In Eden all was good. Mankind lovingly obeyed the Lord and lived in His presence. The Kingdom of God was on the earth. All of this changed when Satan deceived Eve.
The temptation in the Garden, while new to man, wasn’t a novel invention. Satan had already fallen to that same temptation he introduced to Adam & Eve:
Satan was an angel of God. He was appointed as a protector, a cherub, a high-ranking angel who was apparently stationed in Eden (v. 13). However, pride set in and corrupted the angel, leading to his rebellion:
Jesus is very clear about the root of sin beginning with the affections of the heart (Mt. 5). Satan’s sin began with his desire to “be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14).
He was no longer content with the status quo. He no longer lovingly obeyed God’s Kingdom rule; he rebelled. Some theologians therefore call sin “cosmic treason” for it is always an expression of the heart’s desire for autonomy, to be free from God, and to go its own way.
The Fall of Man’s Soul
Satan, in the form of the serpent, approached Eve and offered the same deception which resulted in his downfall. Satan offered an illusion of autonomy, a chance to be “free” from the Kingdom rule, and “be like God” (v. 5).
In this progression of sin, all of the heart’s faculties were corrupted leading to the rebellion:
The Corruption of the Mind
If we look closely at Satan’s tactic, he begins with the mind. Satan deceives Adam & Eve, saying that God’s words are not true and shouldn’t be believed. The heart which once believed God now distrusts Him and believes the lie of the enemy:
The Corruption of the Emotion
Once the mind became corrupt, sin moved its way to the heart’s affections. The heart that used to love the Lord and His ways now has foreign and wicked loves:
The Corruption of the Will
The will always follows the emotion. In other words, the heart chooses whatever it desires most in the moment of decision. For Eve, once autonomy replaced obeying the Lord as her highest desire, she chose to rebel against the Lord’s commands:
The Fall of Man’s Body
As Jesus taught His disciples, sin begins in the heart. In the Garden, it began with the heart rebelling against God’s Kingdom rule. However, it did not end with the heart. Sin spread to the body, rendering it unfit for God’s Kingdom realm.
The body’s corruption came also by way of curse for rebelling against God’s Kingdom rule:
The figure below depicts the total corruption of man due to sin:
Exile from the Kingdom of God
Because of sin, man was no longer fit for God’s Kingdom. The consequence of which was exile:
Exile from God’s Kingdom is a total removal from His unveiled glory. God removes His glory from sinful man for two reasons:
He is holy. We see this again when He withdraws His glory from the Temple after Israel’s apostasy (Ezekiel 10:4-5, 18)
We cannot survive His unveiled presence as we are. Sin has so weakened our mortal bodies that we would be destroyed by His glory. He says so to Moses:
Reading the genealogy in Genesis 5, we learn that sin did not simply begin and end with Adam & Eve. In the genealogy, Moses inserts the phrase “And he died” after every descendant of Adam. He is communicating that sin somehow spreads. It is transferred from parent to child such that “in Adam all die” (1 Cor. 15:22). And the problem is that we are all born in Adam.
The Bible is clear that we all inherit a sinful human nature (body and soul). This is what theologians call original sin. A brief survey of some Passages of Scripture informs us on the continued corruption of man’s faculties:
While we are in the flesh, our minds are darkened. They are inhibited by the effects of sin. This is evident in Paul’s letter to the Romans:
Paul also teaches a certain inability to understand spiritual things due to sin:
We are also born with corrupted emotions, affections that do not desire the things of God:
Because the highest desire of the fallen human heart is “only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:5), the will of fallen man is perpetually sinning. Even the most philanthropic of choices done by fallen man is done with a sinful motive considering he does not desire the glory of the Lord.
It is not simply the case that fallen man doesn’t choose the things of the Lord; the Bible tells us that fallen man can not:
Martin Luther calls this the bondage of the will. Luther teaches that the will of fallen man is bound by his sin (John 8:34; Romans 6:15-23):
Sickness, decay, and death are all somatic (bodily) effects of the fall. Again, Paul tells us:
Need for a New Heart & Body
It is obvious that there is no hope that salvation would come from man. Man is too corrupt, too evil, too fallen. Man is cut off and in exile from God (Isaiah 59:2).
If man, body & soul, is to return to the Kingdom of God, he must be redeemed, body & soul. He needs a new heart by which he will lovingly obey God’s Kingdom rule, and a new body by which he can once again dwell in God’s Kingdom realm.