The choice to sin was in reality a choice by Adam and Eve to know and experience both good and evil. Up until this point all they had ever known was good; now they begin to know evil. The moment they ate the fruit, they died spiritually. From here we can see the effects of sin.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
The first effects of sin is a shame at being truly known. Adam and Eve cover themselves. They feel that they cannot really show who they are to each other. The second effect is in the same vein, their marriage and sexuality are altered. Now their intimacy, sexuality, body image, etc. is distorted and they are ashamed of who they are.
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
It is only now that the couple realizes the greatest effect of their sin: separation from God. This knowledge of evil is simply a knowledge of what it is like to live separated from God. Man can no longer be naked in God’s presence. He now sits under God’s just condemnation.
And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
As the relationship with God is severed, now the relationship between humans is affected. Now Adam and Eve are no longer companions; their relationship is profoundly affected. A major effect of sin is that mankind is now not just at odds with God; they are now at odds with each other.
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Not only does the sin affect man’s relationship with God and his relationship with his fellow man, it also affects man’s relationship to all of creation. Now creation suffers. Humans and animals are no longer in harmony. Creation is now at odds. There are now hurricanes, tornadoes, animal violence, snake bites, scorpion stings, etc.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Because Eve is now severed from God her task of helping her husband will be extremely difficult. She will experience difficulties in conceiving, carrying a child, and pain in childbirth. The primary way she was to help her husband will now be one of the greatest sources of suffering in her life. Also, her relationship with her husband will be profoundly affected as well. The relationship that was supposed to bring her joy and protection will now be greatly distorted.
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Because Adam is now severed from God his task of dominion will be very difficult. His work will be more often accompanied by sorrow than joy. His work will now be difficult and unproductive. Instead of taking dominion most of his time will be spent in survival.
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
The flaming sword of God’s wrath and judgment now keeps mankind from God Who is the source of all life. Death now reigns over mankind. All disease, suffering, and death is a result of man choosing to know what life is like apart from God.