What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden? Part 2

17 Jun 2013

In a previous post, we saw that God warned Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in order to protect them. By eating of that tree, Adam and Eve not only disobeyed God, which is serious enough, but they were also poisoned. In this post, we’ll find out how that poisoning affects us today and what God does to recover us.

The effects of the poison

First, our human spirit—our deepest part, made by God specifically to contact, receive, and contain Him—was completely deadened (Eph. 2:1). Though we were created to have a loving and intimate relationship with God, the deadening of our spirit rendered us unable even to contact Him.

Furthermore, our soul—our mind, emotion, and will—was thoroughly poisoned by the evil nature of Satan. Our mind, the leading part of our soul, became darkened in its understanding, unable to understand the things of God. The damage was so extensive that we even became enemies of God in our mind (Col. 1:21). Our soul was utterly invaded by God’s enemy, Satan.

Finally, our body, which God had created pure and undefiled, was corrupted by weakness and death and became sinful flesh. This sinful flesh with its lusts became an evil influence over our whole being.

These are the consequences of what really happened in the garden of Eden.


It’s not hard to see that we really need salvation. We need forgiveness for what we’ve done, and we need salvation from what we’ve become. God’s complete salvation includes both.

Jesus Christ came and died for us as our substitute. He was judged and condemned by God in our place on the cross:

“For Christ also has suffered once for sins, the Righteous on behalf of the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, on the one hand being put to death in the flesh, but on the other, made alive in the Spirit.” (1 Pet. 3:18)

When we repent and believe in Jesus Christ and all He did for us, we’re forgiven of our sins.

That’s not all. The Bible tells us that when Christ rose from the dead, in resurrection He “became a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45). As the Spirit, Christ enters our deadened human spirit and enlivens it, and we’re born again with God’s eternal life. This is what He’s wanted for us since Eden! Now the divine life of God in us can save us from the poisonous consequences of what happened in the garden.

Just the beginning

Having eternal life in our spirit is just the beginning of God’s full salvation for us in Christ.

From our spirit, God’s life begins to restore and enliven the damaged parts of our soul—our mind, our emotion, and our will. God transforms our soul with His wonderful life until our thinking, feeling, and deciding are in full harmony with Him.

God’s restoration also includes our bodies, to which the Spirit gives life (Rom. 8:11) so that eventually every part of our being will be full of His divine life! What a complete and wonderful salvation we have in Christ!

Realizing what really happened in the garden of Eden as the result of a simple act of disobedience helps us appreciate the scope of God’s salvation, which is for His purpose. How can we help but love our Savior Jesus Christ and give Him the room to grow in us?

How does seeing what went on beneath the surface in the garden of Eden affect your appreciation of salvation? Share your thoughts below in the comments.

This post is based on chapter 1 of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1. Bibles for America gives this book away for free; order your free copy here. You can also download a PDF version from the publisher here.

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