Worse yet, through his complicity and guilt he also causes all of nature to be under a curse. This is what Paul is thinking about in his letter to the Romans.
12. Then in the midst of these consequences and curses God releases a plan of redemption.
It's a little cryptic, but God is saying that there will be a man born through a woman who will destroy the power of Satan. Satan will "bruise the heel" of that man (Jesus), but Jesus (the man from God) will crush Satan's head. When a snake's head is crushed he is stopped.
13. The sixth result of sin is that man's close fellowship with God was over. This result was perhaps the saddest because it affected God as well as man. God longed to have a big, loving family of sons and daughters. Now he was driving them out of the home he had made for them and set up guards to make sure they never returned!
14. There was a good and very loving reason that God had to get Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden.
God saw an even bigger danger than Adam and Eve unleashing sin upon the world. You'll remember that there were two trees in the middle of the garden. There was the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and there was "the tree of life". If they now ate from the tree of life they would live forever on earth in an evil state with no hope of being reunited with God -- no hope of eternal life.
God already had a plan in mind to redeem man but this couldn't happen if they were to live forever on earth. At all costs this must not happen! Therefore God in his love literally drove Adam and Eve from the garden and set up sentries of angels to make sure that they never got even close to the tree of life again.
15. But before ending this sad episode, God expresses his love to Adam and Eve in a tangible way.
This is a little like a mother packing a suitcase and lunch bucket for her son that is going to run away from home.
16. One act of disobedience resulted in the "law of sin and death" on the ENTIRE human race. Adam's rebellion opened the door for all of us to be born with a sinful nature. This sinful nature expresses itself differently in all of us but in essence it's an inbred desire to go our own way and do our own thing without consideration of God and what He might want for our lives.
Romans 7:21-24 / Romans 8:5-8
SUMMARY: What Man Lost to Make Him as He is Today
The fact that God chose to give angels and then mankind free will was a huge risk. He wanted us all to love him but he also didn't want robots who HAD to love him. Love can't be called love if it is forced.
The angels, through Lucifer (or Satan) rebelled against God and after being removed from Heaven set up their own kingdom in opposition to God's kingdom.
Man was created in the image and likeness of God and given the earth to rule over and develop. He had a close relationship with God and was morally neutral.
Satan saw an opportunity in man to get them to rebel by disobedience to the one command God had given them. He worked through deception and Eve took the bait. She ate from the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and then convinced Adam to do the same. This first sin wasn't a bite into an apple but a decision to live independent of God based on our own decisions about what was good and evil.
It started a spiral down that affected everything and everyone in the universe from then on. That day man lost his right-standing with God that enabled him to have a relationship with God. Without a relationship he lost his rights as one of God's children and finally he lost his kingdom -- the very purpose of his life.
God knew that man would choose sin over him. We are no surprise to Him and so from eternity he had a plan in mind to be able to redeem man. How great is the Father's love towards us!