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Broken

Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

Genesis 3:23
Broken Book Cover

Have you ever watched a two-year-old trying to get a beloved toy back from a sibling or play-date buddy? Violence. Who taught a two-year-old to forcefully grab the toy, bite the kid, shove her sister, and lord over her victim when she already has a fake cupcake from the miniature kitchen (never mind that there are five other identical cupcakes strewn about on the floor)? Or, who taught your four-year-old niece to blame her aunt who lives 180 miles away when confronted about the “Big Apple Red” nail polish streaking up and down the bathroom walls? Children reveal the worst kept secret about humanity—we all have a propensity to lie, cheat, steal, and harm. But why?

eden has fallen

Yesterday we realized the very good news of the Trinity’s love for us and our role and responsibility to be like God—just, good, loving, kind. What happened? God never forces love, so when he made humanity, he gave us the choice to love him in return. Part of our love for God gets expressed through our obedience to God. Adam and Eve faced the choice to obey God’s command—eat whatever you want, the whole garden is yours, abundance and goodness at your fingertips, but don’t eat from this one tree—or to disobey and listen to the voice of another. In God’s good creation humans sat atop the created order, but now Adam and Eve chose to put themselves under the influence of the serpent. They were meant to rule, not succumb. In a moment of arrogance, weakness, and confusion, our first parents doubted God and listened to the voice of a liar. Cosmic terrorism broke into God’s perfect creation and everything felt the effects of sin. Everything.

the consequences of sin

Lions no longer lounge with lambs—they hunt. Trees no longer easily produce fruit—they labor. The sun no longer warms our bodies—it scorches. And humans no longer enjoy unhindered fellowship with God—we suffer. The effects of Adam and Eve’s rebellion reverberated from Eden and reached the farthest galaxy and penetrated the smallest atom. Sin broke everything. One of the far-reaching effects of sin gets passed down through every umbilical cord. Our first parents’ rebellion altered our DNA, and now every human is born with the propensity to do great harm and is born into a world that testifies to this truth. A full picture of the gospel recognizes that we need saving from the cosmic brokenness that was inaugurated in the garden.

The gospel declares the good news that someday we will return to Eden, lions will lounge with lambs, trees will freely feed us, the sun will tickle our skin with warmth, and we will walk with God.

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Have you considered the far-reaching effects of sin created by Adam and Eve’s rebellion? How do you see this play out in your own life and in the world around you?

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Comments (10)

We all know of the original sin…..but God has still given us a choice to play out my life…he is a Good God.

In this day, we see the propensity to do great harm expressed almost as a right, a deserved consequence. And that is a scary thought. But it is a choice. We can focus on all the great harm. But God. God is still just, loving, and good.

My sin hurts more than myself. Forgiveness and restoration are beautiful gifts from God.

I think this must be a rhetorical question because just turning on the daily news will answer the question. Our lying, cheating, harming, and pride are there for all to see and to take part in. We feed each other’s worse tendencies.
In my own life, I feel envy when others get recognition. I feel slighted when one of my friends does something with another friend and I am not included. I gossip with others about the the lack in other mutual acquaintances. If someone points out a fault in someone else, that habit starts to distract me from the loving connection I had with him I become annoyed. The list goes on

I feel as though in today’s society, we all fall short. We succumb to the temptation that lies so easily within our reach. To have a relationship with God means confessing our sins to Him and living a life dedicated to Him. Yes, we will mess up countless times and will fall short almost ALWAYS, but that does not mean God will stop loving us. He adores us for the effort we make to choose daily a life with Him, confessing our sins every step of the way. Temptation is not forever as we are destined to live a life of eternity with God, no strings attached.

Adam and Eve rebelled and ever since we see rebellion around us. I’m always perplexed when I read about the fall of man because God knows everything and he would have known this would happen. I guess it is a lesson that when we rebel there are dire consequences but he has made a way for redemption. Again all in his plan. The sober truth is that “none is righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10) but only through His love we can be saved,“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Perplexed as I am, I am willing to accept His plan of salvation. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

I think of something as simple and as “close to home” for many of us which is our phones. We think of how much they are a part of our lives. I’m an exclusively breastfeeding mama. When I’m with my baby nursing (there’s a lot of time out of my day where this happens and let’s not even get into the time spent being nap-trapped lol), my phone is right there. I formed a habit that I need my phone during this time. I record when I nurse, and I do other important tasks like online grocery shopping or sending that needed email to my bigger kids’ school. However, quite often the habit of Facebook (or name your own addictive social media or shopping app) is my go-to and I forget about all else. Even my little guy (who’s only 7 months) understands the draw and importance we place upon the phone because it is always there. My older kids who are 7 & 10 also see it and crave it as well. They see if it’s out at dinner, if it is in our face when we are “listening” to them, if it is used while driving in the car. They notice the human desire to have a constant screen in front of one’s face for entertainment, distraction, etc., and as stated before they crave it as well. There is far-reaching effect of this seemingly minor action even if our words speak differently of a desire or need for limited screen time in our kids’ lives. So, all of this to say, just as our interaction with a phone has far-reaching impact in our lives and our kids and likely for generations, so does our sin. The sins of our fathers affects us today. My actions of distraction today (and most likely pulling me from focus on Him) impacts my interactions with my children tomorrow.

But it doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. I think of the song by Toby Mac called, “It Starts with Me,” which is a song about racial divides and and how we can start anew even if past generations didn’t understand. In a similar way, we can start anew. Our sins can be far-reaching, but we can be aware of how far-reaching they are, address our sins in our lives through Christ’s strength, and educate our children of our struggles and how we turn to God in the midst of our sin.

God never forces love; He gives us a choice. Despite our brokenness and propensity to sin, God made a way for us to reconcile with Him. His son, Jesus, sacrificed His own life so that we could live for eternity in His kingdom. Yes, we are naturally born sinners, but we can choose to do our best to follow Him; we can choose to obey because of our love for God.

I don’t know that I’ve truly thought carefully about the extensive damage original sin has caused. I’ve simply accepted the truth of it. It doesn’t take faith or a belief of any kind to acknowledge the existence of sin that ravages our world. Yet considering the derivation of that brokenness we all feel suddenly seems key to understanding the Gospel rightly, and seeing God more nearly as he is. Feeling the effects of sin without considering it’s origin has often led to erroneous and destructive thoughts about God in my own life, particularly my own suffering. How helpful to trace back the origin of sin and consider what ramifications Adam and Eve’s rebellion has had in my own life and in the space with which I live.

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