Did God Cause Adam and Eve's Sin?

Apart from Scripture, there is no reason to believe Adam and Eve actually existed. Thankfully, God chose to tell us about the first man and woman He created. And He didn't stop there. God supernaturally delivered a record of human history in His "love letter" to His children. The Bible reveals many things to us we would never have known about God and His dealings with man.

And so my starting point in considering Adam and Eve's sin is Scripture. How else could any of us have a clue about sin, and God's redemptive plan of salvation?

Now either Adam and Eve chose to sin with their own free will, or God caused them to sin. Those are the only two options. I suppose a person could argue that it was a joint effort and God "caused part of their decision," but even then, God would be the One who caused them to move in the direction of disobedience.

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In that case, God would have started out by commanding them to obey His rule in the Garden of Eden, only to turn around and produce their disobedience by making them sin against Him. Such reasoning contradicts God's love letter to us. "When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed." (James 1:13,14)

So who created evil desires? Well, Scripture reveals that such desires first showed up in the heart of Lucifer. Originally, he was one of God's angels. And he was good because God has never created an angel to be evil. But then Lucifer's heart embraced pride which led to his rebellion against God.

Here is what Scripture says about Satan's downfall:

"Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings." (Ezekiel 28:17)

Jesus said, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." (Luke 10:18)

"How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit." (Isaiah 14:12-15)

"And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him." (Revelation 12:7-9)

"You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you." (Ezekiel 28:14,15)

It was Lucifer's choice to give his heart over to such wickedness. God did not tempt him or cause his heart to become proud. That was all Lucifer's doing. And once he got "kicked to the curb," he decided to go after the man and woman God had created and placed in the Garden of Eden. Satan was even cunning enough to come disguised as a serpent in his plot to trick Adam and Eve.

"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 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." (Genesis 3:1-7)

If God wasn't the One who caused it, was it Satan who caused Adam and Eve to sin? No, but he definitely tempted them with the idea and got them thinking about the possibilities. Satan wanted them to embrace the evil desires he had first crafted in his own heart. Adam and Eve then made their choice in the Garden, just as Lucifer had done up in heaven.

And so as we examine the big picture, here is what Scripture reveals to us: God made the angels at some point unknown to us. A "guardian cherub" by the name of Lucifer began to entertain wicked thoughts of rebellion against God. Lucifer was then kicked out of heaven, "and his angels with him." (Rev. 12:9)

After being propelled to earth, he continued his wicked ways and his hatred for God. This contempt for the Lord led the devil to lie to Adam and Eve. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Apart from Scripture, there is no reason to believe Adam and Eve actually existed. And apart from Scripture, there is no reason to believe Satan "fell like lightning from heaven." (Luke 10:18) With your free will, you may choose to believe it because God said it in Scripture. Or you may choose to reject it as nothing more than an imaginative myth.

But before you make a decision you will later regret, ask yourself this question: If the story is true, who would want me to believe it? And who would tempt me to reject it? Who would tell me the truth about it, and who would lie to me in hopes that I turn away from my Creator in unbelief?

The reason Jesus entered the world was to redeem man who had fallen under the spell of sin by openly rebelling against his Creator. Today, anyone can experience a loving relationship with God by turning from sin and accepting Christ as Savior. You simply repent and believe the good news.

And if you choose to go through life without trusting Jesus to save your soul, it is not God who is causing you to turn away from the sacrifice Jesus made on your behalf at the cross. God doesn't turn people away from salvation. Instead, He leads people to meet His Son and receive eternal life in paradise. Will you be the next person on the planet to take this step of faith?

Lucifer was originally placed in heaven. Adam and Eve were originally placed in a garden. And you were born in a specific location at a particular time. But the common denominator is that each of us gets to make our own choice. I can go God's way, or my own way.

So will I learn from history, or will I repeat it?

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

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