Summary: The path to sin follows a generally predictable pattern, yet man never seems to notice the signposts along the way. This message seeks to point out the natural progression that the path of sin follows, so that the child of God can be aware and alert.


Text: Gen.3: 1-7

Intro: Tragedies are certainly not strangers to our world. We hear about them every day. Tragedy is no respecter of persons, places, positions, or possessions. No one, no matter what his or her station in life, is exempt from tragedy.

Tragedy has always been a part of life. There are some of you here today who remember World War II, with all of its horrors, death, and destruction. Others of you grew up during the Great Depression of the thirties, with its uncertainties, shortages, and hardships. Still others of you can no doubt remember more personal tragedies such as loved ones who have fallen prey to fatal diseases or fatal auto accidents. Maybe you have experienced great material losses due to acts of nature. But the simple truth of the matter is that tragedy strikes everyone sooner or later. Most however, understand that as long as people live on this planet, there will be tragedies, large and small, with which to contend.

But as bad as these things are, we humans have a marvelous capacity to recover and continue on with life. But though that is true, there is one tragedy that mankind has undergone that has left an indelible mark upon the course of history. That tragedy took place in the Garden of Eden, and it continues to affect all humanity.

Follow me today as we trace the steps of tragedy to find out what happened when Adam and Eve sinned, and how God would remedy this terrible disaster.

Theme: As we trace the steps of tragedy, we notice:


A. Satan Attacked God’s Word.

1. He did this by planting doubt.

Gen.3: 1 “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

NOTE: [1] The idea here is that Satan wished to change the wording of God’s command, and then hold it up to ridicule before Eve. Satan made it sound as though God was being unreasonably rigid. God had only forbidden the eating of the fruit of one tree, not “every tree,” as Satan suggested (v. 1).

[2] The doubt that Satan wanted to instill in Eve’s mind was actually threefold:

2a. He wanted her to doubt the authorship of God’s Word. Eve had not been present when God gave Adam the command concerning the forbidden tree (Gen.2: 16, 17). How could she really be sure that God had given the command at all?

2b. He wanted her to doubt the accuracy of God’s Word. In other words, “How do you know that Adam accurately related God’s true intent to you, Eve?”

2c. He wanted her to doubt the acceptability of God’s Word. After all, why would God forbid her to have something that was so pleasing and desirable? God’s commandment was in conflict with Eve’s desires, and therefore it wasn’t acceptable.

[3] Doubting the Word of God can lead us to faulty thinking, as well as some ridiculous assumptions. Let me illustrate with this story.

Lord Halifax, a former foreign secretary of Great Britain, once shared a railway compartment with two prim-looking spinsters. A few moments before reaching his destination the train passed through a tunnel. In the utter darkness Halifax kissed the back of his hand noisily several times. When the train drew into the station, he rose, lifted his hat, and in a gentlemanly way said: ”May I thank whichever one of you two ladies I am indebted to for the charming incident in the tunnel.” He then beat a hasty retreat, leaving the two ladies glaring at each other.

Bits & Pieces, May 27, 1993, p. 22.

2. Satan then followed doubt with denial.

Gen.3: 4 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:”

NOTE: [1] This was a direct contradiction to what God had said in Genesis 2: 17b, “…in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

[2] The whole matter now depended upon what Eve chose to believe. This is exactly what happens in the mind of the lost sinner concerning salvation. God has said, “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom.6: 23). But Satan says, “Thou shalt not surely die. After all, would God forbid you to live a life that is so pleasurable and desirable?”

B. Satan Attacked God’s Wisdom.

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