Q&A: Sin as Separation

Sin as Separation

Why did Adam's sin have such terrible consequences for humanity and creation?

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Answer

Humanity's fall into sin was in response, of course, to Adam's rebellion against God; Eve was tempted, Adam rebelled, and as the result of that, as God said, they died spiritually. Now, when they died spiritually, it separated them from God, and of course, God is the source of all life. In that separation, they no longer could have intimate fellowship with God. That resulted, in their own lives, of separating from themselves. And what we see in Genesis 3 is Adam hiding from God. There is a sense of guilt and shame, and so there is a separation from himself. There's also, in that passage, a separation from one another that comes from Adam's sin, which is a separation between Adam and Eve, in which he blames Eve for his actions. And you also see, in God's curse in Genesis 3, a separation from the world, in which Adam is separated from the environment which he is in, his labor becomes difficult. Now, all of that culminates in the fact that Adam is spiritually dead. It doesn't mean that he's not active spiritually, but it means that all he does spiritually is still in rebellion against God. He has no motive for God's glory. The other is that he is depraved in his lust. He seeks to do his own pleasure. We also know that he is under the influence of Satan, and ultimately, he is under the judgment of God for eternity. And so, the consequences when Adam partook of the fruit — he had no idea of the ramifications of what he was doing — and so, the consequences are numerous, manifold. Only Christ can redeem us from those consequences.

Answer by Dr. Jeff Lowman

Dr. Jeff Lowman is Professor of Homiletics and Systematic Theology at Birmingham Theological Seminary and pastor at Evangel Presbyterian Church in Helena, Alabama