Introduction: There is an old saying: “You get one shot at the king;
either you kill him or he kills you.” Imagine the thinking of Satan:
if you were given one opportunity to test the loyalty of Adam and
Eve, wouldn’t you bring your best argument, your best temptation?
Everything was riding on that “one shot.” I wonder if Adam and Eve
gave as much thinking to their upcoming test? Let’s jump into our
lesson and consider how sin entered our world!

  1. The Shot

    1. Read Genesis 3:1. Some people do not believe that the
      Biblical account of the fall of humans into sin is
      literal. Do you think a snake is really speaking to Eve?

      1. Most Christians think the snake is Satan. Revelation
        20:2 calls Satan “that ancient serpent.” If this
        snake really is Satan, does that prove this story is
        an allegory and not literal?

      2. Why does the Bible tell us that the snake was the
        smartest animal around? Why is that detail
        necessary? (This explanation suggests the story is
        literal. If any animal could speak, this one could.
        Thus, Eve would not have been surprised to have been
        speaking to a snake.)

      3. Do we have to choose between a smart snake and Satan?
        Between believing this story is literal or believing
        the snake is Satan? (A New Testament story helps
        unravel this mystery. Mark 5 contains the story of
        the demons “Legion” ( Mark 5:9) who possessed first a
        man and later a herd of pigs. The demons spoke
        through the man, according to the Biblical account,
        and they could have spoken through the pigs. I think
        Genesis 3 is a literal account and Mark reveals what
        is happening here. Satan takes control of a snake.
        Because snakes are so smart, Eve is not shocked to
        hear a snake talk. Note that the apostle Paul refers
        to this as if it were a literal event. 2 Corinthians

      4. Why does Satan ( Genesis 3:1) ask about eating from
        trees? Why does he state what is obviously not true?
        (Remember, this is the “test,” the “one shot.” You
        don’t want anyone arguing later that Eve “missed the
        meeting” about eating from the trees. Satan did not
        want a dispute about whether she understood God’s
        command, so he misstated it so that she would correct

    2. Read Genesis 3:2-3. What do you think about Eve’s
      response? Does she answer correctly? (She is both wrong
      and ambiguous. Read Genesis 2:16-17. God did not say
      anything about “touching” the fruit. According to the
      Bible He merely said “Don’t eat.” Notice that there were
      two trees in the middle of the garden: the Tree of
      Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. (Genesis

      1. Was refraining from touching the fruit a good idea?
        (If you are going to avoid eating it, it helps if you
        avoid touching it.)

      2. Was Eve doing the right thing in saying that if she
        touched the fruit she would die? That would be a
        good idea, right? (Read Deuteronomy 4:1-2. I think it
        is a serious mistake to confuse what is a “good idea”
        with what God actually said is sin. When you teach
        your children about sin, do not confuse in their
        minds what is actually sin and what are good ideas to
        avoid sin. Otherwise, when they violate your “good
        idea” and find no harm, they will think that the same
        is true with sin.)

    3. Read Genesis 3:4-5. This is Satan’s “shot” to obtain the
      loyalty of humans. Analyze Satan’s approach. What does he
      do? (First, he flatly contradicts God. Second, Satan
      suggests that God has lied to Eve so that she will remain
      inferior. She can be like God.)

      1. How would you characterize Satan’s temptation to Eve?
        Is it appetite? Is it trust? Is it greed? Is it
        vanity? Is it pride? (I think it is all of these
        things except appetite. Eve decides to trust in her
        (about to be acquired) knowledge, rather than trust
        in God. This is pride.)

      2. Compare Genesis 3:22 with Genesis 3:5. Was Satan
        telling the truth? (In part.)

      3. Did God hide the fact that He did not want humans to
        know about evil? (Read Genesis 2:17. God gives the
        tree the label “knowledge of good and evil.” In the
        Bible account, He does not explain why they should
        not eat it. He just tells them the penalty.)

        1. What lesson is there in this for you today? (We
          laugh at parents who answer the “Why?” of their
          children with “Because I told you so!” I
          determined that I would always give my children
          a reason for my rules. Perhaps that was the
          wrong approach. On some things we need to learn
          that God does not need to explain His rules to
          humans other than to say, “I’m God and you are

    4. What percentage of the population does not trust the
      Creation account or the story of the fall of humans?

      1. Where do they find an alternative account? (The
        theory of evolution, for one.)

      2. How ironic is this? Let’s assume for a minute that
        this is all allegory, myth or whatever label they use
        to say “I cannot believe this is literal.” If
        anything is to be taken away from this story, what is
        it? (That we are to trust God and what He says rather
        than depend on our own understanding. If even the
        “myth” people believe there is a lesson here, why
        don’t they apply it to this story? Why would they
        think they should supply their own story based on
        their own supposed knowledge?)

  2. The Fall

    1. Read Genesis 3:6. Why did Eve eat the fruit when she knew
      what God said? (The text says that the fruit was desirable
      to look at. It looked like good food. It would give her

      1. Why would the appearance of the fruit be a major
        factor in Eve’s decision? (What she saw contradicted
        what she expected from a tree that God said would
        cause death. Surely a “death tree” would have ugly,
        or at least suspicious looking fruit.)

      2. Was Eve’s sin a gradual one? (I think a major problem
        was that Eve misstated the law of God ( Genesis 3:3).
        She touched the fruit before she ate it. Because she
        did not die when she touched the fruit, she was led
        to believe that God was not trustworthy and she would
        gain wisdom by eating it.)

      3. How many times have you thought that God was
        untrustworthy when the real problem was your failure
        to read and understand God’s word?

    2. Why did Adam eat the fruit in violation of God’s command?
      (Read 1 Timothy 2:14. Paul tells us that Adam was not

      1. Paul seems to conclude that Adam is entitled to some
        credit because he was not deceived and Eve was
        deceived. How do you look at this? (All sin is sin,
        but I look at deliberate disobedience in a far worse
        light. Consider how you compare the two when your
        children disobey you.)

    3. If you were giving advice to Eve, what would it be? (She
      should have been on full alert when the serpent
      contradicted God ( Genesis 3:4). She should have been more
      familiar with God’s word. She should have trusted God and
      not her own intellect. She should have been satisfied with
      the knowledge God had given her.)

    4. What advice would you give Adam? (With Eve, it seems there
      is room to get this right “next time.” With Adam, he just
      seemed to flatly disobey God.)

  3. God’s Reaction

    1. How would you react to Adam and Eve if you were God?

    2. Read Genesis 3:8-11. What does God do after Adam and Eve
      sin? (He comes looking for them.)

      1. Read Isaiah 59:1-2. Why didn’t God just abandon the
        earth when Adam and Eve sinned? Isaiah seems to say
        when you sin God turns away from you. How do you
        explain the apparent contradiction between what we
        observe about God in Eden and Isaiah’s statement?
        (When I was a young man, I was taught that if I
        sinned God would not listen to me. It was a
        horrifying thought – I could make decisions that
        would cause God to abandon me.)

      2. Read Ephesians 5:5-6. Do Paul and Isaiah agree? If
        so, what is God doing in Eden?

    3. Read Luke 15:3-7. What does Jesus teach us about His
      attitude towards sinners?

    4. Read Romans 5:6-8. Considering all of these verses, what
      do we learn is God’s reaction to sin? (Eden gives us a
      good view of our God. He loves us, He comes after us, He
      confronts us with our sins. But, if we finally reject
      God, He will turn away.)

    5. Put yourself in God’s place in our point in time. You
      created the world, but many people doubt your word about
      that. Your creation – humans – doubted you and believed
      Satan. As a result, you sent your Son to die for their
      sins. Humans killed your Son. What would be your
      attitude, as God, towards humans? (Read Hebrews 10:29-31.
      I certainly do not want to be lost. But if I reject
      everything which God has done for me, His judgment is fair
      – more than fair.)

    6. Friend, consider what God has done for you. Will you walk
      away from Him or give your heart to Him right now?

  4. Next week: Atonement and the Divine Initiative.