Genesis 3 - Mankind fell into sin

Genesis 3:1  Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the Lord God had made. "Really?" he asked the woman. "Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?" 2  "Of course we may eat it," the woman told him. 3"It’s only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die." 4"You won’t die!" the serpent hissed. 5  "God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil." 6  The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too. 7  At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves. 8  Toward evening they heard the Lord God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees. 9The Lord God called to Adam, "Where are you?" 10  He replied, "I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked." 11  "Who told you that you were naked?" the Lord God asked. "Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?" 12"Yes," Adam admitted, "but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it." 13Then the Lord God asked the woman, "How could you do such a thing?" "The serpent tricked me," she replied. "That’s why I ate it." 14  So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you will be punished. You are singled out from all the domestic and wild animals of the whole earth to be cursed. You will grovel in the dust as long as you live, crawling along on your belly. 15From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." 16  Then he said to the woman, "You will bear children with intense pain and suffering. And though your desire will be for your husband, he will be your master." 17  And to Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. 18It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. 19All your life you will sweat to produce food, until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return."

 

How we fall into sin

Sin can evolve out of a sincere motive

Eve was tempted to eat the fruit because the serpent said that eating would make her be like God - knowing good and evil. This sounded like a good thing. Even Christians are told that we have to emulate God.

Matthew 5:48  But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

But while we are to emulate God, we have to do it the right way - in following His character and not in ways God did not intend. For example, some religions taught that we can be gods. We were never taught to emulate God this way.

Eve's sin evolved from a sincere motive. We too may sin because we think that the ends justify the means. In some new age cults, the gurus instruct their followers to do whatever is necessary - even lie - to get funds in to support the cause. They teach that the ends justify the means.

But as Christians we have to be careful that we not only do the right thing, but do it the right way. We may have a sincere motive to give more to God, but are we getting our money through ways that please God? Or are we working so hard that we lose track of other important things in life?

Another example would be child raising. We may have a sincere motive to love them and give them the best in life. But this sincere motive has resulted in many people spoiling their children and giving them everything they want, in not disciplining them. The Bible teaches that child discipline is absolutely necessary.

Prov 29:15  To discipline and reprimand a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.

 

It is easy to sin if we do not know what God requires

Genesis 3:1  Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the Lord God had made. "Really?" he asked the woman. "Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?"

Eve started to doubt whether God did say that she could not eat of the fruit after all.

It is easy to fall into sin if we do not know the Word of God well. The Bible tells us to store the word of God in our hearts so that we might not sin against God.

Psalms 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Storing the word in our heart does not directly prevent us from sinning. We can know God's laws and still blatantly disobey them. But knowing God's laws in our hearts indirectly prevent us from sinning because not knowing them makes us an easy prey to sin… like Eve.

We start to sin frequently when we stop reading God's word as we lose track of God's laws. Do you read the Bible regularly?

 

It is easy to sin if we do not take the word of God seriously

Genesis 3:4 "You won’t die!" the serpent hissed. 5  "God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil." 6  The woman was convinced.

When Eve told the serpent that she would die eating the fruit, the serpent is in effect saying, "You mean you take that seriously? Of course you won't die!"

Therein is another loophole to sin. We may "know" the word of God and still not take it seriously. Jesus said many things in the Bible that deep down we often think they are exaggerations. For example…

Matthew 5:27  "You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:22But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

We know having an affair is bad, but having lustful thoughts can't be that bad, can it? We know murder is bad but what harm can I do if I only have anger in my heart?

It is precisely because we do not take the word of God seriously that we fall easily into sin. We need to realize that God does not exaggerate. Exaggerating is equivalent to lying and God just does not do it. When God states something in serious terms, we know it is serious.

Let's be as serious as God in some areas we previously deem as harmless. Like lust, anger, gossip, harsh language. What other areas are you guilty of not taking God seriously?

 

We fall into sin  when we only look at the attractiveness of sin without considering its consequences

Genesis 2:6  The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too.

Many sins would have been avoided if we just take time to think further. If Eve had taken the time to think about the possible consequences of that sin, she would probably not have committed it.

What sin are you tempted with right now? I am sure that sin is attractive at first glance. Take a step back and write down the consequences of that sin. That should deter us from committing it.

 

Consequences of sin

Shame and guilt

Genesis 3:8  Toward evening they heard the Lord God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees. 9The Lord God called to Adam, "Where are you?" 10  He replied, "I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked." 11  "Who told you that you were naked?" the Lord God asked. "Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?"

Contrast this to Genesis 2:25 when the couple felt no shame because they had not sinned.

Sin causes shame and guilt. It will affect our self worth and prevents us from relating to people in a healthy manner.

Sin will also affect our Christian ministry because we will not be able to pray if we harbor shame and guilt. We will also not be able to lead others if we have shame and guilt.

 

Punishment

Genesis 3: 16  Then he said to the woman, "You will bear children with intense pain and suffering. And though your desire will be for your husband, he will be your master." 17  And to Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. 18It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. 19All your life you will sweat to produce food, until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return."

Sin always carries its consequences. The Bible teaches that we will reap what we sow.

Galatians 6:7  Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!

Before we decide to sin, we should think of the consequences.

God, being just, has to punish us for our sins. He also does so so that we will be think twice before we decide to commit any sin.

 

What is our reaction after we sin?

Hide from God

Genesis 3:8  Toward evening they heard the Lord God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees. 9The Lord God called to Adam, "Where are you?" 10  He replied, "I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked."

It is human nature to want to avoid God when we are living in sin. People who are sinning willfully do not like to go to church or read the Bible because that would remind them of their sin. If you are uncomfortable reading the Bible or mixing with other Christians, it is important to find out whether this is the cause.

The other area most of us is guilty of is unconsciously "hiding" our sins from God. We are not having a regular time of confession as part of our daily prayer. We are not searching out our sins and laying them before God for Him to deal with. We are trying not to think about it so that it does not make us feel guilty. The Psalmist asks God to search out all his sins so that it can be dealt with. He does not want to hide them from God.Psalms 139: 23  Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.We should not just confess our sins but also ask God to search us for hidden sins and give God time to speak to us in this regard.

 

Blame others

The other common reaction to sin is to blame others. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. Only the poor serpent had no one to blame on.

Genesis 3:11  "Who told you that you were naked?" the Lord God asked. "Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?" 12"Yes," Adam admitted, "but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it." 13Then the Lord God asked the woman, "How could you do such a thing?" "The serpent tricked me," she replied. "That’s why I ate it."

But God is not interested in the shifting of responsibilities of Adam and Eve. He sees them as guilty and deals with the sin. Sin cannot be dealt with if we are thinking of how we can blame others. The acknowledgement of a problem is the first step to solving it.

For example, if we are always angry at the office and blowing our top at others, we may blame them for it. Anyway, they are the ones who are aggravating me! But if we have this kind of attitude, we will forever be angry. We have to see our own responsibility to it and deal with the situation.

We may blame our bosses for trying to force us to unethical work practices when we are the ones eventually making the decision to either do it or not.

What are some areas that you have been blaming others on but not working on the problem in yourself. Is it temper? Is it temptation?

Instead of blaming others, we sometimes blame the situation. We say the circumstances "force" us into it.

These are all lies of the devil. The Bible says that there is nothing - no person, no circumstance - that can force us into sin. With every temptation to sin, there is a way out.

1 Cor 10:13  But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

Joseph was a man who could certainly say that he was forced into sin. But look at his life.

He was not forced into a life of bitterness and revenge even though his brothers had tried to kill him. He was not forced to have an affair with the king's wife even though the king's wife tried to get him forcefully.

With God's strength, let's learn not to put the blame on other people or circumstances and admit our mistakes.