1. The greatest tragedy that has ever befallen mankind can be summed up under one heading; The Fall. Every difficulty, every heartache and tragedy, every complaint, every disease, every defect, and every discouragement or disappointment that you have ever experienced, or that you will ever realize, is directly traceable to this event that we call The Fall.
2. There are seven stupendous events that will occur in time and history: the Creation, the Fall, the Flood, the Incarnation, the Crucifixion/Resurrection/Ascension, the Second Coming, and the Final Judgment. It is quite obvious that the greatest catastrophe of these seven monumental events was The Fall.
3. This morning we will but scratch the surface of this event termed The Fall, an event so far reaching in its effects and implications that not only are your lives greatly affected by it, but it is proper to say that everyone’s life has been completely ruined by it, with the vast majority of those who will have lived and died on earth irreparably ruined by it.
4. Stand to read Genesis 3.6, the record of The Fall, followed by Romans 5.12, where the apostle Paul comments on the lasting effect of The Fall:
3.6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
5.12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
5. It is the last phrase of Genesis 3.6 which records The Fall: “and he did eat.”
1A. CONSIDER THAT DEED
1B. The deed we are concerned with is not Eve’s deed, though it was a wicked and perverse act of rebellion toward God. We pass quickly over Eve’s deed for two reasons:
1C. First, Eve was deceived. In First Timothy 2.14, in Paul’s explanation of the different roles men and women are to occupy in public worship, we read that “the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” If anything were to mitigate Eve’s rebellion in sinning against God by eating the forbidden fruit it would be the fact that she was deceived by the serpent, the fact that she did not really grasp what was happening to her that lured her into an act of rebellion against God.
2C. The second reason we pass over Eve’s sin, and really the vastly more important reason we pay so little attention to her, is that she was not the head of the human race, she did not serve as the representative of the entire race created by God, is that the consequences of her sin were basically limited to her own life. Adam, on the other hand, was the leader. This is why God created him first. So when Adam sinned, since he was the head of our race, since he represented all people who would ever live, the consequences of his rebellion, the ramifications of his act of defiance, have proven to be infinitely greater than Eve’s. Therefore, let me set Eve aside and no longer consider her in this sermon.
2B. Adam’s sin was “and he did eat.”
1C. From First Timothy 2.14, where Paul writes “Adam was not deceived,” we know that he was not lured or enticed by either the serpent’s subtlety or his wife’s tricks. He just decided to eat the fruit she offered him. It is as simple as that.
2C. From Romans 5.19, we know that what he did when “he did eat” was a clear act of defiance, for Paul writes about Adam’s deed, “For as by one man’s disobedience.”
3C. Remember, God had given to Adam clear instructions, had given to him great liberties, and had restricted his actions and choices and options in only one respect. Genesis 2.16-17: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
4C. What was Adam’s motive in eating this forbidden fruit? What prompted him to do this deed? It does not immediately matter why Adam did what he did. Whatever treatments of Adam’s motives for this deed are found in the Bible are far removed from the record of the act. Why so? Because God is far more concerned with the what than He is with the why.
5C. For whatever reason, the man God created, the head of our race, did what God specifically told him not to do. Contrary to the revealed will of God, in opposition to God’s stated desire for his life, Adam took a bite “and he did eat.” That deed, that event, that occurrence in our history, precipitated The Fall.
2A. NOW, WE TURN TO THE DISASTER
1B. God was careful to warn Adam about the consequence of disobedience. “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
1C. The moral nature of God, the fact that God is a being Who is holy and righteous and just, requires that consequences exist for disobeying Him, requires that punishment result from defying Him, requires that He retaliate and seek vengeance against any creature so foolish and so wicked as to violate Him.
2C. The moral nature of God, as well, required that what God had warned Adam would, in fact, be carried out as promised. God warned Adam that if he disobeyed, if he ignored the divine prohibition, if he ate the fruit of that tree, in that very day he would die.
2B. Did the disaster God had warned him of actually befall him? Oh, yes, it did.
1C. When Adam sinned he fell from a spiritually lofty pinnacle into a pit. When Adam sinned he died from life to death. When Adam sinned he was immediately estranged from the God Who had carefully formed him and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. He was instantaneously defiled and morally corrupted, made to be a stench in the nostrils of the holy God. And when Adam sinned he became aware of what he should never have been aware of, came to know what he should never have known, and came to be what he should never have come to be.
2C. From being one who enjoyed intimacy and communion with a loving and tender God in the garden of Eden, he became God’s enemy, and he really did die that very day. You see, life results from a vital connection with that which gives life. But Adam was expelled from the garden of Eden. In that day, with a great gulf now separating him from his life-giving Creator, Adam died spiritually.
3C. What is the greatest evil? We see it in the life of Adam. The greatest evil is that which deprives you of the greatest good. And what is the greatest good? Communion with God, such as Adam enjoyed in the garden of Eden. It was in the cool of the evening in the garden of Eden that the LORD God sought out the man. It was communion God wanted. But sin, that single act of sin, the eating of the forbidden fruit, deprived Adam of that which is most valuable, that which is most satisfying to man’s soul, that which is most gratifying to his heart.
4C. He would never again enjoy what that single sin deprived him of. No greater disaster can befall a man, for all other disasters derive from that one catastrophe, death by sin.
3A. WHICH LEADS US TO CONSIDER THE DESTRUCTION THAT FOLLOWED
For lack of time, and since this is a cursory look at The Fall, allow me to restrict my comments to three subjects, each a portion of the death God promised Adam for eating the forbidden fruit:
1B. First, there is the curse of God.
1C. In Genesis 3.17, we read, “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake.”
2C. Have you wondered by beautiful roses have thorns? Have you wondered why your parakeet died, or why your goldfish died? Why do tom cats kill kittens and male bears kill cubs unless their mothers fight to protect them? Why does the sun burn people who stay outside too long? Why do weeds choke out pretty flowers and mold ruins a nice loaf of bread? Why do we have earthquakes and hurricanes, tornadoes and hail storms? Why do farmers have to plow fields and plant crops and remove weeds and then harvest? Why can we not just go outside and pick the stuff we want to eat? Why do dogs sometimes attack people?
3C. My friends, God told Adam, “cursed is the ground for thy sake.” To paraphrase, “I have cursed the ground, and it is your fault.” When God originally created the earth and the flowers, grass and trees, with all the animals, His creation willingly gave to man whatever he needed and wanted. But now, because of God’s curse, nature resists man, because Adam brought sin in. Adam did not create sin. Lucifer created sin. But Adam’s deed introduced sin into our world.
4C. So, now we live in a world that yields up its bounty grudgingly to us. Now we have to farm and till the soil, instead of simply picking and harvesting what grows. Now we have to mine and drill. Now we have to build damns and irrigate. Now we must somewhat more forcefully take what God originally intended to be given to us freely and without holding back.
5C. Why is this so? God has cursed the ground. Why did He do that? Adam’s sin. Romans 8.22 informs us that “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain” because of the curse brought on by The Fall.
2B. Next, there is the corruption of sin.
1C. If the curse has to do with what God has done to our environment because of The Fall, the corruption of sin has to do with what naturally resulted from Adam’s single act of sin. When Adam sinned, by that single act of sin he became a sinner, he became sinful, his nature was changed by his deed.
2C. No other person has become sinful by committing a single act of sin. All other people began committing sins because they inherited a sinful nature, because they inherited sinfulness, from Adam. I read Romans 5.12 again: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
3C. Sin corrupts and contaminates and defiles everyone. It is a plague that reaches out from the depths of everyone’s soul to penetrate and permeate every part of a person’s heart and personality and mind.
4C. So thoroughly did sin affect and infect Adam that every person descended from Adam has a soul that is sinful for, a mind that is defiled by, a heart that is wicked from, and a will that is in bondage to, sin. Sin’s immediate result in your life is death, with you actually being born dead in trespasses and sins. Sin’s ultimate result in your life is also death, the second death that results from being cast into the lake of fire after the last judgment.
5C. So, why do you catch colds? Why will you grow old and then someday die? Why do you lie? Why do you take what is not yours? Why do you dishonor your mother and father? Why do divorces occur? Why do mommies have babies without having husbands? Why do people do terrible things to children? Why do people take drugs or get drunk to get high? The Fall.
3B. Which leads me, finally, to the condemnation of sin.
1C. Sin is wrong. Sin is unlawful. Sin is immoral. Sin is punishable. And though some sinners quibble about unfairness and fancy themselves as victims who are not responsible, the undeniable fact is that God holds each and every sinner responsible for his sin.
2C. When Adam became a sinner by committing that deed, God judged him and condemned him for that deed. But since Adam was the head of our race, all our sin was simultaneously and likewise judged and condemned at one and the same time.
3C. In Romans, Paul compares and contrasts the effect of Adam’s sin with Christ’s saving work. To avoid confusion, allow me to lift the phrases that deal only with Adam, so that I can point out to you the condemnation of sin that results from Adam’s sin, but which affects you and me.
4C. Romans 5.12: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” The Fall affects you.
Romans 5.15: “. . . through the offence of one many be dead.” You were born spiritually dead.
Romans 5.16: “. . . the judgment was by one to condemnation.” God judged you when He judged Adam.
Romans 5.17: “. . . by one man’s offence death reigned by one.” You were born spiritually dead.
Romans 5.18: “. . . by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” You are condemned.
Romans 5.19: “. . . by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.” You were made a sinner by Adam’s sin.
Romans 5.21: “. . . sin hath reigned unto death.” Sin rules over you and you will die.
Romans 6.23: “For the wages of sin is death. . . .” Not physical death, but the lake of fire, the second death, awaits you because of your sin.
1. My friends, it is impossible to overestimate the catastrophic effects of The Fall. It is quite simply the worst thing that has ever happened in and to the human race. It destroyed our world and damned our race.
2. Do you know of a baby who has died? The Fall. Do you know of a marriage that has tragically ended in divorce? The Fall. Ever known someone to die of a heart attack? The Fall. This influenza epidemic that has affected air travelers? The Fall. The war in Iraq? The Fall. Abortions? The Fall. Murders in south central Los Angeles, or anywhere? The Fall. Homosexuality? The Fall. Idolatry? The Fall.
3. What angered God? The Fall. What has resulted in the sinfulness and condemnation of all mankind? The Fall. Our corrupt nature is owing to what? The Fall. Again, I say, The Fall is quite simply the worst thing that has ever happened.
4. In that one act of Adam, our entire race turned its back on God, rebelled against Him, dishonored Him, disobeyed Him, shook an evil fist against Him, ignored His will, violated His law, spat in His face, despised His goodness, revolted against Him in full view of the heavenly host, outraged His holiness, and dared Him to visit His promised punishment on us.
5. People do not think about The Fall, do not consider it in their deliberations, do not ponder it in their musings, do not account for it in their planning, because we are generally ignorant of it, #1, and because we are so very used to the sin in our lives that it brought upon us, #2, that we can barely imagine what life could be and what life should have been, but for The Fall.
6. After brother Isenberger comes I would like to apply the truths we have passed lightly over to you. Please stand as brother now comes to lead us before the sermon from God’s Word
1. Adam sinned by doing something God told him not to do. By committing that single sin, Adam became a sinful person whose nature was altered by the wrong he had done. What happened to Adam, and his posterity, is called The Fall.
2. The Fall has so affected you that you did not become sinful, because you have always been sinful. You see, you inherited your sinfulness from your father, Adam. You do things that are wrong because your nature has always been wrong, from the moment of your conception until now.
3. In the time that we have left I want to apply to you the consequences of The Fall. I want to make you aware of four terrible realities, four awful tragedies, four Scriptural certainties, that are the direct result of The Fall:
1A. First, YOUR SOUL IS DAMNED
1B. Remember, it is your soul that you will lose if you die in the state you are in. It is your soul that is not upright, because of The Fall. It is your soul that actually sins against God. It is your soul that will go to Hell when you die. Therefore, it is your soul that needs to be redeemed. It is your soul that needs to be saved. It is your soul that needs to be converted.
2B. What conclusion can we draw from these Scriptural truths about your soul? Your eternal and undying soul is damned. That is, it is doomed by God to eternal punishment, but not only for committed wicked acts of sin against God. To be sure, God is angered by and will punish your soul’s individual sins. But what led to your soul’s sins? What is the cause of the wrong deeds? Your soul’s sinfulness, which is the result of The Fall.
2A. Next, YOUR HEART IS DECEITFUL
1B. Jeremiah 17.9 is an indictment against your wicked heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” But what made your heart such a cesspool of desperate evil?
2B. Remember, in the garden of Eden there was a choice made, a choice against God, a choice for the serpent. Adam chose the way of the serpent over the way of God, thus becoming a child of the devil and not a child of God. Therefore, it only makes sense that those born of Adam have hearts that are akin to their spiritual father, the devil, and are quite at odds with God. Jesus said, “Ye are of your father the devil . . . for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
3B. Is it any wonder that the hearts of the unconverted, who walk “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,” would be so much like the father of lies?
4B. So, even though the Bible shows that your soul is damned, you are self-deceived by your heart into thinking everything is okay with you. Your soul is not damned by God for its sinfulness, you say. Your soul has never been converted in any way that convinces anyone other than you, but your deceitful heart persuades you that all is well with your soul.
5B. My friend, do you not see the devastation brought on by The Fall? Not only do sinners destroy other sinners, but you will destroy yourself, and still remain convinced that all is well.
3A. Third, YOUR MIND IS DELUDED
1B. Mind you, I mean no personal insult. I am merely laying before you some of the more severe results of The Fall, the aftermath of Adam’s sin, the effect of having a fallen, Adamic, nature. Your soul is damned. Your heart is deceitful. Your mind is deluded.
2B. Having a sinful nature so distorts your perception of spiritual reality that your mind is deluded. Mention is oftentimes made of the blindness that results from Satan’s efforts to conceal the truth, Second Corinthians 4.4.
3B. But quite apart from Satan’s devices, your perceptions as a sinner, and your capacity to think, are profoundly affected by your sinful nature. Your sinfulness gives rise to what Paul terms “imaginations,” in Second Corinthians 10.5, and your tendency toward pride results in barriers and obstacles to the knowledge of God.
4B. And what is the result of this sinful delusion of your mind? Your thought processes are untrustworthy. The conclusions that you draw from what you think to be a right understanding of the facts are unreliable, leading to great error and greater tragedy.
5B. An illustration of the sinful mind at work to draw wrong conclusions: When Adam and Eve were sinless they were naked and unashamed. But when Adam and Eve sinned against God they became aware of their own sinfulness and were ashamed. Adam now feared the God he used to commune with and hid himself from the only One Who could help him. Adam’s now sinful mind drew conclusions that were quite opposite what was in his best interests. His fear of God was the wrong kind of fear, resulting in running from God rather than drawing near to God, and his attempt to hide himself from the omniscient God showed that the sinful mind cannot grasp the majesty and might of God.
6B. I am not urging you to abandon your efforts to think. God demands that you bring to bear the focused attention of your mind on this matter of sin and salvation, Isaiah 1.18: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD.” But you simply must come to realize that as a result of The Fall, because your sinfulness has so affected your mind, you will not be able to think your way through this. You must rely upon the wisdom of Another. You simply must rely upon the wisdom of God.
4A. Finally, YOUR BEING IS DEPRAVED
1B. Your soul is damned. Your heart is deceitful. Your mind is deluded. Your being is depraved. You are in a heap of trouble. When I say “your being is depraved,” what do I mean? Let me quote from Charles H. Spurgeon: “Permit me to show you wherein this inability of man really does lie. It lies deep in his nature. Through the fall, and through our own sin, the nature of man has become so debased, and depraved, and corrupt, that it is impossible for him to come to Christ without the assistance of God the Holy Spirit.” Spurgeon was so very Biblical with that statement.
2B. In Romans 3.11, Paul writes, “there is none that seeketh after God.” Depravity has so affected your will that you will not seek after God. But Romans 5.6 describes sinners as “without strength,” hopelessly impotent. So, what do these two verses suggest, in agreement with the whole of God’s Word on the subject? Regarding salvation from your sins, you would not if you could, and could not if you would. Why so? You are depraved.
3B. My friend, you do not think yourself to be depraved. You almost certainly do not feel depraved. Depraved is not a feeling. It is a fact. The fact is, you are wholly and totally incapable of doing anything to save yourself from your sins, or to save yourself from your sinfulness. Why not? The Fall.
1. The Fall was a terrible thing. By one act of disobedience Adam fell from the pinnacle to the pit . . . and took all mankind with him. Thus, when you and I were born, we were not born on the pinnacle, but in the pit.
2. Dead in trespasses and sins is the place where we came into this world, with a damned soul, a deluded mind, a deceptive heart, and a depraved being.
3. If you think you can save yourself it is because you underestimate the effects of The Fall. If you think your ruin is not complete it is because you underestimate the effects of The Fall. If you think the remedy requires anything less than the supernatural power of Almighty God it is because you underestimate the effects of The Fall.
4. Would you be saved from the effects of The Fall? Would you be restored from the pit to a lofty position far above the pinnacle from which Adam fell? Would you not only be saved from your sins, but also saved from sin (which is to say, from your sinful nature that is so contrary to God in its inclinations)?
5. Then something dramatic must happen to you, something different must happen to you. Your present course has been wrong from birth. Your present destiny is unending punishment. Nothing less than divine intervention will be of any use to you.
 First Timothy 2.13
 First Corinthians 15.22
 Genesis 2.17
 Romans 5.10
 Genesis 3.24
 Genesis 3.8-9
 Revelation 20.14
 Mark 8.36
 Habakkuk 2.4
 Micah 6.7 and Ezekiel 18.4, 20
 Proverbs 23.14
 Psalm 34.22; 49.8, 15
 Psalm 35.3
 Psalm 19.7
 John 8.44
 Ephesians 2.2
 Genesis 3.10
 Charles H. Spurgeon, “Human Inability”, Vol IV, Sermon #182, The New Park Street Pulpit, (Pasadena, Texas: Pilgrim Publications), page 138.