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Genesis: God’s Book of Beginnings (3)

SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER 3

In this chapter, Satan is introduced as the prime mover of a diabolical temptation wherein Adam disobeyed God. Adam’s fall from holiness led to a broken covenant and man’s doom to sorrow, toil, and death.

The consequences of sin were immediate and universal in the world. The sorrows that befell Adam and Eve and their offspring due to the curse applied to the soil, plant life, and animal life. What had been created “very good” became thoroughly corrupted. The corruption of sin so affected Adam and Eve’s hearts that their former inclination to worship God was turned to a fugitive spirit causing them to run from God.

As a consequence of their guilt and their inner depravity, Adam and Eve were driven out of their pristine home and kept from returning by Cherubim and a flaming sword at Eden’s gate.

Key verse: “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” (Genesis 3:1).

Satan was subtil. While Eve was alone, he attacked her mind by questioning God’s word. Then through Eve, he tempted Adam to disobey God. This is his common modus operandi.

Observations: Lessons from this chapter

1. In Genesis chapter three, God gives us a history of how His perfectly-ordered world went so terribly wrong.

This is vital information to grasp the message of the Bible as it reveals the need for the gospel of redemption to restore man back to fellowship with God.

“The problem of the existence of evil in a world created by a holy, loving God is one that has exercised the minds and hearts of philosophers and theologians through the ages. If God is omnipotent and holy, why does He permit such things? How, indeed, could evil ever have appeared at all?” (Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record Pg. 105 Evangelical Press (Reprinted 1977).

Paul the apostle declared that the world in which we live is radically different from the world which God first created (Romans 5:12; 8:20-22). This is a fallen world which is under the curse as the consequence of man’s disobedience.

2. Satan is one of God’s creatures who fell from God’s favor early in the history of the world.

Though a created being, Satan was moved by pride to be like God, or to even become as God (Isaiah 14:12-15). The desire to be like God was an effective means for Satan to tempt Eve, and has been the point of rebellion that has marked the works of Satan, his minions, and those under his wicked influence throughout history. His design was to bring the whole human race into rebellion to God. He chose to employ the body of the serpent, which was intelligent and attractive, certainly to Eve.

The Bible clearly teaches that, as a result of Satan’s activities, there is continual spiritual warfare between God and Satan (Revelation 12:9, Ezekiel 28:15-17, Luke 10:18). In his attempt to be the god of this world, Satan is at war with God. This is the real world in which we live. Being subject to Satan’s assault in this life, we need a mighty Savior to deliver us from Satan’s bondage and from his powers of temptation – Satan’s cruel weapon to damn our souls.

3. When Satan tempted Eve, he attacked both the Word of God and the goodness of God.

By questioning Eve about God’s intentions in forbidding them to eat of one tree, Satan changed Eve’s perspective of God. Compare God’s goodness in permitting them to “freely eat” of every tree (ch. 2:21, with Eve’s reply in ch. 3:2 where she said, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden.” Eve dropped the word “freely”. Satan further suggested that God was keeping them from the enjoyment of something good (ch. 3:5).

Adam’s disobedience (reference is made to Adam’s disobedience for the covenant was made with Adam before Eve was created) had far reaching consequences as it plunged all mankind into a fallen world.

  • It brought a sense of shame (v. 7).
  • It brought estrangement to God (v. 8-13).
  • It brought God’s curse upon the serpent with enmity between the serpent and the woman (vs. 14-15).
  • It brought sorrow in childbirth for the woman (v. 16).
  • It brought the woman under the rule of her husband (v. 16). Her falling for Satan’s deception had consequences.
  • It brought God’s curse upon the ground with all the attending struggles for survival (vs. 17-19).
  • It brought banishment from the presence of God (vs.21-24).

Application: How does this apply to me?

Every child of Adam is subject to the consequences of the curse due to Adam’s sin. Everything on the above list applies to our own state before God in this world. Our life of shame, sweat, toil, labour for survival among danger and death is the result of Adam’s fall.

Just as the earth is radically fallen from its first pristine form at creation through the curse, so man’s nature is totally depraved. We lost the knowledge of God and we lost the desire to know God and to fellowship with Him. We have become fugitives seeking to hide from God’s presence in a spirit of rebellion. This is the reason why we desperately need a Savior. Sin’s guilt must be removed, which Christ undertook in his sacrificial death. The curse upon all creation must be reversed, which shall take place in the renovation of this world at Christ’s return. The wages of sin must be paid out to unrepentant sinners, while the gift of eternal life will be bestowed on all who believe in Christ (Romans 6:23).

Things to do in light of this study:

  1. Look up and consider these Bible references that reveal man’s lost condition due to sin (Romans 3:10-23, Ephesians 2:1- 6, Isaiah 1).
  2. Recognize that this world is under God’s judgment. It will not continue in rebellion to God indefinitely. Satan will finally be cast out. Sin will be judged. This earth will be burned with fire before a new reign of righteousness in the eternal state.
  3. Rejoice in Christ as the Savior whom God has sent to save His people. Through His redeeming work at Calvary we are saved. Christ came to reverse the curse and save His people. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13).
  4. Put no trust in this world while in its wicked, fallen state, but do trust in Christ, the sure and certain hope of every sinner who will repent of sin and trust in Him. Do plead the cross-work of Christ to be saved from every consequence of sin.
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Ian Goligher

By Ian Goligher

Rev. Ian Goligher is the pastor of Cloverdale FPC, Vancouver, BC. He was Editor of Current from 2014 to 2019.