If Adam had had a good lawyer, he might have gotten off on his first offense. Can’t you hear a lawyer saying to the jury, “Remember that God said, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden.’ ESV Can you blame Adam for confusing one tree with another?”
Sure, there were others words involved in the case, but it is just the argument we all use to justify our own transgressions. Adam obeyed God, sort of.
But when you’re in God’s Court, that defense never works.
What Adam did was to obey the snake. Adam heard the whole exchange between the snake and Eve, and he obeyed. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. ESV Adam could not claim that Eve was responsible; he obeyed the snake instead of God. It does not matter if the snake was really the Devil or not; Adam obeyed someone other than God.
As Paul put it: Sin made its entry into the world through one man. ESV After a digression, Paul continues: As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. TJB
Adam is the first precursor of the coming Messiah. Dozens followed, each contributing something to the understanding of the Messiah. For Adam, it was the introduction of disobedience to God. With Adam, we understand that the Messiah obeys God.
Notice in Matthew’s account of the tempting of Jesus that Jesus resisted each offer (and there were likely more than three) with a quotation of the Word of God. Jesus refused to listen to anyone except God.
Happy the man whose fault is forgiven,
Whose sin is blotted out;
Happy the man whom Yahweh
Accuses of no guilt,
Whose spirit is incapable of deceit! TJB
Once I say ‘Yes’ to Jesus, I need do nothing else to receive the full blessings of Eternal Life. Yet, if I focus on Jesus the Messiah, I will see the things he did, and I will want to copy them as well as I can. Whatever good I may or may not do will have no bearing on my standing for eternity. It is simply the result of my saying ‘Yes.’ I now want to obey God, not others.
Be righteous and do good.