The Fall

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Lesson Number: 

Lesson 2 Death in a Sinful World

(Genesis 3)

Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: Imagine you are Satan. You have rebelled against God and you and your allied angels have been (or are about to be) tossed out of heaven. What do you do? We know from Revelation 12:7-9 that Satan engaged in an actual battle with God. The Bible uses the words “war” and “fighting.” Why would Satan do that? The obvious answer is that Satan wanted to rule heaven - or at least some part of it. We also know that Satan tried to lure the newly created humans into rejecting God in favor of him. Why would he do that? The humans, unlike the angels, had no power to fight God. Was Satan’s motive to insult God? Perhaps Satan thought that causing humans to enter into sin would make them like him (and the other fallen angels), and God would make a way to reconcile them all? What Satan managed to accomplish was to trigger death among humans, and in the process create death for himself and his fallen angels. Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. The Temptation of Eve
    1. Read Genesis 3:1. Is this some smart snake? What is “the serpent?” (Read Revelation 12:9. This is none other than Satan. He deceived the fallen angels and he is in the process of deceiving humans. We are observing his work here.)
      1. Why is this serpent compared to other beasts? How is Satan a beast? (A reasonable conclusion is that Satan has take the form of a snake. Snakes do not have the power of speech.)
      2. If you were Eve’s life coach, what would you advise she should do in response to this question? (She should have walked away.)
      3. What do you think about Satan’s question? (On its face it is a stupid question. Of course they could eat from the trees in the garden.)
        1. What does this teach us about Satan’s approach to making humans sin? (Satan’s first goal is to get us to engage with him. Make us feel superior. Eve felt confident in giving an answer because this was an obviously uninformed snake.)
    2. Read Genesis 3:2-3. Is Eve correctly stating God’s rule? (Read Genesis 2:16-17. God did not include in the rule anything other than a prohibition on eating.)
      1. Notice that God stated the rule to Adam, not Eve. Do you think Adam added the part about not touching because he thought he was being helpful to his wife? He was looking out for her welfare by telling her not to even touch the fruit?
      2. Read Deuteronomy 4:2. What does God say about adding to His word? (We may think we are doing good for those we are guarding by helping them steer clear of sin. But adding violates God’s command.)
    3. Let’s skip ahead a little. Read Genesis 3:6. What did Eve do before she ate the fruit? (She evaluated how it looked, and she touched it.)
      1. When she touched the fruit and she did not die, did that embolden her to eat the fruit? (It did. This illustrates the grave error in overstating what God prohibits.)
      2. Will sin always appear to be defective? Can apparently positive, healthy things pull us into sin?
  2. Satan’s Strategy
    1. Read Genesis 3:4-5. Let’s analyze how Satan tempted Eve. Do you think that Satan carefully planned how he would approach Eve? (I have no doubt. Not only was this an incredibly important event in the controversy between good and evil, but there is no record that Satan had access to Adam and Eve to tempt them outside of this event. This appears to be an agreed upon test between God and Satan.)
    2. Look again at Genesis 3:3 and read Genesis 2:9. Where does Genesis 3 say the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is placed? Where does Genesis 2 say the Tree of Life is placed? (They are together in the “midst” of the garden. This suggests they are together in the middle of the garden.)
      1. Why? (This is evidence that Eden was created with the agreed-upon contest in mind. There can be no doubt that Satan brought his best temptation to this contest.)
    3. Let’s go back and re-read Genesis 3:4. Is disputing God essential to temptation?
      1. If you want to be alert to temptation, what should you conclude when you hear or read something that contradicts the Bible? (You should be on high alert! This is the point where many people decide that they should use their wisdom and determine who is right. What a sad mistake.)
      2. Other than God’s word, was there any evidence that Satan was lying? (Eve could not logically believe that she was immortal because of the existence of the Tree of Life and the fact that she regularly (it seems) ate from it. In support of this see Genesis 3:22-24.)
      3. What about Satan? He has existed for thousands of years, is he immortal? Is it possible that he thought humans were created like him? (The existence of the Tree of Life should have alerted Satan to the problem of human death.)
        1. Do you think that God created humans with conditional immortality (they would need to eat from the Tree of Life to live) because He did not want to repeat His experience with Satan?
    4. Read Genesis 3:5. I’m doubtful that directly contradicting God would have been successful. What did Satan add to make his temptation more persuasive? (It was an appeal to vanity - she would be like God. It was an appeal to conspiracy - God was keeping something from her.)
      1. Read Genesis 1:27-28. Was Satan offering Eve anything that she did not already have? (She was already like God. The real issue was whether she would trust God’s decision about the state of her knowledge and whether she would trust God on the issue of the death penalty.)
        1. As Eve was working this out in her mind, what did Adam’s decision to protect her by overstating God’s command do? (When she touched the fruit and did not die, she concluded that God lied.)
  3. The Temptation of Adam
    1. Look at Genesis 3:6. This does not explain why Adam ate the fruit Eve gave him. Read 1 Timothy 2:13-14 for the explanation. I think Paul intends this text to say something positive about Adam. Do you think this makes a positive or a negative comment about Adam?
      1. Which is better in your mind, to intentionally sin or sin because you were deceived?
      2. What does Adam’s failure teach us about Satan’s strategy about the use of those we love? (The reasonable conclusion is that Adam chose Eve over God. We should not make that mistake.)
  4. The Human Failure
    1. Read Genesis 3:9-12. We just discussed that Adam fell because he did not want to give up Eve. What is Adam doing here? (Blaming Eve!)
      1. Why? How does this make any sense? If Adam was willing to give up his future to be with Eve, why would he tell God sin was her fault? (Sin was not yet real to Adam when he chose Eve. Now that he realizes the beginning consequences his attitude changes.)
        1. Have you sinned with someone that you thought would stand with you, and then found out differently? Is that a strategy of Satan?
      2. Who else is Adam blaming? (God! He says God gave Eve to him.)
      3. Think about this. If you are disappointed in how family and friends respond to their sins, consider how Adam, who was created perfect, responded.
      4. Think about this in another way: did Adam blame God for giving him free choice? (Adam did not think that was the root of the problem.)
  1. The Death Sentence for Satan
    1. Read Genesis 3:14-15. What does Satan hear about his future? (First, humans will not be his allies. Second, his “head” will be “bruised.” This punishment is primarily directed to Satan, and not mere snakes. The blow to the head is fatal (as opposed to the heel). Satan and his allied angels are thrown to earth (Revelation 12:4), and their future is with the dust of earth. I think Satan now knows he will experience eternal death. See Hebrews 2:14.)
    2. Friend, choosing Satan is the path to death. Will you determine, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to defeat Satan’s deadly strategies by trusting God?