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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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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!
- The Opponent
- 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.)
- Read Matthew 4:1-3. Is the Devil, or Satan, a mythical
character? (No. This is an actual, intelligent, being.)
- 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.)
- What lesson can we learn from the fact that Satan
appeared to Eve in a disguised form?
- Could friends, even religious friends, be doing
the work of Satan in our life?
- 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
- Bringing The "A" Game
- 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.)
- "Did God really say...?" What does this imply? (That
God said something that was not accurate.)
- What does this teach us about Satan's primary
mission? (To bring humans to distrust God. That
is "job 1" for Satan.)
- 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.)
- Why did Satan overstate God's rule? (He wanted
to pull Eve into a conversation with him.)
- 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.)
- 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
- 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.)
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.")
- Read Genesis 3:4-5. Is this a pure lie? (No. The part
about dying is a lie, but the statement about knowledge is
- What does this teach us about temptation? (It is
rarely a clear situation.)
- What is the nature of this temptation that has been
so carefully planned by Satan? What is its attractive
core? (Pride. Becoming like God.)
- If Eve accepts this temptation, what must she reject?
(Her trust in God. If Satan is telling the truth,
then God has lied.)
- 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.)
- 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?
- 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.)
- Notice the choice: should I be loyal to God or Eve?
What level of moral evil is involved in that
- If I'm correct that Adam was not with Eve, why did
Satan approach just one of them? (Divide and
- Is that an approach Satan uses against you and
your spouse? You and your family?
- God of Love
- Read Genesis 3:8-13. Who is to blame for sin? (God! He
left all of the things laying around which created
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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!)
- 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?
- 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.