The First Sin
1 Corinthians 15:22, ESV
For as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ shall
all be made alive.
so also in Christ shall
all be made alive.
Genesis 3:1-5, NIrV
1 The serpent was more clever than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. The serpent said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. 3 But God did say, ‘You must not eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. Do not even touch it. If you do, you will die.’ ”
4 “You will certainly not die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “God knows that when you eat fruit from that tree, you will know things you have never known before. Like God, you will be able to tell the difference between good and evil.”
After today’s reading, you might have thought, “Animals can’t talk!” But this sneaky serpent was no ordinary snake – he was the devil himself, an evil angel and God's #1 enemy! What was the devil deviously doing that day in the Garden of Eden? Trying his best to trick the only woman on the planet into breaking God’s command! If you remember, God had forbidden the woman and her husband from eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. “If you eat it,” God warned, “you’ll surely die.” But the serpent disagreed. “That fruit is fine!” he lied. “God is lying. You won’t be dying!”
+ What did the serpent say would happen when the woman ate the fruit? (vs. 5)
+ Whose word should the woman believe: God’s word or the serpent’s?
Genesis 3:6-11, NIrV
6 The woman saw that the tree’s fruit was good to eat and pleasing to look at. She also saw that it would make a person wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. And he ate it. 7 Then both of them knew things they had never known before. They realized they were naked. So they sewed together fig leaves and made clothes for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking in the garden. It was during the coolest time of the day. They hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called out to the man. “Where are you?” he asked.
10 “I heard you in the garden,” the man answered. “I was afraid, because I was naked. So I hid.”
11 The Lord God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten fruit from the tree I commanded you not to eat from?”
God had promised, “If you eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you’ll surely die.” But the serpent promised the opposite would happen: instead of dying, she’d become like God himself! The woman had a choice to make: do I believe God’s words or the serpent’s? Sadly, the woman made a disastrous decision. She took a bite of the forbidden fruit, then gave some to her husband. The second they snacked, our first human parents had two thoughts they’d never had before. The first: “Why am I not wearing any clothes?” And the second? “God is coming! Let’s run away and hide!”
+ How did the man and woman make clothes? (vs. 7)
+ Why did Adam and Eve hide? (vs. 10)
Genesis 3:12-15, NIrV
12 The man said, “It’s the fault of the woman you put here with me. She gave me some fruit from the tree. And I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?”
The woman said, “The serpent tricked me. That’s why I ate the fruit.”
14 So the Lord God spoke to the serpent. He said, “Because you have done this,
“You are set apart from all livestock
and all wild animals.
I am putting a curse on you.
You will crawl on your belly.
You will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 I will make you and the woman hate each other.
Your children and her children will be enemies.
Her son will crush your head.
And you will bite his heel.”
Knowing they were caught red-handed, the man and woman played the blame game. The man said, “It’s the woman’s fault!” The woman said, “It’s the serpent’s fault.” Really, it was everyone's fault! God gave all three of them curses, punishments for their sin. God cursed the serpent to crawl on its belly forever. God also promised to destroy this devil. One day, a special son would be born to the woman’s family. As the boy and serpent battled, both of them would be wounded: the serpent in his head and the boy in his heel (foot). By the end of this week, you’ll learn the secret identity of this boy!
+ Who did Adam blame? Who did Eve blame? (vs. 12-13)
+ How did God punish the serpent? (vs. 14-15)
Genesis 3:16-20, NIRV
16 The Lord God said to the woman,
“I will increase your pain when you give birth.
You will be in great pain when you have children.
You will long for your husband.
And he will rule over you.”
17 The Lord God said to Adam, “You listened to your wife’s suggestion. You ate fruit from the tree I warned you about. I said, ‘You must not eat its fruit.’
“So I am putting a curse on the ground because of what you did.
All the days of your life you will have to work hard.
It will be painful for you to get food from the ground. 18 You will eat plants from the field,
even though the ground produces thorns and prickly weeds.
19 You will have to work hard and sweat a lot
to produce the food you eat.
You were made out of the ground.
You will return to it when you die.
You are dust,
and you will return to dust.”
20 Adam named his wife Eve. She would become the mother of every living person.
As he did with the serpent, God spoke curses to the man and the woman, too. Because they ate the forbidden fruit, God gave them two curses each. For the woman, birthing a brand-new baby would produce plenty of pain. And now, her perfect marriage would become a struggle, a battle to be in charge. For the man, his joyful job as a gardener would turn into a sweaty struggle to grow enough food to feed his family. But his second curse? That was the worst of all. Because he sinned, the man was destined for death. He’d been made from dust. And one day, his body would decay back into it!
+ What does it mean that human beings would return to dust? (vs. 19)
+ What were the names of the man and woman? (vs. 17 and 20)
Genesis 3:21-24, NIRV
21 The Lord God made clothes out of animal skins for Adam and his wife to wear. 22 The Lord God said, “Just like one of us, the man can now tell the difference between good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out and pick fruit from the tree of life and eat it. If he does, he will live forever.” 23 So the Lord God drove the man out of the Garden of Eden. He sent the man to farm the ground he had been made from. 24 The Lord God drove him out and then placed angels on the east side of the garden. He also placed there a flaming sword that flashed back and forth. The angels and the sword guarded the way to the tree of life.
The man and woman had never been bothered by the fact that they were naked. It was simply how God made them! But after feasting on the forbidden fruit, they tried to hide their shame by sewing suits of leaves. These poor plant clothes were soon replaced by better animal-skin clothes given by God. This shows us a couple of things. First, even though they sinned, God continued to care for his humans. Second, to make clothes to cover their shame, several animals had to die. This is a reminder that sin brings death, and that God would someday send his Son to die to save us from sin!
+ What would happen if they ate from the tree of life? (vs. 22)
+ What last punishment did Adam and Eve receive? (vs. 23)
1 Corinthians 15:21-22, NIRV
21 Death came because of what a man did. Rising from the dead also comes because of what a man did. 22 Because of Adam, all people die. So because of Christ, all will be made alive.
When our first parents, Adam and Eve, feasted on the forbidden fruit, they earned curses from God. There was pain when babies were born. Their marriage was a battle. Adam’s work was frustrating and difficult. And eventually, the two of them died and returned to dust. But that wasn’t the end of their sad, sinful story.
Like a deadly disease, Adam and Eve’s curses spread to all the human beings born after them. Giving birth to a baby is still really painful. Work is still a sweat-filled struggle. And every human being, no matter who they are, has a date with death one day!
The verses we looked at today describe the details of Adam’s disastrous deed. Because of Adam’s sin, all people die. Because of Adam’s sin so many years ago, every single one of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and on and on and on suffer from the curse of death. All of our bodies will one day return to the dust!
You might be tempted to say, “That’s not fair! I’m being punished for something Adam did!” But you and I are not innocent little lambs. Like Adam and Eve, we’ve broken God’s commands, too. Without a doubt, if we were there that day in the garden, we would have done the exact same thing our first human parents did and brought the contagious curse of sin into the world
But it isn’t all bad news! Earlier this week, we talked about the confusing curse God gave the serpent. Do you remember it? God said a son would be born from Eve’s family. That chosen child would struggle with the serpent. In the battle, both the boy and the serpent would be injured. The serpent would strike at the child’s heel (by his foot), but the child of Eve would deliver a deadly blow to the serpent’s head.
Because we live in the far-off future, we now know the secret identity of this chosen child: it was Jesus, the Son of God! Since he was born to a human mother named Mary, Jesus was the chosen child of Eve sent to battle the serpent (the devil). That battle took place when Jesus allowed himself to be nailed to a cross. When Jesus died, it looked like the devil had won and Jesus had lost. But on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, proving he’d defeated sin, death, and the devil, once and for all!
Because of one man, Adam, the curse of sin and death entered our world and spread to all of us. But because of another man, Jesus, the curse of sin and death has been destroyed! And God has promised to give forever life in his curse-free kingdom to anyone who believes this good news!
+ Did Adam and Eve’s curses affect only them or all of us?
+ Who was the child of Eve who came to crush the serpent?