Why are we held accountable for Adam's sin? Why were we born into this fallen world with a fallen human nature when we didn't eat the fruit from the forbidden tree?
Our own record as Christians prevents us from blaming Adam for mankind's downfall. Would we have done the right thing in Adam's shoes (bare feet?). Adam made a bad choice despite God's love and we do the same thing every day. As Christians, we have the power through the Spirit to say no to every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), but we don't.
So why examine a question with no definitive answer? Because we find meaning in the clues God gives us.
I used to be uncomfortable not having definitive answers to all my questions about God. I talk about that in one of my 1-Minute Bible Love Notes HERE.
1. First, let's confirm that we are born fallen.
Few of us realize how strongly our world influences us to believe we are born good. We blame our sins on environment, circumstances, parents, heredity, teachers, etc. In reality, we sin because we choose to sin.*
God warned the first murderer that sin was a choice:
"Then the LORD said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.'” (Genesis 4:6,7)
"5The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD." Genesis 6:5-8
It breaks my heart to know how grieved God was about mankind's sin.
Genesis 3:22: What does God mean when He says, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil." This is another area where Bible scholars disagree. Some believe God was saying this in sarcasm because it was what the serpent promised Eve if she ate the fruit. Others believe the original languages in this verse are best translated "was like one of us" meaning pure and sinless before eating the fruit. But it seems to me that the most obvious meaning is that Adam didn't fully understand good and evil until he committed evil. So he understood what God understood, but instead of understanding it as an innocent and pure being like God, he understood it as a sinner.
2. So why are we born with a damaged image of God when we didn't eat the forbidden fruit? As C.S. Lewis explained, the world we live in is damaged, but it must be the best possible world for God's purpose of redeeming mankind. Otherwise, God would change it.
1 Corinthians 15: 45-49: Awesome! Our redemption is so undeserved! I'm so thankful for it.
* If someone is forced to engage in sinful behavior, they are not sinning (i.e. young women forced into sex trafficking, sexual abuse, etc.).
All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.
copyright Gail Burton Purath, bitesizebiblestudy.com