“Though the circumstances in the garden were unique, they have permanent relevance.” In other words, we are still experiencing the ripple effects of the Fall. This comes to no surprise; we are obviously living in a sinful world because of the Fall, but are there similarities between our modern environment and Adam and Eve’s situation?
Language, because of the Fall, has become a mixture of truth, ½ truths and deceit. We are confronted with this mixture in the world every day through advertisements, self-help books, media, politics, etc. The mixture often times includes the voice of God, and the voice of Satan. We hear more and more that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the light, but not the only way, the only truth, and the only light. Books on self-improvement are the top-selling books because the language in it is telling the reader that improving “self” will bring happiness, much like Eve seeing that the tree was to be desired to make one wise – it was about “self.”
The serpent used these very same tactics of twisting language on Eve in the Garden. His goal in asking, “Did God actually say?” was all to undermine the relationship God had with His creation. Unfortunately, the serpent succeeded in his deceit, and the relationship between God and humans was broken. Also to our misfortune, the serpent is still in the business of undermining even the broken relationship we have with God due to the Fall. Satan is antithetical to God, and antithetical to God’s word because God’s word faithfully represents God.
The serpent is still asking, “Did God actually say?” and so we need a response. We can know the word by studying and practicing the word. We can better know what God is actually saying, by looking to God for the answers and not to ourselves. How? Well, a great place to start is in the word – James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But, let him ask in faith,” – Seek the truth in God, and when the serpent asks, “Did God actually say?” – we may be better equipped to spot the serpents craftiness hidden within the language he uses.
God is inexhaustible in his omniscience. Although Adam and Eve knew God in the garden, they too were limited in their understanding and knowledge. They didn’t know all there was to know; otherwise they wouldn’t have struggled with the Serpent’s question. They were very much human beings made in the Imago Dei. However, unlike us, their understanding and knowledge before the fall was unblemished. Their use of language was how it was originally intended to be, at least up until the great disaster. In contrast, our use of language is blemished and distorted, but God’s truth has remained. God’s truth has prevailed in spite of the fall. His truth is most evident in the written Holy Scriptures, which He has graciously given to us. We can allow the Holy Spirit to reveal His truths through our testimonies and in our narratives. Even with the little magnificent truths God has revealed to us, we can share them with each other in writings and speech.
Can you imagine if the apostles decided never to write anything down, or to speak out the Gospel of Christ? Likewise, I believe we are all called to do the same, and in doing so we are fighting the Fall and finding our way back to God.
Questions to consider:
Can you imagine what communication was like before the Fall?
Can you imagine the complete removal of sin from your thoughts?
What do you think that will be like? What kinds of truth in communication will be realized when Heaven comes down?
Remember to try and incorporate Scripture into your response.
If you experience any difficulty searching through Scripture, don’t worry – I’ll help find an appropriate passage when I respond to your post. 🙂
Leave your comments below 🙂
. Vern Sheridan Poythress, In the Beginning Was the Word: Language: a God-Centered Approach (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2009), 108.
. Poythress, In the Beginning Was the Word. 111.
. The Holy Bible, Genesis 1:26-27