Dr. S. Lewis Johnson begins exposition on Man's fall from God in the Garden of Eden. Dr. Johnson explains the impact of the Fall on creation and history and goes into detail about Eve's encounter with the serpent.
Well now, I guess you noticed that the things that you are learning in systematic theology are things that are appearing in our newspapers. Last time, remember, we studied man, what he was. And one of the big issues of the day is concern with abortion. And the Dallas Morning News has had a series, I think the second part of the three parts was this morning and I guess the last one will be in the morning paper tomorrow morning and the subject of the one today in the paper was, or the title of the article was “Is Fetus Human?” “Is Abortion Murder?” and then one of the smaller titles was “Theological Debate.”
Now, you’ll remember last time we discussed the origin of the soul or the spirit and whether creationism or traducianism was the teaching of the Bible, and creationism was taught that God, at the moment that a child was born, created a new soul for that individual, creationism. If that were true then, looking at this only superficially because this is too big a subject, of course, to discuss in a minute, but looking at it superficially, the human fetus would not be human.
On the other hand, if the Bible does teach traducianism and man does communicate, not only body but spirit or inner man, to his children then it is possible that the fetus is human. And so it all boils down to whether you are a believer in creationism or traducianism. And so I suggest that you try that one on one of your friends. When the subject comes up, you just simply ask them, well it all boils down to this, “Are you a creationist or are you traducianist?” And see what kind of response that you get from them.
Now, tonight our subject is “The Fall of Man or It’s Here on Earth and All.” And we have reached the stage in our study of angelology at which it bisects the study of anthropology. Now remember, angelology is the study of the angelic beings; Satan, his hosts and also the good angels. Anthropology is the study of man. And so these two disciplines, which are divisions of systematic theology bisect, when we come to the Fall of Man. For the Fall of Man is very important in our anthropology, it is also very important in our angelology, for it is Satan who is the means to the Fall of Man. And so we have interrupted our study of Satan and his hosts to consider man for a couple of lessons and we have learned these things so far. Satan, a created spiritual being, was the first sinner, that Satan was not alone in his revolt having with him a well-organized hierarchy of evil, angelic beings, the demons. And then, we have learned that after Satan’s sin, God created man in his image and he endowed him with personality and with a tripartite nature.
Now, we talked last time about the fact that some believe that man is bipartite or dichotomous and that some feel that his is tripartite or trichotomous. And I suggested to you that while this is a moot point and it is possible for good theologians to differ here, that it seemed to me that the Bible decided the question on the side of the tripartite nature of man and that man is composed of body, soul, and spirit. And that to put it simply, the body is that part of man with which he has contact with the world, the soul is that part of man which basically represents his self, and the spirit is that part of man by which he contacts God. The spirit is related to his mind. His mind is related to his spirit.
Now, we are to be introduced tonight to an event which through the labors of Augustine and Calvin has probably influenced Western thought as much as any event which is described in the Bible. And it is, of course, the Fall of Man.
Who has not, at some time or another, been troubled by the dark enigma of life? Or who has not felt like Jacob, “All these things are against me.” There are so many seemingly senseless things that happen in the world that anyone who really thinks about human experience and human history must be greatly troubled from time to time. Now, of course, we can just forget all about it and not pay any attention to it and probably the great majority of human beings do this. But if we do think about human history at all, we cannot help but think that a lot of it is senseless, it appears on the surface, has no meaning.
For example, take a plane crash which is a common occurrence. We notice as we look down the list of survivors that here are just a group of ordinary people, for the most part, but among them there may be an outstanding scientist who has given his whole life to research on some important feature of human life. It’s even possible that he may be on the point of discovering the real cause of cancer or some other ailment that plagues the human race and his life is snuffed out just like the life of any common person. Or perhaps, an earthquake which seems to occur at no particular time by which we can plot it or guess it, in no particular place whereby we can arm ourselves and guard ourselves against it. But an earthquake may wipe out thousands of people and again it seems so senseless. It’s so difficult to understand why. Why there? Why these people? Why so many?
Or I think one that’s even more difficult to understand than any other, why a little child playing in the yard suddenly for some reason walks toward the back of the yard, walks out of the backyard, down the alley, wanders down the alley, wanders into somebody’s backyard when the door into the backyard was left open, walks in, there’s a swimming pool, the little child totters over to the swimming pool, falls in and drowns. That usually happens several times in Dallas every summer. Why? Why that little child and why not you or I? How can we understand this? How can we really philosophically explain this to the man who wants to know?
Or take a man who has been an outstanding theologian, I have one, a friend, who is now in his eighties. He’s been one of the great systematic theologians of the North American continent. He’s hardly had a day in which he has not been in pain for the last fifty years. How can you understand that? He’s never been able to have the ministry that a healthy man would have had. He’s written a few books but very few. He’s started to write an eight-volume systematic theology, wrote the fist volume and that was all, unable to finish. He has a tremendous amount to communicate to us, but he has not been allowed to do it because of this pain.
Or take a young man who went through theological seminary with me, distinguished himself as interested in missions, became a missions leader and then right at the height of his career, when it seemed that he could be most useful for the Lord, he developed a brain tumor and he’s now with the Lord. Very difficult to understand these things and yet this is part of human experience.
Or how can we understand man himself? On the face of it he bears the marks of the divine. He was made in the image of God, we saw the other night. And yet, obviously, he is a ruined and dismantled temple. As Robert South said, “An Aristotle is but the wreck of an Adam and Athens but the rubbish of an Eden.”
So, how can we understand? Where did this blight on creation have its origin? Well now, the Bible is very plain on this point. I’m going to read for you a text from the epistle to the Romans in the 5th chapter in the 12th verse and we will just take this as a stepping-off point tonight as we consider the Fall in Genesis chapter 3. But Romans chapter 5 in verse 12 states this “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned.”
So the Bible unhesitatingly says that death has come because of sin. That the death of the little child, that the death of a scientist, that the death of a scholar, that the death of a portion of civilization is ultimately related to the fact that one day a man sinned in the Garden of Eden. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned.” I do not think, myself, that it is possible for us to explain human history and human experience if we do not understand and believe the truth of Romans chapter 5 in verse 12 or Genesis chapter 3.
Well now, let’s turn back to the Old Testament and take a look at the probation of man as set forth in Genesis, particularly, chapter 2 verse 15 through verse 17, but we’ll read beginning with verse 8. So in the outline Roman I – The Probation of Man. Genesis chapter 2 verse 8. Now, we read here:
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush (or Ethiopia as you have) And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. (And that of course is our Tigris River.) And the fourth river is Euphrates. And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to till it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:’ (Now I want you to notice the wonderful provision that was made for man.) ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’”
Man’s probation was a necessary thing because man was created something like a child. He was created perfect and all his parts, but not yet in degree. And so it was necessary for man to be tested by the exercise of his will, he would advance or he would retrograde. As a bridge is tested by weight, so man would be tested morally in the Garden of Eden. As a student is tested by examination, so man will be tested with regard to the trees. So man’s integrity is to be tested by the prohibition.
Now, of course, the means is the simple means of a tree. It has been said that a tree is a symbol of divine law that at least this represented the visible place at which the instruction of what God meant.
Now, I want you to notice that this means, the tree, was not provocation, for the maximum was allowed man and the minimum was forbidden. It was not the minimum allowed and the maximum forbidden, but it was the maximum allowed and the minimum forbidden of every tree. Now, let me turn back to it I’ve turned the page, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:” Maximum allowed, minimum forbidden, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. The issues are death. Now, I think that the issue is spiritual death. The reason for this is very simple, I think. When Adam sinned, he did not physically die. He died physically, ultimately, but he did not die physically the moment that he partook of the fruit of that tree. He did die, however, and the text of Scripture states that “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
So he died the moment that he partook of the fruit. Since he did not die physically, he must have died in his inner man; he died spiritually. So the issues of this commandment are spiritual life or spiritual death.
Now, lets move on to the Temptation, Romans II – The Temptation of Man. Well, let me say, as we come to the temptation, that, I believe, that this is a historical event. That what we are looking at in Genesis chapter 3 is not something that is mythological. And by mythological I do not mean that it is something like a fairy story, but I do not think that it is a religious myth. That is, a story that is designed to teach us some eternal truth. Some story that might be related to some ancient story which had it’s origin in the east somewhere. As far as I can tell, the Bible regards the Genesis account as an historical account. As a matter of fact, the fact that there was one man in the garden is made the basis of the argument in Paul’s epistle to the Romans in the 5th chapter, that the act of the one man has influenced all of men. And so the necessity of having one man sin is evident from the reading of the 5th chapter of the Epistle to the Romans.
So let me say then at the beginning I regard this as an historical account. I do know that there are many ancient stories in other religions which appear to be very similar to the creation account. And I have a very simple explanation of them myself, perhaps it’s too simple, but I know as much about the real solution as my opponents do and I think that mine makes sense. I regard all of these other stories as memories of the story which we are reading in the Genesis account. In other words, I regard this as the original one and all of the other accounts as variations of this which traditionally found its way into the various other religions of the east. So I regard this one as the original and others as memories of it.
The point of the Genesis account, of course, is that sin is an intruder from without man. It is not good in the making but spoiled good, so to speak. Now, we often think in the 20th century that man’s problem is environment but here were two that were members of the original great society and they failed. Or we think that perhaps the trouble is physiological maladjustment, Freud likes to tell us this. But really the problem with man is, he’s not psychologically adjusted, he’s maladjusted. But here were two people who were normal if any two people ever have been normal. I know that scientists and doctors cannot really tell us what is a normal person, but here were two, surely, that were normal and they were not psychologically maladjusted and yet sin came into existence.
The Marxists, of course, tell us that the secret of society is economic and that what we have had in human history is economic exploitation. And if we will just stop the economic exploitation then everything will be all right. Marx regards the Fall of Man as being a Fall in an economic sense. Now, I think again, it is evident that this account runs contrary to these explanations of the problems of men. Our problem is really not environment, it’s not psychological maladjustment and it surely is not economics. Our problem relates to ourselves. Now, we are human beings who are now members of a Fallen race.
Well, let’s look at the Tempter first, verse 1, “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” Now, let us not think, of course, of the serpent. In Genesis chapter 3 in verse 1 as a reptile, you’ll notice that he is a beast of the field. And as far as I can tell from Scripture, he must have been a very beautiful animal. And so Satan chose an animal that was beautiful. Girls, he did not choose a snake. The serpent became the reptile that we know. And every time one slithers into your house somewhere and you jump up on a chair and shout and scream remember that’s a testimony to the Fall of Man. So, the serpent is a beautiful beast of the field. And this serpent was able to speak. Whether this is a Satanic miracle or not, we do not know. I do not, of course; I cannot say that is not possible. Balaam’s ass spoke to him, gave him some good advice too. And so, it is entirely possible for animals to speak.
I remember, many years ago, there used to be a Scripture examination at Oxford and at Cambridge. And before you graduated from those universities, you had to pass a Scripture examination, everybody, whether you were interested in theology or not, it was just part of being a Britisher, part of graduating from the university. And they used to select some of the, or collect some of the answers that were given to the various questions. One time, the question was, “What two animals in the Old Testament, spoke?” And they were supposed to say, Balaam’s ass and the serpent in the Garden of Eden. But one student put down, oh and the second question was, “What did they say?” And so one student put down, he could only remember one and he said, “What two animals spoke? Jonah’s, the whale, that swallowed Jonah,” was his answer. What did he say? And he put down, “almost thou persuadeth me to become a Christian.” [Laughter]
So it’s possible for serpents to speak according to this text and I don’t really know the answer to that. I do, however, think that I want to stop here and make a point. You’ll notice that as Satan apparently using the serpent and speaking through him, Satan begins the conversation by saying, “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” And I just want to make this point before we look at the specific details of this testing. And that is that Satan is a beautiful, or at least a person who regards beauty, highly regards beauty, Satan is a pious believer in God.
Now, let me say that again because in the 20th century people think that if a man believes in God he’s surely a Christian. There’s all the difference in the world between believing in God and being a Christian. Satan is a pious believer in God. He says, “Yea, hath God said,” So he believers in God. That means, of course, that to believe in God is incidental to being a Christian.
Now, I am placed in the position that I often talk to people about their eternal destiny. It’s usually because occasionally I am called in when someone has died and I am asked to perform the funeral service or something like that. And sometimes in the conversation, I’ve had conversations that go like this, “Was he a Christian? Was she a Christian?” “Oh, yes, he really believed in God.” And then I have to say, “Believing in God does not make a person a Christian.” You see it’s possible to be a believer in God and to be no more spiritual than Satan. He is a pious believer in God. Well, he does not come on the scene and say, “Now I want you to know I’m an ancient Madalyn Murray, an atheistic monster and I want you to be on your guard.” Now, he doesn’t say that.
I read one book in which the professor himself said that “He comes on the scene with more knowledge of the Old Testament than the professor of Old Testament himself.” Now, he would not be the professor of Old Testament at Dallas Seminary, mind you, but he does know more than some Old Testament professors. He at least, believes in God and really believes in God.
When I was studying in Britain, I went up to St. Andrews University to attend some lectures, and I sat down in the student common room for the theological section of the University of St. Mary’s College and was talking to some of the students and a professor came in and he said, “Hello Professor so-and-so.” And I asked him a question about the professor and he said, “Ah, he’s a pitiful case. He’s professor of Old Testament here but he has given up the faith entirely. But of course, he’s appointed to his position and he’s able to continue lecturing but he doesn’t really believe anything anymore,” so the student said. So it’s possible to be professor of Old Testament and not know anything or not believe anything.
Now, Satan comes as a believer in God. As a matter of fact, he comes and says something like this, “I think that what we need to do Eve is have a little seminar on God and the Garden.” Now, let’s look at his method of testing. Let me read a text from the New Testament, you needn’t turn. Its 2 Corinthians chapter 11 in verse 3 and I just want to take one word out of it, 2 Corinthians chapter 11 in verse 3, the Apostle Paul states this “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his craftiness, or subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Subtlety, craftiness.
Now, let’s look at the steps in Satan’s craftiness. The first thing that he does in verse 1 is to question the word of God. “Yea hath God said. Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” He questions the word of God. Now notice, he doesn’t begin with a point blank denial. He doesn’t say, “Now what God told you in the Garden, is not true.” He doesn’t do that. Contemporary theologians don’t do that either, as a rule. Oh occasionally, you might get a Bishop Pike but he influences very few people. The reason is obvious; the moment he speaks you see a great gulf fixed between what the word of God says and what the bishop is saying. So he’s not a great deal of danger to the faithful. It’s the man who comes as Satan with just a little question mark about the word of God to undermine confidence in the Scripture. “Ye hath God said. Ye shall not eat of every tree of the Garden?” It’s like Satan did when he tempted our Lord. Now, he didn’t come and say, “Now Jesus, I don’t believe that you are the son of God, at all. When our Lord went into the wilderness and was tested for forty days and forty nights and was hungry, Satan came to him and said, “If you are the son of God, command these stones that they become bread.” As a matter of fact that some theologians think could be rendered, “Since you are the son of God.”
Now, just before this, the baptism of Jesus had occurred. And when he went down into the water and came up out of the water, a voice from Heaven broke the silence and said, “Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And it’s almost if Satan were present, at the baptism. It’s just a few weeks later, Jesus is in the wilderness and he says, “Since you are the son of God by the voice from Heaven command that these stones be made bread.” So it isn’t a denial of sonship, it’s just a questioning, an urging that he prove what has been stated by God. And you can be sure of this, that the dangerous theologian is not the man who denies the word, point blank, so much as the man who appears outwardly to accept it, but just questions it a little.
Now, the second thing that he does is to contradict the word. After Eve has bitten, we read, “And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden.” Now you’ll notice she has so taken the bait that she is going to overcorrect Satan. “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
Now, I have a friend who likes to say about this, “Neither shall ye touch it,” because it’s not in the text at Genesis 2. That’s the first revised version. Now, not all versions that are revised are bad, of course. But this is one in which Eve, she has taken the word of God, he said, “Of all of the trees in the Garden you may freely eat, but the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the Garden, you shall not eat of that one tree.” But now Eve has made God stricter than he made himself. She has made him out to be harder and harsher and crueler than he has expressed himself. He said, “I don’t want ye to eat of that tree.” Eve says, “He said we are not to eat of it nor touch it.” And so you can see that her idea of God is now beginning to undergo a change. Satan has suggested God is really not good, he’s really harsh. And now she’s, “neither shall ye touch it.” So that leaves Satan, in the 4th verse to contradict the word, “And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die.” Now that she has come to question the goodness of God, Satan will his point blank denial is fast on the way to having her as his victim.
Now, I want to stop for just a moment and say a word about that, “Ye shall not surely die.” What Satan, in effect, is saying is, it’s not really a matter if life and death whether you partake of the fruit of that tree. In other words, what God said is not really true. It’s not really a matter of life and death. But let me assure you that there are some issues in life which are a matter of life and death. Now, of course, we do not live in the dispensation of innocence. We live in the dispensation of the church of Jesus Christ and the issue today is not whether we partake of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, or not. The issue today is our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ who has died for our sins. And the Scriptures say, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved.” The Scriptures say that we cannot save ourselves, that we are lost, that we are undone, that we are under divine judgment, but that Jesus can and has born that judgment, and that now life is obtained as a gift, as a free gift, as a gracious gift. And our response is, shall we accept it or shall we not? And that issue is an issue of life and death, life and death.
Now, the third thing that Satan does in the 5th verse is to malign the author of Scripture. He says in the 5th verse, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God.”
Now, it’s difficult to know how to render that because this is the word, eloyhim, which remember in Hebrew, is a plural noun but which may refer to God as a singular person or it may refer to gods as plural gods. Now my version has ye shall be as God, and I’m inclined to think that is correct. “Ye shall be as God: knowing good and evil.”
Now, here he has said that God does not want you to become as he is and know good and evil. Because you see, he’s not really good. And so the suggestion contained in, “Ye hath God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden,” fostered by, “You shall not surely die.” Now reaches its climax in this thrust against the goodness of God.
It’s almost as if we have here a little well poisoning. Satan is trying to create suspicion of God and he’s now succeeded. Really what he’s saying is something like this; “You know, God is just a person like you and I are. Now, wouldn’t you like to be God? Wouldn’t you like to be the one who controls the destiny of your own life? Don’t you want to be your own master? Don’t you realize really the difference between God and you is that he knows a few tricks that you don’t know? And, of course, if you discover all of his tricks and learn his recipes, you’re going to be just like he is. So why wouldn’t he want to keep you from learning his tricks? Because he wants to keep you under his control.”
Now, of course, since Eve has become to doubt the goodness of God, her faith is wavering and she is a sucker for this kind of reason. And of course, what she finally falls for is basically the result of man’s sin today. We want to be our own masters, don’t we? We want to be our own little gods; we don’t want anybody bothering us. I think everyone of us, naturally speaking, would be very happy if we were supreme. Nietzsche was right when he said he wanted to be a God and if there was a God he couldn’t stand it not to be a God because that’s the way we are. That’s the way that sin came into the human race. We want to be independent of God.
And you know, let me tell you something else, most of you in this room are undoubtedly Christians, but let me tell you this that Christians still have that nature within them that wants to be number one. And once we have come to believe in Jesus Christ and become a Christian and receive a new nature, now that does not solve all of our problems, does it? We still have the struggle. The struggle with the old nature and the new nature and this continues as long as we are in the flesh because there is always something in us that wants to be our own master. It does not want God to be our master.
So Eve, God is just afraid that you’ll learn his tricks and as a result of this you’ll retire him just like Mr. Khrushchev is retired in Russia today; he’ll just live in an apartment until he dies.
Now then, lets notice the 6th verse because here we have the Fall of Man.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
So listening to a creature, instead of the creator, following her impressions against God’s instructions, making self fulfillment instead of God’s glory her goal, she sinned. Now, with her heart doubtful and her senses inflamed, her will acts and she sins. But Eve is still religious. She hasn’t abandoned her religion. She’s still very religious. She believes in God. She believes in Satan. She knows her angelology and she knows her theology. She’s now going to be taught a lesson in anthropology that she didn’t know before.
Now, in the New Testament in 1 John chapter 2 in verse16 there is an interesting statement and I want you to turn over there with me, if you will. Because this is John’s analysis of what happened in the temptation, in a sense. First John 2 verse 16,
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
Now, let’s turn back to Genesis and take a look at verse 6 again, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,” the lust of the flesh. That was such a lovely piece of fruit. By the way, what was it? We don’t know. Was it an apple? Who knows? Was it a pear? Who knows? Was it a plum? That’s what it was. I like plums better than I like apples. No one knows. It was undoubtedly something very simple, nothing immoral about it. Next time, we are going to talk about sin and we’ll analyze what really happened. But notice, there was nothing immoral about it. Some have suggested it was the sex act. How ridiculous can you get in the interruption of the word of God? What it was is somewhat incidental. It was the issue that lies back of it that is important. And she said it was pleasant the eyes, “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes” and a tree to be desired to make one wise. I’ll be like the professors, the pride of life. The lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, the pride of life, all of this is not of the Father, it’s of the world. It is in its essence the analysis, psychologically of sin.
Now, the text says, she took and did eat, so simple the act, yet so hard its undoing. Derek Kidner, who has written a recent book on the Book of Genesis, said “God will taste poverty and death before “take” and “eat” become verbs of salvation.”
She took and she ate. And finally, not until Jesus Christ comes as the Lamb of God becomes poor and dies for us, not until that time will “take” and “eat” become verbs of salvation.
Now, the woman, we read, gave also unto her husband. He’ll never forgive her for that. “And gave unto her husband, and also he did eat.”
Now, I want you to notice Adam. I have some friends, four women, they are very good friends. I hope I’m not going to be mean in what I’m going to say. They’re four women and they are very good friends and there’s one thing that characterizes all four of them; they dominate their home. They dominate their home. Now, look at Adam, she gave to Adam and he did eat; was led, instead of leading. He falls too. This is a curious way to achieve deity, by the way, to be led by your wife.
Now, Mr. Prier is a very good student of the word. I don’t know if he is here tonight. I think he was here. But I heard him teach a lesson once on this and I never forgot something he said. He said, “Eve reasoned which was contrary to her sex.” And I’m sure Mr. Prier does not mean all women are unreasoning, just occasionally do they become unreasonable. So do men. But it really is not the characteristic of the female to be the leader in reason; she is not made that way. I’m so glad she’s not made that way. She is made like she is. I like her, like she is. I like her the way God made her and that’s the way I love her, as God made her. And so when she steps out of the way in which God has made her, she becomes less lovable. Now many women don’t realize that, but it’s a fact of life. And then Mr. Prier went on to say, “And then Adam acted emotionally which is contrary to his nature.” He listened to the voice of his wife, God said, you harkened to the voice of your wife and so he fell. Well regardless of how we analyze it, the Fall is a fact. Eve has fallen and Adam has fallen. And because Adam is the representative head, the race has fallen in him.
Now, I don’t think we should have any question about the reality of the Fall. But you know, it’s a strange thing in spite of the fact that the evidence of the Fall is perhaps the greatest amount of evidence for any fact in human history, men still don’t like to believe in the Fall because, you see, they are subject to a Satanic blindness. It’s just as if I were to take you downtown, take you out in March or April, out on the viaduct that crosses the Trinity River and were to say to you, “Look at the Trinity River.” And you were to say to me, “Where’s the water?” “Well it’s right there before you.”
Or it’s just as if I were to take you to Niagara Falls and say, “Look at the Falls,” and you were to say, “Where is the Falls?” When it’s the one thing you can not miss at Niagara. Well that’s the man who says, “Where is the Fall of Man?” It’s everywhere, just look, just take a look at men, take a look at babies, take a look at young people, take a look at adults, it’s everywhere. If you want some scientific evidence, there is a universal tradition of the Fall in Babylonian texts, in Persian texts, in Indian texts; they all have traditions of the Fall. We have it also, of course, in our mythology, Pandora’s Box, the apples of Hesperidins, Apollo and the python, over and over again in literature reference to the Fall. How can you explain the strange persistence and endurance of evil? Why haven’t we gotten rid of evil? Or the system of education, why do we educate? We educate because we know if we don’t, evil is more rampant. That testifies to the fact that man has nature that makes him a menace to society, if he’s not trained. We recognize that.
Cortege once had visitor who said to him, that he did not believe in the Fall of men. He did not believe that men were sinners. He believed in just letting children go absolutely free. So Cortege took him out to a plot of ground, which was back of his house which was just full of weeds and tangles of vines and said, “I want you to see my garden.” This is what happens when we let things just go free.
Government testifies to it, bears witness to the fact that human nature must be restrained. Suppose we had no government. Would you like to live in the United States will no government? Of course not. Conscience, a shadow of a broken law. Everybody has conscience. Every one of us, deep down within, before we even can think, we respond to good and evil. We know what’s right, we know what’s wrong. We may, of course, have our conscience so seared, that we do not respond. But God speaks before we have a chance to say no. Before we have a chance to think he has already spoken in our consciences. And then, of course, the universal presence of evil. Everywhere you go, there is sin.
Now, this is the solution to the enigma of life. It’s the clue to the problem of suffering. That ultimately, it’s because of the fact that men have fallen. The world has lost its peace because it’s lost its peace with God. And until we come to realize that this is a basic fact of human experience, we shall never understand life. And I think as a Christian, one of the greatest things for a Christian to realize is that man has Fallen and that death is a reality and it is something that we must live our lives in the light of.
If you were to go to Seattle, Washington, on a clear day, Mount Rainier looks down upon all that area. Wherever you go, there is Mount Rainier; and so human sin and death. Everyday of our life we live in the light of sin and death and the sooner we adjust to this the better we shall live our lives. The clearer our goals will be and the more likely we shall obtain the plan and purpose of God, in our lives.
Now, its seven minutes to eight, we want to have ten or fifteen minutes intermission, so let’s close with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we thank Thee for the truth of the word of God. Enable us, O God, to live in the light of the Fall of Man. And to realize that there is a remedy through Jesus Christ for our sin. May we turn to him if we have not and receive his life.
For his name’s sake. Amen.