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There is an old line that advises the best place to begin is “at the beginning.” However, when we consider God’s plan to save us from our sins, we must consider what happened before the beginning. Before humans were created, God had a plan to save us.

To this end, the Bible says, “This was according to the eternal purpose that He has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him” (Ephesians 3:11-12). If you have not studied the Bible very much, this passage may sound a little confusing; however, it makes perfect sense when you know the whole story. Ready to learn this grand story of salvation? Let’s begin the five-part study at our beginning!

The very first book of the Bible is called Genesis, which is a word that means “beginning.” The first two chapters of the book discuss how in six days God created the world and everything in it. Upon completing this great act of power, God looked over His creation and pronounced it “very good.” The highest order within the creation was humanity. Humans were like the animals in many ways; yet there was one major exception: Humans were created in the image of God. This means that God desired to have a relationship with His human creation that would never end. This means that when a human is born (s)he has a soul that will never die. In this, God bestowed the gift of life and partnership with Him that was never to end. Adam and Eve were the first humans created and the first to have this relationship. These ancestors of all mankind were placed in the Garden of Eden, which was a paradise. In Eden, they had a full and loving relationship with God which could have gone on forever.

Sadly, Adam and Eve lost this relationship. A serpent came to Eve in the Garden and convinced her that God had not been totally honest. (Later in the Bible, this serpent is identified as Satan) (click here Revelation 20:2)). Satan’s temptation centered on a tree from which the first couple was forbidden to eat. Among the trees within Eden, two are specifically named: The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God gave Adam and Eve full permission to eat from the Tree of Life but let them know that they would die if they ate from the other. In this, God was teaching them that there were two kinds of commands: Commands that are positive (“Do this”) and commands that are negative (“Don’t do this”). It did not take Eve long to fall prey to the serpent’s temptation; she ate from the tree and gave some of its fruit to Adam, who also ate. This was the first sin. Sin is to go against a command of God. While Adam and Eve did not fall dead at the trunk of the tree when they sinned, they lost their relationship with God. Immediately, He took away Adam and Eve’s privilege of living in Eden and of having immortality by eating from the Tree of Life. As a result of their disobedience, they would begin to grow old and die. Removed from the paradise of Eden, they were now separated from their Creator. 

Though Adam and Eve failed to take their relationship with God seriously, God was not defeated. As God pronounced punishments because of this first sin, He spoke directly to the serpent (Satan). God told him, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” If we did not have the rest of the Bible, we would have no idea what God meant by this promise. 

Thankfully, God tells us the rest of the story. In the remainder of the Bible, we will learn exactly how God bruised the head of Satan and gave all who sin a way back to a special and saved relationship with Him.