THE PROCESS OF DECLINE (Genesis 3)
By Ivan Ho First written 29 April 2016
There are 3 kinds of voices in the garden of Eden: God‘s voice, man‘s voice and the devil‘s voice.
Similarly, there are 3 kinds of voices in our world, and 3 kinds of voices in the church today: God‘s voice, man‘s voice and the devil‘s voice.
The devil, who disguised himself as the serpent, secretively spoke to Eve uninvited while Adam was not with her. Eve, who was naive, responded and engaged herself with a conversation with the serpent. That’s her first mistake.
Then the devil appealed to her intellect and challenged her understanding of God’s word: “Did God indeed say…?” which got her thinking. The serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”, telling her what “God knows….” that she didn’t know before. So Eve thought the serpent had helped her to a “new revelation” of God’s word. That’s her second mistake.
Then the devil appealed to her soul, and when Eve saw that the forbidden fruit look good and was desirable to make one wise, her heart was drawn towards what her soul desired. That’s her third mistake.
At this point in time, Eve hasn’t yet sinned although her heart has turned and her mind was contaminated. She could have still come to her senses, rejected the devil’s seductive thoughts, and returned to God’s original word. God has given each one the power to resist evil, which is our will power to choose what is right and reject what is wrong. Even non-believers have the same power to reject temptation from the devil, if they exercised their will to make the right choice. If Eve had done that, the devil would have no power over her and left.
Tragically, history tells us that Eve made the choice to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil which was forbidden by God.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 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.”
By disobeying God’s voice, her earlier mistakes had now led her into sin. Sin is simply rejecting God’s word, and by rejecting God’s word, the person rejects God Himself.
Now Adam, coming back from work, did not realise that his wife had a private consultative session with the crafty serpent. He did not know that Eve had gone to a conference held by the devil which contaminated her heart and mind. When his beloved wife offered her the same forbidden fruit, the undiscerning Adam partook of it, thereby fell into sin as well.
THE PROCESS OF RECONCILIATION
Thank God for our Lord Jesus Christ who, through His death and resurrection, has redeemed us from our sins. Not only that, He restores the truth of God’s words by revealing Christ to us through the Holy Spirit, so that we can return to our Heavenly Father. Only Jesus the word of God has the power to arrest our decline and bring reconciliation between man and God!