Lunchtime in the Garden of Eden
an essay on original sin, by Bill Givens
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The following article sets forth the theological views of its author.
It is quoted without comment.

The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Gen 2.16-17
Introduction
In the Garden of Eden, God said that Adam would die if he ate the forbidden fruit.

God did NOT say that if Adam disobeyed Him that he would die. Adam and Eve could have eaten what was forbidden unknowingly and the Fall of humankind would have still happened - though with mitigating circumstances. The Fall happened because they ate the forbidden fruit.

And so the choice of food is central to the meaning of *Original Sin* -- but many commentators ignore this, and focus only on humankind's disobedience (which is a very important issue). It is as though God was explaining the realities of the Garden to Adam.

For example, assume that you command a child NOT to play in the street. Now if that child plays in the street and gets killed by a car, it isn't the child's disobedience that kills him. It's the car.
Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. Heb 7.9-10
A Note on Original Sin and Salvation
Meditate carefully on what God is saying in Hebrews 7.9-10 [quoted above], and you will realize a startling fact.

Namely this -- In the beginning, the entire human race was present in the loins of Adam. You were there, and so was I. Mother Teresa was there. So also was Saddam Hussein. The good, the bad, and the ugly -- ALL were present in the loins of Adam.

Even the person who would become Jesus [according to the flesh] was there.

Thus, when Adam and Eve got themselves kicked out of the Garden of Eden, they took us all with them.

You might think that you began your existence within your Mother's womb, but even before that you existed in the genes of your parents. And before THAT, your parents existed in the genes of their parents. And so forth -- back, back, back in time -- right to the moment when God created Adam and Eve.

In the beginning there were only two human beings, and all of humanity was present within them. The Bible tells us that we pre-existed in the bodies of our ancestors. And there are some very important consequences of this. To better understand these *consequences* look again at Hebrews 7.9-10...
Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. Heb 7.9-10
Were YOU in the Garden of Eden?
What is interesting about Levi is that he was counted as having paid tithes because he was "in" Abraham when Abraham paid.

By the same token, not just Levi but ALL of humanity was in Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God. In this way we are ALL guilty of Original Sin!

God emphasizes this very fact in the verses quoted in the panel below...
Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned Rom 5.12

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Rom 3.23

For the wages of sin is death
Rom 6.23a
Bad News
Original Sin happened while you were "in" Adam.

Thus, the verses quoted above make it abundantly clear that you are a fully qualified heir to sin's deadly wages -- eternal death! That's the BAD NEWS.

Are you ready for the Good News? Yes? Then meditate very carefully upon the startling CONTRASTS that God has made in the verses quoted below...
Bad news
Therefore, as through one man's [Adam's] offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation
Good news
Even so through one Man's [Christ's] righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
Bad news
For as by one man's [Adam's] disobedience many were made sinners,
Good news
So also by one Man's [Christ's] obedience many will be made righteous.
Rom 5.18-19

Bad news
For the wages of sin is death
Good news
But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 6.23

Good News
God's good news message to you, given by the contrasts in the above quoted verses, is this...

  • You were born dead, in Adam.
  • You can be made alive -- ETERNALLY alive -- in Christ Jesus.

That is, you are saved when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior [John 1.12-13; Romans 10.9-10].

By receiving Jesus, you are no longer "in Adam." Instead, you are "in Jesus," and He is "in you!". And when Jesus is in you, there is now a part of you that has already died, and is now alive FOREVERMORE. Read the following verses and rejoice...

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Rom 6.5-6

Romans 6.5, above, states that you have been united in the likeness of the Lord's death.

  • Because Jesus is in you, you are part of Him.
  • You have been *baptized into Christ Jesus* and are accounted has having been crucified with Him when He died on the cross and paid for your sins.
  • In accepting Jesus you gain an immortal identity into your being and, through Him, have paid in full for your sins.

New subject?
In the following panels, I am going to briefly discuss some Bible-based facts about..... FOOD!

Some folks might think that this is a startling change of subject to tack onto the preceding study about Original Sin. But *diet* and *sin* are closely related, in ways that you might not have even imagined.

Bear with me for a few paragraphs, and I think you will see why this is so.

No, they were not Vegetarians
I know of no single word in the English language that accurately and fully describes the exact nature of the diet that God provided for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Read carefully what God told them...
God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food."
Gen 1.29

4 classes of stuff to eat
For purposes of subsequent discussions, I will list four classes of the various food groups in the Bible...

  • Fruit and leaves - no life is lost. Symbiosis, with both parties benefiting.
  • Milk and Honey - no life is lost. Co-operative.
  • Parasitic Foods - blood.
  • Life-Sacrificing Foods - Bread, meat, and whole vegetables.


Meat-eaters & veggie-eaters
Veggie-eaters need a large, functional appendix. Why? Because the appendix is a necessary part of God's design for digesting veggies.

  • Horses eat veggies. The appendix of a horse is enlarged, and is essential to digesting large amounts of veggies, especially since a large percentage thereof is *high fiber.*
  • Lions eat meat. The appendix of a lion is small, and plays practically no role in digesting what the lion eats.

The presence of appendixes in lions and other meat-eating creatures shows that they were originally veggie-eaters. To wit...

[God said...] "Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so. Gen 1.30

The Existence of Life
God is light and is the true source of life. 1 John 1.5; Colossians 1.16-17.

  • Light is the fundamental source of all energy in the universe.
  • People and animals cannot eat light. Plants are the means that God designed whereby light can be transformed into food.
  • It would be an advantage for an animal to be able to make food from light the way that plants do. But no animal can do this. On the other hand, there are no plants that possess eyes to see with, or minds to think with.

Apart from humans and angels, all *life forms* fall into one or the other of two categories...

  • Vegetables -- living things that are unconscious and unseeing. They *process* light into food.
  • Animals -- living things that can both see and think. They receive the "light of life" only indirectly from the food that the plants produce for them.
Our eco-system and the Forbidden Fruit
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were provided vegetables for their food. But it wasn't just ANY kind of vegetables that they were to eat. Read carefully the following Bible verse...

God said, "See, I have given you...

  • Every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth
  • And every tree whose fruit yields seed.

To you it shall be for food." Gen 1.29

Eating seeds, and fruit containing seeds, will lead to an abundance of plants and fruit. Picking leaves will cause a plant to sprout. This meant that the only commandment needed was the one which forbade eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In a way, you might say that the events in the Garden of Eden dealt with the consumption of renewable VERSUS non-renewable resources.

In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve EVERY tree whose fruit yields seed [Genesis 1.29b]. This could well mean that the forbidden fruit did not have a seed! Consuming seedless fruit would lead to scarcity, competition, and conflict.

Pretty amazingly relevant for today's world!
[Jesus says...] "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." Rev 3.20
Invite the Lord to dinner
Many facts are taught by the context of Revelation 3.20, quoted above. I will just mention three: 1) Lord Jesus Christ relishes fellowship. 2) He loves to be with people. 3) He loves to join you in sitting down to a good meal.
Two *food* events in the life of Jesus
For physical life, you must have food. For eternal life, you must have Jesus.

I would like to call your attention, briefly, to two events in the life of your Savior that emphasize the connection between food and life.
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Lk 2.7

Event #1 - Birth of Jesus
As quoted by the verse above, the nativity scene of the baby Jesus in the manger is a touching theme at Christmas.

A "manger" is a trough for feeding animals. Your Lord was born in a food trough!

What does the picture of a baby in a food trough actually say? It is a sign. In a way it foretold the mission of God's Son, and how people would respond to Him.

  • His mission- Firstly, a baby in a food trough is a sign that Jesus had come to be "food" for us. This message Jesus stated many times...
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." John 6.35
  • Our response- The second part of the sign is that, just as the barnyard animals could not understand why a baby was in their food trough, neither can many of us comprehend that Jesus is the bread of life for ALL who would partake.
Event #2 - the Last Supper
Then Jesus said to them, "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."

Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you."
Lk 22.15-20

To bring complete justice to the world, death must be swallowed up in victory, and all life that has been lost must be recovered and restored. To do this God chose to take the place of the life we take (food) -- to be the one to die that we might live.

The Last Supper gives us a vivid picture of God's promise to restore all life. At that final meal, Jesus took bread and wine and said that these things were His body and blood.

  • Bread is made from seed that could have lived a life of its own.
  • By allowing His body, like bread, to die and then rise from the dead, God has provided the restoration of life for all living things.

To everyone and everything that has died to be the "bread of life" for others, the Last Supper portrays God's unbreakable provision of justice and restored life to ALL of His creation.

Amen

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Rev 21.4

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