Adam's Sin: More than Meets the Eye

As a boy I loved Transformers. All my boyhood fantasies returned with the 2007 release of the movie. I sat excitedly as the movie opened with a US army helicopter approaching an American army base. On the face of it all seemed fine. The helicopter had the right markings and appearance. Yet something wasn't quite right. There was no radio response, and the helicopter had been MIA. The base personnel waited nervously, guns at the ready, as the helicopter made its landing. The silence ended when suddenly the helicopter transformed into a gigantic robot unleashing havoc on the base. ‘Transformers, more than meets the eye. Transformers, robots in disguise.’

On the face of it, Adam’s sin looked harmless enough. He ate some fruit. What’s the big deal? Ok yes, it was forbidden fruit. But come on, we have all snuck the forbidden cookie from the cookie jar. It is not like he murdered Eve, or burned down the Garden of Eden. It was just a piece of fruit for crying out loud.

But was it? Or like the Transformers, is there more than meets the eye?

The forbidden fruit was fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree is not to be thought of as having magical properties of knowledge bestowal. The description of the tree indicates the kind of test Adam was under. Adam, as God’s creature, was to live in a relationship of dependent trust in his Creator. An aspect of this relationship meant trusting God to determine good and evil.

So when Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he was doing more than tantalizing his taste buds. He was declaring independence from God. He was assuming God’s prerogative by saying in essence, “I will decide good and evil for myself.” In the words of D.A. Carson, Adam ‘de-godded’ God. Eating the fruit was an act of cosmic treason. God was kicked off His throne, with Adam taking His place as self-appointed God and king. More than meets the eye indeed.

The story doesn't end there. Adam is not alone in proclaiming himself God. We have all imitated our father in his idolatry. We have all eaten the forbidden fruit.

What is the result of a world filled with self-proclaimed gods? Consider carefully these words from John Piper:

If God is not the measure of what is true and right and beautiful, then I am and you are. And since we—the god called “you,” and the god called “me”—may not agree, the result will be: Might makes right. And everything in education, and media, and politics in this God-evicting world becomes a battle for power. Not a quest for objective truth and right and beauty, since there isn't any, but a power-struggle. Because the one who has the power, in a world without God, defines reality. Defines what is true. Defines what is right. Defines what is beautiful. And there is no court of appeal in heaven for the weak. Man is god. And the powerful man is god-Almighty—the maker of the truth, the inventor of what is right, and the definer of what is beautiful. And the bloodiest century in the history of the world—the twentieth century with its Stalin and Hitler and Mussolini and Milosevic and Pot and Amin and Mao and Sung and Hussein and the abortion industry—prove it with horrifying evidence.[1]

The only hope for a fallen world is that God would take back His throne. The good news is that God is doing just that. The heart of His saving purpose is the promise, “I will be your God, and you will be My people.” Let us join Him by praying as our Lord Taught us. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your name. Your Kingdom come…” Establish your throne in our hearts once more, oh Lord!

[1] John Piper, Abortion and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (online sermon) [accessed May 2010] available from

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