Summary of passage: The crafty serpent asked Eve, “Did God really say not to eat from any tree in the garden?” Eve tells him they can eat from any tree except from the tree in the middle of the garden or they will die. The serpent plants doubt, saying surely you won’t die; you will just be like God, knowing good and evil.
So, Eve took some and ate it and gave some to Adam (who was with her the whole time) and ate it as well.
3) the devil or Satan
4a) Adam was to care for the trees in the garden and he was free to eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil because if he ate from that, he would die.
b) Yes. Why else would God plant it and why would he instruct Adam to eat from any tree (including the tree of life) Verses 9 & 16. Everything God does has a purpose. God gave man Free Will–to choose life or death. And man chose.
5a) The serpent planted doubt. He questioned God’s words by asking, “Are you sure God said that?” It made Eve wonder if God did indeed say that. Then he questions God’s word and twists it by saying Eve wouldn’t die if she ate it. Why would God do such a thing? Then the serpent does speak some truth by saying their eyes will be opened. They just wouldn’t be opened how the serpent says. Finally, he tempted by saying “You will gain knowledge of good and evil” and be equal with God.
b) First, Eve talked to the serpent. Then she listened to the serpent. Then she believed the serpent. Then she gave in to her desire for wisdom and partook of the fruit.
c) God first and foremost. God’s truths. God’s words. God’s goodness. God himself really.
6a) Jesus used God’s truths to defeat the devil. Granted, Eve didn’t have the Bible to use but in a way she had something just as powerful: a personal relationship with God. Eve doubted God’s goodness; Jesus never did. Eve doubted God’s ways; Jesus never did.
Of course, Jesus was God on earth and Eve was merely a human so it’s hard to compare.
But the serpent does use the same methods: lust of the flesh; lust of the eyes; and pride.
b) No. James says after desire (temptation) has conceived (been planted), then it gives birth to sin (one sins) and sin leads to death.
Because Eve coveted the fruit didn’t mean she sinned. She only sinned when she ate the fruit (disobeyed God’s commands). At any moment before then she could have walked away. But she didn’t.
The definition of sin according to Webster’s Dictionary is “a transgression of the law of God”. Transgression means a violation of a law or command; to go beyond the limits.
According to my bible dictionary (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary by Douglas and Tenney) sin is “revolt against the holiness and sovereign will of God. It is a condition of the heart and the outworking of that condition through one’s words and actions.”
We are all tempted (“to entice to do wrong by promise of pleasure or gain” says Webster’s). Satan tempts to undermine our faith. God tests (not tempts) to strengthen our faith.
c) Personal Question. My answer: To quit God’s work and purpose for my life. Some days it’s just not worth it. It’s a constant temptation. I’m also tempted to say mean things or not be giving. Constant temptation to not do as Jesus would do. Temptation to do what I want to do and not what God wants me to do.
Conclusions: We discussed the whole sin versus temptation thing in Acts last year except we were asked if it was okay to doubt (see lesson HERE). We are human. We will be tempted. Constantly by the devil. But we have Free Will to say no. God always offers us an out (1 Corinthians 10:13) so we can stand up to the devil. God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.
From Eve we can learn the common steps the devil uses to make us sin: he plants doubt in our mind; he makes us question God’s word; he entices with something seemingly better. This pattern we need to be aware of so we don’t fall into sin. So we can stand up to the devil and say “NO!” in God’s name. So we don’t lose sight of God like Eve did.
Interesting Side Notes: Note that God instructed Adam to not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Then God created Eve. Eve must have been told by Adam but she was not instructed by God. Hence, she was chosen by the serpent to tempt as she was the weaker link. We don’t know what Adam said to Eve but Adam was standing right there. He knew it was wrong. Eve disobeyed God and Adam.
Also, if Adam had been chosen to eat first, Eve might have had an out by saying she was only obeying her husband, the head of the household. Hence, God allowed Eve to be tested first.
Eve doesn’t even seem to know the name of the tree and exactly what God said since she uses the word “touch” instead of “eat” as God did. This is not an excuse. But it does fall upon Adam to communicate to her God’s commands.
Eve was truly deceived by the devil; Adam sinned in full knowledge of what God had said. (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Timothy 2:14).
I was always told it was Eve’s fault man sinned. But upon close examination Adam bears most of the burden. He was right there (Genesis 3:6) the entire time. At any moment either one could have ran from the serpent. But neither did. It just shows how powerful and cunning the devil truly is. And what we must fight against daily.
If Adam and Eve could be tricked and disobey–those who actually walked with God–then we must be extra vigilant and strong in the Word in order to resist.
Great explanation of Genesis 3 HERE