The Pastor's Class
The Fall of Creation
Genesis 3: 1-24
There is a saying "all good things must come to an end." In the first two chapters there is painted for us the picture of an utopian (a place of social politicial and moral perfection) universe. However, as we study chapter three today we will see that mankind was unable to sustain that state of moral perfection.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Ge 3:1). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
This verse begins with a talking serpent. Now we could spend the rest of the hour discussing whether a serpent could really talk and what what the serpent looked like, but if we did we would miss the point of the scripture.
Chapter 3 introduces us to evil. or better yet, the Evil one. He is known by a variety of names in the bible. Among the more common is Satan so that is what we will call him. Again, we could spend the rest of the hour answering questions about Satan. However, we will save that for another lesson.
1. What trait did the serpent have that made it different from all the other wild animals?
The first thing we need to understand in this verse is that satan is not a serpent; he simply uses the serpent. The serpent possessed a paticular trait that Satan found useful for that particular situation. Satan created nothing, has nothing and owns nothing, therefore, he uses the good things that God has created to tempt us to do bad things.
God has created many people to be strinkingly beautiful. Is there any sin or evil in beauty? No. However, Satan can use a persons beauty to lure and tempt other people. Is there any sin in a stalk of tobacco? Is there any sin in a field of barley or corn? Of course not. However, Satan can use these things or any thing else of his choosing to tempt people.
2. The crafty nature of the serpent can be seen in the question that was asked of Eve. What is Satan trying to accomplish with this question?
In order to understand the question we need to refer back to the instructions that God gave man when He placed him in the garden of Eden. Turn in your bible back to Genesis 2: 15:17. (Read and discuss) God gave Adam and Eve paradise with only one restriction. "You must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil."
The question was asked in such a way as to create doubt in the mind of eve. "Did God really say that? The serpent restated only the first part of the command which says, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat . . . (Genesis 2:16). The serpent mentioned only the first part, hoping that the woman would forget the second part of Gods commandment. The woman was not easily deceived by the serpents first question though.
Genesis 3: 2 - 5
2 The woman said to the serpent, We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die. 4 You will not surely die,? the serpent said to the woman. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Ge 3:2-5). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
It is plain that the woman understood God's instructions. The problem with sin is not a lack of understanding. The bible says; "He that knows to do right and does not do it to him it is sin."
3. What argument did Satan use to tempt Eve to eat of the frobidden tree?
First of all Satan contridicted the word of God. God told Eve she would die and Satan said she would not die. Satan's argument was that God is afraid that you will be like him. God has no right to be God and he has no right to tell you what you can and cannot do. If you eat of this tree then you will know everything that he knows. You will know good and evil. I have said before that this is the only truth that Satan has ever told.
Understand, at this point Eve was talking to the Evil one. but she did not yet know evil. Temptation is not sin. The bible says "resist the devil and he will flee from you."
Read James 1: 13 -14 and discuss the path that leads to sin.
(14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.)
1. Satan deceives.
2. Deceit leads to desire.
2. Desire leads to determination
4. Determination leads to degradation
5. Degradation leads to death.
Deceit - We are often deceived. We think a new car will make us happy or a bigger house will make us happy.
Desire - When we believe the lie of the devil the desire stage begins. We slow down and look as we go by the auto dealer. We read the real estate ads in the Sunday Paper.
Determination - This is the point where we put the plan into action. We put a for sale sign in the front yard. We talk to the loan officer at the bank.
Degradation - This period begins after we commit the act. We have purchased the house or the car. Now we are faced with the unrelenting consequences of our decision. House payments for the next 6 years or 30 years.
Death - This is the end result of the action. If you purchased the auto or the home thinking you would be happy, at some point in time the car will break down and the roof on the house will leak and you will discover that you are no happier than you were before.
Now granted we all need to purchase a new car or home occasionally, however, you can apply the same scenario to any sin. The sin of adultry, theivery, murder, all follow the same route.
4. God said they would die and Satan said they would not die. Who was correct?
Because we are created in the image of God there is a part of us that is eternal. Adam and Eve in their perfect state would have remained that way eternally if they had not sinned. Remember, that there was also in the garden of Eden the tree of life. They were not forbidden to eat from it before they sinned. However, after they sinned they were bannished from the garden and Cheribim guarded the tree of life.
It was at this time that the physical process of aging and dying began. It was at this point that mankind first felt pain, and suffered from disease. (All disease is a product of sin. The mortality rate among humans is 100%).
However, the pain of physical death is far less than the pain of spiritual death. Spiritual death is defined as eternal separation from God. Again, the spirit or soul of man is eternal. Our eternity will either be spent in the presence of our creator or it will be spent in banishment. (Commonly referred to as Hell.) The decision is ours.
Genesis 3: 6 - 7
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Ge 3:6-7). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
5. What was Eve's rationale for eating from the tree?
She looked at the fruit and decided that it was good for food. Even though they were in the midst of a garden with an abundance of food they didn't have anything exactly like this. Not only was it good for food but it was pleasing to the eye. It was a work of art. The kind of fruit to display in a bowl on the dining room table. Thirdly, it was desirable for gaining wisdom. We generally do not think of food as giving us wisdom, however, Satan had convinced her that she was lacking in that department so she was willing to give it a try.
6. Where was Adam when Eve was having this dialogue with Satan?
The bible says that he was with her. Was Eve alone in her decision to disobey God? No! I doubt very seriously that all the dialogue of this event is recorded in the scripture. It is probable that Adam was there and consenting every step along the way. Both Eve and Adam willingly disobeyed God.
7. What happened immediately after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit?
They immediately realized their nakedness. From the time of the garden of Eden to the present nakedness has been associated with shame. Even though clothing styles vary from time to time and culture to culture most people feel uncomfortable when they are inappropriately dressed.
Sin brought a sense of separation and self-awareness to Adam and Eve. Until now they had lived in this perfect state of harmony. Their vision was not of themselves but of God and each other. Immediately, after their sin, they looked at themselves and realized that they were naked. They became self conscious. This self-conscious nature has been bringing conflict and discourse between people ever since. I am white and you are black. I am thin and you are fat. I am handsome and you are ugly. I am German and you are Jew. etc.....
We can still get a glimpse of the innoscence of first man when we look at children. All three of my (Bro. Leonard) girls when they were small would delight in running through the house naked after their bathtime each night. It made no difference who was in the house. After being dried off they would break away and squeal with delight as they streaked through the house naked.
Modesty was not something that we imposed on our girls. It was something that came naturally as they grew and became self-aware.
Many people today desire to shed their inhibitions along with their clothing. Many public beaches today are virtual nudist camps. Thankfully, God has provided a way in which we can loose the shame of our nudity. It is in the covenant marriage relationship that we talked about last week.
Genesis 3: 8 - 11
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, Where are you
10 He answered, I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.
11 And he said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Ge 3:8-11). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
8. Disobedience not only brought the shame of their nakedness, (self-awareness) it brought other things. What are they?
Notice that they hid. Remember sin brings separation from God. Before they had this perfect relationship with God. Now they are hiding from God.
Can you remember the first time your spouse caught you in a lie? What did that do to your relationship? O.K. so maybe you have never lied to your spouse. Do you remember the first time your parents caught you in a lie? What did that do to your relationship? Sin always brings separation.
Also, notice that they were afraid. This is the first time that they had felt fear. Before this they frolicked and played with lions and tigers with no sign of fear.
Sin always produces fear. Every person who commits a crime, no matter how clever, lives in fear that he/she will be caught.
Genesis 3: 12 - 13
12 The man said, The woman you put here with me she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, What is this you have done The woman said, ?The serpent deceived me, and I ate. The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Ge 3:12-13). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Blame Game
The blame game begins. Notice in the previous passage that God calls for Adam not Eve. Even though it is Eve who initially partakes of the forbidden fruit God calls for Adam. Whereas, we are created equally male and female, the male bears the greater responsibility for the morality whithin the family unit.
Adam tried to abrogate his responsibility by blaming it on the woman. (Notice that Adam who named all the animals has not yet given his mate a name.) The woman immediately tried to blame it on the serpant. She said, "the serpant deceived me, and I ate."
There is no evidence that Adam and Eve's sin brought them even a moment's pleasure. Sin can be pleasurable for awhile, however, the consequences always outweighs the pleasure.
Read the Text below to discover the effects that sin had on creation and on mankind.
Genesis 3: 14 - 20
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, Because you have done this,
Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel. 16 To the woman he said,
I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.
17 To Adam he said, Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, You must not eat of it,
Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.
20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Ge 3:14-20). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
9. Some have said that the greater part of the curse fell upon the woman. What do you think?
First Messianic Prophecy
Verse 15 of this chapter has long been recognized as the first messianic prophecy of the Bible. Thus, it also contains the first glimpse of the gospel (protoevangelium). It reveals three essential truths: (1) that Satan is the enemy of the human race, explaining why God put enmity [related to the word enemy] between thee [Satan] and the woman; (2) that He would place a spiritual barrier between thy seed (Satan's people) and her seed (God's people); and (3) that the representative seed of the woman (i.e., a human being: Christ) would deliver the deathblow to Satan, but in so doing would be bruised Himself. It [or He, ] shall bruise [lit., "crush"] thy head, but thou shalt bruise his heel refers to Christ's bruising on the cross, which led to the eventual crushing of Satan and his kingdom.
King James Version study Bible. 1997, c1988 (electronic ed.) (Ge 3:15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Verses 15 -20 are also known as the Adamic Covenant. There will be several covenants that God will make throughout the bible of which this is the first.
What is a Covenant?
WHAT IS COVENANT?
To understand the New Covenant, we must first understand what a covenant is. A covenant is like an agreement, only much more. A covenant is like a contract, only it can never be broken. A covenant is a union between two parties with agreements and terms (or articles) that can never be broken, but it can be added to or brought to a completion, being fulfilled, by mutual agreement of both parties. A covenant makes both parties subject to the legal articles of the covenant. A covenant creates a kinship, a new family made up of both parties. In a covenant there is a total exchange and mutual ownership of everything that belongs to both parties. The two become one family. The word covenant actually means "to cut" A covenant involves cutting flesh where blood flows and the mingling of the blood of the two, sealing the agreement. This is where the term "Blood Brother" came from. Death is the penalty for breaking a blood covenant. Men have been cutting covenants with each other from ancient times. Africa, China, the Middle East, and even the native people of the North and South Americas have a rich history of covenants. The traditions and ceremonies vary, but in essence they are the same. Many of these covenants continue to this very day.
COVENANTS AND THE BIBLE
God has been cutting covenants with men from the beginning.
Satan too has been involved in covenants, seeing the power that they have and being the copy cat that he is uses them in Satanic worship and rituals. Of course, his covenants are as dead as he is, merely deceptions. The covenants of man and especially of God are the ones with real power.
God has established covenants with men from ancient times to establish legal rights for himself and for his covenant partners. All the covenants God cut with men were from a motivation of love, as God is love. 1st John 4:16 That motivation of love was compassion, because of the fallen state of man, he wanted to help man and reconcile man back to himself.
The first mention of covenant in the Bible is in Genesis 6. Here God establishes a covenant with Noah. However we know that God established two covenants with Adam, one before and one after Adams fall.
The first covenant with Adam established the first legal system on the new earth. This covenant is sometimes called the Adamic Covenant.
Genesis 3: 21 - 24
"21" The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever. 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Ge 3:21-24). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
10. Adam and Eve had already made clothes to cover their nakedness. Why did God make different clothes for them?
This is our first glimpse of what it will eventually take for the atoning of sin. We cannot, of our own acord adequately cover our sins. Our best attempts will not be good enough. God, through a blood sacrifice must make a covering for our sin. Therefore, here in the third chapter of the first book of the bible at the beginning of creation, we get a glimpse of the cross.