The Fall of Man - What Actually is it and How Does it Affect Us?
As a Christian, you've probably heard of the Fall of Man, but do you know what it really is, what went down, and why it's important?
In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die." (Genesis 2:16-17). Eventually, both Adam and Eve fell into temptation and ate of the tree. Immediately after eating of the fruit, their eyes were both opened and they were overtaken with guilt. God returned to the garden to speak with Adam and Eve, however they hid amongst the trees of the garden. Because they were able to now understand sin, they could see that they did wrong and felt ashamed.
So why are we still being punished for Adam and Eve's mistake, thousands of years later? Adam's error made it so that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Even though the initial sin was not our own, we are now all able to sin and thus must die in order to fulfill God's plan for us.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord, they lost their righteousness. An additional effect of eating of the forbidden fruit is that they encountered a physical separation from God. "God banished [them] from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken" (Genesis 3:23).
Later in Genesis we learn that there is another consequence of the Fall: the ground inside and outside of the garden was cursed. God also told Adam that he would return to the dust from which he was taken, and so would all who descends from him.
Lastly, due to the loss of innocence, man would be required to walk clothed before God. Nakedness is now a source of shame, which was not felt in the Perfect Garden.