Adam and Eve’s Spiritual and Mortal Fall

Kathy Overshiner

To begin with, I wish to say that what I write here is my interpretation of the beginning and fall in the Garden of Eden. I do not wish to sound dogmatic, as none of us know for certain of what transpired in the garden.  Only God, Satan (the serpent and) Adam and Eve know exactly what happened.  Adam was created first and then God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and work it.

Genesis 2:15

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, you are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

God gave Adam the commandment to not eat of the tree in the garden. From the very beginning of Adam’s creation the human race has been bound to God through belief in and obedience to his Word as absolute truth. Life through faith and obedience is presented as the governing principle in Adam’s relationship to God in the Garden of Eden. Adam was warned that he would die if he transgressed God’s will and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This threat of death had to be accepted by faith based on what God said, since Adam had not yet seen human death. God’s command was given to Adam as a moral test. It presented before him a conscious deliberate choice to believe and obey, or to not believe and disobey God’s will. As long as Adam believed God’s word and obeyed, he would continue in eternal life and in blessed fellowship with the Lord God. If he sinned, he would get moral disaster and death.  Now remember, I said God gave Adam the commandment.

God realized it was not good for Adam to be alone, so he created Eve from Adam’s rib. She (woman) was to be a loving companion for Adam (man) and helper. She was to share in the responsibility and cooperation of God’s purpose for his life and well as their family.

Genesis 2:23-24

“The man said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

In the beginning God ordained marriage and the family unit as the first and most important institution on earth. His plan for marriage consists of one male and one female who become “one flesh” united physically and spiritually.  This instruction excludes adultery, polygamy, homosexuality, immoral living and unscriptural divorce. After God created Eve there was no commandment to her from God to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, as God had given to Adam the commandment.

Perhaps it was left up to Adam (first man) to teach his wife because Eve knew about it.  Now the serpent was a crafty one and said to woman, “Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” And when the woman told him they could not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the serpent replied, “You will not surely die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:6

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

Adam was there beside Eve when she ate of the apple. Notice after she ate it (she ate first) did not say her eyes were opened. It was after she gave to Adam that he ate of it, and then it says then the eyes of both of them were opened. I see that if Eve had only eaten of the apple, Man would not have fallen. Because Adam was given the commandment from God, being first man, our fall depended on Adam, Satan knew this and tempted Eve to get to Adam.  Also I am convinced Eve was not told of the commandment because when God handed down the condemnation to her:

Genesis 3:16

“I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Now let’s look at what God said to Adam:

Genesis 3:17

“Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, you must not eat of it, cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken.”

Eve was not given the commandment. It was given to Adam from God. It was left up to him to tell her. He also said the ground became cursed because of Adam not listening to his commandment. If Adam had tried to keep Eve from being alone in her sin out of love for her, then he would have talked her out of it and refused to eat of it? He passed the buck on to her when God asked him why he knew he was naked, I would not call that out of love to save her.

Genesis 3:12

“The man said, the woman you put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Adam did not want to take responsibility of God’s commandment to him. Now I am not saying Eve is innocent far from it, because her husband told her and she desired to be like a god in wisdom.  But Adam was the first man   and in pattern to the second man Jesus, Jesus came in the flesh as Adam was in the flesh.  While Adam in the human flesh caused the human race to fall, Jesus came in the human flesh to redeem us all. God came down in human flesh, as Adam was human flesh.

Romans 5: 14

“Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking the command, as Adam did, who was a pattern of the one to come.”

The human race experienced death, not because they transgressed the spoken law of God with its death penalty, as did Adam but because they were in fact sinners by action as well by nature and transgressors of the law of conscience written in their hearts.

Romans 5:15-16

“But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.

The apostle Paul stresses the supreme adequacy of the redemption provided by Jesus Christ to undo the effects of the fall. This is the real point of the passage: That the trespass of the first man Adam brought forth sin, condemnation and death, the fruit of Christ’s life (as the last Adam), brought forth grace, justification and life. 

To say that Adam chose to eat of the apple to save Eve from her sin implies that Adam willfully disobeyed God. Willful disobedience means he sinned even before he ate of the apple. But willful disobedience comes from the knowledge of knowing good and evil and knowing you are doing evil and wrong and yet still do it.  He had not eaten of the apple yet in order for him to think she needed saving. Therefore, he could not have felt he needed to save her, as he had not eaten of the apple to know good and evil in order for him to do willful disobedience coming from eating of the tree of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

In Genesis it states then the eyes of both of them were opened.  Sin entered when Adam ate of the apple. I believe that if Adam had not ate of the apple, man would not have fallen because Adam was the first man given as God’s commandment to not eat of the tree, and Jesus the second man the promised seed through the woman to save us from our sins. Before Adam ate of the apple, it was a moral test for him for his faith in God in God’s commandment.

Satan being crafty knew exactly what he was doing. Adam without a doubt loved Eve, all the more reason for Satan to tempt Eve to get to Adam because Adam would want to please her.  When Adam and Eve sinned (their eyes both opened) moral and spiritual death came immediately. Physical death came later. Moral death consisted in the death of God’s life in them and their nature becoming sinful, spiritual death meant that their former relationship with God in innocence was ruined and resulting in a condition of guilt and condemnation.

Also a human race would have been regardless if Adam had not sinned and only Eve because in the beginning of creating man God had said:

Genesis 1: 27-28

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” God blessed them and said to them, be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

God would have done the same for Eve and bring a child through a woman as he brought Jesus through Mary because God had blessed them to procreate even before the fall.  Adam and Eve both sinned together, both tried to set themselves up equal to God and were condemned as well as the serpent, but Adam certainly cannot be placed too high to almost the level of Jesus (the pattern).

Adam failed the moral test given him by God the commandment and Eve was Satan’s ploy while Jesus did not fail the moral test when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry. The only pattern there is to Adam is Adam failed morally in the flesh, and Jesus was morally victorious in the flesh and redeemed the human race for every believer who believes on Him as their Lord and Savior -- that he shed his blood for everyone for the remission of sins. Adam also had need of a savior as God promised him and Eve of the promised seed that would crush the serpent’s head (Satan).      

Psalm 5:11

“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because though defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.”

Footnote: All emphasis in Scripture passages or otherwise added by the author.