Extract from chapter 1 of Christianity in Simple English (available from Amazon & Barnes & Noble within next 2 – 3 weeks)
Before we even think about practical issues like how to pray and how to read the Bible, we need to understand the very first step of Christianity. In the gospel of John in chapter 3 verse 16 we read “For God loved the world so much, that he gave his only Son that anyone who believes in him, will not die but will have eternal life.”
We have all seen cartoons depicting the original sin where Adam and Eve eat the fruit (by the way the Bible never said it was an apple). This is not just a story. This is the way God explains that sin came into the world. The reason it was called sin is because it was disobedience to God. When God placed Adam in the garden, he gave him free rein of the place. He could go anywhere, do anything and eat anything. Well almost anything! But we know that a few things happened to derail the peace that prevailed. Firstly, Satan entered the scene. Now we know that Satan was at one time one of God’s lead angels. Satan was in charge of music in heaven and he got too big for his boots. He led a revolution and a third of the angels followed him in his rebellion against God. Satan wanted to be God, or be better than God. He got booted out of heaven and he was expelled to wander the earth until he gets sent to his eternal destination which is hell. I don’t want to digress too much. Secondly, we know that when God made the world, at the end of every day God looked at what He had done and said that it was good. The only time God said something could be improved was when He looked at the man that He had made, and God decided that it was not good for man to be alone. So God created woman from a rib from the side of Adam. Thirdly we find Adam and Eve at the one tree in the entire world in which they lived, which God had commanded them to not touch or eat from.
There were two trees in the Garden of Eden that God said were “special” – one was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the other was the Tree of Life. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was out of bounds to Adam and Eve. God had said to Adam that the day he eats from that tree he will die. Eve, however, was not there when God told that to Adam. So Satan comes to Eve and sows doubt in her mind about whether or not God had said that. Satan is described in Genesis chapter 3 as crafty. What a great word! He was crafty and sneaky and subtle! Satan asks Eve ….