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The Fall

“Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world.” Romans 5:12

The New England Primer taught it to first graders: “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.”

Bible scholars have labeled this primary sin as the fall of Adam. The word “fall” emphasizes the fact that Adam once had it all—perfect environment, perfect health, perfect happiness, perfect peace—but ended up with a corrupt earth, a diseased and dying body, emotional gloom and psychological despair, and turmoil in all his relationships. Look at what the scriptures teach again:

  • The sin of one man introduced death to the world;
  • The sin of one man led to condemnation;
  • The disobedience of one man caused many to become sinners;
  • The sin of one man caused many to die.

I want to preach to you on this subject: The Fall.

“It is like jumping out of hell into heaven.” That’s the way a cousin who was a member of the army paratroopers described his jumps. The door opens in the side of the aircraft. The rushing air current howls through the fuselage, rips at the clothes, helmets and goggles of the soldiers who are lining up to jump and they hang on so they don’t get blown to the back of the plane. Then, all of a sudden, the turbulence is behind them as one-by-one they jump into a free-fall of peace and quiet. After their chute opens, it’s an easy float down to a soft landing.

Not always.

On November 16th, 1996, 26-year-old Nick Libassi defied death. He jumped out of a plane at 15,000 feet… and fell to the ground without ever opening his parachute.

As he rapidly approached the ground, another man doing the same jump was falling way too close to Nick. As the distance continued to close, they collided a disastrous 500 feet from the ground. While the other jumper was able to get his chute to open and slow his descent, Nick dove headlong into a thick wooded area, sustaining multiple injuries, including a broken femur, pelvis, and a crushed L-1 vertebra. Never losing consciousness, Nick literally crash-landed among the trees and rocks – and somehow managed to live through what for others would clearly have been a fatal fall.

As a result of his accident, however, Nick sustained a spinal cord injury that left him unable to use the lower half of his body. After two weeks in the hospital, Nick began a three-month stay in a rehabilitation unit, relearning how to live his life. Although he was able to progress rapidly through the physical challenges, Nick struggled to accept his life as a person with a disability. He suffered a severe, near-suicidal depression.Eventually, he survived and became a success story, but he came very close to losing it all.

The Anatomy of the Fall

The law of gravity ensures that anything that has no secured mechanism or mooring to hold it in place will fall. Loss of balance, defective equipment, an accident—even a playful push—can cause you to fall. Without wings or a parachute or an engine with a propulsion device, you will not stop in mid-air and maneuver yourself back to safety.

Fear of falling is a basic instinct of life. Babies develop a fear of falling once they have been crawling for about two months. For some people, it is so acute that even to climb a step ladder or get near a high ledge, even if there are rails and guards in place, causes them severe trauma.

Some falls only result in loss of dignity and pride. In fact, we are apt to laugh at people who slip and fall—especially in front of their peers. All of us fell while we were learning to walk or learning to ride a bike. Aside from scrapes and bruises, not much damage was done. But falls from a long distance can cause serious injury—broken bones, punctured skin, massive injuries to major organs, even death. Those who survive these kinds of falls are forever defined by their experience. Many of us know paraplegics or quadriplegics who got that way because of a fall.

The Fall of Adam

A physical fall may result in a life-changing injury. But that’s not the worst kind of fall. There is a fall that will not only change your life today; it will send you into an eternal death. I’m talking about a fall of your character, a fall of your name or reputation, a fall from grace, a fall into sin.

The fall of Adam is one of the basic facts on which Christianity is built. Adam and Eve, our first parents, ate the forbidden fruit in direct disobedience to the command of God. In that one act, the entire human race lost its place in paradise and lost its relationship with God.

The book of Genesis tells us that it was the serpent, Satan, who induced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. The serpent knew what was going to happen because he had already experienced the first fall. Jesus said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Luke 10:18. He became the leader of the rebellion in heaven. “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” 2 Peter 2:4.

People never fall up. They never improve their position by falling. We fall down to sin, not up. We fall down to poverty, down to depression, down to failure, down to our death.

There is something about falling that is disheartening, sad, grievous. Fallen Lucifer. Fallen angels. Fallen Eve. Fallen Adam. But the parade goes on throughout the Bible.


  • Saul fell from a high and respected position. He was a king who ended up committing suicide.
  • David fell from a position of honor and virtue to that of an adulterer, schemer and murderer.
  • Judas fell from a disciple of Christ to the one who betrayed the Master.
  • Demos fell from a loyal follower of Paul to a backslider. “Demos hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.”


On and on the sad stories go, even into our own time.

  • Huey Long, Richard Nixon, Duke Cunningham, John Edwards, Mark Sanford, Rod Blagojevich, Eliot Spitzer, John Ensign, William Jefferson, all politicians, fell from high offices into public disgrace.
  • Fallen business leaders and corrupt corporate executives have decimated thousands of innocent people with their white-collar crimes. Bernard Madoff was just sentenced to 150 years in prison for one of the largest ponzi scheme in U. S. history. Ken Lay and the Enron Corporation, and executives from Xerox Corporation, Merck Pharmaceutical, Global Crossing, Halliburton and a host of others all fell from high perches.
  • In the religious world, Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Robert Tilton and Ted Haggard all fell into scandals and criminal activity.


All of these are public spectacles that, to one extent or another, have diminished us all. But there are other tragedies that you know personally that are probably worse because you have been directly impacted by their failures.

  • A man falls into sin. But he was not just any man. He was someone you looked up to, who meant a lot to you. Someone whose absence now leaves a gaping hole in your life. Someone who didn’t know or didn’t care who might have been deeply wounded by his failure.
  • A woman falls into a shameful scandal. She wasn’t just any woman. She was loved, admired, influential, trusted. She had woven her way into the very fibers of your soul. But she forgot who would be hurt by her foolish choices. She gave up a place of high honor for a selfish fling, true love for a vain and superficial moment of fun.


The anatomy of a fall defies logic. Why? Why would a person let go of the good to embrace something so fleeting, so seductive, so cheap? Was it a slip? Was it a flirtation with fate? Was it a momentary loss of sanity? Was it a deliberate step or an unintentional misstep? Was it a costly miscalculation?

Beware of the fatal attraction of Satan. If you fall into his clutches, you will fall farther than you intended to go; he will keep you longer than you intended to stay; you will be damaged more than you thought you would!

But people have different reasons for doing things. It is said that more than twenty people jumped out of the windows of the World Trade Center on 9/11 either because they had no way to get past the floors where the planes crashed into the building or the fire was so intense that they chose to die by jumping rather than burning. I don’t mean to sound shocking, but there may be those here today who honestly feel that you had no other choice than to take the fall for something or someone. You thought you were only choosing the lesser of two evils.

The Chosen Fall

But now I want you to take your mind off of your fall, or off of the fall of someone you loved. I want you to consider the Lord Jesus Christ. In eternity past, he looked at the devastation of sin on his prize creation.

He saw the perfection he created in the Garden of Eden invaded by the serpent. He saw the disobedience of Adam and Eve lead to the corruption of their souls. He knew that his fellowship with them was forever changed. They could not access the tree of life since they were now contaminated with sin.

He had to curse the ground.

Sin and death was now given free reign over divinely created life.

He had to banish Adam and Eve from the Garden and protect the entrance with an angel who wielded a flaming sword.

God was now forced into a dilemma, a choice between judgment and mercy.

On the one hand, His justice would not allow him to overlook sin; on the other hand, his grace would not allow him to eradicate the human race from the earth.

A life for a life; blood for blood; perfect sacrifice for corrupt sin. That was the answer. “And without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” Hebrews 9:27.

A perfect sacrifice called for a perfect man. But there was no perfect man.

  • “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” Ezekiel 22:30.
  • “And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor.” Isaiah 59:16.


There was literally no man in existence who could stop the fall of man. If it could not be stopped, all of us were destined to an eternal death. We could not see it. We were blind to the consequences of our fall. But God knew what was ahead of us. He had created a bottomless pit for the devil and his angels. If we shared the fall of Satan, we would share the fate of Satan.

Isaiah 5:14 “Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.”

There was only one solution. God reached back into the infinite resources of his grace and created the perfect sacrifice. He found the perfect man, morally pure, innocent of any transgression, free from even the taint of Adam’s sin.

We speak of the Lord Jesus Christ as though he were a different God. Some call him the second person of the Godhead. Some think of him as the Son—as opposed to the Father—as though they were different persons altogether, assigning them the same attributes as earthly fathers and sons.

But let me go back to the prophecy of Isaiah and read the verse in its entirety. Isaiah 59:16 “And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. 17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.”

John said it like this: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Verse 14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Look at the distance that Jesus—God manifested in the flesh—had to fall. From “The Word was God” to “The Word was made flesh!” From God to Flesh! How far is that fall?

“When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.” Philippians 2:6-8.

Jesus took the fall by choice.

Lucifer looked at man and said, “I fell, so now I am going to make you fall.”

Jesus looked at man and said, “You fell, so now I am going to fall for you!”

He suffered the consequences of your fall in his own body. He shed the blood that you should have shed. He took the punishment that you deserved. He became your substitute, your sacrificial lamb, your scapegoat, your covering, your answer to the wrath of God against sin.

Jesus took your fall. He became the safety net for you. He is your way out!

Romans 5:15 “But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.

Andre Crouch wrote a song years ago that says it well:


I don’t know why Jesus loved me
I don’t know why He cared
I don’t know why He sacrificed His life
Oh, but I’m glad, so glad He did

He left His mighty throne in glory
To bring to us redemption’s story
Then He died but He rose again
Just for you and me
Oh, but I’m glad, so glad He did.

Where would I be if Jesus didn’t love me?
Where would I be if Jesus didn’t care?
Where would I be if He hadn’t sacrificed His life
Oh, but I’m glad, so glad He did

More Good News

I’ve got more good news for you today. You may have been saved from your fall into sin, but you have worked yourself free from the grasp of heaven. It feels like you are headed back in the same downward direction you were saved from in the first place.

Things have happened.

You have been targeted by Satan.

You’ve listened to his lies.

You’ve let him conjure up false images, false hopes, visions of false successes.

And now you feel yourself falling again.

These days that are so close to the coming of the Lord for his church are especially targeted by Satan for counterattacks on the church.

He wants to make you feel like a failure. He want you to lose hope. He wants you to think you have disappointed God so deeply and so often that you have sealed your fate. It’s only a matter of time until your feet feel the fires of hell. It’s no use. Give up.

David felt that way. But here is what he wrote in Psalm 91:


11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.



“On June 29, 2009, a toddler who survived a 40-metre plunge down a Canadian ravine, landing face-first in a creek, was touched by an angel, said her grandfather.

“An angel must’ve been sitting on her shoulder,” said David Cartier, referring to his two-year-old granddaughter, Cassidy, who suffered a fractured skull in the fall.

“An evening walk by the Blackmud Creek ravine, near 113 Street and 18 Avenue, turned into a nightmare for the tot and her mom Bailey. Cassidy slipped off the edge of a riverbank firefighters described as “nearly 90 degrees.”

“Cartier said he didn’t know exactly how Cassidy fell over the edge. But mom was fast behind, he said, jumping over the edge “without even thinking.” Bailey survived the slide unscathed, but she found little Cassidy face down in the water, bleeding, he said.

“Firefighters summoned to the scene rapelled down the bank to rescue the pair.

Cassidy was strapped to a small-sized backboard and carried in the arms of a firefighter to the top.”

Regardless of how far you’ve fallen and what condition you find yourself in, your rescue is on the way.

If you haven’t heard the trumpet sound yet, you still have time.

God can deliver you from all your entanglements with the world. Some of you think that changing your life is too complicated, too involved. You think you are beyond hope.

Don’t underestimate God!

He can break your fall, regardless of how far you’ve fallen.

And when He finds you, He will not leave you at your low level.

He will raise you up, past your level of acrophobia.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-6.

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