1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Now fast-forward to I John, writing just after the central event in history.
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
There is a striking similarity between the passage in Genesis and the one in I John. The Bible -- including Genesis -- is true and relevant to our lives today. It is relevant as long as human beings are sinners who fall short of the glory of God, in whose image they were once created.
The fundamental sin humans commit is to dethrone God from his rightful place in our lives. All sin emanates from God dethroned and self enthroned. The sin of idolatry is therefore central. You don't have to believe in God to be an idolator.
* false views of God -- i.e., false religions and false self-conceptions of God (of which Christians themselves are not immune), including the ultimate whopper -- that the I AM "is not". What could be a more effective deception than that?!
* God-substitutes - either self, "they shall be lovers of self, rather than lovers of God" -- as in all the anti-Christ figures in the Bible, or
* Coveting things - money, sex, power, objects. (As one minister once remarked, seeing his next-door neighbor washing his car as the minister headed off to church, "he was busy worshipping".
Everyone has a god. It will either be himself, or some external thing he "worships". We are all worshippers. It is just a question of what object we place the highest value on. For many, the most worthy object we find is ourselves.
If sin is the dethronement of God, the remedy, is the re-enthronement of God as God in our lives. This re-enthronement began when Christ came. He lived the God-enthroned life. The merits of this life are appropriated, and this life itself is begun to be lived out, when we accept Christ and the beneficial merits of his God-enthroned life.
Sin is something a person can empirically self-assess. We either acknowledge that we fall short of the what we really ought to be, or we do not. This self-assessment was part of my journey to faith. Jesus upped he ante of the OT Law by making it clear that true righteousness is of the heart -- motive -- and not merely outward acts or behavior.
Having been on this journey many years, I still do not measure up to the standard -- which is a perfectly pure heart lived out in perfectly pure actions. That is why my hope for forgiveness, built on the blood of Christ shed for me, is also firmly planted in his resurrection, and the assurance that this body will one day be replaced with a glorious body, not subject to sin's temptations.
Which brings us full circle to Genesis 3.
The Bible is a grand over-arching story in which we are all either witting or unwitting participants.