It is particularly interesting to study the character of Adam (called by some: Safiy Allah, or the chosen one of God). After all, he is the man whom God created from the dust, and it is also because of him that we are no longer in the “Garden” (Djenna).
Adam and Jesus
Adam and Jesus are the only ones who did not have a physical father from whom they came. Each was designated as the beginning of new generation. It is by studying Adam’s life that we can understand the origin of the rupture between God and man and draw principles concerning sin. We will then try to discover how we can be delivered from its grip on us.
Let us then think about this comparison between these two men.
1. Adam: created in the image of God
It is written in Taurat that: “God says: Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” We must immediately establish that the expression “image of God” does not mean any physical resemblance. We may say of a child that he is the image of his father because he resembles him physically, but God being an infinite Spirit has no body. Indeed, a child may not look like his or her father physically, but when we close our eyes and listen to the child speak, we the voice is so like the father’s, and even in their mannerisms they are like their father.
No physical picture or idol can represent God, and nothing and no one can be associated with Him. Moreover, God Himself has given this precise and timeless command to Moses:
“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.” Exodus 20:3-5
God never contradicts His Word and never gives an instruction that contradict His command. The Word of God does not evolve through time to give each people a different “word”. God is immutable, he does not change. No angel, man or woman should worship any other God under any circumstance, than the God who revealed Himself to Moses. He is the only true and living God.
What, then, does the expression “image of God” mean, if it doesn’t mean that Adam was physically like God?
Let us take again the idea of the son who resembles his father. God created Adam with abilities that no other creature had. Man has intellectual and emotional capacities, and a will that he exercises freely before God. Man can think, and reason; he can love and he can make decisions. This is what distinguishes him from animals. Man can understand, he can feel and he can initiate an action. Whatever similarities there are between the minds and bodies of animals and Adam, Adam alone has a moral and rational nature. He alone has a sense of eternity and worships God voluntarily and intelligently.
That is why God gave the command to Adam concerning the Tree in the Garden. Adam alone could understand the commandment and its significance, and experience a relationship with God, and display that relationship by voluntarily and lovingly choosing to obey the commandments. Man alone has a conscience, a moral awareness of what is right and wrong. God’s Law, which is His own moral virtue, is written into Man’s spiritual DNA.
We inherit this ‘image’ that Adam was created with. We too are accountable to God. There is no place for fatalism that places the responsibility for our actions on God, and reduces us to the level of puppets in the hands of an unpredictable and unjust god. We are not like badly trained dogs! That is, in fact, such a blasphemous thought. God is omniscient, he knows everything and he has a plan for the life of each person. This plan has been revealed through His prophets, and through Jesus Christ.
The fact that God created man in his image elevates us in relation to all creation, but it also makes us responsible and accountable for our thoughts, desires and choices.
2. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil
And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2: 8-9).
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2: 15-17).
We do not know much about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil unless it is what the name itself indicates. But we can observe that it was not beneficial for man to have in him the knowledge of good and evil for the following two reasons:
(1) God had seen that it was not good for Man be alone, and God created Eve. God had mankind’s best interest at heart. So we must also believe that if God prohibited eating this tree, it cannot be good for us to have the experience of the “knowledge of good and evil”.
(2) When Satan told Eve that it would open her eyes. If the Father of Lies said that, it cannot be either true or helpful.
Some things we experience lead us on a downward spiral. It is like driving downhill with no brakes! We set off confidently, but end up in serous trouble. Some things we think cannot possibly hurt us. We want to try them. We wonder why they are prohibited. Imagine that a child wants to know where his father hides his money. He follows him and sees where this hiding place is. He now has information that the father was deliberately withholding from the child.
Why would the father do that? Maybe it is because he wonders whether the child have the strength of character that will allow him to overcome the temptation to steal that money? As long as he did not have this knowledge he could not be tempted either take the money or to reveal the information to others that might tempt them. I know a boy who found out that his father hid thousands of pounds in a suitcase under the bed. He opened the case when his father was out. He took just one £5 note, yet the father counted the money and knew what had happened. The father had kept the information secret because he knew it would be overwhelmingly difficult for the boy to resist.
The history of the world shows us that man cannot control the knowledge of evil which is in now him, and he has become a slave to sin. We experience that conflict in ourselves. We do things we know are wrong, and we do not do things we know are right. A Christian knows this more perfectly as God gives him or her a sensitive conscience and a new desire to obey God’s good ways (see Romans 7:14, 22-24). How many have watched what they shouldn’t have, and those images have replayed in their thoughts over and over again spoiling and defiling their minds?
God warned Adam that the day he ate of this tree, he would most surely die. God understands good and evil perfectly, yet He has never done any moral evil. Yet, Adam deliberately chose to become evil; to experience what it means to commit a sin. What they failed to realize was that they would not be able to control this knowledge. They had started along a path and were unable to turn back or to stop. They took the first step, but then sin became their master, controlling what they thought, desired and did.
I once heard of a group of climbers who successfully reached the summit. On the way back down the icy slope, they were messing around sliding and joking. Two of them then slid happily round a corner, but they didn’t return. The other climbers called to them. They then carefully went round that corner and discovered that the slope fell away steeply. Those two experienced climbers had perished. They began to play and slide, but the steep drop meant they began something they couldn’t stop. Sin is like that. We think we can control it, but sin is no man’s servant, it is everyone’s master.
3. The ‘Fall’
(Satan) said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:1-6).
The command that God had given was clear and precise. It was not because Adam and Eve had nothing left to eat that they found themselves obliged to select the fruit of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Adam and Eve were perfectly free to choose from any number of fruits and vegetables. God had created the man capable of making choices for which he held him responsible. It is necessary to note that the tree is that of the knowledge of good and evil and not of the origin of good and evil. God did not create evil and he cannot do it.
The knowledge of good and evil cannot precede the existence of good and evil. The knowledge of good and evil is the ability to distinguish good from evil. All that is conformable to God and to the glory of God is good. Everything else is wrong. In the same way, the farmer who sows his wheat and relies on God for the harvest does good, whereas the one who prays to God, but is only praying to look good, does evil. Any disobedience to a commandment of God that says, “Don’t do this!” is a sin, as well as not obeying one of the commandments that says, “Do this!”. Because whoever keeps the whole law, but offends in just one area breaks the whole law.
What is the seriousness of sin? It isn’t the immediate consequences of the act or omission, even where others are seriously harmed. It is fundamentally that it is an act of disobedience to an infinitely holy God. Everything that is not done for, and motivated by, the glory of God is a sin against God. Therefore, the one who knows to do what is good, and who does not do it, commits sin (James 4:17).
Adam and Eve disobeyed the commandment of God, they became sinners and sin spread through them to the whole human race.
4. The consequence of sin to the whole human race
The first consequence is expressed by the following words. The eyes of them both were, and they knew that they were naked (Genesis 3: 7). Satan had told them that their eyes would open, but they did not believe that it would lead to any harm for them. They have lost something and gained nothing: the veil of innocence that clothed them was gone.
From that moment on they could only be sinners condemned by the righteousness of God or sinners forgiven by the grace of God. They could never turn the clock back and become innocent again. Just like a bowl of milk into which a fly falls. The milk looks good, but it is now good for nothing except for spreading microbes carrying diseases. That milk, once beneficial is now a threat to health. Even if you take the fly out, the milk is polluted. It cannot be restored its original state. These illustrations are a reasonable comparison with the spiritual innocence which Adam lost,, except that He also lost it for us too. We are now all born sinners and we all need the forgiveness of this holy God.
The second consequence is that “life” was extinguished in them, and this is seen in the fact that when they heard the voice of the Eternal God, who walked through the garden in the evening, the man and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God in the midst of the trees of the garden (Genesis 3: 8). God had said that the day they ate from the tree they would die. This spiritual death consisted in the rupture of the close relationship between a father and his child which had existed between the Creator and his creature. Previously there was a closeness that allowed fellowship and communion between God and men. They had died spiritually.
The third consequence relates to everyday life. God pronounces a definite judgment on man and woman.
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3: 16-19).
It is not difficult to notice that the physical consequences of the disobedience of Adam and Eve were not limited to them, but the whole human race was in Adam: he was the representative for us all before God. Similarly, these spiritual consequences have reached all men.
The fourth consequence is of a spiritual nature and has two aspects:
1) At first glance, one would not have the impression that the ‘nakedness’ of Adam and Eve would be a spiritual consequence. But let us remember that when their eyes opened and they knew that they were naked, they were not embarrassed before each other. Their “nakedness” before God was the source of their great confusion. The spiritual dimension is underlined by the fact that God first intervenes at the level of this “nakedness”. It is written, that the LORD God made Adam and his wife clothes of skin, and put them on them (Genesis 3:21). The fact that the covering which God provides Adam and Eve with is skin requires that an animal must have given his life to cover the “nakedness” of man before God. What follows sin is a blood sacrifice to atone for that sin before God, because without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (ie the removal or remission of sin).
Disobedience always results in “spiritual death”. Spiritual death is when the spirit of man finds itself incapable of approaching God; a separation has been established. It is as if your neighbour has done you a wrong that he does not want to recognise. There is between you and your neighbour a greater separation than that which exists between you and the friend has travelled to another country. You cannot talk to each other anymore. The only way to become real neighbors again is to solve the problem that exists between you. This separation (spiritual death) exists between God and men since Adam disobeyed in the garden in Eden. This break with God can only be restored by a blood sacrifice. It is written that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
2) The second spiritual consequence is expressed by these words of God: Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3: 22-24). This expulsion from the garden, which might seem like a judgment, is in fact a grace of God. God did not want man to be eternally in the state of spiritual separation or death.
He sends Adam out of the garden in order to better restore his descendants. The skin of an animal that Adam had received as a garment was only a blanket waiting for another sacrifice whose effects would be definitive for a complete restoration of man before God.
We must emphasise that God asks nothing of Adam and Eve. They are powerless to change their situation before God. The fallen and wretched man is as incapable of making himself pure in the sight of the holy perfection of God, as he is incapable of lifting himself up by pulling his ears. In each others eyes they knew that they were naked, and having sewn fig leaves, they made themselves tunics. Then they heard the voice of Jehovah God, who was walking through the garden toward evening, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God in the midst of the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3: 7, 8). After disobeying the order not to eat of the tree, knowing that they were naked, the first reaction of Adam and Eve was to cover themselves with leaves of fig tree. Perhaps they believed they could hide their nakedness to their mutual satisfaction. Many are trying to cover their “nakedness”, that is, their guilt for sin by doing good works. They may seem to have some measure of success in front of the others who would speak well of them. But do these “leaves” cover them before the God who doesn’t look on the outward, but on the heart (1 Samuel 16: 7).
Can anyone ever feel that they have done enough good works to satisfy the gaze of God, the just Judge? Adam and Eve, who believed they could cover themselves, fled as soon as they heard the Voice of God “The Word of God is a two-edged sword …” who can resist? Good works are only “fig leaves” before God, an insufficient clothing in his presence. Do not count on our good works for the great day of judgment. We are told that good works counterbalance bad works. This is precisely the weak point, good works do not erase the bad. As long as our evil deeds exist we will fall under the judgment of God. Sin must be to disappear from the sight of God. That is why God makes us a proposition that is free and indispensable. God does not take the life of a righteous man if it is not necessary to obtain justification more than one. THE PROPOSAL OF GOD Adam had provided a coat to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve by means of the sacrifice of an animal. But God also made a proposal to all the descendants of Adam. As we said before, we are all spiritually dead in Adam. This proposition of God consists in making us pass from the descendants of Adam to the new spiritual generation that God inaugurated in Jesus, the Last Adam. This passage to this new generation is the work of the Spirit of God, which is called the new birth. The only man, other than Adam, who has no human father is Jesus the Messiah. Have you ever wondered why God wanted him to be born of a virgin? God always has a reason for everything he does. It is true that according to the prophet Isaiah (700 years before the birth of Jesus the Messiah), it was a sign for the Jews. In this way the Jews would recognize the Messiah whom Moses (Musa) had announced when he said, “The Lord your God will raise up a prophet like me from among you, from among your brethren; ” And I will raise up a prophet unto them from among their brethren like unto thee: and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I command him: and if any man hearken not to my words, which he shall speak (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19). Just as the cloud covered Mount Sinai when God was going to give his Word to Moses, so the Spirit of God came down On the virgin Mary (Myriam) by which the Word becomes flesh (the Incarnate Word). It was Gabriel who announced the birth of Jesus to Mary. Jesus the Messiah became “the Adam” the first of a new generation. He had no human ancestor. God calls it, the “Last Adam.” Jesus the Messiah is the first of a new spiritual descent, which is accessed by a “new birth.” It is always by birth that one becomes a member of a generation. It is even true that we have nothing to do to be born in a generation. It is written that to all who have received it, to those who believe in its name, it (the Word) has given power to become children of God, which are born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh Neither of the will of man, but of God (John 1: 12,13). Let us see what God says concerning the Last Adam. This is why it is written: The first man, Adam, became a living soul . The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But what is spiritual is not the first, it is what is animal; What is spiritual comes next. The first man, drawn from the earth, is earthly; The second man is from heaven. Such is the terrestrial, such are also the terrestrial; And such is the heavenly, such are also the celestials. And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Corinthians 15: 45-49). Jesus the Messiah is by his resurrection the firstborn of the new spiritual generation because it is the work of the Spirit of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh (physical) and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit, spiritual (John 3: 6). A religious man asked the following question to Jesus the Messiah: How can a man be born again when he is old? Jesus the Messiah said to him, “Truly, I say to you, if a man is not born again, he can not see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3: 3). God had provided a habit to cover the Nakedness of Adam and Eve by means of the sacrifice of an animal. But God also makes a proposal to all the descendants of Adam. As we said before, we are all spiritually dead in Adam. This proposition of God consists To make us pass from the descendants of Adam to the new generation that God inaugurated in Jesus, the last Adam. This passage to this new generation is the work of the Spirit of God, which is called the new birth. This new birth is for everyone who believes in the Word of God.
THE WORK WHICH MAKES ALL POSSIBLE
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned… death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation… Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous… so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.(Romans 5: 12,14,18-19,21).
It is through the disobedience of Adam that spiritual death extends to all men. And it is through the obedience of the Last Adam that eternal life is offered to all men. Just as by sacrifice, God temporarily covered the “nakedness” of Adam and Eve, it is also by a sacrifice that God provides all men with the means to be part of this new spiritual people. This is accessible to all through faith in Jesus. the last Adam, the only one who has never committed sin. He has obtained the forgiveness of all their sins by His blood sacrifice for all who trust Him. This is therefore available to anyone who believes it in his heart and sincerely asks God for mercy and forgiveness. It is God who, through his Spirit, brings about this new birth that allows us to enter the Kingdom of God. This spiritual kingdom is one whose subjects are those throughout history, before and after the promised Last Adam came into the world, who have believed in and followed the Living Word of God.
The One through whom a means of spiritual restoration was begun is the One God has chosen, Jesus the Anointed, the Last Adam.
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