One of the things that a close read of Genesis 3 reveals is that Adam and Eve wanted to be like God. That was the serpent’s primary temptation: you shall know good and evil and be like God. In other words, these two wanted to be more than what they were with respect to God. They were looking for a shortcut to rise in power. They were trying to be equal with God. They had lost their humility.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. – Philippians 2:5-8, ESV
In order to overcome sin, in order to pay the penalty for our sins, Jesus did things the opposite of Adam and Eve. Rather than try to grasp up for something more (or even what was rightfully His), He instead gave up so much, coming in the form of a man. If that wasn’t humility enough, He humbled Himself before the Father and was obedient, leading to His own death, His death on the Cross. Through that humility our sin debt was paid, our fellowship with the Father restored, and our relationship with Jesus made permanent. All because Jesus chose to humble Himself when the first Adam chose to reach when he ought not.
What does this all mean for us? It sounds like a great theology lesson, a compare and contrast between the two “Adams.” Is there a practical application? Yes, there is. The problem in the garden that day is that mankind lost humility. When humility was lost, the relationship with the Father was severed and sin became a lingering problem. That lingering problem affects us all. It causes us to be arrogant: we think too much of ourselves when compared to God. As a result, we don’t experience a proper relationship with Him. We don’t see His full power in our lives. We have at least partially closed our minds and our hearts to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The key to God moving in our lives has always been and will always be our humility. Christ’s example must be our own. He gave up everything in obedience to the Father. Anything less isn’t good enough. Jesus became nothing when He deserved everything. We think we deserve everything but truly have earned nothing. We must flip the way we think and the way we live. We must get back to a real and honest humility before Jesus. This doesn’t make us more holy than those who don’t. We aren’t. It just means we recognize our place before an Almighty God and in the process we clear the wax out of our ears so we can hear from Him and we open the door for His power to flow. It all starts with our humility towards Him. He is everything and we are nothing. He deserves all praise and we none. We exist for Him, not He for us. We must return in spirit to the time before the fall of the first Adam. We must continually reject the first sin: pride. We must humble ourselves before our Creator, our Master, our Father. This is where we must begin again.