Sin and Faith

*The following is an excerpt from the article “Sin and Faith: The Rejection of God’s Love and the Conviction that God is Love” by Douglas Bushman, S.T.L. The article can be found in the March/April 2012 issue of Lay Witness magazine. To become a member, visit our website.  

File:Hieronymus Bosch 072.jpg All sin is rooted in doubt about God’s love. As an act of disobedience, sin is a rejection of His love.

An intriguing aspect of the biblical account of the Garden of Eden is the contrast between the behavior of Adam and Eve prior to and after their fateful dialogue with the serpent. In terms of obedience, before encountering the serpent Adam and Eve lived in perfect obedience to God’s commandment, while afterward they disobeyed.

What was the nature of the content of that dialogue, that it should affect their behavior so radically? What information did the serpent convey that led them to think that they needed to eat the forbidden fruit?

The point of the devil’s temptation was to lead Adam and Eve to doubt God’s love. He knew that as long as they believed that God had given them the commandment out of love, they would go on obeying. After all, the Garden was full of evidence of God’s love. The very existence of Adam and Eve, and the beauty and harmony of Eden spoke the language of love as the Creator’s motive. If He made life a gift to them, what other explanation could there be? If wouldn’t make sense for Him to then give a commandment out of some other motive. That would be a contradiction, and there is no room for contradiction in God.

This is where the first couple’s innocent unawareness of being naked takes on significance. Could a God who makes the gift of life out of love look upon them in a way that would make them think there is something wrong with them, something to be ashamed of? Of course not.

Their complete being at ease is the effect of knowing themselves as loved by God. As we know, this all changes as a result of their sin. Adam and Eve become uncomfortable in God’s presence. They feel the need to cover themselves up. They do not want to be exposed before Him. They feel vulnerable, and so they cover themselves and attempt to hide. This can only mean that they have changed their view of who God is. They no longer think that He is love.

People do not hide from love. They do not fear love, they run to it. Everyone desires to be loved. Thus, the felt need to shield themselves from God can only mean that Adam and Eve no longer think of Him in terms of love.

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