Copyright Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. 1992



THE BEFORE, or the state of innocence.

INTRODUCTION: We have some friends that had two little boys. The oldest was out of diapers awhile and the younger was in training pants. The youngest had wet his pants and mom was doing her thing to try and train him. "Why did you wet your pants?" "No mom, he did it," referring to his older brother!" WE ARE ALWAYS INNOCENT AREN'T WE FOLKS!


Since we all know that the environment that we are raised in molds and shapes our thinking, and since we know that a poor environment tends to bring about wrong actions, decisions and attitudes in man, we can thus assume that the wrong actions of Adam were caused by the terrible conditions of the environment that God placed him in - namely, the garden of Eden. NO!

It is true that environment tends to bring about wrong behavior in lost man. In fact some judges operate on the principle that the environment can make a person into a criminal, thus the crime is not wrong. None of this relates to Adam, however for we know that the Garden was good and that the behavior of Adam was out of his own desire to go against what God had told him.

By the way, I recently saw the front page of a tabloid which declared that the Garden of Eden had been found. It was south of Denver, CO in case you want to see it. The paper also mentioned that they had found the remains of Adam and Eve. Amazing what man is doing these days! Sarcasm intended!

What do we know of Adam before the fall:

ADAM'S ENVIRONMENT: New heaven, new earth, and new wife. The garden was full of fruit trees. All trees were for their food except one. Result of eating from the one would result in knowing good and evil. Nakedness didn't bother Adam and Eve. Had dominion over creatures. He was created in God's image. God blessed them (Gen. 1:28). Told to multiply and fill the earth (1:28). Told to subdue the earth (1:28). All of creation including man and woman were viewed as good in God's mind (1:3). Adam was to till and keep the garden (2:1). He had no sin. Evidently he had not been tempted. He had the possibility of continuing on in that state indefinitely. Obedience was the key. NOT A BAD ENVIRONMENT!

God set Adam in the perfect environment and things went sour. Adam chose to disobey, and was no longer innocent!

God was somewhat specific when He told Adam about the prohibitions. "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." I suppose that God could have made it plainer, but I'm not sure how.

So why is man that way? If you tell them not to do something they have to do it just because it was forbidden. How come and why for? Even Christians do it. The state says 55 mph and many Christians have to do 60 mph.

God tells us lying is wrong, yet many Christians lie on a regular basis. They call it stretching the truth, or just not giving all the information but it is lying.

I think that mostly the answer is that man is self-centered to the end. We want to do what WE want to do! Along with self-centeredness there are many side effects that manifest themselves. I have to be right. I want to look good to others. I want to be a big name. I want ........... - you fill in the blank. All stem from our total self-centeredness - God can cure this if we allow Him the possibility.

God told Adam what He wanted and expected, but Adam went his own direction. God makes His will plain to all believers for their lives, but I fear many are going their own directions instead.

When it comes to God's will in general - the things that the Word tells us concerning right and wrong - we as humans usually concentrate on the CAN'T DO'S INSTEAD OF THE CAN DO'S!

While teaching in a Bible Institute, it was very evident to me that the don'ts of the student handbook were the prime emphasis of dislike, conversation, and gripping. There were worlds of freedoms allowed the students, yet the don'ts were the supreme threat to their SELF!

It again, is the way of man. Even in economic things when we are short of cash, we dwell on what we can't do. I can't go to town to pick up that new pair of shoes that I NEED! You could dwell on the fact that there are many things that are fun around town that you can do.

There are negative aspects to the will of God as it is presented in the Word, yet on the whole His will is positive for His children.


God told Adam to tend the garden. That indicates WORK and that should be plugged into your memory banks. God expected man to work EVEN WHEN MAN WAS IN THE STATE OF INNOCENCE! Work is not a dirty word unless you are a gardener! We are to work in this life.

Chafer mentions that moral qualities can be active and passive. Adams moral qualities were not active before the fall. He had not needed to use them until the temptation. The fall called his moral qualities into question and into the activity. Our own moral qualities are passive when we are not faced with temptations, but they become active quickly.

Adam was mature so that he was without excuse in what he did. God held him responsible for his activity. God transmitted His will to Adam verbally while He transmits it to us through the Word.

Both Adam and we have the same situation. God told us things not to do and things we could do. It is our own choice between the two that gets us into trouble.

Some hold that the story of the fall is only a myth, while others see a realty mixed with allegory. We of course hold that this is an actual account of an actual event in the life of a real, literal man named Adam.

We might make brief mention of allegorical interpretation at this point. We will look at it in more detail in Eschatology. It is a "Symbolic representation of the truth" according to the Dictionary of Religious terms. (Kaufman, Donald T.; "THE DICTIONARY OF RELIGIOUS TERMS"; Westwood, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company; 1967)

It is similar to a dump truck full of dirt. The truck would be the vehicle, or carrier of the real load, the dirt. The verses in the Bible are the vehicle, or story, or myth, that carry a deeper truth than the story presents. In short, you read a verse and throw it away when you find out what the real truth was.

The problem with this method of interpretation is that Allegorical interpretation can have as many "truths" as you have interpreters.

So, how do we know that this account of Adam and the fall are not just myths and fables?

a. The rest of scripture treats the occurrence as fact and true. Matt. 19:4-5; Ex. 20:11; I Chr. 1:1; Ps. 8:3-6; Mk. 10:6-7; Lu. 3:38; Rom. 5:12-21; I Cor. 11:9; 15:21-22; 15:45-47; I Tim. 2:13-14; Jude. 14.

b. The Genesis account reads as if it is an account of history. There is no indication that it is a collection of myths or stories.

c. The Jews held to the account as being literal. II Esdras 3:4-7; 7:48; Wisdom 2:24; 10:1; Ecclesiasticus 17:1.

d. Christ held it as literal and true. Matt. 19:4-5, "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read that he who made them at the beginning, made them male and female; And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh?" Christ quoted Gen. 2:24 and this would show that he held that the creation account was a real occurrence.

e. It would cause some real problems with some of Paul's theology if there was no real literal Adam and Eve! See Rom. 5:12-21; I Cor. 15:21-22; I Cor. 15:45-47; I Tim. 2:9ff.

f. Archaeologists have recovered two seals that depict the temptation scene. They were discovered in the 1930's near Nineveh. Even history seems to bear out the Genesis account.


The temptation is not contradictory to what we know from the Scriptures that we have concerning Satan. It is well within his method of operation.

It was undoubtedly aimed at thwarting God's plan. All through Scripture it can be seen that the Devil is constantly striving to trip the Lord up. Naturally it is the Devil that keeps getting tripped up!

The thought of someone acting independently from God and God's desires is not new with Adam. The Devil had a good hand at it before Adam even considered it.

One is left to ponder the question of why did Adam decide to sin? Some suggestions might come to mind.

a. Covetousness. Not hardly. He had the run of the garden, that is unless he wanted to kick God the owner out, and build condos. No, there were no camaros, stereos, tvs, vcrs etc., so doubt that covetousness was involved.

b. Sexual immorality. Hardly. He had the only woman on earth!

c. Repudiation of God. Repudiation is to refuse to have dealings with someone, or the rejection of someone or something due to a belief that the person or truth is untrue. I don't think that Adam had in mind refusing God or rejecting Him, only disobeying Him.

A rejection of what God wanted him to do is the simplest explanation. The Devil tried to be like God we are told in Isa. 14:14, " the most high....". He talked Eve into the same concept. " shall be as God...." Gen. 3:5

It kind of reminds me of a little kid that has done something wrong and knows that he will be caught. He naturally tries to entice someone else into the same trouble. Misery loves company!

There were three forms of death involved in the sin of Adam and his punishment.



We won't cover these in any detail, because they come up later on in our study.

We might notice that the subject of the fruit did not bother Adam and Eve until the Devil came around. Might we dare apply this to the subject of regulations? Usually rules don't bother people until they are tempted to break them. Oft times in my early college days I noticed that there were no problems until someone began to complain about something. Then others would begin to think about it and the commiseration usually lead to trouble.

Keep the devil away and don't listen, be it he in person, or be it he in the tongue of someone that is disgruntled.

The devil wanted to be more than he was, or to be more than God. In a very real sense this is the sin of covetousness. He wanted more than he had. As we view our lives may we be careful not to fall into this trap of desiring to be someone we aren't, or to be better than someone else.

God made you according to the specifications that He wanted, so that you could serve Him as only YOU can serve Him. You may run into someone that is a much better preacher than you are. You may run into someone that is a much better singer than you are. You may run into someone that has more hair than you do. You may run into someone that has ______________ than you do.

REMEMBER THAT GOD MADE YOU THE WAY HE WANTED YOU! He does not want you to preach like the other person! He does not want you to sing like the other person! He does not want you to have more hair than you have!

Think of the glory that would be Satan's now had he left well enough alone!


God set Adam and Eve in the perfect environment, yet they sinned. Now, as you live life and you find yourself in different situations, don't assume that you will not sin. You will if your will finds the proper conditions in your being. Watch your situations. Keep them as safe as is possible. Don't allow yourself to enter into situations that give rise to improper thoughts and/or acts.

As we view God's don'ts we need to realize that His will is positive even though there are negatives with in it. His will is positive and we have no need to fear it.

It is Satan that tempts, but it is we who must choose to sin. He does not have the capacity to force us to sin. He can only set up the situation where we want to sin.

May we appreciate the Spirit's work within us to teach us and instruct us on the ways of god? He is that which every believer has, that allows them the freedom to say no to sin.