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Summary: The fall of man

Genesis 3:1-24

John Shearhart

August 29, 2010


Over the past two weeks we’ve witnessed the creation account. God made everything, each according to its own kind, and He called it all “good.”

This third chapter of Genesis changes everything. One disobedient decision subjects everything good to the curse of sin and death. If you’ve ever wondered why the world is filled with so much evil or why so many bad things happen, all you need to do is read Genesis chapter three.

It’s here that we find…

The Fall of Man

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" 2The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die'" (Genesis 3:1-3, NASB).

The serpent is a part of God’s creation and an animal which presumably Adam has named, but this particular serpent is somehow influenced by Satan. He comes to the woman and plants a seed of doubt in her mind in the first words of his sentence. “Did God really say…?”

This is where it all begins…

1. Temptation began when the serpent cast doubt on God’s word (:1-3)

Something else that is interesting is the phrase “You shall not eat from any tree of the garden.” Satan knew full well that only the one tree was off limits.

2. Temptation was accepted when the serpent denied God’s word (:4-5)

4The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! 5"For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Satan flat-out calls God a liar and pretends to take sides with Eve.

Most of what he says is is true. Once they ate from the tree they became “like God, knowing good and evil.” The only lie was that they wouldn’t die.

Imagine how much differently this would have gone if Eve had said simply, “Yes. He said it, and that is what we’re going to do.”

3. Eve gave in to the temptation and sin was born (:6)

6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Notice that it all starts with a look. The serpent doubts and denies God’s word, so Eve takes a look for herself just to see what she might be missing.

Have you heard the expression “as ugly as sin?” We see here that sin isn’t always ugly. Eve saw the fruit as a delight to the eyes.

So, she reaches out and grabs some fruit and takes a bite. Her lust leads to action.

Then Adam comes along and jumps right in with her.

4. Sin ruined everything God had created as good (:7-19)

7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

The first indication that something’s wrong is shame. Chapter two ended telling us that they were naked and felt no shame, but now they are ashamed to be naked in front of each other. The embarrassment was so intense that they made clothes for themselves to use for cover.

8They 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.

Now why would they hide themselves? Their consciences have come to life and convicted them. They know they’re guilty, so when God comes near they hide from Him.

9Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" 10He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself." 11And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"

The fact is that the man and woman knew nothing of good or evil before eating the fruit. They were innocent and as infants to sin. But when they ate, they became aware of their nakedness; no one had to tell them. They now knew evil.

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