A. We’ll start our foray into understanding the enemy within, by making some observations about the origin of sin.
B. To do that, we’re going to get into groups and run through some questions.
- Group Leaders: (1) Bret Hastings; (2) Josh Oedy; (3) Gary Oedy and Jeff
Rowe; and (4) Bill Willcutts.
- Discussion: The discussion is about the origin of sin, so we’re going back to
the beginning, the paradigmatic text of biblical hamartiology, which is
Genesis 3 and the Fall of man.
- Recording: Be sure your group has a recorder who can write down your
group’s answers. We’re going to review your answers next time.
- Thoughtfulness: Do not rush through your discussion, but take time to think
about the questions and come up with good answers. Whatever we don’t
finish this week, we’ll finish next time and discuss the answers.
C. READ Gen. 3:1-13. Record the group’s answers to the following questions:
- Verse 1: Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field
that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually
say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
a. Why do you think Satan choose to embody a serpent to tempt Eve?
b. Why did Satan choose to slither up to Eve, and not Adam?
c. What are some things you find significant about the first recorded words
of the devil in the Bible?
d. Did Satan quote God accurately? If not, why not? What does Satan’s
question imply about God?
- Verses 2-3: The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the
trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree in
the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
a. What stands out to you about Eve’s answer to the serpent? What do you
find significant about her answer?
b. How has Satan’s question framed the discussion for Eve? In other
words, by following his lead and answering the question he asked, what
is she focused on? What should she focus on?
- Verses 4-5: But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For
God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be
like God, knowing good and evil.”
a. What in Eve’s answer emboldened Satan to contradict God in such a bold
and overt manner?
b. Satan introduces his enticement clearly. Why do you think he chose to
entice her (and by extension, Adam) with such a proposal?
- Verse 6: So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it
was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one
wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband
who was with her, and he ate.
a. What is significant about Eve’s assessment of the tree? [Hint: We
discussed this last time in connection to the kinds of trees God made,
according to Gen. 2:9, and the nature of the two special trees.]
b. Eve transgressed God’s command, as did Adam, by eating the forbidden
fruit. But more precisely, when did Eve sin?
c. How does Eve’s assessment of the tree demonstrate the effect of sin on
d. It’s likely there is a gap between vv. 1-5, which pictures the dialogue
between the serpent and Eve, and vv. 6-7, when Adam has joined
Eve. How do you explain Adam’s behavior? Why did he fall so
e. Considering the roles God assigned Adam and Eve, what’s wrong with
the picture in v. 6? How should that caution husbands about practicing
their role in their marriages?
- Verses 7-8: Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew they were
naked; they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And
they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of
the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the
LORD God among the trees of the garden.
a. What is the significance of the sudden realization of nakedness?
b. Theologically, what did Adam and Eve attempt to do for themselves?
c. What do fig leaves portray/symbolize and how do they portray it?
d. What was God’s remedy for the fallen human condition, and how did His
provision for sin point to the gospel? [Hint: cf. Gen. 3:21.]
e. How do the actions of Adam and Eve in vv. 7-8 reveal the effect of sin
on the soul (cf. 2:17) and on the ability of the mind to reason?
f. What deepest tragedy of “paradise lost” is portrayed in these verses?
- Verses 9-13: But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where
are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was
afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you
that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you
not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me,
she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the
woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent
deceived me, and I ate.”
a. If God knows Adam’s location, why does He ask, “Where are you?”
b. What is the reason for God’s line of questioning in v. 11 and v. 13?
c. Considering Adam’s answer in v. 12, and Eve’s answer in v. 13, how do
their answers reveal our condition living in sin? Why do those fallen
tendencies undermine our ability to heal ourselves?
d. God poses questions to Adam and Eve, but none to the
serpent/Satan. What should we to discern about that?
e. What does God’s interaction with Adam and Eve—and, by contrast, His
refusal to interact with the serpent/Satan—in what ways does His
example help us understand what happened in the Fall, and also teach us
how to avoid falling into sin?