"The earth became inhabited by evil because of its first dwellers, Adam and Eve.” This quote may seem outrageous, but it could very well be the assumption of the typical Sunday-school lesson on the Garden of Eden. When Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, it is assumed that she occupied a wicked heart motive. Christians today have looked at this story and contemplated only on the surface issue, the first sin.
Eve was not acting out of an evil heart. She was not corrupt. She was not teaming with the dark side. Eve’s motivation for eating of this forbidden tree was simply to become more like God. The serpent told Eve in Genesis 3:5, “God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat [of the tree]. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.”
The cry of many Christian’s hearts is to, “…become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.” Eve had a sincere heart for God, and she wanted to please Him by not only knowing good and evil, but also acting according to the principles of good and evil. What sincere Christian does not share the heart of Eve—a desire to do the right thing.
Was this desire, and the pursuit of this desire, a sin? The desire to become like God is not a sin. To pursue becoming more like God through our own pitiful human actions is. We can do nothing to become more like God on our own; if that were the case there, there would be no need for God. He is the only one who can change us to become more like Him.
After Adam and Eve had pursued this desire of becoming more like Him and ate the fruit, Genesis 3:7 says, “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame ….” What were their eyes opened to? Sin. They instantly realized that God was Holy and that they, in and of themselves, could do nothing to become more like God.
In Genesis 3:9 God then asked of them, “Where are you?” I believe that the same God is still asking us the same question today. God wants us to answer His question. God does not need an answer because He doesn’t know—He already knows. God just wants us to come before Him and be honest.
“If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts” (1 John 1:8-10).
Adam and Eve felt shame, the shame of not being good enough. That shame of inadequacy is common today; however, there is no need for it. True, we cannot do anything to appease God, but then again we don’t have to. God is not asking us to do anything except trust Him because he who admits his sin will be forgiven.
Holiness can be faked but not produced by a people who are incapable of holiness.
“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it” (John 3:17).
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