The story of the Fall in Genesis 3 is a narrative that answers the question, “What is wrong with the world?” Adam and Eve choose autonomy, and decide they would rather be their own god rather than finding their joy in being creatures that are created in the image of God. They choose to be the final arbiters of truth in their own lives rather than obeying the command of God. Their sinful decision changes everything in the Biblical narrative, as the perfect world created by God now has a brokenness and twistedness that reaches to every fiber of the world. On top of this, Adam and Eve now have accepted a foreign nature, the nature of sin into life, and the image of God, while not removed, is not tainted and jacked. Rather than being an outpouring worshipper of God displaying His glory, they become self-absorbed rebellious people.
But the point of this story is not just to show us how some ancient people fell into sin. The Bible wants us to see their story as our story. This happens clearly on two different levels. First, they serve as our representatives, the first two people, and since they receive into themselves sin and guilt, they will pass that sin and guilt on to every person born in their line (that is everyone on the planet, by the way). Second, their story is our story because we retell it every day. We make the same decision, and humanity keeps circling around the same cul-de-sac of hopeless self-centeredness and sin. We don’t want a God, we want to be god.
The Biblical doctrine for this is the doctrine of original sin or inherited guilt. This article from the Christian Research Journal takes a look at this important doctrine, and explains why it both explains our reality and that being guilty in Adam is right and fair. If Sunday’s sermon raised questions on this topic, this is a good quick read to give an explanation and overview of our sin and guilt as children of Adam and Eve.