May 5th, 2019
Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 24 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we’re going to talk about the corruption of morality.
We start this conversation by asking the very simple question
“Why were Adam and Eve removed from the Garden of Eden?”
“Due to sin.”
“Because of sin.”
“Cause of sin.”
“Oh… I don’t believe that.”
“I don’t know.”
“Eve tempted him with an apple.”
“For eating the apple?”
“The serpent actually tempted Eve, and told her, “Don’t you want to be like God?” And so she took the fruit. It doesn’t necessarily say what type of fruit, just says, “took the fruit,” and she took a bite and then actually went to Adam as well and asked him to try the fruit as well.”
Overwhelmingly, we pretty much all have this narrative we’ve been taught that Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for sin right? They ate the fruit they were told not to eat and God punished them and all their descendants by kicking them out of the garden and placing The Curse on the world. What if I told you that most of this thing we’ve been taught, in essence, is incorrect? Yes, Adam and Eve ate the fruit. Yes, they were removed from the Garden of Eden and they and their descendants would have to contend with The Curse moving forward. But, the rest of this narrative is extra-Biblical misinformation.
We need only open the source material to see that this narrative isn’t accurate. In Gods own words let’s read it Genesis 3:22-23. Now this is right after Adam and Eve have eaten the fruit and God has explained what life is going to be like moving forward, it says, “ The LORD God said, "Since the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not reach out, take from the tree of life, eat, and live forever.  So the LORD God sent him away from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.” There you have it, I’m not making this up, straight from God’s mouth to your ears. Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden of Eden to keep them from living forever with an awareness of the difference between good and evil.
Let’s take a beat to look at morality itself. Because we said we were talking about the corruption of morality and some of you I’m sure have already caught where this is going, but some are probably scratching your heads trying to find the connection. When you Google morality the definition your given is, “principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.” Every culture has its own set of morality; rights and wrongs, and once we define this set of morals, in a culture, that leads to the development of ethical principles and laws that more or less rule our behavior.
You could spend a lifetime studying moral philosophy, and some have. We have rich resources of commentary on ethics and morality going back for thousands of years from philosophers like Socrates, Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, heck I would probably even add the Apostle Paul to that list. But in all this studying of ethics and morality, we can also miss the point altogether, and it starts back at that question earlier, “Why were Adam and Eve removed from the Garden of Eden?”
The simple answer is that God wanted to protect them from eating from the tree of life and then living forever in their corrupted/fallen state. The real kicker in the answer though is that ultimately the thing that corrupted Adam and Eve and everyone born of an earthly father from then on is morality. And what did knowing good from evil, having morality do for Adam and Eve? When we look at Genesis 3 we see shame felt for the first time. Genesis 3:9-11  So the LORD God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”  And he said, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid."  Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Then we see Adam suffering from the guilt of morality throw Eve under the bus. Genesis 3:12, “The man replied, “The woman you gave to be with me— she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.” Then Eve also suffering the effects of the guilt that morality brought throws the serpent under the bus. Genesis 3:13, “So the LORD God asked the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” The first actions of mankind with morality are to feel ashamed of God’s perfect creation and to feeling guilt place blame on others, and embracing the pride of being more right than someone else they enter this degrading cycle. They learned good from evil, right from wrong, they attained morality and since they weren’t divine, it instantly corrupted them to the very core of who and what they were; Spirit, Soul, and Body.
When talking about sin, I maintain that the first sin wasn’t actually the eating of forbidden fruit, but when Adam embellished the command from God about the forbidden fruit, or perhaps it was Eve who embellished the command when talking to the serpent. God commanded Adam that the fruit not be eaten before Eve was created and then Eve relays to the serpent that they can’t even touch the fruit without dying, a detail that isn’t in the command. When we’re talking about imperfect actions, which is basically what sin is, then this fits the bill.
In Romans 5:12 when Paul wrote, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.” Sin, as referenced here in the larger, grand scheme of things is the stain of corruption that morality created. Morality and ethics became master usurping God in that position for Adam and Eve. And when they became master, we became their slaves dressed in chains of sin.
This is the big deal of why I spend so much time, second only to love, harping on the freedom we as Christians have to do anything; remember the Apostle Paul says everything is permissible. For the Christian, sin was defeated, morality is no longer an eternal concern; the corruption of your spirit was paid for on the cross, the corruption of your body will be transformed at the triumphant return of Christ, and the corruption of your soul will be healed at the judgment.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”