Shame and Grace Part 5 - The Fall Is Not In The Eating

Jun 26

Shame and Grace Part 5 - The Fall Is Not In The Eating

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 06:53 — Thabo Mokete

"...He does not put anybody to the test" James 1:13

There is a need to debunk the teaching that God gave Adam a law in order to test him, to see if he was capable of obedience. On the contrary, whenever the law is spoken, it is only as proof to us of our own fall. This then stirs in us the desire for correction by grace.

It is said in the creation account that everything was approved as  absolutely good by God, the master designer.1 Why then would He need to run any further tests on this creation called Adam? Do even  people test their products before or after releasing them to market?

In any case, at some stage in paradise, Adam fell. The Bible does not exactly say where, when and how he fell. It only gives us the proof that he fell. His breaking of the law proved to everyone that he was now fallen.

Falling is not the breaking of a particular piece of the law, such as 'don't steal'. But one breaks the the law as a demonstration of the fall that has taken place within. This is why James has said even if you keep nine and break only one, you have broken them all.2 When Adam broke that one law in the garden, he broke all God's laws within himself. That one law proved to him that he  now fell short of the standard of well-being.

The root of sin is the will of man that is apart from the will of God. When we are estranged in this way from God, we are hostile to Him, and we feel He is hostile to us.3 And what better way to prove that than to break His laws!

How many times have we heard someone say "If only Adam had not eaten that fruit..." This is all fanciful thinking. It was not by accident that the fruit ended up in Adam's mouth. There were events that happened before in Adam that led to the natural result of him eating the fruit.

God sees the things that happen in the secret worlds inside us. But we are often blind to those secret events and we go around as if nothing has happened. Then God in His mercy has given the expressed law to help us see what has happened in us. That we have fallen. The presence of the tree in the middle of the garden was such an act of grace to Adam and Eve.

Yes, it brought great shame upon the couple. Their path of healing had to go through that shame. Otherwise they would have lived on in their fallen state with only an assumed sense of well-being. The tree brought out in the open the rebellion that already taken place in them.

In the same way, the things we do that are contrary to the moral law are not accidents. They have to happen. For if they don't happen, we have no hope of healing and turning around. Well being does not consist of avoiding the consequences and pain but demands that our hearts coincide with truth and reality. Many times  what we do best is to manipulate the results of what has already happened in us.

Adam needed to know beyond a doubt that he had fallen. And his eating of the fruit was just the proof he needed. It was an acting out of the rebellion that had already taken place in his heart. The spoken (written) law is therefore meant only to show the lack of soundness in our being; how much in need of God's saving grace we are.

Health professionals use a thermometer to confirm that the body is not at the right temperature. That it is not well. The law is just the thermometer we have to show us we are not at the right temperature. The right temperature is love. Love for God and neighbour.

Many times people argue about whether the law applies only to a people of a certain race or religion. This is all vanity. Just look around and see how everybody wants a just society, their property to be safe and to be treated right. The law is in our consciousness. It is a mistake to conclude that the law was only given to Israelites by a man in a long robe and long beard called Moses.

What we see is that the Creator's laws are universal and we all receive them one way or the other, regardless of race, religion or culture. This law is not a cultural or religious phenomenon. It is a basis for existence, just simply the way the Creator runs the universe. It is embedded in the personality.

It is then summarized in the self as the measure of well-being. Falling is the lack of soundness, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. It amounts to the same thing. The things we do outwardly against which our own souls judge are only a reflection of the fall that has taken place within.

By the time you eat that fruit, you are already unhealthy. Before. Your eating of the fruit is only proof for you that there is damage somewhere. This proof is there to help you turn around and open up the desire for healing within.
The standard of well being indeed is very high,and the Creator is not about to lower it to accommodate fallen men and women. That would be cruel. It would be like a health professional who adjusts his or her thermometer to accommodate your high temperature so you can think you are fine. Rather, He wants to lift us up to the very heights where we once were; where we belong.

Then, before one feels a headache, there is a condition somewhere that needs attention. The headache is not the problem, but the underlying situation. It could be dehydration, hunger, stress or other such state of things in the body or the mind. In the same way then, before one eats the fruit, there is a deficiency on the inside that needs attention. The problem then is not in the fruit but in the underlying condition that brings around a desire for the fruit.

There is such great love in being able to see for yourself where you fall short of well being. For there is unlimited power in grace for restoration and healing, but only for those who acknowledge their need of it.


1. Genesis 1:31
2. James 2
3. Tillich, Paul. The New Being. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons , 1955.