The fruit was desirable to the eyes, fragrant, and delicious.

But as Adam swallowed the fruit, sin and death would swallow the human race.

What exactly was Adam & Eve’s sin?

Obviously they disobeyed God, but sins rarely exist in isolation.

If we apply what we now know of God’s revealed commands in the Old & New Testaments, Adam & Eve committed at least 23 sins.

Here they are:

1) They disobeyed God
In Genesis 2:17 God said,

“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.”

But what did they do? Genesis 3:6b says,

“She took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”

They clearly disobeyed a direct command from God.

2) They broke the 1st commandment
Exodus 20:3 says,

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

They fell to the temptation of the snake in Genesis 3:5a when he promised,

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God”

Adam and Eve sought to make themselves gods.

3) They dishonored their heavenly father
Dishonoring God is no small matter.

First of all, if we’re supposed to honor our earthly father, how much more our heavenly father?

“Honor your father and your mother” -Exodus 20:12a

But even if you think the 5th commandment doesn’t apply here, we see in Romans 1:21a one of the root sins against God is not honoring him:

“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God”

4) They were not thankful
Again in Romans 1:21 we see that one of the root sins is not being thankful to God:

“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him”

Instead of being thankful for all the things God had already given them, Adam and Eve desired more.

5) They murdered
The sixth commandment in Exodus 20:13 says,

“You shall not murder.”

In modern legal language, it might be more accurate to say they committed manslaughter, but ultimately their decision led to death for all of mankind.

6) They broke the 8th commandment
When they ate the fruit, they took and ate what was not theirs.

“You shall not steal.” -Exodus 20:15

7) They broke the 9th commandment
When God approached them because of their sin, they tried to lay the blame of their sins on others.

You could say this is a form of “bearing false witness” that we see in Exodus 20:16:

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

8) They broke the 10th commandment
Exodus 20:17a says,

“You shall not covet”

When Adam and Eve sinned, they coveted what was not theirs.

God gave them every fruit, a garden, the whole world even.

But it was not enough. They wanted more.

The rest of scripture says that Adam was ultimately responsible for sin.
9) Adam was not thankful to God for Eve
In Genesis 2:18 God said,

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

When God presented Eve to Adam, he responded in singing!

Here were his words in Genesis 2:23:

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

But after Adam sinned, that pure song of thanks was overshadowed by his self-interest.

When God inquires about Adam’s sin, he ultimately blames God for giving him Eve.

See Genesis 3:11-12 which says,

“He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’”

10) Adam failed to sacrificially love Eve
Ephesians 5:25 says,

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,”

In Genesis 3:11-12 (see above) Adam treated Eve like an object he no longer wanted.

Rather than feel the full weight of God’s inquiry, he tried to deflect the pressure onto his wife.

11) Adam failed to protect Eve
It was Adam’s responsibility to protect Eve.

In 1 Timothy 5:8 we see that men are responsible to protect and provide for their families,

“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

But when the snake approached Eve, Adam sat idly by.

See this in Genesis 3:6b,

“She took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”

Throughout the rest of the Bible, you see that the responsibility for the sin of mankind is laid on Adam specifically, not Eve.

You even see this right away in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve are hiding from God.

God calls out to Adam first, not Eve.

That is because Adam was ultimately responsible, and failed.

12) Adam and Eve were not repentant
From Old Testament Prophets, to John the Baptist, to Jesus himself, the common theme in their preaching ministries was repentance.

“From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” - Matthew 4:17

When God questioned Adam and Eve, both of them deflected and blame-shifted.

13) They did not have the humility to admit their wrongs
Adam blamed God and Eve.

In Genesis 3:13, Eve blamed the serpent:

“Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’”

Their hearts were full of pride and they wouldn't own up to their mistake.

14) Eve lied and misrepresented God’s words
While Eve was telling the serpent God’s commands, she misrepresented God’s words by adding to them.

See God’s original command in Genesis 2:17:

“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.”

Now notice what Eve adds to the command in Genesis 3:3:

“But God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

15) Adam & Eve lied to themselves
A lie to oneself may be the most pernicious lie of all.

When Adam & Eve ate the fruit, they told themselves they would be better off.

This is an instructive warning to us.

In Romans 1:18b we see that we are very capable of suppressing what we know to be true:

“Men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”

16) They wanted to trust in their own wisdom over the wisdom of God
One of the primary reasons the fruit was desirable to them was because they were promised wisdom that was not theirs.

See how the appeal of wisdom played a crucial role in their sin in Genesis 3:6a,

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.”

17) They failed in their stewardship of the earth as the earth itself
The very first command in the Bible is found in Genesis 1:28 which says,

“And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

Men and women were created to be stewards of the earth.

When they sinned, the earth itself was tainted by their sin.

We see this in Genesis 3:17b-18 which says,

cursed is the ground because of you;
    in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
    and you shall eat the plants of the field.

18) They were selfish
Selfishness is a grave sin condemned throughout the Bible.

For example, see Philippians 2:3 & James 3:16 which say,

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”

Adam and Eve chose their selfish desires over God’s desired for them.

19) They had a lack of faith
Many theologians over the years have said that a lack of faith is the most serious of sins.

Hebrews 11:6 says,

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

By eating the fruit, Adam and Eve displayed a lack of faith in God and His plan.
20) They committed the deadly sin of gluttony
When they ate the fruit, they let carnal desires rule over them.

See a list of 20+ verses on gluttony here.

21) They committed the deadly sin of envy
In Genesis 3:4-5, the serpent enticed Adam and Eve with the chance to be like God.

“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”

The serpent tempted them to be envious of God...

and they took the bait.

22) They committed the deadly sin of pride
Proverbs 16:18 says,

Pride goes before destruction,
    and a haughty spirit before a fall.

And fall they did.

23) They lacked self-control
Proverbs 25:28 says,

A man without self-control
    is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Ultimately, their lack of self-control left the human race broken.

Why is it important to meditate on Adam & Eve’s sins?

First, to understand the sins of Adam & Eve is to understand ourselves.

The sins which they committed and the motivations behind them taint us to this day.

For believers there are 3 core parts to our identity: 1) Made in the image of God, 2) Tainted by sin, and 3) Saved by grace

If we want to truly understand ourselves, we need to understand these 3 truths about ourselves.

Second, they serve as a warning against sin for us today.

When you see how incredible creation was, and how devastating sin is, you cannot help but be grieved by the effects of sin.

Let Adam & Eve’s sin serve as motivation for you to kill sin in your life.

Third, the severity of their sin introduces us to the greatness of God’s grace and mercy.

God was already planning the redemption of mankind through the “seed of the woman” in Genesis 3:15.

But we also see God’s loving kindness towards Adam & Eve in Genesis 3:21 which says,

“And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.”

When Adam & Eve were first aware of their nakedness, they tried to clothe themselves with leaves.

After God laid out his curses in Genesis 3, he had every right to smite them off the face of the planet.

But he shows them mercy by making them a better set of clothes than they could have made themselves.

Also note, that in order to create these clothes, he needed to kill animals.

This is the first example in scripture of a sacrifice taking place to cover the sinfulness of man.

And that sacrifice points us to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross for us.

And it's his sacrifice that can cover the sin of any man or woman, if only we have faith in him.

"For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."
-1 Corinthians 15:22

-Author: Tim Arndt