Satan got two main lies into the mind of Eve in order to get sin into our lives. The only way to discredit a perfectly loving God is through lies. (This is a reaction to the February 3 bible study lesson at http://ssnet.org/lessons/13a/less06.html.)
When he told Eve that they would become like gods if they ate the forbidden fruit, he implied that God was withholding something good from them, which would mean God was unloving, God was not generous, God was untrustworthy.
Then he said that Eve wouldn’t die from eating the fruit, that being separated from God doesn’t really lead to death. He wanted us to think that being separated from God is preferable.
Why do I say “being separated from God”? My understanding is that sin is the condition of being separated from God. Here’s why. The Bible says that sin is “lawlessness,” a lack of law. Well, what is the Law? It’s love. And it says that God is love. So sin is lawlessness, which is a lack of love, which is a lack of God. So sin is separation from God.
We see this in the Garden: as soon as Adam and Eve broke their promise, they experienced separation. God walked around calling to them, instead of them running to Him as usual. They were separated from their own bodies by shame. They were separated from each other by blame. They were separated from their home. That’s the state of sin: separation.
Those two lies became real in Eve’s life when she took action on them, when she actually ate the fruit. She created distrust within herself – as Adam did soon after – by acting on the idea of not trusting God.
The distrust, fear, and blame against God in our minds is like a poison that Satan put there through these two lies, separating us from God – a separation that leads to death.
Now, what type of antidote could God give us to a mental poison? Jesus on the cross gave us a mental antidote: He showed that God is loving and generous and that sin really does cause death. Even while being tortured, He prayed for forgiveness for His tormentors, and that showed God’s amazing love. He went to the Cross unresistingly, “like a lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7), showing God’s generosity.
And Jesus didn’t die of the wounds He received but rather because of the separation from God the Father: as evidence that They were being separated, right before He died, Jesus cried out that God had left Him alone. Then, the soldiers saw that He was already dead far before someone would normally die from natural causes.
Satan wants us to think that God is unloving and that separating ourselves from Him is safe. That’s the poison. But Jesus gave an antidote that goes in through our eyes and ears by the power of the Spirit when we contemplate Him.
Graham Maxwell said in his book Servants or Friends? that only a best Friend will share an unpleasant truth with you. Well, God in Jesus used His own body to show us the truth of His love so that we don’t have to be separated anymore.
(Praise Team Leader at New Horizons SDA Church in Republic, MO)