God gave the following law to our first parents while they were in the garden of Eden. “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; (17) but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Gen. 2:16,17 NASB) Left alone Adam and Eve were happy to comply with God’s law. Continue life and residing in their garden home was dependent on obedience. There was no incentive to disobey God’s law.
However, rebellion lurked in the heart of Lucifer, a star of the morning. “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. (14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'” (Isa. 14:13,14 NASB)
Acting on his rebellious thoughts, Lucifer sought to usurp authority over mankind by enticing man to disobey using a serpent as his mouthpiece. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden”? (2) The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; (3) but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.” (4)The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! (5) For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'”
With this enticement and the thought of no penalty associated with disagreement, first Eve and then Adam disobeyed the commandment. “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (7) Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.” (Gen. 3:6,7 NASB)
The apostle Paul tells us Eve was deceived by the serpent’s words but Adam was not. “It was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” (1 Tim. 2:14 NASB) After Eve transgressed, Adam had a decision to make. Should he remain faithful to God or should he join Eve in the transgression? Not having sufficient faith in God’s ability to resolve the situation and unwilling to lose his helpmate, Adam joined her in disobedience condemning them and all of their descendants to a lifetime of sin, illness, degradation and death.
For the rest of the story, please see our page on Man’s Condemnation.
For more information please see related booklets and videos listed below:
Why God Permits Evil
The Soul That Sinneth
The Power of Hell
When a Man Dies