Philadelphia Church

Pride

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. 
Proverbs 16:18
 
Throughout the centuries, most prominent Christian theologians have established that pride is the original sin. The Genesis account in Scripture recounts that when Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, were created in the Garden of Eden, there was only one command to keep: “You must not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil , for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:17 NASB). The very nature of God caused him to allow a creature that stood against everything in His being to roam the Garden and influence the lives of Adam and Eve unhindered, for God is love and there is always a choice in love. This creature was, of course, the infamous serpent, better known as Satan. The serpent, aware that he had only a short window in which to cause man’s Fall, devised a crafty plan to make it happen.
 
The plan began when the serpent singled out Eve. A close examination of the text explains the logic behind such a move. Adam was created first, and he was the one that God entrusted with the mandate not to eat of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve came soon after to serve as a companion to Adam, for God saw that it was not good for man to be alone. There is no account of God ever repeating this mandate to Eve directly. Since it is clear, based on the words of the serpent, that she was aware of the mandate, it’s safe to extrapolate that Adam passed on the information. For this reason, the serpent first came to Eve with the words, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the Garden?’" (Genesis 3:1 NASB). Note how Satan twisted God’s original message, saying that God forbade the eating of the fruit of every tree, when in reality He forbade the eating of only one.

Eve did not fall for this initial deception, but her response showed that she took one slight liberty in interpreting God’s command. She responded to the serpent with the words, “From the fruit of the trees of the Garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die’” (Genesis 3:2 NASB). God mentioned nothing about not touching the tree, only that its fruit was not to be eaten. This may seem like a trivial thing, but the events that follow show that it was, in fact, the beginning of the Fall of man. The Serpent, seeing that Eve had already changed God’s mandate slightly in  her own heart and mind, took this as an opportunity to openly contradict God. He boldly made the claim, “You surely will not die! For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be open, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:3 NASB).

An analysis of the dialogue between Eve and the serpent gives a general understanding of how Satan has dealt with every other person who has lived since. He begins by causing one to doubt the word of God: “Did God really say?” Then, he takes a truth and perverts it in order to deceive: “You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Finally, he sits back and waits for his potential victim to make a decision whether to trust in God or not. Eve chose the latter option. She fell for the deception and ate of the forbidden tree, and then proceeded to pass the fruit on to her husband Adam. To be fair to Eve, the text alludes to Adam being in close proximity to Eve while her encounter with the serpent happened and passively allowing her to eat of the fruit that he  knew very well was forbidden. Therefore, both parties were equally guilty of the sinful act.

What followed was the most tragic event in human history: the Fall of man. Pride, the desire to be one's own god and determine one’s own course in life, had caused the first man and woman to reject their God. The first change that came over Adam and Eve was a realization that they were naked. Before the Fall, they were naked and not ashamed, free of the self-consciousness that has plagued mankind ever since. After the Fall, their nakedness was a source of immense shame, and they were driven to make garments out of fig leaves in order to cover themselves. Then, an even more dreadful reality was realized: Adam and Eve could no longer have the same level of intimacy that they once had with their Creator. Whereas in the beginning Adam walked and communed with God in the cool of evening, now he was afraid to even show his face to Him, and therefore hid himself in the midst of the garden. When Adam was confronted by God, he did not fall to his face in remorse and repent, but rather played the coward and shifted the blame onto his wife. Eve, in turn, blamed the serpent for his role in the matter. God, seeing that Adam and Eve had corrupted their very nature, banished them from the garden, but not without giving them proper garments made of the skins of animals to wear. He also instructed them  on how to make a living in the new fallen world that they were to live in from then on.

All the evil that is seen in the world today stems from man’s refusal to do things the way that God intended, favoring their own foolish notions as to how one should conduct oneself. Pride, the original sin, has opened up the door for Satan to influence the hearts and minds of men, leading them down the path of destruction. Though this may seem bleak, God did not leave His first man and woman without hope; He left them with a promise. God prophesied that one of the descendants of Adam and Eve would crush the head of the serpent. The promise was expounded upon when God spoke to Abraham, telling him that through his seed all nations would be blessed. This covenant was ultimately fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, who is considered the second Adam. Having conquered death through His perfect obedience to God the Father, dying on a cross for the forgiveness of all those who put their faith in Him, He has restored God’s original intention for mankind. The Paradise that was once lost has been found in Christ.

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1 Comment


Pamela - February 16th, 2021 at 2:34pm

You cite pride as being the original sin - wouldn’t disobedience and rebellion be the original sins?