Introduction: Making a mistake is critical to improving. The mistake
reveals what went wrong and how to improve in the future. The world
is filled with two classes of people: those who mostly learn (if at
all) from their own mistakes, and those who mostly learn from the
mistakes of others. Learning from the mistakes of others is not only
less painful, but much more efficient. You get the benefit of the
improvement without suffering the loss of the mistake. Our lesson
this week is about the mother of all mistakes – the fall of humans
into sin. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and see what
valuable lessons we can learn from the mistakes of Adam and Eve!

  1. The Opponent

    1. Read Genesis 3:1. Who is this serpent? Is this really one
      of the “good” animals which God had created? (Read
      Revelation 12:9. Satan appeared as an animal.)

    2. Read Matthew 4:1-3. Is the Devil, or Satan, a mythical
      character? (No. This is an actual, intelligent, being.)

    3. Look at again at Genesis 3:1. Why do you think that Satan
      appeared to Eve disguised as a serpent, but appeared
      undisguised to Jesus? (Read Revelation 12:7-9. Satan had a
      history in heaven. Jesus knew him.)

      1. What lesson can we learn from the fact that Satan
        appeared to Eve in a disguised form?

        1. Could friends, even religious friends, be doing
          the work of Satan in our life?

      2. What does Revelation 12:9 teach us about Satan’s
        mission on earth? (To lead us astray. We can see here
        that Satan is a warlord, he is a commander, he is not
        just an intelligent being. Ezekiel 28 suggestions
        that in heaven he was the “model of perfection” in
        wisdom and beauty. Satan is a dangerous enemy. His
        work on earth is a continuation of his war against

  2. Bringing The “A” Game

    1. As we look again at Genesis 3:1, do you think Satan’s
      words to Eve are a spur of the moment decision? (No. The
      allegiance of humans is riding on this. I’m sure he gave
      much thought to this. Satan brought his “A” game.)

      1. “Did God really say…?” What does this imply? (That
        God said something that was not accurate.)

        1. What does this teach us about Satan’s primary
          mission? (To bring humans to distrust God. That
          is “job 1” for Satan.)

      2. Notice that Satan misstates what God said. (Compare
        Genesis 2:16-17.) In what way does Satan misstate
        God’s rule? (Satan overstates the rule. He asks if
        all trees are off-limits as food.)

        1. Why did Satan overstate God’s rule? (He wanted
          to pull Eve into a conversation with him.)

        2. Do you normally find good people or bad people
          overstating God’s rules? (In Deuteronomy 4:2
          God warns us not to add or subtract from His
          commands. Many Christians are very vigilant on
          the “don’t subtract” part, but completely
          careless on the “don’t add” part. Many of my
          peers are still in rebellion against God
          because in their youth His agents added all
          sorts of rules and regulations that helped to
          create a generation of rebels.)

    2. Read Genesis 3:2. Does Eve correctly state God’s command?
      (In Genesis 2:16-17, God says nothing about touching the
      fruit. Eve does the same thing as Satan, she overstates
      God’s command.)

      1. If Satan is trying to get Eve to eat the fruit, why
        would he remind her of God’s command? Shouldn’t he
        hope that she forgets the command? (Satan wants the
        violation of God’s command to be clear.)

    3. Look again at Genesis 2:16-17. How does God present the
      topic of fruit eating? (He starts out with the statement
      that you can eat from any tree. God focuses on what you
      can do.)

      1. How does this compare with the way Satan states the
        issue? (Satan starts out with you cannot eat. He
        focuses on what you cannot do.)

      2. Is the difference in the two approaches important?
        (Extremely! When people focus on what they cannot do,
        they become obsessed with it. This is what Paul is
        talking about in Romans 7:9-10.)

      3. Will Satan take that same approach with us – try to
        get us to distrust God, and then focus us on what we
        should not do?

    4. When I was young, it was common that Christian speakers at
      my school would say that if I attended a movie, my angel
      would stay outside. The point being that if I managed to
      get hurt or in trouble inside, well, I was completely on
      my own! Is there any Biblical basis for believing that
      angels retreat when temptation grows? Do angels avoid the
      most dangerous areas?

      1. Read Colossians 2:20-23. Were those Christians who
        warned me not to enter a theater the agents of Satan?
        (Paul tells us that making up rules has “an
        appearance of wisdom.” No doubt they were trying to
        do the right thing. But, Colossians 2:23 tells us
        that a focus on what we should not do lacks “any
        value in restraining sensual indulgence.”)

    5. Read Genesis 3:4-5. Is this a pure lie? (No. The part
      about dying is a lie, but the statement about knowledge is

      1. What does this teach us about temptation? (It is
        rarely a clear situation.)

      2. What is the nature of this temptation that has been
        so carefully planned by Satan? What is its attractive
        core? (Pride. Becoming like God.)

      3. If Eve accepts this temptation, what must she reject?
        (Her trust in God. If Satan is telling the truth,
        then God has lied.)

    6. Read Genesis 3:6. What impact would Eve’s prior
      misstatement of God’s rule (adding that she would die when
      she touched the fruit)have on her decision to eat the
      fruit? (Her overstatement emboldened her. When she touched
      and did not die, it was “proof” that God lied.)

    7. Look again at Genesis 3:6, 12 & 17. The way this is worded
      suggests that Adam was not at the tree when Satan made his
      pitch to Eve. Instead, the texts speak of Adam listening
      to his wife, as opposed to listening to Satan. What is
      the nature of Adam’s temptation?

      1. Read 1 Timothy 2:14. What does this add to the
        picture? (It clarifies that Adam was not taken in by
        Satan. Instead, he deliberately sinned. If Adam
        believed that dying was the penalty for eating, he
        decided that he would die with Eve – rather than
        losing her. Thus, he deliberately rejected
        fellowship with God.)

      2. Notice the choice: should I be loyal to God or Eve?
        What level of moral evil is involved in that

      3. If I’m correct that Adam was not with Eve, why did
        Satan approach just one of them? (Divide and

        1. Is that an approach Satan uses against you and
          your spouse? You and your family?

  3. God of Love

    1. Read Genesis 3:8-13. Who is to blame for sin? (God! He
      left all of the things laying around which created

    2. Let’s switch views, and look at this from God’s
      perspective, but in a setting familiar to moderns. How do
      you like it when your spouse believes someone else instead
      of you, and then rejects you for someone else, and then
      blames you for everything that has happened? (This is
      precisely what Eve and Adam are doing to God.)

    3. Read Genesis 3:14-15. What is this “enmity” and “crush”
      stuff about? (This is the promise that God will rescue
      humans. This is a reference to the plan of salvation.)

      1. What does this teach us about the love of God? (After
        being rejected as dishonest, selfish, and treated as
        second best, God continues with His plan to give up
        His life for them! What astonishing love!)

    4. Friend, Satan wants us to focus on our sins. Why not focus
      instead on the enormous love God showers on His rotten
      people? Will you determine today to focus on living in the
      light of God’s love for you, rather than focusing on the
      darkness of the sins in your life?

  4. Next week: Through a Glass, Darkly.