White Paper #13: The Fall’s effect on our Souls

There were six key takeaways from our initial consideration of the Fall’s impact.

  1. Sin is always speaking a challenge to God’s ordered world: its nature is to twist what God has made and said and bend it to its opposite.  All sins are lies.
  2. When we add to God’s word, we subtract from the freedom we have in Him.
  3. Our enemy will work hard to soften the edges of his allurements: he will work to convince us what he proposes is just a version of what God does.
  4. We are at risk of being deceived by him if we depart from God’s word and forget God’s character.
  5. Sin will cause us shame that we will work to hide.
  6. Sin will lead us to blame others.

What does this all mean?  Three things. Let’s first consider the impact on our souls: alienation from God.  Genesis 3:22-24

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

We are born separated from God; alienated from Him; without access to Him.  Theologically, we call this “original sin.”  The Ad Interim Committee Study paper says the following:


We affirm that from the sin of our first parents we have received an inherited guilt and an inherited depravity (Rom. 5:12-19; Eph. 2:1-3). From this original corruption—which is itself sinful and for which we are culpable—proceed all actual transgressions. All the outworking of our corrupted nature (a corruption which remains, in part, even after regeneration) are truly and properly called sin (WCF 6.1-5). Every sin, original and actual, deserves death and renders us liable to the wrath of God (Rom. 3:23; James 2:10; WCF 6.6). 

This separation / alienation from God leaves it mark in loneliness, addictions, promiscuity, fear of man and anxiety. Original sin doesn’t end the image of God but makes the image a battleground.  You understand?  Because original sin goes to the bottom of who we are, it effects all of us—it makes holding to our identity very difficult. This is why so many caught up in sexual sin describe themselves by their sin—who else does that?  Alcoholics?  Drug addicts?  Fornicators?  No other sin pattern reaches so deep and is so persuasive as to convince us to relabel who we are.

Identity aspect #1: “Male and female”

The goodness of maleness and femaleness is in question: God made male and female and called it “good.”  The Fall calls it “not good.”  All of the sex and gender issues at root are assaults on the goodness of maleness and femaleness—they all act as correctives on what God has made.

The rightness of upholding (protecting, honoring) maleness and femaleness is suspect: God blessed male and female as male and female.  The Fall blesses opposites: male-as-female, female-as-male. Transgenderism captures the concept of fluidity so that no one has to hold one pole or the other—now it is right to not be one or the other.

The roles of male and female are uncertain: God gave us bodies that lead to complementary roles.  Male bodies are made for work, strength, protection, provision; female bodies are made for life-giving, nurture, development. Life is closest to its intended design when these two are working together. Now, it is not accepted to go from biology to role. It is anti-woman to suggest she stay in the sphere of life-giving, nurturing or development—she must be allowed to transcend her biology. It must also be allowed for a man to transcend his biology—even if it means he crushes biological women in sports or gets them pregnant in a woman’s prison or rapes them in a hospital.

Do you see how this is just plain demonic anti-human? This is the assault on maleness and femaleness.

Identity aspect #2: What about “Image-bearer”? 

God made us to resemble Him, be like Him, represent Him. But now, we decide to bear no one’s image except whatever we choose, right?  The Gender Unicorn helps me decide. In this, we necessarily hide from God while we work to remake ourselves—is it any wonder that the younger generations are both religiously unaffiliated and turning to LGBTQ+ so rapidly? God making us directly breathing life into us is challenged by evolutionary theory. There is no soul since there is only animated matter; there is no image we are perpetrating since we are just clumps of cells that exist randomly.

  • We have no responsibility or accountability to God for who we represent: I get to choose.

Identity aspect #3: “Subject to sin / fallenness”

Fallenness is something we seek to mortify in our flesh; something that makes us long for heaven. But now, we accept fallenness and rebuke godliness: we seek happiness in the brokenness. Since fallenness “feels” natural and godliness doesn’t, fallenness must be true and celebrated.  This is seen in the “I’m born this way” argument for Same Sex Attraction. We ignore sin or we attribute bad action to something else: lack of education, poverty, access to resources  We aren’t content in suffering or having perspective in it; we work to alleviate its pain without dealing with its source through medicine, therapy or even surgery.

Identity aspect #4: “Worshipper”

God made us to worship Him and Him alone. Now, in our fallenness, we worship the created thing rather than the Creator. And in fallenness, we are enslaved to sin rather than bondservants to God.  Peter wrote this (2 Peter 2:17):

These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.

In each of these four ways, the Fall causes alienation to take root at the deepest level of our identity.

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