Fill the Earth: The Fall into Sin and Missions

When you think about the fall of Genesis 3, what do you think about?

I’d wager that most people rightly view this as the point at which humanity rebels against God, disobeys His word by eating from the forbidden tree, receives his judgment, and is cast away from His presence. The effects of the fall, as we all experience them, are a guilty status before God and a corrupted nature that makes us wholly inclined toward sin and therefore justly deserving of His wrath and judgment. This is Christianity 101.

But what if I told you that the narrative of Genesis 3 specifically portrays the fall as frustrating our ability to fulfill our mission as God’s people on this earth?

Our mission as God’s people, as I argue in chapter 1, is to fill the earth as God’s representatives and thereby demonstrate that the entire earth is the realm of His kingship. What I seek to highlight in chapter 2 is how humanity’s fall into sin not only brings relational separation from God but also a debilitation of our ability to fulfill our mission.

This sets the stage for us to view redemption not simply as relational reparation with God but also as a restoration of our ability to fulfill our mission. To be human is to be designed for mission; to be redeemed is to be restored for the sake of that mission.

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