Read This Week’s Passage: Genesis 3:1–15

The Devastating Catastrophe

Sin is catastrophic on many levels: it produces death; it causes separation between us and God; and it puts stumbling blocks before us and others (Rom. 6:23; Isa. 59:2; Ezek. 14:7). It also creates a serious challenge to God’s goal and method of education. As seen last week, the purpose of education was for Adam and Eve to reflect the image of God in every facet of their being: their mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional faculties. To accomplish this, God created them capable of development, both in capacity (quantity) and in vigor (quality). Additionally, He created them with the intention that they should live forever. These two ingredients were necessary in order for the first human pair to fulfill their purpose of reflecting the image of God—they needed “equipment” that was capable of development, as well as “time” (eternity) to develop it forever.

If our first parents had bodies that could develop infinitely but did not have an infinite amount of time to develop, this would prevent them from fulfilling their goal of education. Equally, if they could live forever but had a limited capacity to grow, it would be impossible for them to achieve God’s purpose for them—even if they could sustain the perfection they possessed at creation. Although suffering these two consequences of sin would have made it impossible for Adam and Eve to accomplish the object of their creation, their situation was far more critical.

In addition to making them subject to death, sin almost obliterated the image of God from humanity. It not only impeded progress, but it also caused degeneration. It damaged the four areas of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. In actuality, it made godliness a near absolute impossibility.

How would God answer this devastating problem? He institutes a redemptive system of education! In a provisional and experimental time period, humanity would have the ability to live a life of righteousness by faith in a Redeemer.