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What is the fall of man? What happened at the fall of man?

There were two important events that took place prior to the fall of man. One of them was the creation of the universe. God created the world and all within it, and He called it good (Genesis 1:1–31). The other event was when Satan rebelled against God in heaven and was cast out. The story of creation and the fall can be found in Genesis 1—3.

Mankind was created in God's image and was designed to live a life of fellowship with Him. God fashioned Adam, the first man, from the earth: "then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature" (Genesis 2:7). He placed Adam "… in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it" (Genesis 2:15) and told Adam he could eat from any tree in the garden except for one—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil at the center of the garden. The consequence for doing so would be to surely die (Genesis 2:16–17). After the creation of Adam, God said that it was not good for man to be alone, so He created the first woman, Eve, from Adam's rib (Genesis 2:18–25). God blessed them, told them to "be fruitful and multiply" and gave them dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:28).

In Genesis 3, a new character, the serpent, is introduced. The serpent was described as: "more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made" (Genesis 3:1), and he was Satan in disguise. Satan had already been thrown down from heaven because of his rebellion towards God (Luke 10:18). The serpent spoke with Eve and hinted that God was withholding from Adam and Eve by not letting them eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; he told her that if they ate the fruit from the tree that they would become like God (Genesis 3:1–5). Eve ate the fruit from the tree and then gave some to Adam and he ate it, as well (Genesis 3:6). At this moment, known as the fall of mankind, sin entered the world (Romans 5:12).

Sin is the act of disobedience and rebellion against God. The introduction of sin into the world by Adam and Eve caused the earth and all its inhabitants to be under sin's curse (Genesis 3:14–19). Sin brought God's judgement on mankind, which has the punishment of eternal death: "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). However, God made a way by which humans could find a pardon for sin.

Adam and Eve's eating of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil caused them to realize their nakedness and experience shame for the first time. In the garden of Eden, God killed an animal and used the skins to create a covering for Adam and Eve's nakedness (Genesis 3:21). This act served as a picture of the ultimate redemption to come when Jesus, the Perfect Lamb, was slain as the sacrifice for mankind's sins (John 1:29; Revelation 13:8).

After the fall of man, God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden and placed the cherubim as guard of the garden to ensure that they were never able to return (Genesis 3:23–24). Ever since, humanity has encountered pain, suffering, and toil in every aspect of their lives—from the struggle of providing for a family and finding a home to experiencing pain in childbirth. It is all a result of the curse God brought on the earth after the fall of man. This event is referred to as the fall of man because the curse that Adam's sin brought on the world did not just apply to him but to every human being who has ever and will ever live. Even in the depths of Adam's despair over having forever compromised his unhindered fellowship with God, man's original purpose, God promised that He would bring redemption through the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15).

While we still suffer under the curse that resulted as a consequence of the fall, we have the hope of eternal salvation. We can experience the forgiveness of our sins by crying out to God and putting our faith in Jesus Christ as the one true source of our redemption. Through Jesus, we are reconciled with God (Romans 5:10–11; 2 Corinthians 5:18).

As we live on the earth where the consequences of the curse surround us, we "groan inwardly" as we await the final redemption when Christ returns to earth (Romans 8:22–23). Christ is going to replace all things that have been tainted by sin (Acts 3:21); He is going to create a new heaven and a new earth: "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind" (Isaiah 65:17; see also 2 Peter 3:12–13; Revelation 21:1). On this day, the effects of the curse will be fully obliterated and sin will no longer have a place. Humanity will be fully redeemed and restored in every way.


Related Truth:

What was the effect of the fall on humanity? How did the fall affect our world?

What is spiritual death? What does it mean to be spiritually dead?

If God knew the Fall was going to happen – that Satan would rebel and Adam and Eve would sin – why did He create them?

Why did God create humanity?

Does humanity truly have free will?


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