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Lesson 6: Creation and the Fall *

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 God.)

  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 true.)

      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 decision?

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

        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 trouble.)

    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.
* Copr. 2013, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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