As we continue to look at the doctrinal foundations in Genesis, we come to one of the most foundational truths of all of scripture. That is the entrance of sin into humanity. Each and every person can look around and see that there is something wrong. There are broken things and broken people. We all have this innate sense of right and wrong, and because of that, we recognize that there is a lot of wrong in the world. As the world changes, phones become more and more an essential part of our culture, and things like X, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms become more popular, there is a greater awareness of the various evils of the world. Something else that happens with all of this is a shift in what the culture thinks of as wrong. Nevertheless, we all understand that something is wrong. Throughout the history of the church, there have been various attempts to address what it is that is wrong. Unfortunately, most of these attempts do not start where scripture starts.
The Origine of the Problem
It should not be a surprise at this point that the origin of all these problems we have has a foundation in Genesis. In chapter three, we find this story of the first woman, who has not yet been named at this point, interacting with this creature known as the serpent. We are told that this serpent is "more crafty than any other beast of the field" (Gen 3:1). If you have been to Sunday School or VBS as a child, it is highly likely that you are at least somewhat familiar with them. The serpent tempts the woman to eat the forbidden fruit. The fruit that God expressly stated that they should not eat. It is this event where sin enters into humanity. After a short conversation with the serpent, the woman takes some of the fruit, eats it, and then shares the fruit with her husband. This is the first sin. Now, at this point, we need to make a distinction between the first sin, or the original sin, and the doctrine of original sin. The doctrine refers to the result of the first sin, not the first sin itself. This first sin is an essential part of how we understand not only the rest of scripture but the message of the gospel itself.
With the first sin comes the destruction of the innocent nature of humanity. Before this first sin, humanity, which at this point is just Adam and the Woman who will later be named Eve, is in a state of innocence. After the first sin, they and all who come from them are no longer in this state of innocence. The doctrine of original sin is the understanding that because of this loss of innocence, all humanity is born with a sinful nature. This is why we need a savior. It is not that we are sick or that we are simply broken, but that the result of the first sin was and is spiritual death. This spiritual death brings about and leads to physical and eternal death. This is the starting place for the gospel message. We are sinners, and we need a savior. We need a savior because we are spiritually dead and incapable of saving ourselves. This is what makes the gospel message good news. It is the most incredible news that we have this savior who has come and taken away not only original sin but all the sins that come as a result of original sin. We sin because we are born sinners. We do not become sinners because we sin. Christ, in his life, death, and resurrection, takes the punishment that our sin requires.
Why Is This Important
To sum things up a little bit, Genesis three is important because it teaches the foundations of the gospel. It teaches us why we need a savior. If we allow the first twelve chapters of Genesis to be treated as myth and fantasy, we lose the foundations for the gospel. The issue over the truth of Genesis is not important because we need to know how the world started, although that is indeed important, it is crucial because in it, we have the foundations of the rest of scripture. If we lose a literal Adam and a literal first sin, then we lose the need for a literal savior. Sin is something that we face every day. We face the sin in our own lives and the sin that is evident in the world around us. When we start to question why it seems everything is so bad, we can look back to Genesis three and see its start. We need to hold firm to what scripture teaches and not forget the wonder of the gospel, that we are saved from our sins in Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria