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The Fall. Lesson Aim To read Genesis ch3 and explore what is known as 'the Fall '. Genesis - what's going on?. Activity 1 – look at Genesis 1 and 2, compare and contrast. Free Will. Recap - What is free will?. Free Will - reminder. What is free will?

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the fall
The Fall

Lesson Aim

  • To read Genesis ch3 and explore what is known as 'the Fall'.
free will
Free Will

Recap - What is free will?

free will reminder
Free Will - reminder

What is free will?

  • According to Genesis, humans are made in the image of God. One aspect of this is that they have free will to choose how to act. Humans are not robots or creatures ruled entirely by instinct.
activity 2
Activity 2
  • Read Genesis Chapter 3
the fall of man
The Fall of Man

Why do you think we refer to Genesis Ch3 as The Fall?


What was the original sin?

  • What do Christians mean when they talk about original sin?
with a partner
With a Partner
  • Reading Genesis ch3 again, make a list of all the consequences that came from disobeying God - p10
the fall1
The Fall
  • Genesis Ch3 tells the story of man's broken relationship with God and the beginning of disharmony within creation.
  • Alienation refers to the experience of being like a stranger from someone you once knew.
sin and the fall
Sin and The Fall

“You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything, until you go back to the soil from which you were formed. You were made from soil, and you will become soil again." (Genesis 3: 19)

Genesis 3: 1–19 is an account of how sin and deathentered the world. Adam and Eve, as the first humans, lost their life in paradise as a result of their disobedienceto God’s commands.

Readings of this passage led Christian thinkers to believe that the sin of Adam and Eve meant the rest of humanity also lost perfection and innocence. It brought suffering and decay into God’s perfect creation. Others have seen the account as a way of explaining disorder and evilin the world as a result of human failure. The world as we know it, with disease and death, was not the world that God created, or intended. Human failings have brought sin and death into creation.

original sin
Due to Adam and Eve’s failures in the Garden of Eden, the whole of humanity carries the same stain of sin and suffers and dies. Humanity needs God’s grace in order to be rescued from their situation.

St Augustine saw that human free will was weakened, though not totally destroyed, by sin.

Like a pair of unbalanced scales, evil intentions and choices often would, under the influence of original sin, outweigh good intentions and choices.

Original Sin
original sin2
Original Sin
  • The Protestant reformer John Calvin, agreed with Augustine. Calvin emphasised the belief that sin had changed humanity and that the image of God had been completely and utterly destroyed.
original sin3
Original Sin
  • The Orthodox Church rejects the

idea of inherited sin.

  • Their view is that human history, culture and society have created a moral climate which ‘teaches’ human beings to behave sinfully
  • As a result, all people need God’s help to get out of the mess caused by sin


  • The term can simply be seen as a character’s flaw or error. It includes accident and mistake, as well as wrongdoing, error, or sin


  • "to go off a path, fall or slip aside."
  • When it is applied to moral and ethical issues it means to deviate from the right way, to wander.


  • Literally unrighteous
  • Warped, deviated, not what is was intended to be


  • The state of lawlessness
  • Ignorance and disobedience to God’s law

To sum it up, to sin is to: -

  • Consistently fall short of God’s standards
  • Break God’s divine law
  • Live an unrighteous life
  • Walk on the wrong path
  • For Catholic and Protestants, original sin describes the condition of spiritual sickness into which we are all born. As a result of the Fall of Man, we have inherited sin from Adam and Eve.
  • Orthodox Christians don’t accept the idea that we are born sinful. Sin is something we learn to do as we grow up in the fallen world.
the human condition the consequences of the f all
Alienation from God

If you are alienated from someone, you are like a stranger to him or her. At the fall, humanity was alienated from God. They could only hope for reconciliation brought about by God. Without that move, humanity could not fulfill their purpose to be in relationship with God.

(b) Alienation from each other

Adam tries to blame Eve for his disobedience. Eve then blames the serpent. Neither wants to take responsibility for their actions. Humans are set against each other and all of creation.

The Human ConditionThe consequences of The Fall
the effect of sin
“You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything, until you go back to the soil from which you were formed. You were made from soil, and you will become soil again." (Genesis 3: 19)

The source reveals that humanity’s disobedience will lead to death.

The Effect of Sin
sin in the bible
Sin in the Bible
  • In the source from Genesis we have seen that humanity sinned when it disobeyed God and acted from self-interest. The breaking of God’s laws is also a result of humanity’s sin.
Whether they believe the historical account of the Genesis story or not, the story of The Fall does serve to provide some Christians with a framework to try and understand human free choice and the connection of all humanity with sin.
  • The root of sin, suffering and death is humanity’s wrong moral choices and disobedience.
genesis chapter 1 christian belief the nature of human beings
Genesis Chapter 1 (Christian belief: the nature of human beings’)

Identifying beliefs from sources


  • By reading the text, try to identify key Christian beliefs that have their origins in different parts of Genesis
genesis chapters 1 3 christian belief the fallen nature of human beings1
Genesis Chapters 1–3 (Christian belief: the ‘fallen nature of human beings’)

Points of View

Religious art has been used throughout Christian history to express the beliefs of the Church. Examples of this work can be used to help learners understand the beliefs of a faith community.

The story of Adam and Eve is rich in religious art, having inspired many great works. This activity focuses on one of these paintings, Fall by Johan Rudolph Thiele . While many of the paintings of the Fall try to make sense of the events this painting tries to tell the whole story of the Human Condition from Fall to Salvation and the means by which that Salvation comes.

genesis chapters 1 3 christian belief the fallen nature of human beings3
Genesis Chapters 1–3 (Christian belief: the ‘fallen nature of human beings’)

The cross

The tree

The snake


The fruit


Animals (created beings)


genesis chapters 1 3 christian belief the fallen nature of human beings4
Genesis Chapters 1–3 (Christian belief: the ‘fallen nature of human beings’)

What does it say about how Christians see the world? What does it suggest about whether God creates humanity different from the rest of the animals?

Is it significant that the snake is separate as well?

Do Christians today see the same significance?

Is it coincidental for Christians that they believe the Fall came from a fruit from a tree and that Salvation comes from a man dying on a cross of wood?

The tree




(created beings)

The snake

The cross


The apple


The agony and despair upon Adam and Eve’s faces shows the shame they felt after betraying the Lord, giving into the temptation of the Serpent and eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

Behind them, an angel(within the bible it is cherubim, meaning more than one) holds a sword and points into the desert where Adam and Eve would live our their lives until their death, away from Paradise.

Adam covers his face as Eve cries out in sadness, covering herself in modesty.

copy into jotter so the human condition is
Copy into jotter: Sothe human condition is…
  • A state of alienation (being hostile or estranged / separated) –
  • from God
  • fromother humans
  • from ourselves
  • from creation
  • / nature


An inner tendency to go our own way rather than God’s.

activity 5
Activity 5
  • Read the two views on original sin from the worksheet and answer the questions in your jotter.
what is the human condition
What is the Human Condition?
  • Human beings are created good by God but they suffer and die.
  • God – one creator, God’s relationship with human beings, humans created good, ‘ imago dei’ ‘stewards of creation’, moral conscience, God’s gift of freewill
  • Source: Gen 1: 1-2, 25
what is the cause of the human condition
What is the cause of the human condition?
  • The Fall – suffering and death are a result of human disobedience, disobedience is the result of the misuse of freewill.
  • Sin – the nature and effects of sin; alienation through sin can be overcome because of the fulfilment of Gods promise of salvation.

2 different understandings of the Fall – literal / mythical etc.

Source: Gen 3 1-24

exam question
Exam Question
  • According to Christians, how did sin come into the world and what are its effects? (8marks)
copy and complete
Copy and Complete
  • “The Christian view of human nature is a depressing and negative one.” What do you think?
  • “God gave humans free will and then got angry with their choice. That’s not fair!” What do you think?
activity 51
Activity 5

Read worksheet on Sin and the Fall

complete all questions

homework task you have one wee k
!!! HOMEWORK TASK – You have one week
  • Design a piece of artwork entitled ‘Sin’. A collage of images might work – have a look at paintings by Salvador Dali or Hieronymus Bosch for ideas.