Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned’ (Romans 5:12)
‘ Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat it; for in the day that thou eatest, thou shalt surely die’ (Genesis 2:16)
In the past two studies, we learned how God created the first two people. The Scripture says,
“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
Within the soul of the man and the woman, God placed a spirit capable of knowing God, and a heart capable of loving Him. God also entrusted them with a free will, so that
they could choose for themselves whether to obey Him or not.
We also saw how God placed man in the Garden, a delightful garden He had prepared on the earth in a place called Eden. God gave the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, everything they needed to live in peace and true prosperity.
God wanted people to
know Him, love Him, and worship Him forever.
We saw how God placed a simple command before the man whom He had created. In the middle of the garden, God planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and then commanded the man, saying,
“Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,thou shalt not eat it;for in the day that thou eatest, thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16).
If Adam disobeyed God and ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it would be because Adam had decided to be independent from God, then the result would be death – separation from God.
We have come to the third chapter in the book of Genesis. This is the chapter which shows us
how sin entered the world.
If we are familiar with the teaching of this chapter, then we know why the heart of man is crooked and evil, and why the world is full of suffering and pain.
We have already seen that, in the beginning, Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden where they were perfectly satisfied and had everything for their enjoyment. The best thing of all was that
the Lord God visited the garden each day,
in the cool of the evening, so that He might talk with Adam and Eve. He did this for He wanted to talk with them and enjoy their company, one with the other.
However, the Scriptures tell us that someone else was also in the garden. Do you know who it was? It was Satan, God’s adversary, the devil. When God created the world and all that is in it,
When God gave Adam the commandment not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Satan was listening. He did not stop at simply watching and listening, he was also planning to spoil God’s wonderful works. He planned to tempt man whom God had created so that he would disobey God, commit sin, be separated from God, his Friend, and perish! As for God, He knew all that Satan planned to do, but Adam and Eve knew nothing about it.
One day, when Eve was standing near the forbidden tree,
Satan came as a serpent,
and began to speak with her. The Scripture says: “Now the serpent was more subtle (crafty) than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Has God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)
Let us pause here briefly.
Why did Satan appear as a serpent?
The Scripture gives us the answer when it says: “the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.”
Satan is the tempter,
and therefore presented himself as one who is very wise. Satan did not come to Adam and Eve in the form of a huge red dragon saying, “Peace be on you, Adam and Eve. I am the devil, the enemy of God! I have come today to tempt you to turn your back on God, the Lord of life, so that you might perish forever!”
Satan did not speak like that!
How did he appear to them then? As a beautiful and wise creature. He chose to speak to them through a serpent, because at that time, before sin entered the world, the serpent was
the craftiest of all the animals.
Satan is still like that. He is crafty. He habitually presents what he has to offer as a good thing. The Scriptures say: “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14) God warns us in His Word, saying, “Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” (Matt. 7:15)
Satan is a deceiver.
That is why he appeared to Adam and Eve as a wise serpent. That is also why he preferred to talk with Eve, instead of with Adam himself, because he hoped that it would be easier to tempt Eve than Adam. Satan knew that God had given the commandment about the tree to Adam, before He created Eve. However, Eve also knew about God’s commandment.
and he knew exactly what he wanted to achieve. Satan knew if he could convince the woman to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, perhaps Adam would follow her in disobeying God.
The Scriptures say: “The serpent said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” (Genesis 3:1) Did you hear what Satan said to Eve? He said, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” Do you see what Satan was trying to do? He was attempting to plant doubt in the mind of Eve concerning the sure Word of God. That is why he said, “Did God . . . say?” Did God really say . . .?” Satan still uses this method.
He fights against the Word of Truth
because he knows that the Word of God has the power to disarm him and discredit his lies. Satan knows that the truth dispels lies, as light dispels darkness.
Now let us read the rest of the conversation between the woman and the devil. The Scripture says: “The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God has said, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Genesis 3:2-5)
This is amazing!
What did God say would happen to Adam and Eve if they ate of the forbidden tree? He said, “You will die!” What did Satan say? He said:
“You will not die!”
So, Satan did not stop at merely casting doubt upon God’s Word, but he came right out and denied it! What do you think about this? Who was speaking the truth, God or Satan? The Holy Scriptures say that God is the True One and cannot lie. As for Satan, he does not hold to the truth,
for there is no truth in him.
When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44).
However, we must also remember that Satan is not only a liar. He is also a deceiver.
He is crafty;
he takes what is not true and mixes it with what is true.
We can see that in what Satan said to Eve and Adam, “When you eat of [this tree] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When Satan said, “You will be like God!” that was a lie, because the one who sins is not like God, but like Satan. But when Satan said, “You will know good and evil” he was speaking the truth, because after Adam and Eve sinned
they came to know what evil is.
However, Satan did not tell them of the bitterness that such knowledge would bring into their lives. God said, “If you eat of the tree you will surely die!” But Satan said, “If you eat of the tree you will not die!”
Satan is a liar.
That is why when God said, “You will die!” Satan denied it, saying, “You will not die!” Now the moment had come for Adam and Eve to choose between the Word of God and the word of Satan.
The choice before them was this: Will we believe the words of God or the words of Satan?
Will we follow the words of Light or the words of darkness?
Let us read on to see the choice they made. The Scriptures say: “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and ate it, and gave also to her husband, and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:6)
The man, whom God had created in His own image so that he could know Him, love Him and obey Him forever, what did he do? Did he love God enough to obey His command? No! He chose to disobey the God of love, and to follow Satan, the enemy of God and man!
What a sad day this was!
Our ancestors, Adam and Eve, turned their backs on the LORD God by eating the fruit of the tree that He had forbidden. It is said:
“An epidemic is not confined to the one from whom it originates!”
In the same way, the Word of God says: “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and death passed upon all men, because all have sinned!” (Rom. 5:12) Whether we like it or not, that is the way it is!
We know well that a goat cannot give birth to a squirrel. In other words,
“Like father, like son.”
You and I, and all people, take after Adam. We are born sinners and must die, because we come from Adam. The first man who disobeyed God’s commandment is our forefather and we are just like him. Who among us can say that we have never disobeyed the commandments of God?
Not a single one of us!
So where did we inherit this nature in us that disobeys God’s commandments? From Adam. Like a horrible contagious disease,
the sin that was in Adam has spread to us all.
Truly, “an epidemic is not confined to the one from whom it originates!”
all hope is not lost,
because the Word of God also declares: Just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. (Rom. 5:18) We cannot look into it now, but in future lessons, we will study
the righteous way of salvation
that God has established, by which sinners might come back to God.
In the next lesson, we plan to continue in this important chapter to see what happened after Adam and Eve strayed from the way of righteousness, and followed the way of unrighteousness.
God bless you as you remember this basic truth: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12)
‘An epidemic is not confined to the one from whom it originates’
God bless you as you meditate upon this great message from God to you:
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12)
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