Q15: What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?
A: The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created was their eating the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6).
I. The eating of the forbidden fruit was the first sin of our first parents, causing their fall.
A. The first step of their sin seems to be their doubting and unbelief of God’s threatening (Gen. 3:4, 6).
1. Satan pretended a higher regard for our first parents than their sovereign Creator, and tacitly insinuated that He begrudged their happiness.
II. The reason this fruit was forbidden.
A. Negative: not that God begrudged Adam and Eve’s happiness, or because there was any evil in the fruit itself (Gen. 1:31).
B. Positively: it was to make trial of man’s obedience.
1. The fruit of the tree in and of itself was indifferent and was therefore most suited for the test. If the test had been love towards God or neighbor their souls were naturally inclined to it—this test was the assertion of the Lord’s sovereign dominion.
III. The evil of this first sin.
A. Its aggravations.
1. The person who committed it was not a sinner but one with a truly free will.
2. The thing in itself was small, especially compared to all the other trees that could be eaten from.
3. The persons wronged by this sin: God, their own souls and bodies, and all their posterity.
4. The time of the transgression: man was barely out of the cradle.
5. The place the transgression was committed: paradise.
B. Its nature.
1. This was not one single sin, but a complication of all evils, a violation of the whole law of God, and a total apostasy from Him in heart and life. All Ten Commandments were broken in this sin. By eating the fruit:
a. New gods were chosen—their bellies.
b. Our first parents carved out a new ordinance in how they would serve the Lord.
c. Our first parents took the name of the Lord in vain, despising His attributes, whereby He
makes Himself known.
d. Our first parents were not mindful of the Sabbath and could not serve Him when it came.
e. Adam honored not his Father in heaven.
f. Adam was the greatest murderer that ever lived, cutting the throats of all his posterity.
g. Our first parents sought to cover their nakedness, which their sensuality had brought them to.
h. Adam stole.
i. Adam lied by eating, in essence asserting that God’s Word was not to be believed.
j. Adam coveted by not being content in that state that God had placed him.
C. Its effects.
1. God was robbed the glory that He should have had from the creature’s active obedience.
2. God’s image was defaced.
3. Adam and all of his posterity were ruined.
IV. Story of Adam and Eve is historical truth.
A. Neo-orthodoxy was a reaction against Rationalism.
1. Neo-orthodoxy says the story is “true,” they accept it and teach it. But, it is true like a fable that contains some kind of lesson, a sort of “story-picture” of what everyone experiences, and not literal people (Adam and Eve)
2. Neo-orthodoxy is a deceitful and dangerous teaching.
A. Use, of knowledge.
1. Beware of the pleasures of your senses, and the pride of life. The lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh ruined the world at first, and still do.
B. Use, of testing.
1. Do you think that Adam’s sin was a little sin?
2. Do you guard the eye-gate and the ear-gate, the points of entry for Satan‘s darts?
3. Say not when you are tempted that it is but a little sin and therefore you may act on it.
C. Use, of exhortation: sinners and saints.
1. Sinners. Flee to Jesus Christ, who has restored that which the first Adam took away; and you shall be reinstated in all that happiness and favor with God which he forfeited by eating the forbidden fruit.
2. Saints. Prize Christ, who to redeem lost man, did hang upon a tree, and drink the cup of wrath as the bitter fruits of sin, and was buried in a garden. Adam’s preposterous love to his wife made him sin and Christ’s love to His spouse made Him suffer. By eating the forbidden fruit, death came upon all men to condemnation; and by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ, life is brought to the soul.