Summary: It is only by understanding and believing Genesis 3 that we can understand salvation and accept Jesus Christ as our savior.
“The Fall” (Genesis 3:1-13)
Today is a difficult day as we cover what is undoubtedly the most important and saddest part of the Old Testament. Today we learn what went wrong, and we learn of our biggest need as human beings. Today we find out why Jesus had to come and how the process of salvation began the very day of the first sin. It is only by understanding and believing Genesis 3 that we can understand salvation and accept Jesus Christ as our saviour.
We will also learn who we are and how we got where we are. We are going to see how easily we are deceived, and how necessary the Word of God is.
The first thing we learn is that Satan is real. Who is he? Is he the red funny looking creature with horns that we see in pictures? No, he is one of the most dazzling and magnificent creatures in all of God’s creation. He is the highest of all God’s angels called Lucifer or “day star”. Clearly, we see in the Bible that demonic spirits are capable of inhabiting both people and animals, and we don’t really know why he chose a snake here. But we find out that:
I. Satan Speaks (vv 1a, 4-5)
Could Satan really speak out loud or did he speak to Eve the way he seems speaks to us through our thoughts? We don’t know, but if I was to give my theory for what it is worth, I think the snake may have been able to kind of mesmerize Eve and in a sense converse with her silently in a kind of hypnotic trance. First:
A. Satan Questions to Create Doubt (v. 1b)
This is Satan’s age old method of questioning God’s word and/or His goodness. It has been working very effectively since the beginning of humanity. It is the deception he used on himself in the first place causing his own fall. He really isn’t that creative, he found something that worked and has just stuck with it. If we would clue in and not even consider his questions, Satan would lose much of his power. He tried with Jesus early on, but it didn’t take long for Satan to give up and go back to other people. Satan doesn’t have much perseverance, but at the root of all sin you will find these doubt provoking questions.
“Did God actually say?” Notice that this is also the way gossip starts. Gossip is not necessarily false yet, but it usually doesn’t take long to become a rumor or slander, which by definition has no facts backing it up. We don’t consult, or confront the source and just talk to everyone else about the person.
B. Satan Lies Subtly (v. 4b-5)
After setting Eve up with the doubt, Satan moves in for the kill. He is not completely refuting what God said but is saying that what God says is really just a threat, that he just wants to keep you down. He is questioning God’s motives.
Satan is the first Bible interpreter, and like many today he interpreted what God said for his own purposes. After all, they didn’t die after taking the bite, and their eyes were opened, and they were more like God in terms of knowledge, but they were not gods. However, as his title the “deceiver” insinuates, Satan is calling God a liar, and his interpretation of what God said was apparently too much of a temptation for Eve to resist.
Ephesians 6:16 tells us how to avoid this temptation, and it’s the same way Jesus did it “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.”
Today we’re still fascinated with the “experiential” knowledge of evil. You just have to look at popular TV and Movies. I am reminded of Matthew 10:16 which says: “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep amoung the wolves, so be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves.” In other words be wise as Satan in terms of discernment, but don’t go looking for evil, it will find you easy enough.
If we quickly look at verses 4, 5 and 6 we see a common negative communication pattern that most churches are all too familiar with. Verse 4 is where opinions begin to fly “You will not surely die.” Verse 5 has the beginning of slander or attributing negative motive to another’s words or behavior. Satan is implying that God’s motive is selfish and power mongering, which is far from the truth, but could certainly be perceived that way if we chose to.
Then in verse 6, the spreading of the rumor - slander or sin takes place. And notice there is no mention of Adam even questioning Eve, he just bought it lock, stock and barrel.