When Adam and Eve broke God’s command in the Garden of Eden, sin entered the human race.This not only brought spiritual death and separation in their relationship with God, but it also affected their relationship with one another. Instead of accepting responsibility and repenting for sin, we see several ways sin wrecks human relationships.
First, instead of admitting when we are wrong we hide and deny reality. That was one of Adam and Eve’s responses in the garden. When God showed up after they sinned, we read in Genesis 3:8 they “hid from the presence of the Lord.” People today are in sin denial and its effects on their relationship with God and often deny when their behavior is wrecking their marriages, children and the people around them.
We have all had an experience of trying to persuade our brother, sister, uncle or friend about the perils of their alcohol or drug addiction, only to be greeted by denial and behavior that hides their addiction. Whether it be the sin of anger and rage or the mismanagement of money and irresponsibility, we have all seen and experienced how often we tend to deny and avoid, rather than turn to God in repentance and humble ourselves towards the people we may be hurting. Proverbs 28:13 puts it this way, “whoever conceals their transgressions will not prosper, but the one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
A second way sin wrecks our relationship with God and one another is we try to remedy the problem in our own strength. Again in the garden, the first thing Adam and Eve did to try to cover their shame was to “sew fig leaves together and make themselves loin cloths.” Here we see the old adage of taking matters into one’s own hands, instead of turning to God for help. We see this played out in perfectionism and a life of trying to remedy our sin sick heart through good works and religion.
The good-news of the gospel is that though “the wages of sin is death; the gift of God is through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 6:23) God did for us what we could not do for ourselves. “He sent His only Begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him would have eternal life.” (John 3:16) When we turn and trust in Jesus, rather than trusting in ourselves, a new way is open to not only love God, but also learn to love one another.
A final way we try to remedy the sin problem is the blame game. When God asked Adam why He was afraid and hiding, he told God “The woman you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit from the tree.” When God asked Eve, she said “The serpent deceived me.” (Genesis 3:12-13) Some say the devil was the only honest broker in the story, knowing he couldn’t deceive God Himself.
How often we shift the blame instead of humbling ourselves and admitting our wrongs when we wreck our own lives and bring pain to others. Instead of repenting and turning to God, we are quick to blame other factors. Whether we are blaming our spouse, boss, friend, circumstance or whatever, we often shift the responsibility towards something else instead of accepting the reality of our own weakness and sin.
The good-news of the Genesis 3 account and the gospel is that God provided. In terms of a promise, we read in Genesis 3:15 that ultimately a man would be born from the woman who would “crush or bruise Satan’s head.” And we know Jesus, born of a woman, did just that when He went to the cross. We also see God’s provision in Genesis 3:21, where God provided the garments of skin to cover their shame and nakedness. This is the first sacrifice in the Bible, which God Himself did. God also did the second sacrifice by becoming man and giving Himself for us that our sins may be forgiven.
The good-news is that now that God has remedied our sin problem instead of shifting the blame, hiding or denying the reality of our problem we can turn to God and not only be restored spiritually in our relationship with God, but then receive a new life where we learn to love one another.