Genesis 1-11: Why it Matters – Corruption
October 26, 2023, 7:39 PM

We’re in part two of a series of articles looking at Genesis 1-11 and asking the question, Why does it matter? In the last installment, we looked at Genesis 1:1-2:25 and the creation account. In that article, we argued that the biblical account of special creation by God[1] in the space of six 24-hour days approximately 6,000 years ago is to be believed, taught, and defended by Christians over the Old-Earth (OE) paradigm of evolution governed by the laws of nature over the course of 14 billion years (all of which are guided by the philosophies of naturalism and uniformitarianism).

The biblical creation account gives us the first Adam, created in the very image of God. It gives us pristine heavens and earth with all its beauty. It gives us the original covenantal arrangement between God and Adam in which eternal, eschatological life was held out to Adam and all his posterity should he give perfect, personal, and perpetual obedience. In summary, it gives us a glimpse of paradise, which was subsequently lost (as we’ll see today) but is now the goal of redemptive-history (RH) by virtue of our union with Christ through a Holy Spirit wrought faith. In other words, the gospel of Jesus Christ rests upon the foundation of biblical creation.

The OE paradigm destroys the foundation of biblical creation and subsequently destroys the foundation of the gospel itself. Despite that, there are (perhaps) well-meaning Christians who have sought to interpret Scripture through an OE paradigm. They feel that science has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the earth is 5 billion years old, and that the universe is 14 billion years old (never mind that the age of the universe has changed over the decades). Because of the supposed certainty of the OE paradigm, the Bible must be interpreted in such a way as to accommodate this concept of deep time. As I said in my previous article, maybe our understanding of nature is flawed? Maybe we’re making assumptions about the age of the earth and its processes we don’t need to make. In other words, maybe we should interpret nature through the lens of Scripture and not the other way around?

My goal in this series is not to argue the science of the OE paradigm[2], but to show you through taking the Scriptures at their word, that only the biblical creation account can make sense of the world we see before our eyes, only the biblical creation account can serve as the proper foundation of the gospel. If we attempt to “fit” an OE paradigm into the Scriptures, we unwittingly give skeptics greater cause to doubt the gospel message (as well as, in my opinion, become guilty of not “rightly handling the word of truth”).

In our series, we have been using the Seven C’s of History made popular by Answers in Genesis as our guide. The first “C” (Creation) we looked at last time. This time we’ll consider the second “C:” Corruption. Corruption is the next stage of biblical history. After creating the heavens and the earth, including humanity, “very good,” it’s not too long before we see an intruder into God’s very good creation in the form of the “cunning” serpent in Genesis 3. Genesis 3 gives us the narrative of the fall of mankind into sin.

Before we delve too deeply into that, let’s tease out the answer to the question asked at the outset: Why does it matter? If you hold to an OE paradigm, then your view of humanity is going to be far different that what we see in the Bible. As we saw last time, the difference in our views of humanity from the perspective of Creation (the 1st “C”) is the OE paradigm sees humanity as the end of a long evolutionary chain beginning with the simplest of cellular organisms and evolving upward in complexity into higher life forms. Modern day human beings are the evolutionary descendants of primates having broken off from our closest evolutionary relatives, the chimpanzee, between 6.5 to 9 million years ago. The OE paradigm sees human beings as being on a progressive scale from primitive cavemen to sophisticated homo sapiens. In other words, we are getting better. The biblical creation paradigm sees mankind as a being created in the image of God having been formed from the dust of the ground and imbued with the breath of life by his Creator. However, due to the fall (which we’ll examine in a moment), we are in a descent, as sin has marred the image of God in which we were created.

Corruption matters because it gives us a radically different view of mankind and prescribes a radically different cure for what ails us as a race. If you don’t understand Corruption, you don’t understand humanity and you won’t be able to solve humanity’s problems.

Back to Genesis 3. In Genesis 2, after God had formed the man from the dust of the earth and placed him in the garden paradise of Eden, we read this: “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15 NKJV). Space doesn’t allow me to develop this thought more fully, but the imagery of the Garden of Eden is that of a temple[3]. The man (Adam) was commanded by God “to tend it and keep it,” which is “temple” language used to speak of the Levites duties in the tabernacle (Numbers 3:7). So, Adam was to tend (work) and keep (guard) the garden.

Now we’re not told how much time passed between Genesis 2:25 and Genesis 3:1, but it’s probably not a whole lot of time, and the first thing we see is a cunning intruder invading God’s garden temple. In Genesis 3:1-7, we see the serpent, who we learn later in Scripture is Satan (Revelation 12:9), approach Eve and the first thing he does is call God’s word into question. God had placed Adam and Eve in a beautiful garden paradise and had given them freedom to enjoy all that the garden provided. The only prohibition He made was for one tree in the middle of the garden. That tree was a test of man’s obedience to the word of God. Satan begins by twisting God’s word and then by outright denying God’s word (Genesis 3:4) and tempts Eve by making her think God isn’t as good and gracious as He really is.

Eve succumbs to the temptation and desires the fruit, takes it, and eats it. Adam, who was supposed “to tend and keep” the garden, also eats, and we read, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” (Genesis 3:7 NKJV). Instead of becoming “like God” (which is ironic because as created in the image of God, they were already like God) and knowing good and evil, they only knew they were naked. Whereas before their nakedness wasn’t a cause of shame (Genesis 2:25), because of sin they now felt shame. They clumsily attempt to hide their nakedness with fig leaves and then foolishly attempt to hide from God when they hear Him approaching.

The rest of the chapter tells us about the curse that fell upon Adam and Eve because of their sin. They had broken the covenant made in Genesis 2:17 and were now suffering the covenant curses. In succession, God curses the serpent (vv. 14-15), the woman (v. 16), and the man (vv. 17-19). The serpent becomes the lowest of the animal kingdom and an enmity is declared between his seed and the Seed of the woman (more on that later). The woman, whose distinctive quality is the bringing forth of new life, will have great pain in childbearing. Moreover, she will desire to usurp her husband’s headship. The man, whose calling is to tend and keep the land, will have great toil in bringing forth the fruit of the land as the very ground is cursed. The earth, over which he was to have dominion, will now have dominion over him as he will return to the dust from which he was formed. Moreover, he will seek to dominate his wife.

Adam was told by God that in the day he ate of the forbidden fruit, he would surely die (in the Hebrew, it literally says, “dying you will die”). You may think, “Well, Adam didn’t die. Did God lie? Was the serpent correct?” No. God didn’t lie, and the serpent wasn’t correct. Adam did die spiritually, and he did die physically (Genesis 5:5). In Reformed Theology, there is a distinction between spiritual death and physical death. Adam died spiritually the moment he sinned and ate the fruit. The image of God in which he was created was marred, it was spoiled. In the Heidelberg Catechism, we learn in Lord’s Day (LD) 3 that man was originally created “in righteousness and true holiness” (Q6), but due to the fall, his “nature became so corrupt that [all humanity is] conceived and born in sin” (Q7). In the Canons of Dort, we also read:

Man was originally formed after the image of God. His understanding was adorned with a true and saving knowledge of his Creator, and of spiritual things; his heart and will were upright, all his affections pure, and the whole man was holy. But, revolting from God by the instigation of the devil and by his own free will, he forfeited these excellent gifts; and in the place thereof became involved in blindness of mind, horrible darkness, vanity, and perverseness of judgment; became wicked, rebellious, and obdurate in heart and will, and impure in his affections. (Canons of Dort, 3/4.1)

This mention of “blindness of mind” and “horrible darkness” is what the Bible describes as spiritual death. In a word, Corruption. Making matters worse, this corruption is passed on from Adam and Eve to all their progeny. This is the doctrine of Original Sin. Original Sin is the source of all actual sin that we commit. This corruption is manifestly evident in the very next chapter where Cain, in a fit of jealousy, kills his brother Abel. This corruption grows so exponentially great that by Genesis 6, we see that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5 NKJV).

Lest you think this is just the OT talking, the Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, speaks about the descent of man in Romans 1:18-31. In that passage, Paul chronicles the depravity of man in how he: (1) Suppresses the truth of God in unrighteousness; (2) does not glorify God, his Maker; (3) worships the creation instead of the Creator; (4) engages in abominable homosexual acts; (5) finally succumbing to all sorts of wickedness. This is Corruption. This is the descent of man. This is the world in which we live where we see all kinds of evil being perpetrated with the approval of the world.

Going back to the secular view of humanity. We’re told that mankind is on the ascent; that we’re getting better and more sophisticated. That as we throw off the vestiges of antiquated religion and superstitious thinking, we will evolve higher and higher until we achieve the ideal society. I ask you, in all seriousness, is that what we see in the world today? As I write this, there is an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the terrorist group, Hamas, has committed an abominable atrocity in slaughtering over 1,000 innocent Jews near the Gaza strip, while the annual numbers are going down, we’ve murdered over 63 million pre-born babies since 1973 in this country. Does this sound like a world that is getting better? The 20th century saw some of the most heinous atrocities committed by governments (Nazi Germany, the USSR, and communist China) against their people in all human history; all committed by secular governments. Does this sound like a world that is getting better? The secular intelligentsia will tell you that we just need more education and better government control. The secularists tell us that with better education and a more enlightened government, we will achieve utopia. Do you know what “utopia” means? It means no place. That’s because the world the secularist envision is no place that will ever exist in this corrupt world.

The only thing that will fix the corruption in this world is the cure of the gospel. Earlier I mentioned something about an enmity between the serpent and the woman, or more specifically between the seed of the serpent and the Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15). Biblical scholars call this verse the protoevangelium, or the “first gospel.” The Seed of the woman is none other than Jesus Christ, of whom Paul says, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5 NKJV). Jesus Christ was born to crush the head of the serpent, and He did that on Calvary as He died on the cross to atone for the sins of the world and was resurrected on the third day.

Why does the biblical account of Corruption matter? Because it alone explains the world in which we live. It alone shows us how through one man’s sin, sin and death came into the world and spread to all men (Romans 5:12). It alone points us to the only cure for the world, and that’s the gospel of Jesus Christ, the head-crushing Seed of the woman. Do away with the biblical account of Corruption, and you destroy the need for the gospel, the only hope of mankind.

~ Pastor Carl


[1] By “special creation,” I mean creation ex nihilo (“out of” or “from nothing”) by divine fiat (through the spoken command of God).

[2] As I have been all throughout this series, I direct the reader to the Answers in Genesis website ( to see scientific arguments against the OE paradigm.

[3] The “temple” motif in Scripture is a picture of God dwelling with His people. The temple was seen as the house of God. This imagery is in the Garden, the Mosaic Tabernacle, the Solomonic Temple, the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ, and in the New Heavens and the New Earth of Revelation 21-22.

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