Summary: Shows 3 ways Satan tempts us to sin.

GENESIS 3:1-6 “How Satan Works”

How many of you have never been tempted?

Temptation is Satan’s way of trying to get us away from God.

Temptation itself is not sin.

We are all tempted, but what is important is how we respond to the temptation to sin.

We have not sinned until we give in to the temptation.

It is a sad but true fact that many people give in to temptation knowing full well it will lead to sin.

How can you resist temptation?

James 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

In order to resist the devil, you need to know a little bit about how he works.

How does he tempt us?

How does he get us to sin?

This passage of Scripture shows us the pattern Satan uses to tempt us.

Knowing how Satan works will help you to overcome your next temptation.

The first thing I want you to see is that:

I. Satan tempts us to sin by causing us to question God (v 1-3)

He causes us to doubt.

This is the beginning of every temptation.

Satan asks Eve in Verse 1, "Did God REALLY say that you can’t eat from any of these trees in the garden?"

The implication in this seed of doubt planted by Satan could have been something like this, "Why did God say you can’t eat from any of these trees.

Is he stingy?

He must not want you to have the very best, since he won’t let you eat the fruit on THAT tree, and he points to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

God must not really love you."

In Verses 2 and 3, we have Eve’s response to Satan’s prying question, "No, no, you have it all wrong.

We can eat from all of the trees except that one in the middle of the garden, the one you just pointed to.

God said we can’t eat from it OR touch it.

Otherwise, we will die."

Verse 3 gives us the first lie in the Bible.

God did not tell Adam and Eve they were forbidden to touch the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Refer back to Genesis 2:15-17, before God created Eve, and you see that God commanded Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because, if he did, he would surely die.

Eve adds to God’s word by saying that God commanded them to stay away from that tree.

"We can’t even touch it", she says.

This self imposed restriction actually added to the temptation.

"Why can’t we touch it?"

Questioning God causes us to doubt.

How many times have you questioned God?

We are quick to question God when adversity strikes.

We ask questions like, "Why did you take my loved one from me?" or "Why did you allow this tragedy happen to me?"

We pray God’s word back to him and claim his promises of safety and comfort.

We say, "God, you promised that you would never leave me or forsake me.

You promised to provide for me."

We forget about those passages of Scripture that demand our obedience in order to receive the promises of God.

We blame God.

"God let me down."

"He wasn’t there when I needed him."

"He caused this to happen."

We question God on every point: "Did God really say that I have to love everyone?"

"Did God really say that I have to make a commitment to serve him?"

"Did God really say that I have to put others before me?"

"Did God really say that I have to obey him?"

"Did God really say he will judge sin?"

"Did God really say that I sin?"

We speak lightly of sin.

We say that we all sin, but we apply that statement to the other person.

We really don’t acknowledge our sin as God would have us acknowledge it.

If we did, we would most certainly be different.

We question God but the questions become statements.

"Did God really say" becomes "God didn’t really say."

The focus shifts from God to us.

We begin to look to ourselves for answers through our reason instead of through Almighty God.

We rationalize sin into obscurity and say, "God loves everybody. God has surely forgiven me" but never repent in our hearts.

We try to find those grey areas, but a temptation has only two possible answers.

Either you will sin or you won’t.

If you continue to weigh the "pros and cons" of a tempting situation, you will inevitably sin.

Instead of asking, "Did God really say this is a sin" you proudly state, "God didn’t really say this is a sin."

If you pray, seek God, read Scripture, and ask God to strengthen you and lead you through the temptation, you will not sin.

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Jeff Conners

commented on Sep 19, 2006

terrific and very useful. Pastor Jeff Conners

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