It has always been said to me that the first sin in the Bible was eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and it seemed as though this was true. It is the first sin that is plainly stated. However when I really thought about it, I came to a different conclusion: or rather, God lead me to a different conclusion.
That is not to say it was not a sin to do something God told one not to do. So, of course, it was wrong to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: but was that the first sin?
I was told, by men, that the earth was made perfect and without sin, as was Adam and Eve. When I started to really examine this concept, it seemed flawed. If Adam were perfect, he would not have sinned. Perfect people do not make mistakes, which is what both Adam and Eve did when they ate from the tree. God is perfect, and only God is perfect. God makes no mistakes, but all men do.
The thought of someone who is perfect making a mistake scares me. God is perfect and if one who is perfect could make a mistake then we are not eternally safe. Perhaps God would error someday and we will all die. Surely, you know I am jesting about God making a mistake.
Though God said that all that He had made was very good (Gen. 1:31), He did not say it was perfect: so neither should we.
When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior I received the Holy Spirit or the mind of Christ to instruct me (1 Cor 2:16). His mind in my mind. Though I do not hear an audible voice from God, if I am quiet enough and listen to what seems to be my own thoughts, I do hear from God. One has to be careful so as not to claim credit for some revelation God has given. So know this, if I say I thought about something and reached a conclusion about it, I am not saying I reasoned it out because of my great mental powers. Only that I kept asking God until He gave me the answer that not only fit the part of the Bible I was not understanding, but other parts as well, for a revelation which does not fit another part of the Bible is no revelation.
To get back to my subject, Genesis 2:25 kept bothering me. I thought that if I were walking and talking with God, and I was naked, I certainly would feel shame: wouldn’t you? I have the knowledge of good and evil. It was passed on to me along with the gift of life, just as it is given to everyone. So, I know I would feel shame, because it would be a sin. It would not be showing proper respect to, and for, our Heavenly Father.
If you think I am wrong, consider yourself walking with God naked. I think you can see that walking naked with anyone, other than your mate, would be wrong. You would be embarrassed and ashamed of your nakedness. Your mate has become one with you and therefore you would not be walking naked with someone else if you were only with your mate.
You know this would be wrong, because you also have the knowledge of good and evil. Can you see that if it is a sin for you today, when you know it is a sin, it would still be a sin, even if you did not know it was?
This became apparent to both Adam and Eve as soon as they acquired the knowledge of sin. The first thing they did was to try to clothe themselves. The second thing they did was to hide from God. They were afraid of God because they knew they had sinned by appearing naked before Him. If they did not consider this a sin, they would not have been afraid, as they had already clothed themselves, but they were afraid because they knew they had sinned.
Consider Genesis 2:25 (NIV) “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” They felt no shame because they did not yet understand that it was wrong. As soon as they knew sin, they tried to cloth themselves (Gen 3:7). Adam did not say, “I hid from you because I disobeyed you by eating from the tree in the middle of the garden.” Adam said, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
There is something, which I must try to clear up, even though it has not yet been brought up. I was trying to explain the first sin to my Bible class (I love those guys, but some times I am hard to love in return), and one of them said that God had seen him naked in the shower that very morning, because God sees everything. He implied that it was not a sin for God to see a Christian naked. This seemed almost logical until I had time to think about it, or it would be better said to reason with the Lord. The Lord reminded me that I was clothed with Christ and was always clothed with Christ, so I cannot, at anytime, walk with God naked. It is not that God could not see me unclothed, but that God will not see me unclothed. There are two ways to be unclothed: physical and spiritual. God sees everything, so even if God saw me in the shower this morning, though He did see me physically nude, He did not look at my sin. God uses the physical world, which we know, to illustrate spiritual truths. After all, we only know this world. We do not know about spiritual matters, because we have only lived in this world. How could, or would you explain Hawaii to someone who only knows the North Pole?
Look how fair God is. Adam and Eve didn’t know it was wrong to walk with God unclothed and God knew they did not understand. So, God did not condemn them for it. However as soon as they understood, God did condemn them for their sin, but even though He condemned their actions, He made a covering for them.
Do you see how this fits with the Bible as a whole? The most important possession a person can have is a proper covering for his or her sin, and that covering is Jesus. Everyone who has life also has the knowledge of good and evil. It was not sin that entered into mankind when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit; it was the knowledge of sin. Along with the knowledge of sin came the realization they needed a covering for the sin they had already committed.
This seems to me to be the most important message of the Bible, or the plan that God has for each person. That all mankind are born to sin, and need a covering for their sin, so God does not see their sin when He looks at them. God, Himself, has made a proper covering for our sin. This concept is laid out, through symbolism, in the first story about the first man and the first woman.
I believe the key that the Holy Spirit gave me for understanding this is the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve ate was from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, not the tree of good and evil.
If you still believe Adam and Eve were made perfect, you will have to reconcile how a perfect person made a mistake. Perhaps you are applying a different definition to the word “perfect” than I am. By perfect, I mean, “Being without defect or blemish” (American Heritage Dictionary). It would be a defect if Adam could sin.
Not to confuse anyone, but do you see the symbolism I spoke of in an earlier post about women in ministry? The woman representing man was tempted by Satan (Adam, representing Jesus, did not yield to temptation). She brought the fruit to Adam, who represents Jesus and he ate of it. All mankind sin and we bring our sin to Jesus, and for us He became sin.
While I am on the subject of sin, have you ever wondered why God hates sin? It seems to me He hates sin because it always hurts someone else. We always view sin from our own selfish perception. We think of ourselves and realize that we must pay a penalty for sin and it will hurt us in the long run. Therefore, we should not sin. Now if you think about it sin always hurts someone else. The murderer hurts the victim, the thief hurts those he steals from, the lie deceives someone else, and the idolater hurts the feelings, or heart, of God.
It is said that God loves the sinner, but God also loves the victim and when one sins he, or she, always hurts one whom God loves. After all, God gave the victim life and wealth and it is wrong to attempt to change anything that God has done. If God wants you, or me, to be rich He will make it so: in His time and in His way, and it would be a sin for someone else to steal it for themselves, just as it would be a sin for you to take something that God had put in another’s care.
That is my view of the first sin. Surely, if you have read any of my post, you did not think it would be the same view as you had: did you?