There are four main historical facts to keep in mind:
- The creation of all things by the word of God’s power. The first verse in the book of Genesis simply states the general fact, that “In the beginning” — whenever that may have been — “God created the heaven and the earth.”
- The descent of all men from our common parents, Adam and Eve. “He has made of one blood all nations, for to dwell on the face of the earth.”
- Our connection with Adam as the head of the human race, through which all mankind were involved in his sin and fall;
- That One descended from Adam, yet without his sin, by suffering freeD us from the consequences of the fall, and as the second Adam became the Author of eternal salvation to all who trust in Him.
- To these four vital truths there might be added, as a fifth, the institution of one day in seven to be a day of holy rest unto God.
God “created all things by Jesus Christ;” (Ephesians 3:9) and “all things were created by Him, and for Him,” (Colossians 1:16) and “of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things.” (Romans 11:36. See also 1 Corinthians 8:6; Hebrews 1:2; John 1:3). This gives not only unity to all creation, but places it in living connection with our Lord Jesus Christ.
The seventh day, God rested and called it the Sabbath. It is upon the original institution of the Sabbath as a day of holy rest that our observance of the Lord’s day is finally based, the change in the precise day — from the seventh to the first of the week — having been occasioned by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which not only the first, but also the new creation was finally completed. (See Isaiah 65:17)
Of all His works God only “created man in His own image: in the image of God created He him.” God “put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it,” and gave him a companion in Eve, whom Adam recognized as bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh. He also laid in Paradise the foundation of civil society by the institution of marriage and of the family. (Comp. Mark 10:6, 9)
But evil was already in this world, for Satan and his angels had rebelled against God. We are told that “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” had been placed “in the midst of the garden,” and of the fruit of this tree God forbade Adam to eat, or face death. On the other hand, there was also “the tree of life” in the garden, probably as symbol and pledge of a higher life, which we should have inherited if our first parents had continued obedient to God.
The serpent approached Eve, denied the threatening of God, and deceived her as to the real consequences of eating the forbidden fruit. This, followed by the enticement of her own senses, led Eve first to eat, and then to induce her husband to do likewise.
Their eyes were indeed opened, as the serpent had promised, “to know good and evil;” but only in their own guilty knowledge of sin, which immediately prompted the wish to hide themselves from the presence of God.
In the day he sinned man died in body, soul, and spirit. As Adam was the head of his race who represented the whole, the consequences of his disobedience have extended to us all; and as “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,” so “death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Even “creation itself,” which had been placed under his dominion, was made through his fall “subject to vanity,” and came under the curse, as God said to Adam: “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.”
God however, in His infinite mercy, did not leave man to perish in his sin. He was indeed driven forth from Paradise but before that, God had pronounced the curse upon his tempter, Satan, and had given man the precious promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent. Our blessed Savior, “born of a woman,” would redeem us from the power of sin and of death, through His own obedience, death, and resurrection.
Therefore, when our first parents left the garden of Eden, it was not without hope, nor into outer darkness. They carried with them the promise of a Redeemer and the assurance of the final defeat of the great enemy.
In Adam all have sinned and fallen. But, on the other hand, it also determines our spiritual relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ, as the second Adam. For “as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly,” and “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
(Source: Alfred Edersheim, Bible History: Old Testament)