Consequences of Original Sin

Adam and Eve’s original sin produced a plethora of undesirable consequences that account for the imperfections in the world and in our lives.

The Earth Became Dangerous

God intended the entirety of earth to be the perfect environment for our sustenance and enjoyment.

He did not mistakenly create it with poor soil, sparse water, and erratic weather that make life difficult in many places. He did not design it to spawn natural disasters that cause countless hardships. He made the earth safe, sufficient, and satisfying for everyone and everything.

The Bible says the natural world became corrupt, dangerous, and subject to decay through Adam and Eve’s disobedience.

Our Health Became Fragile

God designed our bodies to live forever. He did not erringly make them susceptible to disease, deterioration, and death.

God did not program our DNA to generate genetic disorders or our immune system to attack healthy tissue. He did not design our cells to grow abnormally or to become cancerous. He did not mistakenly make our brains and emotions vulnerable to severe stress. He did not intend childbirth to be painful.

Like the earth, the Bible says our bodies became corrupt and subject to decay through Adam and Eve’s sin.

Labor Replaced Leisure

God meant for us to live naturally off the land without undue effort, rather than labor for our subsistence.

He intended us to spend each day communing with him, managing our daily tasks, pursuing our personal interests, enjoying the camaraderie of our fellow humans, befriending the animal kingdom, and exploring the universe.

After Adam and Eve sinned, God made us responsible for our own provision. Now we must toil for food, clothing and shelter, with meager results for some, inordinate stress for others, and dissatisfaction for many.

Outcomes Became Unpredictable

God audibly conversed directly with Adam and Eve before they ate the forbidden fruit. He forewarned them about the consequence of eating it.

Adam and Eve’s subsequent disobedience diminished the intimate and didactic nature of our relationship with God.

We still have direct access to him through prayer. He provides ongoing guidance and direction about certain matters in the Bible. He occasionally speaks directly to our minds about specific situations.

However, God’s communication with us is generally less conversational than it initially was with Adam and Eve. He does not forewarn us about every danger we face or advise us about every decision we make.

Without the benefit of God’s foresight, we sometimes find ourselves in difficult situations we would have avoided had he given us advance notice.

Good faith decisions—about people, careers, investments, etc.— come back to haunt us, days, weeks, and years later, due to unforeseen circumstances or unintended consequences.

Innocuous choices put us in the wrong place at the wrong time, sometimes with tragic results.

Our Nature Became Selfish

God created humans with a flawlessly innocent nature. Our predisposition became inherently selfish and sinful through Adam and Eve’s disobedience. We are now innately prone to act on moral untruth.

Our selfishness renders us willing to harm others to advance our perceived self-interest. Unseemly character traits like pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth emanate directly from our fallen nature.

We often indulge these vices against our better judgment. Our inability to resist immoral and unhealthy urges evidences our inherent sinfulness.

Relationships Became Discordant

God intended our relationships with each other to be harmonious and gratifying.

Instead, our selfish nature prompts us to exalt or denigrate ourselves and others, depending on the circumstances. It produces harmful thoughts, attitudes, words, motives, actions, and reactions that generate conflicts among us.

These tensions give rise to fleeting friendships, bad marriages, dysfunctional families, and hostile work environments.

They leave us feeling lonely.

Morality Became Relative

Adam and Eve ignored God’s moral truth and determined for themselves what constituted right and wrong. We inherited their propensity to define morality for ourselves.

Each of us now determines right and wrong based on our personal desires, current circumstances, and individual worldview. God’s moral truth is just one option from which to choose.

Our personalized moral codes enable us to justify all sorts of selfish attitudes and behaviors that disregard the needs and concerns of others.

Our Freedom Was Restricted

God gave Adam and Eve unlimited freedom to do anything they could conceive, with one exception.

Now that our nature is selfish and corrupt, we are innately prone to make poor choices that hurt ourselves and others.

To protect us individually and to preserve society, we now subject ourselves to civil and criminal laws that restrict our personal freedom. We are no longer free to do whatever we please, in every circumstance, without penalty.

Society Became Fragmented

God intended us to be united in our diversity, as we all lived unselfishly, worshipped only him, and adhered uniformly to his precepts.

Instead, moral relativity, in conjunction with our innate selfishness, spawns civil strife. We now identify ourselves as “us” and “them”.

Moral relativity segments us into disparate groups according to our behaviors and worldviews. We tend to stereotype and judge others based on their membership in the groups we like or dislike.

Our selfishness divides us into factions based on our appearance, status, or life experience. It motivates the strong to conquer, control, and exploit the weak.