Introduction: A once popular country and western song by Toby Keith
contains the line “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know
then.” Do you feel that way sometimes? Innocence is better than
knowing? The problem with erasing knowledge is that the clock of
time does not turn backwards. (Unless you have Alzheimer’s.) Once
you know, you know. This week we study the garment of innocence, and
two people who desperately wished that they “didn’t know now what
they didn’t know then.” Let’s dive in!

  1. Creation of Humans

    1. Read Genesis 1:26-28. What advantages did humans possess
      upon their creation? (They were created in the image of
      God as rulers of the earth. They were blessed by God.)

    2. Read Genesis 2:8-10. Make a mental picture of this
      garden. Would you like to live in it? (Yes! Wonderful
      fruit trees in a garden with four rivers.)

    3. Read Genesis 2:7,19 and Genesis 2:20-23. Adam and the
      animals were formed from the ground. Eve was later formed
      from Adam’s rib. What does that suggest about the nature
      of the relationship between men and women?

    4. Read Genesis 2:23-25. What answer does Adam give about
      the nature of their relationship based on the method of
      Eve’s creation? (He sees a unity between them.)

    5. Does the “rib creation” of Eve inform our proper view of
      marriage today? (Just as Adam and Eve had an intimate
      physical connection in their creation, so this intimate
      physical connection in marriage results in children who
      have a physical connection with their parents. Children
      are the fusion of two lives.)

    6. Imagine that you have a perfect body and your spouse has
      a perfect body. Would you feel shame about being alone
      and naked in a perfect and safe garden?

      1. If your answer is “No,” why does the Bible need to
        explain that they did not feel shame? (It suggests
        that the default position now is to feel shame about
        being naked.)

    7. Our series is about the symbolism of garments. Adam and
      Eve wore no traditional garment, according to the Bible.
      What symbolism should we draw from that? (They were
      perfect. Their surroundings were perfect. They were to
      further the human race through sexual union. This
      symbolized the purity and innocence of humans before sin
      entered the picture.)

      1. What kind of bodies will we have in heaven?

      2. What kind of clothes will we wear?

  2. Fall From Innocence.

    1. Re-read Genesis 2:9 and Genesis 2:15-17. Why do you think
      God named the tree “knowledge of good and evil?”

      1. Why would God not want humans to know good? That is,
        why not just call the tree “knowledge of evil?”

      2. Do you think the name of the tree was the result of
        negotiations between God and Satan?

    2. Read Genesis 3:1-5. We studied what the serpent was
      wearing last week. How would you characterize the
      temptation placed before Eve? (Pride? Distrust of God?
      Satan’s pitch was that Eve would know more, her knowledge
      would be more like that of God.)

      1. Is it true that God did not want Eve to have greater

      2. I believe in acquiring greater knowledge. Correct
        understanding is key to correct behavior. How can
        more knowledge be bad? (Seeking more knowledge was
        not the sin. The sin was distrusting and disobeying
        God to become more like God. The knowledge that
        came from that – what it was like to lose innocence
        and purity – was not positive in any way.)

      3. Recently, I wrote that those who have fallen into
        sin have an advantage in understanding righteousness
        by faith. The idea is expressed in Luke 7:47: those
        forgiven much love much, and those forgiven little,
        love little. One reader pointed out to me that
        disobedience is never good. That is an especially
        important point when considering the knowledge of

      4. Does this discussion help us to understand why the
        tree was called “knowledge of good and evil?”
        (Innocence is contrasted with knowing both good and

    3. Read Genesis 3:6. What was Eve’s motivation for eating
      the forbidden fruit? (Good for food, pleasing to the eye
      and would give wisdom.)

      1. Do the first two reasons make any sense whatsoever?
        The garden was filled with trees that were good for
        food and had fruit pleasing to the eye! Is Eve an
        idiot, or is something deeper being revealed? (God
        and Eve had a completely different view of what was
        at issue. Eve thought the problem was that the fruit
        was poisonous. That is why what it looked like and
        whether it was good for food were so important. It
        did not look poisonous, it looked like good food.)

      2. What is wrong with Eve’s point of view? (This is a
        pride issue. She thought the whole point of the
        prohibition was about her – her health and well-being. Satan introduced the additional idea about
        her education and knowledge.)

        1. What was the prohibition about?

      3. Are we guilty of this same sort of pride in
        interpreting God’s commands? Most commands have some
        fairly obvious link to our health and well-being.
        Does that mean we can disregard a command if we
        cannot discern a link to our well-being?

        1. In Leviticus 11 God declares some animals fit
          for food and some not. This distinction between
          clean and unclean animals existed very early in
          human history because it is referred to in
          Genesis 7. The way it is referred to in Genesis
          7 infers that the distinction was already well-known. Referring to a story in American
          history, I recall a saint telling me she would
          starve before she ate a horse. I privately
          thought she was nuts – since the whole purpose
          of the clean/unclean meat distinction was for
          health. Did I have an “Eve” attitude? (Yes.
          While I might have been right, it is dangerous
          to think we can discern God’s reasons for a
          command and then disregard the command when it
          no longer fits our understanding of the

    4. Read Genesis 3:7. We discussed this before: perfect
      bodies and a married couple. Nothing in that to make them
      feel guilty. How do you explain this? (I don’t think that
      the “naked” is a reference to sexuality. Have you ever
      felt so guilty that you wanted to hide? Have you ever
      wanted to avoid other people looking at you because of
      your decisions in life? You feel stripped of your
      dignity. I think that is what is going on here – they
      wanted to disappear into a pile of leaves. They would
      become anonymous trees for a while.)

    5. Read Genesis 3:21-24. What kind of garments does God make
      for Adam and Eve? (Animal skin.)

      1. What symbolism do you find in that? (Their feeling
        of nakedness because of their sin is “covered” as
        the result of the death of animals. This symbolizes
        the sanctuary system and God’s promise to redeem

      2. Does the “skin” garment add to our discussion about
        Adam and Eve using leaves to stop feeling naked?
        (This shows that the garment has more than a
        spiritual/mental importance. This suggests that they
        did feel uncomfortable without clothes.)

  3. Choosing a Garment

    1. Last week we studied the fall of Satan. This week we
      studied the sin of Eve and thus the fall of humanity.
      What similarities are there between these two? (Both
      started out perfect. Pride and distrust of God were the
      key to the entry of sin.)

    2. Think about this. The rest of us started out less than
      perfect. We were born into sin. (See Romans 5:12-14.)
      What chance do we have to be free from sin apart from the
      robe of righteousness we discussed in the first lesson?

    3. Friend, humans have lost their innocence. If we are
      honest, we know that we are desperately evil. We cannot
      turn back the clock of time and become innocent again.
      Our only hope is to accept the invitation extended to us
      by God and cover our guilty “nakedness” with Jesus’ robe
      of righteousness. Will you confess your sins and accept
      God’s invitation and His robe today?

  4. Next week: The Coat of Different Colors.